Grand Rapids

10.19.16:  Kids’ Food Basket in need of sacks



-The Kids’ Food Basket provides sack suppers for students that need a ready-to-eat meal to eat when they go home from school.

Decorated Sack Supper bags provide kids with an extra touch of love.

They are hoping to reach a goal of 75,000 decorated bags by October 22nd.

Organizers say brown or white paper sacks work best ( can be purchased at Sam’s Club and GFS Stores in bulk).  Please keep in mind that many Sack Suppers will be going to public schools and therefore cannot contain religious or political messages.


The bags can be dropped off during regular business hours or Saturday, October 22, from 10 am to 1 p.m. at one of their special drive-through, drop-off locations:


-2055 Oak Industrial Dr. NE, St.C, Grand Rapids

-1011 2nd St., Muskegon

-389 James St., Holland


10.19.16:  XQ Super School Bus tour comes to Grand Rapids


-Wednesday, October 19, XQ Super School Project will make a stop in Grand Rapids to celebrate the Grand Rapids Public Museum School being awarded $10 million dollars as one of the 10 winner out of nearly 700 proposals.

The money will be used to further develop a Museum School for High School students at the former Museum location , 54 Jefferson.

The event will take place from 10:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Grand Rapids Public Museum School, 272 Pearl Street NW, Grand Rapids.

Events include a community art project, food trucks, and opportunities to explore some of the learning that will take place at the Public Museum High School.  The public is invited.



10.13.16:  Silver Ring Thing comes to Grand Rapids Sunday




-The Silver Ring Thing will be in Grand Rapids Sunday evening.

The 2 hour live stage performance aims to challenge students to make a commitment to purity and gives them the opportunity to wear a ring as a symbol and reminder of that decision.

A parent’s session is also held to educate them about what is happening in today’s youth culture and how they can encourage and support their children.

This year’s theme is “Raising the Bar. Refusing to Conform.”

The event has been around for the last 20 years and changing lives of young people.


The Silver Ring Thing will be held, Sunday, October 16th from 6-8 pm at the 3 Mile Project, 3050 Walker Dr. NW, Grand Rapids.


More information:

10.12.16:  Fatal shooting by officer in Michigan justified




WYOMING, Mich. (AP) — A prosecutor has ruled that the fatal shooting of a man suspected of stealing a semi-automatic pistol from a gun store in the Grand Rapids area was justifiable.

The shooting happened Sept. 7 in Wyoming, a city near Grand Rapids, about two hours after the theft. Kent County Prosecutor William Forsyth issued his decision Tuesday, saying video from the officer’s in-car camera and witness statements corroborated the officer’s account.

Police say 25-year-old Sadiq Bishara-Abaker Idris, a native of Sudan, was confronted by an officer because of what looked like a gun in his back pocket.

Police say the man took out the gun and pointed it at the officer. Forsyth said the officer had no way of knowing that the gun that was pointed at him was unloaded.


10.10.16:  1 killed, 8 wounded in gunfire at party 




GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Authorities say eight of the nine people shot at a party in Grand Rapids are expected to survive.

One man was killed in the shootings early Sunday morning at the party in a business along 28th Street near Kalamazoo Avenue, that had a sign advertising it as a clearance outlet for electronics, furniture and sporting goods. Authorities identified him as 21-year-old Juwan Boykin.

No arrests have been made and police Sgt. Terry Dixon says investigators are still trying to determine what led to the gunfire. Officers were headed to the site in response to a complaint when the shooting began.

Dixon says four men between the ages of 20 and 34 and four women between the ages of 19 and 35 were wounded and are expected to survive.


10.7.16:  Winners to be revealed from annual ArtPrize competition




GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — The winners of this year’s ArtPrize competition are being announced during an event in Grand Rapids.

On Friday night, the winners of $500,000 in cash prizes from the eighth annual event will be revealed at the Grand Rapids Civic Theatre.

The public voted in recent weeks on its favorite entries using mobile devices and the ArtPrize website. Awards of $200,000 are decided by public vote and an expert jury, and an additional $100,000 in prizes is awarded to the top entries in each category.

Displays are at venues throughout Grand Rapids and the event is a big tourism draw for the region, attracting visitors from around the world. This year’s event included more than 1,400 entries by artists representing 44 countries and 40 U.S. states and territories.



10.6.16:  GRPS encouraged by students that show up for Count Day 




GRAND RAPDIS  (Mlive) —  For the first time in two decades, Grand Rapids Public Schools’ student population fall enrollment grew, officials announced on Wednesday, Oct. 5.

Superintendent Teresa Weatherall Neal reported the district has 16,840 students, 135 more than the 16,705 projected in the budget about the final count day tally. She said the growth has been district-wide.

“This is a historic moment and confirms the success of our Transformation Plan,” said Neal, about the plan launched in 2013 that had among its top goals to restore stability to the district and invest for growth.

“Grand Rapids Public Schools is growing and we are stable. We are seeing the rewards of us coming together as a community. This community put hope back in the lives of kids in this school district.”


The Transformation Plan called for investing in programs that were performing well, discontinue those performing poorly and offer more choices to families to retain and recruit families.

There are a few new programs, including expanding the popular C.A. Frost Environmental Science Academy into a high school – and a new Museum School that won $10 million for being among the most innovative in the nation.


At 135 students above projections, the district gains more than $1 million in state aid, based on receiving $7,511 per-pupil from the state. It’s extra money Neal said she’d like to use to take care of staff, but it is a board decision.

School board president Tony Baker, credits Neal for improving morale and removing uncertainty that had previously troubled parents, teachers and students. He said Neal created the Transformation Plan and developed it with input from the district community and that’s why more families are making GRPS their school choice.

10.6.16:  Next debate in St. Louis, Bernie to visit GR




-The next Presidential debate will take place Sunday, Oct. 9th.

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton will meet at Washington University in St. Louis.

The second debate will take the form of a town meeting in which half of the questions will be posed directly by citizen participants and the other half will be posed by the moderator.


Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders is making a stop in Grand Rapids today.  He’ll be at Grand Rapids Central High School on Fountain Street around 5:30 p.m., campaigning for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

10.5.16:  Woman, 59, run over by horse trailer, dies




JAMESTOWN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Authorities say a 59-year-old woman has died after being run over by a horse trailer that was attached to a truck she was operating in western Michigan.

The Grand Rapids Press and radio station WHTC report Sally Ponstein was operating the truck Tuesday in Ottawa County’s Jamestown Township along 24th Avenue, when she got out. The sheriff’s department says the truck was apparently left in gear and she was run over.

Rescue crews attempted CPR, but she was pronounced dead at the scene.



9.27.16:  2016 Jurors’ Shortlist Top 25



(Mlive) – Five Michigan-based artists were among the 20 finalists chosen by the expert jurors who will decide who gets the $200,000 Juried Grand Prize in this year’s ArtPrize Eight.

A group of venues was also on the shortlist released Monday, Sept. 26.

Twelve of the finalists were located in four venues. The jurors nominated three entries each from the SiTE:LAB / Rumsey Street project, the Grand Rapids Art Museum, the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts (UICA) and City Flux, located at 50 Monroe Ave. NW.

The juried awards are judged in four categories. The award is separate from the public vote, which is based on voting by ArtPrize visitors who register to vote online or with their smartphones. The Public Vote Top 100 list will be announced Tuesday, Sept. 27.

“Each year the Category Jurors’ Shortlist creates a dialogue, offering a counterpoint to the public vote and highlighting the various ways that individuals approach, assess and engage with contemporary art,” said Christian Gaines, ArtPrize executive director.

“Whether their choices surprise, excite, baffle, or infuriate, conversations are sparked amongst ArtPrizers and the community around contemporary art.”

Michigan artists in the jurors Top 20 include:

les bêtes at the City Water Building by the Richard App Gallery, by Isaac Aoki of Grand Rapids. The entry consists of a series of nude photographs shot in the winter at on the beach near Saugatuck.

Transformation (Metamorphosis) at Homewood Suites by Hilton Grand Rapids Downtown & Jam’n Bean Coffee Company at the Waters Center, by Chakila Hoskins of Grand Rapids. Hoskins has entered her paintings in ArtPrize for several years.

Hybrid Structures at SiTE:LAB / Rumsey Street Project, by Alois Kronschlaeger from Brooklyn, NY and Paul Amenta and Ted Lott of Grand Rapids.

Untitled at UICA Exit Space at Grand Rapids Ballet Co., by Louise Chen, based in Detroit.

This Space is Not Abandoned at 912 Grandville Avenue, by 912 CollABORATIVE of Grand Rapids.

Other nominees by category include:


Charted Memories at Calvin College – (106) Gallery by, Keren Kroul from Minneapolis, MN.

Coherency at Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, by Faig Ahmed from Baku, Azerbaijan.

Survival Does Not Lie In The Heavens at the Grand Rapids Art Museum, by Dario Robleto from Houston, TX.


Excavations at SiTE:LAB / Rumsey St. Project, by William Lamson from New York.

Grand River at CITY FLUX: Art, Architecture & Grand Rapids, by Francisco Pinheiro from Lisbon, Portugal.

Pose System at Grand Rapids Art Museum, by Saya Woolfalk from New York, NY.

SetOutputWorld (called with a world of the wrong size) at Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts, by Kayla Anderson from Chicago, IL.

Support Surfaces (I,II,III) at CITY FLUX: Art, Architecture & Grand Rapids, by Bailey Romaine from Chicago, IL.


Christmas Eve, 1933 at SiTE:LAB / Rumsey St. Project, by Mark Dion from New York, NY.

Wars and Rumors of Wars at the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts, by Eric Dickson from New York, NY.


Bang Bang! at the City Water Building by the Richard App Gallery, by Constance Edwards Scopelitis from Indianapolis, IN.

The Bureau of Personal Belonging at 50 Monroe, by Stacey Kirby from Durham, NC.

The Magnetosphere at the The Fed Galleries @ KCAD, Kendall College of Art and Design, by Matthew Steinke from Austin, TX.

Search Engine Vision “ISIS” at the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts, by Eric Souther from Mishawaka, IN

Sweeper’s Clock at the Grand Rapids Art Museum, by Maarten Baas from Den Bosch, Holland (The Netherlands).

Outstanding Venue

Almost Home: Grand Rapids in Focus, Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park


Re*, The Fed Galleries @ KCAD, Kendall College of Art and Design

(RE)Compose, 130 Ottawa

This Space is Not Abandoned, 912 Grandville Avenue

The jurors and their categories are Tina Rivers Ryan, art historian, critic, and educator specializing in modern and contemporary art (2-D); Omar Lopez-Chahoud, Artistic Director and Curator of UNTITLED Art Fair, Miami Beach and San Francisco (3-D); Yesomi Umolu, Exhibitions Curator at the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts at the University of Chicago (Time-Based); Deana Haggag, Director of The Contemporary in Baltimore, Maryland (Installation); and Steve Dietz, Founder, President, and Artistic Director of Northern in Minneapolis (Outstanding Venue).