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05 / 12 / 12

Step into HiStory Celebrate 35 years of the Fifth Third River Bank Run Saturday, May 12, 2012

Or get active and mark your calendar to join us on Saturday, May 11, 2013 Visit us at 53riverbankrun.com


An Exceptional Destination for Travelers! Shop over 100 stores, including stores exclusive to Woodland Mall: Apple The North Face Pottery Barn Swarovski Ann Taylor Brookstone J. Crew Fossil Williams-Sonoma Sit down and relax or grab a bite on the go: On The Border Red Robin Bar Louie Olga’s Kitchen Cafés in the Woods Food Court Catch a blockbuster movie on 14 screens: Celebration! Cinema

Shop 100 stores including Macy’s, jcpenney, Sears, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Pottery Barn, Apple, The North Face and The Cafés in the Woods Food Court. 28th Street and the East Beltline, Sunday West of I-96. Shop 120 stores including The Cafés in the Woods Food Court Monday-Saturday 10am-9pm, Noon-6pm Macy’s, JCPenney, and Sears. Hours: Monday-Saturday 10am to 9pm, Sunday 11am to 6pm 28th and Street and the East Beltline, West of I-96 616-949-0012 • shopwoodlandmall.com A Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust® Property

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within four exciting business districts. From East

WINCHESTER

SWIRLS BOUTIQUE

1515 Lake Drive se 616.776.1076

PT 360 PHYSICAL THERAPY 1502 Wealthy Street se 616.456.0360 www.pt360.net

FOOT OUTFITTERS

1411 Robinson Road se 616.451.4732 www.footoutfitters.com

EAST FULTON URBAN EXCHANGE CONSIGNMENT BOUTIQUE

926 Fulton Street se 616.889.0947 www.myurbanexchange.com

GRIFFIN PROPERTIES

Associated with Keller Williams Realty 1163 Fulton Street se 616.915.6060 www.griffinproperties.net

BLUE DOOR ANTIQUES & ELEMENTS 946 Fulton Street se 616.456.7888 www.bluedoorgr.com

963 Cherry Street se 616.451.0800 www.swirlsboutique.com

LAFONTSEE GALLERIES 833 Lake Drive se 616.451.9820 www.lafontsee.us

ROCK PAPER SCISSORS CONSIGNMENT BOUTIQUE 145 Diamond Avenue se 616.805.6848 www.rpsgr.com

CLOTHING MATTERS

141 Diamond Avenue se 616.742.2818 www.clothingmatters.net

BREWERY VIVANT

925 Cherry Street se 616.719.1604 www.breweryvivant.com

GLOBAL INFUSION

143 Diamond Avenue se 616.776.9720 www.globalinfusion.net

THE GREEN WELL

924 Cherry Street se 616.808.3566 www.thegreenwell.com

GROVE

919 Cherry Street se 616.454.1000 www.groverestaurant.com

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606 Wealthy Street se 616.301.1885 www.artofthetable.com

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and Plymouth Avenue,

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CONTEN TS

40

64

48 EVERY ISSUE

LIFE

10 54 74 80 88

14 16 18 28 30 36

VO LU M E 6 N U M B E R 1 P OW E R

Guest Editorial 36 Hours in Grand Rapids Savor: A Guide to Hotel Dining Calendar of Events SOLACE Scene

Happy Hour Good Medicine Where Big Ideas Grow Looking Good Game-changers Thinking Bigger

FEATURES 40 Community DNA 48 All Heart 64 Making Change

An Amway Hotel Corporation Publication Editorial Director Dottie Rhodes Creative Director Gwen O’Brien Editor Kristin Tennant Design Plenty

A M WAY H OT E L C O R P O R AT I O N O N T H E C OV E R

Corporate Director of Marketing Chad LeRoux

Art Direction Mitch Gwen Ranger O'Brien,Photography Plenty Photography

Marketing Manager Carrie Smith

www.customprinters.com

Photography Ranger Photography Wardrobe IssaMitch London, Lamb Wardrobe IssaJohnson, London, Ford Lamb Model Lauren Model Lauren Johnson, Ford Jewelry Blacklamb Jewelry Ryann Blacklamb Styling Lambay and Marissa Kulha Styling Ryann Lambay and Marissa Kulha Tchotchkes Lamb (lamblife.com) Tchotchkes Lamb (lamblife.com) Makeup Kathy Price Makeup Kathy Price Holstad Illustration Geoffrey Illustration Geoffrey Holstad, Plenty

6

SOLACE ™ magazine is published two times per year by Plenty on behalf of the Amway Hotel Corporation. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced in whole or in part without the expressed written consent of Amway Hotel Corporation. For advertising information, please call 616.776.6980 or visit us online at solacemag.com. Follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/solacemagazine and Twitter at @solacemag.


LET’S GO. Eat. Shop. Explore. There is something for everyone in downtown Grand Rapids. Grab a quick cup of coffee or enjoy a fantastic meal at one of our award-winning restaurants, shop ‘til you drop at our up-and-coming boutiques, and explore our world-class museums and cultural attractions—all within one square mile.

DOWNTOWN GRAND RAPIDS

downtowngr.org


LETTER FROM J OSEP H TOM ASEL L I

DEAR GUEST, Welcome to West Michigan! We love each issue of SOLACE we’ve created for our guests, but we’re particularly celebrating this one because it is our 10th! As we’ve created these 10 issues of SOLACE, we’ve been struck again and again by the powerful, positive forces at work in our community. From the power of nature and tradition to the power of innovation and creativity, there are many forces always at play, shaping Grand Rapids and making us who we are. As president of Amway Hotel Corporation—the operator of the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, the JW Marriott Grand Rapids, and the Downtown Courtyard by Marriott—I want to introduce you to these powerful parts of our community, to help you see glimpses of the people and places that characterize our region, beyond the comforts of your hotel. Of course, it’s individual people, all coming together, that make a community. We love sharing stories about the people of West Michigan, like the stories of three locals whose great love for something—urban parks, skiing,

and singing—has changed their lives and impacted the lives of many others (p. 48). In addition to the power of love to change the world, the power of compassion can multiply and impact many, as it did when Cathy Bissell created a community event and fund-raiser to benefit shelter animals in need of a permanent home (p. 14). Sometimes, people just need a seed or a tool to catapult them toward great things—it might be some professional design to help them tell their story (p. 28), or maybe just a dose of encouragement and hope that things can get better (p. 36).

Finally, don’t miss the infographic that demonstrates what you get when you add up all of the individual lives and preferences in our city. Together, we make a community with a distinctly unique personality (p. 40). We hope you enjoy the big-picture look at who we are, and then you take a moment to narrow in on some of the specific “favorite spots” our residents have shared in our regular 36 Hours feature. I truly hope you enjoy your stay with us, from the macro experience to the micro. Please use SOLACE as a guide to your time here, and be sure to take it home with you to enjoy after your visit.

And, of course, there’s always great power in people coming together. After all, that’s what community is all about, and it happens here in many important ways. We’ve included stories in this issue about people coming together around meaningful issues like hunger (p. 64), through tools like social media (p. 18), and by sharing one of the most powerful forces in our lives: laughter (p. 16).

Joseph Tomaselli Amway Hotel Corporation President and Chief Executive Officer

8


Photo by William J. Hebert.

It’s not just the masterpieces of art and nature that delight your senses. Or the surprising silhouettes and endless kaleidoscope of colors and textures that inspire you most. It’s the one, brief, shining moment of clarity about what matters most that will bring you back time after time. Plan your visit today at Meijer Gardens.org . I-96 and East Beltline, 888-957-1580

EXHIBITIONS / ATTRACTIONS Essence: The Horses of Deborah Butterfield MAR 1–APR 30 Butterflies Are Blooming MAY 25–AUG 26 Beverly Pepper: Palingenesis 1962–2012 JUN–AUG Outdoor Summer Concert Series JUL–AUG Tuesday Evening Music Club

THROUGH APR 29


GUEST EDITOR I A L

LUISA SC HU M AC HER Photography by Ryan Pavlovich

INSPIRED BY CHANGE In her work, Luisa Schumacher witnesses daily the power of people to grow and change— both themselves and their community.

I came to Grand Rapids in 2004 to start a career in the nonprofit sector, after having spent two election cycles in political fund-raising and campaigning. The concept of campaigning for social change in a community looking to grow was appealing to me so I packed up my bags, dumped my campaign swag, and moved to Grand Rapids to take the marketing director job at Goodwill Industries of Greater Grand Rapids. One would think that working on campaigns with major political figures and financial game players would be where I experienced power, but, really, I learned about a better and different kind of power at Goodwill—people power. The adults going through job training programs to further their opportunities for a better quality of life inspired and impressed me more than any political luminary I had ever met. Their determination to grow personally through expanding their employability skills, their selfdetermination to graduate from a job training program, and their courage to enter a new field of work to create a better life and more vibrant community were truly powerful to see.

Ultimately, my work in the community led me to the executive director role at the West Michigan Center for Arts and Technology (WMCAT), an innovative “boutique-size” nonprofit organization that pairs creativity and technology in unique ways to empower urban teens and unemployed adults. Since WMCAT opened in 2005, it has served over 150 adults through healthcare-related job training, and has served over 2,000 teens through art and technology classes. When a teen in our after-school program completes the design, construction, and packaging of his or her own custom pair of shoes (yes, we have a class like that at WMCAT!), it is powerful. When an adult job-training student graduates from our program and gets placed in a job at Saint Mary’s Hospital making enough funds to fully support her two children—it is powerful.

I am fortunate that I get to witness people power on a daily basis at WMCAT, but I know that work like this is happening all over the community. Harnessing and growing people power is a key way in which Grand Rapids has demonstrated strength and differentiated itself from other struggling Midwestern cities. The work organizations like Goodwill, Grand Rapids Community College, the SOURCE, and WMCAT do to provide employability skills, job training, and on-ramps to employment is vital. Their work creates new opportunities for people, economic stability for families, a trained workforce for employers, and a healthy community for everyone. After all, that’s something we can all relate to: the desire to feel our own power, share it with others, and use our power to make positive change around us.

WMCAT provides not only learning opportunities, but also dynamic, eye-opening experiences like trips to Lake Superior. This combination of programming supports students

Luisa Schumacher, at right with WMCAT student Zaylee Bebee, cares about and devotes time to a number of West Michigan issues, from theater and the arts to diversity, women’s issues, and boxing. She has won several professional and leadership awards, and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from James Madison College at Michigan State University. 10

in finding their personal voice and the power that lies within them.

West Michigan Center for Arts & Technology 98 East Fulton, Suite 202 A short walk from your hotel.


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LIFE

T HE POWER O F CO M PASSI O N

By Karin Lannon Photography by Andrew Maguire

HAPPY HOUR An annual Blocktail Party wags many tails by raising awareness and funds for shelter dogs. Bear may have been a bit of an underdog. The middle-aged Lab had languished in a local animal shelter for weeks, with little hope of a happy ending to his life story. But all that changed when his brown eyes locked on Cathy Bissell’s, and he found himself a home for life. “He just laid his head on my leg and looked at me, and that was it,” she said. “Here was this beautiful dog who had ended up in a shelter, and I realized there were so many like him, just waiting for a home. I felt bad that I’d never considered a rescue dog before, but now, that’s all I’ll do.” This happy ending for Bear—a home with Bissell, her husband, and her other dogs—is one Bissell is eager to repeat herself, but she’s not content to leave it at that. These days, with the creation of Blocktail Pet Connection, and Heather Garbaty from Golden Paws, we created Blocktail to raise awareness about adopting shelter animals and supporting the work these great organizations do here.” A number of community sponsors, including Bissell’s family company by the same name,

have helped make the event a reality. For the first six years, Blocktail raised funds for the Humane Society of Kent County, netting an all-time high of $150,000 in 2011. “This year,” says Bissell, “we wanted to spread that out to other animal welfare organizations that are also desperate for support, so we’re partnering with 10 around the area.” Each group will automatically receive $1,000, and the remaining funds will be divvied up to meet grant requests submitted by West Michigan shelters and rescues. In addition to raising funds, the casual “blue jeans and beer” event goes a long way toward educating the community about adopting pets from shelters and rescues. “When people bring their pets to the party, we ask if the dog was adopted,” says Bissell. “If it was, it gets a special bandana to wear that says, ‘If my shelter friends could see me now.’ All night, you hear people saying, ‘Oh my gosh, you adopted that beautiful dog?’ It absolutely raises awareness about the need to adopt and the wonderful pets that are out there waiting for a home.” In the past, shelters have also brought available pets who wear “Adopt me” bandanas … and gone home with a list of applications for that lucky dog.

Despite the strained economy and uncooperative weather last year, community support for the event continues to grow. “Last year, it was raining, and we still had over 500 people who were totally enthusiastic about being there,” Bissell says. If each of them adopts from a shelter, and tells someone else who adopts from a shelter, this tail-wagging story may never end.

Bissell Blocktail Party June 13 from 6 to 9 p.m. Mangiamo! 1033 Lake Drive SE BYOD (Bring your own dog) bissellblocktailparty.com A 5-minute drive from your hotel.

Cathy Bissell shown at left with her three black labs, D.J., K.C., and Roxy. 15


LIFE

THE P OW ER OF L AU G HT ER By Tommy Allen

GOOD MEDICINE When it comes to side effects, a festival devoted to laughter could have many (and they’re all good).

Laughter probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think about cancer, but Leann Arkema thinks this less-than-typical approach offers some of the best medicine. Arkema is president and CEO of Grand Rapids Gilda’s Club and the associated LaughFest. Gilda’s Club, named after the comedian and original Saturday Night Live cast member Gilda Radner, is a free support community for children and adults with cancer, as well as their families and friends. Last year, when Arkema and board members discussed how to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the 12th Gilda’s Club (there are now 52 across North America), they considered various ideas before landing on a festival that’s all about laughter. It might seem an odd choice, but Gilda’s Club members knew that Gilda herself fully recognized the health properties associated with laughter. “In 1986, when Gilda was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, she lost her sense of humor and her ability to make others laugh,” says Arkema. “After meeting a community of other people also like Gilda on their cancer journey, she rediscovered herself in the process, and realized that being able to make others laugh was so important.” LaughFest, the world’s first festival devoted to laughter, was created for people to gather as a community and enjoy the gift of laughter. The annual 11-day festival, held in March, offers an array of activities, from listening to stand-up comics (famous or otherwise), to watching an improv troupe, or attending a “laugh yoga class.” Many of the activities are free of charge. There are also opportunities for nonperformers to get up in front of an audience to share a humorous

story. LaughFest is all about the power of coming together to have a good chuckle (or two, or fourteen). “We use the tag line ‘LaughFest: for the health of it’ because many doctors agree there are measurable benefits for our bodies when we laugh,” says Arkema. “In fact, a good belly laugh is the equivalent of a 20-minute jog, so you literally can laugh your way to health.” Dr. Alice Glasser, a public health physician, author and therapeutic humor expert who’ll be speaking at the new LaughteRx series at LaughFest, explains some of the physiology behind the benefits. “When we laugh, scientists have discovered that our arteries actually open up to 35 percent more,” Glasser says. “When we are stressed out, a cloudy fluid called cortisol is produced from our adrenal glands. Typically, this activity is reserved for emergency situations. But in modern times, we’re secreting this immune system suppression chemical at an alarming rate, making the need to counter this behavior with laughter that much more important to maintain good health.” The Mayo Clinic backs up this claim that adding laughter can “release neuropeptides that help fight stress and potentially more-serious illnesses.” So the next time you are in the produce section, pick up a few apples and start to dance as you juggle, saying aloud that oft-used phrase, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” By doing so, you not only broadcast good health with your homespun comedy, but the laughter you are sure to produce in others might just help save a life … including your own.

Gilda's Club Grand Rapids 1806 Bridge Street NW gildasclubgr.org A 5-minute drive from your hotel. LaughFest laughfestgr.org


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LIFE

T HE POWER O F T ECHNO LO GY

By Roberta F. King Photography by Ryan Pavlovich

WHERE BIG IDEAS GROW From a philanthropic product idea to a couple of people in love, social media has the power to make things happen.

To those who doubt or deny the power of social media, Kolene Allen, Jon Dunn, and Jo-Anne Perkins tell stories of change—both personal and professional, ranging from love and invention to advocacy and vocation.

150,000 people. On average, more than 3,000 people visit www.pinkcart.com monthly to read the blogs and stories. Of those, 80 percent are unique visitors and in October (Breast Cancer Awareness month) traffic doubles.

Jo-Anne Perkins’ story begins with her mother and grandmother, who both died from breast cancer. Perkins promised herself that if she remained healthy and lived to see her 52nd birthday (one year older than her mom was when she died), she’d do something big to raise awareness. Her idea was big indeed: 96 gallons in capacity and bright pink. She’s the woman behind the pink carts residents have seen curbside around Grand Rapids and just about anywhere in the U.S. and in two Canadian provinces.

Through a partnership with the American Cancer Society (ACS), a portion of the sale from each cart is donated and funneled back to local ACS affiliates where carts are purchased. As of February 2012, more than $240,000 has been raised and 58,000 pink carts have been sold.

Perkins is the Vice President of Environmental Services at Cascade Engineering in Grand Rapids, which focuses on selling wheeled trash carts to waste hauling businesses. Perkins’ Pink Carts, however, are sold directly to consumers—a feat that requires a significant marketing campaign. “We decided our medium was social,” Perkins says. “We built a website and made it a destination for women who are interested in learning about breast cancer or who have it and are fighting it. The focus is on breast cancer and providing the latest information about the science around it, not just selling Pink Carts.” Social media played a huge part in the program’s success. The Pink Cart Facebook page was launched and Perkins asked 19 of her friends to like the page. “After a couple of weeks we had a thousand likes, then 5,000, and the Facebook account grew by leaps and bounds,” she says. As of February 2012, the page has 42,000 likes and it has a weekly reach of over

Tweeting their way to love A feisty redhead and vegan, Kolene Allen and three friends were at the No More Homeless Pets conference when the hotel ran out of vegan lunches. She grabbed her smart phone and shot off a Tweet of complaint. One of the people who responded to her tweet was Jon Dunn, social media director from Best Friends Animal Society (BFAS), the conference organizer. Within a day, they met at an official conference, TweetUp (a face-to-face meeting of Twitter followers). Later that night she Tweeted him about having a drink and the rest is Twitterverse history, as a relationship between two people with a love for animals, social media, and, now, one another was born.

social media helped make the long distance easier,” she says. “Jon still travels a lot for work, but we can keep track of each other on social media, through chats and video chat. It’s almost like he’s here.” “Social media is about relationships,” Dunn says. “It takes what we’ve always done at BFAS (advocate and care for abused and abandoned animals) and makes it much bigger and faster. My job is to continue to make it meaningful and as personal as possible.” As a former radio broadcaster, Dunn has always been interested in technology, but never thought it would lead to a serious relationship. He’s happy to have been proved otherwise.

The Pink Cart thepinkcart.com facebook.com/ThePinkCart Best Friends Animal Society bestfriends.org

After the conference, she and the friends went to BFAS sanctuary in Kanab, Utah. “The whole time we were there Jon was Tweeting me tips and ideas on what to do and where to go,” Allen says. “It is really a great way to get to know someone with a bit of a filter.” The friendship developed into “something more,” in spite of the distance between them. Allen lived in Grand Rapids and Dunn lived in Atlanta before moving in 2011 to be with Allen. “The 19


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Addition, subtraction, transformation. Kendall MFA Drawing graduate Devin Slattery relies on a delicate process of brushing on graphite powder, penciling in fine lines, and gently erasing gestures. The positive and negative space slowly transform into a glimpse of an ethereal world. For more information on this or any of Kendall’s art and design programs, please call 1 800 676.2787 or visit www.kcad.edu.


WHITECAPS BASEBALL Visit the concierge for special hotel guest ticket rates.

MIDWEST LEAGUE KEY BG - Bowling Green Hot Rods (Rays) DAY - Dayton Dragons (Reds) FW - Fort Wayne TinCaps (Padres) GL - Great Lakes Loons (Dodgers) LAN - Lansing Lugnuts (Blue Jays) LC - Lake County Captains (Indians) SB - South Bend Silver Hawks (D’Backs)

BEL - Beloit Snappers (Twins) BUR - Burlington Bees (A’s) CLI - Clinton LumberKings (Mariners) CR - Cedar Rapids Kernels (Angels) KC - Kane County Cougars (Royals) PE - Peoria Chiefs (Cubs) QC - Quad Cities River Bandits (Cardinals) WIS - Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (Brewers)

The Whitecaps are the only Minor League Baseball team in West Michigan. Just five miles north of downtown Grand Rapids.

Game broadcast: 107.3 WBBL FM or 1340 WJRW AM Fireworks

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Van andel InstItute’s CommItment to Parkinson’s research

meet dr. Patrik Brundin, Chair of the Jay Van andel translational Parkinson’s disease Research laboratory at Van andel Institute. Parkinson’s struck his father when Dr. Brundin was a teenager, and he has dedicated his life to defeating the disease that eventually took his father’s life. “I’ve been researching Parkinson’s disease for 30 years,” says Dr. Brundin. “And this is what I’m going to do until the job is done.” Dr. Brundin’s important Parkinson’s research helps patients in West Michigan and around the world by: • Finding biomarkers, which can help predict the onset of Parkinson’s • Working to develop restorative therapies including nerve cell transplants and gene therapy • Developing disease modification therapies to prevent or dramatically slow down Parkinson’s Discover how we are changing lives, and become involved by visiting: www.vai.org

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LIFE

THE P OW ER OF D ESI G N By Heather Hughesian Illustration by Midwest Pressed

LOOKING GOOD Local designers pull an all-nighter to help nonprofits put their best foot forward.

“Good design solves problems people didn’t even know they had.” Mike Gorman, president of West Michigan’s chapter of the Professional Association of Design (AIGA), believes the purpose of design is that simple: it solves problems. In the not-for-profit world, there’s always plenty of problem-solving to do, especially when it comes to raising awareness and inspiring community participation and support. But good design on a non-profit budget? It definitely isn’t easy to come by—at least it wasn’t until AIGA national started the Design For Good movement and the West Michigan chapter got involved. West Michigan AIGA’s programming director, Kelly O’Hara, describes Design For Good as “an opportunity for designers to take on work that creates positive, lasting social impact.” Five local nonprofits were chosen for the first event: Carol’s Ferals, Friends of Grand Rapids Parks, Grand Rapids Public Schools, Kids’ Food Basket, and Seeds of Promise. To tackle the problem-solving before them, 50 designers volunteered their services. Students, professionals, print designers, coders, and beyond formed one cohesive creative community for the greater good, creating a lasting network of colleagues rather than competitors. Dividing into five teams, the designers addressed the individual needs of their assigned nonprofit client. “Without good design, no business or organization can be successful,” Gorman says. 28

In particular, good design works as a stent, opening clogged arteries so stories can be told. “It’s important to understand what’s blocking the message from the user,” adds Gorman. Kids’ Food Basket (KFB), for example, needed to help the community grasp a better understanding of childhood hunger. Their team converted a rudimentary wall map into an interactive map for the KFB website, allowing the community to see where assistance is most needed. “The visualization really helps people understand the scope of childhood hunger,” says KFB executive director Bridget Clark Whitney. Carol’s Ferals, an animal shelter that provides donor-funded spay and neutering services, needed a whole new identity. Until Design For Good, all of the organization’s marketing efforts had been done by volunteers who weren’t necessarily trained in design. “You get what you pay for!” jokes volunteer and board member Kolene Allen. Carol’s Ferals Design For Good team built an entire brand identity—a new logo, website, print materials, business cards— starting from scratch. “It was a turning point for us,” Allen says. “Having been in existence for five years, it was time for us to grow up and look like a leader in what we do.” At the end of the day, West Michigan AIGA estimates that $84,000 in design services was donated during the event’s 24-hour period (calculated at an average rate of $100 an hour). More importantly, both designers and nonprofits were excited about the event and its future. Whitney, with Kids’ Food Basket, is no exception. “There are so many nonprofits doing

great work in Grand Rapids,” she says. “Design For Good is an important event that allows very talented people to use their skills toward the greater good.”

AIGA West Michigan westmichigan.aiga.org Kids' Food Basket 2055 Oak Industrial Drive kidsfoodbasket.org A 10-minute drive from your hotel. Carol's Ferals carolsferals.org

One-of-a-kind screenprinted album covers available from Midwest Pressed at Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts. UICA 2 West Fulton uica.org A short walk from your hotel.


LI FE

T HE POWER O F SPO RT

By David LeMieux Illustration by Nicole LaFave

GAME-CHANGERS Golf skills come paired with life skills for at-risk youth enrolled in The First Tee. They’re worlds apart—the oak lined, dewcovered green fairways of a suburban golf course and the hard, gray streets of an innercity neighborhood. One is a playground where the successful enjoy an exquisitely difficult sport governed by what often seem ridiculously arcane rules. The other is a place where there is often little time or money for recreation of any kind, and where any rules that do exist are regularly bent and broken. The distance between the two seems vast, almost unbridgeable, but it can be covered with a wobbly backswing that sends a small, white, dimpled ball a few feet off a golf tee. It’s a distance that The First Tee of West Michigan is transcending. Just in its second season, the local chapter, hosted at Highlands Golf Club on Grand Rapids’ west side, is part of a national organization that began in 1997 with this mission: “To impact the lives of young people by providing educational programs that build character, instill lifeenhancing values and promote healthy choices through the game of golf.” “The program has been a long time coming to West Michigan,” says Tyler Smies, executive director of The First Tee West Michigan. “(Our program is) a little bit more focused. We’re really geared in to at-risk, low-income kids who wouldn’t see a course any other way. For them, a golf course is such a different place than they’ve ever been.”

To make the program (which usually costs $60 for a six-class session) attainable, The First Tee West Michigan is offering $5 sessions for students who are eligible for reduced or free lunches at school. Smies says the program is able to reach at-risk kids, thanks to the support of corporate sponsors like Amway and Ruth’s Chris Steak House Grand Rapids. This season, the program is also expanding from one session to three, thanks to the involvement of community organizations like the YMCA, Arbor Circle, Boys and Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids, and the City of Grand Rapids Recreation Program. There were 73 kids in last summer’s session; Smies hopes to reach 160 kids this season. Smies, a 2010 Calvin grad, firmly believes that “Golf is life,” and that a good start in the game can give kids a good start in life. The First Tee is a way for Smies to give kids the same gentle introduction to the game and to life that his father and grandfather gave him growing up in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. “The way they taught me had a huge impact. They popped a ball down 100 yards from the hole and let me swing.” If he got frustrated and began to struggle, his dad simply picked up the ball and they tried again later, Smies said. It stands in stark contrast to the way the game is often taught, Smies says. “I’ve seen it so many times. So many people learn the game in such a frustrating manner: by starting in the first tee box and playing nine holes without ever having any introduction to

the game.” Golf, like life, is hard enough already, Smies says. “It's incredibly frustrating if you don’t have the skill set.” Using the athletic appeal of golf to engage kids, The First Tee then provides a solid grounding in key values that will help them succeed in life, Smies says. “We’re teaching them skills and values, and they don’t realize it,” Smies says. “It's not as easy to do in other sports. There’s so much integrity in the game of golf: you keep your own score and call penalties on yourself. And etiquette: when to talk and when not to. And respect for others: by walking around their putting line.” The program’s educational curriculum is built around The First Tee’s Nine Core Values (note: this phrase is trademarked) of Honesty, Integrity, Sportsmanship, Respect, Confidence, Responsibility, Perseverance, Courtesy, and Judgment. And, as anyone who has ever picked up a club and then thrown it into the bushes in frustration knows, there is a 10th, unofficial, core value, Smies says. “Patience. Sometimes you just have to take a deep breath, tell yourself to let that one go and get it back on the next hole.”

The First Tee West Michigan thefirstteewestmichigan.org

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e t h n i c D i n i n g A wA r D o f e x c e L L e n c e 2 0 0 7 , 2 0 0 8 A n D 2 0 0 9  - Grand Rapids Magazine Dining Awards

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johnballzoosociety.org Photo: Sarah Aman

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LIFE

T HE POWER O F EM POWERM ENT

By Kristin Tennant Photography by Jill DeVries

THINKING BIGGER Empowerment: the fuel that moves people from “what is” to “what’s possible.”

If you ask Janay Brower about empowerment, she’ll tell you the word might be overused in some circles, but the real outcomes of empowerment in people’s lives will never get old. As it turns out, Brower, the coordinator of Roofs to Roots and the Grand Rapids Area Coalition to End Homelessness, has a whole lot to say about empowerment. Although the most visible outcome of her organization’s work is stable housing, you could say that empowerment is the heart that pumps the blood through the whole process. “I think empowerment starts when kids are little, and parents empower kids to see their unique skill sets and celebrate their differences,” Brower says. “But empowerment is an issue throughout life. It has everything to do with people having access to basic resources that allow them to think bigger.” “Thinking bigger,” according to Janay, starts when people are able to move beyond “just getting by” to feeling stable, secure, and hopeful. It’s that approach that guides Roofs to Roots’ ultimate mission: to prevent—and ultimately end—homelessness in Grand Rapids by 2014. “Empowering someone is about valuing them with your word as well as with a justiceoriented action,” Brower says. “People who feel and are seen as powerless in our society have very few opportunities to make choices for themselves. Things are done to them and for them, by people who think they know what’s best for them. Whole systems have been built

around the idea that service providers ‘know’ what people need. “But empowering starts with asking a person ‘What do you need?’ It’s about saying ‘We believe that you know what you need, and that you have the knowledge and skills sets to change your life in positive ways.’ They just need someone to help ensure access to the tools and resources.” That’s where Roofs to Roots comes in, along with the Coalition, a community collaborative of over 70 organizations. The basic logic of the concept is this: When people have a roof overhead they can grow “the roots needed to feel welcome and grow strong.” “It’s just more cost-effective to keep people in housing than it is to try to solve a housing crisis after someone is homeless,” Brower says. “The empowerment solution often involves moving resources upstream, where problems can be addressed before there is a crisis.” Many other local organizations, like the West Michigan Center for Arts and Technology (WMCAT), are busy addressing empowerment from other angles. WMCAT serves Grand Rapids adults and children living below the poverty line by teaching new, marketable skills and helping them realize life-changing opportunities.

helping our students believe that what seems impossible is possible.” While Schumacher says there are different challenges and approaches for different age groups, the desired result is the same: people who feel respected and valued by others, and who also value themselves. The arts are a great tool for getting people to that point, she says, because they teach problem-solving, decisionmaking, adaptability, and the importance of developing a vision, as well as curiosity and fun. “It’s important to move away from the ‘teach a man to fish’ model of empowerment, because it’s still too limiting,” Schumacher says. “We want people to know they have the potential not just to fish, but to own the whole pond. True empowerment is that next level—getting people to believe they have the skills and vision to own the pond.”

Roofs to Roots Grand Rapids Area Coalition to End Homelessness 1120 Monroe Avenue NW, Suite 130 roofstoroots.org West Michigan Center for Arts and Technology 98 East Fulton, Suite 202 A short walk from your hotel.

“Empowerment is all about exploring and living in the ‘what’s possible’ rather than the ‘what is,’” says WMCAT Executive Director Luisa Schumacher. “A big part of what we do is SOLACE

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Discover one of West Michigan’s gems, tucked away amid woods, meadows, and ponds just 15 minutes from downtown Grand Rapids. This friendly public course has earned 4.5 stars from Golf Digest, hosted 7 NCAA Golf National Championships, and been rated among the 10 friendliest courses for women. Call or e-mail today to reserve your tee time, ask about our top-notch club rentals, and find out what’s on today’s menu. See you on the green.

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By David LeMieux Infographics by Jessica Meade

COMMUNITY DNA It can't be broken down in a lab, but each city is made up of its own magic mix of qualities and traits. Here's Grand Rapids.

In a quiet moment immediately after Betty Ford’s funeral a year ago, River Bank Run cofounder Marty Allen found himself standing next to former President Bill Clinton just outside the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum. The two men were looking idly across the river when Clinton turned to Allen and, pointing at the forest of spindly construction cranes sprouting on the crest of medical hill, asked, “What’s going on over there?” “I told him about all the new construction going on,” Allen says. Clinton was surprised and maybe even a little jealous. “He looked around at all the new buildings and said, ‘Little Rock is about the same size as Grand Rapids, but there aren’t any cranes there. Why are they here?’” “I told him, ‘We have very generous people that are committed to Grand Rapids and invest here, and we have a public sector that works well with the private sector,’” Allen says. That spirit of cooperation seems programmed deep in Grand Rapids’ DNA, says Chris Carron, Historian and Director of Collections at the Grand Rapids Public Museum.

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“A hundred years ago, when Grand Rapids was singularly focused on making furniture, the leaders in the industry had a high degree of collaboration,” Carron says. “None of them alone were big enough to make a difference nationally, but, collectively, the owners of all those factories could promote the Grand Rapids name better than any individual factory.” It’s the same magic mixture of corporate donors, grassroots volunteers, and public sector involvement that transformed a modest running race which nearly folded after its first year into the 35th annual River Bank Run, an event expected to draw over 20,000 entrants this May, Allen says. Those construction cranes on the hill symbolize Grand Rapids’ ability to continually reinvent itself. They’re what convinced Grand Rapids Community College President Steven C. Ender three years ago, on his first visit to Grand Rapids, that the Furniture City was special. “I was coming into town for the first time, in depths of the recession, and I came over the hill and saw all those cranes,” Ender says. “I started counting them and when I got up to seven, I called my wife and said, ‘There’s more to Grand Rapids than we know about.’”

Allen Trieu, a local stand-up comedian and football recruiting director for Scout.com, has a theory about what sets Grand Rapids apart. “It’s a small-town feel in a big-city setting,” Trieu says. Business (comedy and scouting, both) regularly sends Trieu to Chicago, where he’s appeared at The Improv, a noted comedy club. While he loves visiting Chicago, there’s a lot in Grand Rapids he says he can’t find in the Windy City. “I’m pretty partial to Eastown—the restaurants and the general vibe about that part of the city. Wolfgang’s is our favorite place,” Trieu says. “Grand Rapids is where I’m rooted. My fiancée is from the area and all my friends and family are all still here.” Of course, one thing Chicago has that Grand Rapids can’t rival are its traffic jams, Trieu adds. But it’s more than just a city’s size that makes the difference. It’s also the people who live there—their priorities and sense of place, history and community—that determine a city’s personality. To demonstrate what makes Grand Rapids uniquely Grand Rapids, we’re comparing it with three other cities with similar populations, but very different feels. Meet Grand Rapids! (Along with Little Rock, Arkansas; Des Moines, Iowa; and Akron, Ohio.)


Cities N I C K NA M E S

P O P U L AT I O N

FURNITURE CITY 188,040 Grand Rapids

Little Rock

193,524 CITY OF ROSES HARTFORD OF THE WEST 198,460 199,110 RUBBER CITY Des Moines

Akron

T O TA L A R E A (square miles)

GRAND RAPIDS 44.4 LITTLE ROCK 119.2 DES MOINES 75.8 AKRON 62.1

E L E VAT I O N O F G R A N D R A P I D S

640' Little Rock: 335', Des Moines: 864', Akron: 1,050'


The Environment in Grand Rapids A I R QUA L I T Y I N D E X

NAT U R A L D I S A S T E R S

E A R T H QUA K E S

32.7 NINE ONE ° 47.5 F Little Rock: 36.3, Des Moines: 30.4, Akron: 39.1 National Average is 32

Little Rock: 21, Des Moines: 13, Akron: 10

M E A N T E M P E R AT U R E

P R E C I P I TAT I O N (average annual rainfall and snowfall)

37"

MI

AR

Little Rock: 62˚f, Des Moines: 50˚f, Akron: 50.5˚f

Little Rock: 3, Des Moines: 0, Akron: 6

4.5"

IA

34.75" 36"

OH

36"

64.5" 51"

47.5"

Rainfall Snowfall

Politics in Grand Rapids 20 0 8 P R E S I D E N T I A L E L E C T I O N R E S U LT S

OBAMA McCAIN

50% 49% Little Rock: 56%, Des Moines: 57%, Akron: 58%

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Little Rock: 44%, Des Moines: 42%, Akron: 41%

PR E SI DE N T I A L L I BR A R I E S

ONE Little Rock: 1, Des Moines: 0, Akron: 0


People in Grand Rapids T O P R E L I G I O U S A F F I L I AT I O N S

15.7%

AR

8.8%

OTHER

16

%

IA T S I R CH

N

D E M R REFO

40%

38 %

LIC CATHO

ENGLISH GERMAN GERMAN

MI

6%

DUTCH

PROTESTANT REFO RMED

T O P A N C E S T RY

IA 21.5%

OH 18.1%

Little Rock: Southern Baptist 37%, Des Moines: Catholic 32.2%, Akron: Catholic 48%

M E D I A N H OU S E VA LU E

PE OPL E PE R HOUS E HOL D

$123,200 2.47 Little Rock: $139,200, Des Moines: $120,300, Akron: $88,800

M E DI A N I NC OM E

Little Rock: 2.35, Des Moines: 2.35, Akron: 2.31

R E S I D E N T S W H O H AV E N E V E R M A R R I E D (age 15+)

$39,322 36.7% Little Rock: $38,992, Des Moines: $42,781, Akron: $32,892

Little Rock: 29.7%, Des Moines: 28.2%, Akron: 33%

M E DI A N AGE

30.4 YEARS

Little Rock: 34.5, Des Moines: 33.8, Akron: 34.2


Business in Grand Rapids M O S T C O M M O N JO B F I E L D S

women

men

CONSTRUCTION HEALTH CARE 8%

TRANSPORTATION EQUIPMENT EDUCATIONAL SERVICES HOSPITALITY & TOURISM

EDUCATIONAL SERVICES HOSPITALITY & TOURISM FINANCE & INSURANCE

12%

6%

6%

Little Rock: Health Care 9%, Des Moines: Construction 12%, Akron: Construction 9%

Little Rock: Health Care 21%, Des Moines: Finance & Insurance 16%, Akron: Health Care 17%

A S T R O NAU T S

0.8 % OF POPULATION 2 Little Rock: 1.4%, Des Moines: 0.6%, Akron: 0.8%

8%

7%

6%

PH DS

16%

JACK R. LOUSMA & ROGER B. CHAFFEE

Little Rock: 0, Des Moines: 0, Akron: 1

AV E R A G E DA I LY C O M M U T E

18.8 MINUTES Little Rock: 17.7, Des Moines: 18.3, Akron: 21

15,528 $7771 N U M BE R OF BUSI N E S S E S

M A N U FA C T U R I N G S H I P M E N T S

$5,500,000,000

Little Rock: $3.9, Des Moines: $3.6, Akron: $2.8 (billion)

R E TA I L S A L E S P E R C A P I TA

Little Rock: 19,586, Des Moines: 15,229, Akron: 14,380

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,

Little Rock: $17,853, Des Moines: $11,450, Akron: $8,235


Places in Grand Rapids L O CA L C OL L E GE S

GRAND RAPIDS 16 LITTLE ROCK 18 DES MOINES 11 AKRON 19 PE R F OR M I NG A RTS C O M PA N I E S

1,130,089 N U M B E R O F L I B R A RY B O O K S

Little Rock: 886,202, Des Moines: 474,908, Akron: 1,533,004

M US E U M S

SHOPPI NG

NINE TEN Little Rock: 8, Des Moines: 7, Akron: 6

403 F U L L - S E RV I C E R E S TAU R A N T S

Little Rock: 306, Des Moines: 316, Akron: 337

171

Superstores Convenience Stores Grocery Stores

130 118

Little Rock: 6, Des Moines: 8, Akron: 6

G OL F C OU R S E S

FORTY-FIVE

73 63 54

Little Rock: 25, Des Moines: 15, Akron: 14

42 S TA R B U C K S

SEVENTEEN Little Rock: 12, Des Moines: 7, Akron: 8

18 7 8

4 MI

AR

IA

4 OH


STAYING POWER Like the city of Grand Rapids itself, Amway has staying power. We’ve accepted the challenges and changes that come with time, and grown stronger with them. Amway – an integral part of the West Michigan landscape for over 50 years – has become one of the world’s largest direct-selling companies, networking in more than 80 countries and territories. Amway is committed to building stronger business and personal relationships in our community and around the world… providing innovative nutrition, beauty and home products that connect with people who want to live better lives. Amway, Grand Rapids, and You. A powerful combination.

VISIT US at the Amway Welcome Center in nearby Ada. Stop by for a tour and receive a free gift or call (616) 787-6701. CONNECT WITH US Learn more at Amway.com


grfoundation.org

John Ball Zoological Society’s Restore the Roar received $150,000 toward its $12 million fund-raising effort to expand zoo exhibits, including exhibit space for Amur Tigers and Grizzly Bears, and educational and enrichment aspects of the two new animal exhibits.

Programs for youth happen here.

Seeing the great potential for the growth and development the arena would bring, in 1994 the Community Foundation awarded a $1 million grant to Grand Action toward the construction of Van Andel Arena. Today, we are happy to see the results and be its neighbor.

Downtown renewal happens here.

In the last 71 years, the Community Foundation has supported Kendall College of Art and Design. Most recently, it announced it is helping fund the expansion of the noted downtown Grand Rapids art school—a $200,000 grant is helping to renovate the former Federal building to provide additional exhibition and classroom space.

Art and design happens here.

where you live.

community foundation

Discover and support the

The Fulton Street Farmers’ Market and its manager, the Midtown Neighborhood Association, received $150,000 to improve the existing site, create a building for year-round vending, and improve traffic flow in the popular market.

Locally sourced foods happen here.

It happens here.


3 WEST MICHIGAN LIVES

ALL ♥

Love. This intangible, immeasurable force has a way of making people do the most extraordinary things. Once it strikes, it has a way of overcoming even the largest obstacles, leading people into circumstances they could never have predicted and growing until it’s too big to contain. That’s what happened to Jess Sporte, Steve Faber, and Lori Tennenhouse, three West Michigan people who found their true passion in life and let it lead them beyond their wildest imaginings.

By Karen Lannon Photography by Andrew Maguire

Jess Sporte photographed at Keystone Resort, Colorado.


Jess Sporte Aspiring U.S. Paralympic Ski Team Member

Steve Faber, Executive Director Friends of Grand Rapids Parks

Life had big plans for a baby born with cancer in Korea. After being orphaned and having her right leg amputated, she was adopted by a West Michigan family whose last name was Sporte. Little did they know their daughter would grow up to be a national tennis champion and a contender for the 2014 U.S. Paralympic Ski Team.

When Steve Faber moved from the mountains of Northwest Washington to the streets of Grand Rapids in 1993, you might say he took his root system with him.

Sporte explains, “Growing up, my brothers and sisters all played sports, but I wasn’t able to. Then my parents heard about a camp run by Mary Free Bed and the Grand Rapids Wheelchair Sports Association (GRWSA), and that was a life changer. I realized, not only could I compete, but I was athletic!” Soon, Sporte was active in wheelchair basketball, field hockey, sled hockey, and tennis. “At my first tournament, I won gold,” she says. “That’s when I realized, ‘This is more than fun. I want to WIN.’” In 2007, she won 10 out of 11 matches and was ranked first in the Women’s A Division. The following year she moved up to the Women’s Open and competed against the top players in the world. She was also elected to the board of GRWSA. “Being able to give back and help run the organization was a huge honor,” she says. But life had another surprise in store. “In 2011, I went to the Hartford Ski Spectacular in Colorado with my boyfriend. I was using a monoski for the first time, and several coaches came up to me and asked how long I’d been skiing.” When Sporte answered just eight days, they invited her to train for the 2014 Paralympic Games. At the time, she was planning on serving on the GRWSA board, returning to college, playing tennis, and spending time with her family. “I didn’t think I could drop all these things on a whim, but my friends and family told me this was the chance of a lifetime.” Sporte moved to Colorado to train in January, and was offered a sponsorship from Adaptive Adventures. With 26 ranked women monoskiers in the world, she needs to earn a rank of at least 20th to qualify for the U.S. Paralympic Development Team. However, her first challenge is raising funds to pay for the custom monoski she needs. If she crosses that hurdle, training will begin this spring. And then the sky—and the medal stand—are the limit. 50

“Growing up, I was always into the wilderness,” he says. “Then I suddenly found myself in an urban environment. My wife and I moved across the street from a park that became our front yard in a lot of ways. It was the place where we got together with neighbors and came into contact with nature. We realized that parks are an essential part of what makes city living exciting and pulls us together as a community.” Following the mayor’s recommendation to create an independent, citizen-driven advocate for the parks, Friends of Grand Rapids Parks was founded in 2008, and Faber became the executive director—a job he describes as “fulltime plus.” Since then, Friends has discovered a pent-up desire for citizens to contribute to their parks. “Where previously we had 800 volunteer hours in the parks, last year, we had 6,200,” says Faber. “We’ve installed five new playgrounds, built two fitness centers, designed two new parks, rehabbed four others, and organized neighbors to do spring cleanups. We’re consistently blown away by the way people have come to the table to help.” During a two-week winter fest last year, Faber says one park was packed with people discussing how grateful they were to see community-building events in their neighborhood. Others that were formally filled with litter and graffiti now have children playing in the splash pads and neighbors gathering under LED lights. Faber adds, “My work with Friends has helped me articulate the value of parks in a way that helps people add layers of affection to their public spaces. A big part of it is showing community members the great assets they have in their neighborhoods. Maybe there’s a big hill for sledding, a path that winds past interesting features, or a tree planted by some great local person. When we put these things into words, it resonates with the feelings people already have, and it makes them want to protect and promote the great public places in their own neighborhoods.” Steve Faber at Lookout Park.


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Lori Tennenhouse, Director Grand Rapids Women’s Chorus Music was always in the air at the Tennenhouse home, even when it wasn’t quite in the cards. Tennenhouse says, “I remember my mother playing operas and my brother playing jazz and asking me to pick out all the instruments. He took me to jazz clubs in Detroit when I was nine or 10, and I grew up with all those great Motown sounds around.” After picking up her sister’s guitar, she discovered she had a knack for both playing and writing music. Though her parents wouldn’t pay for music lessons, she forged ahead on her own, singing in the choir and student musicals, learning to play the flute and string bass, and joining a rock band. “By the time I was in high school, I would take my flute into the woods and make some sounds when I wanted to calm myself,” she says. “When I’m making music, I feel a sense of belonging. Music makes me feel natural and comfortable in my body. It just feels right.”

Follow Jess Sporte’s progress or support her dream at jsporte.com. Find a park or lend a hand at Friends of Grand Rapids Parks at friendsofgrparks.org. Attend a concert or buy a CD from Grand Rapids Women’s Chorus at grwc.org.

Lori Tennennhouse at Fountain Street Church. 52

Through her college years and beyond, Tennenhouse “played music on the side,” including a stint performing works by women composers with the New England Women’s Symphony, which only further fueled her passion for music. After moving back to Grand Rapids, Tennenhouse joined a symphony chorus, where her interest in music by women composers was revived. “I wanted to do music that was inclusive of women’s experience from all cultures, so a few of us started our own group,” she says. “The subject matter really spoke to our own experiences, and because we were so energized by it, it crossed over into the audience, and they responded to our joy in what we were doing.” The Grand Rapids Women’s Chorus, whose motto is “Passion. Purpose. Song.” has been singing since 1996. Now 55 voices strong, the group has hosted 22 women’s choruses through

the International Sister Singing Network, invited an African dance and drum troupe to perform and work with the YWCA’s Girls at Risk, and hosted a performance and workshop with the Native American community. “When people from other cultures showed up in droves, we thought wow … if music can cross boundaries like that, it can speak to all of us,” says Tennenhouse. “Music creates all these strands of connections. You don’t have to be in the same income bracket or the same church. You’re in community because you’re singing together.”


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Jenning's Brothers Cornmeal Financier at Grove

Wolfgang's

Grove

Breakfast at Wolfgang's

Let’s go. Downtown. With so much to do and see in downtown Grand Rapids, going out means having fun. When you’re here, one thing is certain. Boredom is not in the picture. 36 Hours is sponsored by the Downtown Alliance. 54


36 For this issue’s regular feature, 36 Hours, we decided to tap into the power of popular opinion via social media: Instead of asking a local figure to tell us where she or he would spend an ideal weekend in Grand Rapids, we asked all of our local Facebook friends. Here’s what they said you should do while you’re in Grand Rapids. Grove 919 Cherry Street SE groverestaurant.com A 5-minute drive from your hotel. jdek Inside the JW Marriott 235 Louis Campau Street NW ilove616.com Very near or inside of your hotel.

Photography by Terry Johnston

HOURS FRIDAY 6 p.m. Dinner at Grove If you consider yourself creative and conscientious, Grove will appeal to your tastes and sensibilities. The entire restaurant is concepted around “responsibly sourced, earth-to-table” ingredients, combined and prepared with care. Not only are the produce and meats sourced locally, whenever possible, but so are the cheeses, grains, maple syrup, honey, and wine.

8 p.m. Cocktails at the jdek An overwhelming percentage of respondents recommended you have martinis around the fire pit on the JW Marriott’s jdek. Between the comfortable seating, cosmopolitan views, crackling fire, and live music (or DJ-spun tunes), you’ll get so comfortable you might forget you have a hotel room waiting for you. In addition to cocktails and other libations, the jdek serves up a variety of tasty meals and munchies.

Wolfgang’s 1530 Wealthy Street SE mattwolfgang.com A 10-minute drive from your hotel.

SATURDAY

Fulton Street Farmers’ Market 1147 Fulton Street East fultonstreetmarket.org An 8-minute drive from your hotel. Marie Catrib’s 1001 Lake Drive SE mariecatribs.com

8 a.m. Breakfast at Wolfgang’s Wolfgang’s is a Grand Rapids breakfast institution in a city that really knows and loves its breakfast. The huge menu includes everything from classics like omelets, skillets, and pancakes, to items like breakfast burritos and Benedicts.

A 7-minute drive from your hotel. Tre Cugini 122 Monroe Center Street NW trecugini.com A short walk from your hotel.

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Marie Catrib's

SATURDAY 10 a.m. Shop the Fulton Street Farmers’ Market After breakfast, you’re perfectly positioned to head a few blocks northwest to Grand Rapids’ oldest and largest farmers’ market. Established in 1922 and now overseen by the city’s department of parks and recreation, the market hosts about 11,000 shoppers in a typical week and sees more than 200 different vendors throughout its eight-month season. The market is currently involved in a $2.6 million fund-raising campaign, which would provide a roof over the market stalls and a permanent building to house yearround vending.

Noon Lunch at Marie Catrib's Marie Catrib’s is the perfect place to head for lunch after a morning of admiring deliciously fresh, local foods at the market. Marie not only purchases as many ingredients as she can from local farms, she also works with

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local organizations to teach people the importance of eating a fresh, local diet. The sandwich and salad menu at Marie Catrib’s will give you plenty of options for doing just that. Don’t miss the deli case, fresh-baked sweets, and other specialty items you can purchase and take with you if you’re feeling too full to indulge after lunch.

Afternoon Antiquing in Eastown and East Fulton

7 p.m. Dinner at Tre Cugini With more than a decade of success under its belt, Tre Cugini is a downtown favorite and an easy walk from your hotel. Its authentic Northern Italian cuisine, inspired by owner Adriano Moscatelli, has earned the restaurant several dining awards. If you have any energy after dinner, it’s a perfect time to see downtown Grand Rapids lit up for the night.

Stroll off some of that lunch by checking out some of the antique shops in the area, featuring everything from furniture and art to books. Here are a few to visit: • • • • • • •

Heirloom House Antiques Eastown Antiques Argos Books Redux Books Lighthouse Furnishings City Antiques East Fulton Art & Antiques

Let’s go. Downtown. With so much to do and see in downtown Grand Rapids, going out means having fun. When you’re here, one thing is certain. Boredom is not in the picture. 36 Hours is sponsored by the Downtown Alliance.


Eastown Antiques

Heirloom House Antiques 505 Lakeside Drive SE heirloomhouseantiques.com A 10-minute drive from your hotel. Eastown Antiques 1515 Lake Drive SE facebook.com/Eastown.Antiques A 10-minute drive from your hotel. Argos Books 1405 Robinson Road SE argosbooks.com A 10-minute drive from your hotel. Redux Books 1349 Lake Drive SE reduxbooks.com An 8-minute drive from your hotel. Lighthouse Furnishings 1141 Fulton Street East 616.458.8212 A 7-minute drive from your hotel. City Antiques 954 Fulton Street East 616.776.5500 A 5-minute drive from your hotel. East Fulton Art & Antiques 959 Fulton Street East 616.774.3320 A 5-minute drive from your hotel. SOLACE

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Owner Kurt Stauffer at Rowsters

Rowsters 632 Wealthy Street SE rowstercoffee.com A 5-minute drive from your hotel. Electric Cheetah 1015 Wealthy Street SE electriccheetah.com A 5-minute drive from your hotel.

SUNDAY 9 a.m. Brunch at Electric Cheetah You had a busy Saturday, so it’s time to pamper yourself a bit. Sleep in, then wander your way just east of downtown to the East Hills neighborhood for brunch at Electric Cheetah. At a place called the Electric Cheetah, you should not be surprised by the eclectic atmosphere and innovative menu, which features fresh—often local—ingredients, and many vegetarian and vegan options. Give the Prime Rib Hash or Lemon Ricotta Pancakes a try!

11 a.m. Coffee and the Sunday paper at Rowsters If you are serious about coffee, you’ll be among friends at Rowsters, a small batch coffee bean roasting and brewing operation in the revitalized Wealthy Street neighborhood. From their 22-pound, natural-gas-fired drum roaster to their kinetic brewing mechanisms, they’re all about serving up cups of quality and purity.

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We’ll Help You Get It Together For Your Next Get-Together. At Enterprise, we will provide you or your group with personalized, award-winning customer service, great rates, a wide variety of vehicles.

For group or corporate pricing, please call 517 346-8914. Reference account # 20N4286.

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The Seidman Seidman College College of of Business Business M.B.A. M.B.A. Programs Programs The Whether you have recently graduated from college or are seeking new professional opportunities, Whether you have recently graduated from college or are seeking new professional opportunities, adding a Grand Valley State University M.B.A. degree to your resume makes you a better-prepared adding a Grand Valley State University M.B.A. degree to your resume makes you a better-prepared and more desireable job candidate. Apply now to set yourself apart from the competition. and more desireable job candidate. Apply now to set yourself apart from the competition. Call (616) 331-7400 or visit gvsu.edu/grad/mba to learn more. Call (616) 331-7400 or visit gvsu.edu/grad/mba to learn more.

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AT THE TOP OF OUR CLASS. Grand Valley is leading the way with innovative and professionally relevant academic AT THE TOP OF OURresearch CLASS. and Grand Valley is opportunities, leading the way with innovativecampus and professionally relevant academic programs, real-world internship and outstanding facilities. Plus, our students programs, real-world research and internship opportunities, and outstanding campus facilities. Plus, our students benefit from personalized instruction made possible by small class sizes and dedicated professors who love to benefit from instruction madefoundation possible by small class asizes and dedicated professors love to teach. It’s allpersonalized part of our liberal education that provides great return on investment forwho our students teach. It’s all part of our liberal education foundation that provides a great return on investment for our students and makes Grand Valley a top choice in the Midwest and beyond. gvsu.edu/GRAND | (800) 748-0246 and makes Grand Valley a top choice in the Midwest and beyond. gvsu.edu/GRAND | (800) 748-0246

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TO BUILD

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Jenn Schaub of Dwelling Place


MAKING CHANGE

By Tommy Allen Photography by Mitch Ranger

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Many have found themselves there, at one time or another: in a place that isn’t quite right, but with a vision for how it could be made better. The trick is making the leap—knowing how to get from the lessthan-ideal situation to one that offers more hope and a better future. Often, the key to change lies in unleashing the power of the people. Here are two examples of West Michigan people who have found ways not only to create changes within our region, but they have also inspired many others along the way.

Organizing Change When a region of downtown Grand Rapids, known mainly for its depressed appearance and a series of false starts, finally found its winning combination, it became clear it would need a rock star on the street to ensure the change would happen—and keep happening. Enter Jenn Schaub. Fresh from Grand Valley State University, Schaub was hired by Dwelling Place, an agency committed to providing affordable housing for downtown residents. Her role was “neighborhood revitalization specialist”— a position created to focus on creative problem solving in the organization’s expanded reach into the low-income artist community. Through a series of moves over the years, Dwelling Place had discovered that affordable artist housing—especially in the form of live/ workspaces along the stop-and-start corridor running through downtown Grand Rapids—was a great way to help stabilize a community. An infusion of artists into this new district (eventually dubbed Avenue for the Arts) created an almost instant spark for new business ventures in Grand Rapids. It’s unlikely

that a resurgence of this magnitude would have occurred along this area of Division Avenue without the work of Schaub and Dwelling Place. One of the keys to the program’s success was that Schaub, who describes herself as more of a cheerleader than anything else, moved downtown into one of the 42 live/work spaces. There, as a resident, she began befriending and organizing her new neighbors as they sought to create a community. “At the start it was mainly about artists hosting art openings and street markets,” says Schaub. “But now, six years later and through the many neighborhood-hosted committees, we have witnessed something fantastic happen that neither I nor many others expected when we started.” Those neighborhood committees, once primarily filled with artists, are now also peopled with curators, property owners, and even new local business owners. This infusion of new partnerships has helped stabilize an emerging and vibrant neighborhood—not just for the people who live and work there, but also for people who now see the area as a destination.


Kenneth Estelle of Feeding America West Michigan


Feeding Innovation For many people, the phrase “food bank” conjures up images of off-brand soup cans and nearly expired boxes of processed food, redirected from the landfill into the kitchens of the needy. But if one innovative organization in West Michigan has its way, very soon those preservative-packed boxed and canned goods will be replaced with healthier, fresh-from-thefarm foods, rich in nutrients and grown just for people in need. Feeding America West Michigan (FAWM) is not only leveraging some tried and true methods of serving the hungry (such as redirecting surplus food once destined for landfills) but is also innovating to put into place better, new approaches. A number of volunteer partners—from neighbors and churches to local farmers—are working closely with FAWM to transform the way we feed those in need. Kenneth Estelle, the recently hired CEO of FAWM, brings all the people and approaches together.

To be nominated by the James Beard Foundation, a chef must be outstanding in his field.

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“As I was ending my 30 years of service to the aerospace field, my wife and I were living in Iowa and spent our free time volunteering with our local food bank,” says Estelle, a West Michigan native. “When I heard about the position opening up in Grand Rapids, we both knew this was a sign to come home and lead with an organization we understood.” Estelle’s years of business experience have helped to introduce and develop best practices to FAWM. At the same time, he says the nonprofit world also has taught him the importance of team building for the greater common good. “In business, it was very common to mentor someone to advance their own personal gain within the firm,” Estelle says. “At FAWM, I have discovered our team mentors each other freely—not for the pursuit of a new professional title added to the end of one’s name, but an advancement of the whole team and our mission.”

look at food banks. Arnold created a new (and exportable) idea of how to convert refrigerated trucks into mobile food pantries, and quickly and efficiently deliver nourishment to at-risk populations. Now, under Estelle’s guidance, there is a real push to expand upon Arnold’s work, by initiating the delivery of fresh-from-the-farm whole foods to the needy. Instead of volunteers gleaning what is left over after the market’s prime produce has been harvested and sent to grocers, FAWM is now contracting with local farmers to grow crops to supply fresh food directly to those in hunger, in a much timelier fashion. In the end, both Schaub and Estelle remind us that together—with some good old-fashioned effort and a touch of creative thinking—we can all make a difference in our community.

Dwelling Place dwellingplacegr.org

When Estelle stepped into this new role, he had big shoes to fill—the former director, John Arnold, had successfully upended the way we

Feeding West Michigan feedingamericawestmichigan.org


The Meeuwsen Group at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney Integrity, Accountability and Understanding. A Wealth Management Team serving West Michigan. With the proper perspective and management, we envision helping our clients pursue their passions and leave a legacy for the people and organizations who matter most to them. Please visit our website www.fa.smithbarney.com/meeuwsengroup for a complimentary Investment Newsletter. Ed Meeuwsen Senior Vice President–Wealth Management Financial Advisor

Mike Meeuwsen, CFP® Second Vice President–Wealth Management Chartered Financial Consultant

Matt Lindgren Second Vice President–Wealth Management Financial Advisor Financial Planning Specialist 171 Monroe Avenue NW, Suite 800 Grand Rapids, MI 49503 616-771-6168 • 800-378-2217 matt.m.lindgren@mssb.com www.fa.smithbarney.com/meeuwsengroup

A Morgan Stanley Company

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Or just be one standing in our kitchen.

Reserve proudly congratulates its head chef, Matthew Millar, for being one of only 20 semifinalists nominated for Best Chef in the Great Lakes Region by the prestigious James Beard Foundation.

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Speakeasy & Classic Cocktail Lounge

Hours: Wedne ednesday sday - Satur Saturday day 5pm - 2am

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YOU R EV ENING BEGINS... J BAR premium steakhouse GILLY’S fresh seafood BOBARINO’S wood-fired pizzas & american cuisine MONKEY BAR global small plates CRUSH NIGHTCLUB dj & dancing EVE LOUNGE upscale lounge DR. GRINS COMEDY CLUB nationally acclaimed comedians B.O.B.’S BREWERY craft beers THE B.O.B. • 20 MONROE AVE NW • DOWNTOWN GRAND RAPIDS • 616.356.2000 • WWW.THEBOB.COM FIND US ON

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SAVOR guide to hotel dining

Looking for the perfect way to jumpstart your morning? Or maybe a light lunch so you can enjoy a decadent dinner? Whatever you fancy, we have just the place for you. Don't forget a nightcap!


THE BISTRO Located in the Downtown Courtyard by Marriott Eat. Drink. Connect. Serving American food, bistro-style, whether it’s grab-and-go for someone on the run or guests dining in for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The Bistro offers fresh seasonal options that are satisfying favorites. The Bistro serves Starbucks beverages and has a full service bar, known as the S-Bar. 616.776.3400 ourcourtyardgr.com

CORNUCOPIA Located in the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel Cornucopia is the place to go to for the freshest of soups and salads, delicious wraps and panini sandwiches, and your favorite comfort fare like pizza, pasta, and roast chicken with sides. 616.774.2000 x6522 amwaygrand.com

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SAVOR: A GUID E TO HOT EL D I N IN G

RUTH’S CHRIS STEAK HOUSE Located in the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel At Ruth’s Chris Grand Rapids we’re picky about our steaks. That’s why we serve only the finest USDA Prime beef available. If you’re in the mood for something a little different, choose from our Chef’s Seasonal Specials, fresh seafood selections, classic sides, and homemade desserts. Casual attire. Private dining also available. 616.776.6426 ruthschris.com facebook.com/RuthsChrisGrandRapids

CYGNUS 27 Located in the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel Enjoy the skyline as you dine atop the Glass Tower in Cygnus 27. Indulge on a variety of globally influenced dishes at this AAA Four-Diamond restaurant for an epic casual dining experience. Casual attire, no jacket required. Private dining also available. 616.774.2000 x6525 cygnus27.com facebook.com/cygnus27

BENTHAM’S Located in the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel At Bentham’s you can enjoy great breakfast and lunch options along with a view of the Grand River. Bentham’s offers an amazing luncheon buffet with a grand array of salads, breads, soups, and roast beef and poultry carved to order. Not to mention pasta and stir-fry stations with fresh vegetables, meats or seafood, and unique sauces. Casual attire. 616.774.2000 x6533 amwaygrand.com

GP SPORTS Located in the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel Three large screens, 30+ HD flat screens, pool tables, video games, outdoor patio seating, pizzas, signature burgers, and more. The best place to unwind, enjoy a casual meal, and catch all the sports action! 616.774.2000 x6528 amwaygrand.com facebook.com/GPsports

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LUMBER BARON BAR Located in the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel Settle into the warmth and charm of this historic bar— complete with fireplace, leather club chairs, and a large selection of premium drinks and appetizers. The Lumber Baron is a grand choice for the beginning or the conclusion of a night on the town. 616.774.2000 x6522 amwaygrand.com

GARDEN COURT LOUNGE Located in the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel The Garden Court Lounge is an excellent choice for a quick drink with friends, or when you simply desire a few moments relaxing with a fine glass of wine. The Garden Court Lounge offers a fine array of beer, wine, cocktails and liqueurs. 616.774.2000 x6524 amwaygrand.com

SIX.ONE.SIX Located in the JW Marriott Grand Rapids Market-inspired menus, sweeping views, and progressive rhythms combine to create a dining experience second-tonone in Grand Rapids. With dishes that tempt taste buds and seduce the senses, the restaurant is a haven for selfproclaimed food aficionados and lovers of all things yummy. 616.242.1448 ilove616.com facebook.com/ilove616

MIXOLOGY Located in the JW Marriott Grand Rapids Casual, upscale service, and atmosphere allows the guest to enjoy the comfort of the solarium and the views. This type of service allows guests to complete business tasks while still enjoying the accessibility to great food and libations. 616.242.1448 ilove616.com/mixology.htm

STARBUCKS COFFEEÂŽ Located in the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, JW Marriott Grand Rapids, and Downtown Courtyard by Marriott Stop into Starbucks for a morning or afternoon treat. It is the perfect place to enjoy a large selection of your favorite made-to-order specialty coffee drinks, teas, pastries, and much more. 616.774.2000 x6565 amwaygrand.com 616.242.1500 ilovethejw.com 616.242-6000 ourcourtyardgr.com SOLACE

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THE CHOP HOUSE

a PRIME American steakhouse. Savor exceptional cuts of 100% USDA Prime Beef that are the perfect combination of flavor and tenderness. Delight in the finest and freshest top-catch fish and premium seafood. Experience our extraordinary service and our extensive premium wine selection. After dinner pleasures include the cigar lounge, martini bar or gourmet desserts at La Dolce Vita, prepared fresh daily. Located across from the Amway

190 Monroe Avenue NW, Grand Rapids

Reservations are recommended (888) 456 - 3463 www.TheChopHouseRestaurant.com

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GRAND RAPIDS PIZZA & DELIVERY

Grand rapids pizza and delivery, has always been a part of the community that’s just blocks from downtown. We’re also the first established pizzeria in the historic Heritage Hill district. By sourcing local meat, produce and distribution, we’ve created a fresh product that makes a difference you can see, taste and smell. it’s no wonder readers of On the Town Magazine awarded us with their townie awards for best pizza 6 years in a row. We welcome the opportunity to serve you. Order now to enjoy any one of our Traditional, stuffed or specialty pizzas, pasta, fresh salads, or desserts. dine in, take out and delivery orders conveniently online at www.grandrapidspizza.net

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Grand rapids pizza & delivery 340 state street (616)742-Grpd (4773)

Open M-Th 11am-11pm, Friday 11am-12:30am, Saturday noon-12:30am, Sunday noon-11pm • late night delivery Thursday, Friday and saturday until 2:30 a.m. 78


A D SPAC E

Rockwell-Republic is a multilevel restaurant-lounge providing two distinct dining atmospheres, three bar areas and elevated outdoor seating. Our menu features homemade, locally sourced cuisine, specialty martinis, an extensive selection of craft beers and a large wine list. The ambiance is relaxed, smart and cool!

45 S. Division Ave Grand Rapids MI 49503 O. 616.551.3563 | F. 616.608.6484

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EVENTS local happenings

ArtPrize image courtesy of Downtown Alliance 80

All work and no play is never what the doctor orders—especially with so many fabulous things to do in the region. Make time to schedule in some fun.


Public Museum

Art Shows ESSENCE: THE HORSES OF DEBORAH BUTTERFIELD

Through April 29 Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park American sculptor Deborah Butterfield is among the most respected and acclaimed artists of her generation. This exhibition features both the installation of large-scale as well as pedestal-size horses. Each unique example is composed of a wide variety of materials from found and reclaimed metals, to branches and earth. Although each sculpture is inspired by a specific horse Butterfield has known, the works are not portraits in the traditional sense, but representations of the essence of that creature. For Butterfield, it is not merely the physical presence of such noble creatures she hopes to convey but their spirit and energy as well. For more information, call 888.957.1580 or visit www.meijergardens.org.

CURTIS SINGMASTER: FAMILY PORTRAIT

April 13 through July 8 Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts Curtis Singmaster’s work evolves from energy, wit, curiosity and humor and his approach to objects and material is restless and unconventional. His installation Family Portrait is constructed and installed in a manner that challenges the viewer’s preconceived ideas about the objects in use, as well as the work’s relationship to our body. Singmaster’s piece plays with scale and interjects humor and beauty, in an attempt to rejuvenate UICA’s site into a new experience. For more information, call 616.454.7000 or visit www.uica.org.

ART.DOWNTOWN.

April 13 Downtown Grand Rapids Jump start the spring season by climbing aboard a trolley to view the work of over 300 local artists in 30 vibrant downtown Grand Rapids locations during Art.Downtown. A one-night celebration, Art.Downtown. is an excellent chance for local residents to visit the art galleries, restaurants, and shops that make downtown Grand Rapids so unique. There is something for everyone! For more information, call 616.855.0435 or visit www.artdowntowngr.com.

BEVERLY PEPPER: PALINGENESIS 1962–2012

May 25 through August 26 Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park Beverly Pepper has been a major force across the international scene since she first captured widespread critical acclaim in the 1960s. This exhibition focuses exclusively on her pioneering efforts in metal beginning with her debut at the famed Spoleto exhibition in 1962 through recent efforts. Charting her innovation and determination, iconic works from across her repertoire will be on view. This is the first major presentation of Pepper’s work in recent years and the first to explore the power and vision of her work in steel. This exhibit is exclusive to Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. For more information, call 888.957.1580 or visit www.meijergardens.org.

ARTPRIZE 2012

September 19 through October 7 Throughout downtown Grand Rapids ArtPrize is an open art competition that any artist who finds a venue can compete in. Artwork is placed throughout the city, and members of the public vote on their favorite pieces via website, text message, or iPhone or Android App. With a 1st place prize of $200,000 and $550,000 in prize money awarded total, the competition attracts artists and art enthusiasts from across the world. For more information, visit www.artprize.org.

BODY DOUBLE: THE FIGURE IN CONTEMPORARY SCULPTURE

September 19 through January 6 Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park This exhibition is a survey of contemporary sculpture around the subject of the human figure as both an object and a metaphor. Considering a wide variety of formal and conceptual approaches by artists from across the United States and around the world, the exhibition illustrates the diversity and depth of the figure in Contemporary Art from more literal terms to those which are implied or symbolically stated. Building on the strength and variety of the figurative tradition of Meijer Garden’s acclaimed permanent collection; this exhibition explores a renewal of interest in the subject from objects to installations while surveying a broad spectrum of concepts, forms, and materials. For more information, call 888.957.1580 or visit www.meijergardens.org.

FACING MARS

Through May 6 Grand Rapids Public Museum Visitors will experience the physical, psychological, and scientific challenges of traveling to and living on Mars— selecting the optimal flight crew, building and launching rockets, “flying over” the Martian landscape, “walking on Mars” and trying their hand at mission control. With more than 20 thought-provoking and interactive exhibits, guests conduct their own personal analysis to decide whether or not they would survive a journey complete with isolation, space sickness, medical emergencies, and more. For more information, call 616.456.3977 or visit www.grmuseum.org.

AN AFTERNOON OF FASHION AND TEA

Grand Rapids Art Museum

April 20–21 and May 11–12, 1–2:30 p.m. Voigt House Museum Enjoy a guided tour of the elegant and opulent Victorian era Voigt home. Partake in tea and sweets in the formal dining room and learn about clothing from the 19th and early 20th centuries. Reservations are required. For more information, call 616.456.3977 or visit www.grmuseum.org.

RAUSCHENBERG: IN CONTEXT, AT GEMINI, AND SYNAPSIS SHUFFLE

THANK GOD FOR MICHIGAN! STORIES FROM THE CIVIL WAR

Through May 20 Grand Rapids Art Museum One innovative American. Three distinct exhibitions. Robert Rauschenberg was one of the most important American artists of the twentieth century. A chronicler of contemporary life, most especially the American experience, Rauschenberg’s great themes were the city, technology, multiculturalism, and the environment. The provocative and poetic collisions of images, things, and ideas in Rauschenberg’s art are layered in their personal reflections on the social, political, and cultural currents of our time. For more information, call 616.831.1000 or visit www.artmuseumgr.org.

DETROIT: THEN, NOW, NEXT

June 1 through August 26 Grand Rapids Art Museum A unique, three-part perspective of Detroit exploring the history of automotive design (Then); a collection of monumental photographs in the exhibition of Andrew Moore: Detroit Disassembled (Now); and a series of dialogues with innovative leaders working in the fields of art, farming and food, technology, business, education, and public space (Next). For more information, call 616.831.1000 or visit www.artmuseumgr.org.

FOUR WAYS TO MOVE: DESIGNS BY JOEY RUITER

June 1 through August 19 Grand Rapids Art Museum In the exhibition Four Ways to Move, designer Joey Ruiter challenges us to consider the concept of moving—how we move ourselves physically from point A to point B, and how we move from the idea of a familiar transport vehicle to its deconstructed essence. For more information, call 616.831.1000 or visit www.artmuseumgr.org.

FRIDAY NIGHTS AT THE GRAM

Every Friday Night Grand Rapids Art Museum Unwind during Friday Nights at the GRAM with art, live music, and good conversation. Galleries are open late each Friday, and a cash bar is available in the Museum Lobby. Friday Night Conversations features a rotation of guest speakers, gallery talks, demonstrations, and collaborations. For more information, call 616.831.1000 or visit www.artmuseumgr.org.

Limited Engagement Exhibit, open through June 2012 Grand Rapids Public Museum From the battle lines to the home front, this interactive exhibit showcases uniforms, weapons, photographs, and letters from the Museum’s permanent collection to tell the personal stories of Michigan’s involvement in this historic conflict. For more information, call 616.456.3977 or visit www.grmuseum.org.

Broadway Grand Rapids THE ADDAMS FAMILY

May 22 through 26 DeVos Performance Hall The weird and wonderful family created by The New Yorker cartoonist Charles Addams comes to devilishly delightful life in a Broadway musical. The Addams Family features an original story and is an Addams Family portrait you’ve never seen before: Gomez, all mad impetuosity; Morticia, equal parts fire and ice; Fester, restless and romantic; Pugsley, for whom immediate gratification can’t come soon enough; and Wednesday, eighteen-years-old and finally feeling what it means to be a woman. A family that’s quite shockingly, and endearingly, just like yours. For more information, call 616.235.6285 or visit www.broadwaygrandrapids.com.

CATS

June 15 through 17 DeVos Performance Hall There’s no better way to introduce your family to the wonders of live theater than with the magic, the mystery, the memory of CATS. Now that it's been seen by millions of audience members worldwide, it's time to introduce CATS to a new generation. With a book based on the poetry of T.S. Eliot and a score by Andrew Lloyd Webber, this groundbreaking musical won seven Tony Awards. Its New York run was the longest in Broadway history; its London production has been running since 1981. With this new North American tour, the CATS phenomenon has continued to live up to its motto: “Now and Forever.” For more information, call 616.235.6285 or visit www.broadwaygrandrapids.com.

For more events and information, visit GRNOW.com. SOLACE

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Theater and Performing Arts

Concerts MEGA ’80s

April 13 and 28 The Intersection Take a handful of your favorite ’80s songs, a splash of some retro fashion, a pinch of panache, and an eye-popping video spectacle in the background and what do you get? Why, the Mega ’80s, of course! With all of the continued improvements to the show, from dancers, enhanced video media, and a spectacular light show, the Mega ’80s and Tangerine Moon Productions will continue to bring the ’80s back! Fans agree that the Mega ’80s put on a show like no one else! For more information, call 616.451.8232 or visit www.sectionlive.com.

HIP POCKET

April 28, May 19, June 16, and July 14 Billy’s Lounge The Hip Pocket, based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, has been entertaining crowds for over twenty years. The ten-piece band performs at countless festivals, receptions, and corporate events each year and has opened for artists such as The Temptations, The Four Tops, Patti LaBelle, and comedian Don Rickles. Though diverse in its musical styles, The Hip Pocket specializes in music made popular by bands such as Chicago, Tower of Power, Earth, Wind & Fire, as well as hits from the Big Band and MoTown eras. For more information, call 616.459.5757 or visit www.billyslounge.com.

FUN.

April 18 The Intersection The popular indie rock group returns to Grand Rapids fresh off the heels of their newest release “Some Nights,” a roller coaster of an album that’s colorful on the outside, deeper than you had imagined in the center, and so good it’ll make your head spin. For more information, call 616.451.8232 or visit www.sectionlive.com.

AN EVENING WITH YANNI

May 7 DeVos Performance Hall Yanni, music’s true world citizen and most popular contemporary composer, is coming back to West Michigan! This year saw Yanni, one of the music industry’s most beloved artists, selling out major concert venues around the world including Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. With his world-class orchestra, he performed music from his latest album “Truth of Touch,” now platinum in the Middle East, as well as classic concert favorites. For more information, call 1.800.745.3000 or visit www.ticketmaster.com.

FUN.

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I'M WITH YOU WORLD TOUR

May 26 Van Andel Arena Multi-platinum rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers arrives back in Grand Rapids on their I’m With You World Tour. The band is touring in support of its current album “I’m With You,” which has received a Grammy nomination for “Rock Album of the Year.” For more information, call 1.800.745.3000 or visit www.ticketmaster.com.

THE WALL

June 6 Van Andel Arena Roger Waters, the co-founder and principal songwriter of the archetypal progressive band Pink Floyd, has announced the return of the historic production of The Wall. His aural and visual masterpiece of alienation and transformation will be performed in-its-entirety featuring a full band and state-of-the-art production. The Wall remains one of the most influential albums in the history of recorded music with a profound effect on pop culture, resonating with multiple generations of music fans. For more information, call 1.800.745.3000 or visit www.ticketmaster.com.

BARRY MANILOW

June 14 Van Andel Arena Legendary singer/songwriter and producer Barry Manilow hits the stage at Van Andel Arena. In an almost 40-year recording career, Manilow has released 16 platinum albums and 14 gold records. He has also accumulated numerous Grammy’s, Tony’s, and Emmy awards. For more information, call 1.800.745.3000 or visit www.ticketmaster.com.

FOUNDERS FEST

June 23 Founders Brewing Company In celebration of Founders Brewing Company’s birthday, the brewery will shut down the building’s surrounding streets for an all-day live music festival with crafted brews, street food, and a line-up of popular musical acts. For more information, call 616.776.1195 or visit www.foundersbrewing.com.

ROCK THE RAPIDS

August 20 through 25 Festival Village Rock the Rapids, Grand Rapids’ Original Music Festival, is designed to serve our community with affordable concert ticket prices for quality, nationally known artists, and to help build awareness and potential funding opportunities for local area organizations such as the John Ball Zoo. For more information, visit www.rocktherapids.org.

BLACK & WHITE

May 4 and 11–13 Peter Martin Wege Theatre The choreographer that brought us Romeo & Juliet last season returns with an original ballet that will captivate audiences! Mario Radacovsky returns to Grand Rapids to explore the most famous dichotomy in ballet history. Since the 1877 introduction of Swan Lake’s White Swan (Odette) and Black Swan (Odile), artists, scholars, and the general public have become enthralled with the commentary of these two glamorized, polarized characters. Join us for the close of our 40th anniversary season with a fresh look at this contradiction of characters in an original ballet by Mario Radacovksy. For more information, call 616.454.4771 or visit www.grballet.com.

AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY

May 17 through 26 Spectrum Theater Dad has vanished, Mom is addicted to prescription pills. Three sisters are each harboring shady secrets. The large Weston family comes together when Dad disappears, and the homestead explodes in a storm of repressed truths and unsettling secrets. August: Osage County unflinchingly—and uproariously—exposes a Midwestern American family and its dark side! For more information, visit www.actorstheatregrandrapids.org.

TAKE IT FROM THE TOP GRAND RAPIDS

August 13 through 17 Grand Rapids Ballet Company Take It From The Top is a series of interactive workshops taught by working Broadway professionals who have a passion for providing training and perspective for those interested in pursuing a professional career in musical theater as well as those just looking to have fun with performing arts. Participants learn the craft of musical theater with basic to advanced skills, industry history, and practical content in an exciting, fast-moving, interactive setting. For more information, call 616.235.6285 or visit www.broadwaygrandrapids.com.

A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM

June 1 through 17 Grand Rapids Civic Theatre “Something for Everyone, Comedy Tonight!” This light, fastpaced, witty, and irreverent musical farce takes comedy back to its roots, combining situations from time-tested, 2000-year-old comedies of Roman playwright Plautus with the infectious energy of classic vaudeville. For more information, call 616.222.6650 or visit www.grct.org.

THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS

June 23 DeVos Performance Hall The Screwtape Letters is a smart, provocative, and wickedly funny theatrical adaptation of the C.S. Lewis novel about spiritual warfare from a demon’s point of view. It was a hit in New York City where it played 309 performances at the Westside Theatre in 2010. Prior to that, The Chicago Tribune described The Screwtape Letters as the “most successful show in the history of Chicago’s Mercury Theater.” For more information, call 1.800.745.3000 or visit www.ticketmaster.com.

For more events and information, visit GRNOW.com.


C

Twisted Rooster

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“Commit to the Mitt!”

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Twisted Rooster strives to celebrate Michigan by using Local Vendors and ingredients to Bring our Menu to your table

MY

CY

CMY

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Lots of Great Michigan Beers on Tap and enjoy 1/2 off Bottles of Wine every Thursday

Executive Chef Mark Noseda’s Menu: Combining unlikely ingredients and bold flavors with a simply Twisted Result

www.TWISTED-ROOSTER.com Grand Rapids · 1600 East Beltline 616.301.8171

CHESTERFIELD · 45225 MARKETPLACE BLVD 586.949.1470

Twisted Mac & Cheese

BELLEVILLE · 9729 BELLEVILLE ROAD 734.697.6201


Grand Rapids Children's Museum

Celebration on the Grand

photo by Terry Johnston

photo by Terry Johnston

Cultural Events BOB HOPE: AN AMERICAN TREASURE

Through June 10 Gerald R. Ford Museum This traveling exhibit tells the story of Bob Hope’s achievements in entertainment, his passion for golf, relationships with the military, and his friendships with a number of U.S. presidents, including President Ford. It includes more than 150 items, including an original vaudeville contract from 1922, his Ellis Island medal, the final set of golf clubs used in his life, and his “Honorary Veteran Citation” from Congress, which he called the most important honor of his life. For more information, call 616.254.0400 or visit www.fordlibrarymuseum.gov.

BUTTERFLIES ARE BLOOMING

Through April 30 Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park A visitor favorite in its seventeenth year, Butterflies Are Blooming features butterflies from tropical regions around the world flying freely in the 5-story Tropical Conservatory. The 80-degree conservatory is filled with thousands of exotic butterflies from tropical regions around the world. More than 40 different species of butterflies and moths make this a warm and colorful exhibition. Approximately 800 chrysalides are delivered to Meijer Gardens weekly. Visitors may watch delicate chrysalides and cocoons being placed in the Butterfly Bungalow, where the unique creatures transform and take their first flight. For more information, call 616.957.1580 or visit www.meijergardens.org.

MUSEUMS FREE 4 ALL

April 15 and July 15 Downtown Grand Rapids One Sunday each quarter, the Grand Rapids Art Museum, the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum, the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, and the Grand Rapids Public Museum will join together to welcome the region’s residents for free general admission at each institution. For more information, visit www.museumsfree4all.org.

83rd ANNUAL TULIP TIME FESTIVAL

May 5 through 12 Downtown Holland, Michigan Holland, located 30 minutes west of Grand Rapids, celebrates its Dutch heritage and the blooming of millions of tulips with parades, street scrubbing, costumed Klompen Dancers, musical shows and eight miles of tulip lanes. For more information, visit www.tuliptime.com.

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HERITAGE HILL HOME TOUR

May 19 and 20 Downtown Grand Rapids The 43rd Annual Heritage Hill Weekend Tour of Homes invites you to stroll and celebrate the past and present in historic Heritage Hill, one of the largest urban historic districts recognized by the National Register of Historic Places. The 1,300 homes in Heritage Hill date from 1848 and feature over 60 architectural styles. Private residences open their homes for the public to experience a kaleidoscope of architecture, colors and decorating styles. For more information, call 616.459.8950 or visit www.heritagehillweb.org.

GRAND RAPIDS FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS

June 1 through 3 Downtown Grand Rapids 2012 will be the 43rd Festival of the Arts, making it one of the longest-running festivals in the state. Festival always takes place the first full weekend in June in downtown Grand Rapids. The 2012 dates are June 1, 2 and 3. Festival of the Arts is a community celebration in downtown Grand Rapids, featuring arts, entertainment, food and fun activities for the entire family. For more information, visit www.festivalgr.org.

THE MARKET PRESENTED BY AVENUE FOR THE ARTS June 9, August 13, September 10. Downtown Grand Rapids This is a great opportunity to peruse the sidewalks of South Division between Oakes and Cherry and celebrate creativity and community. The event will showcase local artists, entertainers and businesses. The Market invites new crowds, good vibes and a variety of beautifully crafted handmade goods. For more information, call 616.855.0435 or visit www.avenueforthearts.com/streetmarket.

DOZYNKI FESTIVAL

August 24 through 26 Rosa Parks Circle Everyone gets a chance to be Polish this weekend! The Dozynki Polish Harvest Festival is sponsored by the Polish Heritage Society and features traditional Polish food and beer, polka music and dancing, children’s activities, cooking demonstrations and cornhole games. For more information, visit www.polishheritagesociety.com.

RESTAURANT WEEK

August 15 through 25 Downtown Grand Rapids Restaurant Week Grand Rapids 2012 will be your chance to celebrate dining out by discovering new restaurants and returning to your favorites for a one-of-a-kind meal or two or three or four. Restaurant Week Grand Rapids is a 10-day event to taste your way around Greater Grand Rapids and enjoy creative 3-course menus for $25. For more information, visit www.restaurantweekgr.com.

FASHION’S NIGHT OUT

September 6, 6–11 p.m. Downtown Grand Rapids Fashion’s Night Out is a one–night shopping event, so go shopping on the night of September 9 to show your support of local stores and the brands they carry. Stores citywide will be open late and trolleys will be out to help navigate all the shopping districts Grand Rapids has to offer. For more information, visit www.fashionsnightoutgr.com.

CELEBRATION ON THE GRAND

September 7 and 8 Downtown Grand Rapids A celebration of our community that includes food, live music and entertainment, concessions, and an incredible fireworks display. Take in live music at Ah-Nab-Awen Park and Rosa Parks Circle and don't forget to sample the best of local restaurants at the Taste of Downtown. For more information, call 616.730.2191 or visit www.celebrationonthegrand.org.

FALL ROSE SHOW

September 8 and 9 Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park Whether you’re a serious gardener or a flower fancier, you’ll be intrigued and delighted by the variety of flowers and creative displays featured in the 2012 Plant Show Series at Meijer Gardens. We’ve teamed up with local plant societies and the area’s greenest thumbs to showcase tropical orchids, bonsai, iris, herbs, and more. For more information, call 616.957.1580 or visit www.meijergardens.org.

FIESTA MEXICANA 2012

September 14 through 16 Calder Plaza Fiesta Mexicana, hosted by the Mexican Heritage Association, is a three-day cultural extravaganza highlighting the music, art, and food of Mexico and Latin America. Come down to enjoy live performances, food booths, a beer tent and mercado. For more information, visit www.mexican-heritage.org.

WEST MICHIGAN OKTOBERFEST

September 28 and 29 John Ball Park German beer and wine, authentic German food, hot dogs and root beer for the kids, as well as great German bands and choirs. Clowns, carnival games with prizes, pumpkin decorating and face painting. West Michigan Okoberfest is bigger and better than ever, so come on down and feel the gemuetlichkeit for yourself! For more information, call 616.295.5672 or visit www.edelweissclubgr.com. For more events and information, visit GRNOW.com.


this guide is full of lots of fun things to do.

after you see a show. the Perfect Vacation lasts a lifetime, thanks to all the memories you make in just a short time. Attend a show you and your family will never forget at Van Andel Arena & DeVos Performance Hall in Grand Rapids, West Michigan’s entertainment destination.

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Grand Cycling Classic photo by Terry Johnston

Sporting Events FIFTH THIRD RIVER BANK RUN

May 11 and 12 DeVos Place Featuring the largest 25K road race in the country, 10K Run, 5K Run, 5K Walk, and Junior events, the Fifth Third River Bank Run will play host to more than 21,000 participants during race week 2012. Race weekend opens with the Sports & Fitness Expo on Friday, May 11, at DeVos Place, held in conjunction with event late registration/packet pick up, pre-race pasta dinner, Gazelle Sports Fashion Show, and panel discussion. For more information, call 616.771.1590 or visit www.53riverbankrun.com.

GRAND VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY SOFTBALL through April 21 BASEBALL through May 6 MEN AND WOMEN’S GOLF through May 9 FOOTBALL through September 1

Allendale, Michigan Since 2004, Grand Valley State University’s athletic program has been honored with the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics Directors’ Cup for Division II. This annual award is given to the most successful collegiate athletic program. Grand Valley’s varsity athletic teams have won nine national championships in five sports and have been national runners-up thirteen times in eight sports. For more information, call 616.331.3200 or visit www.gvsulakers.com.

GRAND RAPIDS URBAN ADVENTURE RACE

May 19 Millenium Park While the race begins in Millenium Park, one of the largest urban parks in the nation won’t be massive enough for this race. You’ll be heading in every direction of the compass, hunting for flags, and facing challenges on dirt, road, water and beach. The race lasts four hours and includes running, biking, canoeing and Amazing Race-like challenges. Thousands of dollars in prizes will be given away to the race’s top performers. For more information, visit www.grurbanadventurerace.com.

USA TABLE TENNIS OPEN 2012

June 30 through July 4 DeVos Place The USA Table Tennis — U.S. Open will return to Grand Rapids, Michigan on June 30—July 4, 2012. North America’s largest table tennis tournament will take place at DeVos Place and attract both domestic and international athletes. For more information, visit www.usopengrandrapids.com.

GRAND CYCLING CLASSIC

HANSEL & GRETEL

July 28 Downtown Grand Rapids The Grand Cycling Classic presented by Herman Miller will showcase some of the best cyclists in the country, burning up the bricks in downtown Grand Rapids. The Grand Cycling Classic also presents a series of pro–am and amateur races. For more information, visit www.grcyclingclassic.com.

April 20 through 22 Peter Martin Wege Theatre The Grand Rapids Ballet’s talented Junior Company returns to the Peter Martin Wege stage with another great fairy tale perfect for the young and young at heart! This one-hour performance is the perfect introduction to the wonders of dance. For more information, call 616.454.4771 or visit www.grballet.com.

WEST MICHIGAN WHITECAPS

SUMMER ART CAMPS

Through September 3 Fifth Third Ballpark The West Michigan Whitecaps is a professional minor league baseball team. A member of the 16-team Midwest League and Class A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers, the Whitecaps play 70 home and 70 road games each season. The Whitecaps’ home ballpark is Fifth Third Ballpark, located in Comstock Park (seven miles north of Grand Rapids). For more information, call 616.784.4131 or visit www.whitecapsbaseball.com.

Children's Activities SATURDAY ALL DAY WITH THE ARTS

Every Saturday, 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Grand Rapids Art Museum Drop in to the Museum Education Center to find family activities for all ages every Saturday. Children and their parents are welcome to join in the fun and participate in exciting art exploration activities. Whether creating art or enjoying interpretive storytelling related to works of art, families can expect to get up close and personal with art, artists, and art history. For more information, call 616.831.1000 or visit www.artmuseumgr.org.

IZZY’S WORLD OF SHAPES

Through April 24 Grand Rapids Children's Museum Join Izzy and her side kick, Winston, as you explore shapes. Visit the shape garden, create an unusual shape mural, make Tangram pictures, design flowers in window boxes, sort shapes in a tree stump shape sorter, and much more! Who knew shapes could be so much fun? For more information, call 616.235.4726 or visit www.grcm.org.

July 9 through August 10 Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.–12 p.m. Grand Rapids Art Museum Summer Art Camps are exciting visual arts encounters offered to children ages 5–12. Each session allows campers to connect with original works of art, build their creative skills and participate in a mini-exhibition at the end of the week. For more information, call 616.831.1000 or visit www.artmuseumgr.org.

RAMONA QUIMBY

July 27 through August 5 Grand Rapids Civic Theatre Ramona reminds us how the ordinary things in life are really extraordinary! The exasperating but lovable third-grader, sometimes known as Ramona the pest, meets the challenges of life head on. Laugh and cheer as this classic heroine jumps from the pages of Beverly Cleary’s books to the Civic stage. For more information, call 616.222.6650 or visit www.grct.org.

SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK LIVE!

July 27 through August 5 Grand Rapids Civic Theatre Grand Rapids Civic Theatre’s Summer Repertory Theatre will fire up the stage with this musical favorite based on the ABC-TV educational animated series which aired from the 1970s–1980. For more information, call 616.222.6650 or visit www.grct.org.

For more events and information, visit GRNOW.com. 86


ALL DAY EVERY DAY

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nIgHTLY SPECIALS MOnDAY nIgHT PIzzA FREnzY

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Photography by Yolanda Gonzalez Lake Michigan Manistee, Michigan 88


e Experience The Extraordinary f Uncompromising freshness. Infused with inspiration. Skillfully served. Join us for an exquisite dining experience set in a casual yet elegant atmosphere. Treat your senses to all that is Leo’s in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids.

“Restaurant of the Year”

60 Ottawa NW | Downtown Grand Rapids | 616.454.6700 | www.leosrestaurant.com

Grand Rapids Magazine 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010 “Dining Awards”


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SOLACE Spring & Summer 2012  

In the 10th issue of SOLACE, the powerful, positive forces at work in the Grand Rapids community are highlighted. From the power of nature a...

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