The Rapidian

Barnstormer to Benefit Thrive

This dispatch was added by one of our Nonprofit Neighbors. It does not represent the editorial voice of The Rapidian or Community Media Center.

The Inaugural Rockford Barnstormer for Thrive features 12 local bands to raise money for the program.
Underwriting support from:

More information on Thrive

Thrive is a grassroots, local non- profit that supports refugees from around the world in the greater Grand Rapids area. We are always looking for volunteers to work with refugee families!  Find out more about the program at

/Ted Jauw

/Jessica Gladden

What could be better than having a concert to raise money for local refugees? Having twelve concerts, we think!

Thrive: A Refugee Support Program is very excited to announce our inaugural Rockford Barnstormer event! Join us for a family-friendly weekend that features two stages and two nights of acoustic and dance music from area bands.  We are very excited to have all twelve bands volunteer their time so that all the funds raised can be used to continue to support local refugees in their journey to learn about how to survive in the American culture.

Gates open Friday, August 24th at 4pm. The Weatherheads start the festivities at 6pm on Friday,  followed by a Contra Dance  featuring music from Hawks and Owls at 7pm.  Don’t be late for that one– it is sure to be a hit! The Muteflutes perform at 9pm and Friday evening wraps up with two African-influenced drum bands – WaZoBia and Badenya Drum and Dance. WaZoBia is having a bit of a reunion party for this event, so be prepared to see all your old favorite members perform!

On Saturday, the family fun activities will start the day off at noon with games, music, arts and crafts, bubbles, and face painting, and circus activities by Little Nell and Grandma Turtle. Activities for Saturday adult visitors include gentle yoga, a drum and dance workshop lead by Kama Tai of Dunuya of Kalamazoo and members of Badenya and WaZoBia, an open mic starting at noon, an art workshop, poi workshop, fitness hooping, and educational workshops about refugees and Thrive.

Potato Moon will kick off the Saturday evening music at 5pm. A full night of local music includes Nicholas James and The Bandwagon; Hannah Rose and the End of The World Family Band; The Beanpoles; Strawberry Heritage; Susan Picking; and debuting the Thrive Refugee Choir featuring Congolese refugees in Thrive’s program.

Dinner will be available by donation on both Friday and Saturday nights. BYOBeverage.

Pay activities include:

Henna art
Hair Braiding
50/50 raffle

The event will take place at the Peterson barn at: 9784 Courtland Drive, Rockford, MI 49341.  Sorry, no camping available for guests.

Suggested minimum donation:

$10 for individual day pass

$18 for  individual two day pass

$40 all weekend family pass

Reserve your spot now by donating online!

You can also find our event on Facebook at:

Events subject to change.

Supported by The Wheeler Family Foundation, Formula Automatic, and LDT Construction Services.

We hope to see you at this fun and family oriented music event!

Listen to the Aug. 10 edition of Catalyst Radio for an interview about Thrive, and the Barnstormer! fundraiser.


The Rapidian, a program of the 501(c)3 nonprofit Community Media Center, relies on the community’s support to help cover the cost of training reporters and publishing content.

We need your help.

If each of our readers and content creators who values this community platform help support its creation and maintenance, The Rapidian can continue to educate and facilitate a conversation around issues for years to come.

Please support The Rapidian and make a contribution today.

Comments, like all content, are held to The Rapidian standards of civility and open identity as outlined in our Terms of Use and Values Statement. We reserve the right to remove any content that does not hold to these standards.