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Community Updates: Friday, March 31

Grand Rapids Public Museum, Hope Network to honor Autism Awareness Month in April through partnership; The City of Grand Rapids encourages residents to review Wednesday's Fire Chief Candidate Forum and complete survey; and more
Calder Plaza in downtown Grand Rapids

Calder Plaza in downtown Grand Rapids /John Rothwell

Grand Rapids Public Museum, Hope Network to Honor Autism Awareness Month in April Through Partnership

The Grand Rapids Public Museum (GRPM) has announced that, in April, it will be partnering with Hope Network to host an accessible and inclusive event in honor of Autism Awareness Month

Sensory Friendly Museum Night will take place between 5:30pm and 7:30pm on Thursday, April 20. According to a press release that was sent out on Tuesday, the GRPM will be adjusting the ambience of its exhibits to make them more sensory-friendly (by tweaking lighting, audio, etc.) for individuals with autism or other sensory processing needs. The Museum will also be offering rides on the historic Spillman Carousel, as well as "a low sensory planetarium show" at the GRPM's Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium, as part of this event. Those who may be in need of additional resources while attending this event may be able to check out one of the Museum's KultureCity sensory bags (while supplies last). Online registration is required via the Grand Rapids Public Museum's website.   

Dale Robertson, the Grand Rapids Public Museum's President and CEO, made the following statement in Tuesday's press release:

"The GRPM aims to create an inclusive experience for all visitors by providing physical and cognitive accessibility. We are delighted to collaborate with Hope Network to offer families an opportunity to explore the Museum in a low-sensory environment. Additionally, we are always working to integrate sensory-friendly levels of interaction throughout the Museum's programming and experiences."

Immediately preceding the GRPM's Sensory Friendly Museum Night is the 2023 Bridge Walk For Autism along Sixth Street Bridge (also known as the "Blue Bridge"). Organized by Hope Network, this event is "a rally for inclusiveness -- for community members, businesses, and local leaders alike to come together for a hope-filled evening." Online registration is required via Hope Network's website.  


The City of Grand Rapids Encourages Residents to Review Wednesday's Fire Chief Candidate Forum and Complete Survey

On Wednesday, the City of Grand Rapids hosted the "Fire Chief Candidate Forum" that was announced last week. During this event, members of the Grand Rapids community had the opportunity to ask Dr. Brad Brown and Chief Eloy Vega, the final two candidates for the position of Grand Rapids Fire Chief, about their prior experience and visions for the Grand Rapids Fire Department.

The forum was livestreamed on both the City's YouTube channel and Facebook page. It can also be viewed below:

The City is now asking the community to provide feedback on each of the candidates. The input collected during this process will ultimately help guide the City's hiring decision. According to City Manager Mark Washington:

"It is important we have the right leader lead our fire department for the foreseeable future and to ensure the safety and trust of our community. That is why we're encouraging our residents and other community members to participate in the survey and have their voices heard. Input from our neighborhoods and the community is critical to helping us select the right person."

Grand Rapidians can submit their thoughts online (by completing the Grand Rapids Community Forum - Post Digital Comment Card) or via phone by calling 311.


Also in the News:

  • Earlier this week, the City of Grand Rapids sent out a press release to announce that the City's curbside yard waste collection service will officially resume on Monday, April 3.


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