The Rapidian

Grandmother Power exhibit opens to celebrate grandmas everywhere

On September 6, the Grandmother Power exhibit at the Grand Rapids Public Museum opens. The exhibit displays global stories on activist grandmothers while also allowing locals to get involved in the movement.

Dates, Admission, & Location

Grandmother Power exhibit

September 6-February 2, 2013

open to the public

exhibit free with general admission ticket

Grand Rapids Public Museum

272 Pearl St NW

Grand Rapids, MI 49509

/Molly Heinhuis

/Laurie Cirivello

/Laurie Cirivello

Paola Gianturco’s latest book, “Grandmother Power: a Global Phenomenon” is the inspiration for the Grand Rapids Public Museum’s new exhibit. Gianturco’s book highlights activist grandmothers from all over the world fighting for the future of grandchildren- an international movement. This movement is spreading and now the ‘global phenomenon’ will be brought to Grand Rapids.

The Grandmother Power exhibit displays eight grandmother’s stories from eight different countries. Stories from India, Argentina, Senegal, South Africa, Swaziland, Canada and Thailand will be featured. Also included is a story of 13 grandmothers and healers collected from all different places. To further enhance the exhibit, there is a cell phone audio tour sponsored by the Van Andel Institute. Gianturco narrates the audio tour, explaining the eight stories in her own words.

“It really adds something to the exhibit,” says Kate Moore, the museum’s Director of Marketing and Public Relations, “aside from being able to read the panels and see the photographs that have been printed in large format, you’re able to hear the stories from another dimension.”  

The Grand Rapids Public Museum also gives visitors a chance to tell their story. The museum provides a website in which visitors can post a story and picture. After the Grandmother Power exhibit’s five month stint in Grand Rapids, it will continue to travel nationally and internationally. The exhibit will continue to gather stories from all different cities onto the same database. Grand Rapid’s grandmothers will be the first stories featured.

“It’s a really great way for us to showcase not only these grandmothers from around the world who are making world change, but also grandmothers from right here in Grand Rapids who are doing fabulous things,” says Moore.

This interactive exhibit was built by the production team at the Grand Rapids Public Museum. They teamed together with Gianturco for content and Genesis Inc. for the design.

“This was the first time the museum has worked in a tri-fold partnership,” says Moore, “and it is a strong exhibit because of that.”

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