The Rapidian

June 1: Summary of pitches and goings-on




LAST CHANCE! The Picturesque project is drawing to a close this Sunday. Have you noticed things for years and wondered if others have, too? Share now! The Rapidian is asking everyone to share a snapshot of something they spy in their Grand Rapids routine that others might miss. Browse contributions, get inspired and add your own two cents to Picturesque: In plain sight!

GET-TOGETHER: Join us at noon on Friday, May 10 for a picnic in that little park with the fish sculpture on Wealthy and Visser. Bring your lunch, and we'll see you there!


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  • [ECONOMY-BUSINESS] Minority summer internship reception
    5:30 p.m. at MSU College of Medicine (15 Michigan NE)
    The Multiracial Association of Professionals (MAP) will host its annual reception for interns of color as an opportunity to introduce minority interns to one another and to a diverse community of professionals.
    Potential questions
    • Who does the Chamber partner with to make sure minority interns are in the know about these events?
    • Where do the interns primarily come from? Are they homegrown, attracted from other parts of the state or even out of state?


Thursday, June 2

  • [CAUSES] Free workshop for those of traditional retirement age
    12:30-4 p.m. at the Heart of West Michigan United Way (118 Commerce SW)
    Are you at that "traditional retirement" age and wanting to make it anything but? With your skills, experience, and know-how, United Way wants to help plug you in to community needs to make a meaningful impact.
    Potential questions
    • What are some of the opportunities that United Way can connect people with?
    • What is an "encore" group?
  • [DINING + ECONOMY] YMCA Farmers Market's opening day
    3 p.m. at David D. Hunting YMCA (475 Lake Michigan NW)
    2011 is the first season for the YMCA Farmers Market, funded through a USDA Farmers Market Promotion Program grant.
    Potential questions
    • What spurred the market to form at the YMCA?
    • What is the USDA Farmers Market grant and how much of this farmers market's funding come from it?
    • Do the farmers at the YMCA Farmers Market also vend elsewhere?

Friday, June 3

  • [HISTORY + DINING + CAUSES] National Donut Day has its roots in Salvation army history
    9 a.m. - 2 p.m. in various locations
    On National Donut Day, the Salvation Army is teaming up with Krispy Kreme to show its appreciation to local orgs by delivering 2,000 donuts. The public is invited to get involved by nominating local orgs online and stopping into Krispy Kreme locations on National Donut Day for a free donut.
    Potential questions
    • What is the history behind National Donut Day?
    • How has the donut changed over time?
    • What organizations were recognized in the past?


Saturday, June 4

  • [SPORTS + ENTERTAINMENT] 38th Annual 100 Grand to offer 17 to 141 mile bicycle ride options
    8 a.m. beginning at West Side Christian School (955 Westend NW)
    400-600 cyclists of all experiences will be embarking on 17, 35, 65, 105 and 141-mile supported rides. This is the Rapid Wheelman's biggest fundraiser each year.
    Potential questions
    • How many people are embarking on their first century (100 mile ride)?
    • Where does the course go?
  • [ENTERTAINMENT + HEALTH + CAUSES] Clean Works' 10th anniversary dance party
    6:30 p.m. at The Pyramid Scheme (68 Commerce SW)
    In the last 10 years, Clean Works has taken in hundreds of thousands of needles off the street, reduced the rate of HIV among people who inject drugs in Kent County and has saved over 45 lives with its overdose prevention program.
    Potential questions
    • What are some of the other ways that Clean Works has impacted the community?
    • The Facebook event offers reduced cover for anybody who dresses up as a contraceptive or needle exchange. How many people took Clean Works up on the offer?


Sunday, June 5

  • [EDUCATION] Center for Inquiry's cafe spotlight: Zhuangzyi and the art of arguing
    10 a.m. at Schuler Books (3165 Alpine NW)
    Café Inquiry is a casual event starting with a short 10-15 minute introduction of the day's topic followed by open discussion. There is a break for coffee/brunch and a chance to socialize. This happens on a semi-weekly basis.
    Potential questions
    • Center for Inquiry tends to rally rationalists, humanists and athiests among many others. Do they see a separation between spirituality and rationality?
    • Are there similar backgrounds that its attendees typically come from?

Wednesday, June 8

  • [SPIRITUALITY + EDUCATION] I sold my soul on Ebay's Hemant Mehta to speak
    7 p.m. at Women's City Club (254 E. Fulton)
    $6 general admission
    Mehta will be in town to discuss his spiritual adventures. His blog was the winner of the 2011 Bloggie award for Best Weblog About Religion.
    Potential questions
    • Center for Inquiry tends to rally rationalists, humanists and athiests among many others. Do they see a separation between spirituality and rationality?
    • How does CFI select its guests?
    • Mehta's blog is titled "Friendly Athiest." What does that presuppose?


Thursday, June 9

  • [ARTS + BUSINESS] Sustainability in the studio
    5:30 p.m. at The Division Avenue Arts Collective (115 S. Division)
    How do ecological and economic choices effect artists' ability to live and work creatively? This is a round table discussion with local creatives as to discuss the impact of living sustainably.
    Potential questions
    • What are some of teh ecological and economic choices that come into play for artists?
    • Are certain art forms more environmentally unsound? What considerations do artists make when weighing whether to express a concept via certain media?

Saturday, June 11

  • [ENTERTAINMENT + ECONOMY] 8th Annual Local First Street Fair
    4 p.m. in front of Bistro Bella Vita (44 Grandville SW)
    This free event celebrates all local fare and products, local talent with musical acts on stage throughout the night.
    Potential questions
    • Why does the event take place downtown, in front of Bistro Bella Vita?
    • What are some of the new products and fare in the GR scene?

Sunday, June 12

  • [ARTS + ECONOMY] Opening day for the Fulton Street ARTisans Market
    11 a.m. at the Fulton Street Farmers Market (1147 E. Fulton)
    Opening day for the 2011 season. 2010 saw over 300 artists seling at FSFM.
    Potential questions
    • What arts are represented at the market?
    • There were only 20 spots left to fill before the opening day. How are the market's facilitators feeling about the 2011 season? Do they have a wait list?


  • [SCIENCE + EDUCATION] GR Amateur Astronomical Association hosts public night to view Saturn and the crescent moon
    9:30 p.m. twice a month at James C. Veen Observatory (3308 Kissing Rock Ave, Lowell)
    The Observation Nights feature a closer look at the stars, our neighboring planets, the phases of the moon and many additional wonders our galaxy has to offer, provided the sky is clear.
    Potential questions
    • This isn't in GR, but it has a direct connection to the city. Tell us about the history of the GR Amateur Astronomical Association and what their goal is.
    • How often is Saturn visible? And what exactly does a crescent moon mean?
    • What are other astronomical highlights that happen on a regular or annual basis?
  • [LITERATURE] Pre-reading classes for babies and toddlers
    11-11:30 a.m. on various weekdays at Grand Rapids Public Library (111 Library NE)
    Parents and caregivers are invited to introduce their babies, birth through 18 months, to music, movement, and language in 30-minute classes designed just for their specific developmental stages. Classes geared toward toddlers 18 months to 3 years of age feature hands-on, literacy-rich activities such as stories, songs with fingerplays and other action, and sign language.
    Potential questions
    • Is this a new program at the library?
    • Did the library use any sort of recommended learning models to organize their 30-minute classes?
    • Are the classes part of a series or one-time sessions?
  • [MEETUP] Toastmasters roundtable
    7:30 a.m. on every Thursday at the downtown GVSU campus
    Toastmasters hosts weekly roundtables with the goal of bolstering members' public speaking skills.
    Potential questions
    • When did the local Toastmasters group first begin?
    • Are there other local groups like Toastmasters?
    • What are some of the basic tips they impart for pulic speaking?
  • [TECHNOLOGY] Computer literacy classes at Grand Rapids Public Library
    Grand Rapids Public Library (111 Library NE)
    The library offers free adult education classes that range in level from basic computing to effective use of social media. Click on one of the links above for more information about the specific class.
    Potential questions
    • What does computer literacy encompass?
    • How did the library determine what to fit into each computer literacy course?
    • What are some common things that the "computer literate" take for granted?
  • [ARTS + EDUCATION] Friday nights at GRAM
    5 p.m. every Friday at GRAM (101 Monroe Center)
    $5 admission
    On Friday nights, Grand Rapids Art Museum invites the public to tour their galleries (open late), enjoy live piano music and a cash bar. alleries open late, live piano music, and a cash bar. The evening includes participation in their Friday Night Conversations series.
    Potential questions
    • What are the range of activities for Friday Nights?
    • Why are certain exhibitions (like Princess Diana) excluded from Friday Nights access?
    • What are the range of topics for Conversations?
  • [MUSIC] Weekly Irish music sessions at McFadden's
    7 p.m. on Sundays at McFadden's (58 Ionia SW)
    Whether you are a musician or an Irish music fan, this session is as close to visiting an Irish Pub Session in Ireland, as you can get without flying to the Emerald Isle! Food, beer and drink specials, and toe-tapping traditional Irish Music. Traditional Irish musicians (any instruments - including voice,) are invited to join in!
    Potential questions
    • How popular are the weekly Irish music sessions?
    • This weekly event is is not advertised on McFadden's site, so who are the organizers and sponsors of the music sessions?
    • What are some traditional Irish instruments? What are the defining characteristics of Irish music?
  • [DANCE] English ritual dance group holds practice every Sunday
    6:30 p.m. every Sunday at St. Mark's Episcopal Church (134 N. Division)
    Bells of River City members have fun while educating the general public about the tradition of English ritual dance as performed in Grand Rapids, modeled upon but not limited to Cotswold Morris, Border Morris, Mumming, and English Sword Dance.
    Potential questions
    • Opportunity for a photo essay: What do the dances mentioned above look like?
    • How old are these ritual dances?
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