The Rapidian

March 23: Summary of pitches and goings-on

Neighborhood

Contact:

Pitch: 

REMINDER: Rapidian meet-and-greet tomorrow

Have you met Denise and Holly yet? We'll be at Stella's at 5:30 p.m. tomorrow enjoying happy hour deals and getting to know our fellow Rapidians. Read The Rapidian or thought about contributing? Then you're invited, and bring a friend! More info here.

 

If you're up for covering an event, let us know at [email protected]. Each iteration of the weekly story pitches spans the Wednesday it's sent out to Friday of the following week.

If you want to attend a paid event, organizers might be open to providing access. Although editorial standards are not negotiable, other parameters such as deadline should be negotiated directly with the organizer.

Want to see something on The Rapidian? All registered users can add pitches to our storybank!
 

 

TODAY

  • [ARTS] "Bodies Revealed" for artists
    6-9 p.m. at the Grand Rapids Public Museum (272 Pearl NW)
    The Public Museum is inviting artists working with dry media to practice human anatomy drawing. After hours, the Public Museum will make its "Bodies Revealed" exhibit free to those attendees. Space is limited and interested participants need to RSVP by calling 616.456.3977.
    [More]
    Potential questions
    • How long has the exhibit been running?
    • Besides general viewing and this event, how else has the Public Museum made the exhibit a service to the community besides for general viewing?
    • Have they done similar things with other exhibits or plan on doing so in the future?
       
  • [WOMEN] Women's history month
    March is a month to celebrate women, and there are a wealth of events, some peppered in this weekly digest. Girls Day tomorrow, International Women's Day next week and many other commemorative events as well as groups that center on women. If you've admired any local women or organizations that empower them, now's the month to shine the spotlight!
     
  • [WOMEN + HISTORY] Ladies of the Lights exhibit
    All of March at Grand Rapids Public Library (111 Library NE)
    Lighthouse keeping in the 19th and early 20th centuries was a rugged life of long hours and hard work. At least 50 women in Michigan acted as both assistants and full-fledged keepers during this time. This traveling exhibit from the Michigan Women’s Historical Center, highlights the stories of dedication and determination of the women lighthouse keepers
    [More]
    Potential questions
    • What were the various paths these women took to becoming lighthouse keepers?
    • How were these women lighthouse keepers regarded in society?
    • What was involved with being a lighthouse keeper and how has that changed over time?

 

Thursday, March 24

  • [FILM + EDUCATION] IWW free movie night
    7 p.m. at 931 Bridge NW
    The Coca-Cola Case is based on the work of union members, human rights activists and lawyers who have been fighting to Coca Cola Company over their denial that union workers in Colombia are being assassinated for attempting to organize workers in the Coke bottling plants. One of the founding members of the Killer Coke Campaign will be at the screening for the discussion afterwards.
    [More]
    Potential questions
    • The Killer Coke Campaign has been around for quite a while. Have they noted any progress since they began organizing under the banner of "Killer Coke?"
    • What brings the Killer Coke founding member to town?
    • Have there been any demonstrations of support in Grand Rapids?
       
  • [ENTERTAINMENT] Super Happy Funtime Burlesque kicks off national tour at Wealthy Theatre
    8 p.m. at Wealthy Theatre (1130 Wealthy SE)
    $15-20 admission
    Super Happy Funtime Burlesque is heading on its second national tour. They have a new show to kick things off in Grand Rapids.
    [More]
    Potential questions
    • How does SHFB see itself in the context of other burlesque groups? Is it doing something avant garde or taking a different twist and if so, how?
    • SHFB has been around for at least five years with long-time performers, and this is the second year they have fundraised on Kickstarter. Since their first Kickstarter year, SHFB has added a member's only section (Club Funtime) to their site that features burlesque content "without pasties and g-strings getting in the way." Is it part of SHFB's performer policy that burlesque performers must be willing to bare all in this section?
    • In its about section, SHFB has a FAQ that answers "are the dancers strippers?" to which they answer no, justifying it as "she never gets totally nude." What about photography and video makes that nudity okay with SHFB in Club Funtime?
       

Friday, March 25

  • [MUSIC + CAUSES] WYCE spring fund drive
    March 25 - April 1
    In fall 2010, WYCE raised over $80,000, its most successful fund drive ever. With a new bar set, WYCE wants to raise at least $88,100 during its spring fund drive.
    [More]
    Potential questions
    • What is the money put toward?
    • Where do donations come from?
    • For weeks after, WYCE staff receive decorated envelopes and care packages from all over the world, stuffed with checks, notes and goodies. What are some of the most interesting ones?
       
  • [WOMEN + ARTS] (a)wake: an exhibition
    5 p.m. on March 25-27 at The Cornerstore Building (89 Ionia NW, fifth floor)
    In honor of Women's History Month, this exhibition features the work of local women artists addressing issues related to gender and history via site-specific installations in the commercial art studios of the former Steketee's department store.
    [More]
    Potential questions
    • Was there a selection process for the artists?
    • Why is the exhibition only up for a few days and at the end of Women's History Month rather than throughout the month?
       
  • [ARTS] D/E/C at GRAM
    5 p.m. at Grand Rapids Art Museum (101 Monroe Center NW)
    A variety of the areas most talented and successful design-focused entrepreneurs come together for interviews and an AIGA poster contest at GRAM.
    [More]
    Potential questions
    • What are the entrepreneurs interviewed about?
    • What is the wider application of the entrepreneurs' key points and takeaways?
    • The AIGA poster contest and the AIGA Grand Valley event (scroll down) are on the same day. Do the groups have a history of collaborating? Is there overlap in membership between the two groups?
       
  • [ARTS] AIGA pattern show: Maps and Directions
    8 p.m. opening reception at The Division Avenue Arts Collective (115 S. Division)
    AIGA Grand Valley is holding its Third Annual Pattern Show. The theme this year is Maps & Direction. The posters are designed by Grand Valley students.
    [More]
    Potential questions
    • What are the criteria for the pattern show?
    • Are the students who participate coming from a particular discipline at GVSU?
    • As the GVSU AIGA, why did they choose The DAAC, a GR exhibition location, in light of the Grand Rapids AIGA chapter?
       
  • [EDUCATION] Young Nonprofit Professionals Network and Rapid Growth's nonprofit smackdown
    8 p.m. at Wealthy Theatre (1130 Wealthy SE)
    Each day, nonprofit sector organizations go head to head for fund-raising, volunteers, community capital, even employees; a generally cordial competition. At the smackdown, see 16 contenders representing eight nonprofit sectors - from the arts to homelessness to foundations to healthcare - square off, honing their skills to convince the audience why they're the most worthy.
    [More]
    Potential questions
    • In making their appeals, did the contenders highlight their sectors, compare their sectors or something else?
    • Does the event double as a fundraiser at all for any of these organizations?
    • The event description invites attendees to bring noisemakers. Does the audience determine the winner and how?
       
  • [YOUTH + EDUCATION] Cub scouts sleepover at the Public Museum
    6 p.m. on March 25 to 8 a.m. on March 26
    Pricing info
    What happens in the Grand Rapids Public Museum at night? Do the exhibits come alive? Participate in hands-on activities, ride the carousel and view a Planetarium show. Bring a t-shirt to have screen printed to commemorate surviving an overnight in the Museum.
    [More]
    Potential questions
    • Does the Public Museum offer special programming for sleepovers?
    • Are any of the areas off limits to overnighters?
    • Talk to a youth participant. What were they anticipating and did the sleepover meet expectations?
    • Talk to a chaperone or parent. Do they think this sort of programming is valuable? From what perspective - educational, inspirational, social, etc.?

 

Saturday, March 26

  • [POLITICS] Grand Rapids Walk for Choice
    2 p.m. at 22 Sheldon SE
    Last month, Grand Rapidswas one of many cities participating in "Walk for Choice," an international demonstration of outrage over Congress' The “Protect Life Act” (HR3) to limit federally funded abortions. The event was so successful that organizers plan to have it again.
    [More]
    Potential questions
    • What got the organizers to take action in pulling this event together?
    • What has the participation been like in organizing the event? How much participation do they expect to see on the day of the event?
    • Are there any plans, besides a group of people, to educate the public on the details of HR3 and the subsidy resolution? Educational materials?
       
  • [SPORTS + ENTERTAINMENT] 2011 Golden Gloves Tournament - West Michigan Championship Finals
    7 p.m. at Army National Guard Armory (1200 44th SW)
    This is the premier amateur boxing tournament of the year. West Michigan verses East Michigan to decide who will be the State Champion in both the novice and open divisions.
    [More]
    Potential questions
    • Who were some of the participants from Grand Rapids gyms and how did they place?
    • Who are the up-and-comers to keep an eye out for?
    • How did the boxers get hooked into boxing and what was it about boxing that got viewers, especially those who attend bouts, into following the sport?
    • Do Grand Rapidian gyms have any traditions (i.e.: chants) around the sport?
       

Sunday, March 27

  • [DINING + SUSTAINABILITY] Sunday Soup #12: A year of Sunday Soup
    6 p.m. at The Division Avenue Arts Collective (115 S. Division)
    $5 admission
    Sunday Soup GR is a monthly community meal that provides mini-grants for local small-scale creative projects. $5 buys you a bowl and a vote, the entire proceeds of the gathering will go to fund the proposal with the most votes.
    [More]
    Potential questions
    • Who applied for the mini grant? How much was available?
    • How many people attended and how does it compare to the usual number of attendees?
    • How successful is the Sunday Soup series and what plans do the organizers have to improve it?
       

Tuesday, March 29

  • [LITERATURE + ENTERTAINMENT] Teenage Book Fan Club: Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
    6:30 p.m. at Ethel House (441 Ethel SE)
    This is a regular potluck of readers interested in reading together to get through the winter blues.
    [More]
    Potential questions
    • Some of the other books in the winter line-up included The Unbearable Lightness of Being and Push. These are not obvious teen literature picks. What is the club's criteria for books?
    • Not all the organizers and participants are teenagers. How did they decide that "teenage" was going to be part of the club's theme?
    • How many members are there and how many are able to complete the books within the one-month time frame?
       
  • [FILM + EDUCATION] Peace, Propaganda and the Promised Land
    7 p.m. at Bytwerk Theater at Calvin College (3201 Burton SE)
    The documentary is a comparison of media coverage of the crisis in the Middle East, zeroing in on how distortions in U.S. coverage reinforce false perceptions of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
    [More]
    Potential questions
    • Who produced the documentary?
    • What discussion is the Calvin group hoping to spark in GR through this film?

 

Thursday, March 31

  • [SOCIAL JUSTICE + EDUCATION] 2011 César E. Chavez social justice march/community gathering
    11 a.m. march at 1204 Grandville SW / 12 p.m. community gathering at 1630 Godfrey SW
    The Committee to Honor César E. Chavez invites you to celebrate the life and legacy of César E. Chavez by participating in the 2011 Social Justice March and Community Gathering.
    [More]
    Potential questions
    • A bus load of participants is coming from Michigan State University for the rally. How big is this rally and are they particularly widespread in West Michigan?
    • What is César Chavez's significance to the community?
    • How many years has this march happened?

  • [ARTS + EDUCATION] Critical reality: Why is arts criticism important?
    5:30 p.m. at Wealthy Theatre (1130 Wealthy SE)
    $10 admission
    While city dwellers proudly conceptualize Grand Rapids as an emerging center of art in the Midwest, local media coverage of artists and events primarily focuses on publicity rather than evaluative criticism. Many members of the arts community are beginning to express a desire for more than just exposure.
    [More]
    Potential questions
    • The panel includes an ArtPrize representative, art educator, a reporter, an academic and performer. How were the panelists chosen?
    • The Arts Council solicited feedback for an online survey earlier this year about what workshops artists would benefit from. Is this a direct result of that feedback?

 

Friday, April 1

  • [MUSIC] Coffee Classics Series: Mozart and Sibelius
    9 a.m. at St. Cecilia's Music Society
    $12 admission
    Enjoy conversations with friends and complimentary coffee and pastries, then relax to the sound of the GR Symphony in the Royce Auditorium at 10 a.m.
    [Msore]
    Potential questions
    • Friday morning is an odd time for a concert, and 10 a.m. is, at the latest, the start of the workday for some people. What audience is the GR Symphony targeting with this late morning performance?
    • Are these rehearsals on stage cum concerts? Were they planned as serious concerts with all the whistles, bells and expectations (i.e.: penguin tails, gussied up audience) of an evening concert?
       

ONGOING

  • [WOMEN + HISTORY] Ladies of the Lights exhibit
    All of March at Grand Rapids Public Library (111 Library NE)
    Lighthouse keeping in the 19th and early 20th centuries was a rugged life of long hours and hard work. At least 50 women in Michigan acted as both assistants and full-fledged keepers during this time. This traveling exhibit from the Michigan Women’s Historical Center, highlights the stories of dedication and determination of the women lighthouse keepers
    [More]
    Potential questions
    • What were the various paths these women took to becoming lighthouse keepers?
    • How were these women lighthouse keepers regarded in society?
    • What was involved with being a lighthouse keeper and how has that changed over time?


  • [ENTERTAINMENT + ARTS + CAUSES] 19 Holes 
    12 p.m. at Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts (41 Sheldon SE)
    $8 general admission
    As part of LaughFest, 19 Holes is a mini-golf course designed by artists. The mini-golf course will take over UICA’s entire building, including walls, windows and ceilings for the month of March.
    [More]
    Potential questions
    • What were some of the wackiest courses?
    • Are the courses just aesthetically pleasing or were they actually engineered to be possible to play?
    • How did the UICA select artists to construct the courses?


IDEAS

  • [WOMEN] Women's history month
    March is a month to celebrate women, and there are a wealth of events, some peppered in this weekly digest. Girls Day tomorrow, International Women's Day next week and many other commemorative events as well as groups that center on women. If you've admired any local women or organizations that empower them, now's the month to shine the spotlight!
     
  • [GOVERNMENT] Suggestions to change the city governance system
    There has been a summary draft circulating that suggests combining city governments for Kent County and Grand Rapids. This would move the city governance system to a metropolitan one.
    [More]
    Potential questions
    • Grand Rapids has held its current style of government for almost a century. In the January City Connection, Mayor Heartwell explained how the current governance system of a part-time mayor came to be. What are some of the immediate effects if a metropolitan government system were to be implemented?
    • What are some of the duplicate roles and functions that would have to be resolved between the two governments?

 

REGULARLY

  • [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.
    [More]
    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.
    [More]
    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
    Regularly
    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?

  • [FILM] Meanwhile Film Series
    8 p.m. every Tuesday at Wealthy Theatre (1130 Wealthy SE)
    The Meanwhile Bar and Wealthy Theatre team up to present the Meanwhile film series, the only brew-in-view in the greater Grand Rapids area. The cult classics series is curated by Jeff Vandenberg of The Meanwhile.
    [More]
    Potential questions
    • How did the partnership between The Meanwhile and Wealthy Theatre come about?
    • In the couple of years that Jeff Vandenberg has been curating the series, does he ever worry that he'll run out of cult classics?
    • Does Jeff choose any old cult classic or does he have a set of standards?
       
  • [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.
    [More]
    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)
    Free
    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![More]
    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.
    [More]
    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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