G-Sync

Three neighborhood city parks are inviting locals to come out to observe through active participation in the 8th annual Kids to Parks Day — a national initiative organized by National Park Trust “to connect kids and families with their local, state, and national parks and public lands.” Locally, these three parks have three distinct offerings to consider: The Midtown Neighborhood Association is hosting a get-to-know-your-neighbor event through its debut of the Midtown Green-Up! It is more than just a clean up day as the park will be featuring a perennial plant exchange and a ...
More Info
After 11 years, the Creston Neighborhood Association (CNA) will seek to transition to a brand new neighborhood fundraiser on May 24 with Art Bash for Creston {formerly known as Art Battle} debuting at the Creston Brewery’s Golden Age special event space. Replacing the “battle” with a “bash” is cue that this event designed to engage neighbors through a positive and energetic vibe will continue to attract an engaged group of the city's movers and shakers who support the work of the CNA. Art Bash will still include the signature activity of witnessing art being ...
More Info
With a theme of Edutainment, this year’s Hip Hop Appreciation Week (HHAW) is really busting out an amazing lineup of events from panel discussions to insightful lectures to even a fundraiser, creating a lot of buzz in our city as a result of their contributions. Edutainment, as defined by the HHAW, seeks to use education through entertainment starting on May 13. According to HHAW, “Since the beginning of Hip Hop Kulture, Hiphoppas have used edutainment as a strategy to express ourselves [and] the elements and teach people about Hip Hop Kulture. The term was popularized by Hip Hop ...
More Info
Last May, the public had the first of two opportunities to preview a work-in-progress from the filmmaking students at the West Michigan Center for Technologies and Arts. This instructor-led, student-produced documentary titled, “Rhythm and Race: A History of African American Music in Grand Rapids,” would go on at each screening to gather feedback from the community to strengthen the piece. Fast forward a year later and after many additions and edits, on May 10 at 6:30 p.m. at Celebration Cinema North the finished product will be unspooled with a free public viewing. Highlights of ...
More Info
Each May since 2006, Detroit brand Paxahau has opened its arms to the world as they welcome music lovers to experience their electronic music festival Movement at Hart Plaza. This annual event seeks to showcase and celebrate the second major Detroit sound (behind Motown) to enter our world’s soundscape: techno. With each passing year, Movement has sought new and innovative ways to engage with an emerging and growing audience of electronic music fans through official pre-parties to help build buzz but also showcase this distinct Detroit sound. This year, our local MODUL8 music team has ...
More Info
Who could have predicted that in our lifetime we would watch the houseplant industry in all its glory come roaring back in vogue? But that is what has happened with millennials as they embrace the houseplant industry from wicker macrame to hard-to-kill succulents. Locally, Matthew Provoast of Light Gallery + Studio will welcome the curious to join him for a special class on succulent terrariums complete with plants and a modern globe glass vessel. The gallery welcomes people of all experience levels to join him around their giant community-sized table as you learn helpful tips on plant ...
More Info
Grand Rapids has lots of pockets of activity that often go unnoticed. One such area is our electronic music scene, which is slowly evolving as many of our local acts that once had to seek an empty warehouse or friendly gallery owner to let them host their creative adventures move into more sanctioned spaces. One such act, Bronze Wolf, who began performing in the area under another name a few years back at places like the second floor of Long Road Distillers and Grand Rapids Pride, will finally be debuting his newest music at a special audio cassette release party/concert at East Hills' The ...
More Info
When one thinks back on this era in time, there are many things that will stand out in the culture. And while there are many shinning examples in our world of advances within the arts, the comic book world has been on fire with exciting and innovative new ways of telling stories that serve much more than just the young teen boy market I experienced in my childhood. In short, comics have come a long way and now center on so many others that they truly are serving everyone. This is something worth celebration and so each May, Free Comic Book Day is hosted around the world with area comic shops ...
More Info
A brand new creation based on Oscar Wilde’s fairy tales is coming to Grand Rapids and you cannot believe in what format.  According to Grand Rapids Ballet’s (GRB) Choreographer Penny Saunders, in a break from the more traditional dance programming options one might come to expect, this new production, “The Happy Prince & Other Wilde Tales,” is based on a series of children’s stories from the famed author Oscar Wilde. We have come to learn over time that children’s tales like these presented on stage are rarely created just written for the kids—they ...
More Info
By our last count, the Greater Grand Rapids area has more than 20 published Cinco De Mayo parties on deck for this weekend. It is beyond a shadow of doubt the most anticipated party this side of the summer of 2018. And while it is easy to look at this annual event as a nice way to fill the void between the St. Patty’s Day and July Fourth parties, it is worth considering a few ground rules in order to avoid offending the true meaning of this Mexican holiday. While the holiday is considered a minor holiday in Mexico, in the United States we tend to really leverage this holiday as a free ...
More Info
If you have been waiting for a do good-type of event that will place you in the warm sun with others in your community, then on Saturday the Friends of Grand Rapids Parks, the City of Grand Rapids Forestry Department, and Mayor Bliss invite you to a Arbor Day tree planting unlike any other. This event is a part of Mayor’s Greening Initiative that seeks to engage our entire community to think of ways to reach our city’s goal of a 40 percent tree canopy. To help make this goal, each year since 2016, more than 1,000 volunteers have stepped up to work alongside others to plant more ...
More Info
If you followed the long line of celebrated films of 2017, then you no doubt have heard of the amazing film “The Disaster Artist”: a story about the making of one of the worst films of all time, “The Room” by Tommy Wiseau. "The Room" is also a modern cult-classic that explains a lot of its success and staying power with a new generation of film audiences.  For one night only, UICA’s film program is clearing its night for fans of “The Room” to come see “Best F(r)iends”: a brand new movie inspired by a road trip made by “The ...
More Info
On Sunday afternoon, East Hills’ Brewery Vivant will open their Walloon room at the Pub to welcome several local artisans whose handcrafted items ranging from jewelry to pottery to soaps will be up for grabs at their debut of Vivant Artisan Fair. According to staff of Vivant, this artisan event harkens back to their very foundation as a B-Corp conducting business with an intentional look at sustainability and good value. This is something in the life blood of one of the area’s most interesting breweries. “That human connection is embedded in everything we do here from ...
More Info
While I may have aged out to become a member of the Grand Rapids Young Professionals (GRYP), I never grow old nor tired of the work they continue to do in our city to help community members of a certain age connect to this region in meaningful ways. This is the beauty of our GRYP!  And while throughout the year GRYP hosts many different themed events, it is their Get Involved Unwind that is most impressive and gets to the core of why this young professional networking community is so wonderful. For this special night, you are invited to join other locals aged 21 to 40 at Paddock Place ...
More Info
Lady Ace Boogie (LAB) has been a quite force for some time in our community as her musical style has always embraced a level of honesty that is part revelation, part pure joy.  Her concerts while bumping with bass and powerful rap lyrics can feel more like intimate gatherings even though at times her audiences can number in the hundreds depending on the stage she inhabits so seamlessly. On the occasion of her release party, her first since 2013’s “Feel Good Music,” LAB freely opens the stage to a host of friends who will round of her performance/release party for “ ...
More Info
To the best of our knowledge, while Grand Rapids has lots to celebrate regarding the decriminalization of marijuana in our city, we have very few celebratory events organized around the topic of 420.  Well, that changes when on Friday, 4/20, 4:00 p.m. Canna Communications—a multifaceted, women-owned communication agency serving cannabis businesses in Michigan—welcomes to downtown’s Gallery Divani Bruce Barcott of Leafly—a cannabis news and research site. Bruce Barcott is a Guggenheim Fellow in nonfiction and the author of “Weed the People: The Future of Legal ...
More Info
In 2007, the landscape for music stores around the nation was looking bleak as CD sales were flatlining just as digital shopping aggressively took over the space one traditionally assigned to local record stores by consumers.  But lucky for us, in this moment of decline folks around the world banded together to save this local icon with an annual event called Record Store Day where unique offerings released by the industry on CDs, cassettes, and vinyl cause folks to flood back into these hallowed, analog spaces of music. On Saturday, be sure to make plans to visit any one of the many local ...
More Info
We have plenty of options to find a new work of art, but on Saturday there is an event celebrating ten years that should be at the top of your to do list: artist Alynn Guerra—a Mexican artist in the Westside’s Tanglefoot building—opens her studio for her 10th annual Birthday Print Sale and Giveaway. As she writes, “Every year for 10 years I celebrate the journey around the sun with a print party! It is a good practice for me to express gratitude for the things learned, granted, acquired, and lost, but most importantly I really would like to show my gratitude to all the ...
More Info
When one thinks of ballet, folks often envision well-toned bodies or that moment when you realize as a child that men can wear tights, too, but with padded protection. But often today, this narrow definition is being cracked wide open as people with disabilities take to the stage more and more in this movement-rooted arts genre. On Tuesday, April 17, our Grand Rapids Ballet—Michigan’s only professional ballet company—welcomes community members with Parkinson’s as well as doctors, physical therapists, and other professionals working in this field to join Grand Rapids ...
More Info
I’ll be the first to admit that I was not a fan of 2016’s duo picks for color of the year. The very light blues and fleshy pink more readily conjured memories of baby showers than a fashionable color most could easily welcome into their lives. But two years later, Pantone has a solid hit with its 2018 Ultra Violet selection and locally, our Urban Institute for Contemporary Art (UICA) is ready to celebrate this new color in a big manner complete with a fresh new show devoted to the color, as well as a host of special events honoring it. According to PANTONE®, the “Color ...
More Info
For the longest time in Grand Rapids, when a bike event was hosted, it seemed to be a male-dominated field. Lucky for us, with the advent of many groups in our community like She Rides Her Own Way and other female-focussed biking clubs and groups, we are seeing a major cultural shift as women take to pedal power.  On Sunday, April 15 starting at 1 p.m., the Spring Revival event debuts at Cannonsburg with a mountain bike skills clinic that is sure to help those looking to get motivated in a female-centered education event. Spring Revival is a basic mountain bike skills clinic and no drop ride ...
More Info
History nerds of Grand Rapids, you have waited a long time, but finally an event tailored to your desires for all things in the past is arriving in your present with the Grand Rapids Library Foundation’s Treasures of Your Library: A White Glove Event. Staring on Wednesday, April 18 at 5 p.m., our downtown library will open up vast pockets of their diverse collection at this very unique fundraiser for the foundation. This year’s theme celebrates women’s contributions to Grand Rapids past, present, and future. Coming off of Women’s History Month, I know many are still ...
More Info
There are many reasons to attend a Pow Wow celebration of our American Indian culture, but nothing is more compelling than the chance to witness the awesome pageantry of the Grand Entry that will kick off the 20th annual Celebrating All Walks of Life Traditional Pow Wow at the Fieldhouse on GVSU Allendale Campus. The university is expecting hundreds of people from Native American communities in the Great Lakes region, traveling as far away as the Upper Peninsula. The famed Grand Entry performances will commence at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. on April 7 and at noon on April 8 with doors opening at 11 ...
More Info

Hamlet: Prince plots his revenge locally

Opening Friday, April 6 (through Sunday, April 15)
We are a fortunate community for a host of reasons, but the growth of our theatrical offerings here in West Michigan just keeps getting better with each passing year. Evidence of this success can be found simply by visiting any one of the many theatrical venue's websites to see how booked their spaces are these days. Opening on Thursday night at the intimate Dog Story Theatre (7 Jefferson SE) is the Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Company’s (PCSC) production of William Shakespeare’s “The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark” …or as modern audiences have shortened ...
More Info
Last month was the kick off of a series of greening educational events brought to our region by the nonprofit Green Michigan in partnership with the West Michigan Environmental Action Council (WMEAC) and Long Road Distillers. As we witnessed in March for their composting teach-in at the popular award-winning westside tasting room, these events are very popular with area residents…and tickets often sell out. In honor of Earth Day (arriving April 22nd) and also celebrating April as Earth Month, Green Michigan with WMEAC returns to Long Road Distillers with an event focused on the ...
More Info
It is hard to imagine a time when getting a good coffee drink was something for the elite as the level of coffee choices here used to be limited to gas stations, restaurants, or your home. That all changed in the late ‘80s locally when Sons and Daughters Bookstore and Coffeehouse opened in the heart of Cherry Hill. Since that time, getting a good cup of coffee has not been a problem as everyone from locals to national chains have invaded the cityscape to offer a coffee revolution with a dizzying array of options and styles for locals who will venture beyond Starbucks or that cup of Joe ...
More Info
Several years ago, playwright Robert Schenkkan came across “Into That Darkness” by Gitta Sereny. While seeking to showcase a period of time when Nazi horrors ran rampant in the world, “Into That Darkness” did something remarkable: it narrowed the focus to telling the story of one ordinary man who for a brief moment, found himself possessing unlimited power. This experience would go on to inspire Schenkkan’s newest stage work, “Building the Wall,” which is produced by Actors' Theatre of Grand Rapids and is in its final week at Dog Story Theater. ...
More Info
While some folks this weekend will begin jamming your social feeds with images of faraway places this spring break, you can keep them guessing by adding an off-the-beaten tracks West Michigan stop to your staycation plans this Saturday at The Bunny Train. This annual Easter-themed event starts at the Coopersville & Marne Railway, but travels quickly back in time once you step on this train engine from the diesel/electric years of the 1950s. On cue, the experience kicks off 20 minutes before each departure as the conductor shouts out to the station a hearty, “All aboard!” ...
More Info
Last year during the last week of March, the city of Grand Rapids was suddenly bathed in more than 100 flags celebrating the International Transgender Day of Visibility (TDOV), which happens each March 31. One bold moment that stood out to me of our community’s evolving acceptance via these flags that were flown from small businesses to corporations, was the first ever community celebration of our area’s trans community at the popular eatery, the SpeakEZ Lounge. Over the course of the event, one by one members of our trans community would step up to the microphone to share a ...
More Info

Leaning into the Wind: Andy Goldsworthy returns to the big screen

Opening Friday, Mar. 30 - April 11, see website for show times
It is hard to imagine that is has been 17 years since the visually-arresting art documentary film “Rivers and Tides - Andy Goldsworthy Working with Time” was released. Since that time, Goldsworthy has grown in importance via his very ethereal and often temporal installation works. In fact, one of his arch works can be viewed locally at The Meijer Gardens.  Teaming up again with “Rivers and Tides” director Thomas Riedelsheimer, Goldsworthy is once again the subject of  new documentary “Leaning into the Wind” that opens at UICA this weekend. In this film, we ...
More Info

The Big Gig: Next big discoveries live on stage

Saturday, Mar. 24, 5:45 p.m. (doors), 6:45 p.m. (concert)
Baxter  
Everyone loves a good “I remember when” story that they can pull out to showcase with friends as they reflect on a past event long gone from our present.  Locally, our live music scene is one such arena where there are plenty of performance-based acts who may have started small, but went on to become a big deal over the course of their careers. I am not trying to say that if you attend Triumph Music Academy’s The Big Gig, that one will see the birth of a new talent that years from now will be rocking concert halls and stadiums. But if you do, then you will understand the pure ...
More Info
It is hard to recall if you just arrived here, but The Gilmore Collection of Michigan and Colorado humble beginnings started with the 1978 Thornapple Village Inn in Ada, MI. And since that time they have grown steadily in our community with a series of popular eateries including their downtown signature property, The B.O.B. (or Big Ol’ Building). And while they have hosted more events than we can print, their annual Chilly, Blues, & Brews East is arriving this weekend for their sixth outing of this popular chili cook-off and hot pepper eating contest set in the heart of downtown. ...
More Info
As we finally say farewell to the winter of 2018 and welcome spring, we enter a period where we, if you are like me, find ourselves looking over the backyard imagining the greening plans of our upcoming growth season.  And as anyone will tell you, having a strong fertilizer game plan will ensure your efforts blossom into something truly remarkable…and maybe even tasty.  Green Michigan, a nonprofit in collaboration with the West Michigan Environmental Action Council, will host its first in a series of monthly workshops starting with Sunday’s Composting 101 at the award-winning Long ...
More Info
It is hard to imagine that it has almost been a year since we lost Paul “Buzz” Kutsche in this world. If you never met the man, then you missed knowing one of Grand Rapids’ most colorful individuals and thoughtful anthropologists whose gift to our community continues to blossom through the work of the Grand Valley State University’s Kutsche Office of Local History. The Kutsche Office invites locals to gather for their ninth annual Local History Roundtable held at the Allendale campus. This annual event is organized this year around the theme of ”Returning to our ...
More Info
Fresh from its Tuesday, March 13 San Francisco debut comes the traveling No Man's Land Film Festival two days later on March 15 to Wealthy Theatre. No Man’s Land Film Festival is an unapologetically, all-female adventure film festival with roots in the Rocky Mountains and is committed to showcasing, as well as connecting, women in pursuit of all things radical. No Man's Land Film Festival tweaks the lens of looking at our known history from a her-story perspective to the topics of adventure and progressive thinking in the hopes of motivating audiences around the county who will ...
More Info
What more can be written about Irish on Ionia (IOI) that has not already been said about the wildly popular and quite possibly the biggest St. Patty’s Day party in Michigan that invades downtown Grand Rapids each March by way of Barfly Events (Part of the family of downtown eateries of HopCat, Grand Rapid Brewing Company, and Stella’s). This popular event that is not for the weak of liver should you wish to imbibe in all the festivities that kick off at 7 a.m. and keep on cranking out hour after hour of programming until 10 p.m. Thought the day there are beer tents and two stages ...
More Info
This week as Rapid Growth dedicates our entire issue to the power and importance of our design community, G-Sync Events wants to invite the design-curious to seek out West Michigan Design Week as they have produced more than 20 events ranging from world-class speakers like Jen Scully and Stefan Sagmeister to hands-on workshops to happy hour gatherings.  To help stir the excitement further for the 2018 West Michigan Design Week, an opening reception for “Look Behind Design”— a specially curated exhibit where you can dive in and see the spirit of design—will commence at ...
More Info
It is not uncommon for folks in this city to attend an event devoted to pitching an idea, whether it is a 5x5 Night or #100Ideas. But this week until March 19, the Mitten Brewing Company welcomes back their second annual “Art of Pitching” series. Unlike the startup variety, this local westside brewery with plenty of nods to baseball within its tasting room, will release six experimental brews culminating at a special event on March 19. The Mitten Brewing Company, long a provider of unique brews to Grand Rapids’ Beer City brewscape, has built itself around showcasing the many ...
More Info
Fans of Division Avenue’s (defunct) Reptile House and their locally famous dance parties have discovered a rebirth of their sound and a reason to shake it in public from a local DJ who is too young to recall those Jager-infused nights.  Vinyl Fetish's Joe Moon had just an idea when he started his Vinyl Fetish Thursdays at the Tip Top Deluxe Bar & Grill of a special night devoted to a niche form of music. He did so because, while Grand Rapids has plenty of places showcasing top of the charts dance tunes as well as plenty of niche retro-music nights, he felt there was a real ...
More Info
On the dawn of its eighth year, Gilda’s LaughFest—the nation’s first-ever community-wide festival of laughter—has made the blues of late-winter a bit lighter as the citizenry (and visitors) arrive to check out the massive programming of this 10-day event.  Uniquely created by the Grand Rapids Gilda’s Club in March 2011 as a way for the community to “celebrate laughter for the health of it,” the festival features some of the biggest names in stand-up as well as a host of up-and-comers to West Michigan. The festival looks at the many sides of laughter ...
More Info
Last October, the Grand Rapids Islamic Masjid and Religious Institute on the city’s south side welcomed the public to their second open house. Having missed the first one, Rapid Growth’s Tommy Allen made sure to catch the fall event and boy, was he impressed by the level of openness as well as education built into this community-building event.  On Saturday the institute re-opens their doors for another event they are call “Know Your Muslim Neighbor.” As we the case last fall, the Islamic membership enthusiastically welcomes the community to bring family and friends ...
More Info
More times than not, our childhood experiences will often inform who we become as adults. When looking back at the life of César E. Chávez, it is easy to see how his life on his family’s farm tending to the land as well as the animals would inform his steps as he grew into the man we celebrate today. Chávez’s path from childhood would take him to service in the Navy, but also to a role as a community organizer where he would go on to found the National Farm Worker Association. His work aimed to improve the working conditions of America’s farm workers ...
More Info
Fans of bands like Phantogram, The Knife, and CHVRCHES are in luck this Friday night at Creston Brewery - the city’s only black-owned brewery - welcomes the newly created act, the Terrible Lovelies. Forming in late 2017 with members Shaneé Laurent, Marley Ferguson, and Joe Botwinski, the Terrible Lovelies offer a synth storm of electronic pop—a sound not really that big here since the Alexis (band) years. So here’s hoping that fans of this style of music will rise again so that we can enjoy the beautiful theatricality that often follows such acts. In addition to ...
More Info
There are plenty of networking events in the city, but there is only one local happy hour that seeks to welcome a very special guest to our city, while at the same time will help instill excitement for the 4th annual Grand Rapids Neighborhood Summit.  And while the Neighborhood Summit starts on Saturday at the downtown GVSU Pew Campus, Friday night is a kick off event at LINC Up to welcome the annual neighborhood event's keynote speaker Dr. Rasheda Weaver, Assistant Professor of Community Entrepreneurship, University of Vermont. From Dr. Weaver’s bio: She received a PhD in Public ...
More Info
Fresh from performing in Bushwick, NY on Friday, comes DJ act Soul Club to Grand Rapids this Saturday night for what promises to be the biggest dance party to invade the city this year at The Pyramid Scheme. Billed as Soul Clap & Dance Off because of DJ Jonathan Toubin’s contribution of his massive collection of 45s that are made up of 50s/60s rock’n’roll, soul, r+b, and Motown, this night’s event promises to be a beautiful and fun deep dive into early dance music culture. The night will also feature special appearances from Hollywood Makeout and Grand Rapids Soul ...
More Info
Over the last few years, many cities around the nation who value their citizenry and seek to modernize their community’s policing have been organizing around the guidelines that were released in 2015 by the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) 21st Century Policing Report. Grand Rapids has long recognized the role of community-policing and now more than ever the populace here recognizes the importance of healthy neighborhood relations. On Wednesday night, the public is invited to join other community members at the downtown Grand Rapids Public Library to learn what the City of Grand ...
More Info
For many years, when the tickets would go on sale for the annual Winter Beer Festival held each February at the Fifth Third Ballpark (parking lot), they would be sold within minutes of their release. You can imagine the heartbreak of beer fans from here and far away who wanted to make the trek to our beer-built city’s premier event devoted to the love and tastes of Michigan’s beer industry. Lucky for us that while the Saturday event still does sell out in record time, the event organizers have opened up Friday nights over the last few years for those who could not score a ticket ...
More Info
This city loves a good fundraiser but few rarely rise to the level of excitement like one planned for this Saturday night at a tiny bar within the North Monroe’s budding warehouse district.  Billed as “Hidden Gems,” this event seeks to raise awareness as well as your spirits (since it is the weekend after all) with a night of live bands, DJs, and art for the benefit of our local The Crescendo Foundation—a Grand Rapids nonprofit that provides affordable music lessons for kids ages eight to 16. For the low cost of $10 (remember, it is a fundraiser) you will be able to ...
More Info
During ArtPrize 9, one of its best on record in my opinion, the topic of culture appropriation as it relates to race took center stage at a variety of venues or within the various works presented therein. And while the topic does not always have clear lines to those artists creating the works, there are moments within the public where those lines are clearly crossed. On Tuesday, Feb. 27, cultured.GR, the Grand Rapids African American Museum and Archives (GRAAMA), and Fountain Street Church invite artists and art fans to join them for a free, special double feature event with a panel ...
More Info
With the ending of winter soon on our horizon, the itch for warmer weather often sends folks flying to warmer climates. But not every budget can handle a trip to warm, tropical-like places like Key West, so lucky for us there is the 13th annual Fred & Dorothy Fichter Butterflies Are Blooming exhibition at Meijer Gardens. What started more than a decade ago as a chance to showcase the various exotic butterflies at The Gardens’ tropical conservatory has blossomed to become the nation’s largest temporary tropical butterfly exhibition. Boosting more than 7000 beautifully colored ...
More Info
Signup for Email Alerts