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This Week's Events

Caroline Woolard: Artists really do take over

Since this event is the same day as we publish, I need to find the words that will get you to change your direction and head to Grand Valley State University's downtown campus tonight for a chance to hear a speaker who is going to rock your world and all that you know.
For starters, Caroline Woolard raised $1 million in less than two weeks via 300 people on a crowd-funding site who pledged to create New York's Real Estate Investment Cooperative (REIC).
As part of a growing movement of artists in the world looking to address the issue of displacement, Woolard's message is quite possibly the flashpoint intersection that the creative community has been waiting for over the last 50 years.
According to Woolard, "The idea of the REIC is that people pool money in cooperative investment group(s) and these investment groups buy buildings and lease them affordably or make very low interest loans available to others to buy or renovate property for community-serving uses. The ultimate property owners would be community land trusts set up to manage the land and cooperatives and non-profits set up to manage the assets on the land."
This process brings a new level of engagement to our community business districts and the urban spaces that artist inhabit, and it could enable better control of the kind of place the community hopes to be. Imagine a few co-operatives on your street and you can visualize the powerful connections such a program would bring to a community.
The lecture is titled "Artists for Community Land: making real estate work for innovation, art, and economic justice" and Woolard will be engaging the audience on her experiences and the impact of rent, debt, and precarity on culture in an urban setting experiencing growth. Woolard is a guest of GVSU's Visual Studies department.
Admission: Free

The Brew Ha-Ha: Laughter + Foam = 7th Heaven

Friday, Apr. 17, 5 - 10 p.m. and Saturday, Apr. 18, 1 - 10 p.m.
It is hard to imagine that we are at lucky year seven already for the annual beer and laughter themed festival, The Brew Ha-Ha.
101.3 The Brew, along with Jolt Vapor & WZZM 13, welcome back to the DeltaPlex a stellar line-up of local comics and Comedy Central's Jimmy Shubert for two side-splitting days of laughter.
As has been the trend at this event, the first day is heavily focused on the comics with a full roster of comedy. Day two is a mixed bag with comedy and music throughout the day, ending with The Bimini Brothers, who will mark their third stop at The Brew Ha-Ha over the seven years of the festival's existence.    
The Brew Ha-Ha offers devoted beer fans (and those curious onlookers with a can of Bud in their hand) a chance to sample over 150 craft beers from over 40 breweries from Michigan, the U.S., and around the world. We have tastings all the time in our state but this one is unique and a lot of fun.
Most beer events sell out in advance so to ensure you can gain admission, purchase your ticket in advance and get a discount. (LINK)
Admission: $15 in advance / $20 at the door - visit www.deltaplex.com

DJ Grandmaster Flash - Nostalgia Never! It's the Real Thing Friday

We can debate how great the 1970s & '80s were or you can see firsthand one of the reasons that this era is still relevant as The Pyramid Scheme welcomes DJ Grandmaster Flash back to Grand Rapids.
Known throughout the world as the forefathers of hip hop, Grandmaster Flash, along with the Furious Five, helped set in motion a musical style that is still very much a part of our culture today.
And while it is true he will venture into new territory, as witnessed on his last tour through Grand Rapids, it is the eclectic "you-don't-know-what-to-expect" style that keeps me coming back for more. His mix of funk, jazz, disco, R&B and even pop rock tracks will keep you dancing and create something not often seen these days: an entire club smiling (and not because they're posing for a selfie).
This will sell out so get your ticket early and join your friends on the dance floor. Opening for DJ Grandmaster Flash is Detroit Techno Militia's DJ PSYCHO with special guest DJ J-Beez.
Be sure to come back on Sunday to the Scheme for the 2nd Indoor Artists Market.
Admission: $25.

Record Store Day: Shopping Local Saves Local Businesses (Period)

Saturday, Apr. 18, all day
Record Store Day is here again, and it is to our local independent record stores what ArtPrize is to downtown restaurants: Christmas-like cash raining from the sky…. that is, if you show up to support your record store.
Started in 2007, RSD started as a reaction to the possible closing of a much-beloved indie record store. Now celebrated each year, this annual event has captured not just the imagination of the indie music scene all around the world, but RSD has introduced a new era of music lovers to the concept of the local record store. (Remember a lot of next gen folk's first experiences with music purchases has been through big box department stores and online digital downloading of tracks.)
Record Store Day is a celebration of vinyl, and the music companies have embraced this renaissance of 33 1/3 & 45 rpm recordings with special releases only available on this day. Who doesn't love vinyl, anyway? It calls us to the art of pressing a record and demands we leave our digital collections be as we sit in front of a 12 by 12-inch piece of cardboard adorned with some of the best art the last 100-plus years has produced (and that you can easily own).
Locally you have three options, with each business offering a full day of programming celebrating music along with a chance to hang with the staff, musicians, and the fans who love them.
So if you get a chance on Saturday, wander into downtown Grand Rapids' Vertigo Music and Dodds Record Store, or head west to Grandville to visit the Corner Record Store. I can guarantee you that you will never miss Record Store Day again after you experience the beautiful chaos that ultimately is about saving these iconic shops of the small business landscape.

Admission: Free
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