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This Week's Events

Record Store Day: Save The Locals First

Saturday, April 19, see store links for exact times
Each year everyone who shows up at Record Store Day is prepared for two sure things. One is that, in a nod to the classic song by the Rolling Stones, sometimes we get what we want, and other times we get what we need. Record Store Day can break your heart.

It's not the fault of your local record stores at all. They place a bid on what they think their customers will want and then hope, out of the more than 400 new vinyl titles slated to be released this year, that the great vinyl genie in some far off mythical village called Recordland will deliver what they want to their bins. Seriously, after each year, I have that little voice over my shoulder say, "Never again."

But you know what? Even with all the negative energy that the industry places on the tiny vinyl presses racing to fill the orders to the local shops where you will discover them, it is still one of the most amazing shopping experiences you will ever encounter as each of our three record shops will feature their own brand of programming and an amazing inventory of LPs and other offers for all of us to enjoy.

So if crowds are not your scene, avoid the early first-hour rush to the bins to discover what was delivered. Saunter in later in the day to hear some live music, enjoy some food with some new friends and, most of all, spend a little cash on your local record store that is somehow, for all the changes in the music delivery system, finding a way to survive.

(Hint: You are the reason they live or die…so get out here and visit them on Record Store Day. You can thank me later when your bruises heal.)

Participating Record Store Day venues are:

Corner Record Store, Grandville, 11 a.m. - 8 p.m.

Dodd's Records, Grand Rapids, 2 - 8 p.m.

Vertigo Music, Grand Rapids, 11 a.m. - 8 p.m.

Admission: Free

Stephen Schwartz: All Together Now

Friday - Saturday, Apr. 18 - 19, 7 p.m. doors, 7:30 p.m. curtain
There is probably no other artist in the history of musical theatre who can look out on his book of music and witness as many multi-generational fans singing its tunes. And with all due respect to another Stephen (Sondheim, my personal favorite), the music of this particular Stephen (Schwartz) has bridged many worlds in his lifetime and Circle Theatre of Grand Rapids will present a two-day showcase to his legacy in song on stage at the Aquinas College Performing Arts Center.

This new, staged repertoire of songs, Circle Celebrates: The Music of Stephen Schwartz, under the musical direction of Scott Patrick Bell with lighting designer Catherine Marlett Dreher and sound designer Sam Johnson, will dive in to a songbook rich with classic numbers from Children of Eden, Godspell, Pippin, and Working and from movies like Enchanted and The Prince of Egypt.

And how could I forget the biggest one that is celebrating 10 years on Broadway in 2014 -- Wicked. This song is the reason some may either run from the karaoke room or head for the rafters on a broom when they hear someone on stage start the opening lines from Defying Gravity's first shout: "I hope you're happy, I hope you're happy too."

Nosh a bit before the show on wonderful hors d'oeuvres and cocktails compliments of West Michigan Caterer before settling in your seat to be entertained by vocalists Scott Patrick Bell, Maddie Blyvis, Kyle Burton Black, Jenny Fischer, Stephen Grey, Charles Hutchins, Molly Jones, Kyle Jurassic, RuthAnn Molenaar, Jeremiah Postma and Noddea Skidmore.

Admission: $35 general public/ $30 season ticket holders / $30 for groups of 10 or more.

Creative Many: ArtServ Michigan's Return

It has been a few months since ArtServ was in our area but each time they come, they always bring a solid set of speakers. Our creative community can count on them to present on a timely topic as well as leave us with the necessary tools to ensure the growth and prosperity as our community moves forward.

This single afternoon Protecting Your Practice session will feature a discussion with a panel of Michigan creative leaders who will be addressing critical items like taxes and financial management (good timing for next year's IRS 4/15/15 date), legal protections for artists (including the use of contracts within negotiation), and the topic of entity formation.

The focus of this session will bring a new perspective to the event, with a group of speakers who understand the startup culture of our creative community.

Speaking this day will be Christy Ennis-Kloote of Visual Hero – a group dedicated to being not just designers but "opportunity catalysts." They were featured in Rapid Growth as well.

Also joining Ennis-Kloote on stage is Ric Edinberg of Insitum – a firm that believes in the power to harness research to spur innovation within the environments where we work. Insitum helps global companies, startups, and the public sector develop insightful new ways of understanding the systems involving people.

Finally, Varnum Law's Matt Bower, a business and corporate attorney in Detroit, will address the topic of intellectual property law, specifically copyright, publishing and licensing. Bower was named a Rising Star by Michigan Super Lawyers in 2012.

The event is free but you are asked to pre-register.

Dining Out for Life: Spend Some Good Tonight

Thursday, Apr. 24, Evening Dinner
Each year the Red Project of Grand Rapids joins the international group Dining Out for Life – a group committed to helping raise awareness as well as funds to combat the spread of AIDS in our world and local community.

Red Project representatives will be out en force this evening as hosts at participating restaurants. When you dine out on this evening at any one of the restaurants listed below, the eatery will donate 25% or more of your bill to support Red Project's mission here in our city.

The list of restaurants includes:
The Bistro
Courtyard Marriott
The Green Well Gastro Pub
Connie's Cakes
Love's Ice Cream
Harmony Brewing Company
Brewery Vivant
Propaganda Doughnuts
Brick Road Pizza Co.
Grand Rapids Brewing Company
Stella's Lounge
Olive's Restaurant and Bar - East Grand Rapids
McFadden's Grand Rapids
Bartertown Diner
The Gilmore Collection's Gilly's
Blue Water Grill
Mangiamo!: Let's Eat
Red Jet Cafe
Bostwick Lake Inn
Notos Old World Italian Dining
Amore Trattoria Italiana
Donkey - Taqueria
The Cheshire Grill
Cygnus 27
J. Gardellas Tavern
The Melting Pot - Grand Rapids
Wealthy Street Bakery
Hall Street Bakery
San Chez Bistro
Brandywine Restaurants

This event is made possible through the generous donations of money and talent from The Pyramid Scheme, Mercy Health, Jeffrey Richard Salon, and the Douglas J Aveda Institute Grand Rapids.
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