Features

Longform Susan Salhaney at Judson Family Center in Warren.

Integrating behavioral health into pediatric care holds longterm benefits

Offering behavioral health care at the pediatrician’s office can not only cut costs but also create healthier, happier communities in the future. 

Feature Story vaccine

Vaccine hesitancy and the spread of information: How Michigan can prevent disease outbreaks

In March of 2019, there was an outbreak of 44 measles cases, 40 of which centralized in one Oakland county community. Outbreaks like these represent a growing trend and threat public safety: vaccine hesitancy. Here's what Michiganders can do to prevent the spread of communicable diseases.

Feature Story podcast

UIX: From spooky tales to starving artists, these local podcasters are making noise

Whether you are interested in the unexplained things that go bump in the night, or interviews with the funniest people in West Michigan, a number of locally produced podcasts have the subjects covered. Here are a few you should be listening to.

Feature Story Community Rebuilders

Community Rebuilders solidifies strategies to fight homelessness with last year's $5 million grant

A Grand Rapids-based nonprofit is working to fundamentally make homelessness brief and rare — for veterans and anyone else experiencing housing insecurity. A $5 million grant it received last year from the founder of Amazon has boosted that worthy goal.

Feature Story Hilary Miller

Secret Suppers, personal chefs, and vegan hot spots: GR’s nontraditional dining takes form

GR's local dining scene is embracing food pop-ups, intentional dining in nontraditional settings, and monthly dinner series inviting people to enjoy meals far from the normal restaurant place setting.

Feature Story Michigan Department of Education partnership agreement liaison Lisa Francisco; Battle Creek Public Schools superintendent Kim Carter; and Battle Creek Community Foundation president and CEO Brenda Hunt at a Bearcat Meeting.

Battle Creek meetings bring schools, health providers, law enforcement together to help kids thrive

Numerous Battle Creek-area organizations convene monthly with the shared goal of helping improve kids’ academic performance and their physical and mental health. 

Feature Story Stefan Shwartz

RapidChat: Stefan Schwartz on GR's growing music scene

As a volunteer for WYCE radio, freelance writer for Local Spins, former tour manager, and frontman for GR's premier funk band — Melophobix — it's safe to say that Stefan Schwartz has an extensive resume when it comes to his experience within the GR music scene.

Feature Story GROW group

Building connections and communities: The first 30 years at GROW and hopes for what’s next

Officially launched in 1989, Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women, better known as GROW, has impacted the lives of business owners, volunteers, staff, and community members over the past 30 years. Three individuals share their stories of how GROW has affected their lives and what they hope to see from the organization as it moves forward.

Longform Kathy McNinch with a child at the Kalamazoo Drop-In Child Care Center.

Lack of child care can be a barrier to Michigan parents' health care. Here's how we can do better.

Child care costs add yet another item to the list of major hardships for Michigan’s vulnerable families. But expansion and integration of childcare services – and state policy changes – could make a difference.

Feature Story Mayor Kimberly Simms

Insights on the City of Friendly People: A candid conversation with Mayor Sims

The City of Friendly People was once a bustling manufacturing community. Now home to hundreds of various types of businesses, it is undergoing a positive transformation. Lifelong resident, business owner, and Mayor Kimberley D. Sims shares her optimism about the vast potential within her community. 

Feature Story Mayor Kimberly Simms

Percepciones de una ciudad de gente amigable: una conversación sincera con la alcalde Sims

Esta “Ciudad de la Gente Amigable” fue una vez una bulliciosa comunidad manufacturera. Ahora es el hogar de cientos de diversos tipos de negocios, y está experimentando una transformación positiva. Residente de toda la vida, propietaria de un negocio y Alcalde Kimberley D. Sims, comparte su optimismo sobre el vasto potencial dentro de su comunidad.

Feature Story Paul Marantette

RapidChat: Paul Marantette on the role of the realtor in GR's competitive housing market

After spending 20 years within hospitality industry, Paul Marantette dove head first into real estate back in 2017. "Buying or selling a home is a very emotional time for people. There can be a lot of unforeseen situations that require patience, listening, and quick-thinking problem resolution," says Marantette. "I feel my years in the other “industry” primed me for dealing with these situations calmly and effectively."  

Feature Story Citizen Labs

UIX: Citizen Labs’ volunteer data scientists are making a difference with maps

If a picture is worth a thousand words, Citizen Labs' work is a photo album, one that's connecting open-sourced data points from regional nonprofits and government to informative and interactive web-based dashboards, and keeping residents throughout the state informed of the actions their government is taking.


Feature Story WRC-9783

Mass incarceration and women: How two Grand Rapids programs help those returning overcome barriers

Mass incarceration is an epidemic eating away at our communities, and women face unique barriers when reentering society. Meet two nonprofits working to support these women with employment, housing, childcare, and one-on-one mentorship.

Feature Story Central District Cyclery

The Grand Rapids neighborhood using public murals as a catalyst for community art conversations

In the Creston neighborhood, local artists have taken on art accessibility as their personal mission in the form of colorful, expansive outdoor murals, hoping to beautify their outdoor spaces while inviting neighbors and visitors into a moment of artistic exploration.

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Growth & Innovation

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And Kingfisher makes three: That Early Bird proprietors settle in at the center of the universe


KCAD and Ivy Tech collaborate to provide more students opportunities


Who you gonna call? Dauntless Paranormal Investigations


Brain science and business coaching: Leslie Fiorenzo helps professionals make (neural) connections


Development

And Kingfisher makes three: That Early Bird proprietors settle in at the center of the universe


KCAD and Ivy Tech collaborate to provide more students opportunities


Who you gonna call? Dauntless Paranormal Investigations


Big names Do More Good at national nonprofit branding conference


Ambiance GR Kitchen & Lounge to put unique spin on dining and entertainment


Kids, pets, and pollinators play it safe at Grand Rapids’ organic parks


Innovation

Brain science and business coaching: Leslie Fiorenzo helps professionals make (neural) connections


SpringGR open house celebrated expansion and its innovative services for area entrepreneurs


Pine Rest/Spectrum Health teletherapy options expand mental health care to more Michigan residents


Plaster Creek Park “Sneak Peek”: Key City collaborations connect children to nature


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Featured Focus

Arts & CultureRead More

From small pop-up galleries to large cultural institutions to national attention-grabbing events like ArtPrize, Grand Rapids' arts and culture scene has a diverse mix of offerings that will appeal to people of all stripes.

Stories for Arts & Culture

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Featured Place

West FultonRead More

The West Fulton district, often referred to as the 'U to the Zoo,' runs along its namesake street from Grand Valley State University's booming downtown campus on the east to historic John Ball Park and Zoo on the west.

 

In between is a mix of popular locally owned businesses – such

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