Longform Dwayne Cole at Ruth Ellis Center.

Ruth Ellis Center helps LGBTQ youth feel "celebrated" through integrated primary and behavioral care

The Ruth Ellis Center Health and Wellness Center, an integrative health clinic opened in 2017, provides a wide range of services for the young people it serves.

Feature Story WMSC

Why sports tourism could be the next big economic engine of Kent County

As Grand Rapids continues to grow and invest in key infrastructure, the region attracts global-caliber sporting events, making it a new hotspot for sports tourism.

Feature Story A confection from Mokya.

Shop Local: A Rapid Growth holiday gift guide

For those of us that have yet to check off everything on our holiday shopping list, there are plenty of local options to feed your desire for gifts friendly to the local economy.

Feature Story Alex Romero

RapidChat: Alex Romero on Taking Chances

Back in 2017 Alex Romero took a leap of faith by creating a role for himself within Carbon Stories that wasn't available. Fast forward to the present — this young entrepreneur not only holds the title of Project Manager at Carbon Stories, but he has started his own lifestyle brand appropriately dubbed, Take Chances Lifestyle.

Feature Story Ana Jose, Marielena and Salvia Cano, and Tommy selfie

G-Sync: Marielena and Salvia Cano’s growing restaurant empire began in a neighborhood garage.

For folks seeking an eatery where a smile is served with every amazing dish, I cannot say enough wonderful things about  Marielena and Salvia Cano's restaurants, whose menu items are amazing and the delicious result of their taking very creative first steps in a garage that launched not just one, but two distinct restaurants in our community. 

Feature Story Mary Alice Williams

RapidChat: Political activist Mary Alice Williams on gender equity and "fighting the good fight"

When it came to inequities between genders, "Something didn’t add up for me by the time I was a teenager," Gender Equity Advocate and Political Activist Mary Alice Williams proclaims. While over the years she has noticed gradual progress is being made in some areas, Mary strongly encourages young women to "leave the ladder down," so others know they too can climb.

Feature Story Samaritas

A new project and a national trend: The growing need for affordable housing for seniors

To meet the growing need of senior affordable housing in Michigan, Samaritas broke ground on a new affordable senior living facility: the St. Joseph Seminary Affordable Living project in Garfield Park.

Feature Story Dr. Kennedy Barrington

Rooted in structure and solid work ethics: Local Women veterans promote change in business

As the number of veteran women-owned businesses increase, four West Michigan women veterans share their experiences, challenges, and what the community can do to improve the lives of veteran women entrepreneurs.

Feature Story Dr. Kennedy Barrington

Las mujeres veteranas locales promueven el cambio en los negocios

El numero de negocios de mujeres veteranas ha aumentado, cuatro de ellas del Oeste de Michigan comparten sus experiencias, desafíos y lo que la comunidad puede hacer para mejorar la vida de las mujeres empresarias veteranas.

Feature Story This green roof is an example of a green stormwater infrastructure at corporate headquarters of Johnson Controls, Inc. in Glendale, Wisconsin.

New approaches to large-scale green stormwater infrastructure investment build climate resilience

Here's how large-scale investment in green infrastructure, made possible with community public-private partnerships, are helping cities cope with the effects of climate change.

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.

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Growth & Innovation


St. James Apartments find a place in the sun

Activating Heartside: Downtown organizations implement new solutions to revitalize S. Division Ave.

Malamiah Juice Bar moving to Studio Park

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


St. James Apartments find a place in the sun

Malamiah Juice Bar moving to Studio Park

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

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West Michigan Blues Society’s Holiday Party: Blues on stage, happiness at every table

Sunday, Dec. 8, 1:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Billy’s Lounge, 1437 Wealthy St. SE
More Info

Tribute Show: Party like it's 1999!

Saturday, Dec. 7, 7:00 p.m. (doors)
The Pyramid Scheme, 68 Commerce SE
More Info

Eastown Holiday Tree Lighting Party: A tiny creative act builds community within a city neighborhood

Thursday, Dec. 5, 6:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Harmony Brewing Company, 1551 Lake Dr. SE
More Info

Vertigo Music Takeover Jam: A beloved local record store hits the neighborhood pub

Wednesday, Nov. 27, 9:00 p.m. - 2 a.m.
Rocky’s Bar and Grill, 633 Ottawa Ave. NW
More Info
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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.

Featured Place

John Ball ParkRead 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