photo by John Eisenschenk (JohnE777) via flickr
Though Grand Rapids’ downtown is often bustling, nature is never far away: green havens can be found throughout the city and all along the Grand River corridor. More than two dozen natural environs can be found within 10-minutes of Rosa Parks Circle in downtown Grand Rapids. Several are within easy walking distance, and the rest are close enough to visit on your lunch break or during a lull in your conference schedule or trip itinerary!
Here’s a look at some of Grand Rapid’s best natural settings, all just a short trip from the city center:
Immediately downtown, amid the bustle, consider the Grand River Edges Trail, a pleasant walk along the Grand River. A popular stroll is from Fulton St. north to the Sixth St. Bridge, then cross the river and return along the west bank. Bring binoculars: spring is a great time to see birds in Kent County.
The route passes by Sixth Street Bridge Park and Canal Park, both small, but peaceful riverside areas where nature-lovers can enjoy a view of the Grand River. Fish Ladder Park, across the river and one block south, is a popular destination for watching spring steelhead and fall salmon runs. Ten or so minutes further downstream is the tranquil, grassy knoll overlooking the river at Ah-Nab-Awen Park, a fine place to enjoy a snack. [read more…]
Grand Rapids is known for an abundance of ART. ArtPrize, the radically open art competition every fall, has put our museums on the map, but other events like Festival of the Arts have generated a year-long celebration of local and distance artists and their work. This year, the tradition of impressive artists and their contributions continues as Grand Rapids hosts the first International DisArt Festival in Michigan from April 10th-April 25th.
If you haven’t heard of DisArt, it’s important to understand the mission of those who are dedicated to the cause and events surrounding the festival. [read more…]
Photo courtesy of West Michigan Whitecaps
Baseball comes back to West Michigan with the West Michigan Whitecaps Opening Day Thursday April 9 at Fifth Third Ballpark against the Dayton Dragons.
The first 1,000 fans into the park will receive mittens compliments of Fifth Third Bank. If you miss the mittens, make sure you stick around for the first Family Fare Fireworks show of the season post-game. [read more…]
On April 24th at 7:30 pm an event is taking place at the Van Andel Arena that you absolutely don’t want to miss. That night you can immerse yourself in an experience called LiveArts, an event unlike any other, for which the Grand Rapids Symphony has teamed up with the Symphony Chorus, Grand Rapids Symphony Youth Chorus, Grand Rapids Youth Symphony and Classical Orchestra, Grand Rapids Ballet, Opera Grand Rapids, and Broadway Grand Rapids to bring you an unforgettable production about the vital role arts plays in our lives.
LiveArts is one of several events this season that celebrates both the Grand Rapids Symphony’s 85th season and the culmination of David Lockington’s tenure as Music Director of the symphony, says Roger Nelson, Vice President and COO for the Symphony.
photo courtesy of Grand Rapids Symphony
“We wanted to do something different for our 85th anniversary,” explains Lockington. He credits Nelson with conceiving of the idea of producing a collaborative event on this scale that would advocate for the arts in Grand Rapids. “We wanted to show the community the importance of these really fabulous performing groups and create a themed program focused on the creativity of young people.” [read more…]
Great collaborations aren’t born, they are developed. And there are few places where that is more evident than through the collaborations occurring right now between Grand Rapids and the art community.
One “big” opportunity available to artists with ties to Grand Rapids is the Art Outdoor campaign sponsored by Experience Grand Rapids.
Janet Korn, senior vice president of Experience Grand Rapids, said the idea for Art Outdoor came after reading an article in the New York Times Style Magazine where artists used billboards as a medium to share their art.
“We are always looking for new and distinctive ways to tell others about Grand Rapids,” said Korn. “Art Outdoor is the perfect way to celebrate local artists while also promoting Grand Rapids as a destination for art enthusiasts.”
A selection committee will choose five entries to display on billboards in and around Grand Rapids as well as on I-75 in Oakland County. Any artist over the age of 18 with ties to Grand Rapids is welcome to enter this free campaign with their “My Grand Rapids” work. The deadline for entries is March 15, 2015. [read more…]
Mark your calendar for Gilda’s Club of Grand Rapids’ fifth annual LaughFest, which takes place from March 5 – 15, 2015. While LaughFest conjures images of funny men and women doing stand-up and improv comedy, the festival also includes film, authors, stage and musical acts, workshops, community showcases, family friendly events, and much, much more. There really is something for everyone at this one-of-a-kind 10-day festival that celebrates “laughter for the health of it” and supports the free cancer and grief programming offered by Gilda’s Club of Grand Rapids.
We caught up with Wendy Wigger, President of Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids, to give you the inside scoop on what you can expect at this year’s LaughFest. [read more…]