Taste of Soul Sunday


February 19, 2017, 1:00 – 4:30 pm

Join us as we celebrate African American history and culture at Taste of Soul Sunday. Listen, learn, create, and eat.

This popular event is free and open to the public thanks to the support of the Grand Rapids Public Library Foundation. Parking is always free on Sunday in the library lot. Additional parking is available at the Masonic Temple (233 Fulton E). Metered spots on the street are free on Sunday as well.

Schedule of events:

1:00 pm Glenda Williams, gospel singer Level 1
1:30 pm Sound Proof, R&B, Motown, Pop, & Jazz band Ryerson Auditorium, Level 3
1:30 pm Beautifully Wrapped, headwrapping workshop Vander Veen Center for the Book,
Level 4
2:15 pm Ordinary Black Folk with Dr. Benjamin Wilson Adult Computer Training Center,
Lower Level
2:15 pm Looking Back, Facing Forward with Granville T. Woods Youth Computer Training Center,
Level 2
2:30 pm Kathy Lamar, vocalist Ryerson Auditorium, Level 3
3:00 pm Beautifully Wrapped, headwrapping workshop Vander Veen Center for the Book,
Level 4
3:30 pm Young Men 4 Christ, gospel group Ryerson Auditorium, Level 3
3:30 pm Ordinary Black Folk with Dr. Benjamin Wilson Adult Computer Training Center,
Lower Level
3:30 pm Looking Back, Facing Forward with Granville T. Woods Youth Computer Training Center,
Level 2
All day Activities for Kids Children’s Area, Level 2

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration Program- Grand Rapids, Michigan 16 January 2017

The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration Program will be held Monday, January 16, 2017, 6:30 p.m., Fountain Street Church featuring keynote address by Kevin Powell, Activist, Writer and Public Speaker.

Kevin Powell is one of the most acclaimed political, cultural, literary and hip-hop voices in America today. Kevin is a native of Jersey City, raised by a single mother in extreme poverty, but managed to study at Rutgers University in New Brunswick thanks to New Jersey’s Educational Opportunity Fund. Kevin has gone on to be the author of 12 books, including his newest title, The Education of Kevin Powell: A Boy’s Journey into Manhood. It is a critically acclaimed and brutally honest memoir about his life, including his youth. In 2018, he will publish a biography of Tupac Shakur, the late rapper and controversial American icon.

Kevin’s writings have also appeared in CNN.comEsquire, Ebony, The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, Rolling Stone, The Guardian, ESPN.com and Vibe Magazine, where he worked for many years as a senior writer, interviewing such diverse public figures as Tupac Shakur and General Colin Powell.

January 16, 2017, 6:30 p.m.


Fountain Street Church

24 Fountain St N.E. Grand Rapids, MI 49503

WMFVA is bringing in filmmaker Amy Heckerling in September…


Amy Heckerling, award-winning writer and director, is scheduled to lead the West Michigan Film Video Alliance’s 2016 Visiting Film Artist Series (VFAS) on September 9 & 10. Heckerling’s talent and contribution to the film industry has been recognized with a National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Screenplay, Writer’s Guild of America Best Screenplay Written Directly for Screen, Women in Film Crystal Awards, and the American Film Institute Franklin J. Schaffner Award.

Celebration! Cinema North is the VFAS venue partner for the event, ensuring a state-of-the-art film viewing experience for the Friday evening screening, with the workshop and luncheon held in the versatile and spacious Wave Room on Saturday afternoon.

Event schedule at a glance:

 Friday, Sept.  9               WMFVA Members $10; non-members $15        

7-9pm                               Film screening Clueless and Q&A with Amy Heckerling

9-10pm                            Reception and meet and greet with Amy Heckerling


Saturday, Sept. 10          WMFVA Members $75; non-members $85

11:30am                           Registrant sign in opens

12-1pm                             Luncheon with Amy Heckerling

1-3pm                               Workshop with Amy Heckerling “A Filmmaker’s                                             Perspective: Battle Scars and Victory Laps”

3-3:30pm                        Wrap-up social with refreshments


Space is limited. Register soon! Visit www.wmfva.org for details.

Happenings in GR…

March 31 Thursday
One Trick Pony

one trick

David Molinari with Michael Van Houten  8:00 p.m.

Equity Drinks we will be back at Billy’s.


Mayor Rosalynn Bliss will join Equity Drinks to discuss diversification of city governance and current open positions. We will also hear from the Community Police Relations Committee formed during the last Equity Drinks. Finally, we will also have an exciting opportunity for how you can shape local policy and get more involved.

Equity Drinks is a growing network for those already in equity work, those who would like to be more involved in equity work, and to introduce those who can make an impact in this work. Equity Drinks works to nurture and deepen this network by encouraging intentional interaction and creating a more powerful network by growing and involving traditional forms of community power. Those who attend will be asked to connect with others outside of their normal, daily network.

Equity Drinks is focused on thickening networks around equity – not simply diversity and inclusion. Though diversity and inclusion are vital aspects, equity encompasses a broader social justice definition:

Thursday at 17:00– 19:00

Billy’s Lounge

1437 Wealthy St SE, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49506



Celebrate the opening of UNLOADED, a traveling group exhibition that explores the historical and social issues surrounding the availability, use and impact of guns on culture and public health. UNLOADED features a variety of work by both nationally and internationally recognized artists with a diverse range of perspectives.

Enjoy small bites, a cash bar, and remarks by Heather Duffy, the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts’ Exhibitions Curator.

UNLOADED Opening Reception

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Member Preview: 6 pm, Public: 7pm

UICA Members: Free, Non-Members: $5


1 Friday
Join us for First Friday! Yolonda Yogi lavender will bring you an amazing night of live music, with PJ DA DJ and much more!

LIVE MUSIC: Yolonda “Yogi” Lavender

DJ: PJ DA DJ Sound & Entertainment

GALLERY ARTIST: Rachel Murray – Life In Pastel

“There’s something immensely meaningful about the intimacy portraiture can create. When I do my job, the viewer gets the opportunity to see someone through another person’s eyes. They see a snapshot of the subject suspended in time. That’s the kind of connection that made me want to be an artist in the first place.

Most of the works I make are realistic depictions of families and individual pets and people. My primary medium are oil paint and pastels, watercolor, charcoal and pencil. Since each has its own tone and warmth, the choice of medium is usually as simple as knowing the subject. I hope you enjoy my work and see something that connects with you.”


> FOOD & BEVERAGES: Cash bar with drink specials!

LINC Gallery from 6-11 pm on April 1

Madison and Hall Street in Grand Rapids, MI

·        new 002 John Shea at JW Marriott, 6-10 pm

·         Robin Connell at The Melting Pot, Beltline & Knapp, 6 – 9 pm

·         Randy Marsh & Marshland Express with Steve Talaga, Warren Jones, & Caleb Elzinga at

Waldron Public House (formerly Mc Fadden’s), 6-8 pm


In partnership with ArtPrize and Second Ave Arts, NYC artist Tyler Loftis presents a two-night juried event, designed to forge artist-collector relationships that inform the geographically diverse, emerging markets of the contemporary art world. 50 artists from around the globe from emerging to famous.

6-9 p            gallery reception

9-midnight     DJ AJ Paschka and drinks

The three-day event, ‘Collectors Show / SPRING’, will celebrate the artwork of fifty artists including thirty past ArtPrize artists, with 20% of proceeds directly supporting arts education programming at ArtPrize 2016.


41 Sheldon Blvd SE, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49503

2 Saturday
Faux Grass

One Trick Pony

Grill & Taproom

136 E. Fulton

Grand Rapids, MI

616-235-PONY (7669)

All One Trick Pony shows run from 8:00 to 11:00 pm. Reservations are accepted. (NO COVER)


An annual celebration of women will be back for its fifth year on Saturday at various locations throughout Grand Rapids.  Ladyfest GR is a daylong festival that consists of workshops and performances. It runs from noon until midnight. Though the workshops are free, live performances cost $10. The headlining acts are TEEN, Moving Panoramas and Yolonda Lavender & DC.

The workshops include discussions of the transgender community, race in feminism and much more. Follow this link for a schedule. All proceeds from the event benefit Girls Rock! Grand Rapids, a week long summer program that empowers girls through music.



THE CRANE WIVES wsg Olivia Mainville & The Aquatic Troupe

The Crane Wives are a home grown indie-folk outfit from Grand Rapids, Michigan. They utilize three-part vocal harmonies, eclectic instrumentation, and a passion for song-craft to create organic music that is both accessible and innovative. Each live show features contagious energy as well as original music that ranges from whisper quiet ballads to danceable grooves.

April 2nd 2016

9:30 pm     $6    21+ only

Founders Brewing Company


235 Grandville Ave. SW

Grand Rapids, MI 49503

·         John Shea at Noto’s, 7-10 pm

·         Entourage at Garden Court Lounge at Amway Grand, 7-11 pm

3 Sunday
GR Jazz Orchestra at Founder’s, 5:30 – 7:30 pm
Weekly Jazz jam

Sunday Jazz at EZ

Speak EZ

600 Monroe Ave NW

Grand Rapids, Michigan 49503

7:00– 10:00 p.m

Randy Marsh’s Sunday Night Jazz Hang at The Speak EZ Lounge, 600 Monroe Avenue N.W., Grand Rapids..  Student musicians under 21 with a parent or legal guardian will have a chance to play with Marsh from 7 to 9; the host trio plays from 9 p.m. – 10 p.m. www.speakezlounge.com

An Evening With Neil deGrasse Tyson

An Evening With Neil deGrasse Tyson

New York City native Neil deGrasse Tyson is host of StarTalk Radio and TV show along with FOX’s Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey. He is a New York Times bestselling author of 10 books and is also a frequent guest on The Daily Show. President Bush appointed Tyson in 2001 and 2004 to serve on commissions studying the future of the U.S. aerospace industry and the implementation of the U.S. space exploration policy, respectively. Tyson is also the recipient of 18 honorary doctorates and the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal, the highest award given by NASA to non-government citizens.

Join Dr. Tyson for an evening of engaging conversation on science, exploration and the world as we know it!  Tickets are on sale now at the DeVos Place and Van Andel Arena box offices, Ticketmaster ticket centers, charge by phone at 1-800-745-3000 and online at Ticketmaster.com.

Mon, Mar 21, 2016

7:30 PM


DeVos Performance Hall
303 Monroe Ave. NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Women of Color in the Workplace: Building a Career

Women of Color in the Workplace: Building a Career

7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

FEBRUARY 18, 2016

This interactive panel discussion will feature women of color from our community, with a range of experiences and voices. Building on our previous panel last August, these women will share their stories and talk about what it means to be a woman of color in the workplace. What steps can you take to build a strong foundation for your career? How do you find and work with a mentor? Is there anything special to consider when interviewing for positions? How do you face barriers or overcome biases? How can our community support women of color? What does it take to lead fearlessly? This open and honest discussion will foster dialogue and bring women (and men) together.

Panalists include:

  • Sonia Dalmia, Economics Professor, GVSU
  •  Mary Hartfield, Program Manager, GROW
  •   Mindy Ysasi, Executive Director, The SOURCE
  •   Jeanessa Fenderson, Branch Manager, Grand Rapids Public Library (moderator)


Main Library

111 Library Street NE | 49503