Chiaroscuro International Film Series Returns on January 14 at UICA

The Chiaroscuro International Film Series announces its 12th season with five celebrated films from around the world. The theme for this year’s award-winning roster of films is “Borders.” Using a variety of narrative, cinematic and thematic devices, each film explores the idea of borders – geographical, interpersonal, metaphorical, or otherwise. The programs begin at 2:00pm on scheduled Sundays January through March and include the feature presentation, a panel discussion, and a reception with refreshments. All programs are free and open to the public.

The 2018 films and their screening dates include:

January 14

Mediterranea (Carpignano, 2015) Italy/France/USA/Germany/Qatar

Two men make the dangerous journey from Burkina Faso in Africa to Italy for a better life, only to face hostility and violence once they arrive at their destination in this revealing look at the life-and-death struggle of refugees.

 January 28

Force Majeure (Östlund 2014) Sweden/France/Norway                           

Original Title: Turist

A Swedish family vacationing in the French Alps is confronted with a devastating avalanche. In more ways than one, the family’s world is shaken to its core.

February 11

House Without Roof  (Yusef, 2016) Germany/Iraq/Qatar                             

Original Title: Haus Ohne Dach

A difficult journey to the homeland of three siblings who were born in the Kurdish area of Iraq and subsequently raised in Germany. They want to fulfill their mother’s dying wish to bury her in her home village beside her husband, who was killed in the war under the Saddam Hussein regime.


February 25

Two Days, One Night (Dardenne, 2014) Belgium/France/Italy                    

Original Title: Deux Jours, Une Nuit

A factory worker discovers that her workmates have opted for a EUR1,000 bonus in exchange for her dismissal. She has only a weekend to convince her colleagues to give up their bonuses in order to keep her job. Starring Marion Cotillard.

March 11

Hunt for the Wilderpeople (Waititi, 2016) New Zealand

A charmingly offbeat comedy about a rebellious kid and his foster uncle who are targets of a manhunt through the wild New Zealand bush country. Starring Sam Neill.

The panel discussion is organized with consideration of each film selected. Two experts are invited to sit on the panel, one is knowledgeable in film studies and the other deeply connected to the culture represented in the film. Feedback and questions from audience members is greatly encouraged.

The reception that follows the film viewing and panel discussion completes the afternoon immersion in world culture by offering complimentary food and drink and a comfortable space to gather outside the theater. This allows participants a space to mingle with others and build upon the ideas presented earlier in the program, encouraging further dialogue and cultural exchange in a friendly, casual setting.

Everyone is welcome to enjoy Sunday afternoons of film, food, and cultural exchange. The series offers an engaging way to experience the world without leaving town. All films are shown in the state-of-the-art theater at the UICA in downtown Grand Rapids, 2 West Fulton.  A Parking garage is available and the entrance is off Commerce Street.

About the Chiaroscuro International Film Series

The Chiaroscuro International Film Series is a non-profit cultural and educational organization fostering a deeper understanding of world cultures through the medium of film. Chiaroscuro enriches the West Michigan cultural landscape by presenting films in a setting that encourages discussion and enjoyment through a shared social experience. Serving the greater Grand Rapids community, Chiaroscuro provides a forum for award-winning cinema and support of local emerging filmmakers.




August 2017 Library Events! Grand Rapids, Michigan


Harlem Hellfighters: A Jazz Retrospective
Wednesday, August 16, 2017, 6:30 pm
Main Library –

111 Library St NE

Grand Rapids, MI 49503

The great intellectual W.E.B. Du Bois implored African Americans to close ranks and join the fight to end the Great War. Although Black troops had to fight in segregated units in World War I, Du Bois understood that, historically, Black participation in the military produced advancements in civil rights. He noted that Black men would fight on two fronts, abroad in the war and back home for their civil rights. Join GVSU African American Studies Professor Louis Moore in a discussion about the Harlem Hellfighters. Following his presentation, the Steve Somers and Friends jazz band will perform while photos and rare film footage of the Hellfighters screens in the background.

Raising Strong Black Women Panel Discussion
Thursday, August 17, 2017, 7:00 pm
Main Library –

111 Library St NE

Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Black women are surrounded by stereotypes about their hair, their education, and their attitudes. Join us for a community discussion about raising the next generation of Black women. Topics will include counteracting negative stereotypes, empowerment, bullying, and the balance of protecting our daughters without sheltering them too much. Community leaders Nadia Brigham, Rebecca Diffin, Kristian Grant, and Darlene O’Neil will lead the discussion and share their insights and wisdom.

Art in Bloom-March 24 – 26, 2017

Art in Bloom
March 24, 2017 – March 26, 2017
Art in Bloom is a bi-annual, one-weekend-only exhibition that celebrates the combined beauty of art and floral design. Come see the first signs of spring at the Museum while touring the galleries and enjoying extravagant floral sculptures. Our region’s most talented floral designers will create thought provoking and elegantly designed arrangements inspired by works from the Museum’s collection. These floral sculptures emphasize, challenge, and build upon elements and concepts within the original work of art, creating an extraordinary dialogue between the two pieces. Visitors will be invited to select the People’s Choice Award Winner by casting a vote for their favorite floral sculpture. This three-day exhibition is a must-see!Friday, March 24, 2017
6:00 – 9:00 pm
Art in Bloom floral design on view and People’s Choice Award voting opens
Third Floor Galleries | Free with admission
6:00 pm Opening Reception
Auditorium | Free for members, general public welcome with price of admission | Cash bar and light hors d’oeuvres
7:00 pm Juried Winner Announcement
7:30 pm Creativity Uncorked: An adult studio and after-hours gallery experience.
Saturday, March 25, 2017
10:00 am – 5:00 pm Galleries open and People’s Choice Award Voting Continues
Third Floor Galleries | Free with admission
11:00 am – 12:00 pm Art in Bloom Tour with Ron Platt and Alice Waterous AIFD, CF, CFD, PFCI
Meet in the lobby | Free for members, general public welcome with price of admission
12:00 -1:00 pm Little Member Morning
Meet in Lobby
1:00 pm Drop-in Studio
Garden Room & Betz Studio | Free with admission
Sunday, March 26, 2017
12:00 pm – 5:00 pm Galleries open and People’s Choice Award Voting Continues
Voting closes at 1:30 pm | Third Floor Galleries | Free with admission
2:00 pm People’s Choice Award Announced before Sunday Classical Concert
2:00 pm Sunday Classical Concert Series: Music in Bloom
Featuring Jennifer Walvoord (violin), Andrew Le (piano), Leslie VanBecker (viola), and Alicia ESundayClassical_mark-300x300ppinga (cello)
Lobby | Free with admission
Grand Rapids Art Museum, 101 Monroe Center St NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

“On Healing Black Girl Pain”

February 22, 2017
“On Healing Black Girl Pain”
Consuela Ward, Ed. D.
Consuela Ward, Ed. D.Consuela Ward, Ed. D.
Educator, author, trainer and coach on diversity and inclusion topics
Dr. Consuela Ward is the author of “On Healing Black Girl Pain” and has more than 20 years of experience as an educator, speaker, facilitator, consultant, trainer and coach on diversity and inclusion topics. She is the founder and president of the Montage Group LLC, a diversity and inclusion consulting firm. Ward has created opportunities for complicated conversations around diversity, inclusion, equity and privilege. She is passionate about helping others negotiate the diverse world in which we live and committed to changing the world — one conversation at a time.
The Diversity Lecture Series is intended to give insight and understanding of multicultural issues to the West Michigan Community. It is designed to help audiences consider perspectives other than their own, encouraging civil debate, broadening the basis for critical thought and promoting cultural understanding.
All lectures are free and open to all.
Lectures begin at 7 p.m. at Fountain Street Church, 24 Fountain St. NE in Grand Rapids.
ASL interpreted
Book signings follow authors’ lectures
For more information, call 616-234-3390

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, 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

Speak Up GR: Fake News in the Headlines

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Americans have been left confused about basic facts of current events due to fake news stories being widely shared. What are some best practices people can use while reading articles online? Should it be a platform’s responsibility to help prevent the spread of fake news? How do we instill critical thinking skills in the average American adult population? In this interactive discussion, panelists will examine how false news stories spread and why people believe them.

Panelists include Grand Rapids Business Journal’s staff reporter Pat Evans, Grand Valley State University educators Eric Harvey and Len O’Kelly, Bridge Magazine’s Ted Roelofs, and GRIID’s Jeff Smith. The Grand Rapids Public Library’s Business Librarian, Steven Assarian, will moderate.


18 January 2017


Grand Rapids Public Library

Main Library – 111 Library St NE, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49503

Taste of Soul Sunday 2017

Taste of Soul

19 February 2017  at 1:00 pm –4:30 pm

Celebrate African American heritage and culture during Taste of Soul Sunday. Sample African American music, literature, history and food.

Glenda Williams
Young Men 4 Christ (YM4C)
Vocalist Kathy Lamar
Sound Proof Band

Ordinary Black Folks
Looking Back, Facing Forward: African American Inventors in Focus

Beautifully Wrapped
Crafts for Kids

Free food samples from:
Big Ed’s BBQ
Gursha Ethiopian Restaurant
Daddy Pete’s BBQ
Malamiah Juice Bar

Free and open to the public. Visit for more details.

Grand Rapids Public Library
Main Library – 111 Library St NE, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49503

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