Grand Rapids

Arts & Culture
11:08 am
Sat October 6, 2012

Armed with a sock, a pencil, and an eraser, Adonna Khare wins 2012 ArtPrize (VIDEO)

'Elephants' by Adonna Khare - 2012 ArtPrize winner.
ArtPrize

Adonna Khare won the big $200,000 prize for the 2012 ArtPrize competition in Grand Rapids for her pencil drawing 'Elephants.'

From her ArtPrize profile page:

Raised in a small town in Iowa, I've been drawing my family and animals since I was three. I create using the pencil, the eraser and a sock as my tools. The drawings are not pre-planned rather they evolve through my experiences with people and the absurdities of life.

Michigan Radio's Lindsey Smith reported on the announcement last night.

Here's a video of her installing her entry at the Grand Rapids Art Museum:

Arts & Culture
12:11 am
Sat October 6, 2012

California art teacher and Detroit duo win top awards in ArtPrize 2012

ArtPrize 2012 winner Adonna Khare does live TV interviews following her win Friday night in Grand Rapids.
Lindsey Smith Michigan Radio
  • Popular vote winner Adonna Khare speaks to reporters after her win in Grand Rapids Friday night for her piece, Elephants.
  • Detroit artists Gina Reichert and Mitch Cope take questions from the media following thier win Friday night for their 3-D piece, Displacement. Kendall College of Art and Design President David Rosen can also be heard.

A part-time art teacher from Burbank, California won ArtPrize in Grand Rapids Friday night.

This was the first time Adonna Khare entered the art competition.

“I’m beyond grateful. I’m excited and completely surprised. But words cannot describe how happy I’m feeling right now,” Khare said.

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Arts & Culture
5:18 pm
Fri October 5, 2012

Tonight's the night! ArtPrize winners to be announced

Some 15,000 lanterns were set off for "Lights in Night"
artprize.org

Start practicing your drum rolls, people. 

It's ArtPrize's big night, with some $560,ooo ready to be handed out to the winners in downtown Grand Rapids this evening.  

With voting closed as of midnight today, let's go over the rules one last time: the public votes for one set of winners, and a jury selects their own favorites. Organizers are hoping there'll be some overlap, as they're trying to keep the more avant-garde artists involved in ArtPrize, and not just the big crowd-pleasers. 

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Arts & Culture
4:55 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

Loving, loathing and obsession? Must be ArtPrize again (with VIDEO)

A young art fan scopes out "Mr. Weekend," a piece by Mike Simi.
Doug Coombe

It's opening night for ArtPrize! The Musical.

“Greetings! I am your humble narrator,” booms a baritone straight out of The Lion King. “My friends, I know it’s hard to recall, but once there was a day with no ArtPrize!”

Just for a moment, let’s reflect: how many other things do you know that didn’t exist four years ago, but have now given locals enough to love and hate and just generally send up that they’ve got enough material for a one-hour twenty-minute original musical?

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Culture
4:49 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

Grand Rapids’ oldest neighborhood listed in top ten national “Great Neighborhoods”

Homes in Grand Rapids' Heritage Hill neighborhood date back to the 1840s.
Lindsey Smith Michigan Radio

A national planning organization has named Grand Rapids' oldest neighborhood as one of the top ten in the United States.


Homes in the Heritage Hill neighborhood were built mostly in the late 1800s. The homes are carefully preserved, making the Grand Rapids neighborhood one of the largest historic districts in the United States.

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Arts & Culture
10:31 am
Tue October 2, 2012

Report: Vandal strikes ArtPrize installation last night

Rich Evenhouse

Reports of a vandal striking an art installation last night in Grand Rapids.

From the Grand Rapids Press:

Judy Rogers of Gowen returned to her entry "Love Is..." about 10 p.m. Monday to find the large rotating globe that was installed on the north side of the David D. Hunting YMCA branch knocked over and mangled.

Witnesses told Grand Rapids police that someone ran up to it and purposefully began hammering at the work of art until the large sphere came off it’s support.

The Press reports this is the second piece of art to be vandalized this year.

Gowen's entry was constructed using drawings made by elementary school students. The students are scheduled to visit the installation sometime this week.

Arts & Culture
4:50 pm
Sun September 30, 2012

ArtPrize founder Rick DeVos announces top ten for 2012 contest

ArtPrize founder Rick DeVos (right) chats with top ten finalist Dan Johnson after the announcement Sunday afternoon.
Lindsey Smith Michigan Radio

Voters in ArtPrize have narrowed more than 1,500 works of art down to the top ten. One of the top ten artists will take home the $200,000 top prize later this week.

This year more than 40,000 people voted (more than 400,000 votes in total so far) for their favorites. Thousands gathered Sunday afternoon to hear ArtPrize founder Rick DeVos list off the ten works of art that got the most votes.

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Transportation
10:28 am
Thu September 27, 2012

Supporters rally to keep Grand Rapids suburb connected to metro bus sytem

Walker resident Tom Gilson talks about all the ways The Rapid has helped him over the past decade at a rally in Walker Wednesday.
Josh Leffingwell Friends of Transit

People in the Grand Rapids suburb of Walker will vote this November on whether to withdraw from the regional bus system. Now transportation supporters are fighting back.

Supporters of the bus system in metro Grand Rapid held a kick-off rally in defense of the bus sytem, known as The Rapid.

Barbara Holt is a Walker City Commissioner and chairwoman of the regional transit authority. She and other business leaders at the rally said keeping Walker connected is vital to the overall community's economy.

“People can stay in Walker, go shopping someplace else, go working someplace else but we all come back. It’s so important that we do not isolate ourselves from the region,” Holt said.

“I use it for work, when I was working on my masters degree I used for school, medical appointments. I use it for everything,” Walker resident Tom Gilson said.

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Arts & Culture
5:42 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Stateside: Rick DeVos talks about ArtPrize

Over $500,000 in prize money is at stake in this year's ArtPrize in Grand Rapids.
Steven Depolo Flickr

ArtPrize 2012 has opened in Grand Rapids.

It's the fourth time round for the huge art exhibition and contest. This year, more than 1,500 artists are competing for $560,000 in prize money. And it's all there--from art that inspires to art that could outrage--and it does get folks talking.

Cyndy spoke with ArtPrize founder Rick DeVos.

She wanted to know how ArtPrize differs from shows like the Ann Arbor Art Fairs?

The main difference, he said, was that it’s not specifically a marketplace.

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Arts & Culture
5:44 pm
Wed September 19, 2012

ArtPrize 2012 now underway

A giant dragon dominating the corner of Monroe and Pearl is already proving to be a popular piece to take pictures in front of.
Lindsey Smith Michigan Radio

Thousands of people walked around downtown Grand Rapids for the kickoff of ArtPrize 2012 Wednesday.

1,517 artists are competing for more than half-a-million dollars in the art competition.

There’s so much art here I don’t even have to leave my office building to find some. Neither did Amy Norkus. I ran into the CPA in the lobby of our building taking a picture of a 20 foot long, very detailed quilt.

"I love it. For me to be able to work downtown and walk around and see art, it’s a real treat. It gets me away from all the numbers I have to deal with all day long,” Norkus said.

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Arts & Culture
1:29 pm
Sat September 15, 2012

ArtPrize is taking shape in Grand Rapids

Venue signs stacked up inside "The Hub" which is the staging area and control center for Art Prize 2012
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Hundreds of works of art are being installed across Grand Rapids this weekend.

The fourth annual ArtPrize exhibition officially gets underway on Wednesday.

ArtPrize public relations director Brian Burch admits there is some “anxiety” as the clock ticks down.

“With an event that is the size that it is…we’re expecting 350 thousand people…we have more than 1500 artists….at 161 venues,” says Burch,  “Every year anxiety is high.”

The artists are competing for more than a half million dollars in prize money.

Arts & Culture
2:13 pm
Fri September 14, 2012

50 years of friendship across continents, poverty, and war

Jackie Ladwein, age 25, on her Peace Corps assignment to Liberia
Photo courtesy of Jackie Ladwein

This next story is about an epic friendship between a white, 76-year-old Grand Rapids teacher, and the driven Liberian boy she inspired 50 years ago when she was a young Peace Corps volunteer.

Their bond has survived hunger, poverty, and a brutal civil war. And it’s created ripples across Liberia, leading to the country’s first school for social workers . Now, it’s reuniting both friends back here in Michigan.

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Law
5:17 pm
Wed August 29, 2012

Panhandler who won free speech case arrested anyway, for panhandling

A federal judge in Grand Rapids ruled a Michigan law banning panhandling is unconstitutional.
Brian D. Hawkins Creative Commons

The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan is urging local governments to review their laws regarding panhandling in light of a federal ruling handed down last week.

A federal judge ruled a state law banning panhandling in public places is unconstitutional.

But ACLU staff attorney Miriam Aukerman says one of her clients in that case, James Speet, was arrested for panhandling in Kentwood anyway.

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Politics & Government
4:02 pm
Tue August 28, 2012

More media than constituents at Schmidt’s first post-party-switch coffee hours

State Representative Roy Schmidt (R-Grand Rapids) meets with a realtor during his coffee hours Tuesday morning.
Lindsey Smith Michigan Radio

Thursday morning the public got their first chance to sit down one-on-one with Democrat-turned-Republican Roy Schmidt since he switched political parties in May. The State Representative from Grand Rapids has been dealing with the political fallout ever since.

But at the coffee visit things seemed back to normal; assuming you ignore the massive media presence, which is not normal at these kinds of informal events.

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Economy
12:24 pm
Fri August 17, 2012

Voters in Grand Rapids suburb could withdraw from regional bus system

The Rapid Central Station
Lindsey Smith Michigan Radio

Voters in a Grand Rapids suburb will decide in November whether the city should withdraw from the regional bus system.

This week the City of Walker certified petition signatures collected by the Kent County Taxpayers Alliance.

Ben Reisterer lives in Walker and is with the alliance.

"We’re not against busing at all. We think it’s a good thing for the community. But we don’t necessarily agree with the way they are going about providing that service," Reisterer said.

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Arts & Culture
4:11 pm
Wed August 8, 2012

Watch Grand Rapids swing dance group smash world record

People swing dance in Rosa Parks Circle in downtown Grand Rapids Tuesday nights during the summer.
Lindsey Smith Michigan Radio

 

It’s not unusual to see a thousand people hanging around and swing dancing at Rosa Parks Circle on any given Tuesday night in the summer. The Grand Rapids Original Swing Society (GROSS) has built a reputation as a fun, safe place for people to dance the night away.

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Law
8:53 pm
Mon August 6, 2012

Effort to decriminalize marijuana possession in Grand Rapids turns in thousands of signatures

Organizers turned in a box full of petitions with 10,226 signatures to the Grand Rapids city clerk's office on Monday afternoon.
Tyler Nickerson Decriminalize GR

A group that’s trying to make marijuana possession in the City of Grand Rapids only a civil infraction turned in more than enough signatures to get the initiative on the November ballot.

The group modeled the proposed changes to Grand Rapids’ city charter after Ann Arbor’s. In Ann Arbor, fines for marijuana possession start at just $25 and are not more $100.

Tyler Nickerson is with the group known as Decriminalize GR. It collected more than 10,000 signatures during the petition drive.

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Politics & Government
6:07 pm
Fri August 3, 2012

Court of Appeals says Governor can privatize nursing assistants at home for veterans

Grand Rapids Home for Veterans
Michigan.gov

Governor Rick Snyder’s plan to save money by privatizing nursing assistants at a state-run home for veterans is legal. The state’s Court of Appeals issued the decision Friday.

The Grand Rapids Home for Veterans is one of two state-run hospitals for vets in Michigan. More than 700 are housed there.

Governor Rick Snyder privatized about 170 nursing assistants at the home last year to save around $4 million.

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Health
1:19 pm
Sat July 28, 2012

Transplant Games of America begin today in Grand Rapids

Steve Vanheest has been training for the Transplant Games of America at the Hunting YMCA in Grand Rapids.
Lindsey Smith Michigan Radio

The Transplant Games of America are traditionally put on once every two years for athletes who are organ donation recipients. Living organ donors can also compete. Hundreds, if not a thousand athletes from all over the country are expected to compete in a dozen sporting events including track, volleyball, golf, basketball, tennis and several others.

The games are held to promote organ donation and, according to the organization’s website “to show the world that transplantation is a treatment that does indeed work.”

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Politics & Government
2:40 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

Grand Rapids and Livonia team up to find best solutions for managing cities

Grand Rapids City Hall
Lindsey Smith Michigan Radio

Two cities from opposite sides of the state are working together to come up with better ways to manage local governments.

Livonia and Grand Rapids are teaming up to find solutions to all kinds of common city management problems; like, what's the best practice for hiring city workers? What about for borrowing money? What’s the best accounting software for the price?

“In essence it could be anything necessary to run local government and best practices that we could easily share,” said Greg Sundstrom, Grand Rapids’ city manager.

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