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LaughFest Central Opens Feb. 17

LaughFest Central Opens Feb. 17

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – LaughFest Central will open its doors Feb. 17 inside the Grand Rapids Art Museum (GRAM), located at 101 Monroe Center. The festival headquarters will serve as a focal point for LaughFest information, as well as a location where tickets and merchandise can be purchased. Prior to the festival, LaughFest Central will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays, and 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays. During the festival, from March 6 to 16, hours will be 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays. 

LaughFest 2014 will also see the return of “Fast Passes” for free events. “Fast Passes” guarantee holders a seat for free showings as long as they are seated 15 minutes prior to the event start time.

9th Annual Taste of Soul Sunday, Feb. 16

9th Annual Taste of Soul Sunday, Feb. 16

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- The Grand Rapids Public Main Library invites visitors to get a Taste of Soul Sunday, Feb. 16 from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The afternoon will be filled with informative lectures, performances including the IMANI singers of Grand Rapids and local singer/songwriter Karisa Wilson, fun activities and chances to sample free food.

The library is located at 111 Library Street NE.  For more information, call (616) 988-5400 or visit www.grpl.org/tasteofsoul/.

Introduction to Astronomy Feb. 15

Introduction to Astronomy Feb. 15

KENTWOOD, Mich.-- The public is invited to the annual "Introduction to Astronomy – Sorting it Out", taking place on Feb. 15 at Schuler Books at 2660 28th St. SE.

At 1:00 p.m., Jim Foersh and Bill Grinstead will give participants information on recommended telescopes, guide books, star charts and outline resources, along with stargazing tips.  A "Telescope Tune-Up Clinic" will run from  2:15 p.m.  to 3 p.m. At this clinic, experienced amateur astronomers will be on hand to provide proper telescope use advice, along with personal telescope adjustments.   

The presentation is in connection to the Grand Rapids  Amateur Astronomical Association, based in Lowell, and the Grand Rapids Public Museum.

For more information, call (616) 897-7065 or visit http://www.graaa.org/.

WMCAT adding ceramic programs for community

WMCAT adding ceramic programs for community

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—  Teenagers will have a new space to create art, starting this summer.

The West Michigan Center for Arts and Technology has acquired ceramic studio equipment from the Urban Institute of Contemporary Arts, with plans to begin offering teen programming and community classes this summer. 

“Retaining this community resource in downtown Grand Rapids is so exciting,” said WMCAT executive director Kim Dabbs. “We are grateful to UICA and underwriting sponsor Kendall College of Art and Design, Ferris State University (KCAD) for working with us to ensure that teens, kids and adults continue to have the opportunity to create ceramics in an inspiring space.”

WMCAT plans to incorporate ceramic art lessons into its program for Grand Rapids Public Schools high school students, as well as offer classes and camps for all ages.

The family of Abraham: Ancestors in faith

The family of Abraham: Ancestors in faith

EAST GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- Dominican Center at Marywood  invites you to come out on the evening of Tuesday, Feb. 18 to celebrate ecumenical and interfaith studies and dialogue.

This two-hour event begins with a brief presentation by each of the four panelists (pictured above) on a theme common to the represented faith traditions.

Literacy Center of West Michigan adds to its Board of Directors

Literacy Center of West Michigan adds to its Board of Directors

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Two new faces are among the leaders of The Literacy Center of West Michigan.

 Charles “Chip” Behler and Raul Alvarez joined the organization’s Board of Directors last December.  Behler is an attorney for Smith Haughey Rice & Roegge in Grand Rapids; he was previously a member of the Literacy Center’s donor development committee.  Alvarez is the chief communicator with the GTSD group and is highly experienced with nonprofit communications and marketing.

“We’re excited to have Chip and Raul on the team.

Kent District Library announces Write Michigan Contest winners

Kent District Library announces Write Michigan Contest winners

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Six people from Grand Rapids and Ada are among the winners of the second annual Write Michigan Contest.

Judges reviewed nearly 900 entries from writers across the state- that’s nearly double the amount the received last year.  Nearly 500 of the submissions were to the new teen category.

All last month, the public voted for their favorites on the Write Michigan website.  The winners were announced this week.  The Judge’s Choice winners took home a $250 award; Judges’ Choice runners-up were awarded $100.  Readers’ Choice winners were also awarded $250.

This year’s winners are:

Adult Category

  • Judges’ Choice Winner: Oscar Bee, Chelsea
  • Judges’ Choice Runner-Up: Connor Newton, Waterford
  • Readers’ Choice Winner: Eric Dobson, Ypsilanti
  • Published Finalists: Anne Brandt, Benton Harbor; Robert Vander Lugt,