Courtesy / Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts

UICA hosts exhibition of work from Michigan artists

Kendall College’s Urban Institute of Contemporary Arts (UICA) has consistently been one of Grand Rapids’ most important museums due to its deep connection to Michigan culture, diversity, social issues and cutting edge artistic ideas. One of the Institute’s most recent exhibitions is "Coming Home," a collection of work from four different artists with deep roots in Michigan. 

GVL / Archive

Grand Rapids celebrates Dia de los Muertos

Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) traditions were kept alive through multiple celebrations held throughout the Grand Valley State University and Grand Rapids community. GVSU held an event on the Allendale campus at the Frederik Meijer Honors College, as did several businesses around Grand Rapids. At 6 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 1, students gathered around an ofrenda (offering/alter) to learn the history and cultural significance of Dia de los Muertos’ music, food and traditions. This information was presented by the Coordinator for the Latin American Studies Program, David Stark, along with the featured artists of the event. Singer Gabriel Estrada brought the traditional sound of Dia de los Muertos to campus as he explained and performed Mariachi music to the audience. 

Rolena Adorno speaking about what Columbus day means for us today and why Hispanic heritage month matters.  GVL / Andrew Nyhof

Celebrating Hispanic and Indigenous culture through the sounds of Detroit

Ojibwe and Chicano artist Sacramento Knoxx provided an interactive storytelling experience for the Grand Valley State University community, though his multimedia performance of music was influenced by his Detroit roots. The concert, held at the Cook-Dewitt Center on Wednesday, Oct. 24, was brought on by the Office of Multicultural Affairs as a part of the Hispanic Heritage Celebration.  

Courtesy /

Top Jazz Pianist in the World to visit Grand Rapids

For all the jazz lovers out there, the St. Cecilia Music Center (SCMC) in downtown Grand Rapids will be featuring a very special treat on Thursday, Nov. 1.  The 11-time Grammy Award nominated Kenny Barron Quintet will be performing the second of four jazz series concerts for the 2018-19 music season.  Among his several nominations, Barron has several points of success throughout his career. He has been honored by The National Endowment for the Arts as a 2010 jazz-master and has been inducted into the National Academy of Arts and Sciences, as well as being awarded the Living Legacy Award from Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation and becoming initiated into the American Jazz Hall of Fame. 

Courtesy / Grand Rapids Symphony

Calling all students: Grand Rapids Symphony offers $5 student-tickets for this year's lineup

To kick off the Grand Rapids Symphony 2018-19 orchestra season this year, the symphony opens with classical blockbusters and world-class soloists as well as Broadway's biggest hits, cinematic special events and salutes to legends such as Paul McCartney and Frank Sinatra.  Established in 1930, the Grand Rapids Symphony showcases a nine-concert series through a diverse range of music and performance styles resulting in approximately 400 performances per year, attracting Grand Rapids residents, most of which are students. 

Courtesy / GVSU

Octubafest: A celebration of brass instruments

For the last several years, Octubafest has showcased Grand Valley State University's Tuba and Euphonium studio’s brass instrument performance. The event, which is specifically centered on tubas, consisted of two main series of performances.  One series was on Wednesday, Oct. 17 followed by the second series on Saturday, Oct. 20. Both series of performances took place in the Sherman Van Solkema Hall. 

Ada Limón and Carl Phillips.  Courtesy / GVSU

Award-winning poets share their voice during the Fall Arts Celebration

On Oct. 18 at 7:30 p.m., Grand Valley State University welcomed award-winning poets Ada Limón and Carl Phillips to share their unique and contrasting voices for “An Evening of Poetry and Conversation.” The poetry event is a part of GVSU’s 16th annual Fall Arts Celebration. The event was held at the Eberhard Center located on the downtown Pew campus. After each poet read samples from their work during their 30 minutes of allotted time, the audience was invited to stay for a book signing and reception. While attendance was encouraged by faculty for a few GVSU writing students, the free event was open to the public.  

GVL / Daniel Pacheco

GV hosts presentation on famous War of the Worlds radio broadcast

Modern entertainment comes in a huge variety of mediums, such as television, video gaming and even futuristic forms such as virtual reality. However, the modern home entertainment scene has its roots in the radio. From as early as the 1910s, radio has been a mainstay of entertainment and news, and one of the most notorious and important steps for radio entertainment was Orson Welles’ controversial broadcast of War of the Worlds. War of the Worlds, a story describing a Martian attack upon planet Earth, was originally published as a novel by H.G. Wells to a high degree of popularity, prompting a young Orson Welles to produce a radio drama based on the novel for his program The Mercury Theatre on the Air. The broadcast, which took place on Oct. 30, 1938, prompted widespread panic from listeners who believed the story to be actual news, and to this day, the broadcast is looked at as a crucial point in the history of radio, home entertainment, and broadcast in general.