West Michigan News

June 03, 2010
Sitting outside at a Kalamazoo cafe on a recent sunny afternoon, Stephanai Myers explains how an independent business venture grew out of her love of Michigan and her love of the growing sport disc golf.

Category: Community, Entertainment, Kalamazoo, Sports&Recreation, WestMichigan

April 22, 2010
With the expansion of Bell's Eccentric Cafe, the imminent reopening of Kraftbrau Brewery and The Strutt gaining popularity almost by the minute, the music scene in Kalamazoo is on the move.

And if the past and present scenes are indicators, the direction it's headed in will be beyond labels.

Venues are changing to keep up with the new musical landscape. A $2.5 million renovation of Larry Bell's popular Eccentric Cafe is in the works. Signs have been hung outside the new home of Kraftbrau Brewery on Portage Street and more than 1,000 Facebook fans eagerly await the reopening of one of the favorite venue of the local-music lovers.
Category: Arts&Culture, Community, Entertainment, Innovation, Kalamazoo, WestMichigan

April 08, 2010
It's all in how you look at it. And in an art gallery, looking is what you do.

When Midtown Gallery opened at 356 South Kalamazoo Mall in July 2009, some might have looked at it as business suicide.

Opening a new business in the midst of the most grueling economic times many of us have seen? Who will have a buck or a few hundred to spare for art?
Category: Arts&Culture, Community, Design, Entertainment, Innovation, Kalamazoo, WestMichigan

March 18, 2010
If you didn't know it was there, as you approach Studio 246 on the north end of the Kalamazoo Mall, you could be forgiven for not recognizing the downtown storefront as Kalamazoo's newest home for theater.

If you do know it's there, you could be forgiven for asking, "isn't this the old home of theater in Kalamazoo?"

Both are true. This is the home of the Kalamazoo's newest theater collaboration, located in the space at 246 N. Kalamazoo Mall, a spot on the far end of the outdoor pedestrian mall in the heart of downtown.
Category: Arts&Culture, Community, Design, Education, Entertainment, Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Kalamazoo, WestMichigan

August 06, 2009
Armed with a new name and a new book, Sarah Kallio and Stacey Krastins think they have hit on a successful recipe for business with their unique meal creation system.

Kallio and Krastins, two Grand Haven moms with engineering degrees and a love of home entertaining, are scheduled to release their second book this week, The Stocked Kitchen. Formerly called The Stocked Host, The Stocked Kitchen details a system that speeds up grocery shopping and meal preparation. The book releases this week online and at four West Michigan retailers.
Category: Entertainment, Entrepreneurship, Food, Innovation, WestMichigan

January 15, 2009
In 2006, Sally Zarafonetis heard a conference speaker say that women arranged 80 percent of all travel plans and that they used the Internet as their primary source for information. Zarafonetis, owner of Grand Rapids-based Sally Zara Public Relations and an avid traveler, never forgot that statistic.


Category: Community, Culture, Entertainment, Food, Innovation, Lakeshore, Technology, WestMichigan

January 08, 2009

Karisa (pronounced Ka-ree-sa) Wilson’s improvisational, soulful sound has established her as a key player in Grand Rapids’ thriving music scene. In addition to releasing her well-received 2007 debut album, Little Girl, the singer-songwriter has contributed to nearly 20 local albums in the past two years. She also writes a monthly hip-hop culture column for Recoil magazine, shining light on local artists in need of promotion. Preferring camaraderie to competition, she says she’s often inspired by her peers.

“I’ve been heavily influenced by local musicians," Wilson says. "I don’t sit around listening to CDs all the time, but I’ve been to all kinds of shows. I think in my songwriting and playing have been more influenced by people locally than on the radio. There’s a reason to keep our scene [alive], if not to influence the next generation, then other artists.”

Category: Arts&Culture, Community, Entertainment, GrandRapids, Innovation, WestMichigan

August 28, 2008

In Grand Rapids it’s not hard to find residents putting ho-hum exercise like jogging to shame. They’re behind trees. Atop parking ramps. Even in public libraries. This fall, have some alternative fitness fun with one of these unique activities:

Category: Community, Entertainment, GrandRapids, Health, Sports&Recreation, WestMichigan

July 31, 2008

Grand Rapids’ Heartside neighborhood west of South Division is fast shaping up as the city’s hippest entertainment district, boasting a variety of pubs, eateries, specialty beer havens, a wine bar, the Van Andel Arena, and live music venues. But it has its challenges—like a lack of parking, no apartments for downtown dwellers, and no destination shopping. “38” could change all that.

Category: Community, Entertainment, Entrepreneurship, GrandRapids, Innovation, WestMichigan

March 20, 2008

The bebop music rises and a woman takes center stage. She sparkles with glitter, her lips ruby red. She reveals her character while playfully removing her costume. The music ends. She flashes her pasties and skips off stage. Before her there was a magic act by Velvet Dan. After, a comedy skit about politics. That’s the magic of burlesque.

Four Friends - Corey Ruffin, Rachel Finan, Rich Haralson, and Josh Dunigan – established the Super Happy Funtime Burlesque in 2006 to launch a revival of the theatrical entertainment style in Grand Rapids. Yes, churchy, small town Grand Rapids is home to one of the only regular burlesque and vaudeville shows in Michigan.

Category: Arts&Culture, Community, Entertainment, GrandRapids, Innovation, WestMichigan
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