West Michigan News

February 17, 2011
Rap, and more specifically the culture of hip-hop, has gone through many phases, and has often been the victim of controversy since becoming part of mainstream American consciousness in the mid-1980s.  The hip-hop of the 1990s was marked by violence as two of its biggest stars, Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G., were both murdered within a year of each other in unrelated incidents. Many view the rap music that has come out over the last decade as being vapid and materialistic. However, Victor Williams is hard at work to educate people of all walks of life that there is an incredibly positive and educational aspect to hip-hop culture, as well as phenomenal music right in their backyard.

Since 1995, Victor Williams has been operating the Grand Rapids Hip-Hop Coalition, a group whose mission, according to Williams "is to educate and preserve the youth through hip-hop culture."
Category: Arts&Culture, Community, Diversity, Education, GrandRapids, WestMichigan

February 17, 2011
glass_studio-(1).jpgGlass artist Joe Sherry would be the first to say he's not exactly living on Easy Street. But for the past five years, he has lived in a small live/work art studio in the heart of Grand Rapids' Avenue for the Arts, and, in his words, "I love every bit of it."
Category: Arts&Culture, Community, Design, Entrepreneurship, GrandRapids, Home, Innovation, WestMichigan

February 17, 2011
When Catherine's Health Center had the opportunity to relocate from its cramped 1,200 square feet in the basement of St. Alphonsus Church to three times the space in a LEED-certified property, it was all systems go. On Feb. 14, the free health clinic celebrated its 15-year anniversary with a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its new digs in the former St. Alphonsus Elementary School (1211 Lafayette Ave. NE, Grand Rapids).

Category: Community, GrandRapids, Healthcare, Innovation, WestMichigan

February 10, 2011
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) has awarded $200,000 in grant monies to fuel the continued development of two Grand Valley State University incubator programs for life sciences, high technology and alternative energy startups.


Category: AlternativeEnergy, Community, Education, Entrepreneurship, GrandRapids, Innovation, LifeSciences, Sustainability, Technology, WestMichigan

February 10, 2011
The 134-year-old Bissell Homecare, Inc. has launched a new think tank in Grand Rapids' Old North Boundary building -- a venture focused on leveraging Bissell's core competencies for innovative new business opportunities that will grow the company's global market.
Category: Entrepreneurship, GrandRapids, Home, Innovation, Technology, WestMichigan

February 03, 2011
Malikah Pimpleton had an idea, a business plan and cash flow projections for a take-and-bake pizzeria -- take-and-bake meaning that low-income individuals could purchase a pizza using EBT because it would not be considered prepared food, as in a traditional parlor. Pimpleton was in her early thirties and on her way to a master's degree in business administration at Cornerstone University. She even had an "employee" who would volunteer several hours a week -- her mom, Betty Pimpleton.

Category: Community, Entrepreneurship, Food, GrandRapids, Innovation, Technology, WestMichigan

February 03, 2011
Habib Mandwee leans his chin into the palm of his hand and lets his mind wander to a dream. He remembers being a boy in Baghdad, Iraq, and spending long, lazy days watching the family cow graze. Perhaps, he muses, someday he might have a small farm. A cow or two grazing in the pasture, sheep, even goats...


Category: Community, Culture, Food, Kalamazoo, WestMichigan

January 27, 2011
Nanny on Demand is barely out of diapers, yet this growing enterprise providing flexible daycare without requiring a long-term contract announced this week that it's ready to take its franchise opportunity beyond Michigan's borders.

The newest of West Michigan's first three Nanny on Demand locations will open in early- to mid-February along Grand Rapids' Medical Mile at 545 Michigan St. NE, behind El Barrio Mexican Grill.

Category: Community, Education, Entrepreneurship, GrandRapids, Healthcare, Innovation, WestMichigan

January 27, 2011
When you offer a reward, it serves as a catalyst. The process through which competitors go to become the winner of that reward, and the community engagement and conversation that occurs because of that process, is the hidden value.


Category: Community, Education, Entrepreneurship, GrandRapids, Innovation, Technology, WestMichigan

January 27, 2011
Cheri Lesauskis draws inspiration from the idea that when elements combine the results are larger than the sum of their parts. Lesauskis creates handmade jewelry based on that concept. Her jewelry is intended to be not only beautiful but to be pieces that create what she calls personal power for the wearer.

Her Elemental Alchemy handmade jewelry will be exhibited and sold the at the Anna Russo-Sieber Studio in the Barentson Candy Co, 147 Fifth Street from 4 to 8 p.m Feb. 10 and noon to 4 p.m. Feb. 12. There will be a reception from 5 to 9 p.m. Feb. 11.
Category: Arts&Culture, Design, Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Lakeshore, St.Joseph, WestMichigan
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