Community Events

15th Annual Jewish Film Festival

Sunday May 5 - Thursday May 9

Celebration Cinema North2121 Celebration Dr Grand Rapids, MI  49525

Films to be shown include: Special Interview, A Bottle in the Gaza Sea, The Last Survivor, Kaddish for a Friend, Orchestra of Exiles, and Remembrance.  Admission $6.00 per film or Flex Pass Tickets available.


Also Israel Independence Day Middle Eastern Dinner and Raffle, $8.00 Adults, Children 12 and under $5.00 - must RSVP by May 1 – phone 616-942-5553 or 

Click here for the Film Festival Flyer with complete details.


City of Grand Rapids Community Relations Commision’s 60th Anniversary Celebration Dinner & Awards Gala

RSVP by Friday May 3, 2013 by mailing attached 60th RSVP Form or call 616-456-3027

Event - Monday, May 20, 2013, promptly at 6:30 pm

DeVos Place, 303 Monroe Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI  49503


An evening with Harry Belafonte.  Harry Belafonte was born in Harlem in New York City in 1927. Overwhelmed and intimidated by its ghetto streets and thinking the islands to be a safer place, his immigrant mother sent him back to the island of her birth, Jamaica. The island ...and all its variety became his cultural reservoir. An amazing talent with a rich history.


Cocktail attire – Cost $75 per person – No tickets will be mailed for this event.  Your name along with any quest will be placed on the official event registration list.


The Philippine Madrigal Singers – A Benefit Concert

Friday, May 3, 2013 – 7:00 pm

Basilica of St. Adalbert, 701 Fourth St NW, Grand Rapids, MI  49504


The West Michigan Asian American Association proudly presents the Philippine Madrigal Singers, Mark Anthony A. Carpio, Choirmaster.  The concert will benefit the St. Thomas of Apostle School of Grand Rapids


Tickets $20.oo, contact Minnie Morey at or call 616-481-6194


Access of West Michigan – Hunger Walk

Saturday, May 4, 2013


The Hunger Walk is a family-friendly 5k event where everyone is welcome to run, walk or wheel through the route! Beginning downtown, the walk route winds through Heritage Hill, down Wealthy Street, through the East Hills Neighborhood, and along Cherry Street before returning downtown. 
Hunger Walk
This event will bring over one thousand walkers and volunteers to the area. Anyone who wants to join the fight against hunger and poverty is welcome. We want to make this a fun event, so we are asking all participants to dress as a super hero!


The goal is to raise awareness and funds in response to local and worldwide need. Funds are distributed among 24 hunger-fighting organizations for pantry assistance, emergency meals, urban gardening and farmers market initiatives for low income people, assistance for seniors and international development programs.

Visit their website and find materials to assist with every step, from the registration process to walk day information.  There are tools to increase your fundraising, sample bulletin announcements to share with your congregation and other helpful pieces.

Please contact Jennifer with any questions!

(616) 774-2175


Jewish Theatre Presents: The World of Sholom Aleichem

May 2, 4, or 5, 2013

Spectrum Theatre, 160 Fountain St. NE Grand Rapids 49503

The World of Sholom Aleichem is three short plays bound together by the narrative of Mendele the Book Seller, who connects the three different expressions of Eastern European Jewish life. The first, A Tale of Chelm, is based on folk tales of a village that was cheated out of its rightful quota of intelligence. The next piece,Bontche Schweig, is about a man who died after a wretched, barren life. He comes to heaven expecting nothing since that is what life had taught him to expect. When the angels come out to honor and reward him for his gentle, uncomplaining humility, he is confused and bewildered. The final piece, The High School, narrates the story of two Jewish parents who want to get their son admitted into a non-religious school for which there was a quota for Jewish boys. It is a bittersweet portrait of a cautious father and an indomitable mother drawn together by a mystic vision of education for their son.

Tickets are available by calling the Box Office at 234-3946 or going online to


Latin Americans United for Progress (LAUP) Annual Fiesta

Friday, May 3 through Saturday May 4, 2013

Holland Civic Center, at 8th and Pine


Fiesta will include live music, performances, a carnival, food vendors, a business expo, and more. The King and Queen contest is a popular event highlighting the talents of young Latino/as from area high schools. For a schedule of all the events and the names of sponsors.


More details on their website LAUP :: Latin Americans United For Progress :: Holland, Michigan USA


Grains of Hope: Refugee Experiences in West Michigan

A new documentary play from Calvin Theatre Company, directed by Stephanie Sandberg


In this ethnography by Stephanie L. Sandberg, Calvin College students depict the various refugee communities of Grand Rapids explored through the stories of those who live here.

May 5, 6:00 PM Church of the Servant
May 8, 7:00 PM, Wealthy Theatre, sponsored by Bethany Christian Services
May 9, 7:00 PM Wealthy Theatre, sponsored by Mars Hill Church

All performances are free of charge; first come, first served.

More information:


Fundraiser performance:

Tonight:  April 30, 7:00 PM, Inner City Christian Federation, sponsored by Lutheran Social Services. This performance is a fundraiser for Lutheran Social Services. To purchase a ticket for this event, please follow this link:


World Affairs Council of Western Michigan – World Quest 2013

It's time to play WorldQuest™, the ULTIMATE International Trivia Game!  This is an evening of international facts and trivia!  Register early, teams based on first registered.

Get ready to kick back and put your international knowledge to the test.  Our Gamemasters keep things fast, fun and furious once again!  

Questions are projected on a screen in front of the room - they're multiple choice.  Hint:  Study Afghanistan/Pakistan and do not study flags.  Categories may include World Geography, People in the News, and more.  Each team together decides on the answer --if you don't know the answer, hopefully another teammate will!  Reserve your spot TODAY!!


Date: Thursday, May 9th

Time: 6:00pm Italian Buffet Dinner, 7:10pm SHARP Game Begins

Place: Wege Center at Aquinas College

Price: $425 for a team up to 8 people

 No Team?  No Problem - we'll put you on a Fabulous WAC Team!

$40 for individual member

$50 for non-member (includes Year-long Membership in Council)

Prices include registration, dinner and munchies during the game.  Cash bar. 

Call the office at 616-776-1721 to purchase raffle tickets for great prizes or send an email to   You need not be present to win.

            Questions or sign-up:  call the office at 616.776.1721.  No need to pay now, they will send you an invoice.




Howard Christiansen Spring Events (Kent City)

Jiggly Wiggly Frog Hunting

May 5th, 2013 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Donation: $5.00

HCNC will go Frog Hunting for the learning of frogs – not to capture forever – but to study their habitats and mannerisms. First, we will learn (short fun lesson with refreshments) about the frogs in Michigan and why they are so important to our environment and a lot of other fun froggy facts will be toad…told!

Then around dusk, we will go hunting frogs. We are going to get down in the pond areas with flashlights and try to find us some frogs for studying.


This is for ALL ages – so Mom/Dad, Grandma and Grandpa, bring the children and have a fun filled night of sneaking around capturing frogs (at the end of the night we will release our frogs back into the wild).

Dress appropriately and stay tuned for upcoming information about this fun filled evening at HCNC.


Seasons Hike

May 7, 2013 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Donation: $4.00

Each season is unique and brings many changes to the land as well as the plants and animals living there. In this program, participants will explore the prairies, ponds, and forests of HCNC using their five senses to find the best of what each season has to offer. (Five Senses – Sight, Sound, Smell, Touch, Taste) – we will briefly go over our sense and explore and how they affect each of us in nature, with refreshments in the Interpretive Center)

Grades: Pre-K through Adult

Bring a brown bag lunch

Dress for the outdoors


Morel Mushroom Hunting at HCNC (YUM!)

May 19th 2013 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Donation: $3.00

Join a Seasoned Mushroom Hunter and let’s see how many of these tasty morel mushrooms we can find!

Morel Mushroom Hunting is a wonderful activity to enjoy with the entire family, young and old alike. Kids generally have an easier time seeing the mushrooms due to the fact that they are a lot closer to the ground than an adult. Mushroom lovers from around the country who come seeking that elusive delicacy-the marvelous morel. Found in OUR nearby woods and clearings. Bring your bags or maybe wheelbarrows and come find some with us! We will be going off our trails in the hunt, so come prepared to go through the woods! Dress appropriately.

All ages, no dogs allowed


A great place to get outdoors – visit their website for more information:


Wittenbach Wege Center Spring Events (Lowell)

Fun on the Farm

Saturday, May 4th 9–12 pm

Join us for a day of Fun on the Farm! Ever been eye to eye with a newborn calf? Want to pet a lamb? The Lowell High School FFA Chapter will provide you with these opportunities and more as you get a chance to get up close and personal with several of our barnyard friends. This FREE event is GREAT for families and all are encouraged to attend.


Family Fossil Dig

Sunday May 19th 2:00 – 3:30 pm

Join geologist Steve Tchozeski for a fun and informative geologic trip into the earth's past. Learn about fossil formation, types of fossils and how fossils are used to develop a geological history of the earth. Afterwards, we'll dig through limestone material in search of fossils dating back 350 million years. All found fossils are yours to keep!Cost is $15 per family. Space is limited so call 616-987-2565 or email to register.


Get RAW Workshop

2nd Tuesday of each month starting June 11th Each class is 6:30-8:00pm Get “vegucated” on a raw, plant-based diet and taste for yourself how raw fooding can improve your health, lifestyle and tantalize your taste buds. A series of four classes will begin on June 11th at 6:30pm at the Wittenbach/Wege Agriscience and Environmental Education Center in Lowell. Each class will be taught by a Raw Food Chef and you’ll walk away will educational materials, recipes and the taste of 100% raw food. Over the course of the summer you’ll learn lots of new recipes to create your own four course raw meals at home. Each class is $25.00 or you can attend all four classes for $80.00 (savings of $20.00). Spaces are limited so please call 616-987-2565 or e-mail today to reserve your spot. Classes brought to you by Encompassing You LLC and the Wittenbach/Wege Agriscience and Environmental Education Center


Sensory Processing: Putting the Pieces Together

Wednesday, May 8, 2013 – 9:00 to 11:30 am

Eastern Avenue Christian Reformed Church, 514 Eastern Ave SE, Grand Rapids MI  49503


Spectrum Health Healthier Communities welcomes Kindy Segovia, OTR, Assistive Technology Coordinator Kent ISD to:

 Define sensory processing and integration

 Identify how sensory processing difficulties can impact a child’s development and functional skills

 Describe sensory behaviors of seeking and avoidance

 Discuss strategies to improve sensory motor skills and behavior

 List resources to share with families


Who Should Attend  - Recommended for professionals who work with families

Registration is Required - To register with Healthier Communities, email or call 616.391.5460 or register online at: HCD Monthly In-service

For those attending, please consider donating a non-perishable food item to the church’s food pantry. A collection basket will be at registration.


Michigan All-State Bonsai Show

May 11 and 12, 2013

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, 1000 East Beltline Avenue Northeast, Grand Rapids Charter Township, MI 49525


This year’s bonsai show will feature some of the finest bonsai trees from across Michigan and beyond. Art enthusiasts will appreciate the skillfully trained bonsai—truly living works of art; curious visitors can attend free demonstrations and discover how a bonsai is created; children and their families may vote for their favorite bonsai; and bonsai enthusiasts can purchase hard-to-find bonsai supplies as well as finished bonsai from the vendors.


Viewing Free, fees for classes, more information:


Stolen Ground…a film by Lee Mun Wah

Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - 11:30 am until 1:30 pm

Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 250 Commerce SW, Grand Rapids, MI  49503


In honor of Asian-Pacific American Heritage month, Partners for a Racism Free Community invites you to join us for a showing of the film "Stolen Ground", by Lee Mun Wah. This film features personal stories of six men who are Americans of Asian descent and who have faced racism and assimilation in their daily lives. A powerful film narrated by Lee Mun Wah about the "model minority" in the United States.


Discussion will follow the film, facilitated by Bing Goei of Eastern Floral.

Cost: $15 and includes lunch

Register online or through


Pride with a Purpose – A Benefit for Anti-Discrimination

Friday, May 17, 2013 – 21+ Doors open at 7:30 pm, Show starts at 8:00 pm

Teazers Bar and Grill, 819 Ottawa Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI


Vote Equal host Musical Performances (Rapp, Pop, Rock/Blues) and Speakers (Consultant and Comedians)

Admission before 8:00 pm - $4.00, after 8:00 pm $5.00


Visit their website for more information:



Coaching Tips for PRFC Credentialing Assessment Success

Thursday, May 23, 2013, 7:30 am - 9:00 am (no cost; includes breakfast)

Dominican Center at Marywood, 2025 East Fulton, Grand Rapids, MI 49503


Partners for a Racism Free Community host a training session designed to give helpful hints about the assessment process for organizations considering creating a racism-free workplace environment.  Get your questions answered by experienced coaches and consider where your organization may fit in the journey to become racism-free.

RSVP at: or call 616-466-6187.


Exhibit – Race: Are we so different?

Now through May 2013; University of Michigan


This nationally-traveling exhibit tells the stories of race from the biological, cultural, and historical points of view, offering an unprecedented look at race and racism in the United States. Find resources and more information at For general visitor information, please visit


Real Oldies Concert at the Ballpark (enter your Classic Car!)

Saturday, June 1 at 3pm in the parking lot of the Fifth Third Ballpark. 


WGVU Real Oldies and Rowerdink Incorporated invite you to enter the classic car show in conjunction with the Real Oldies Concert at the Ballpark.  Registration is $8 in advance and $10 at the door.  Dash plaques for the first 50 registered vehicles and prizes will be presented to the top three show favorites.  Register online

Free Concert at 6:00 pm featuring The Grass Roots with the Eschelons and the Westside Soul Surfers.  See the website for details:


Summer Camp and Activities – Register Early!

The YMCA has plenty of options this summer to keep your kids active and having fun! Whether you put them in for one week or the entire summer, they have a diverse selection of camps and programs in a safe and caring environment.  There are different location options as well between Howard Christensen Nature Center and the Wolverine Worldwide Family YMCA (Rockford/Belmont).


Howard Christensen Camp

Ages 5-12 yrs.


Where the Wild Things Are- June 24th-28th

A week full of Nature Challenges on all different levels throughout the trails on the property of the Nature Center.


Mad Scientist Challenge- July 8th-12th

Getting your hands dirty, and keeping your mind busy with hands on activities and challenges to put their Mad Scientist skills to test.


Put Your Game Face On Challenges- July 22nd-25th

Any and all challenges from relays to sports to help create a positive and challenging experience when not only participating individually, but working as a team as well.


Ice, Ice, Baby…Stop, Collaborate and Listen-Water Challenges- August 5th-9th

A great time of the summer to get wet and stay cool, with water balloons, sponge toss, ice cube melts, etc.


Getting Dirty Week- August 19th-23rd

Every kid enjoys getting dirty right? A great camp to dig into a little mud, go on hikes, and explore the nature out at the Howard Christensen Nature Center.


Day Camp at WWW YMCA

The Wolverine World Wide Family YMCA offers summer camps for kids ages 5 – 12 years. A fully licensed camp through the state of Michigan, that offers an experience for many kids with fun filled challenges that will keep them active and engaged for the entire summer. Swimming, field trips, sports, nature hikes, and crafts are only a few things kids will be able to participate in on a regular basis. Stop into the YMCA to register your child before it is too late!

Camp is available all summer Monday-Friday from 7:00 am-6:00 pm.


Know Your Rights: You & The Constitution
Monday, June 17 – 7:00 pm

UICA, Grand Rapids

ACLU Speaker Series - The rights and liberties guaranteed by Constitution impact every aspect of our lives. Join civil liberties experts & attorneys as they provide effective and useful guidance on topics from:

·         our rights when confronted by the police or immigration,

·         student's right to privacy and due process,

·         LGBT rights in Michigan,

·         What exactly does "free speech" mean?