Tuesday, 01 September 2015 12:51

It’s Hip to be Square (Dancing)

Written by  Audria Larsen
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An illustration from Holland Museum’s Immigration and Caricature exhibit An illustration from Holland Museum’s Immigration and Caricature exhibit

September offers a mélange of cultural events in West Michigan, from swingin’ hoedowns to artistic histories depicted through fine art and the controversy of cartoons.

45th Dance-A-Rama
Amway Grand Plaza Hotel
187 Monroe Avenue NW, Grand Rapids
Sept. 4-6, $8
dar2015.ssdusa.org, (616) 365-0538

Be there and be square! The 45th National Singles Dance-A-Rama takes over the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel this month bringing in square-dance enthusiasts from around the country. “Some people come coupled up, it’s not only for singles,” said Carol Bauer, event co-chair. “Anybody can come. Some people come by themselves and you dance with whomever.” Although you must be versed in the fine art of square dancing to participate, spectators are welcome. Because the dance events run from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. over the course of several days, the organization offers a variety of tours that allow dancers to explore some of the local Grand Rapids attractions like Meijer Gardens and relax. If you want to learn the art of square dancing prior to the big event you can check out local groups the Flutterbys and the Grand River Squares for lessons.

Obsolete Technology
Then & Now Exhibit
Tri-Cities Historical Museum
200 Washington Avenue, Grand Haven
Through Sept. 30  
tri-citiesmuseum.org, (616) 842-0700

Explore 100 years of bygone technology and current innovations at the Tri-Cities Historical Museum. Culled from the museum’s private collection, objects on display feature once-cutting edge gadgets along with toys that are outdated but still very much in our collective conscious, like Game Boys and Walkmans. Remember early television “remote” controls that were corded? And instead of buttons there was a slider doohickey? No? Ask your grandma. Or go to this exhibit, which, according to the museum showcases the: “Evolution of communication and entertainment from the time of Alexander Graham Bell to the heyday of Steve Jobs.”

Immigration and Caricature: Ethnic Images from the Appel Collection
Holland Museum
31 W 10th St, Holland
Through September 6, $4 - $7, Members FREE
hollandmuseum.org, (616) 842-0700

Between the Civil War and World War I, literally boatloads of immigrants arrived to the United States. The exhibit, Immigration and Caricature: Ethnic Images from the Appel Collection, explores how American values and attitudes were shaped through visual imagery created as a response to the multicultural shift during that period. Over 4,000 items of mostly print media like cartoons, postcards and lithographs on display reflect an important part of our cultural history. Compared to our current era of political correctness, many of these works can be shocking, as well as humorous.

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