An artist, educator and organizer, Sofía Ramírez Hernández shares her story through her work so that others won’t have to struggle the way she did. Hers is a story of immigration, identity definition and institutionalized discrimination.
Frankly, Eleanor Moreno’s story is colorful and eventful enough to be its own book, much less a magazine article. Organizer, activist, consultant, translator — Moreno can best be described as “heavily involved.”
Although her journey did not begin in the state, Kim Collins found a place to call home here in West Michigan. Taking the parts of her life she loved, she turned them into passions and followed through on making her dream job a reality.
When Ace Marasigan moved here from the Philippines at age 16, he brought some of home with him, but even more so when he founded the Grand Rapids Asian-Pacific Festival.
Jenny Kinne, the new owner of Cherry Street’s beloved independent bookstore Books & Mortar, started her career selling books out of her parents’ basement and exchanging her favorite paperbacks for Monopoly money. A series of professional adventures, mostly focused on nonprofit development and public policy, led her to Fountain Street Church, Planned Parenthood, Michigan League for Public Policy and eventually life as a business owner. Her love for public policy and community activism is what eventually sparked her passion for owning a progressive, independent bookstore.
As a secular humanist, Jack Woller never saw himself working for a church, much less serving as the executive director. But after life in the world of sports retail left him feeling unfulfilled, Woller went on a journey that ultimately led to Fountain Street Church, volunteering in the community and working at Grand Rapids Children’s Museum along the way.
Julia Sweeney is not your typical atheist. The former SNL cast member and current mother, actor and comedian introduced her one-woman show, Letting Go of God, in 2004. For two hours, Sweeney humorously and frankly discusses her 40-year journey from Catholic to nonbeliever.
Now in its eighth year, ArtPrize continues searching for new ways forward as an organization. Executive director Christian Gaines says the nonprofit has worked hard to establish itself as a hands-off entity, focused on proprietary technology and the events that correspond with it. Gaines spoke with Revue on the past, present and future status of the annual arts competition.
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