“Mahalia, A Gospel Musical” is so much more than a biographical musical about the great Mahalia Jackson, Queen of Gospel. Full of the gorgeous church hymns and old spirituals she sang with her tremendously soulful and powerful voice, it does, indeed, tell the story of her rise to fame in the 20th Century. But in so doing, it also elucidates a crucial piece of American history.
Cari Scholtens and Jil Farheart look pretty much the same: they’re both tall, lean brunettes. But Farheart has a scar on her cheek. And while Scholtens owns a plastic sword and axe, Farheart’s sword and axe are necessarily steel; she’s a bounty hunter, and uses them when she has to. In a world of dark cults, vicious monsters, and the ever-present threat of violence, “when she has to” is pretty often.
For whatever reason, the creators of Sonic the Hedgehog decided his favorite food of all time would be chili dogs. He seemed to subsist on nothing but the stuff, which I have to blame for my young self’s constant craving for hot dogs. Strangely, watching Popeye eat spinach didn’t have quite the same effect.
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.
A brand new comedy venue is opening its doors this month to showcase some of the best talent in Grand Rapids, as well as provide education to up-and-coming comics and performers.
Reputation has it that if artists are not living in New York, Nashville or L.A., they’ll have a difficult time “making it” to a national platform. Ted Velie is rewriting that narrative as one of three co-founders of Michigan House, a pop-up event space for Michigan artists.
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