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This Week's Events

Wege Prize & 19th Annual Wege Speaker Series: The Dream Live

Saturday, Mar. 28, 10 a.m.
Eastown  
The gift of a philanthropist is often felt by the future.

This weekend is the 2nd annual and greatly expanded Wege Prize at UICA in downtown Grand Rapids. This year the event was open to the entire nation and the presenters will have a shot at taking home a share of the $30,000 purse up for grabs.
 
The Wege Prize is a collegiate, trans-disciplinary, collaborative "wicked" problem-solving competition created by KCAD and the Wege Foundation. The team recruited 16 teams to create a product, system or business functioning within a sustainable, circular economic model.
 
On Saturday morning at 10 a.m. the audience will get to watch as representatives from each of the finalist teams present their innovative solutions to the judges, who will award the prize money at 2 p.m. As you plan your weekend, this is one event you will not want to miss if you are curious about how innovation and science collide. 

Looking ahead, on April 23 it is the return of the Wege Speaker Series, which is continuing the long tradition of bringing speakers to the stage whose contributions and words have the power to transform.
 
The series will celebrate its 19th year by welcoming Edward Mazria, founder and head of Architecture 2030, an organization designed to rapidly transform the built environment from the major contributor of greenhouse gas emissions to a central part of the solution to the climate and energy crises.
 
His talk is titled “The Road to Zero” and is sure to inspire others to take next steps in our region. Mazria will powerfully illustrate a core principle of Economicology (a term that Peter Wege coined): creating a healthy environment generates a prosperous economy.
 
"Peter Wege’s decades-long leadership in promoting green buildings makes Mr. Mazria the perfect choice to deliver the 2015 Wege Lecture and to inspire Grand Rapids to continue Mr. Wege’s Economicology legacy," says Ellen Satterlee, CEO of the Wege Foundation. 
 

Compromised Beauty: A Scary Future Landscape Arrives On Our Shore

Opening Monday, Mar. 23 - Apr. 25, 2015
After nearly six years since her last solo exhibition, Calvin College professor and art photographer Jennifer Steensma Hoag breaks her "solo" silence on her c.v. as she unveils a breathtaking and disturbing new body of work, Compromised Beauty.
 
This by far her most arresting work, which moves from the comfort of mysterious documentation into a narrative driven format where something has clearly happened to the environment and we are the survivors witnessing the aftermath. It is unclear what happened but what is clear by the yellow uniforms is that whatever is being collected on these landscapes is something from which humans must shield themselves.
 
And while we have become used to these types of suits via the most recent biological scourge of Ebola, what is eerie here is that we are unclear what happened since the land around us looks so wonderful. This is why these images are so spooky and must be experienced in person.
 
In addition to Compromised Beauty opening at Calvin College, there will be an exhibition of another set of prints from this collection at the University of Michigan until September 2015.
 
On Friday, Mar. 27, 1:30pm in Spoelhof, Room 150, Steensma Hoag will present a talk about the work. If you do visit the Calvin College Center Art Gallery be sure to also view Earthwork: Collected Clay from East to West, curated by Anna Greidanus, Professor of Art at Calvin College.

 
Admission: Free
 

The Last Karaoke: A Downtown Nightclub Sings Out One Last Time

Friday, Mar. 27, 8 p.m.
As part of a countdown of events leading to the closure of the much-beloved, 22-year-old Diversions Nightclub on Fountain Street, the bar will host one last karaoke on Friday night. 
 
On this festive night, Diversions will be featuring hosts past and present to help the crowd bid farewell to the bar's current location. Each host will have an hour of fun planned that will also include a very special drink, created to be a reflection of the host. The night will be programmed with surprises and special guests as well as one last time to sing your heart out for one of the most supportive and rambunctious audiences around.
 
This will also be the last appearance of longtime crowd favorite host Brian, who will be hanging up his karaoke dj'ing career. Scheduled to return is Luke & Sherry, Ethan, and Tony. Personally, I would hope to see one more power ballad by Robby-Bear or CNN's LZ Granderson who really L-O-V-E-S karaoke.
 
The staff and owner of Diversions Nightclub invite people to come spend one last special karaoke night together before they exit their space. (At this time no new location has been announced but it is clear from calls to the owner that they probably will not be back in downtown Grand Rapids due to cost concerns.)
 
In an open letter to the community, owner Robb Wiersum writes:
 
"A little over 22 years ago, discouraged by our local gay bars at that time, whom I felt were just taking and taking and not giving back to our community. I thought I can do better than this, we deserve better than this, so I acquired a partner and we opened Diversions. When we opened our doors, we made the promise that, if you (our community) supported us, we would also support the community that we serve.
 
Gay bars are closing across the nation and the world, as acceptance of our community widens and innovations in technology help keep us in touch without having to drive to a bar…
 
One way or the other, I am proud of what we have accomplished over the years, and am thankful of the support the community has given us, I have been blessed with an incredible staff that I have had a chance to work with over the years.
 
And… I hope we find a way to make it all continue in the future."

For the complete Wiersum letter, visit the Diversions Nightclub's Facebook Page.


Admission: $5 ages 18 - 20, $3 ages 21+ or older.


 

Cesar Chavez Day Celebrates Young Lords: From GVSU to Chicago's Lincoln Park

Those who want to expand their cultural celebrations of Cesar Chavez Day will want to add a trip to Grand Valley State University's DeWitt Center, where the college will be hosting a special Young Lords in Lincoln Park presentation.
 
Kicking off the event is Elvira, a 90-minute live performance about a Mexican woman who sought sanctuary with her son for over a year inside a Chicago UMC building to bring attention to immigrant families being divided. These individuals, part of the Young Lords movement of Lincoln Park, went on (like Chavez) to become national heroes.
 
The occasion also presents an opportunity for two filmmaking teams to present their latest work.
 
The first offering is from a new Young Lords film in production, Milly and the Lords. This story centers on a female college student who joins the Young Lords in New York City and seeks to address the topic of domestic violence and other urban barrio concerns. The filmmakers will be screening approximately 30 minutes.
 
The second film is a documentary on the Young Lords and is the creation of a couple of professors from Modern Languages department at GVSU. The public will have a chance to see a 15-minute clip from this work in progress. 
 
Also speaking on this day will be GVSU's archivist, Nancy Richard, who will describe the various uses of the college's impressive Young Lords in Lincoln Park collection. Highlights of this collection include a rich collection of more than 110 oral histories, historical photographs, papers, and clippings documenting the origins of the Young Lords Movement. The event is a production of the new GVSU Young Lords Student Organization and will offer refreshments.
 
If you are interested in sharing your memories, donating materials to the collection, or would like to learn more about this effort or schedule a research visit, please contact GVSU Special Collections and Archives at collections@gvsu.edu or 616.331.8726.
 
 
 
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