Musicians hurt by COVID-19

COVID-19 is slamming Northern and West Michigan musicians in their wallets as concert venues and music festivals remain closed for the foreseeable future. We find out how a Bayne City musician who teaches in Mancelona, a Petoskey musicians with a cafe in Indian River and one from Grand Rapids are getting by.

Little Free Libraries luring more readers

Little Free Libraries are gaining popularity across the state as a way to share books and build neighborhoods. Books are flying off the shelves with public libraries and schools closed and people stuck at home. We learn more from Little Free Library owners in Prudenville, Cascade and Holland. By Joshua Valiquette.

MSU Museum’s Teal Talks give survivors a platform

Images from the “Finding Our Voice: Sister Survivors Speak” exhibit. At the Michigan State University Museum, a series of Teal Talks is being hosted in the “Finding Our Voice: Sister Survivors Speak” exhibit. These talks take place on the second Friday of every month for an hour.  

The museum opened the exhibit in April 2019 to provide a healing and learning environment to raise awareness regarding sexual violence. The talks provide a forum for community members, students, staff and faculty all over campus to participate in facilitated conversations led by scholars and advocates about the exhibit and the important issues it raises,” said Elesha Newberry, campus outreach specialist.

Nonprofit dance program “Happendance” set to perform at the Wharton Center

Happendance, a nonprofit dance
studio in Okemos, Michigan, will perform at the Wharton Center in East Lansing
on March 19 and March 21, part of a two-year collaboration with the FRIB. 

Happendance logo via

The organization’s staff said it
has provided a safe space for many students and families.  Colleen Erpelding, Director of Education
Services, said the staff is specialized to achieve this safe space. “We have staff who are training to
work with those with special needs as well as those who are dedicated to help
create a culture of inclusivity and equity,” she said.  “Those who train with us are families for
life and we have several who bring their children to us after they have left
our doors as students.”

The organization hosts events and
performances each month.  These events
are a way the program allows families to get together, ask questions and
showcase the purpose of the program.  The
organization does a number of community outreach events and it uses grant
funding to provide services to schools and families, said Erpelding. 

They will have a mini-performance
by Impulse, one of their student companies on March 28, during one of their
Social Saturday events. Their annual spring concert will be held at Eastern High School in Lansing from May 15 to Mat 17, and it will be a performance by students from Happendance School. Upcoming spring Happendance events. Infographic by Lauren Buchko

Happendance was founded in 1976 by
Diane Newman, originally as a program focused on small and private instruction.

The Michigan Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence presents “The Gun Show” at Williamston Theatre

The Michigan Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence has been putting on a one-act, one-person play about the debate on guns. The show goes throughout February and March 2020. On Monday, the show came to Williamston. 

“The Gun Show” explores playwright E.M. Lewis’s relationship with guns throughout her life as she moved from rural Oregon to New York and Los Angeles. “If you look in the country now tons of mass shootings have been going on and people are scared,” said Jala Jackson, actress and MSU theatre major. “Nobody is talking to each other, and it’s turned into a left or right issue.