Arts Briefs 9/21

Mary Racette

Festival celebrates African American music through local talent

On Sept. 26, the lawn of Studio Park in downtown Grand Rapids will come alive with the city’s African American Art and Music Festival (GRAAAMF), another testament to the passion and creativity of the local community. GRAAAMF is a celebration of the music of the African American Community.

Even through the uncertainty of the past few months, the GRAAAMF committee continued to meet. Lisa Knight, chairperson for the festival, stands by the old adage, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” At first, it seemed that the festival would be cancelled. Fundraising had become impossible, and one of their largest partners decided not to host any events this year. The committee kept scaling back and making new plans, but it wasn’t until the Bridge GR offered a grant, that the organizers knew they would be able to host the event. 

Read the full story on

Grand Rapids gets chalked up

The “Chalk It Up” festival will brighten up the city on Sept. 26. Grand Rapids is inviting the community to participate in the free outdoor event to decorate the city’s sidewalks. Chalk zones will be set up on Monroe Center and Louis Campau Promenade. Chalk and goodie bags will be passed out at the event at scattered Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. tents. This event is a part of the Bridge GR series.

In addition to the chalk art made by members of the community, there will also be a professionally drawn giant chalk mural at Rosa Parks Circle. The community is welcome to visit the mural and enjoy the food trucks and street performers surrounding the area.

Safe fun offered at EHCN Cherry Hill Live 

The East Hills Council of Neighbors continues to bring the greater Grand Rapids community together for their annual free live music series in Cherry Park. The council encourages the community to partake in family friendly fun, however, in order to ensure the safety of the event, masks will be required and entry will be capped at 100 people. Socially distancing is required throughout the event.

The next concert will be Thursday, Sept. 24. The final concerts of the series will take place on Oct. 8 and 24. All concerts will run from 6-9 p.m. and will have live performances by local talent. The bands on Sept. 24 will be Kingmaker and the Elijah Russ Collective. There will also be a beer and wine tent at the concerts.