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My Town Kalamazoo: KIA names new executive director

My Town Kalamazoo: KIA names new executive director

 

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KALAMAZOO, Mich. – After 15 years as director of the renowned Diggs Gallery, one of the nation’s top African American art galleries, Belinda Ann Tate is coming to Kalamazoo as the new executive director of the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts.

Tate was the top choice in a national search to succeed James Bridenstine, who announced last year he would retire in 2014 after 24 years. Tate will join the KIA on Sept. 8.

“Kalamazoo has a stellar reputation for supporting the arts and the KIA. I’m eager to build on that support, especially as KIA celebrates its 90th birthday. It’s a privilege to become part of this outstanding institute and the West Michigan arts community,” Tate said.

My Town: Local restaurants named winners of wine

My Town: Local restaurants named winners of wine

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—At least half a dozen restaurants in West Michigan have made the cut for the corks they pop.

They are among 3,748 restaurants worldwide to make Wine Spectator’s 2014 Restaurant Wine List Awards.  For the first time this year, top honors went to Clos Maggiore in London, La Toque in Napa, Nice Matin in New York, Saison in San Francisco, The Stonehouse in Santa Barbara and Studio in Laguna Beach.  They join 68 other winners of the Grand Award, which honors restaurants that generally offer guests 1,500 or more wine selections and for superior cellars, service, ambiance and cuisine.

The program’s entry-level Award of Excellence went to 2,791 restaurants; another 883 restaurants earned the Best of Award of Excellence for typically offering a list of 350 or more quality wine selections.  Locally, the following restaurants made the cut:

My Town: Consumers Energy Foundation awards nearly $31K to volunteer groups

My Town: Consumers Energy Foundation awards nearly $31K to volunteer groups

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Dozens of organizations are getting a financial boost from the Consumers Energy Foundation.

The organization recently awarded 64 grants totaling $30,900 to nonprofits across the state.  The Volunteer Investment Program grants are aimed at encouraging volunteering within Consumers Energy by rewarding those who work or have worked for the company.  This year’s recipients include:

Kalamazoo

  • $650 to Girl Scout Junior Troop 80462 (Jim Cottrell)
  • $450 to Mattawan Consolidated Schools Battle of the Books (Hillary Hogarth)
  • $550 to United States Bowling Congress Kalamazoo Area Youth Association/Airway Lanes (Susan Searles)

Kent

My Town Kalamazoo: United Way gives $7.6 million to support community programs

My Town Kalamazoo: United Way gives $7.6 million to support community programs
-------NEWS RELEASE---------KALAMAZOO, Mich. (United Way)—From early grade reading to support services for seniors, 106 programs operated by nonprofit agencies across the region are welcoming support totaling more than $7.6 million from United Way of the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region (UWBCKR).  “Because of our incredibly generous supporters, United Way is able to fund programs that are changing lives in meaningful ways,” said Michael Larson, President and CEO of UWBCKR. “More kids will learn to read well so they can succeed in school. More families will achieve financial stability. More people will embrace healthier lifestyles. More individuals in crisis will get the help they need.”  Larson said this year’s community investments, which total $7,651,690, meets or exceeds overall support provided both locally and regionally over the past several years.

My Town: Local breweries home to some of the best beer in the country

My Town: Local breweries home to some of the best beer in the country

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (Lansing State Journal)-- Congratulations are in order for Kalamazoo-based Bell’s Brewery, Inc.

Bell’s Two Hearted Ale has been named the No. 2 beer in the country by readers of Zymurgy Magazine, the publication of the American Homebrewers Association.

Two other Michigan beers also made the Top 10: Bell’s Hopslam (No. 4) and Grand Rapids-based Founders Brewing Co.’s Breakfast Stout (No. 9). Founders’ also scored three more spots inside the top-ranks beers list with Kentucky Breakfast Stout (No. 11), All Day IPA (No. 34, tie) and Backwoods Bastard (No. 49, tie).

Zymurgy Magazine earlier this week released the results of the poll, in which readers named their 20 favorite beers that are commercially available in the U.S. California-based Russian River’s Pliny the Elder took the No. 1 spot.

My Town GR North: Meijer Great Choices Student Film Festival winners honored

My Town GR North: Meijer Great Choices Student Film Festival winners honored

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.--- More than a dozen promising student filmmakers will be honored Saturday as they accept awards from the Meijer Great Choices Student Film Festival.

As part of the competition, students from across Michigan submitted more than 320 Public Service Announcement videos promoting positive choices among two age groups of youth.  A panel of media students and professors from Compass College of Cinematic Arts, Ferris State University, Grand Valley State University and Western Michigan University helped whittle down the number of entries to 60.

At 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 7, the competition will culminate with 18 of the 60 finalists being honored with $21,000 in prizes and awards.  The presentation will take place at Celebration Cinema North at Knapp’s Corner, located at 2121 Celebration Drive NE in Grand Rapids. 

5 flavorful Michigan breweries worth the drive

5 flavorful Michigan breweries worth the drive

(Anne Erickson, Lansing State Journal)-- For many Michiganders, summer and beer go hand-in-hand. Drive through Mitten towns on any given summer weekend, and you’ll likely spot folks sitting on their front porches, sipping on the cool, flavorful drink.

Michigan, of course, has endless top-notch choices when it comes to craft beers and Michigan-made brews. In fact, our state is currently fifth in the U.S. in the number of breweries, microbreweries and brewpubs, according to Pure Michigan.

So, raise a pint and get to know a few great Michigan breweries and distilleries.

Founders Brewery Co.

• Where: Grand Rapids