Philomena Mantella

Q&A: Philomena Mantella

Grand Valley State University is gaining a fresh perspective with new President Philomena V. Mantella.
Jeff Moore

‘Dream’ Store Opens Doors

Self-described “huge comic books fan and toy collector” Jeff Moore launched the venture of his dreams in Rockford.
Four Birds Airstream Gathering Spaces

Family Debuts Mobile Event Venue

A pair of Calvin College grads and their kids have moved back to West Michigan with an Airstream trailer and a vision in tow.
David Leslie

A Journey of Self-discovery

For David Leslie, leaving his hometown of Grand Rapids in the 1990s began a 25-year journey west and back. He’s a furniture craftsman, owner of The Maker’s Bench, but that wasn’t what he set out to do intentionally.
StickonStump merchandise

Simple Motivation

A doodle drawn out of frustration led local artist and writer Peter Welmerink to launch StickonStump, a simple cartoon figure who waxes motivational.
Janay Brower Public Thread

Upcycling for the Greater Good

Social justice and passion have always been a part of Janay Brower’s work. Before starting Public Thread, she worked for the city of Grand Rapids and the Grand Rapids Area Coalition to End Homelessness, doing systems change and public policy work. But despite the work she was doing, Brower wanted to find a way to foster deeper systemic change.
70x7 outreach luncheon

Building a New Life

Nakajabu Sims’ probation officer told him that he was the poster child to see if 70x7 Life Recovery really works. Turns out, the nonprofit does its job well.
Photo by Kevin Kamis

Make Room for the Mountain Minnies

Say hello to the winter adventure program designed to get little girls outside to brighten the colder months.
Photo by Johnny Quirin.

Finding Friends

“We’ve been here six and a half years. It’s time to put an expiration date on it and move on,” said Kim Carignan, 54, a resident of Grand Rapids’ northeast side. Carignan, who has lived in Detroit, Chicago, New York and Naples, Florida, said she and her husband haven’t been able to make the friendships they’d hoped for in West Michigan, something she said was easier in the other places she’s lived.
Gemini Handmade's new store provides greater retail space.

Gemini Handmade Expands to Collaborate with Community

This past June, Parliament the Boutique rebranded as Gemini Handmade after five years on the South Division Avenue for the Arts corridor. Now, the local artisan-based shop has made another big move—to 963 Cherry St. SE.
"Tyler was given those wool mittens while he was homeless; we washed them and he was able to provide them to someone else who volunteered at the event and also happens to be without a home."

Purple Backpack Project Delivers Lifesaving Items to Homeless

As temperatures drop and snowstorms await, local nonprofit Dirt City Sanctuary said even though items such as a proper pair of boots should be an essential necessity to surviving winter, many individuals in West Michigan walk the streets without such provisions.
Author Mary McKSchmidt walks along the beach near their home in Holland, Michigan.

Navigating Uncharted Waters

In Mary McKSchmidt’s latest book, “Uncharted Waters: Romance, Adventure, and Advocacy on the Great Lakes,” she’s sailing with her husband on Lake Michigan, taking a view of its eastern edge, when she’s overcome by a nearly spiritual wonder. She’s scanning the shoreline for the spot she stood as a girl — recalling a vibrant springtime that left her in love with the water she sailed.
Zeal Aerial Fitness

Take Your Workout to New Heights with Zeal Aerial Fitness

A new fitness studio, Zeal Aerial Fitness, was welcomed into town on Nov. 9. Founded by Christina VanDam, the studio said it is the first all-inclusive aerial fitness facility to come to Grand Rapids.
The Hero Foundation collects Christmas gifts for families in need during the holiday season.

The Hero Foundation Offers Families Relief During Holiday Season

As the holiday festivities begin, The Hero Foundation wants to remind the community not every family is lucky enough to afford Thanksgiving dinner and Christmas presents let alone pay for everyday necessities. Families coping with cancer are not only concerned with the emotional aspects of the disease, but they must deal with the financial side effects of cancer as well.
A Pleasant Dog has relocated into a larger space.

A Pleasant Dog Expands Services in New Home

Canine training business A Pleasant Dog has found a new home. In an effort to expand its services, A Pleasant Dog relocated from Wealthy Street to 1430 Knapp Street NE.

The Counting House Charms with Modern Take on the General Dry Goods Store

If you want a true sense of modern-day general store magic, The Counting House welcomes you.
Dégagé Ministries dining hall is open during the morning and evening hours.

Dégagé Ministries Commemorates Impact with Event Featuring Patrons’ Stories

Transforming lives and restoring hope in the Heartside community, Dégagé Ministries is a Christ-centered, non-profit organization that offers valuable programming and services to homeless and disadvantaged individuals in Grand Rapids. To commemorate its impact on the community, the ministry is hosting this year’s “Celebrate Dégagé.”
Photo by Johnny Quirin

Treetops Collective Supports Refugee Women Making GR Home

Upon entering the storefront for Treetops Collective on South Division Avenue, it immediately becomes clear that people are at work. Commercial sewing machines are positioned along the street-side window; long tables overflow with fabric, beads and half-finished products; shelves are stacked with T-shirts, onesies and cloth baskets for sale. Women talk, laugh and enjoy each other’s company.
Photo by Johnny Quirin

Getting Crafty

Admit it: you have one. You’ve probably admired someone else’s at least once. It’s that art or hobby you’ve said for years you’re going to start one day. Maybe you’ve dreamed you could learn to paint with watercolors, learn martial arts, sail or weave. Perhaps you want to learn woodworking, ballroom dancing or sewing.
To & Fro

7 Things to Know About TO & FRO

The new activewear shop TO & FRO helps you look good during yoga, at the gym or while running (your life).




Sign up to receive the latest news, events, and offerings from Grand Rapids Magazine!