The Grand Rapids Public Museum will celebrate different cultures in person this fall.
The museum’s annual Fall Cultural Celebration will include Anishinabe Culture Day for school groups from 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Nov. 12, and Ethnic Heritage Festival for the public from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Nov. 13.
“The museum takes pride in valuing, honoring and celebrating the unique cultures, characteristics and perspectives of our community and beyond through engaging, community-oriented programming, and we are excited for the return of the Fall Cultural Celebration,” said Dr. Stephanie Ogren, the GRPM’s vice president of science and education. “The museum proudly serves as a central hub, bringing culture to life within our spaces through community members who are deeply connected to their own culture and are eager to share their history, experiences and traditions.”
School groups will learn about the Anishinabe in West Michigan. The Anishinabe are a group of culturally related Indigenous peoples, including the Ottawa, Potawatomi and Chippewa people of West Michigan. Students will learn about Native American regalia, dance, music and culture. There will be dancing and drumming sessions in GRPM’s Meijer Theater and traditional storytelling sessions in the GRPM’s Chaffee Planetarium, along with opportunities to interact with table displays hosted by area tribal members.
General admission tickets to the GRPM will be free on Nov. 12 for all visitors. Anishinabe Culture Day was funded by the city of Grand Rapids Neighborhood Match Funds.
For more information and to book school groups, visit grpm.org/schools.
The Ethnic Heritage Festival will feature music, art, visual presentations, performances, a selection of food from various cultures and more from local cultural organizations. Organization representatives will share its backgrounds, traditions and connections to West Michigan through performances and activities.
The participating organizations are Grand Rapids Scottish Society, Shimmy USA, Gaelic League/Irish-American Club of West Michigan, Picardo Colours, Mystic Spirits Art, Les Clay, Korean Connection and the Polish Heritage Society. If others are interested in participating, they can apply by clicking grpm.org/ehf.
Ethnic Heritage Festival is included in the general admissions to the museum. Kent County kids will receive free general admissions and Kent County adults will receive reduced admissions, every day at the museum.
The museum also will feature two exhibits that focus on diversity and culture: Newcomers: The People of This Place, which highlights the various cultures that have settled the Grand Rapids area, and Anishinabek: The People of this Place. Visitors will be able to hear the story of the Anishinabe in their own voices.