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Community Updates: Friday, April 21

Grand Rapids Public Museum to welcome Ice Age: Michigan's Frozen Secrets, Snow: Tiny Crystals, Global Impact exhibits in May; Grand Rapids Public Library to host several events in honor of Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month; and more
A body of water as seen from between the foliage at Millenium Park

A body of water as seen from between the foliage at Millenium Park /Ann-Marie Jurek

Grand Rapids Public Museum to Welcome Ice Age: Michigan's Frozen Secrets, Snow: Tiny Crystals, Global Impact Exhibits in May

On Monday, the Grand Rapids Public Museum (GRPM) officially announced the titles and themes of two upcoming exhibits that will be making their debut at the Museum on Saturday, May 20.

Much like the unveiling of the Power of Poison exhibit in September of 2022, the GRPM posted multiple hints on its Facebook account ahead of the official announcement. These hints included photos of prehistoric tools and animals, such as a sabre-toothed tiger and Musk ox, as well as key words such as "chilling," "cool," and "icy." Followers of the GRPM's Facebook page made guesses in the comment sections of these posts, with many speculating that the upcoming exhibits would have something to do with the Ice Age. Finally, in a post that was made on Monday and a press release that was sent out on Thursday, this was confirmed.   

The first exhibit, called Ice Age: Michigan's Frozen Secrets, will focus on the history and impact of the last Ice Age, particularly in North America. Visitors to the Museum will have the opportunity to learn more about the prehistoric environment and landscape, as well as how ancient humans were able to survive the harsh conditions of the Ice Age. They will also get to see fossils, bones, and reconstructed models of animals that ancient humans shared the planet with, many of which are now extinct.

Some of the bones belonging to the "Clapp Family Mastadon," which was discovered by a construction crew working on a culvert in Kent City last year, will also be on display for Museum visitors to see.   

The second exhibit, called Snow: Tiny Crystals, Global Impact, was curated by the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (in association with the University of Alaska Fairbanks and the National Science Foundation). Museum visitors will be able to learn about the science of snow, as well as the impact it has on the planet's climate and water systems, through a variety of hands-on activities. They will also get to explore its cultural significance through presentations given by Iñupiaq elders and culture bearers. 

The Grand Rapids Public Museum expressed its excitement about the opening of these exhibits in Thursday's press release. According to Dustin Tyler, the Museum's Vice President of Marketing & Public Relations:

"Ice Age: Michigan's Frozen Secrets and Snow: Tiny Crystals, Global Impact are two incredibly unique and exciting exhibits that we are thrilled to bring to our community. We believe both exhibits will provide visitors with unforgettable educational experiences and inspire curiosity about Michigan's history and the impact of snow on our environment."

For more information about the upcoming Ice Age: Michigan's Frozen Secrets and Snow: Tiny Crystals, Global Impact exhibits, visit the GRPM's website.


Grand Rapids Public Library to Host Several Events in Honor of Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month 

In the United States, the month of May is designated as Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Across the country, numerous municipalities and various educational, cultural, and community institutions/organizations will be holding events (ranging from festivals to lectures) in celebration.

So far, the Grand Rapids Public Library (GRPL) is planning to host three events throughout the month of May in celebration of Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

Author and cartoonist Gene Luen Yang, perhaps best known for his graphic novels Boxers & Saints, American Born Chinese, and Avatar: The Last Airbender (among many other works), will be at the Main Library for an Author Talk on May 13. Registration for this event is required and can be found on the GRPL's website. A few days later, Jennifer Tompkins (who serves as the Community Education and History Coordinator for the Grand Rapids Asian Pacific Foundation) will be discussing the stories and accomplishments of the Japanese-American Soldiers of World War II, particularly those from West Michigan. Lastly, Furteelay Dance will be sharing a slice of Punjabi culture with Grand Rapidians by performing a Punjabi folk dance, called Bhangra, at the Main Library on May 20.

The full schedule of upcoming events is available on the GRPL's website. The current list of the GRPL's scheduled Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month events can also be viewed below:

Author Talk w/ Gene Luen Yang Saturday, May 13 1:00pm - 3:00pm GRPL Main Library
Japanese-American Soldiers of World War II Tuesday, May 16 6:30pm - 7:30pm GRPL Main Library
Furteelay Dance Performance Saturday, May 20 11:00am - 12:00pm GRPL Main Library


Also in the News:


  • On Tuesday, the City of Grand Rapids made a Facebook post to remind residents that, this year, City Income Taxes are due on Monday, May 1. For more information, visit the City's website.


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