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Community Updates: Friday, September 30

Grand Rapids Public Museum announces new exhibition called "The Power of Poison"; PBGR opens voting for community improvement projects in GR's first, second, and third wards; and more
Branches in front of the blurred lights of downtown Grand Rapids

Branches in front of the blurred lights of downtown Grand Rapids /Antonia Enos Burrows

The entrance to "The Power of Poison" exhibit

The entrance to "The Power of Poison" exhibit /The Grand Rapids Public Museum

Grand Rapids Public Museum Announces New Exhibition Called "The Power of Poison"

Earlier this month, the Grand Rapids Public Museum announced on Facebook that it would be welcoming a new exhibition to the GRPM in October. In this announcement, they did not reveal the name of the exhibit, choosing instead to drop a couple of hints on social media (including pictures of both a frog and a hat) and encouraging the public to take a guess at what the focus of the new exhibition would be. Finally, on September 26, the GRPM sent out a press release announcing that the exhibit, which is curated by the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, is called The Power of Poison and will be opening to museum visitors on October 22, 2022.

There will be five segments in this exhibition that visitors can explore, including:

  • Poison in Nature
  • Poison in Myth & Legend
  • Detecting Poisons
  • Poison by Accident
  • Poison for Good

Each section will offer its own unique experiences while also examining the overall relationship of poison to humanity and the animal kingdom. Dale Robertson, CEO and President of the GRPM, made the following statement in Monday's press release:

"The Power of Poison is interactive and engaging, and incorporates history, science, and culture into a single exhibit. The exhibit takes visitors on an educational journey through poison's role in nature, myth & legend, and how humans have harnessed its power for good." 

For more information about The Power of Poison and how to gain admission, visit the Grand Rapids Public Museum's website here


PBGR Opens Voting for Community Improvement Projects in GR's First, Second, and Third Wards

Over the last several months, the Participatory Budgeting Grand Rapids Steering Committee (PBGR) has asked the community for ideas regarding ways to increase safety, equity, and overall quality of life in Grand Rapids. In 2021, the City of Grand Rapids reserved $2 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds to support these community improvement projects, resulting in $600,000 being allocated for the First Ward, $400,000 being allocated for the Second Ward, and $1 million being allocated for the Third Ward. Members of the public, as well as multiple community-based nonprofits and organizations, came together to offer suggestions on how these funds can be used to create a better Grand Rapids.

On Tuesday, September 27, PBGR sent out a press release announcing that, as of September 30, residents of Grand Rapids would be able to start voting on its list of proposed community improvement projects. 27 projects ultimately made the final cut -- nine in the First Ward, eight in the Second Ward, and ten in the Third Ward. Voting ends on October 5 and the projects that garner the most votes will be "forwarded to the City Commission for funding approval."

The proposed projects are as follows:



"Cleaning Up GR Proposal" $75,000
1 "Affordable Quality Childcare" $150,000
1 "Citizens Advocacy Skills Academy" $100,000
1 "Plaster Creek Mural Project" $55,000
1 "Community Reading Initiative for Violence Reduction" $50,000
1 "Supporting Victims of Domestic Violence and Human Trafficking" $100,000
1 "The STEAM Employment Opportunities Project" $200,000
1 "Youth Affordable Housing Support" $145,000
1 "South Division Greenscaping and Beautification Grants" $250,000
2 "Youth Media Training Program" $200,000
2 "Mental Health Community First Responder" $350,000
2 "Cure Violence (Ward 2)" $250,000
2 "The Community Pantry" $150,000
2 "The Human Library" $100,000
2 "Palmer Elementary Reading & Arts Initiative" $50,000
2 "Accessory Dwelling (ADU) Planning Guide" $50,000
2 "Lower Elementary Reading Initiative" $75,000
3 "Madison Square Library Upgrades" $250,000
3 "Lead Line Removal for 3rd Ward" $500,000
3 "Community Based Violence Reduction Initiative" $250,000
3 "City Policy & Equity Practice Review" $336,000
3 "Neighborhood/Community Building Grants" $200,000
3 "Broadcast Media Academy" $120,000
3 "BIPOC Entrepreneurial Support Grants" $100,000
3 "Affordable Quality Childcare" $150,000
3 "Youth Affordable Housing Support" $145,000
3 "MLK Park Lodge Construction" $100,000

Residents who would like to vote can do so in-person at all branches of the Grand Rapids Public Library, at one of the PBGR Pop Up Voting events taking place across the city, or online at the PBGR website.

For more information about PBGR, voting times, and/or project details, visit the PBGR website here.


Also in the News:

  • The Rapid announced that, on October 5, it will be holding a "multi-company job fair" for job seekers in Grand Rapids. The event will take place at the downtown Central Station and feature recruiters from companies such as Meijer, Kellogg's, and Spectrum Health


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