Smithsonian Water/Ways in Big Rapids

The Michigan Humanities Council and Artworks bring the Smithsonian to Big Rapids September 29th through November 10 at Artworks, located at 106 N. Michigan Avenue in Big Rapids.

water-ways-3Water/Ways is part of the Smithsonian Museum on Main Street initiative designed to bring high quality exhibits to small-town cultural organizations. Artworks is one of six locations in Michigan that will be part of this exciting touring exhibit. Water/Ways focuses on the unique impact and essential role that water plays in our communities. This exhibit allows Michigan to rediscover the value of water as both a resource for humans and a cultural symbol. The Muskegon River Watershed, which flows through Big Rapids and all of Mecosta County, has a rich history and has been instrumental in

shaping our culture and our way of life. This interactive exhibit will remind our community of the importance of our waterways and encourage us to engage in dialogue and stewardship. Also, to remind us that water is central to the rituals of our life and that we are all downstream.

Artworks has partnered with many community organizations to design events, additional exhibits and programs that will deepen our understanding of what the water means to us. Our sponsors include: TransCanada, Meijer, Ice Mountain, Consumers Energy, and Osceola County Community Foundation’s Hydacker-Wheatlake Fund for Community Betterment.

“No water, no life. No blue, no green.” Sylvia Earle, oceanographer.

For a complete look at the Water/Ways local program, click here. 

For a full list of current Artworks programming go to


Tuba Bach Week 3

_ Note the time change due to the FSU Homecoming Parade!This weekend, come and refresh your soul as Tuba Bach continues the New World Exploration season.  Celebrate the Gospel music tradition of Detroit, Michigan with the blended, five-part harmonies from Testimony, Angela Bostic, Keisha Lanae’, Chandra Lewis, Lori Bobbitt Waddles and Lori Wesby – backed by bassist Ibrahim Jones, drummer Ron Otis and euphonium artist Ed Mallett all under the direction of pianist Alvin Waddles. 

The ensemble will present two performances, highlighting the music and culture of Detroit Gospel, on Saturday, September 29 at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, September 30 at 4:00 p.m. at the Big Rapids High School Auditorium.  Both concerts are presented free of charge.  There will also be a free Lunch Bachs Family Concert, an educational performance geared toward young children and families, which will take place at 1:00 p.m. at Three Girls Bakery in Downtown Big Rapids (please note the time change from our usual 12:00 noon concerts, due to the FSU Homecoming parade). 

For more information about the Tuba Bach Chamber Music Festival, including upcoming concerts and opportunities to support the event, visit

Ferris State University’s Liaison Committee for Students with Disabilities (LCSD) observes Disability Awareness Month

Each year, Ferris State University’s Liaison Committee for Students with Disabilities (LCSD) coordinates events in observance of Disability Awareness Month. The annual celebration aims to celebrate our students, staff, faculty and community members with disabilities as well as to educate the public about the importance of inclusion.

Here is the lineup of events for Disability Awareness Month 2018. All of these events (apart from the 5K event, which requires a registration fee) are free and open to the public. Please attend, share and promote these events whenever possible!

Theater Delta Interactive Performance – 5 Star Event

Tuesday, October 9, 2018, 6 – 7:30 p.m.

University Center 202

This free event will explore the topics of depression and suicidal ideation in an interactive format, allowing attendees to understand how to have challenging conversations and be an active ally. This event is open to the public, but mature audiences are recommended due to the sensitive nature of topics being discussed.

Film Screening – “Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot”

Monday, October 15, 2018, 6 – 9 p.m.

University Center – 202C

Director Gus Van Sant (Good Will Hunting, Finding Forrester, Milk) brings to life the big screen story of John Callahan, a paralyzed alcoholic who finds passion for drawing off-color newspaper cartoons. Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Jack Black, Rooney Mara and Jonah Hill. This is a free event open to the public.

A Forum for (Enrollment) Change

Tuesday, October 23, 2018, 11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

University Center – 202C

While “declining enrollment” is be a hot topic on campuses across the nation there is a student population which desperately wants to be targeted and recruited – but continues to be largely ignored. This forum will focus on the need to begin actively recruiting students with disabilities on campus – and will include a keynote address by Liz Plachta, the CEO/Co-Founder of Ruby’s Rainbow, a non-profit that has provided over $643,000 worth of sponsorships to 224 adult students with Down syndrome to date. In addition, the forum will provide attendees with the opportunity to work through the direct challenges to increasing inclusion for students with disabilities on our campus through a moderated working session. Afterwards, a 4 person panel including keynote speaker Liz Plachta, Katrina Murrell (Administrator of Saginaw Valley State University’s “Think Cardinal” program), Rick Campbell Sr. (Owner, Campbell Industrial Force) and Emily Garlick (Current Master’s level student at Ferris State University) will be on hand to work through the challenges/solutions created during that working session.

Although this forum is free to attend, a plated luncheon will be provided during the working session, so RSVP’ing is required. Please RSVP no later than 10/15/18 to

Skeleton Skurry – A 5K Run, Walk & ROLL Event!

Saturday, October 27, 2018, 9:30 a.m.

Big Rapids City Hall (On-site registration beginning at 7:30 a.m.)

This established and course certified 5K event is in its 6th year, but has teamed up with the Liaison Committee for Students with Disabilities to be awarded its first ever “fully accessible” course certification. This event is open to persons of all ages and abilities, however we do request that you contact if you are visually impaired and require guide services so that we have time to set those services up ahead of time for you. There is a cost to participate in this event. You may pre-register at

Big Rapids Lions Support Constitution Day

lionsIn support of Constitution Day on September 17, the Big Rapids Lions provided pocket sized copies of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence to students in four Big Rapids Schools. Over 250 copies were provided to teachers and students at Big Rapids Middle School, Crossroads Charter Academy, St. Mary Catholic School and St. Peter’s Lutheran School. Included in the pocket versions are a series of flash cards that can be used by the student to enhance their learning and retention of information. Each school has differing plans for how the material will be incorporated into classroom activity throughout the school year. Students will use a variety of techniques from learning how to use sign language for the preamble to applying current events to the constitutional amendments.

Muskegon River Trash Bash

The 2nd Muskegon River Trash Bash river clean up was Sept. 15, 2018 with Evart, Big

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Rapids, and Mecosta participating.  More than 35 people joined forces to clean sections of both the Muskegon River and Little Muskegon River.  Debris such as cans, flip flops, clothes, diapers, metal, tires, and more were removed from the river.  Thanks to all participants and a special thanks to all contributors: Ice Mountain, B103.9, Lowes, The Muskegon River Watershed Assembly, American Rivers, Republic Services, City of Evart, City of Big Rapids, Mecosta County Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Big Rapids Jaycees Big Rapids Area River Safety Project.  15275

TIPS Training

TIPS Training (3)In collaboration with the Mecosta County Area Chamber of Commerce, Ferris State University is once again offering local liquor sales establishments an opportunity for their employees to be T.I.P.S. (Training for Intervention Procedures by Servicers of Alcohol) certified with free training on November 4, 2018, at 12:00 p.m.

TIPS (Training for Intervention Procedures) is a dynamic, skills-based training program designed to prevent intoxication, drunk driving and underage drinking by enhancing the fundamental “people skills” of servers, sellers and consumers of alcohol. T.I.P.S. gives individuals the knowledge and confidence they need to recognize potential alcohol-related problems and intervene to prevent alcohol-related tragedies.

Instruction and the booklets will be provided at no cost, compliments of Ferris State University.

Seating is limited and will be awarded on a first come first serve basis with reservations required by calling your Chamber today at (231) 796-7649 or email names of participants to

Tuba Bach: Week 2

This weekend, take a musical journey to Central and South America as Tuba Bach continues the New World Exploration season.  Enjoy traditional music from a variety of regions throughout Central & South America and the Caribbean, presented by Venezuelan flute virtuoso Marco Granados, award-winning percussionist and cuatro player Jackeline Rago, rising marimba artist and Big Rapids’ own Noah Mallett and tuba-euphonium artist Ed Mallett.

The ensemble will present two performances, highlighting the music and culture of Central and South America, on Saturday, September 22 at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, September 23 at 4:00 p.m. at the Big Rapids High School Auditorium. Both concerts are presented free of charge.  There will also be a free Lunch Bachs Family Concert, an educational performance geared toward young children and families, which will take place at 12:00 noon at Three Girls Bakery in Downtown Big Rapids. For more information about these events and the Tuba Bach Festival, visit www.tubabach.orgTuba Bach Concert 2.png


unnamed (5)With just under a month left in the golf season, St. Ives is excited to announce the 4th Annual Ironman Tournament, taking place on Saturday, October 13th, with a 10 a.m. shotgun start.
This event has grown in popularity each year, as the demanding hole locations make it an exciting way to enjoy some fall golf at St. Ives.
This year’s event will once again feature multiple food and beverage stations on the course, as well as a welcome reception on Friday evening featuring some of the new items on our Topgolf Swing Suite menu.
This 4-person scramble is $300 per team ($75 per person) and includes 18 holes with a cart, range balls prior to the tournament and an optional skins game for $20 per team. Play will go on rain or shine!
Teams in this event sell fast – so be sure to round up your foursome and call to save your spot today!
Call the St. Ives Sales Department at (231) 972-4837, extension 5002 to enter your team – and be sure to ask about adding lodging for as low as $40 per person!

JC Penney Suit Up!

41520569_2028201913866511_6740331746593603584_nOn Sunday, October 7th, JC Penney, The Ferris State Center for Leadership, Activities and Career Services, and the Mecosta County Area Chamber of Commerce are partnering to present the JC Penney Suit Up Event, an event geared toward FSU students to help them prepare for interviewing.  This is the official kickoff to prepare students for the FSU Fall Career & Internship Fair to be held on October 18.

The JCPenney Suit Up Event will offer students a 40% discount on career clothing. This is in addition to regular, sale and clearance prices. The store will be open from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. to Ferris State University students only for this special event. The event will include mock interviews, raffles, informational tables, refreshments, entertainment, resume assistance and more!   The goal of this event is to prepare students so they can present their best self for an internship or employment.

Chamber members and other Mecosta County business representatives! The JC Penney Suit Up Event planning committee needs your help! We need HR specialists, managers, business owners, and anyone involved in the business community to volunteer for the JCPenney Suit Up event. We need your help with mock interviews and to help guide these students in their choice of interview wardrobe. Mock interview guides and resume assistance will be provided by the FSU CLACS Career Center. Maybe you have an item for the raffles or a service that you can provide?  Let us know and we will work out the details.

This is a great moment to engage with our FSU students as they enter the workforce and to make some connections for the future. As an added incentive, all participants will also receive 40% off of their career wear purchase.

If you are interested, or have a great way that you think your business could participate, please contact Megan at

Tuba Bach 2018: New World Exploration

Publication1Mecosta County. You have the unique opportunity to take a musical journey throughout North and South America for the next six weeks — September 15 through October 21 — without ever having to leave the comfort of Big Rapids.

Week 1–NEW ORLEANS : with Doreen Ketchens & Alvin Waddles

The 2018 Tuba Bach season: New World Exploration, begins this weekend with a celebration of New Orleans – Jazz straight from the French Quarter of New Orleans, played by one of the city’s most celebrated treasures – the incomparable “Queen Clarinet,” Ms. Doreen Ketchens, along with the Amazing Alvin Waddles at the piano and Ed Mallett on tuba.

The ensemble will present two full concert performances, highlighting the music and culture of New Orleans, on Saturday, September 15 at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, September 16 at 4:00 p.m. at the Big Rapids High School Auditorium.  Both concerts are presented free of charge.  There will also be a free “Lunch Bachs” Family Concert, a one-hour educational performance geared toward young children and families, which will take place at 12:00 noon at Three Girls Bakery in Downtown Big Rapids.  While there, enjoy a 10% “Lunch Bachs” discount off your order at Three Girls.