This past January Newsweek magazine deemed Grand Rapids, Michigan as one of the top 10 'dying cities' in the United States. Mayor George Heartwell refuted the 'dying city' label in letter [PDF] to Newsweek editor Tina Brown. The designation inspired the citizens of the city to raise $40,000 and pull together to create a lip-dub to Don McLean's 'American Pie.'
Walking Home: stories from the desert to the Great Lakes. Laura Milkins is walking home. Home is Grand Rapids, Michigan. Laura lives in Tucson, Arizona. That's 2,000 miles (3,219 km), or about 4,473,976 steps. Right now she's in the shoulder of the road somewhere around Holbrook, Arizona. She has a pack on her back, a webcam streaming 24 hours strapped to a sun visor on her head, and hopefully, a place to stay tonight. You can follow her every step of the way, by watching live video broadcast from her hat. Or walk with her. [more inside]
ArtPrize is an open art contest based in Grand Rapids, MI. It is the largest art contest in the world. Last year's winner Ran Ortner went from not being able to pay his phone bill to receiving a $250,000 prize. Researchers are looking into the local economic impact. So far, 34,000 people have registered to vote.