The Best of Grand Rapids, MI

grand rapids michigan events in july

Hey folks!

You may recognize me from such roles as host of CREATIVE OPS or the author of the thrilling scifi/horror novel Switchers.

Speaking of…if you buy an autographed copy of Switchers, you’ll notice two things:

  1. It’s an amazing story about teens in 1996 who get pulled into a time travel war against their adults selves, who are fleeing an apocalyptic, parasitic zombie fungus.
  2. The return address is 111 Division Ave S, Grand Rapids, MI, 49503, which is where my office is located (shout out to Little Space Studio coworking space!

I say the first to make money, the latter to point out that I work in the city of Grand Rapids, MI.

Now, I live outside the city proper, but my podcast, community events I’ve sold books at, and working downtown has endeared Grand Rapids to me on a level that teaching in the city (in my past) didn’t. Through this podcast I really got to put my thumb on the pulse of the city, and not just creatively like I intended at first. Listen and get a feel for the city of Grand Rapids through the people who help create its vibes:

Grand Rapids, MI: Exploding with Creativity!

Ep.85 | Andrea Shaner – How to Be on TV! Creative Ops

Andrea Shaner is the producer of the Fox17 Morning Mix in Grand Rapids, MI. It's a "West Michigan lifestyle show with a little bit of everything from weather to local shops to crafting" that's on every M-F starting at 9am EST. Andrea started in high school AV, dreamed of being a meteorologist, became a news producer, then developed the Morning Mix. Here's her story and insights for creatives trying to get FEATURED on TV, not just a how-to  for those seeking to work in the television industry. Big shout out to A TALK IN THE ATTIC and Kirk Ross, for letting me use their studio to record this one! . . . Andrea Shaner Links Instagram: @andreamshaner Facebook: @andrea.shaner.1 Fox17 Morning Mix Links http://www.fox17online.com/morning-mix IG: @fox17morningmix FB: @MorningMix17 YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFCwefQY-2ysva39CmaRJqg . . . Go to http://www.christophertallon.com for show info, host info, blogs, social links, Everywhere BUT Bookstores tour stops, and links for Christopher Tallon's sci-fi/horror novel, Switchers.

Ep.84 | Brandon Dante Copeland does EVERYTHING! Creative Ops

Some call him Brandon, some call him Dante, some call him Dante Cope. I'll introduce him by his full legal name, you call him want you want, I guess… Brandon Dante Copeland is a multi-talented musician (mainly sax, but other wind instruments, too), beat maker, rapper, producer, who also plays guitar, keys, and a little drums. Originally from Jackson, MI, he now lives in Grand Rapids and is a key member of the artistic and musical community. He also hosts art, music, and community events in the downtown GR area. A very cool guy doing very cool things. . . . Come to the 106 Gallery in Grand Rapids, MI, Thursdays thru mid-December 2022 (Except Thanksgiving, duh…) for THE THING TO DO THURSDAYS!!! . . . Catch up with the man here: IG: @dantecope FB: @dantecope Twitter: @dantecope Spotify: Les Créatif Apple Music: Dante Cope; Les Créatif  

Ep. 82 | Everywhere BUT Bookstores Tour (9/27/22): Pharmhouse Wellness Artists’ Market Creative Ops

I'm on my Everywhere BUT Bookstores Tour promoting my novel, Switchers, a scifi story that pits teens in 1996 against their adult selves in a winner-take-all time travel war. Pharmhouse Wellness is more to me than a few pit stops on the tour, they are a partner I've worked with to promote the book and to sell it in their lobby. I'm grateful for the opportunities they've provided me, as well as many other creatives in the Grand Rapids area. This episode is comprised of 6 interviews: 1) Casey and Megan Kornoelje – owners/founders of Pharmhouse Wellness 2) Dennis the frisbee guy – Founder of Wino-O Frisbee in Grand Rapids (Facebook Group)  3) Darcy Weiss aka Doodle Mittens – artist/vendor (www.doodlemittens.com) 4) Chadwick Belbeck – artist/art market attendee/personal friend (IG: @cwick_b) 5) "Uncle" Mary Brandt & (Aunt) Tay Martinez – artists/vendors/adorable married couple (IG: @maryfragdalene & @taymartiart) 6) Abdul – owner of  CHAR, the caterers of the event (www.char-gr.com) . . . http://www.christophertallon.com for all things show/host related. Love ya. Mwah! . . . Please have a listen to The Reluctant Book Marketer if you're into any part of the publishing process. It's a fascinating podcast.

Ep.76 | Ashley Nash – Illustrator & Muralist on Passion, Purpose, and Event Planning Creative Ops

Ashley Nash is a talented visual artist (illustration/painting/murals) with a degree in art (focus on illustration) from GVSU. She's originally from Muskegon, now living in Grand Rapids, and freelances as an artist while also working as the Head Creative Designer at Pharmhouse Wellness (which you already know of if you've been listening). She's part of the creative duo that puts together the Pharmhouse events, such as the Art Market from Ep.73. Check out http://www.PharmhouseWellness.com for more info on what they've got coming up, links, etc… Ashley talks about her youthful inspiration and support, winning over skeptical family with your art, getting screwed over as an artist, and finding your way in all the madness–professionally and otherwise, learning, and unlearning. You can find Ashley's creative work around various parts of west Michigan and/or on her Instagram, on which you can FOLLOW HER on Instagram: @nashleyillustration. You can click HERE for ALL of her links, and you can email her (business-related inquiries only, please) at Nashleysart@gmail. . . . Big shout out to Pharmhouse Wellness for letting me sell books at their art markets AND inside their lobby! If you're in Grand Rapids and you need a dispensary…Pharmhouse Wellness. Look for their cannabis-themed art and exercise events on their IG and FB pages.   . . . If you enjoy Creative Ops, support the show: -Buy SWITCHERS (a novel by Creative Ops' host Christopher Tallon) -Buy me a coffee (.com) -Follow us on Insta, FB, TikTok, and/or Twitter. -Follow CT's blog (it's the best blog you're not following (yet…))

Ep.74 | Megan Smith & MOSS ART!!! Creative Ops

Megan Smith is an artist who mainly works with natural materials and does beautiful stuff you can check out on Instagram @mossberrymarvels. We talk art, process, social media, mental health, events, tv (the name of the show was Wilfred…) and movies, run-ins with the law, local coffee, and other stuff! We recorded in bean bag chairs next to Pharmhouse Wellness, so you'll feel like you're out on the lawn with friends as you hear some of the sounds of the city of Grand Rapids intermittently. … You can check out more on the show, its host (me), and my suspenseful, time-travel novel at http://www.christophertallon.com. … Do something creative and have a great day!

Ep.73 | The Pharmhouse Wellness Art Market: A Podumentary… Creative Ops

Pharmhouse Wellness, Grand Rapids, Michigan's only locally owned and operated dispensary, had another art market. Again I sold books and (someone else's (my daugher's!)) art. This time, however, I brought my podcast gear and made a whole thing of it, talking to a little bit of every kind of person around: pot smokers, local celebrities, art enthusiasts, art vendors, budtenders, and one of the event organizers. And Mike Logan did a great read of the back of my book Switchers, which I encourage you to read. Your future self will thank you… .   .   . The interviewees are: Mike Logan | IG: @icecoldcomedian  Matt "soon-to-be from GR" Sweda | IG: @mattsweda Frankie | IG: @stolenchapstick K.C. | IG: @kcnextdoo_ & @nailzbykc_ Loyiso "Lou" Matanda | IG: @loyisomatandabey Ashley Nash | IG: @nashleyillustration ; nashleyillustration@gmail.com Kate Lewis | IG: @claykate ; http://www.katelewisceramics.com/shop Dean from BEDROOM CEILINGS | Insta and Facebook @bedroomceilings .   .   . Shout out to my tent sharing artists from the two markets: Los The Artist and Savannah Jade. One more to Michigrown for sponsoring the event and giving away some nice freebies! Hope to see you at the next one August 20, 2022, at Pharmhouse Wellness in Grand Rapids, Michigan!  

BOOK RELEASE WEEK | Kirk Ross – My Cover Designer!!! Creative Ops

Kirk Ross designed the cover for my book, Switchers. See the cover and find out more about the book (including where to pick up your e-book or paperback copy) at http://www.christophertallon.com. .   .   . Check out Kirk's podcast, A Talk In The Attic, and watch a comedic edition of this very interview on the A Talk In The Attic's YOUTUBE PAGE! There you can watch all my prior appearances, as well as "Nunzio's Big Night Out" and many other quality episodes. .   .   . Check me out on all social media @tallonwrites, on my website http://www.christophertallon.com, on Goodreads, and on Amazon.   Later!

Ep.67 | The Return of the Hosts of Threads Podcast: Life Unfiltered (Kinda…(You’ll See What I Mean.)) Creative Ops

Jason Tieri returns for the second time to represent Threads Podcast: Life Unfiltered. His co-host, Mike Van Drie, is on the show for the first time. (He wasn't on the show yet the first time. (We get into all that. (Do these parentheses seem weird? (It's only weird if you make it weird…)))) We talk about the change in the hosting lineup, learn things about Mike that Jason didn't know, talk about what it's like discussing deeply personal things "publicly", how a podcast develops over time, having to poop while running, coming up with good titles for podcast episodes, and more. Go to http://www.threadspodcast.com and, as per the guys' recommendations, start listening to Threads Podcast: Life Unfiltered with episodes #167 and #171–if you haven't already been listening. .   .   . And please go to http://www.christophertallon.com to find out more about my novel, this podcast, and…other stuff. On all social media platforms: @tallonwrites

Ep. 63 | Derek Mohr – Developer, Designer, Artist, & Good Dude Creative Ops

Derek Mohr is a Grand Rapids, MI based artist who works as a developer and designer. We talked about his early interest in art and technology, traced his path to professional status, talked about some of his projects, and stuff creative people deal with, go through, and chat about with other creatives. By day Derek works for an agency called Might In The Midwest. You can see more about Derek and the things he does at https://onemohrti.me/ .     .     . Catch Derek On.. Instagram: @onemohrtimedesign Twitter: @OneMohrTime Dribble: dribbble.com/OneMohrTime

Ep.58 | Shatawn Brigham – Owner of GR Noir Wine & Jazz Creative Ops

Shatawn Brigham and his wife, Nadia, moved from fields in mental health and education into business with the idea of changing the culture of professional inequality in Grand Rapids from the inside. Listen to how he met his wife, how they've worked to help the city and it's negatively impacted communities, and how GR Noir–Grands Rapids' only jazz bar–came to be. . . . Check them out at http://www.grnoir.com, and on Facebook and Instagram!  

Ep.56 | Casey Kornoelje – Grand Rapids’ Only Local in the Cannabis Game Creative Ops

Casey Kornoelje is the sole owner of the only locally-owned cannabis dispensary in Grand Rapids, Michigan. You might ask, "There are so many dispensaries…how is Pharmhouse Wellness the only local one?"  Great question. Listen for the answer to that, how Casey got into growing in the first place, how the shop came to fruition, and what his plans are for the shop and the community around it going forward. . . . Check out Pharmhouse Wellness on their website, http://www.pharmhousewellness.com, on Facebook @pharmhousewellness, and on Instagram @pharmhousewellness. . . . Follow the show and its host at http://www.christophertallon.com and on all social media @TallonWrites. . . . And leave a review AND a rating for the show wherever you download podcasts. Thanks!

Creative Ops | Ep.46 | Marcel ”Fable” Price – Creatively Affecting Change Creative Ops

Fable the Poet (aka Marcel Price) became the Poet Laureate of Grand Rapids, MI in 2017. At the time, he was GR's first black PL. He was the first PL to not graduate from college. On top of that he was also the youngest PL in city history. Now he works with The Diatribe, mainly focusing on improving the south side and educating people about GENTRIFICATION and REDLINING. Check out The 49507 Project. Marcel Price / Fable the Poet: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter The Diatribe: Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, SUPPORT!

Creative Ops | Ep.44 | Kirk Ross – Host of A TALK IN THE ATTIC Creative Ops

My buddy and fellow podcaster|musician|writer Kirk Ross joined me (or rather I joined him (we were in his studio)) for a fun talk. Unlike the first time he was on the show, I actually interviewed him this time. Get to know the man. Learn about (then go listen to) his wonderful podcast, A Talk in the Attic. Maybe even follow @atalkintheattic on your favorite social media! The song from A Talk in the Attic was used with permission. Shout out to the inimitable HILTON (@hiltonallcaps on IG) for putting together such a badass tune for Kirk's show! Catch up with me, CT, on all social media @TallonWrites, and also on http://www.christophertallon.com. Later!

Creative Ops | Ep40 | Joe Bockheim – vocals/guitar for The Legal Immigrants Creative Ops

Joe Bockheim was kind enough to invite me to his house for a sit down. We talked about music, home ownership, having kids, and all kinds of fun stuff. Check out The Legal Immigrants here: The Legal Immigrants website Instagram: @legalimmis Facebook: @thelegalimmigrants Spotify (Want more? Google them…) . . . Thanks everyone. Go to http://www.christophertallon.com and/or follow me on your favorite social media platform, I'm @tallonwrites on all the big ones. If you like the show PLEASE rate AND review it wherever you download it. It means a lot. Thanks!    

Creative Ops | Ep.34 | Peter Spaulding AKA "ReTeP" – Twitch Gaming (And Other Forms of Internet Creativity) Creative Ops

Peter Spaulding is known on Twitch as Retep, the "plus-sized Dad-bod gamer." We met through podcasting–he formerly co-hosted the extremely popular Gig Economy Podcast, which is also under the Hey Guys Media umbrella. Peter's always been a self-described computer guy. We talked about his history with gaming (which consoles he likes, PC vs Consoles, Twitch, Steam, etc…) Discord, his history of fun internet antics, podcasting, DJing, and all things related to his past and present passion of gaming. If you like what you hear, you can get more at Peter's:  Official Website Twitch Channel YouTube Channel Instagram: @GamingWithRetep Facebook: @GamingWithRetep Twitter: @GamingWithRetep TikTok: @GamingWithRetep  . . . For more on the show and its host: @TallonWrites on all social media, http://www.christophertallon.com for news/updates/blogs/songs/stories/links/what-have-you… And you can support the show at http://www.buymeacoffee.com. . . . I also mentioned this book: Alone Together (Why Your Kids Are Watching Others Play) by RK Holliday. . . . Thanks -CT  

Creative Ops | Ep.33 | Mike Logan – ADD & Homegrown Weed Creative Ops

Got to sit down with the Ice Cold Comedian, Mike Logan…IN HIS HOUSE! (He's got a bad leg at the moment, so I came to him. You'll hear some neighborhood noise in the interview.)  I named this one "ADD & Homegrown Weed" because those were the main obstacles early in our conversation. But once it got going, Mike and I had a great talk. We, of course, covered creativity and the creative process, but we got into all kinds of other stuff: moving from place to place, racism, goal setting/changing goals as you age, classic art, how the media tries to convince us we're divided when, in Mike's opinion, we've actually been brought closer together in the last year and a half.  Mike tells stories from the entertainment industry, does a few impressions, cracks me up, and shares his fascinating perspective on a wide variety of topics.  Follow Mike Logan on all your favorite social media platforms @icecoldcomedian for updates on performances, a daily dose of wholesome, and some hard-but-necessary truths. Follow the host of Creative Ops at http://www.christophertallon.com and as @tallonwrites on all social media!

Creative Ops | Ep.31 | Liz Della Croce (The Lemon Bowl) talks food, business, blogging, old-school online dating, enneagrams and MORE! Creative Ops

Liz Della Croce started a blog centered around healthy, delicious food. Several years later, that blog gets over a million hits a month. Liz turned that blog into a business, and started some other businesses, then partnered with some other businesses, and…you get it. She cooked on the TODAY Show, for crying out loud! She came into The Attic Studio (normally home to A Talk in the Attic (Thanks for the space, Kirk!)) and we talked about old-school online dating, parenting, kids, enneagrams, CHEESE!, her awesome hubby, successful weight loss, music, switching careers…. It was a good one. Want more of Liz? Read the article Liz mentions: Coping with Weight Gain after Weight Loss Visit: The Lemon Bowl Website/Blog and its Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram. You might also enjoy The Irie Lemon and the Passion to Profit Podcast. . . . Thanks. Check out Christopher Tallon at http://www.christophertallon.com, and on Insta, FB, and Tweety.

Creative Ops | Ep.30 | Trophy Husbands – A Casual Conversation between the Super Friends, Kirk Ross and Christopher Tallon Creative Ops

Hey folks, I've been in a little bit of a creative funk lately. As it turns out, so was my buddy–the other half of podcasting's super friends, The Trophy Husbands–Kirk Ross. I asked him if he wanted to talk over some ideas, and we ended up just releasing our conversation as a podcast. We talk about the mission of CREATIVE OPS, get a few personal updates, talk shit, try to be funny…the usual. So you'll hear my cut here, and in the days to follow you can listen to Kirk's cut on A Talk in the Attic AND watch the video on his YouTube channel. I plan on having Kirk on for a planned interview sometime, but until then, catch up on his podcasts and videos, and follow him on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Peace out homefries!

Creative Ops | Ep.24 | Kyd Kane, Poet Laureate of Grand Rapids, MI Creative Ops

Kyd Kane is a poet, artist, and educator. She was the first spoken word artist to make the finals in ArtPrize. Recently she became Grand Rapids' first black, queer, female poet laureate. Since then she's made her it mission to elevate poetry (and poets) in the city, do something different with (for) the laureateship, and challenge privilege. Check out Kyd Kane at http://www.kydsaidit.com Check out the show at http://www.christophertallon.com Buy the host a coffee at http://www.buymeacoffee.com/creativeops   Thanks folks! -CT

Creative Ops | Ep.23 | Vincent Mcintosh, owner of IRIE Kitchen, talks cooking, education, business, being first-generation, and more! Creative Ops

As a young child of Jamaican immigrant parents, Vincent Mcintosh dreamed of being a businessman, owning 250 restaurants, and living life on his terms. Now in his mid-20s, he joined Creative Ops–online from the restaurant–to talk about his path on that journey. At 17 he dropped out college to pursue entrepreneurship full time. At 19 he founded IRIE Kitchen (organic, Caribbean street food) restaurant in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Not only is it the first fully-organic restaurant in the area, Vince is also the youngest restauranteur in Grand Rapids history! In 2019 he co-founded Irie Lemon, a media company with Liz (The Lemon Bowl) every week the give us tips on entrepreneurship and how to build the life you want. Together, they co-host Passion to Profit Podcast. … Shout out to Baby Farm Soaps, River Town Adventures, Hey Guys Media, and IRIE's social media genius, Corinne Bass (on IG @corinnesconnections)! … Thanks as always. -CT http://www.christophertallon.com

Creative Ops | Ep.21 | Randi Ford – Art, Entrepreneurship, & Flow Creative Ops

Randi Ford is a phenomenal talent in the world of painting. Her nature landscapes are beautiful and have a sense of depth and movement unlike anything else I've seen. We talk about her style, influences, creative process, business, hiking, camping, life, and all kinds of fun stuff. . . . Randi Ford: website: http://www.randifordart.com IG: @randi_ford_flow_paintings FB: @RandiFordFlowPaintings YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/RandiLynnFord   Creative Ops: Show: http://www.creativeops.podbean.com Host: http://www.christophertallon.com Support us: http://www.buymeacoffee.com/creativeops IG: @christopher_tallon FB: @TallonWrites Tweety: @TallonWrites

Creative Ops | Ep.10 | RN Double Feature, with nurses Meaghan and Rachel Creative Ops

For this episode, we sat down in-studio with 2 local nurses from different hospitals in the Grand Rapids (MI) area. Meaghan has floor and management experience, and works in pediatrics. Rachel has worked in Intensive Care and Post-Op in Michigan and Florida. They sat down with me and Jason to talk about nurse-life, nursing in COVID times, and their experiences working in health care. If you're looking for an awesome career, check out nursing. Good pay, you can work full time as little as 3 days a week, and you don't have to buy a bunch of work clothes…just a few pairs of scrubs. Think about it. . . . If you don't listen to this one, you don't deserve to wash your body with Baby Farm Soaps–the best soaps, lip balms, bath bombs, and moisturizers, not just in Kentucky, but anywhere out there. Period. If being inside is bumming you out, check out River Town Adventures, Lansing, MI's hottest outdoor spot for fun and recreation. . . . Hey folks. If you have a sec to rate and review the show wherever you downloaded it, I will be eternally grateful. Thanks so much for listenening, -CT

Creative Ops | Ep.7 | Aaron Daane, Coach & Former Youth Soccer Club Owner Creative Ops

For almost a decade, Aaron Daane ran a youth soccer club in west Michigan. He recently sold his club and now works as a coach and coach educator. We talked about what creativity means in the context of soccer and player development, as well as the challenges in youth soccer in terms of coaching, player development, and refereeing. Anyone who plays, has played, or has kids who play will want to listen to this. We discuss tactics, our favorite clubs and players, and where American soccer–at the youth level–is now, and where it is headed. If you like soccer…CHECK THIS ONE OUT!!! ***Please leave a rating a review if you enjoyed what you heard*** Also, check out http://www.christophertallon.com for more info on the show and its host. And please, connect with Christopher Tallon on social media… IG: christopher_tallon FB: @TallonWrites Twitter: @TallonWrites

Creative Ops | Ep.6 | Parenting & Hobby Farming w/ Andrea Draft Creative Ops

My friend Andrea Draft joined us in-studio to talk about stay-at-home parenting during the pandemic, and how important it is to keep your sanity by finding something that brings you joy. In her case, it's chickens and a plentiful veggie garden.   Listen for parenting tips, chicken knowledge, and gardening wisdom!     – – – – – – – – – –   Duuuude… We got sponsors, y'all! Not just any sponsors, either. Check these guys out:   River Town Adventures in Lansing, Michigan, has canoes, kayaks, paddle boards, and award-winning service. What better way to social distance than outdoors, on the water? River Town Adventures: FB | IG | Website   Baby Farm Soaps, out of Kentucky, has the best soaps, lip balms, and bath bombs anywhere on planet Earth. Order off their menu, or contact them directly for custom orders. I use their soaps and their Candy Cane lip balm. This place rocks! Hit em up on FaceBook!

Creative Ops | Ep.3 | Ben Kraker and Jason Tieri Teach Me How to Make a Podcast Creative Ops

If you've ever thought, I should start a podcast, then listen to this show! (Or, if you just like podcasts and wanna see how one gets made, check it out.) Ben Kraker and Jason Tieri were my guests, and they are in the podcast game. Together they host a really cool show, Threads Podcast: Life Unfiltered. Separately, Ben has his own show, The Root of All Ben, and Jason co-hosts GR Rideshare Adventures, and produces two podcasts – including this one! It was a lot of fun hanging out with these guys on my show for a change, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Listen to Threads Podcast: Life Unfiltered, and check em out online: Instagram – FaceBook – Twitter – Website Learn more about Creative Ops, read my blog, and check out fun random facts at my website www.christophertallon.com, and reach out on social media: Instagram | @christopher_tallon FB | @TallonWrites Twitter | @TallonWrites Enjoy!

Hope you found a few things that really tickled your fancy, silly pants!

Bye.

-CT

Christopher Tallon is the author of the dark, adventurous, time-travel novel Switchers.

You better shut your trap / When my dogs around

We pissin on fire hydrants / So walk around

Bitch

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