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Grandmother Power at Grand Rapids Public Museum

flickr/ Sweet Faux Pas

Calling all Grandmothers.  You are being honored and celebrated at the Grand Rapids Public Museum.

Together with their strategic and creative partner Genesis Inc., opened a new exhibition earlier this month of the works of renowned photographer Paola Gianturco called Grandmother Power: A Global Phenomenon.

Grandmother Power: A Global Phenomenon is based off the book of the same title published by powerHouse Books. There are more grandmothers in the world today than ever before. They are younger, healthier, better educated, and better off than they have ever been. They are energetic and effective, and they are modeling important lessons of collaboration, generosity, patience, perseverance and resilience. The exhibition includes eight powerful stories from Paola’s book, highlighting women in South Africa, Swaziland, Thailand, the Philippines, Argentina, Canada, the United States, India, and Senegal.

One of the exciting parts of the exhibit is that visitors will have a chance to add their own grandmother to the story, through a special digital interactive program. A cell phone tour accompanies the exhibition. Visitors can enhance their experience by using the free, audio cell phone tour during their tour. Narrated by Paola Gianturco, the audio tour walks visitors through each of the stories, telling more personal accounts of these amazing women.

The run of the exhibit will include groundbreaking programming developed by the GRPM to identify and highlight local grandmothers and ties to the community of Grand Rapids. Programming includes: Grandmother POWER Lunch Series, featuring local speakers on various issues; lectures; a day of community service; Ethnic Traditions Festival; and much more.  Even though the first of these luncheons has already taken place, the second Grandmother POWER lunch in the series will be held on Thursday, October 17 with Reverend Peggy Burns of the Gerontology Network. Additional lunch series speakers include Mary K. Hoodhood of Kids Food Basket, CNN Hero and founder of the Nyaka AIDS Orphan Project Jackson Kaguri, and Educator Lupe Ramos-Montigny. Additional information about all of the programming, including tickets, RSVP’s and more can be found at

Grandmother Power will be on display at the Grand Rapids Public Museum through February 2, 2014. The exhibit is being offered free with general admission. The museum has plans to travel the exhibition both nationally and internationally following its time in Grand Rapids.

Non of this would have been possible without the generous sponsors to date: Designtex, Van Andel Institute, Comfort Keepers, and Lupe Ramos-Montigny.  Sponsorship opportunities are available for Grandmother Power at local and national touring levels. You can call 616.929.1727 for details.

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