Grand Rapids Civic Theatre hosts immigration discussion

By Nancy Brozek

Grand Rapids Civic Theatre


What is it like to be an immigrant in West Michigan? That is the question Grand Rapids Civic Theatre is asking our community. In conjunction with the highly anticipated production of “Ragtime the Musical,” Civic Theatre has partnered with the Grand Rapids Public Library and area experts to engage in community conversation on immigration during this important time in American history.


“Ragtime” is told through the eyes of an African American Harlem musician, a white upper class suburbanite, and an Eastern European family of immigrants all hoping to find a place in American at the turn of the 20th Century. Just as relevant a topic now as then, panelist will lead the audience in a discussion on these themes in a modern context.  Speakers will share historical insights and present day experiences.


Panelists include:


Ricardo Tavarez, Pastor at En Vivo Church


Susan Kragt, Executive Director at West Michigan Refugee Education and Cultural Center


Kristine Van Noord, Program Manager at Bethany Christian Services’ Refugee Adult & Family Programs


Kelsey Herbert, Office of Social Justice at Christian Reformed Church of North America


Irina Nadrau, Grand Rapids Public Library


The event takes place from 7 – 8 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 15, at the Grand Rapids Main Library, 111 Library St. NE. The event is free and attendees will receive a discount to Civic Theatre’s production of Ragtime the Musical (on stage Feb. 24 – Mar. 19)