The Crane Wives perform “GRAM on the Green” in 2018.

Two free, outdoor concerts (and free museum admission!) left in 13th Annual“GRAM on the Green” series this summer

The “GRAM on the Green” concert features two more free, outdoor shows downtown before the end of the season.

Feeling cooped up, and ready to do something exciting? This month is your last chance to enjoy one of the best Summer activities Grand Rapids has to offer.

This article is sponsored by Brenden Stark and Stark Real Estate Group, serving those looking to buy and sell homes in Grand Rapids and the Greater West Michigan Area.

This Thursday and next, the Grand Rapids Art Museum (GRAM) will hold free outdoor concerts featuring popular regional artists Sarena Rae and the Rachel Brooke Band respectively. The concerts will be held on the GRAM Terrace downtonw Grand Rapids at 101 Monroe Center NW, right outside the museum and next to Rosa Parks Circle.

“Gram on the Green” is a long-running concert series, sprouting every summer with an emphasis on diverse and accessible music and arts.

New Light: American Impressionism 1870–1940 via the Grand Rapids Art Museum.

But the music isn’t the only thing worth getting out for! During the show, the GRAM will stay open late (9 pm) and admission is free. Currently on exhibition is New Light: American Impressionism 1870–1940 — a breathtaking dream-walk through the collective consciousness of late 19th and and early 20th century America. Artists in the collection include George Innes, Thomas Moran, Lilla Cabot Perry, and Theresa Bernstein.

Plus, if you take your art and tunes a little extra spicy, there’s a cash bar with local craft beers available. Not to mention a number of hands-on arts and crafts activities to dabble in.

Below are the upcoming shows:

August 4: The Music That Raised Us

Thursday, 6 p.m. — 9 p.m.
Sarena Rae, Debra Perry, Serita Black Rose with special guest Avalon Cutts-Jones

Sarena Rae (artist promotional photo).

Tomorrow, “GRAM on the Green” features The Music That Raised Us — part concert, part time-travel journey through the history of black music (the roots of almost every major genre in popular music today) as performed by West Michigan’s most gifted.

On stage, you’ll see:

Pop, Motown, Gospel, Singer-Songwriter

Sarena Rae is a woman with a lot of art in her toolkit — she’s a songwriter, an actress, a model, and an executive producer. Her debut album, “Heaven” dropped in 2020 to glowing reviews from Local Spins — which praised the expressive blend of pop musicianship filtered through the lenses of motown and gospel. All of that technical prowess, however, is the backdrop for deeply personal poetics exploring the calm waves and stormy seas at every intersection of Sarena Rae’s identity.

Gospel, Praise

Debra Perry is a monumental force of gospel sound. As a music educator of 26 years, she’s mastered instruments in the double-digits — it’s easier to list the instruments she can’t play at this point.

In 2018, Perry and her band (Debra Perry and Majestic Praise) dropped an album titled Con-quer-er, of which raved:

Conqueror takes hold with its ear-grabbing title track featuring syncopated percussion and lyrical phrasing right from the scriptures.

August 11: The Rachel Brooke Band and The Reverend Jesse Ray

Thursday, 6 p.m. — 9 p.m.
Reverend Jesse Ray, Rachel Brooke

The Reverend Jesse Ray (promotional photo provided).

You may already know Reverend Jesse Ray as the frontman of iconic hometown rock and roll act Jesse Ray and the Carolina Catfish. These days, Ray is spreading his wings and performing solo.

You can hear some early releases from Reverend Jesse Ray on Bandcamp here.

Roots, Country, Pop, Rock

Rachel Brooke has been called the queen of underground country, and a revelation that’s both retro and modern. In 2020, she dropped a sprawling, full-length country-rambler titled The Loneliness in Me — which you’d be doing yourself a disservice to skip, even if radio-country isn’t your thing.

GRAM on the Green is sponsored by the GRAM, WYCE 88.1, and Bank of America.

This Article Was Sponsored by Stark Real Estate Group

We want to be your real estate consultants through every season of life. So please don’t hesitate to reach out with questions or to ask for recommendations or referrals any time of year. And when you’re ready to give yourself the gift of a new home, contact us to talk about your options. From finding the right neighborhood to identifying the amenities that will make the biggest difference in your quality of life, we’re always eager to help.

Visit Stark Real Estate Group on the web or give Brenden Stark a call at (616)617–2665.

About the Author

Kaya-Jean (“Kay”) VanAntwerpen is a transgender journalist, musician, and activist from Grand Rapids, Michigan. They studied journalism at Grand Valley State University, and have written for Entrepreneur Magazine, Advance Publications, MLive Media Group, and countless other local and international publications. You can find some of their most recent work here:



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Kay VanAntwerpen

Kay VanAntwerpen

Kaya Jean VanAntwerpen. Genderqueer journalist and musician from Grand Rapids, Mi. Hear noises at