WMEAC To Celebrate Earth Day at Fountain Street Church with Benefit Concert

West Michigan Environmental Action Council and Founders Brewing Co. are celebrating Earth Day next week with the 2012 WMEAC Earth Day Celebration on Friday, April 20 at Fountain Street Church from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.

The fourth annual event will be headlined by Earthwork Music artist Steppin’ In It, a six-piece band from Lansing that will bring an upbeat brand of old time county, soul and Americana infused songs to the historic setting of Fountain Street Church. Expressing the struggles and joys of the American heartland, their songs contain beautiful melodies and display expert musicianship. Their most recent album, 2011’s “At the Green Door” was recorded in a Lansingbar and showcases Steppin In It’s exciting live shows. Members of the band have recorded and toured with many other Michigan acts, most notably bassist Dominic Davis, whose skills on the bass can be heard on tour with rocker Jack White.

Providing opening support for Steppin’ In It will be Grand Rapids singer-songwriter Karisa Wilson, accompanied by her String Band. Wilson’s first album, 2008’s “Little Girl” won the WYCE Jammie for Album of the Year and her second album “Stronger” debuts in May. The Karisa Wilson String Band will be performing a few of the bluesy, folksy indie pop songs featured on the coming album. Jim Shaneberger, a talented guitar and bass player will open the night with a set of acoustic favorites. Shaneberger has lent his talents to many local bands, such as the Greg Nagy Band.

“This is our 40th year celebrating Earth Day at WMEAC, and we’re sure it’ll be the best yet,” said Rachel Hood, WMEAC Executive Director.  “We have a lot to celebrate this year.  We’ve achieved major milestones in the regional environmental movement and our organization as well.  We’re looking forward to big news in the coming year.”

Hood was particularly excited about the Michigan Jobs, Michigan Energy ballot initiative which would boost the amount of renewable electricity provided by utilities to 25 percent by 2025 along with the strong progress on regional issues such as stormwater management in Grand Rapids, energy planning in Holland and airport run-off in Cascade Township. 

The celebration will feature a cash bar and food from What The Truck/The Winchester as well as educational exhibits and speakers on regional and national environmental issues.  Sponsors for the event include Founders Brewing, Grand Rapids Public Library, WYCE-FM,Patagonia, Moms Clean Air Force, Stellafly, Horizen Hydroponics   and Natural Awakenings.  Doors open at 6 p.m.  Tickets are $15 and available at Schuler’s Books, online at, or at the event.  A $10 discount ticket is available for students and GRPL library card holders.   

Earth Day has been celebrated on April 22 in the United States since 1970. In 2009, the United Nations designated the date International Mother Earth Day. Earth Day is now celebrated each April 22 in over 175 countries by millions of people.  The WMEAC Earth Day Celebration is the largest independent Earth Day event in Grand Rapids.  For interviews or more information, contact Daniel Schoonmaker at or 616.451.3051 x28. High-res photos available on request.  On-air performances available if schedule permits as well.    

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