Multimedia Art Fest Coming To GR: Open Concept Gallery, a nonprofit gallery showcasing contemporary art, is putting together the final elements of the Smart Multimedia Art Festival (Smart Fest) taking place in Grand Rapids April 4-8. Smart Fest was founded by Zora Carrier, Executive Director of Open Concept Gallery, in 2006 with the cooperation of the Community Media Center. Each year the latest international trends in multimedia art are exhibited in gallery spaces around the city for the public to view, digest and discuss, for free. This year’s theme is ‘Virtual Authenticity.’ Said Carrier: “We’re starting a new thread in the never ending discussion of what is authentic in art. No one is really tapping into this idea of authenticity in virtual space. We hear a lot of talk about perceptions of reality in the virtual world and what it does or doesn’t mean, but nothing about the authenticity of that reality. What’s authentic about it? Is it just the conversations themselves or does it include other aspects? And who gets to determine authenticity?” Smart Festival has a history of successful collaboration with Kendall College of Art and Design, Grand Valley State University, Calvin College Gallery, Aquinas College, UICA, WMCAT, Grand Rapids Community Media Center, Arts Council of Greater Grand Rapids, ByrneBoehm Gallery and many more. The multimedia exhibits also offer lectures and panel discussions on related topics.  These are also free to the public. Open Concept Gallery began operations in 2006 as a non-profit institution dedicated to increasing the understanding of 21st century art and today’s important social issues. The nonprofit gallery organizes a wide range of educational programs for audiences of all ages along with the contemporary art exhibits it hosts. It serves as a platform for the community to collectively consider different perspectives, raise new questions and discover new approaches to the challenges of our times. For more information about Open Concept Gallery go to

First-Ever Alternative Fuel Conference For Fleets: The National Association of Fleet Administrators Michigan chapter, in partnership with the Clean Energy Coalition, will hold its inaugural Alternative Fuel Conference, March 24, at the Roush Automotive Collection, located at 11851 Market St., Livonia, from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. The conference is an extension of the Clean Energy Coalition’s Michigan Green Fleets initiative, a program that plans to place 270 alternative-fueled vehicles on the road, build 13 alternative fueling stations and train those associated with each project. Fleet managers in attendance will learn about the various tax incentives and grants available to help pay for, and maintain, a more sustainable fleet. They will also have the opportunity to discuss clean energy issues and trends in an open forum with key industry leaders and Michigan Clean Cities Coalitions experts. Although the U.S. transportation sector has steadily decreased its carbon dioxide emissions the past three years, it still produces more greenhouse gases than any other segment due largely to dependence on petroleum, which provides 94 percent of its energy. Currently, 72 percent of the nation’s total petroleum supply is used for transportation, a number the Clean Energy Coalition is aiming to decrease by providing education and resources to fleet leadership through initiatives such as Michigan Green Fleets. Technologies and vehicles on display will include Azure Dynamics hybrid electric buses and the EV Transit Connect, the Chevrolet Volt, DTE/MichCon compressed natural gas vehicles, Parker Hannifin hydraulic hybrid technology, Roush CleanTech propane technology and the Volkswagen TDI. For more information, visit or

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Ecology Center sets Dance for the Earth: The Ann Arbor Ecology Center will hold its seventh annual “Dance for the Earth” celebration of Earth Day on Saturday, April 16 from 8 to 11 pm. at Downtown Home & Garden at 210 S. Ashley St. The party will feature live dance music from the Dave Boutette Show Band, great local food, cash bar, and more … all for a great cause. For questions about tickets and other information, call (734) 761-3186 ext. 120.

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West Michigan CEOs to talk business ethics at GVSU: Three Grand Rapids-area CEOs and founders of the Business Ethics Center at Grand Valley State University will discuss ethics in the workplace at the Fifth Annual Barry Castro Business Ethics Lecture. Shelley Padnos, Fred Keller, and Jeff Koeze are the featured speakers for the presentation, “Why Ethics Matter: Local CEOs on Money, Managing, and Morality.” Padnos is executive vice president and chief administrative officer for Louis Padnos Iron and Metal Co., Keller is the founder and owner of Cascade Engineering, and Koeze is part owner of Koeze Co., Koeze Direct and Nuthatch Software. The event will be held from 6 to 7:15 p.m. Tuesday, March 29 in the Loosemore Auditorium of the DeVos Center on Grand Valley State University’s Pew Grand Rapids Campus. The event is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by the Business Ethics Center in Grand Valley’s Seidman College of Business. For more information, contact Michael DeWilde at (616) 331-3612 or

ESD sets open house for college grads: The Engineering Society of Detroit s opening its doors to new college grads and the general public for a  special open house event on April 5 from 5 to 7 p.m. at ESD headquarters in Southfield. In addition to learning about the great career opportunities available through ESD, new college grads will also be able to take advantage of a special discounted membership offer of $54 compared to $99. The spring open house is also open to members and non-members of ESD. From networking opportunities and two job fairs per year, to career training and re-training, conferences, workshops and classes, ESD is the hub for professionals seeking to start their careers, grow in their professions or even serve as mentors for future generations. The open house is free but registration is required. ESD representatives will be available to discuss membership information and vendors will be on-hand to showcase member benefits. Beverages and pizza will be served. As an added incentive, members who bring a non-ESD member with them will receive a free subscription to Crain’s Detroit Business with their dues renewal — a $75 value. For more information or to register, visit or call (248) 353-0735. ESD is located at 20700 Civic Center Drive, Suite 450, Southfield.

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Compuware to showcase bench at EclipseCon 2011: Detroit-based Compuware Corp. (Nasdaq: CPWR), the technology performance company, today announced that it will highlight the Compuware Workbench at the Hot New Products Showcase at EclipseCon 2011. The Workbench is a new, open environment for managing mainframe application development through an Eclipse graphical user interface (GUI). The eveng starts at 5:50 p.m. Wednesday, March 23 at the Hyatt Regency Santa Clara, Ballroom E, Santa Clara, Calif. The Workbench also helps IT organizations face the challenge brought on by retiring mainframe workers, many of whom are already in their late fifties or early sixties. Their replacements will need training on mainframe specific components. Additionally, many new mainframe programmers may find the traditional mainframe TSO/ISPF based tooling to be unfamiliar, prompting the need for a contemporary development platform. Compuware’s modernized, alternative point-and-click user interface eliminates the need for training on the traditional mainframe interface, significantly shortening the potentially costly learning curve. More at