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Catalyst Radio

Catalyst Radio is a 30-minute weekly program on 88.1 FM that features information on local events and current affairs. Catalyst Radio airs Friday mornings at noon.

The program, hosted by WYCE programmer and CMC staff member Linda Gellasch, features news analysis, interviews with community-based organizations, and a calendar of upcoming events.

Recent Shows


This episode of Catalyst Radio features the Michigan Abolitionist Project centered here in Grand Rapids. Julie Slagter, executive director, talks about how MAP focuses on preventing and ending modern-day slavery -- most commonly involving labor trafficking and sex slavery. MAP trains hundreds of volunteers to work in the community to address an issue still prevalent in this era.

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We feature in this episode of Catalyst Radio the nonprofit Crossroads Bible Institute – a prisoner mentoring ministry that provides reentry education for people who are incarcerated. CBI President Dr. David Schuringa joins us to talk about the nonprofit’s efforts. We are also joined by writer and lecturer Dr. Nicholas Wolterstorff who spoke on “What Is Just Punishment?" at an event hosted by CBI last month.

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The 2012 Festival of the Arts co-chairs Vance Fennell and Andrea Scheckel are guests on this edition of Catalyst Radio. This 43rd annual celebration will take place June 1, 2 and 3 in downtown Grand Rapids. Festival of the Arts is geared toward family fun, and features arts, entertainment and food. Encompassed in a 10-block area of downtown Grand Rapids, the festival will include six stages featuring music, dance, theatre, 30 food booths, 40 artists in an art sales tent, kid’s art at the Grand Rapids Art Museum and 354 pieces of artwork on display in the old Grand Rapids Press building on Michigan Street. The event is primarily underwritten by donations, allowing for performances, exhibits and activities at no admission cost. Listen to hear Fennell and Scheckel share more about the 2012 poster designed, and how it will become part of a wearable art project.

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In this edition of Catalyst Radio, we learn what it takes for Kid’s Food Basket to feed nearly 4,800 kids dinner each weekday. Our guests are Christine Lentine, fund development and community outreach manager, and Adrienne Wallace, the manager of volunteer services. At the Grand Rapids schools served by Kid’s Food Basket, 80 percent or more of the youth are from families that live at or below the poverty line. The nutritious sack suppers provided each weekday help ensure these kids will not go to bed hungry. Lentine and Wallace tell how making and delivering the meals is no small task, however, and food, donations and volunteers are always needed.

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This episode of Catalyst Radio focuses on the Refugee Foster Care Program of Bethany Christian Services. In studio is Maureen Homrich, community outreach liaison for the program, talking about the population of children served by this foster care effort, and the breadth of services provided. We're also joined by John and MaryAnn Britton who serve as refuge foster care parents, having taken on numerous children over several years. They share about the orphaned children that have been in their home, and about their personal experience with the program.

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In this episode of Catalyst Radio we feature the upcoming music festival Buttermilk Jamboree, set for June 8-10 and put on by the non-profit cooperative Circle Pines Center. Organizers of the festival are in-studio for the show, including Rachel Zegerius of Circle Pines Center, and local musicians Ralston Bowles and Mick Lane. Both Bowles and Lane, who will perform at the festival, made a recent trip to visit legendary folk singer Pete Seeger who also has a bit of history with CPC. They also tell about that pilgrimage to visit with Seeger, who turned 93 on May 3. Learn about Seeger's connection to CPC, as well as about the late music pioneer Big Bill Broonzy's time at the cooperative.

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This week on Catalyst Radio we depart from our regular format in order to go live on WYCE for The Rapidian's first-ever fund drive. We are raising funds this week to help make Grand Rapids' hyperlocal citizen journalism website ( sustainable, and enduring. Taking turns at the Catalyst Radio microphone are Rapidian staff members Chelsea LaForge (community engagement coordinator), Holly Bechiri (managing editor) and George Wietor (new media specialist for CMC).

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In this edition of Catalyst Radio we learn about an organization called Holistic Moms Network, newly formed in the Grand Rapids area. Avery Karns is organizer of the new Grand Rapids Chapter, and talks about the events and resources offered by the group working to connect parents interested in holistic and green living for their families. Information topics include pregnancy, natural childbirth, breast-feeding, attachment parenting, health care and environmental concerns. Offering monthly meetings, educational session and outings focusing on green living, the local chapter of HMN is inviting anyone interested to participate.

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In this edition of Catalyst Radio we talk about the mission of journalism with Brian J. Bowe, a professor of journalism at Grand Valley State University. Bowe, also a Ph.D. candidate at Michigan State University, is in part focusing his research on framing and media representations of cultural groups and is a participating faculty member in Grand Valley’s Middle Eastern Studies program. In this conversation we also touch on social media, and whether its impact on journalism is significant and long-lasting. Bowe shares his thoughts on the latest Pew Research Center’s State of the News Media report and also speaks about citizen journalism sites such as The Rapidian, getting news through mobile devices and the news business in general. With so much to talk about with Professor Bowe, we are inviting him back for subsequent visits to Catalyst Radio, but we will have to do this before summer’s end. Beginning this fall Bowe begins a teaching and research fellowship in Paris at the Sorbonne in the Graduate School of Journalism and Communications.

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