Students at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles

My Trip to L.A.

A few weeks ago for Spring Break, I embarked on a “Study Away” trip with Michigan State University’s College of Arts and Letters. The description of the trip was to explore creative industries and cultures in Los Angeles. We would tour creative offices and take in local culture. I had never been to California, but I was applying to jobs in L.A. so I knew I needed to visit. I was so nervous when the trip finally came around.

Study Away

This past year has been the craziest, most difficult, most fulfilling year of my life. To say my emotions are like a rollercoaster is an understatement. Part of me was worried that L.A. wouldn’t live up to my expectations and I’d have to start my career search from page one again. Part of me was nervous that I wouldn’t make friends with my classmates. I was nervous that we wouldn’t have time to explore Los Angeles from a personal perspective as well as a professional one.  I also lost a dear friend the weekend before the program began and had attended his funeral hours before my flight took off. Like I said, rollercoaster.

Study Away

I keep trying to think of the words to describe how amazing the program was. As soon as I landed all of my doubts and hesitations faded. I knew that I was doing something special. Everything about the trip and the program were amazing. There is nothing I would change. We toured Warner Brothers Studio, Disney Studio, Prop Heaven, Mocean, and Pandemonium. Some other highlights were speaking with Jack Epps, Bill Mechanic, and Peter Stougaard. I also became friends with some of the most compassionate, funny, inspiring people I’ve ever met.

 

If you were to see my Instagram story while I was in L.A. it would have looked like I got 3 credits to go on vacation. I won’t lie. I had a blast. But I also learned so much about myself and what I want for my life after I graduate. It is so important to remember that work can actually be fun. There is absolutely no reason that you shouldn’t feel totally fulfilled every day of your life. I’m lucky that I figured out that I could combine my passions to create a career. I know that every day I will wake up excited to go to work.

 

While we were driving to a comedy show at the Upright Citizens Brigade our car was singing a variety of songs from Cheetah Girls to Shallow. In the middle of it, one of my classmates laughed and said “I love my life.”. I think we all could agree. My trip to L.A. was so special to me and I can’t wait to take what I’ve learned with me after I graduate. For my final project for the program, I decided to write a song and make a video-slideshow. It portrays my emotions about the trip and displays my love for music. Enjoy!

Final Project

Unique Venues in Detroit

As a music lover, Detroit Rock City was a great place to grow up. The city is filled with music history, local bands, and venues fit for any artist. Each musical venue that the city has to offer is unique. The artists that play there, the vibes, and the historical significance combine to create thrilling concert experiences that are exclusive to the motor city. Here are some of the most unique concert venues you should check out when you are in Detroit.

 Saint Andrew’s Hall

Built in 1907, Saint Andrew’s Hall was used as the meeting place for the Saint Andrew’s Scottish Society of Detroit. During World War II the membership dwindled and other groups began renting the building for concerts and events. In the 80s, Saint Andrew’s became highly regarded as a trendsetting music club. Breakthrough artists such as Iggy Pop, NirvanaPearl Jam, and Bob Dylan have graced the stage at Saint Andrew’s. More recently, the hall has become a launching pad for up and coming artists. Pierce the Veil, Catfish and the Bottlemen, and more have played here before moving to larger venues. With a 1,000-person capacity, Saint Andrew’s is a mid-size venue that allows for personal interaction between artists and fans. With a full-service bar, ADA seating, and Greektown right down the street, Saint Andrew’s Hall is a great venue for every concert goer.

The Shelter

Located beneath Saint Andrew’s Hall, The Shelter is one of the more intimate venues in Detroit. While it is connected to Saint Andrew’s, a show at The Shelter is unlike any other. It’s an intimate venue with capacity at 400 people. Visitors can get as close to the stage as humanly possible without being up there with the performers. Something interesting about The Shelter is its role in Eminem’s musical career. While the venue was featured in “8 Mile” Eminem actually rapped there in the early years of his career. More recently the rapper hosted a “Mom’s Spaghetti” pop-up event at The Shelter to promote his latest album “Revival” and he went back to his roots to film some freestyle rap in 2018. Eminem’s unique relationship with The Shelter makes it one of the most fascinating venues in Detroit. While you may not find Slim Shady at The Shelter on a random night, there’s no denying the energy that the venue holds in its bones.

The Masonic Temple

The Detroit Masonic Temple is one of the most beautiful and historic music venues in Southeastern Michigan. Architectural firm, George Mason and Company completed construction in 1926. The first performers at The Masonic were Detroit Symphony Orchestra. The building itself is full of interesting rooms. There are three theaters in the venue, but one is currently used by film production. Other rooms include a chapel, two ballrooms, office spaces, a cafeteria, a dining room, a barber shop, and sixteen bowling lanes. Today, the venue hosts countless concerts, building tours, private events, and weddings. Artists that frequent The Masonic are Lana Del Rey, Tyler, The Creator, and The Killers. With a diverse range of music that rolls through, the venue offers something for every concertgoer. The venue sits on the corner of Temple and Cass which is now a part of “The District Detroit” which offers countless trendy restaurants, breweries, and small businesses to check out before a show.

Little Caesars Arena

The opening of Little Caesars Arena is one of the most exciting things to happen in Detroit recently. During its inaugural year (2017/18) LCA easily became a staple of Detroit by hosting a myriad of exciting events. The arena is home to Red Wings hockey, and Pistons basketball, but it also hosts the hottest artists that come to town. Superstars from every genre and generation including Paul McCartney, Justin Timberlake, Lorde, and Janet Jackson have brought their shows to town. The eight-story, bowl-shaped arena’s floor is 40 feet below street level. There are no bad seats in the house! Around 20,000 fans can fit into the stands and there is innovative “gondola” seating that is suspended above the stands. LCA also offers ADA accessible seating and parking as well as first aid stations. There are countless restaurants, bars, and VIP sections throughout the arena, making it a full-blown destination.

Historically, Detroit has been overlooked by the rest of America. People seem to think that its heyday was in the past and that the city is crime-ridden and somber. In recent years, Detroit has been anything but! Its interesting history combines with the influx of new residents and businesses to create an exciting downtown area.

One of the most special things about Detroit is its music scene. Growing up just fifteen miles from downtown, I got to experience all that the city has to offer. The music history, the bands, and the venues. My exposure to the rich music history of the city and love for live music inspired me to pursue a career in the music industry. I have been frequenting The Shelter since I was in High School and I was fortunate enough to work at Little Caesars Arena over the summer. While the venues I have detailed above are certainly not the only concert spaces the city has to offer, they are unique places to begin falling in love with the sounds of Detroit.

 

 

Movies for Music Lovers | Netflix

Calling all music lovers and movie buffs! Countless streaming sites available are at our fingertips and it is easier than ever to catch up on movies that bring the musical charm. If you are looking for films that seamlessly incorporate music into the cinematic world, look no farther. To start, let’s take a look at what Netflix has to offer in terms of movies for music lovers.

Netflix's Music & Movies Page

“Across the Universe”

I’ll admit, “Across The Universe” is my favorite movie of all time. There is no way it wouldn’t make it onto this list. The 2007 film uses music by The Beatles and the Vietnam War as a backdrop for the love story of Lucy and Jude. The film uses experimental visuals and combines action, romance, and music seamlessly. The cast’s performances are beautifully accompanied by the genius songwriting of the fab four.

“Michael Jackson’s This is it”

This 2009 documental concert film documents Michael Jackson’s rehearsals for his concert tour that was originally scheduled to start on July 13, 2009. The tour was canceled eighteen days prior to its start due to his passing on June 25. The film portrays Jackson as he rehearses his musical numbers, directs his team, and holds dancer auditions. Director, Kenny Ortega, revealed that the footage was never intended for release, but after Jackson’s death, it seemed right to create the film.

“Jersey boys”

Clint Eastwood’s 2014 musical drama, based on the Tony Award Winning musical of the same name, tells the story of Franky Valli and The Four Seasons. The film follows the band as they discover themselves as a musical group, and as they discover life as well. The film portrays the massive trials and tribulations that came with the the success of their music career. The incredible true story comes to life on the screen.

Netflix Originals:

“taylor swift’s Reputation Stadium tour”

A front row ticket to one of the most anticipated tours of 2018, without the insane cost? Count me in! Before watching the Netflix Original I thought it would be a concert documentary, much like the “1989 World Tour Live” on Apple Music, but this was just concert footage from the last night of the Reputation Tour at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX. Swift’s setlist includes every song from “Reputation”, as well as old favorites. The energy that She brings to each and every song in this 2-hour long extravaganza is fascinating and well worth the watch.

“Springsteen on Broadway”

After reading Bruce Springsteen’s autobiography “Born to Run” over the summer, I knew I needed to see his Broadway show. As luck would have it, the weekend I visited New York City in July it was an off week at the Walter Kerr Theater. I was devastated. Flash forward to December and news spread that Netflix would be releasing a special recording of the show. Springsteen performs to a small crowd of less than a thousand people. The show follows the arc of Springsteen’s life and work. He speaks, sings, and plays guitar and piano in a tender and nostalgic fashion. The American Icon is captivating in all of his pursuits, and this Netflix special is no exception.

In the age of streaming,  music and movie lovers can unite to watch musical films in countless genres. From concert films to documentaries, to good old movie musicals. There is something for everybody, especially movies for music lovers. Netflix has a huge selection of films including Netflix Originals that music lovers will be happy to watch. The next time you’re scrolling through, wondering what to watch check out one of these films. They won’t let you down.

 

 

New Music, New Year

The new year has finally arrived after the craziness that was 2018. While there are many things to look forward to in the new year, I’m most excited about new music. Only a few days into the year and we already have releases like  Longshot from Catfish and the Bottlemen and Land Of The Free by The Killers. Since it is so early in the year, I’m sure that this must be a prediction for what’s to come.

Based on some theories, facts, and new singles there are quite a few artists who are releasing new music in 2019 that I am excited about. Maggie Rogers, Bring Me The Horizon, FIDLAR, and Lana Del Rey are just a few artists releasing albums this year. While some of these are just predictions, it will still be interesting to see what’s in store for listeners.

Maggie Rogers

Maggie Rogers is releasing Heard It In A Past Life on January 18th. She has been promoting the album by posting hand-written lyrics on her Instagram feed. The single Light On is an upbeat love song that resembles more a modern girl’s anthem. Roger’s pop instrumentals and folky vocal style work well together to create a playful yet nostalgic sound.

The 1975

One of the most acclaimed albums from 2018 was The 1975’s brilliant A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relations. In an interview with Annie Mac for BBC Radio 1 lead singer Matt Healy, revealed that the band would be releasing a two-part update to their catalog of music. Fans were delighted by this news. Healy had previously stated that The 1975 would release only 3 records. Look out for Notes On A Conditional Form in May 2019!

The 1975 Concert

One of my new year’s resolutions is to incorporate more media into my posts by starting a YouTube channel. There I’ll be doing new music reviews, covers, concert vlogs, and more. I also hope to write blog posts more frequently. Which artists are you most excited to hear new music from this year?

Seasaw, Canceled Plans, Young Ritual Local Show at Mac’s Bar

If you’re having summer concert withdrawals and are looking for the perfect fall show, look no further! As soon as I heard the news that Seasaw, Canceled Plans (solo set), and Young Ritual would hit the stage at Mac’s Bar in Lansing on October 3rd I’ve been buzzing with excitement! I spoke with Michaela Stock of Canceled Plans and Dylan Grantham of Young Ritual to get the scoop on the upcoming show.

Both Stock and Grantham are excited about the gig and are eager to share the stage with some new faces. “I’ve never shared the stage with seasaw or Young Ritual, but I couldn’t be more excited. I’ve been gigging since April of 2017, and I’ve never gotten to share the stage with another girl who runs the show. I’m a big fan of seasaw and their work, so it’s an honor to have this first and this show alongside two talented and beautiful women.” Stock writes. It’s remarkable to see such genuine support for other female artists in a male-driven industry. One of the things I love most about supporting my local music scene is seeing the interactions and friendships forming between artists that share the stage whether it’s for a single gig or for a tour.

IMG_3108Not only are Stock and Grantham ready to play with some new faces, but they are also thrilled to get back to Mac’s Bar. For Grantham, this is his first time in performing in Michigan’s capital. “This will actually be my first show in Lansing, so I can’t wait for that part. I definitely have some tricks up my sleeve to make a good first impression.” I’m eager to see what kind of tricks he has to make this show a memorable one. Grantham has been working on finishing up his first EP, and released the first single “Prime” last month! He’ll definitely be playing some new music at the upcoming show along with old favorites.

Stock, on the other hand, is a Lansing native and she’s pumped to get back to her hometown and play at one of her favorite venues. “The last time I played at Mac’s was in September of 2017. It was my first full-band show, and I was opening for Michigander, a band I had followed as a fan since high school. That was for sure a night I’ll never forget. Every time I walk through the doors at Mac’s I’m hit with gratitude and nostalgia for the space. I have so much more to say, but I’m going to leave some stories for the show!” I’ve never seen

IMG_7791While remembering Mac’s Bar and what the venue means to her, Michaela lights up and goes into every detail of the venue and how much she loves it. “I spent the latter half of my teenage years studying the scribbled walls in Mac’s Bar at shows. It was my first “dream venue” to play a show in because I had some of my first experiences with live music in that space. I even met my best friend at Mac’s at a concert. We screamed all the words to the headlining band’s set, and it’s been history ever since. Mac’s Bar did, in fact, end up being the first place I’d ever played a billed gig with tickets, a sound-check, and other artists back in April of 2017. I remember wearing a black dress, carrying my guitar case and pushing open the big wooden door thinking, “What the HECK has my life come to?” (For the record, I’m still figuring that question out.) It was so special.”

Do not sleep on this concert! Each of the acts has a different energy to bring to the stage and it’s sure to be a good night. Get tickets to the show here!

-Swaggie Maggie

The Story of My Summer (part 1)

 

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Hey! Welcome back to Swaggie Maggie’s View from the Pit. After a quick hiatus, I am back with more stories to tell than ever. For those who know, I spent the last four months interning with Live Nation in their Detroit office as a production assistant. It was the best, craziest, most life-changing experience I’ve ever had, and I can’t wait to share it with all of you!

If you don’t know, Live Nation Entertainment is the global leader for live entertainment. More often than not, if you’re going to buy tickets to a show it will be on Live Nation’s website. Back in 2010, when Live Nation only did event promotion, they merged with Ticketmaster to become this all-in-one company that resulted in a massive industry powerhouse that covers everything from ticketing to promotion, to production, to management. When I say that Live Nation (and the people who work for Live Nation) does it all, I mean it!

When I applied for my job with Live Nation’s Detroit office, I didn’t know what I would be getting myself into. I had heard about the opportunity from a few previous interns who were certain that I’d be a great candidate for the job. I applied, sent in my resume, and I was hired on the spot in my interview. I had to patiently wait from December until May to begin my adventure. This was my first shot at making it in the music industry. Everything I had was riding on this experience.

Over the past few years, I had changed my mind about going to graduate school immediately after undergrad. I had changed my major from arts and humanities to professional writing. For the past two years, I have been telling people that my dream was to write for Rolling Stone Magazine, and I was always met with excited responses and congratulations for something I hadn’t even achieved yet.

Of course, my excitement was also plagued with uncertainty. What if I wasn’t good at it? I’d be crushed. What if I didn’t like it? I’d have to start over from square one, again. I’d have to change my hopes and dreams, and figure out new ones. I don’t know if everyone else has this kind of anxiety at the start of something new, but I was just as terrified as I was excited.

Everything I thought I knew changed last summer. Isn’t that dramatic? I always thought people who said crap like that were full of it and trying too hard, but I get it now. Sometimes you just experience something so magnificent it changes you completely. Over the course of 3 months I grew in ways I didn’t know possible. I watched myself change from a girl with a dream to a young woman with drive and the tools to make those dreams happen. I grew professionally and realized that I didn’t have to have just one career goal. I grew personally and learned that I am still so much stronger than I think.

I can’t wait to share more of my experiences and stories with you so come back next week for Part 2 in my new series!

-Swaggie Maggie

Bucket List Concerts: Dr. Dog

A week ago I finally got to see Dr. Dog after three years of loving their music. Over the past few years that I’ve been a fan of their music, all of my attempts to see them failed. I was either out of the state while they were in my city or I had no way of getting myself from college to the venue. When I first started listening to Dr. Dog, I quickly found that I preferred their live album to their studio recorded work. There was just something about the way they sounded during their performance that made me feel like I was experiencing something special. When Dr. Dog announced the release of their latest album Critical Equation, along with an accompanying tour I bought my tickets right away. Their Detroit date miraculously fell on my first day of summer break and I knew that I would definitely be in town for the show.

IMG_1040

When my semester finally ended, the only thing on my mind was seeing Dr. Dog. I had been listening to all of their music in preparation and I was getting ready for a great concert. I didn’t want to get my hopes too high, but I definitely was excited. When I got to the venue I weaved my way through the crowd toward the stage and found a spot that was close to the action. One thing I noticed is that I was definitely one of the youngest people there. I’d say that most of the fans were between 25 and 35 years old and they were all having a great time. As I waited for Dr. Dog to take the stage, I wondered which songs they would perform. They have a huge catalog of music and it would take them all night to play every single fan favorite, but I knew that they would for sure play their most popular songs as well as songs from Critical Equation.

IMG_1039As far as the performance goes, it’s undeniable that Dr. Dog is incredibly talented. They knew exactly when to bring the energetic fire to songs, but they also knew when to pull back and take a more emotional route. The band and the fans worked together to create a dreamy concert experience. I danced, sang, and cried along to their songs, and felt the music in my bones. That doesn’t happen at every show, so when it does I get excited. Dr. Dog was so comfortable up on stage, and it was refreshing to see a band that commanded the energy of the room through music so effectively.

 

Dr. Dog’s song “Shadow People” is one of my favorite songs of all time, so when the opening line rang through the venue I was content. Honestly, I think that the band could have performed that song on a loop for an hour and I would have been completely happy about it. Although, I was happy about the variety of songs they chose to add to the setlist. They played all of my favorites and helped me appreciate their newer songs as well. Like I said, they do their best work live.

-Swaggie Maggie

Redefining Success — COVERing April/May 2018 Print (co-written with Michala White)

“A person or thing that achieves desired aims or attains prosperity.” That is the dictionary’s definition of success. In reality, the idea of success changes over time and means something different to everyone. We know that sometimes it feels as if there are only a handful of options after you graduate. In reality, you can do whatever you want as long as it makes you happy! Whether it’s grad school, accepting a job offer, or taking some time off, there are plenty of ways to lead a fulfilling life and reach your personal version of success.

Not everyone idealizes the American dream anymore. The perfect vision of success used to be a house fit for a married couple and their two children, enclosed in a white picket fence. But now, success can simply mean achieving your definition of true happiness. Sometimes we want to reach certain goals and follow certain paths to please others. But what really matters is making sure you are happy with what you are doing, because you are living your life for you. That is what success is today.

The slogan “Spartans Will” is a phrase that each student has carried close to their hearts after receiving their acceptance letters. We see it plastered around campus, in ads and some of us even analyze the campaign in classes. To many, “Spartans Will” encourages a mentality of tackling difficult problems head-on, overcoming challenges and changing the world. It means standing up for what you believe in, speaking out and making a difference. When you look at what “Spartans Will” means to students, it’s obvious that there is a direct link to success. This slogan empowers and encourages students to define success in their own, unique versions. At any stage of a college education, it’s scary to stop and think, “well what’s next?” It seems as though there are endless options and opportunities.

If you didn’t want to jump right into your career after graduation, an option that you might consider is taking a gap year. But we already know why you might not consider doing that. You could be risking financial instability; your family will question every move you make and you could feel weird about taking different paths than your friends or peers. There isn’t one particular reason why people take a gap year, but it certainly allows them to experience life in new ways outside of school and work. While taking time off, you could travel the world, learn new skills, focus on your mental health, join the peace corps or do something abroad to learn about other cultures. Your gap year might not be a cookie cutter experience like you’d expect it to be. But who knows, it could be everything you didn’t know you needed.

To get the inside scoop on this kind of path after graduation, here are some insights from Meghan Green — an MSU alumna who has recently been traveling the world and has taught in Thailand.

“I think I realized while sitting in one of my final lectures that if I wanted to do something like this it would be now or never,” said Green. “I know the world is huge and there’s so much we can learn from one another and from our own experiences in a different culture.”

Green taught English in Thailand and hasn’t second-guessed her decision yet. She kept a blog during her time teaching as a way to reflect on her experiences.

Green loved the education she gained at MSU, and she can’t wait to eventually start her career. But for now, she wishes to travel throughout more of Southeast Asia before heading home.

“There are so many things I have learned in Thailand that I will be able to come home with. I don’t even know where to begin. Learning to navigate and adapt to a foreign culture, problem-solving foreign concepts like transportation, learning to communicate in another language, learning to be flexible and learning life lessons from people who grew up with a totally different perspective,” said Green.

Experiencing a different culture has taught Green that once she begins the start of her career, she at least wants to dedicate a couple weeks per year for traveling. You could say her definition of success is to become more of a global citizen and to become more culturally aware.

If taking a whole year off after graduation isn’t your speed, but you still want to travel and explore the world, you can definitely find a way to balance your career and your adventures! Nicole Jakubik graduated from MSUin spring 2016 with a degree in media and information technology, and a concentration in television, film and radio. She now works in the Metro Detroit area for an independent television and film studio as an associate producer. Her plans and goals changed a lot over the course of her senior year.

“During my first semester I was super confident that I was going to move to New York City and work at a major television network,” said Green. “Second semester came around and it became very clear that my plan was not going to happen anytime soon. The thirty jobs I applied to quickly turned into over a hundred, and I still had no job offers. I was totally freaking out. It’s so easy to get this idea in your head of what your plan in life should be, and think that somehow that plan is going to fall into place.”

After weighing her options and working hard to figure out a backup plan, one of her mother’s coworkers was able to put her in contact with someone starting a film company and she landed the job she has now.

While Jakubik thinks taking a gap year sounds like an amazing opportunity, she didn’t personally feel that she could take an entire year off to travel. “I knew I needed to start my career as soon as I could. As much as I love traveling, I also love working.” She decided to take control of her days off, and make sure she is able to fulfill her travel goals while also pursuing her career goals.

“It’s easy to get trapped into the career mindset that Americans have that you have to work all of the time, and if you take vacation or personal days, it means you’re lazy,” said Jakubik. “Don’t listen to that. Traveling can absolutely fit into your career. Use weekends. Where can you go from Friday to Sunday? If it’s a short plane ride or trip in the car, I’ll leave after work on Friday and get back as late as possible Sunday. Use long weekends for trips where you want extra time, or use personal days to create a long weekend! If I want to go somewhere international, that’s when I’ll use vacation time.”

Once you hit college, you have been in school for about 16 years non-stop — if you go straight from high school to college. That is a long time without getting a break. It is drilled into our heads that we can only reach success from going to school, but that’s not always the case. You can learn something new from every experience you have, and what better way to learn than to have rich, diverse experiences?

You can learn about different walks of life just by traveling the world, observing and talking to others. It is okay to jump right into your career after graduation, and it is okay to take some time to tend to yourself if need be. Your definition of what success is and how you reach it is truly up to you.

Springtime in Lansing — FEATURing April/May 2018 Print

Spring is a period of rebirth and growth, and there are plenty of activities and events that reappear in our community during the warmer months. Once the season of skiing, sledding and skating comes to an end, festivals, ball games and concerts are welcomed with open arms. No matter where you are in Michigan, the Mitten State has a lot to offer after the snow starts to melt.

April showers lead to beautiful views on MSU’s campus. Many students lay out picnic blankets and study, while others hang hammocks and lounge; pickup games of basketball, soccer and volleyball can be found in each neighborhood, along with friendly faces who encourage others to join the fun. Junior Drew Bartlett is excited to enjoy the MSU Food Truck once the nice weather rolls in! “When I have a long day of class in the spring, I love to get my lunch from the food truck and eat it outside. The food is fresh and delicious, and it’s a perfect break from school work,” Bartlett said. Students who live on campus will often seek out the Food Truck because the meals are a pleasant change from the dining halls.

Another fun activity students enjoy in the spring is walking. Junior Sydnee Levine is a fan of taking walks along the Red Cedar and River Trail at night. “A big group of my friends and I always like to take walks at night in the spring. It’s warm enough where you’d only need a light jacket, and the cool air is refreshing, and it’s cool to experience campus in a way you wouldn’t normally see it,” Levine said.

The Greater Lansing area hosts a myriad of events in the spring that draw in audiences of all ages. The Capital City Film Festival from April 11-15 is a local favorite, as well as for those who travel from out of town. The website states that the festival is a “multimedia showcase of independent films and live touring bands with engaging audiences in Michigan’s capital city.” Not only does the festival celebrate artists from our community, but it lets creators from around the world promote a diverse, cultural atmosphere. With individual events that range from free of charge to $15, this is a great, inexpensive way to get out the residence hall and into the community.

Lansing’s Beerfest at the Ballpark on April 28, is another springtime tradition – for ages 21 and up, of course. The festival is held in the concourse and front lawn of the Cooley Law School Stadium and is a dream for every beer lover! With over 300 craft beers, ciders, meads, spirits and wines from over 70 Michigan breweries, there’s something for everyone. The event’s location is a fitting backdrop as baseball is a springtime favorite for Lansing residents.

If you love music, then make sure to mark Lansing’s StoopFest on your calendar. For its third year in production, the festival will be bigger and better than ever. When StoopFest was established, the goal was to create an inclusive environment for Lansing’s music and art lovers, showcasing talented individuals within the community while promoting Lansing’s eastside. The community embraced the festival, holding nearly 100 performances in six different houses with music ranging from rock and folk to hip-hop. This year, the goal remains the same, but the plan is much larger. By expanding capacity, including more well-known artists and occupying more spaces within the community, the event is setting itself up to become a staple of Lansing for years to come.

Spring is a perfect time to enjoy all that our lovely state has to offer, and the Greater Lansing area makes it easy to do so. With events beginning in early April, the season is a wonderful time to explore the community. When the sun begins to shine and the snow melts, the opportunities to get outside and have some fun are endless.

The Best Healthy Snacks from Around the World — BLOGGing April 2018

We all love to say that we’re being healthy but how often do we make healthy choices? While choosing healthy snacks is not the only way to maintain good well-being, it is a great place to start. For some, the idea of eating healthy food means eating uncooked brussel sprouts for every meal (don’t hate on brussel sprouts! They’re delicious!) but there are so many options that are considered healthy.

The hardest thing to find are alternative snack foods. With oreos, cheese wiz, and pop readily available in the US, it can be easy to choose snacks that won’t do anything positive for your body. Netflix has a few food documentaries such as Food Inc. and What the Health that have totally freaked everyone out in regards to the American food system. For healthy snack inspiration, looking to other countries for recipes is a great idea. Every country has different snacks that will boost energy, mood, and relieve hunger throughout the day. Here are the best healthy snacks from around the world.

Vegetarian Stuffed Grape Leaves – Lebanon

This Mediterranean favorite is high in protein and will keep you full between meals. The vegetarian version gives you a plant fueled kick. The best grape leaves are stuffed with rice, pine nuts, tomatoes, and a bunch of herbs and spices.

Hummus – Egypt

Hummus is a staple of many cultural cuisines, but it was first found in Egypt. This chickpea dip is delicious and has become an obsession over the past few years. For a filling snack that is good for you, dip cucumber, celery, or carrots in hummus and enjoy!

Fresh Vegetable Spring Rolls – Vietnam

Think of spring rolls as a healthy alternative to a burrito. Fresh vegetables, mint, cilantro and shrimp are wrapped in rice paper and served with a tangy peanut sauce. You can munch on these bad boys all day without feeling any guilt.

Bruschetta – Italy

Italians know how to do food, and bruschetta is a staple of Italian cuisine. This dish is created simply out of toasted bread topped with chopped tomatoes, fresh basil, olive oil, salt and pepper. Bruschetta feels like a decadent treat, but it’s actually healthy!

Veggie Sushi – Japan

For those who are sushi obsessed, but don’t love how expensive it is, you can easily make sushi at home! Since we live in the midwest, we don’t have great access to sushi grade seafood, but fresh veggies are just as delicious and make for the perfect vegan/gluten free snack! You can even make sushi without a mat by laying plastic wrap on a dish towel. Slice up fresh carrots, bell peppers, cucumbers and avocado, wrap in sticky rice and dried seaweed sheets for a perfect roll.

 

Maggie Morgan is a junior majoring in Professional Writing with a concentration in Creative Writing. Hobbies include: spending all of her money on concert tickets, trying to convince Green Day to let her be their friend, geeking out about music history, dreaming of writing for Rolling Stone. You can follow her on instagram at @swaggie_.maggie.