Grand Stand Pictures Telling heralded and unheralded stories of the people who shaped Grand Rapids, Michigan.

While some outlets report that Grand Rapids is one of the best places in the country to raise a family, it is simultaneously described as one of the worst for African-Americans in the country.

As residents try to reconcile living in a city that is really two or three different cities at once, various reactions play out. Many try to wrest themselves free from being “managed,” wondering why others seem to be participating in their own demoralization. Those enjoying privilege wonder how their good intentions can be so misunderstood.

We aim to propel all to recognize these forces wherever they are, and to engage the narrative arts to overcome personal and societal hurdles that must go, in a quest to create a more just and equitable society.

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A City Within a City Film

Our film, A City Within a City, tells historical and contemporary stories of Black men and women in Grand Rapids, Michigan struggling for freedom, equality, and justice.

We started this journey three years ago encapsulated in the book A City Within a City by Todd E. Robinson. As Black Grand Rapidians, we felt it shined a light on a dark history that was hidden. We wanted to find a way to bring the stories from the book to more people, since most people don't read academic dissertations! It opened the eyes of so many, the mayor even named it Book of the Year in 2016. So we began our first foray into film as the best way for us to get the ideas to the masses, especially young people.

Over two years into the development work, we are seeking more supporters who believe in the thriving of Black lives—past, present, and future.


Upcoming Events


1. Performing Artists

2nd & 4th Saturdays monthly 10a.m.-12 p.m.
Grand Stand Pictures, 1110 Wealthy St. SE

We are looking for talented homegrown individuals in the genres of Gospel, Soul, Jazz, R&B, HipHop/Rap, Rock and Spoken Word to help bring the Black Freedom Struggle of Grand Rapids, Michigan to life. Seeking extremely talented vocalists, instrumentalists, and song writers to build out our homegrown team of talented individuals. Register at:

2. Animators

72 Hour Challenge

March 2023
Details to come

There are no upcoming events at this time



October 18, 2021

Coming to GR

In the Fall of 1998 I had a bizarre experience on the GR city bus. It wasn’t anything a security camera could capture, if they had those back then. It […]
October 18, 2021

616 Day

Grand Rapids, Michigan is a city with a rich history and culture, but it is also reckoning with its legacy of managerial racism, redlining, and vast racial disparities in education, […]
February 19, 2020

The Story Behind
Our Logo

The Cardinal is believed to be a spiritual messenger of our ancestors – protecting us, telling us the stories of those who came before us, and showing us how even […]

become a part of the story

Join our mailing list for updates regarding our community activities and progress in fundraising and filming!


become a part of the story

Join our mailing list for updates regarding our community activities and progress in fundraising and filming!