Morning Buzz: 5 things to know for September 20

1. Artists from around the world have filled Grand Rapids with unique pieces for ArtPrize9.

There are more than 1,300 entries at 175 venues this year, and the artists are competing for $500,000 in prizes.

Spectators can vote for their favorite pieces via the ArtPrize App, or by creating an account on the website.

There are four different categories: 2D, 3D, Installation, and Time Based. There’s a public winner, and one that’s decided by a panel of experts.

ArtPrize officially kicks off at noon today.


2. The $88 million Michigan State University Research Center in Grand Rapids is now open.

A dedication was held early Wednesday morning. U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos was there, along with Michigan Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley.

The six-story facility, located in the heart of The Medical, will offer new therapies and treatments for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, cancer and other conditions.


3. Spectrum Health is partnering with the Grand Rapids Symphony for a project, which is mean to sooth the soul.

The Music Therapy Program at Spectrum has been around for about two years, but now the hospital is partnering with the Grand Rapids Symphony through the Music for Health Initiative.

Professional musicians play by the patients’ bed-side, and the symphony also recorded a four hour track of soothing chord progressions.

It’s available for any patient to watch on the hospital television, on the symphony relaxation channel, which can only be found at Spectrum.


4. Some Starbucks “Reserve Bars” are looking more like real bars, as the company unveils its whiskey flavored coffee.

There’s no actual alcohol in the coffee, but the beans were aged in whiskey barrels.

Company officials say this lets the roast absorb the distinctive whiskey taste, and customers can even pair their drink with whiskey barrel-aged vanilla syrup for a double dose of flavor.

Starbucks first tested the flavor back in March, now it’s available in select stores across the country.


5. Next month in Los Angeles and Chicago, people will soon be able to drop off Amazon returns at Kohl’s stores.

The retailer is opening some in-store Amazon shops, where the retailer will pack and ship eligible items for free at 82 stores.

Kohl’s previously announced that it will open Amazon shops in 10 of its stores next month, and will sell Amazon Echos, Fire Tablets, and other gadgets.