In collaboration with PBS Stories of Service, WGVU Public Media, ArtPrize, and West Michigan Whitecaps announce LZ Michigan 2017. LZ Michigan is a “Landing Zone” to Remember, Honor, and Celebrate our community’s veterans and their families.

“On July 3, 2010 at the first LZ Michigan, WGVU said loud and clear Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans. During the event we challenged our community to continue the mission of LZ Michigan, to work to Remember, Honor, and Celebrate our community’s veterans and their families. I am continually asked when we are going to host another LZ Michigan event.” said Michael T. Walenta, WGVU Public Media General Manager. “WGVU Public Media along with PBS, NPR, ArtPrize and the West Michigan Whitecaps are honored to announce LZ Michigan will be happening on September 23, 2017.”

LZ Michigan will consist of several community events and activities beginning in May and continuing through December 2017. Events include the kick-off of ArtPrize 9 and an all-day event at Fifth Third Ballpark on Saturday, September 23, 2017. On Friday, September 22, as part of the ArtPrize Cinema Series, WGVU Public Media, PBS, and Florentine Films will host a preview screening of The Vietnam War, A Film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion with special guests.

As part of ArtPrize 9, there will be a Veterans Art Competition with public and jury voting deciding on the winner. The veterans participating in ArtPrize will be celebrated at the LZ Michigan event on Saturday with the winners being announced at the ArtPrize Awards Ceremony by WGVU Public Media and the Veterans Category sponsor The Stow Company.

"ArtPrize celebrates freedom of expression and freedom of speech. These freedoms cannot be taken for granted, and we are proud to partner with LZ Michigan to support and honor those who serve the Armed Forces of the United States of America,” said Todd Herring, ArtPrize, Director of Communications.

Saturday, September 23 will be a day-long celebration at Fifth Third Ballpark that will feature military displays, historical artifacts, the LZ Michigan Vietnam Big Map, Veteran World Map, guest lectures, and performances by local music artists. “We are extremely honored to be part of LZ Michigan in 2017. The first event, in 2010, Anchorwas memorable and we are proud to be the host site for this worthy event,” stated Scott Lane, President, West Michigan Whitecaps. The evening will culminate in an event to Remember, Honor, and Celebrate our community’s veterans and their families inside the Ballpark.

LZ Michigan led by WGVU Public Media, is a “Landing Zone” to Remember, Honor, and Celebrate our community’s veterans and their families.

LZ Michigan Sponsors

· Launch Sponsor - Lacks Enterprises, Inc.

· Ticket Sponsor – SpartanNash

· WGVU Engage Veterans Sponsor – Spectrum Health

· PBS Kids & Education Sponsor – PNC Bank

· Motorcycle & Car Show Rally – Freedom Cruise

· Freedom Cruise Sponsor – Village Motor Sports

· The Wall That Heals – The Azzar Family

· Human Hug Project Sponsor – Kellogg Company, KVets & Supporters

· ArtPrize Veteran Category Prize Sponsor – The Stow Company

· The Vietnam War Screenings – Richard Rought, Vietnam Veteran

· Women Veteran Area Sponsor – American Legion Auxiliary Michigan Fifth District

· Community Engagement Sponsor – WETA & Florentine Films

· Music from the Vietnam War Sponsor – Perrin Brewing Company

· Supporting Sponsor – Cascade Engineering, Grand Valley State University

The Vietnam War by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick Sponsors

· Grand Rapids Community Foundation

· Hospice of Michigan

· Ron Courser & Associates

· Rowerdink, Inc.

LZ Michigan Major Strategic Partners

WGVU Public Media (PBS & NPR), ArtPrize, West Michigan Whitecaps, PBS, NPR, WETA, Florentine Films, Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund – The Wall That Heals, Finish the Mission, Grand Valley State University, America’s Public Television Stations (APTS), Michigan Association of Public Broadcasters (MAPB), and National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA)

LZ Michigan Strategic Partners

Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation, Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival, Battle Creek VA Medical Center, Wyoming VA Health Care Facility, Fleet Reserve Association, Human Hug Project, Frontlines of Freedom, Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency, West Michigan Veterans Coalition, Student Veterans of America – Grand Valley State University, Talons Out Honor Flight, WCMU Public Media, WKAR – Public Media from Michigan State University, Valley PBS, WETA, WZZM TV13