Dirk Koning, longtime director of the Grand Rapids Community Media Center, passed away on Wednesday Feb. 9 due to complications following heart surgery. Originally the director of GRTV, Dirk Koning was one of the principal forces behind the creation of the Grand Rapids Community Media Center, becoming the organizations first and only executive director. During his tenure as executive director, both Mr. Koning and the GRCMC became nationally recognized as leaders in the community media field. The GRCMC saw substantial growth under Mr. Konings leadership, moving to its current location on Bridge St, introducing two new affiliates, GRIID and Grand Net, new education programs such as the Mollie Project, and the recent acquisition of the Wealthy Theatre.
The Grand Rapids Community Media Center has been an invaluable asset to local activists, community groups, citizen’s organizations and others without access to traditional media outlets. Media Mouse has often utilized the resources of the GRCMC in the creation and dissemination of our own media. Media Mouse, along with many others in the community, owe a debt of gratitude to Dirk Koning for his vision and work in creating and leading the Grand Rapids Community Media Center. He was 48 years old.