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WSW: 'Welcome to Kalamazoo' Show Gets New Residents Settled In

Grand Rapids native Dann Sytsma has long wondered why it's customary for companies to offer new employee orientation, but not so for communities to provide such training for its new residents. That question has led him to launch the "Welcome to Kalamazoo" show during downtown Kalamazoo's Art Hops. The next one is May 4.

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Catalina Gonzalez

LHI Live: Solo Cellist+Songwriter Jordan Hamilton

Jordan Hamilton is a performer who took his training in classical cello and transformed himself into a soloist who sings, raps, writes, and performs electro-acoustic arrangements on the cello. Originally from Maryland, he is a member of the Last Gasp Collective , and recently completed his master's degree in music performance from Western Michigan University. WMUK contributor Craig Freeman invited him to play his eclectic solo set live in the Takeda Studio and talk about his uncommon path to self-expression.

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Chris Killian

The contest between President Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney dominates the news. But amid reports about gaffes and political tactics, is the campaign addressing issues that matter to real people? Kalamazoo independent journalist Chris Killian is on the road to find out during his Swing State Stories project. Over the next few weeks he’ll visit states where the race is close, beginning in Nevada.

Aaron Cooper

Kalamazoo Book Arts Center director Jeff Abshear has spent part of the past decade teaching book arts in Venice to Italian children, but this summer’s trip with was the first time he taught Americans there. Eleven students from the Frostic School of Art and Lee Honors College at Western Michigan University went with Abshear to Venice this summer to study book arts. They attended a printmaking school and studied at a letterpress museum.

One thing you can count on each year with the Toronto International Film Festival: It will be a treasure trove of cinema from around the world. Approximately 300 movies from all corners of the globe are screened each September over the course of a week and a half, including everything from this year’s big Oscar hopefuls to documentaries to comedies that show the lighter side of life in North Korea. 

You might have spotted billboards around Southwest Michigan advertising something a little different—local art. On Friday night from 5:30 to 7:30, you can meet the ten artists who won this year’s Billboard Art Contest at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts. Their work will be on display at the KIA. One of the artists is Paul Marquardt who works out of his home studio.

So you think you know bellydance?

Sep 18, 2012
Joette Sawall teaching a class at West Michigan School of Middle Eastern Dance
Allison Friedman, WMUK

There’s only one studio that holds public belly dance classes in Grand Rapids, a city with a population of almost 190,000 people. Less than half as many people live in Kalamazoo, yet there are three belly dancing studios.

Kazoo Area Foot Chase lets you be a policeman for a day

Sep 14, 2012
2011 Kazoo Area Foot Chase
David Ostrem

On Saturday, runners and walkers can imagine they're policemen trying to capture a suspect. The Kazoo Area Foot Chase is being put on by MI-COPS or Michigan Concerns of Police Survivors.

“An introvert in a very loud and crazy world, ideally that’s what the sound of Shoegaze is to me," says Joshua Garman of the Crash City Saints. "It’s finding beauty, in kind of, the storm.” 

Steven Holmes

“My last name’s Pixley-Fink and a lot of people like to call me Pixie, Pixie Funk, the P-Funk,” says Elisabeth Pixley-Fink. “So it’s pretty funky and pretty playful I’d say.”

Sunday, the Southwest Michigan Harvest Fest will be held at Tillers International farm near Scotts, Michigan. Attendees can explore the rural and sustainable life through speakers, demonstrations, food, crafts and music.

Susan Blackwell Ramsey reading from one of her poems
Rebecca Thiele, WMUK

Susan Blackwell Ramsey will read from her book A Mind Like This Wednesday night at the Portage District Library. In her interview with WMUK’s Zinta Aistars, Ramsey talked about how her mind seems to remember only the most trivial things. This is the basis for her title poem “A Mind Like This.” 

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