Senior Master Sgt. David Lipp / Wikimedia Commons

WSW: Preschool Expansion, Quantity And Quality

Upjohn Institute Researchers Tim Bartik and Brad Hershbein say high quality pre-kindergarten programs can have positive results that last into adulthood. But identifying what quality means is difficult.

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Craig Freeman

LHI Live: Violinist Ahmed Tofiq, Bridging Worlds

Violinist Ahmed Tofiq has become, by neccessity, a bridge between Eastern and Western musical traditions, and a bridge between cultures as well. The co-founder of a youth orchestra for children of Syrian refugees, Orchestra Rouh , he speaks Arabic and excels in playing traditional melodies in the styles he learned growing up in Kurdistan. But Tofiq has embraced life in Kalamazoo since moving here to earn his master's degree in music at Western Michigan University in 2014. He knows that music is one way to form connections, and a feeling of home, quickly. In the Takeda studio, with his violin, Ahmed Tofiq tells his story and plays a few of his favorite maqamat as he speaks with Craig Freeman.

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On Friday and Saturday, Grand Rapids will host the second annual City Lights Music Festival. The festival will bring in a few electronic dance musicians from across the country and a ton of Grand Rapids talent.

Grace Theisen (left) and Hannah Doan (right) in the WMUK studio.
Rebecca Thiele, WMUK

This Thursday night, singer/songwriters Grace Theisen and Hannah Doan will use their music to help victims of human trafficking through Songs Against Slavery. The event’s goal is to raise awareness about human trafficking in the U.S. and fundraise for The Daughter Project, a safe house for victims.

The Acorn Theater in Three Oaks will stage the comedic opera I Pagliacci later this week. I Pagliacci is about a troupe of clowns in Italy. One of the clowns attacks his wife when he discovers she’s cheating on him with another man. 

The Litchfield Jazz Festival leads off with a weeks-long camp for high-school students and New York's finest musicians on the faculty, then climaxes with a two-day festival. This year it's August 11-12 in Goshen, Conn., but here we have two sets from the 2010 festival, featuring two groups with young leaders.

The Kindleberger Park concert series attracts diverse artists to entertain hundreds of spectators every year in Parchment. Kalamazoo singer-songwriter Shelagh Brown will perform at Kindleberger. Brown says she's been surrounded by music her entire life.

Horticulture is defined as the science or art of growing fruit, vegetables, and other plants. Even though horticulture is smaller scale farming than agriculture, it helps feed people around the world. Liberty Hyde Bailey, considered the Father of Horticulture, was born in South Haven, Michigan. 

For Kay and Arnold Soames, happily ever after has turned into something that feels a lot more like humdrum forever more. As the Omaha couple celebrates their thirty-first anniversary, Kay, played by Meryl Streep, and Arnold, played by Tommy Lee Jones, are beginning to realize that somehow during the decades they have spent together, they have drifted very far apart.

The Kane Sisters

Liz Kane and her sister Yvonne grew up in the Connemara region of County Galway. Renowned for their exquisite mirror-image playing, the sisters learned to play fiddle from their grandfather and several East Galway musicians steeped in the special flowing style of the region. During the school year they teach and perform throughout the west of Ireland, and in summers travel to North America to tour and give workshops. 

Painter Bette Dickinson’s work is all about layers. When I came in to her studio at her home in Kalamazoo, she added a few more layers to a familiar Michigan scene. Underneath the oil paint there are waxy layers that give Dickinson’s art this spacey, other-worldly look. Most of her art is more abstract, with colorful splashes and splattered paint. 

The Ladies Library Association in Kalamazoo has recently broken ground on a $2.1 million project to make their historic 130-year-old building more accessible and useful for the community. The Ladies Library Association building in downtown Kalamazoo, finished in 1879 is on the National Register of Historic Places.

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