Participants at one of the Burma Center's English as a second language (ESL) classes
courtesy of The Burma Center

Burmese Refugees Struggle With Mental Health Issues

In the United States, the risk of suicide is higher for refugees. It’s even higher if you’re a refugee from Burma. The trauma of fleeing a country in conflict can often turn into mental illness, even years later. But the Western concept of mental health doesn’t exist in Burmese culture. Words like “depression” often don’t translate. As a result, some Burmese refugees aren’t getting the care they need.

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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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Law Aims to Help Resolve Missing Persons Cases

Apr 6, 2018

Law enforcement officers say Michigan is ranked third in the nation for most missing persons. A new law aims to help solve their cases.

Nikolaj Lund

Gregor Sigl, the violist of the Artemis Quartet, talks about the program for their Saturday night performance on the Fontana series, which will be held in Stetson Chapel at Kalamazoo College. The concert begins with Beethoven's String Quartet Op 18 No. 3, his favorite of the Op 18 set. It feels "spring-like," and often serves to center the players in their music at the beginning of a performance, he says. 

The next piece on the program, Bartok's String Quartet No. 2 in A minor, was written during the first world war, and it remains an unsettling masterwork that maintains its relevance. Sigl says audiences sometimes take time at intermission to talk and release pent-up emotions about the piece. The concert ends with Robert Schumann's Quartet Op 41 No. 1, and Sigl reflects on how Schumann's music reflects what we know of his personality.

April Montague

Colby Sharp is a nerd and proud of it. In his new book for kids 8 to 12, The Creativity Project: An Awesometastic Story Collection (Little, Brown, 2018), the fifth grade teacher in Parma, Michigan, combines the creativity of many authors and artists to prompt young writers to discover just how creative they can be.

A wind farm in Idaho (file photo)
Wikimedia Commons

DTE Energy is searching for wind power in less windy parts of the state. The utility has signed lease agreements for 22,000 acres in Branch County near the Indiana border. 

This crying clown is painted on velvet. Weyland Dowd says the colors really pop under an ultraviolet light.
Rebecca Thiele/WMUK

“Is it art?” It’s a question you’ve probably heard before, even if you don’t hang around in galleries. As part of Friday's Kalamazoo Art Hop, mysterious kitsch collector known as Weylan Dowd — who looks a lot like local artist Steve Curl — poses this question to viewers at his exhibit at Diekema-Hamann Architecture

A Conversation with flutist & conductor Ransom Wilson

Apr 5, 2018

Ransom Wilson talks with Jack Perlstein about the main influences in his music career as a flutist and conductor.  Click on the links to hear parts 1 and 2 of this 3-part conversation.  You can hear part 3 next Thursday at 12:07pm.

Guns On School Grounds Case To Be Heard Next Week

Apr 5, 2018
Michigan Supreme Court Building - file photo
Cheyna Roth / Michigan Public Radio Network

(MPRN-Lansing) A major firearms case will be debated in front of the Michigan Supreme Court next week. But advocates on both sides say it’s about more than whether someone can carry a firearm on school grounds.

Western Michigan University

Note: We dust off this Jan. 19, 2015 WestSouthwest show in honor of yesterday's 50th anniversary of the death of Martin Luther King.

Did you know Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke in Kalamazoo? And just four months after his historic “I Have a Dream” speech in Washington, D.C.?

Gordon Evans / WMUK

Western Michigan University President Edward Montgomery says getting students in the door isn’t enough if they don’t eventually walk out with a diploma. He says when people feel they are part of a community, they’re more likely to succeed even after things go wrong. 

NPR Music is once again hosting their Tiny Desk Contest. It's a competition where unsigned musicians from all over the U.S. send in a video of themselves performing at a desk. The winner will get to play at NPR's Tiny Desk in Washington D.C., go on a national tour, be featured on NPR's "Ask Me Another," and take part in other NPR events.