Graphic novel "Swallow Me Whole" by Nate Powell

Oct 16, 2012

Nate Powell’s Swallow Me Whole won an Eisner award for best graphic novel. Powell’s artwork will be on display at the Kalamazoo Book Arts Center until October 26th. WMUK’s graphic novel experts Annie Kelley and Andy Fitzpatrick of the Battle Creek Enquirer talked about Swallow Me Whole in this review:

Swing State Stories: Michigan

Oct 15, 2012
Chris Killian

We hear a lot about issues in the run up to next month’s presidential election. But the issues that the candidates are talking about aren’t necessarily the ones of most concern to everyday people. Independent journalist Chris Killian of Kalamazoo is in the midst of his Swing State Stories cross-country tour to find out what is on the minds of voters. He stopped recently in the Saugatuck-Douglas area on his way through Michigan.

WMU Theatre

In the story of The Three Musketeers, a brash young man named D’Artagnan tries to prove himself worthy of becoming a musketeer. Yesterday was opening night for the Western Michigan University Theatre’s performance of The Three Musketeers.

Kalamazoo Civic Theatre

A classic comedy, written by the French playwright Moliere in 1673, is being presented by the Kalamazoo Civic Theatre. The new adaptation of The Imaginary Invalid opens Friday in the Parish Theatre.

Kalamazoo Film Society

The Kalamazoo Film Society will show Robot and Frank at The Little Theatre through Sunday. 

Portage artist Dave Elhart says, when he was very young, he was diagnosed with having an extreme case of imagination...and he’s glad he never got rid of it. At Full City Café in Portage, Elhart hangs his fantastical paintings.

At the 2011 Smash-O-Rama
Great Lakes Peace Jam

Smash-O-Rama is one of the events taking place this evening during the Kalamazoo Art Hop. It’s presented by Great Lakes Peace Jam as an invitation to “help promote peace by breaking things.” 

The New Vic Theatre

Before The Woman in Black was made into a movie starring Daniel Radcliffe, it was a play adapted from a novel written by Susan Hill. The New Vic Theatre in Kalamazoo will perform the play starting Friday. The Woman in Black is your classic haunted house story. 

A film series called REEL Faith and Sexuality begins Tuesday night at Kalamazoo College. It’s co-sponsored by The Faith Alliance of the Kalamazoo Gay Lesbian Resource Center. The Faith Alliance is a gathering of religious leaders in the community who seek full inclusion of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons in public and religious life.

A film series called REEL Faith and Sexuality begins Tuesday night at Kalamazoo College. It’s co-sponsored by The Faith Alliance of the Kalamazoo Gay Lesbian Resource Center. The Faith Alliance is a gathering of religious leaders in the community who seek full inclusion of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons in public and religious life.

Just a small part of the Willie Nelson collection in Chris Nelsen's home.
Karen VandenBos

Kalamazoo resident Chris Nelsen is one of singer/songwriter Willie Nelson’s biggest fans. After following him and his music for over 30 years, the local man has an extensive collection of Willie Nelson memorabilia and stories of the times they’ve met. 

Philip Levine, the most recent poet laureate, is coming to Western Michigan University Friday. Levine was born in Detroit. Some of his most famous poems are about his time working for General Motors, a job he says he didn't like very much. 

WMU Theatre

Western Michigan University students will perform the play Fuddy Meers starting Thursday. Fuddy Meers is about a middle aged woman named Claire who has a type of amnesia where she forgets everything that happened the night before.

Southwest Michigan author D.E. Johnson just released his third novel with St. Martin’s Publishing. It’s a follow up to The Detroit Electric Scheme and Motor City Shakedown. Detroit Breakdown follows protagonists Will Anderson and his girlfriend Elizabeth Hume into a mental institution of one hundred years ago. 

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.” 

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.

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.”

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.” 

Saugatuck Center for the Arts

On Sunday, Mason Street Warehouse in Saugatuck will put on a performance of the play 8, based on a California trial to overturn Proposition 8 which banned gay marriage.

The Albertine Monroe-Brown Gallery is two stories high. It’s airy with lots of windows, and you can see the art from several vantage points, which is one of the first things that excited and inspired Puerto Rican artist Nayda Collazo-Llorens. That, and the sheer size of the gallery, which allows for four distinct areas in her exhibition, including a small room, or tunnel that has both audio and visual art. 

Donna Blue Lachman
Rebecca Thiele, WMUK

The one-woman show The Language of the Birds: Rosa Luxemburg and Me will be at the Acorn Theater in Three Oaks this weekend. The play is about two political activists separated in time: one is Rosa Luxemburg, a socialist revolutionary, the other is Lillian, a modern political blogger.

Regina Carter, Wynton Marsalis On JazzSet

Aug 30, 2012

JazzSet returns to the 2011 Newport Jazz Festival for performances from two complementary bandleaders on the main Fort Adams stage: violinist Regina Carter and trumpeter Wynton Marsalis.

Regina Carter started playing violin as a 4-year-old Suzuki method student in Detroit, and later played in school and community orchestras. After attending the New England Conservatory of Music, she chose jazz as her primary direction. JazzSet first presented her from the 1995 Telluride Jazz Festival — on a stage in the mountains, playing into the open air.

Jason Wesaw
Rebecca Thiele, WMUK

Musician Jason Wesaw says the Pokagon band of the Potawatomi has gathered around this time of year for generations to celebrate the harvest and all that the land provides to help them maintain their way of life. And for 27 years, the Pokagon have held the Kee Boon Mein Kaa Pow Wow, which takes place this weekend in Dowagiac. 

Several men and one woman gathered in the woodshop at Tillers International farm near Scott’s Michigan to cooper a piggin. Tillers International is a non-profit organization in rural Scotts, Michigan. At their Cook’s Mill Learning Center they teach classes in cheese, soap and broom making, blacksmithing, stone masonry and natural fiber dying among other things.

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