Rebecca Thiele

Environment/Technology Reporter, host of "Arts & More"

Rebecca Thiele became the Arts & More producer for WMUK in 2011. Rebecca also reports on issues related to the environment and technology in Southwest Michigan. She assists the station with social media practices and occasionally anchors during All Things Considered. She is a proud graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism.

​Twitter: @beckythiele

E-mail: rebecca [dot] thiele [at] wmich [dot] edu

WMUK's locally-produced arts and culture program, Arts & More, will end after April 27th. Our local show on books and writers, Between the Lines, will move to the 7:50 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. slots on Fridays. 

The Kalamazoo Male Chorus rehearsing at the Maple Street Magnet School
Andy Robins/WMUK

The Kalamazoo Male Chorus is celebrating its 90th birthday next month with a concert almost as big as its sound. The group will perform May 20th at 4 p.m. at the First Baptist Church in downtown Kalamazoo.


Instructor Hend Hegab teaching Arabic at the Oshtemo branch of the Kalamazoo Public Library
Rebecca Thiele/WMUK

As of 2016, Michigan had the second highest number of Syrian refugees in the country. Many of those refugees are not yet fluent in English. This makes everyday things — like going to the doctor — that much more difficult. So people working with refugee families are trying to close the language gap. 


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

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. 


Rebecca Thiele/WMUK

There’s something captivating about seeing two unlikely art forms together. Like watching a string quartet play Metallica. Next week, Wellspring Cori Terry & Dancers will present their spring concert collaboration with Kalamazoo hip-hop fusion band Last Gasp Collective. 


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