Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo

Fred Western

Last month, the Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo announced that it had selected a new executive director. And it was a familiar face for many in the Kalamazoo arts scene – Kalamazoo Civic Theatre executive director Kristen Chesak. The Arts Council plays a major role in the city, from organizing every month’s Art Hop to providing grants to local institutions and artists. And as the council prepares for a new shift in leadership, it's also preparing for major new challenges such as a growing Art Hop and decreased arts coverage in Kalamazoo. 


"KALAMAZOO, MI -- The Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo has named Kristen Chesak as its new executive director. Chesak's appointment comes at the end of a five-month national search guided by Arts Consulting Group , during which time Beth McCann has served as interim executive director." (MLive/Kalamazoo Gazette)

Fred Western

A specific question has been on the minds of a lot of people in the Kalamazoo arts community lately: What happens when the media changes, and arts coverage from the local newspaper shrinks in just a few short years?  The shift has happened fast in Kalamazoo. Now, arts leaders have a plan to collaborate on a new arts publication. Its purpose: to serve as a hub for listings, reviews and arts features for Southwest Michigan. 


Cheri Williams hangs her work at Studio Grill in Kalamazoo
Rebecca Thiele, WMUK

If you’ve spent more than a few weekends in Kalamazoo, you know how Art Hop works here -- the first Friday of every month, it brings artists into dozens of businesses to create one big night of art and culture. Soon, though, it could spread to another Michigan city: Lansing.


WMUK Grassroots host Mark Sahlgren among those honored for his contribution to the arts

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