Arts & More

Comics & Graphic Art
8:24 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

Comic Artist Depicts Places, People of Kalamazoo

Simon Borst at People’s Food Co-op holding an issue of the People’s Food Co-op Coop Scoop with a two-page spread of his comic storytelling.
Credit Nancy Camden

For over a year, Coop Scoop, the quarterly newsletter put out by People’s Food Co-op of Kalamazoo has devoted a page to storytelling in the comic-art form. A 2011 University of Michigan school of art graduate, Simon Borst is the illustrator and is also the front-end manager at the co-op. 

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Arts & More
3:11 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

Grand Rapids' Tanglefoot Building Is Where Both Flypaper And Artists Stick Around

The entrance to the artist studios in the Tanglefoot Building is denoted by a door with a red-lettered spraypainted "K."
Erin Williams WMUK

Flypaper.

It's an invention that you never knew you needed - and now that it exists, you can't imagine life without it. Such was the case in the 1880's, when the Tanglefoot Company began manufacturing the product in Grand Rapids. For over 125 years products dedicated to controlling insects have come out of the building, but in the 1980’s building owner Joe Skendzel decided to start renting some of the vacant factory space out.

He had no idea he was creating an artist’s colony.

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Sports
6:21 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Men's Roller Derby Completes Killamazoo's Fierce Family

The Kalamazoo Men's Roller Derby Team practicing at Roller World
Credit Rebecca Thiele, WMUK

The Kalamazoo Men’s Roller Derby team will hold their first official game Saturday night against London, Ontario.

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Arts & More
5:00 am
Tue May 27, 2014

'A Detroit Anthology' Allows Writers to Control The Narrative About Their City

Children enjoying a baseball game at Briggs Stadium, August 1942. Author Gail Griffin captures her own childhood memory of enjoying a game in the same place in the new book 'A Detroit Anthology.'
Credit John Vachon / Library of Congress

Author and professor Gail Griffin can remember her tenth birthday- spent catching a baseball game on a summer night - like it was yesterday:

"A rectangle of night sky opens ahead. Brilliant banks of lights against the black. The low crowd hum, rising, like a sea sound. Then acres of green seats and then, below it all, the blazing diamond, emerald they should call it, nothing has ever been so green.

Left field, Maxwell. Right, Colavito, the outrageous Cleveland trade, who points his bat at pitchers like a gun.

Humidity haloes the lights. Men yelp HOTdogs, HOTdogs, PROgram. I am transfixed, dizzied by the vastness. My stomach lurches like on the Ferris wheel at the State Fair when it surges up and I can almost see Canada. How can an entire world fit inside a building? It’s a gleaming secret, a hidden kingdom, an alternate planet shining at the core. Secret garden, emerald city, wonderland. The night breeze licks my skin. I might be dreaming."

- From "Night, Briggs Stadium, 1960."

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Arts & More
4:28 pm
Mon May 26, 2014

Theo & Stacy's Greek Fest Blends Culture, Entertainment - and Lots of Food

Greek band The Levendes performs at Theo & Stacy's annual Greek Fest. In its 38th year, Greek Fest is a blend of culture, food, and entertainment.
Credit Courtesy of Theo & Stacy's

38 years ago, Theo and Stacy Skartsiaris  decided to host a night of food and entertainment at their fine dining restaurant, Dionysos . The couple emigrated from Greece in the sixties and wanted others to be able to appreciate and understand their culture.

"Kalamazoo is changing very much - but 1973 to 80's, people were not willing to try different foods. We were the first ones to decide to bring our Greek culture to Kalamazoo - with Greek food, Greek music, dancing and everything, and Kalamazoo embraced our Greek culture very well," says Mrs. Skartsiaris, who is the proprietor of the family's Theo & Stacy's restaurants.  

"We started to have a Greek night in the basement of Dionysos, but the basement was small," says Mrs. Skartsiaris.

"So we decide 'Let's do it outside in the back of the parking lot.' At that time, Kalamazoo didn't have any festivals, not at all-none. A lot of people thought Theo - my husband - was crazy - and he was crazy," she says with a laugh.

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