Arts & More

The Kalamazoo State Theatre is turning 90 this year. To celebrate, the theatre will offer a host of events for Art Hop on September 8th from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.


AP Images/Andrew Savulich

A house ball or Harlem ball is where drag queens, transgender, and gender nonconforming people dress up and dance or walk the floor. It's named after the Harlem neighborhood in New York.


Musician Brian Laliberte busks during the downtown Kalamazoo Art Hop
Rebecca Thiele, WMUK

Three years ago, the Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo decided to expand the monthly art hops outside of downtown.

“I think there was a desire to showcase the artists in their neighborhood but I think overall it was a desire to showcase the artists that are in Kalamazoo. I think they knew Art Hop was an economic driver. They saw the crowds they wanted to be part of it," says Beth McCann, deputy director of the Arts Council. 


Earlene McMichael | WMUK

Tammy, a 65-year-old Kalamazoo-area woman, got divorced 18 years ago. She says her dates since have been few and gone nowhere, even after trying a matchmaking service. 

Gordon, 78, of Portage, has been widowed for three years. He’s been to lunch with a couple of women but finds it hard to call it dating. He and his wife were married for over half a century.

For a variety of reasons, older adults can find it tougher to find a partner, even friends, at a time in their lives when social isolation can start to creep in, says Kim Phillips, manager of the Portage Senior Center

What’s an older adult to do? 


Cuddlers get comfy on the floor while watching cartoons. Michelle Renee says the cartoons make her cuddle parties more fun.
Rebecca Thiele, WMUK

Sometimes all you want is a hug. In fact, scientists say human touch benefits our health. But not everyone gets that interaction on a daily basis. That’s why some people in West Michigan are going to “cuddle parties.” A cuddle party is a social event where people snuggle up in a platonic, non-sexual environment. 


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