Arts & More

Rob Bradford (middle) plays George Banks in the Kalamazoo Civic Theatre's production of Mary Poppins
Fred Western

The Kalamazoo Civic Theatre is making big strides to try to diversify its audience and get more people of color in the seats. For a place like the Civic that pays the bills through popular, well-known shows - that's a challenge.

Courtesy Aurore Munyabera

On April 1st, artist and poet Aurore Uwase Munyabera will present a large exhibition of her work called "Iwacu," meaning "home", at Kalamazoo's Black Arts & Cultural Center. The work reflects Munyabera's childhood as a survivor of horrific genocide in her native Rwanda. But now, through her art, Munyabera displays the beauty and nature of the country that she left more than two decades ago.

West Michigan Mayhem players don't let the rain ruin their first practice for their big game against Chicago on April 2nd.
Rebecca Thiele

You’ve probably heard about Kalamazoo’s roller derby team, but you might not know about Southwest Michigan’s other full-contact women’s sport. The West Michigan Mayhem women’s football team has been around for 15 years - and it's doing pretty well. The team won all but two games last season.

On Thursday, March 31st, Bell’s Eccentric Café is hosting a night of hip-hop with some major Michigan rappers, like Passalacqua and Rick Chyme. But for Kalamazoo rapper DeLaZoo, the show represents more. For him, it's a rebirth and reintroduction into a Kalamazoo rap scene after years away.

Courtesy KIA

About five years ago, the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts took on an ambitious goal: to create a tour within the museum that was accessible to those who are visually impaired. This was tricky for a number of reasons. The most pressing issue was that the KIA specializes in visual art. So how do you take an visual medium, and bring it alive for someone who can’t see it? KIA docents Frank Wolf and Tracy Klinesteker will give a talk on March 22nd explaining how the museum did it.