Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

What Three Local School Districts Found When They Tested Their Water For Lead

Al Tyler is not usually a night owl, but he became one for a few weeks in 2016. Tyler is the head of facilities management at the Kalamazoo Public Schools. KPS wanted to test its buildings’ water sources for lead contamination.

Read More

Wayne Powers Previews New Album "If Love Were All"

Wayne Powers ' life as an entertainer - actor, singer, comedian, radio host - has taken him from coast to coast and everywhere in between. Living in Kalamazoo for the last three years, he re-energized his love of singing, and began to plan a studio recording. The resulting album, If Love Were All , has just been released in the U.S., and a local album release concert and celebration will be held Tuesday, Aug 7, from 7-10 pm at the Union Cabaret and Grille in Kalamazoo. In an interview with Cara Lieurance, Wayne Powers recounts his early experiences as an out-of-his-depth teen jazz singer in New York clubs, which put him on a track that would lead to a job with music legend Henry Mancini's publishing business in Los Angeles. He became a member of the Off The Wall Improv group, a training ground for young comics (Robin Williams was one of his improv partners). Powers broke into television, and starred for two seasons on NBC's 13 East . After its surprise cancellation, he chose to leave television and return to music, recording 1993's Plain Old Me . Now, after 25 years (and yet another career as a popular radio host), Powers recorded the "saloon" songs that have been touchstones for him through the years.

Read More
Michigan Square and Round Dance Clubs

The 50th Michigan Square and Round Dance Convention will be held this weekend at the Kalamazoo Radisson.

On Friday and Saturday, Grand Rapids will host the second annual City Lights Music Festival. The festival will bring in a few electronic dance musicians from across the country and a ton of Grand Rapids talent.

Grace Theisen (left) and Hannah Doan (right) in the WMUK studio.
Rebecca Thiele, WMUK

This Thursday night, singer/songwriters Grace Theisen and Hannah Doan will use their music to help victims of human trafficking through Songs Against Slavery. The event’s goal is to raise awareness about human trafficking in the U.S. and fundraise for The Daughter Project, a safe house for victims.

The Acorn Theater in Three Oaks will stage the comedic opera I Pagliacci later this week. I Pagliacci is about a troupe of clowns in Italy. One of the clowns attacks his wife when he discovers she’s cheating on him with another man. 

The Litchfield Jazz Festival leads off with a weeks-long camp for high-school students and New York's finest musicians on the faculty, then climaxes with a two-day festival. This year it's August 11-12 in Goshen, Conn., but here we have two sets from the 2010 festival, featuring two groups with young leaders.

The Kindleberger Park concert series attracts diverse artists to entertain hundreds of spectators every year in Parchment. Kalamazoo singer-songwriter Shelagh Brown will perform at Kindleberger. Brown says she's been surrounded by music her entire life.

Horticulture is defined as the science or art of growing fruit, vegetables, and other plants. Even though horticulture is smaller scale farming than agriculture, it helps feed people around the world. Liberty Hyde Bailey, considered the Father of Horticulture, was born in South Haven, Michigan. 

For Kay and Arnold Soames, happily ever after has turned into something that feels a lot more like humdrum forever more. As the Omaha couple celebrates their thirty-first anniversary, Kay, played by Meryl Streep, and Arnold, played by Tommy Lee Jones, are beginning to realize that somehow during the decades they have spent together, they have drifted very far apart.

The Kane Sisters

Liz Kane and her sister Yvonne grew up in the Connemara region of County Galway. Renowned for their exquisite mirror-image playing, the sisters learned to play fiddle from their grandfather and several East Galway musicians steeped in the special flowing style of the region. During the school year they teach and perform throughout the west of Ireland, and in summers travel to North America to tour and give workshops. 

Painter Bette Dickinson’s work is all about layers. When I came in to her studio at her home in Kalamazoo, she added a few more layers to a familiar Michigan scene. Underneath the oil paint there are waxy layers that give Dickinson’s art this spacey, other-worldly look. Most of her art is more abstract, with colorful splashes and splattered paint. 

Pages