A New Year, A New WMUK!

Announcing new programming and launch of Classical WMUK, starting January 20.

Matt Rourke / AP Photo

WMU Professor Focuses On Media Literacy

The era of social media is only about 20 years old. But a Western Michigan University journalism professor says it's already changing our brains. Sue Ellen Christian writes about that in her new book, Everyday Media Literacy: An Analog Guide to Your Digital Life (Routledge, 2019).

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Darcy Wilkin, On Her New Solo Album 'Bristol'

A founding member of the Americana band The Corn Fed Girls , and co-host of Grassroots on WMUK, singer-songwriter Darcy Wilkin will soon release her first solo album, Bristol. She'll feature music from the new project in an album release concert at 8 pm on Saturday, Feb 8 at Bell's Eccentric Café.

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Employment Opportunity

WMUK 102.1 FM is seeking qualified candidates for a Morning Edition Host / Reporter position.

The Gilmore Keyboard Festival

Pierre Van Der Westhuizen, executive director of the Gilmore Keyboard Festival, joins Cara Lieurance to open the 2020 festival brochure and discuss the various artists, styles, venues and extra-musical experiences the festival will offer between April 22 - May 10. Van Der Westhuizen created different categories with multiple events for 2020, including "A Celebration of Beethoven," "Blissfully Baroque," "Keyboard Deep Dive," and "Jazz." The festival will be held in venues in Kalamazoo and surrounding communities from April 22 - May 10. 

One of the pianists singled out in the discussion is Sergei Babayan, whose career as a teacher has kept him under the radar as a soloist. He's one of the few pianists whose Chopin playing can bring Van Der Westhuizen to tears, he says. The festival will also celebrate the 250th anniversary of Beethoven's birth with a number of concerts, including 2018 Gilmore Artist Igor Levit playing an all-Beethoven program.

The Twin Cities-based choral group Border CrosSing, founded by Dr. Ahmed Anzaldua, a graduate of Western Michigan University, will offer a free community sing and a public concert in Kalamazoo this week. 

In an interview with Cara Lieurance, Anzaldua explains that the Gilmore Keyboard Festival, which is sponsoring the Border CrosSing tour, was one of the reasons he chose to apply to school in Kalamazoo, where he earned a master's degree in piano and another in choral conducting. For his PhD in choral conducting, Anzaldua moved to the Twin Cities to attend the University of Minnesota. That's where he founded a choir to showcase the rich music of Latin American composers from the 1500s to the 2000s, drawing on his personal and scholarly background. Border CrosSing was recognized as an important project from the start, as a model for how music and community can learn from each other. 

Matt Rourke / AP Photo

The era of social media is only about 20 years old. But a Western Michigan University journalism professor says it's already changing our brains. Sue Ellen Christian writes about that in her new book, Everyday Media Literacy: An Analog Guide to Your Digital Life (Routledge, 2019).


Three trees, with orange, yellow and red autumn leaves, in front of a concrete building at WMU
Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

Western Michigan University hopes to recoup a badge of environmental honor: the distinction of being a Tree Campus, as defined by the nonprofit Arbor Day Foundation.


Closely spaced solar panels tilt upward in a field.
Toby Talbot / AP Photo

Breaking down silos: that's the aim of a meeting in Kalamazoo Township Friday. The guests are officials from local governments – cities, townships and the county. They intend to share plans for fighting climate change, becoming more sustainable and building resiliencey, and perhaps for working together.


kalfilmsociety.net

Mike Marchak and Madeline Cimini of the Kalamazoo Film Society join Cara Lieurance to share their reactions to the Academy Award nominations, and preview the award-winning films they're sponsoring this month at Celebration Cinema. One is Uncut Gems, featuring a surprising dramatic performance by Adam Sandler. The other is 1917, Sam Mendes' WWI front-line tour-de-force. The whole film appears to be shot in one long take.  

The Kalamazoo Film Society and Crossroads Cinema Celebration in Portage partner to present at least one showing a day. For tickets and more information, visit the Kalamazoo Film Society website or the theater's website


Andy Robins / WMUK

Writing and translating poetry across cultures is tricky. Just ask Hedy Habra, a poet and artist who taught Spanish at Western Michigan University. Habra is of Lebanese origin, grew up in Egypt, and also lived in Belgium and Greece before to coming to Kalamazoo in 1981. Habra revisits her early cultural roots in her newest poetry collection, Taste of the Earth (Press 23, 2019).


Bike Safety Discussed In Kalamazoo

Jan 15, 2020
WMUK

A new approach to bike safety in Kalamazoo is on the agenda for a meeting Thursday, January 16. "Driving Change" is a public safety awareness campaign Grand Rapids aimed at reducing traffic accidents involving bicyclists. Bike groups will meet with state and local officials to talk about a similar program in Kalamazoo.

Andy Robins / WMUK

Kalamazoo's Planning Commission has rejected a proposal to rezone residential land near the Asylum Lake Preserve owned by Western Michigan University.

"Theatre is not dead!" is Gordon Bolar's emphatic answer to the question posed by Paul Simon in the Simon & Garfunkle song, "Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme." The WMUK theater reviewer and Cara Lieurance highlight some of the upcoming productions, Jan - Jun 2020, offered by the Kalamazoo Civic Theatre, Farmers Alley Theatre, WMU Theatre, Kalamazoo College, Queer Theatre Kalamazoo, and Miller Auditorium.


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