Art Hop

Tamra Diamond (Chesak); Grant Beachy (Daneman)

The Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo offers several different grants to fund a range of Kalamazoo-area creative activity, including the KADI grant, or Kalamazoo Artistic Development Initiative grant. Cara Lieurance talks to Kristen Chesak, the executive director of the Arts Council, and  Ashley Daneman, a 2020 KADI grant recipient for her concert-series-with-a-twist concept, Authenticity Kalamazoo.  Other recipients this cycle include artists like Kelly Van Der Kley, who will use her grant to learn more about book-making techniques in Venice, then share them locally through her work with Kalamazoo Book Arts


Art Hop is one of the most visible programs created and supported by the Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo, but the list of ACGK activity is much larger than most people realize. Executive Director Kristen Chesak joins Cara Lieurance to talk about how the council has sustained and helped focus the work of artists in southwest Michigan - filmmakers, painters, dancers, musicians, ceramic artists, playwrights, performers and craftspeople of all kinds. 

Jennifer Leigh

Jennifer Leigh says she uses art as therapy. Grace Barrett says drawing helps get her feelings out and relax the symptoms of depression. Both of them will have art on display at Friday’s Art Hop in downtown Kalamazoo.


Do Art Hops Help Businesses In Kalamazoo Neighborhoods?

Aug 29, 2017
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. 


Downtown Music Jam Facebook Page

On April 22nd, a new, ambitious event will officially launch in Kalamazoo: The Music Hop. The event is billed as similar to the city's Art Hop, but with musicians instead of artists. The event’s organizers say that one night every month, local musicians will perform in restaurants, museums and venues across the city, from the Old Peninsula to the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts.


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