ladies library association

Courtesy of the Ladies Library Association

Two-Thousand-Twenty marks the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment that gave women the right to vote. A new-stained glass window has been installed at the Ladies Library Association building in downtown Kalamazoo celebrating the occasion.

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Today, the Ladies' Library Association building, a two-story, red brickfaced structure, seems a natural part of the landscape at 333 S. Park St., at the corner of Park and Lovell streets, behind the Kalamazoo Civic Theatre and near Bronson Park in downtown Kalamazoo. But, it took an act of legislation from the Michigan State Legislature in order for the group to construct it. Why? Women didn't have the rights they have now when it was built in the late 1870s.

Earlene McMichael | WMUK

Did you know downtown Kalamazoo is believed to be home to the nation's first building financed and built by and for a women's club, and still used for its original purpose? The Ladies' Library Association of Kalamazoo building turns 140 years old this year. It'll be open for tours during the June 7th Art Hop.

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The Arcadia Winds, joined by pianist Barbara Hong, will present a free concert at 7:30 pm at the Ladies Library Building tonight. The concert begins with an early Romance for clarinet and piano by Richard Strauss, followed by the Sextet for Piano and Winds by British composer Arnold Jacobs, who composed it in memoriam to the horn player Aubrey Brain. The final piece is the Quintet for Piano and Winds, Op posth by Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov. Although it was an early work, it remained unpublished due to the composer's disappointment at not winning a competition with it as a student. Horn player Ron Chase, Barbara Hong, and Paula Jamison of the Ladies Library Association join Cara Lieurance to talk about the works on the program. 


The Arcadia Winds are a group of accomplished amateur musicians who like to challenge themselves with great works. On the opening of their fourth season at the Ladies Library of Kalamazoo, the pieces are by Johannes Brahms, Darius Milhaud, and Emile Bernard. Cara Lieurance spoke with musicians Ron Chase and Barbara Hong, and Ladies Library Association representative Paula Jamison, for a preview of the concert.