Let's Hear It | WMUK

Let's Hear It

Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo

Bianca Washington-Ciungan, Director of Programs at the Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo, says the Arts Council's new Art Hop "app" was created in hopes that it could provide a green alternative to the printed guides. It's actually a website that will function as an app when saved to the home screen of your smartphone (it won't be found in your smartphone's app store).

May 7 is the second month of having the Art Hop in-person after a year of online Art Hops during the COVID-19 pandemic, and it's twice as big as April's event. Artists will be stationed on Bates Alley, the Kalamazooo Mall, in front of the State Theatre, and at Kalamazoo Defender, housed in the Comerica Bank building on S. Rose St. That's where 22 year-old Maya James, an artist garnering national attention, will show her work from 6 - 8 pm during Art Hop. Cara Lieurance spoke to Washington-Ciungan and James for a preview.


The Kalamazoo Nonprofit Advocacy Coalition, formed in 2017, has achieved one of its primary goals: becoming the official owners of First Baptist Church of Kalamazoo, an 1853 historical landmark whose expense had become too great for its congregation. It gifted the property to KNAC in April.  KNAC board president Dann Sytsma talked to Cara Lieurance about the work and cooperation that went into this step, and how the 30,000 square foot structure might serve the Kalamazoo community in the future.

Brian K. Powers, courtesy of Encore Magazine

Editor Marie Lee talks to Cara Lieurance about the stories written for the newest edition of Encore Magazine, which focuses on culture and community in west Michigan.

Erica Zebowski via Flickr. All Creative Commons.

The Battle Creek Symphony Orchestra successfully rehearsed and performed five concerts this season under the most difficult circumstances they have faced in recent memory. The fifth concert, By The Country Side, will be livestreamed at 7:30 pm on Saturday, May 1, and be available to watch for weeks afterward. It was programmed, rehearsed and conducted by music director Anne Harrigan, who joined Cara Lieurance to preview Brahms' Serenade No. 1 and George Walker's Lyric For Strings.

Yukie Ota

Gabriel Renteria-Elyea and Yukie Ota lead different sections in the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, but they sit side-by-side for every rehearsal and performance, with Renteria-Elyea playing oboe and Ota playing flute. That closeness made it natural for them to appear on the Connecting Chords Music Festival, in a 60-minute program which will be livestreamed from La Luna Studios at 7 pm on Thursday, April 29. Cara Lieurance spoke to both musicians for a preview.