Let's Hear It | WMUK

Let's Hear It

Janice Carissa

Avery Gagliano won the National Chopin Competition on March 1, 2020 at age 18. In a conversation with Cara Lieurance, Gagliano says that winning the competition was "unreal" and felt more like part of a process rather than an end point. She says she is eager to travel and be in front of audiences again, after spending a pandemic year practicing and learning new repertoire. 

At 4 pm Sunday, May 16 Gagliano will come to Kalamazoo to give a livestreamed performance on the Rising Stars Series presented by the Gilmore Keyboard Festival. She previews the Chopin, Bach, Beethoven and Dett that make up the music on her program.

Face Off Theatre

"If you know family, especially in the African-American community, you know these people," says Face Off Theatre Artistic Director Marissa Harrington about the new play "I Am Grace," by local playwright Vickie G. Hampton. In a conversation with Cara Lieurance, Harrington and Hampton preview the world premiere production, which will be staged at the Dormouse Theatre May 21-23. Both in-person seating and online viewing passes are available.

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.