Art Beat

A weekly look at creativity, arts, and culture in southwest Michigan, hosted by Zinta Aistars.

Fridays in Morning Edition at 7:50am and at 4:20pm during All Things Considered.

John Halaka

Gardeners and farmers are already thinking about the seeds they will plant in spring. They also think about those seeds throughout the winter, planning each crop and each garden row with care.


Steve Bennett / Real Big Marketing LLC

As the U.S. population ages, we’re hearing more about dementia. New Friends and Vibrant Life co-founder and music director Dean Solden has come up with a unique approach to improving the quality of life for the dementia patients at his assisted living facilities. He does it with music.


Francesca Jasinski

Jarrod Napierkowski spent years pouring cold beer as a bartender, and then manager, of Founders Brewing Company and Creston Brewery in Grand Rapids. But he had another interest. Now, Napierkowski works full-time at his own business: Brambles Woodwork in Grand Rapids.


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).


Mark Wedel / SW Michigan's Second Wave

Like so many neighborhoods, Kalamazoo’s Eastside has seen its economic ups and downs. To raise community pride and foster a resurgence of the neighborhood, the Kalamazoo County Land Bank, Vibrant Kalamazoo, and the Eastside Neighborhood Association came together to create "Eastside Voices." It’s an intergenerational oral history and book project with stories from current and former Eastside residents.


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