Public radio from Western Michigan University 102.1 NPR News | 89.9 Classical WMUK
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Conversations with creators and organizers of the arts scene in West Michigan, hosted by Cara Lieurance

Three-band showcase at Bell’s will raise funds to house the homeless

Grace Theisen
Anna Kujacznski 
Co-organizer Grace Theisen will perform at the benefit concert
Singer Dani Darling will open the showcase on April 21
Doug Coombs
Ann Arbor-based Dani Darling opens the showcase at 8 pm

Music has the power to bring people together for change, and Grace Theisen (pronounced “TY-sun”) has seen it happen. She and Jennifer Hudson-Prenkert, founder of the newly-established Sounds of the Zoo, formed a friendship over their love of music and wanting to make a difference where they live. Their first project together is a musical showcase for three female-led bands at Bell’s Eccentric Cafe called “Mingles 4 Shingles: A benefit concert to raise money for Tiny Houses of HOPE Pilot Project aimed at providing affordable housing for Kalamazoo’s most vulnerable.” It’s set for 8 pm on April 21.

The Skeletones
courtesy photo
The Skeletones close the showcase at Bell’s Eccentric Cafe

Jennifer Hudson-Prenkert has supported local and regional music as a fan and organizer most of her life. She ran a music series at Arcadia Ales and recently worked with the Michigan Music Alliance to provide assistance for artists during the pandemic. Sounds of the Zoo is the realization of her dream to create a SXSW-style free festival of concerts and workshops in Kalamazoo. It will take place Sep 26 - Oct 2, 2022.

From 2015-2018, Theisen lived in Nashville and continued to work to bring attention to the issue of sex trafficking through her former nonprofit, Songs Against Slavery, while still pursuing her love of singing and songwriting at the same time.

Upon returning to Kalamazoo, she got involved with social justice issues in her own community including homelessness and anti-bullying through Gwendolyn Hooker, who runs H.O.P.E. (Helping Other People Exceed) Thru Navigation.”

$10 admission gives attendees (21 and over) the chance to hear the psychedelic soul of Ann Arbor-based Dani Darling and her 5-piece band; original Blues/Americana songs from Grace Theisen; and R&B, funk and Motown-influenced The Skeletones, one of Detroit’s longstanding acts.

Tickets can be purchased at:é

Doors will open at 7:00 P.M.