Encore January 2015

Page 1

Double Phelix Collective

‘HR for Athletes’ Renee Shull

January 2015

Our Cup Runneth Over

Kalamazoo’s craft beer boom

Pop-up Shops

Abstract Artist Alixandria Sharpe

Southwest Michigan’s Magazine

What matters? You matter.

“Four months ago, I had anterior hip replacement surgery at Bronson Methodist Hospital. And it was the best thing I ever did. I put off the surgery for three years — until I could hardly walk at all. Thanks to Bronson, I started feeling better before anything was even scheduled. My doctor did a great job of explaining what to expect and what would be done. My pain was minimal and I could move around better than I ever expected. In just four weeks, I was back doing the things I used to do — camping, walking the dog, golfing with my buddies and so on. The best testament to my outcome: forgetting that I ever had a hip problem. And for that, I’m so thankful.” Don Osterhout, Portage, Michigan, May 17, 2014

When one person shares their positivity, we all share in it. To share how Bronson Positivity has impacted your life, or to watch a video of Don’s story, visit bronsonpositivity.com.



t r u e s t o ry

The next 20 years may be your best years, so enjoy them. With that bit of heartfelt advice, the couple in their early 50’s reconsidered what they’d previously assumed to be out of reach: the purchase of a small cottage on the big lake. The prompting came not from their children, but from an astute financial advisor who was looking at the couple’s financial position relative to their “life” position. He envisioned the coming years during which the family’s generations would spend summers and getaways in a special place that would grow to have special meaning. They took the leap, relying on the team at Greenleaf Trust to manage their assets ever so wisely—which we did. Good advice grew inseparable from good service, and thereafter formed a trusted bond. Even as life brought terrible hardships through the passing of the patriarch and the loss of an offspring, the bond not only endured, it strengthened. To the point at which, today, we assist with matters ranging from mortgages and cars to taxes and trusts. Where good advice is sought, good counsel is given. We’re the first to say not every insight is worth its weight in gold. But with satisfaction rates approaching 100%, and our unwavering focus on integrity and trust, it’s safe to say that Greenleaf Trust clients appear to benefit from our approach to wealth management. If you’d like to learn how we might improve your financial security from generation to generation, call us; we’ll give you our best thinking.

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4 | Encore JANUARY 2015



FEATURES Beer, Beer Everywhere


~ A Guide for Finding Local Brews


‘HR for Athletes’


Double Phelix Collective


And experts say the area’s craft beer market has room for more

Renee Shull went from corporate downsizer to helping injured athletes find new careers

After going big, this music organization goes small to get back to its roots

DEPARTMENTS 7 Contributors Up Front 8 First Things — What’s hip and happening in SW 10

Michigan Poppin’ Up — Why are more and more pop-up shops cropping up?


Good Works

Hand to Mouth — Kalamazoo Loaves & Fishes combats food insecurity

14 Enterprise

All About Alpacas — Woman’s passion for the gentle creatures becomes a business

16 Savor

Veritable Venison — Tips for turning a bounty of deer meat into delicious dishes

46 Back Story

Meet Jay Prince — The 30-year-old CEO of Heritage Community is passionate about how to live life


32 Ashley Daneman The Kalamazoo singer-songwriter heads to the bright

lights, but will miss the little city

34 The Art of Alixandria Abstract painter Alixandria Sharpe sees infinite realities

in her work

40 Events of Note 43 Poetry On the cover: A sampling of some of the craft brews that are abundant in the greater Kalamazoo area. Photo by Brian Powers.

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Double Phelix Collective

‘HR for Athletes’ Renee Shull

Pop-up Shops

January 2015

Expert Services For Small Businesses

Abstract Artist Alixandria Sharpe

Southwest Michigan’s Magazine

With 40 years of combined experience.

Small Business Accounting & Taxes Personal Income Tax Services QuickBooks Pro Advisors New Business Set-up 4341 S. Westnedge Ave., Suite 1205 Kalamazoo MI 49008 (269) 343-9700

Our Cup Runneth Over

Kalamazoo’s craft beer boom

Ralph Meyer, CPA & Mindy Allwardt, CPA


encore publications, inc.


marie lee


alexis stubelt


Staff Writer

tiffany fitzgerald

Copy Editor/Poetry Editor margaret deritter


dan cunningham, junfu han, derek ketchum, brian powers

Contributing Writers jef otte, robert m. weir

Contributing Poets

lynn pattison, sydnee peters

Advertising Sales

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Encore Magazine is published 12 times yearly. Copyright 2015, Encore Publications, Inc. All rights reserved. Editorial, circulation and advertising correspondence should be sent to:

www.encorekalamazoo.com 117 W. Cedar St. Suite A Kalamazoo, MI 49007 Telephone: (269) 383-4433 Fax: (269) 383-9767 Email: Publisher@encorekalamazoo.com

The staff at Encore welcomes written comment from readers, and articles and poems for submission with no obligation to print or return them. To learn more about us or to comment, you may visit www.encorekalamazoo. com. Encore subscription rates: one year $36, two years $70. Current single issue and newsstand $4, $10 by mail. Back issues $6, $12 by mail. Advertising rates on request. Closing date for space is 28 days prior to publication date. Final date for print-ready copy is 21 days prior to publication date.



Tiffany Fitzgerald

Encore’s staff writer, Tiffany writes about a myriad of topics and really shines at writing in-depth features such as this month’s look at the booming craft beer scene in the greater Kalamazoo area. Tiffany, who teaches journalism courses at Western Michigan University and has written for the Denver alt weekly Westword, says that in researching this article she was surprised to learn that most of the local breweries don’t count in the microbrew market but instead in the restaurant market.

Jef Otte

Jef is a writer and journalist whose work has previously appeared in SmokeLong Quarterly, Copper Nickel, SPIN Magazine, Village Voice and other news outlets. He specializes in features on music. In September he talked with Greensky Bluegrass; this month he looks at the creative forces behind the Double Phelix Collective. He’s currently pursuing an MFA in creative writing at WMU and lives in Kalamazoo with his wife and two sons.

Robert M. Weir

Since 1996, Robert has contributed more than 150 articles to Encore, confirming his belief that every person has value and a story. He found a kindred spirit in Renee Shull, whom he writes about in this issue. Whether they’re downsized employees or retired and injured athletes, Shull recognizes the value of each person and helps them live a more empowered life. Robert is a writer, author, speaker, book editor and authors’ coach whose writing can be seen at RobertMWeir.com.

Phil Schubert

Our first contributor

He’s Encore’s father, in every sense of the word. Phil Schubert, who created Encore in 1972 and sat at its helm for 23 years, died Dec. 1 at the age of 85. A lot of people may not know that Encore wasn’t Phil’s first publication. In 1965 he started the Greater Kalamazoo Guide, followed by Big Ten Magazine and Cable TV Guide – but Encore was the one he considered “his crowning glory.” In the 23 years that Phil published Encore, it became the arts and culture magazine for the greater Kalamazoo community. It introduced readers to the area’s luminaries such as the Upjohns, the Gilmores and the Parishes, as well as some of the lesser-known artists, businesspeople and families in the community. Like a well-nurtured child, Encore grew, matured and prospered. In 1996, Phil and his wife, Marcia, decided it was time to let Encore spread its wings and sold the magazine. After Encore, the Schuberts traveled extensively and spent winters in Arizona. Phil mastered a new craft — woodworking — as well as spent hours laboring on their 39-acre property in Oshtemo. Phil was just as creative in those endeavors, but of all the things he’s done, none have had the lasting impact or influence of Encore. “Yes, it’s my legacy,” he admitted in an interview with Encore in 2012. And what a legacy to have left.

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up front encore

First Things Something Contemplative Artists and poets create Home In

an exhibition opening this month at Western Michigan University, more than 30 Kalamazoo-area poets and artists explore what solidifies or disrupts our understandings of home. “The idea of Home extends far beyond the physical manifestation of home,” says Mindi Bagnall, curator of Home: An Artists and Writers Project. “Home can be a location, a person or group of people, a feeling, a state of mind, or an abstract sense of belonging, wonder and warmth.” The writers and artists spent most of the last year participating in a series of workshops and meetings for the exhibit, resulting in a collaborative exploration. Home opens Jan. 15 and runs through March 6 at the Netzorg and Kerr Gallery at WMU’s Richmond Center for Visual Arts. A public reception is set for 5–7:30 p.m. Jan. 14. A reading will take place at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 19 in Room 2008 of the center. The exhibit will be on display March 15–April 11 at the Carnegie Center for the Arts, in Three Rivers. For more information, call 287-2455 or visit wmich.edu/art/ exhibitions. Two poems from the project appear on page 43.

Something Delicious Fill up on Kalamazoo fare

If you’ve wanted to try all the savory, delectable food at restaurants in downtown Kalamazoo without breaking the bank, there’s a week for that: Downtown Kalamazoo Restaurant Week, Jan. 25-Feb. 1. This culinary event kicks off 11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m. Jan. 24 with a Chili Cook-Off, featuring more than 25 chili variations to sample at retail stores and restaurants. The rest of the week, participating restaurants, including Food Dance, Epic Bistro, Old Burdick’s Bar & Grill, The Union and the Kalamazoo Beer Exchange, will offer special $10 or $25 fixed-price dishes. There will also be special events and offers at retail outlets like The Spirit of Kalamazoo, so you can shop while you restaurant hop. Menus, participating restaurant listings and other details available at KalamazooRestaurantWeek.com.

Something Good

Serving the community To commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Jan. 19, the city of Kalamazoo and Volunteer Kalamazoo will organize a community-wide Day of Service. Organizations around the greater Kalamazoo area will offer volunteer opportunities at Westwood Elementary School, the Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade, Ministry With Community and other locations. The Day of Service kicks off at 8 a.m. at Kalamazoo City Hall with a continental breakfast for participants. Lunch will be delivered to volunteer sites, and later in the afternoon volunteers will join a march from Kanley Chapel, on Western Michigan University’s campus, to Kalamazoo College. To view volunteer listings and to register, visit go.volunteerkalamazoo.org/aam.

8 | Encore JANUARY 2015

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You won’t look at a wire hanger the same way again after viewing contemporary Korean sculptor Seungmo Park’s fluid, detailed large-scale portrait and landscape wire sculptures. A selection of Park’s work is on display through March 15 at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, 314 S. Park St., in an exhibition called Wire and Wrapped, which features pieces from his Maya series. To help visitors engage with the exhibit, the KIA will hold a public tour from 6–7 p.m. Jan. 8 and a hands-on program from 6–7 p.m. Jan. 22. The guided tour will explore the scale, detail and intricacy of Park’s work and include admission to the entire museum. The hands-on program — Wrap It! — will allow visitors to create wire-wrapped sculptures in the style of Park and take in a performance by DancExperiment Lab, a class of Education for the Arts students. For more information, visit KIArts.org/event. w w w.encorekalamazoo.com | 9

up front encore

Poppin’ Up All Over

Pop-up shops are hitting their stride The

10 | Encore JANUARY 2015

Historic images of Kalamazoo adorn the lids of the handmade candles of the Kalamazoo Candle Co.

Brewery for the past two years, says Satellite manager Sean Hartman. “Having a lot of community involvement is really important to us,” he says. “We like to reach outside our store, reach new people and affect the community around us.”

Brian Powers

Brian Powers

underlying concept of a “pop-up shop” isn’t new. We’ve seen these temporary, transportable and small-scale retail hubs appear as kiosks in malls and Halloween costume or Christmas-themed stores that are in a retail space for just a few months at a time. In the past five years, though, more small businesses have been popping up stands and kiosks inside the retail spaces of other small businesses or temporarily taking over vacant storefronts. Pop-up shops have exploded into a full-blown trend, growing 16 percent annually since 2009 and expected to generate $80 billion annually, according to a 2014 Fortune report. What’s pushing this boom? Turns out, even though online retail accounts for $259 billion in yearly sales in the U.S., a lot of people still prefer to shop in person. According to a February 2014 study by the financial innovation research center Accenture, 78 percent of online shoppers are just “webrooming,” or researching an item online before going into a local store to buy it. “For many shoppers, not being able to try on a product before purchasing can be a very real pain point,” says technology blogger Humayun Khan in an article on the Spotify blog. “There’s just something about being able to touch before you buy.” For bigger retail chains, popping up is more about generating a new revenue stream, connecting to customers and offering a physical exchange and product return spot. For small businesses, though, popping up is about cooperative retail, face-to-face ownerto-customer interaction and low overhead. In Kalamazoo, small businesses are popping up in temporary retail spaces on short-term leases and also in the spaces of other local businesses. Satellite Records, which has a physical location at 808 S. Westnedge Ave., has been popping up in venues like Bell’s

Above, Kristi Tyler stands outside her pop-up shop Tulips, at 2030 Parkview Ave. Opposite page: Tyler arranges merchandise in her temporary storefront.

Satellite Records doesn’t pop up solely to sell but also to help promote events, says Hartman. It’ll be popping up at Bell’s on Jan. 3,

Brian Powers

sponsoring a show by Tyvek (a noise pop band from Detroit) and Jan. 29 as part of a pop-up dance party. Satellite Records has also popped up at WIDR (Western Michigan University’s student-run radio station), the Proper Lab, Louie’s Trophy House & Grill, the State Theatre and the Kalamazoo County Expo Center & Fairground. When pop-up shops aren’t sponsoring or promoting events, they work with other retailers or businesses to offer on-site diversity. One example is Tulips Little Pop Up Shop, a women’s clothing and accessories boutique owned by Kristi Tyler. Not only does Tyler operate a temporary shop at 2030 Parkview Ave., where she has a six-month lease and runs a regular schedule, but her business also pops up in other retail spaces such as Urban Modern Hair and The Barre Studio and at home parties. She kicks back some of her profit to the shop owners. These space-sharing pop-up shops are gaining popularity in bigger urban centers like Los Angeles; Charlotte, N.C.; Portland, Ore.; Vancouver, Wash., and Seattle. It might be chefs popping up on a Monday to cook in a restaurant other than their own and profitsharing the promotional event, or it could be a baby clothes boutique popping up in a women’s shoe store. The point, according to a 2013 CBS trend report, is to share inventory in a way that draws customers for both businesses. That’s what Tyler is doing when her shop pops up in a hair salon — bringing her products directly to her demographic and offering a dynamic experience to salon-goers. So far, the response has been positive. “I never realized what a buzz it would create,” she says. “It’s a lot of work to pack and unpack, but it’s really been quite successful and I think the customer service is key.” Being able to buy a unique product from the small business owner directly is an experience many people crave, Tyler says. Fortune magazine analysts agree, saying predictions that online sales will

shut down brick-and-mortar facilities haven’t proved true — people want community and connection. Handmade Kalamazoo offers a broad community connection with its collective pop-up experience, says owner Melissa Al-Azzawi. “We started out utilizing the pop-up shop model so that we could market, promote and sell the works of Kalamazoo makers, from soap to honey, clothing to guitars, local music to underwear, and we have done so with over 100 folks,” she says. “Our model works because we are not simply selling a product; we’ve created a community at Handmade Kalamazoo.” The pop-up collective popped up in a temporary space in downtown Kalamazoo during the holiday shopping season; it was its fourth popup shop experience. The group has previously popped up in the Vine neighborhood and on the Kalamazoo Mall. Community is just one perk of pop-up retail. Testing revenue streams, marketing merchandise around an event or holiday, unloading old inventory and generating brand awareness are the other pluses powering this trend, say the experts. As more businesses tap into the benefits, look for more pop-up shops in Southwest Michigan.

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good works ENCORE

Hand to Mouth

Kalamazoo Loaves & Fishes combats food insecurity Every Kalamazoo Loaves & Fishes newsletter features a story of

Loaves & Fishes staff member Jackie Smith helps stock food in the organization’s Portage Street facility.

Derek Ketchum

someone who has been helped by one of its more than 60 distribution sites and 20 pantries in Kalamazoo County — a young student whose working father couldn’t afford to put food on the table, a single mother whose child’s medical condition devastated her finances and forced her family into hunger — people who, despite their best efforts, don’t always know where their next meal will come from. The face of hunger in America has changed. Since the Great Recession, underemployment, stagnant wages and an increased cost of living have contributed to a new widespread state of hunger labeled “food insecurity.” According to the USDA, food insecurity occurs when a person’s access to adequate food is limited by a lack of money or resources. “There’s hunger all around you, and a lot of times you may never know that the person next to you at work or the child who goes to school with yours is hungry,” says Greta Faworski, resource development director of Kalamazoo Loaves & Fishes. Faworski says many working-class families are still experiencing the effects of the economic downturn. In Kalamazoo County, nearly

38,000 residents suffer from food insecurity,10,500 of them children, she says. Hunger extends throughout Michigan, where one in every six people lives in hunger, according to the 2014 Hunger in America report. One of the most prevalent problems for those suffering from food insecurity is having to choose between food and other basic needs like housing, gas and education. “And there’s the physical and emotional aspects of it as well,” says Faworski. Food insecurity causes daily stress that seeps into the lives of those who experience it, affecting work performance and general well-being. “No one is 100 percent when they are skipping meals,” she says. Food banks are an important resource for those grappling with hunger, and Kalamazoo Loaves & Fishes has been providing that resource for thousands since it was established in 1982. Kalamazoo Loaves & Fishes receives food from community donations and food drives and uses monetary donations to buy food

12 | Encore JANUARY 2015

in bulk to give to those in need. In its new facility at 901 Portage St., volunteers work in a clean room to repackage bulk food items for distribution. Distribution sites include the organization’s Portage Street facility and 25 food pantries at nonprofit organizations like Ministry With Community, the YWCA Domestic Assault Program Shelter and the Salvation Army. Kalamazoo Loaves & Fishes also distributes food at churches throughout the county to mobilize efforts in rural areas. Amazingly, Kalamazoo Loaves & Fishes can provide food for one person for one day for $1. In the 2013-14 fiscal year, Kalamazoo Loaves & Fishes’ in-house Mary K. Melzer Food Bank provided enough food for 275,000 meals, averaging about 1,100 meals a day. The Melzer Food Bank looks like a grocery store — shelves are stocked with dry goods, and a center area features local produce and meat. Kalamazoo Loaves & Fishes also provides milk vouchers to local grocery stores. The organization focuses on healthy eating and distributes food based on the national health guidelines. Kalamazoo Loaves & Fishes runs primarily on volunteer power — it employed 20 partand full-time employees in the 2012-13 fiscal year and relied on 450 volunteers each week to collect, process and distribute the food, answer the organization’s help line and coordinate food drives.

Who Are The Hungry? Hunger doesn’t look like it used to. Food subsidies and higher prices often mean those in need are eating unhealthy, processed, refined carbohydrates instead of healthful produce and protein, according to Feeding America, a national network of 46,000 agencies and food banks serving more than 37 million people. The result is that a face of hunger can look well fed even when the person has escalating health problems due to poor nutrition and stress from food insecurity. For its 2014 report, Feeding America surveyed clients of its national network to outline how hunger in America affects all races, ages and education levels. According to its survey, 89 percent of client households with children are food insecure, while 79 percent of all client households and 84 percent of client households with children report purchasing inexpensive, unhealthy food to feed their families. With regard to households that receive food through Feeding America’s network: • 20 percent have a member who has served in the military • 41 percent have a member with a post-high-school education • 54 percent were employed in the last year • 69 percent had to choose between food and utilities • 66 percent had to choose between food and medical care • 31 percent had to choose between food and education

Since the organization helps anyone who declares they are in need, increased food insecurity has put a strain on its resources. As the organization moves forward, says Faworski, it is looking for more community support to help meet this increasing need. “We’re really nothing without the support of this community,” says Faworski. “I’ve

just been amazed at the generosity of our community.” To donate to Kalamazoo Loaves & Fishes, visit KZooLF.org. For food assistance, call the Need Food Line at 343-3669.


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Enterprise ENCORE

Alpaca Attraction

‘Sweet and gentle’ creatures become woman’s passion W

yndy Pynes Farm is 20 acres of sprawling, manicured land on 64th Avenue in Mattawan, a country road frequented by cyclists, joggers and pedestrians. When people pass by Wyndy Pynes, they often stop to look at the alpacas, owner Amy Rogers says. Wyndy Pynes neighbor Christine Hillis was one those people. Hillis was so enamored with the animals, she started bringing her friends too. One day Rogers came out to greet her. “She asked me if she could help me with anything and I told her, ‘Nope, I’m just stalking your alpacas,’” says Hillis. Rogers says she’s not only gotten used to but welcomes her visitors. After all, if anyone can relate to an alpaca attraction, she can. Rogers fell in love with alpacas after attending an alpaca farm’s open house for a shearing day. “I was hooked,” she says. The open house was in May 2010. By Labor Day of the same year, Rogers brought home three alpacas, including one that was pregnant. By Thanksgiving, she had four more. Now Rogers and her husband, Chris, have a herd of 13, and the farm has turned into a business, selling show and pet alpacas, alpaca fiber, even alpaca pellets (which make a very good manure, Rogers says). Recently she has started selling alpaca blankets, hats, gloves and other products made from the fiber she sells to spinners.

Derek Ketchum

Amy Rogers’ obsession with alpacas has turned into a business called Wyndy Pynes Farm,where she raises and cares for a herd of 13 of the animals. Opposite page: Rogers sells items such as hats and socks made from the fiber of her alpacas. Photos by Derek Ketchum 14 | Encore JANUARY 2015

Despite her ingenuity and alpaca-related business endeavors, Rogers’ farm isn’t making money yet and she works full time at the Western Michigan University Bronson School of Nursing. That’s OK, she says. She started the alpaca farm because of her connection to the animals and is committed to their proper breeding and treatment. “It’s sounds corny, but alpacas are such a majestic kind of animal. They’re quiet, elegant, reserved, sweet and just goofy little characters,” she says. “And just to sit with them is just the most serene, relaxing thing.” Rogers isn’t the only person who finds alpacas calming company — a Google search of the question “Why are alpacas relaxing?” summons pages and pages of alpaca farm sites, with many echoing Rogers’ sentiment. Alpaca Tierra, in Georgia, talks about the “sweet relaxing gentle nature” of the animals, and Alpacas at Sunset Acres, in Virginia, says time spent with alpacas is “relaxing and stress-relieving.” Maybe that’s why Rogers gets so many people like Hillis standing in front of her fence gazing at her animals. Hillis’ mother was watching her daughter’s house, animals and child when Hillis went out of town, and she began to stop by the farm everyday too. “My mom called me while I was out of town and told me she bought me an alpaca,”

Hillis says. “She was joking, but I couldn’t stop thinking about it.” It turns out Hillis was hooked too. When Rogers had an alpaca for sale, Hillis began talking to her about starting her own herd

— alpacas are herd animals and should not be alone. Now, 16 months after that conversation, Hillis has her own herd of eight alpacas on her Whispering Hill Fiber Farm, and her mother did end up buying the first two for her. Hillis focuses her farm on the alpacas’ fiber, something Rogers says she doesn’t

have as much interest in. In fact, before Hillis called attention to it, Rogers was just keeping the fleece in bags around her barn. Hillis and Rogers now collaborate, and work together, and Hillis says she relies on Rogers almost daily as a source of support and information. “I didn’t know before I started that you always should hope the person you buy alpacas from will become your mentor,” Hillis says. “I’ve just been incredibly lucky to have Amy, and she’s ended up becoming a very good friend.” Another perk to living a mile away from your alpaca guru is the ability to share in providing herd health care for each other’s animals. A lot of the care requires two people — just ask Rogers about a rogue pair of shears that found its way to her forehead when she was trying to cut an alpaca’s bangs by herself. And as Hillis looks to alpaca fiber as her future, Rogers is focused on the breeding and care of the animals. Rogers’ nursing background fits in as she hopes to provide at-farm traveling health care for alpacas in the future. “I hope she does too,” Hillis says. “She would be so good at it. She loves these animals so much, and she’s very good with them.”

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Savor encore

Venison Abundance

How to make doe, a deer, a tasty deer Cooking slow and low is one way to keep venison from tasting too gamy, according to one chef.


he stats aren’t out for 2014 yet, but in 2013 about 662,000 Michigan hunters spent 9.2 million field hours harvesting 385,000 deer, according a Michigan Department of Natural Resources survey. If each deer weighed a modest 130 pounds — white-tailed deer average 125 to 225 pounds, says the DNR — then Michigan hunters brought home about 20 million pounds of meat, since take-home meat weight is about 40 percent of the total weight of the animal, according to a Field and Stream estimate.

16 | Encore JANUARY 2015

In short, that’s a whole lot of venison to be eaten. There are many perks to deer hunting, from saving money to eating a leaner meat, says local hunter Ben Browneye. One deer lasts him a year, he says, and costs only about $100 for the license and processing. And venison has 4 grams of fat to beef’s 9 grams per 4-ounce serving, he adds. “You also have a good sense of what you’re eating,” Browneye says. “When I’m eating what I hunt, I know I’m not eating something pumped full of antibiotics and hormones since it was born. It fed on its own.” There are some challenges to a freezer full of deer meat, though, as Browneye’s wife, Ellie, knows. “I don’t really love the taste,” she admits. “I know, I’m a bad hunter’s wife, but it tastes kind of bland compared to beef, because of the low fat content. I can’t really eat venison steak on its own. It’s too venison-y for me. That’s for the hard-core hunters.” Allegan chef and hunter’s wife Renae Briggs agrees. “One challenge is making sure the venison doesn’t taste gamy,” says the dietary aide at Allegan General Hospital. “Sometimes the taste of the deer depends on what it ate or its size, but you can really tell the difference between Omaha grain-fed beef and venison.” Briggs and her husband, Chris, have been cooking venison together for a little more than a decade, and she has a culinary background, having studied the culinary arts at Grand Rapids Community College. Ellie and Ben Browneye have been cooking deer meat together for about two years, though Ben has been cooking and eating venison for more than five. The couples offer the following helpful tips and tricks for anyone who has 40 pounds of frozen deer meat but doesn’t know how to make it into a delectable meal:

Milkbath To decrease some of the acidity of the meat, Briggs suggests letting the meat soak in milk for 24 hours to decrease its acidity. “Also experiment with different types of mustards while cooking,” she adds. “They do a lot to mask the gamy flavor of the venison.”

Cook with added fats Whether making sausage out of the meat, cooking it as a steak, or substituting it for meat in recipes not designed for venison, adding fats to the mix is important for flavor and to avoiding drying. Mix pork sausage meat in with venison sausage meat for tastier sausage; add butter or meat fat while cooking as well. “Don’t forget to cook it low and slow too,” says Briggs. “And if you’re cooking a roast in a crock pot be sure to add broth or water to avoid the meat drying out.”

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Use in place of ground beef One sure-fire way to mask the taste of venison while creating new dishes is to substitute ground venison in recipes calling for ground beef. “We do a lot of Sloppy Joes, stews, stuffed peppers, spaghetti, tacos and chili,” says Ellie Browneye. “There’s liquid in the recipe, and the other ingredients mask the flavor.”

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Experiment with new recipes It might be easy to fall into a rut when cooking venison, but how does Briggs’ Parmesan-crusted venison loin sound? “It sounds really good,” says Ellie Browneye. “I want her to be my friend and teach me how to make that.” Briggs says new recipes are just a Google search away, and books like Smoke and Spice, by Cheryl and Bill Jamison, are great places to find delicious recipes like this.

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for athletes’ Renee Shull helps injured pros transition to lives outside the arena

18 | Encore JANUARY 2015


Robert M. Weir Brian Powers

photography by


any people believe that professional athletes make a lot of money — and the stars with longevity do — but many athletes end up leaving the playing field at a young age, whether because of injury or being let go by their team. Away go their hopes for stardom and high income, and in crashes the harsh reality that they have neither retirement plans nor serviceable skills to be able to function outside the stadium. To help these athletes transition out of sports into new careers, Renee Shull founded her Kalamazoo-based company Integrated Play. w w w.encorekalamazoo.com | 19

“The pros work, on average, one to three years, depending on their sport,” says Shull. “The agent takes a chunk. Taxes take a chunk. How can we expect them to live on what’s left, especially if injured, for the rest of their lives?” Her goal is to help these men and women answer the question of “How will I play the game of life not doing the only thing I know?” Shull, it turns out, knows a quite a bit about helping people transition to new careers after the bottom falls out. Before she started Integrated Play, she worked in corporate human resources, an arena where she continuously dealt with people facing these situations. In 2007, Shull was human resources manager for Designware (formerly Contempo Colors) in Kalamazoo, where she had worked since 2001. She says the company was doing well, making a profit for American Greetings Corp., the umbrella company that owned it and another plant in North Carolina. But American Greetings decided to sell the North Carolina plant, and for two months she worked there, helping employees transition into new jobs. Then, in 2009, the same situation developed at Designware. Shull was among the executive staff sworn to secrecy until the announcement was made to the plant’s 300 employees. “I worked with the plant manager months in advance to work out plans in case of violence and to create a soft landing for the men and women, who were told two days before Christmas,” she says. For the next eight months, Shull and her team helped people transition from employment to re-employment. They hosted on-site job fairs, provided back-to-school grant programs, assisted those who wanted to become entrepreneurs, and advised those who wanted to tap into their retirement accounts. They met with most employees privately in the HR offices. They heard frustrations. They saw tears. “It was very draining,” Shull admits, “like living through a funeral every day for months. I hoped I would never experience anything like it again.” But she did. While eating lunch in a local restaurant, a human resources director from another company approached her and said, “Renee, our plant is closing too, and I’m not going to stick around. They could use you.” 20 | Encore JANUARY 2015

Shull was hired after being told she was “a good fit” because she was sympathetic and had experience. Then, in 2011, she helped a plant in Paw Paw lay off 80 employees. Later that year, when the state of Michigan asked if she would close a facility in Tekonsha, she said yes — but also vowed that five closings were enough. “I felt horrible. In between closings, I would sit in a rocking chair and suck my thumb,

trying to recover. You can only take so much of being a corporate undertaker.” Once she decided she would no longer handle corporate layoffs, she was out of a job too. But she was more prepared than most. In 2007, after the North Carolina assignment, she had the foresight to launch her own human resources consulting firm and become certified as a LEGO Serious Play facilitator, using LEGO bricks as a learning aid. “You can learn more about a co-worker

Using Lego Serious Play techniques., Renee Shull, right, works with client Jeanne Hess, Kalamazoo College vollyball coach and author of the book Sportuality.

in one hour of creative play than in years of working side by side,” she says. Then entered synchronicity. On a flight to a speaking engagement, she sat next to a man who obviously wanted to talk. “By the time we landed, I had learned more about him than anyone should learn about anyone on a short flight, including that his son had committed suicide six weeks before,” Shull recalls.

Upon landing, the man extended his hand and said, “I’m Tommy John.” “I’m Renee Shull,” she replied. “No, I’m Tommy John,” the man repeated as if she should know his name. Shull would later learn that Tommy John had been a professional baseball pitcher, a four-time All-Star who played from 1963 to 1989. With a record of 288 wins and

231 losses, he had a reasonably successful career. But his name is more often spoken in baseball circles because he was the first pitcher to undergo a particular surgical procedure to repair injured elbow ligaments caused by the stress of repetitive throwing. Since Tommy John’s operation in 1974, hundreds of professional baseball pitchers in both the major and minor leagues have opted for the “Tommy John surgery” to prolong their careers. And the rate is rising annually. Shull came to realize that she had shared a conversation with a living legend. This motivated her to be more enthusiastic about human resources again — but with a different slant. “Where is the HR department for athletes?” she wondered. “Who is helping them transition to other careers?” Understanding that athletes lose their jobs at an age when they still have many productive years left and a desire to contribute to society, Shull set out on a new course. She moved from despair over familydamaging plant closures in the corporate world to hope in the world of sports, utilizing her experience and her training in LEGO Serious Play. That was the beginning of Integrated Play. She currently has 17 clients. One is George Visger, 55, who played two years for the New York Jets and the San Francisco 49ers, from 1980 to 1981. At age 22, he played through his first major concussion by clearing his head with smelling salts. At the end of the season, Visger had two operations on his brain, 10 hours apart, at one point receiving last rites. Since then, he’s had a total of nine brain surgeries, plus three surgeries on one knee. As a result, he founded The Visger Group to raise awareness of traumatic brain injuries in sports, the military and pediatrics. w w w.encorekalamazoo.com | 21

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22 | Encore JANUARY 2015

“I’m his short-term memory and his social voice about brain injuries,” Shull says. “I manage his schedule, remind him of calls and appointments and tweet and post his social media messages.” Another client of Shull’s began his NFL career for the Denver Broncos in 1986 at age 23. His career included three Super Bowl appearances. In 1989, he was suspended for violating NFL drug policy. “He didn’t know how to transition from football into the job market,” Shull says. She helped him build credibility and find a job as a customer service representative for an Internet service company. He also speaks to churches, youth groups and radio audiences about substance abuse and self-esteem. He lives with and cares for his aging mother. To help these athletes share their experiences and advice, Shull became an expert at website design and social media, a skill she also now uses for non-athletes. She also founded Mothers Against Concussions (MAC), a nonprofit through which she is a prominent voice in the outcry to protect young athletes against sportsrelated cranial injuries, especially in youth football. MAC also educates about concussions as a result of child abuse. “These injuries often go undetected and untreated,” Shull says. “They cause anger and substance abuse, and they impact our nation’s mental health and correctional systems.” Shull tells of a man who called her ready to commit suicide due to concussion-related blackouts, blurred vision, ringing ears and anger. “The problem,” she says,” is that people with concussions don’t have casts on their brains, and others around them can’t see they are hurting.” Her awareness of this “invisible hurt” stems from having grown up in an abusive, financially deprived family. “My childhood has a lot to do with why I help my clients and how I coped with the plant closings,” she says. “I want to make sure no one falls through the cracks.” Renee Shull’s website is www. integratedplay.com. Mothers Against Concussions (MAC) website is www. mothersagainstconcussions.org.

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Tiffany Fitzgerald

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Brian Powers


t’s a snowy Thursday night in November, and in Rupert’s Brew House the fireplace is blazing, a band is setting up, the bar is full and there’s a smattering of people sitting at tables. Rupert’s, which opened in the fall of 2013 at 773 W. Michigan Ave., was one of seven breweries to start up in the Kalamazoo area in 2013 and 2014. And three more are on the way in 2015 — Brite Eyes Brewing Co., American Brewing Inc. and Texas Corners Brewing Co. Just months before Rupert’s opened, Founders Brewing Co. CEO Mike Stevens declared in Draft Magazine, “I wouldn’t want to be a startup brewery right now. ” “The days when you could open a brewery and really try to learn your path are over,” Stevens said. “You need a good plan from the get-go.” Stevens might not have intended for his statement to suggest that the national craft beer boom may be over, but it has been taken and circulated that way in media from Beer Pulse to Reddit. Perhaps Stevens’ declaration resonated because it alludes to a question on the minds of a lot of people: Can the craft beer market, especially in Kalamazoo, sustain the phenomenal growth it has experienced in the past few years? The answer to that question is complex.

Three Distinct niches “Truly it depends,” says Hannah McKinney, a professor of economics at Kalamazoo College and former vice mayor of Kalamazoo. McKinney points out that in order to examine the craft beer market for sustainability and stability in a local economy, specifically the greater Kalamazoo area, one has to look at the ways that market is divided. “A lot of the breweries in Kalamazoo actually serve food, so they’re classified more like restaurants,” she says. “Can we sustain this amount of new restaurants? The answer is clearly yes, because we are.” If the market were made up of only one sector such as microbreweries, there might not be enough room for growth, McKinney says, because “there just aren’t enough places you can sell locally to support that kind of market.” The good news for the Kalamazoo area is that its craft beer market is divided among three segments: microbreweries, brewpubs and regional craft breweries. And most Kalamazoo craft beer businesses cross over into more than one sector. The cornerstone players in the region’s craft beer market are Bell’s Brewery and Arcadia Brewing Co./ 24 | Encore JANUARY 2015

Room more B

Probably so and stats s

for Beer?

o, experts suggest


Margaret DeRitter

photograpy by

Erik Holladay

Haley Burns pours a beer for a patron at Rupert’s Brew House.

w w w.encorekalamazoo.com | 25

Arcadia Ales, which both operate on a large production scale (more than 15,000 barrels a year), making them regional craft breweries. But both also operate on-site restaurants and brewpubs, creating three distinct market niches. The majority of the Kalamazoo area breweries operate as brewpubs. For example, Gonzo’s BiggDogg Brewing Co., Olde Peninsula and Latitude 42 sell most of their beer on-site, but Gonzo’s and Latitude 42 also cross over, distributing on a small scale to outside businesses. Tibb’s, Boatyard and, for the moment, One Well (until its kitchen is up and running) create another niche in the brewpub market, as breweries that operate on small-scale production, largely distribute in-house, but do not offer full restaurant services. Aside from the different market sectors, which create diversity and fluidity, brewpubs are opening in new locations, points out Toni Daniels, the former director of member services for the Kalamazoo Regional Chamber of Commerce (she left the position in late November). “It’s spreading,” she says. “There’s a brewpub being put in Texas Corners in a location that’s been vacant for quite a while. That’s going to be really great for that community, and there are a lot of people who live there. It doesn’t necessarily have to be centric to downtown.”

Room for growth The U.S. craft beer market has been on a growth spurt for the last 10 years, thriving even through the Great Recession. While U.S. domestic large-scale beer production (think Budweiser, Coors and Miller) has gone down — large-scale domestic beer sales fell 1.9 percent in 2013 alone — the domestic craft beer market rose 17.2 percent in 2013, according to the 2014 Brewers Association report. It may seem that with all this growth, the market would tap out, but many economists point out that craft beer isn’t crowding the beer market — it only accounts for 7.8 percent of the national market overall, while domestic beer from large producers makes up the bulk. If craft beer continues to displace large-scale domestic production, then there is room in the market for growth, they say. At top, bartender Nate Lee pours from the colorful taps at Gonzo’s BiggDogg Brewing; Latitude 42’s vats of handcrafted brew, bottom right, and gourmet burgers, bottom left, are part of the draw of the Portage brewpub. 26 | Encore JANUARY 2015

The number of breweries nationwide, as of early December, stood at about 3,000 and growing. According to the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA), there are more than 4,500 active brewery permits in the U.S., a number that represents all of the individuals and businesses that are currently brewing or actively seeking to start brewing beer. To give some historical perspective, the number of breweries in the U.S. only recently surpassed the number of breweries that existed before Prohibition (2,011 in 1887), and there are about 200 million more potential and future beer drinkers in the market now than there were in 1887. A recent report by the NWBA’s chief economist says America is in the middle of the pack for breweries per capita when compared to Western European countries. Both Germany and the United Kingdom have more breweries than the U.S. but aren’t as populous. Switzerland holds the top spot, with more than 14,000 breweries. Another way to think about the Kalamazoo craft beer market’s potential for growth is to consider the number of breweries per capita in other U.S. states and cities. California, Oregon and Colorado, the nation’s top three brewery states (Michigan is 14th), have more breweries per capita and have sustained their markets since the mid- to late ’90’s, serving as positive models for possible growth in Michigan. There are also cities with a similar population density that support more breweries and brewpubs. Bend, Ore., for example, has about the same population size and number of square miles as Kalamazoo and supports 17 breweries and brewpubs to our area’s soon-to-be 12. The point is, there’s room here to grow.

Prime craft beer territory While Grand Rapids won the 2013 BeerCity USA designation decided on by voters from 92 countries, Kalamazoo came in second. Having two beer cities within 50 miles of each other is an irresistible tourist draw that has allowed Southwest Michigan to take part in a burgeoning craft beer market. “I think that when you have a large concentration of breweries, you are able to draw in people who normally wouldn’t come to Kalamazoo,” says Jill Bland, executive vice president of Southwest Michigan First. “And

Local brewers weigh in “As long as every brewer coming into the market is brewing quality beer, then the industry will stay strong.” — Steve Blinn, co-owner, Olde Peninsula Brewpub & Restaurant “I welcome the addition of great quality product in the marketplace — what there isn’t room for is less quality. I’m anxious and excited for the growth potential of our category — delighted to see the tide continue to be strong.” — Tim Suprise, founder, Arcadia Brewing Co. “The people who are making good beer are going to survive. I’m sure there’s some sort of market cap, but I think we’ll see the brewers who aren’t brewing good beer fade.” — Chris O’Neill, co-founder, One Well Brewing “We’re seeing the same transition that we saw in the wine industry and the high-end coffee industry — I think American palates have matured. If you make a very high-quality product, you will have a market in Kalamazoo.” — Brian Steele, co-founder, Boatyard Brewing Co.

when you look at the license plates in Bell’s parking lot, you can tell that we’re getting a lot of visitors from out of state.” Bell’s Brewery, which began producing beer in 1985 with 135 barrels, now has two brewing facilities, in Kalamazoo and Comstock, a capacity of 500,000 barrels per year and distributes nationally. The brewery’s Kalamazoo site boasts a restaurant with a beer garden and is a popular music venue. Locals are quick to name Bell’s as a tourist destination and an important cornerstone in the local craft beer market. That even goes for fellow brewers Chris O’Neill and T.J. Waldofsky, who opened one of the newest additions to the craft brewpub scene, One Well Brewing, 4213 Portage St., in November. “It’s because we have Bell’s that people come to check out breweries in Kalamazoo,” O’Neill says. “Same with Founder’s in Grand Rapids. Then we’re all here too, offering something different. I don’t feel like there’s anyone stepping on anyone’s toes.” It’s that ability to offer something different — whether it’s ambiance, brews, food, w w w.encorekalamazoo.com | 27

entertainment or events — that keeps a healthy diversity in each of the craft brew market segments. From Bell’s live music and offbeat events such as Eccentric Day and the neighborhood bar atmosphere of Old Dog Tavern and Rupert’s Brew House to the eclectic and creative food at Gonzo’s BiggDogg Brewing Co. and Latitude 42, each brewery, brewpub and taphouse offers something unique. In turn, the craft beer market has become a source of economic growth and part-time and full-time employment. In Michigan, craft beer has a $1 billion economic impact (10th in the nation), contributes $133 million to the economy annually and provides more than $24 million in wages. With the majority of Kalamazoo’s brewpubs having started in 2013 and 2014, it’s too soon to measure the long-term economic impact accurately for Kalamazoo, but Southwest Michigan First’s Bland says the growth has been positive from a local perspective. “Aside from job growth, these brewpubs are bringing money into the local economy,” she says. “They’re bringing money into the local neighborhoods, hiring local people, and many are sourcing local businesses and farmers too.” It’s still snowing when we give a nuzzle to Capt’n Stooby, the loping, black Great Dane often roaming Rupert’s, head out the door and walk a few blocks east to Gonzo’s BiggDogg Brewery. There’s a tent outside the front door covering the outside patio, where patrons can engage in beanbag throws and Jenga. Inside, the chairs are filled and it’s already standing room only, at 9 p.m. It’s no wonder: We learn this night is Gonzo’s first-year anniversary party — that pivotal milestone restaurateurs look at as a make-or-break point.

After a drink and a cookie, we head out to as many breweries as we can — Bell’s parking lot is full, Boatyard Brewery has visitors in its taproom, Tibb’s has a full bar, Olde Peninsula is filled with diners and drinkers and Arcadia is mostly full. If there’s no more room in the Kalamazoo craft beer market, someone should tell all those who have ventured out for a pint on the first snowy night of the season. “It’s funny you contacted me,” says McKinney when reached for an interview. “My partner and I were talking just this morning about going to one of the new breweries we haven’t been to.” It would seem that in the case of Kalamazoo’s craft beer market, the more the merrier.

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bellsbeer.com 28 | Encore JANUARY 2015

© Bell's Brewery, Inc., Comstock, MI

since 1985

Bravo! Restaurant & Cafe • 269.344.7700 5402 Portage Road • Kalamazoo MI bravokalamazoo.com

STALKING CRAFT BEER IN KALAMAZOO COUNTY BREWERIES 1 Arcadia Brewing Co. 701 E Michigan Ave, Kalamazoo Bragging rights: Barbecue of locally raised meat smoked in a Texas smoker. a bright, modern atmosphere with roll-up glass doors to create an open-air experience in the summer, a fresh-hop IPA and the popular 11.5 percent Cereal Killer. Hours: Noon–1 am Tues–Sat, noon–8 pm Sun, closed Mon; kitchen hours: noon–11 pm Tues– Sat, noon–8 pm Sun Info: (269) 963-9690, ArcadiaAles.com 2 B ell’s

Brewery & Bell’s Eccentric Café

355 E Kalamazoo Ave, Kalamazoo Bragging rights: A large beer garden, performance venue for local and visiting musicians, an award-winning IPA (TwoHearted Ale) and a rustic, local, historical ambience. Café Hours: 11 am–midnight Mon–Wed, 11-2 am Thurs–Sat, noon–midnight Sun Info: (269) 382-2332, BellsBeer.com 3

Boatyard Brewing Co.

432 E Paterson St, Kalamazoo Bragging rights: An array of dark beers, including a black IPA and a Scottish WHA and a welcoming, homey atmosphere with the chance to hang out and be waited on by owners Brian Steele and Dan Gilligan (many reviews note how welcoming they are). Hours: Noon–9 pm Tues–Thurs, noon–11 pm Fri & Sat, closed Sun & Mon Info: (269) 226-0300, BoatyardBrewing.com 4

6 Olde

Peninsula Brewpub & Restaurant

200 E Michigan Ave, Kalamazoo Bragging Rights: A historic location, a ravedabout double IPA, a delicious in-house brewed root beer and pub food favorites like the fried egg and bacon hamburger and Brewpub Dip. Hours: 11 am–11 pm Mon & Tues, 11 am– midnight Wed & Thurs, 11-1 am Fri & Sat, 11 am - 10 pm Sun Info: (269) 343-2739, OldePenKaZoo.com 7

One Well Brewing

4213 Portage St, Kalamazoo Bragging rights: Xalapa, a spicy pepper brew, a gorgeous reclaimed wood interior and vintage arcade games. Until the kitchen is operational, One Well sells snacks and visitors can bring their own food or order delivery. Hours: 4–10 pm Wed & Thurs, 4 pm–midnight Fri, noon–midnight Sat, noon–10 pm Sun, closed Mon & Tues Info: (269) 459-9240, OneWellBrewing.com 8 Rupert’s Brew House 773 W Michigan Ave, Kalamazoo Bragging rights: A dark, comfortable atmosphere with a fireplace and front stage, a peanut butter porter and a much-talked-about IPA, as well as Capt’n Stooby, a black Great Dane wandering the premises. Hours: 2 pm–2 am, Mon–Sun Info: (269) 337-9911, RupertsBrewHouse.com

COMING IN 2015 10

American Brewer’s, Inc.

3408 Miller Road, Kalamazoo American Brewing is working on its pilot system with a targeted 2015 start. American will operate exclusively as a microbrewer distributing to bars and pubs. A future tasting room is possible. Info: (269) 217-1920, AmericanBrewers.us 11

Brite Eyes Brewing Co.

1156 S Burdick St, Kalamazoo Brite Eyes will combine coffee brewing with beer brewing and offer a deli-style menu with espresso drinks and handmade ales. Info: BriteEyesBrewingCo.com 13

3 2

West Main St./M-43


6 8 4 9

Gonzo’s BiggDogg Brewing

140 S Westnedge Ave, Kalamazoo Bragging rights: Drunken Crab Hushpuppies, Vanilla Porter and Margarita Pizza and the unique atmosphere of a car-dealershipturned-brewery. Hours: 3-11 pm Mon-Wed, 2 pm–1 am Thurs & Fri, 11–1 am Sat, noon–11 pm Sun Info: (269) 382-2739, GonzosBiggDoggBrewing.com


Bus. 131 10

et Stre

S. Burdick St.

Latitude 42 Brewing Company

7842 Portage Road, Portage Bragging rights: Pizzas and wings cooked in a brick oven, the brisket and angus beef burger, a kids’ area, and a highly recommended Powerhouse Porter. Hours: 11 am–11 pm Mon & Tues, 11 am– midnight Wed–Sat, 11 am–9 pm Sun Info: (269) 459-4242, Latitude42BrewingCo.com

e tag Por


S. Westnedge Ave.


9 Tibb’s Brewing Co. 402 S Burdick St, Kalamazoo Bragging Rights: Home-brewed cream soda and root beer, a quaint “nano-brewery” atmosphere and a great Belgian. Hours: 4 pm–midnight Wed & Thurs, 4 pm–1 am Fri, 2 pm–1 am Sat; noon–6 pm Sun, closed Mon & Tues Info: (269)762-7397, TibbsBrewing.com







w w w.encorekalamazoo.com | 29


Texas Corners Brewing Co.

6970 Texas Drive, Kalamazoo A farm-to-table culinary emphasis, a quaint location in a former church and the addition of hard cider and local wine is rumored for this up-and-coming brewery. Info: (269) 668-3724, Facebook.com/ TexasCornerBrewingCompany RESTAURANTS WITH THEIR OWN BREW 13

Bilbo’s Pizza

3307 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo 225 Parsons St, Kalamazoo 6202 S Westnedge Ave, Portage Featuring: House brews include Red Dragon Ale, Wheat Wizard and Sledgehammer; Bilbo’s also features other local craft beer Hours: Hours differ by location – call or check website Info: (269) 382-5544 (Stadium Drive location), (269) 382-5546 (Parsons Street location), (269) 323-8855 (Westnedge Avenue location), BilbosPizza.com 14


5402 Portage Road, Portage Featuring: House brews include Chef’s Ale (Amber Ale), Intellectual Pale Ale (American IPA), Blonde Ambition, Cranberry Ale; Bravo! also serves other local craft beer Hours: 11:30 am–10 p.m. Mon-Thurs, 11:30 am–11 pm Fri, 5-11 pm Sat, 4-9 pm Sun Info: (269) 344-7700, BravoKalamazoo.com TAPHOUSES & TAVERNS with MICHIGAN CRAFT BREWS

Centre Street Tap House

3251 W Centre Ave, Portage Featuring: Arcadia, Bell’s, Arbor, B. Nektar, Dragonmead, Dark Horse, Founders, Great Lakes, Short’s Hours: 11 am–11 pm Mon–Thurs, 11 ammidnight Fri–Sat, noon–10 pm Sun Info: (269) 492-3500, MillenniumRestaurants. com/Centre

Central City Tap House

359 S Kalamazoo Mall, Kalamazoo Featuring: Arcadia, Bell’s, Arbor, B. Nektar, Dragonmead, Dark Horse, Founders, Great Lakes, Short’s Hours: 11:30 am-11 pm Mon–Thurs, 11:30 am– midnight or later Fri & Sat, noon-10 pm Sun Info: (269) 492-0100, MillenniumRestaurants. com/TapHouse

Kalamazoo Beer Exchange

211 W Water St, Kalamazoo Featuring: Bell’s, Boatyard, Gonzo’s, Latitude 42, Clown Shoes, Dark Horse, Founders, 30 | Encore JANUARY 2015

Kuhnhenn, North Peak, Rochester Mills, Vander Mill (cider); pricing in a real-time, stock market style, resulting in an evolving happy hour. Hours: 11-1 am Mon-Sat. Info: (269) 532-1188 KalamazooBeerExchange.com

Hours: 11 am–midnight Mon–Sat, noonmidnight Sun Info: (269) 375-1930, WaysideWest.com

O’Duffy’s Pub

Food Dance

804 W Vine St, Kalamazoo Featuring: Arcadia, Arbor, Saugatuck, The Livery Hours: 3 pm–midnight Tues–Thurs, 3 pm–1 am Fri, 2 pm–1 am Sat, closed Sun & Mon Info: (269)381-9771, ODuffysPub.com

Old Burdick’s Bar and Grill

3600 Vanrick Drive, Kalamazoo 100 W Michigan Ave, Kalamazoo 2747 S 11th St, Kalamazoo Featuring: Arcadia, Bell’s, Boatyard, Latitude 42, Arbor, Dark Horse, Dragonmead, Founders, Great Lakes, Griffin Claw, New Holland, Paw Paw, Rochester Mills, Short’s Hours: Opens daily at 11 am; kitchen hours: 11 am–11 pm Sun-Thurs, 11–1 am Fri & Sat Info: (269) 492-9319 (Vanrick Drive location), (269) 343-0032 (W Michigan Avenue location), (269) 372-1596 (11th Street location), OldBurdicks.com

Old Dog Tavern

402 E Kalamazoo Ave, Kalamazoo Featuring: Atwater, Paw Paw, Dark Horse, Keweenaw, New Holland, Mt. Pleasant, Mountain Town Hours: 11 am–close Mon–Thurs, 11–2 am Fri, 10-2 am Sat, 10 am–midnight Sun Info: (269) 381-5677, OldDogTavern.com

Taproom at Airway

5626 Portage Road, Portage Featuring: Bell’s, Boatyard, Gonzo’s, Frankenmuth, New Holland, Paw Paw, Perrin, Right Brain, Tapistry, Vander Mill (cider) Hours: 9 am–midnight Sun–Thurs, 9-1:30 am Fri & Sat Info: (269) 327-7061, AirwayFunCenter.com

The Union Cabaret & Grille

125 S Kalamazoo Mall, Kalamazoo Featuring: Arcadia, Bell’s, Dark Horse, Founders, New Holland, Short’s, St. Julian’s Gunga Din (cider) Hours: 11 am–11 pm Mon–Thurs, 11 am– midnight Fri, noon–midnight Sat, closed Sun Info: (269) 384-6756, MillenniumRestaurants. com/Union

Wayside West

3406 Stadium Dr, Kalamazoo Featuring: Arcadia, Bell’s, Dark Horse, Founders, Griffin Claw, Mt. Pleasant, New Holland, Right Brain, Saugatuck, Short’s,

RESTAURANTS FEATURING A LOT OF CRAFT BREW 401 E Michigan Ave, Kalamazoo Featuring: Arcadia, Bell’s, Latitude 42, Dark Horse, Founders, Frankenmuth, Great Lakes, Greenbush, New Holland, Paw Paw, Perrin, Short’s Hours: 7 am–10 pm Mon–Thurs, 7 am–11 pm Fri & Sat, 8 am–3 pm Sun Info: (269) 382-1888, FoodDance.net

London Grill

214 E Michigan Ave, Kalamazoo Featuring: Featuring: Bell’s, Dark Horse, Greenbush, Keeweenaw, St. Julian (cider) Hours: 11 am–9 pm Tues–Thurs, 11 am–11 pm Fri; 4–11 pm Sat, 4–9 pm Sun Info: (269) 381-9212, London-Grill.com


236 S Kalamazoo Mall, Kalamazoo Featuring: Arcadia, Bell’s, Atwater, Dark Horse, Dragonmead, Founders, J.K. Scrumpy (cider), New Holland, Short’s Hours: 5–10 pm Mon–Thurs, 5–11 pm Fri & Sat, 5–9 pm Sun Info: (269) 492-0247, RusticaKZoo.com


100 W Michigan Ave, Kalamazoo Featuring: Arcadia, Bell’s, Arbor, Dark Horse, Founders, Short’s, St. Julian’s Gunga Din (cider) Hours: 5–10 pm Mon–Thurs, 5–11 pm Fri & Sat, closed Sun Info: (269) 384-2650, Zazios.com MOVIE THEATERS WITH CRAFT BREWS

Alamo Drafthouse

180 Portage St, Kalamazoo Featuring: Arcadia, Bell’s, Latitude 42, Arbor, Atwater, Dark Horse, Dragonmead, Founders, Greenbush, Keweenaw, New Holland, Poet, Paw Paw, Perrin, Saugatuck, Short’s, Sunshine, Tapistry, Vander Mill (cider) Hours: Vary, call or check website Info: (269) 532-7990, Drafthouse.com/ Kalamazoo

Celebration! Cinema’s Oscar’s Bistro

6600 Ring Road, Portage Featuring: Bell’s, Founders Hours: Daily, opens 30 minutes before first show starts, closes 30 minutes after last show starts Info: (269) 324-7469, CelebrationCinema.com

This guide is researched and compiled by Encore Publications staff. While every reasonable effort was made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained herein, Encore assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions. Information contained here is subject to change without notice.

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‘Beauty Indestructible’

Kalamazoo singer-songwriter is making moves with new record by

Jef Otte

Bette Lynn Photography


Singer-songwriter Ashley Daneman releases her new record Beauty Indestructible this month.

32 | Encore JANUARY 2015

f you’re going to be an artist, Kalamazoo’s a good town for it, says singer-songwriter Ashley Daneman, despite the fact that she’s moved to New York City. Daneman and her husband, Benje, a jazz musician, moved there from Kalamazoo in October. “In Kalamazoo,” she concedes, “we were musicians full time. We could cover expenses. It was no big deal. It’s a really easy place to live, compared to New York, and I think Kalamazoo has a lot going on in arts and music for a city its size. Good Midwestern folks, how I grew up.” How she grew up was in Toledo, Ohio, the daughter of musical parents who taught her an appreciation for the jazz greats: Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole. She played piano and performed in musicals. “I learned how to sing classically,” she says, “but I started college in the opera department at the University of Cincinnati and felt like I was in some sort of vise. I wasn’t able to express myself through singing other people’s songs and singing very straight.” That impulse toward self-expression led her to a reinvention from opera singer to jazz singer — what she calls “a platform to be selfexpressive on another level” — and from there to the bright lights, big city, where she attended the Manhattan School of Music and earned a master’s degree in jazz vocal performance. Daneman’s education and her passion for jazz certainly come through on Beauty Indestructible, her new record due out Jan. 20, which she describes as a “whole concept that has to do with my own life and hardships and how I emerged from them.” Tracks like “Here Comes a Body” list at a rhythmic simmer, meditative, before transcending into a nearly avant-garde exuberance. Elsewhere, a more restrained influence feels fully present, as in the dynamic shifts of “He Loves Me Well” or “How You Got to Yes,” a study in Steely Dan’s brand of deliberate jive. But while Daneman’s tunes acknowledge a heavy debt to jazz, she doesn’t identify herself as a jazz musician. Her true calling — the one

Beauty Indestructible celebrates — is as a singer-songwriter. And that’s something she discovered only after she left New York in 2010 to move to Kalamazoo with her husband so they could be closer to their families. Benje hails from Grand Rapids and has a degree in jazz trumpet from Western Michigan University, and, in what Ashley calls “a happy coincidence,” her mother and sister migrated here from Toledo. As it turns out, the New York jazz scene was kind of limiting too. “I was afraid to leave this comfortable world of knowing what the expectations are for a jazz musician,” Daneman says. “I was kind of writing my own songs, but when I would plan a show, I would make sure — and I hate to admit this — I would make sure that it was edgy or impressive enough. I just had to admit to myself I wasn’t interested in that competition. It wasn’t at the core of what I had to offer as an artist.” It wasn’t for lacking the chops to compete. Daneman’s resume includes a nod from USA Today as a “fine young jazz vocalist” and distinguished residencies at the Banff Jazz and Creative Workshop and Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead — an especially edifying

experience for Daneman, who counts Carter among her major influences. Still, “most of my musical taste, a lot of it, was musical

Share your stories Daneman is encouraging her listeners to share via social media their own stories of “beauty indestructible,” those times “when things happen in life that can alter us for the worse, and we don’t want to go down that path; we want to be known for overcoming.” Contributing fans get a free Christmas tune download and a chance at Daneman’s weekly spotlight, which comes with a copy of Beauty Indestructible plus a sticker and magnet. The campaign runs through Jan. 20. Learn more about Ashley Daneman and her Beauty Indestructible social media campaign at Facebook.com/ ashleygonzalezdaneman or via Twitter at #BeautyIndestructibleProject. theater and pop music, and I decided to just accept that about myself and stop trying to get the approval of the jazz community,” she says.

That acceptance opened creative doors: Daneman explored wide-ranging influences, from Carter to guiltier pleasures like Barbra Streisand and Carole King. She put her own songs in the spotlight and took to the piano to lead her band. She played well but had lacked the confidence to play onstage. She embraced herself — and Kalamazoo reaped the rewards. During their four years in town, she and Benje started the Kalamazoo Jazz and Creative Institute, which, among other projects, ran a three-day workshop at WMU last year for teen jazz musicians. The program’s future is on hold as Daneman decides whether to move it to New York, but here its inaugural run was a huge success. So with success in Kalamazoo, why go back to New York? “There are just more opportunities, and the rate of pay is higher,” Daneman says. “You never know. There are days when you feel like a million bucks and everything converges — you get the emails, you get the yeses, you get the opportunities. And then there are days when you’re like, what in the world am I doing?” So maybe there’s hope for her Kalamazoo fans.

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Infinite Realities

That’s what abstract art offers, says painter

What one sees in Alixandria Sharpe’s work, such as All Roads Lead to Home, opposite page, depends on one’s experiences, says the artist.

“Which one is your favorite?” artist Alixandria Sharpe asks a

viewer at her November Art Hop display at the Epic Center. Pointing to a light aquamarine and cream abstract painting, the person responds, “This one.” “Did you paint it?” he asks. Pointing to a series of black paintings with rainbow curves and geometric lines on it, he then asks, “Who painted those over there?” It’s a question the 32-year-old artist gets a lot. “People come into my solo shows and ask who the other artists, plural, are,” Sharpe says. “It’s just me.” The series the viewer is pointing to is meant to illustrate the movement of an orchestra conductor’s hand, the synthesis, says Sharpe. The series looks completely different from the large-scale abstract paintings and the mixed-media painting of a pier hanging on the opposite wall. It’s easy to see why someone might think the works are by more than one artist.

34 | Encore JANUARY 2015

After telling the man all the paintings are hers, Sharpe redirects him back to the abstract painting and asks him the question she’s asked of others since she began making art. “What do you see in that painting?” “I guess I see a sunny day in the city, or maybe a street with buildings,” he answers. “It’s really beautiful.” Sharpe explains that she sees California, although she can’t quite pinpoint why, and soon she’s engaged in conversation with a group of people, discussing what they see in each of her paintings. Sharpe, a Kalamazoo native who now lives in Lansing and who refers to herself and her work as a whole as “The Art of Alixandria,” comes from an artistic family – her mother was an interior designer – and Sharpe has been developing her craft since she was a child. She taught art as a part of the Upward Bound and Gear Up College summer programs and earned a B.A. from Western Michigan University, where she was given an academic achievement award and was a part of a student group that designed a temporary mural of Maya Angelou at the Brown Hall construction site. Sharpe has pieces displayed at the Christian Life Center, on Paterson Street, and in WMU’s Adrian Trimpe building, which houses the Multicultural Center. She’s performed live painting at the Christian Life Center and for an event organized by the regional development organization Southwest Michigan First. Right now she’s busy completing commissioned work. “I’d like to do something on a larger scale next,” she says. “Like for the Radisson or the library — something maybe Plexiglas and colorful.” To do that, Sharpe will need an engineer, a lawyer and more time than she has while working on commissioned pieces and being a mother of two. She’s also focused on the progression of her craft. Her aesthetic has been a work in progress since she was a teenager, and her portfolio shows the evolution — figures become more realistic and three-dimensional as her career progresses, and her experimentations with abstraction and expressionism become more precise and complex. “I remember this moment when I plucked a piece of grass out of the ground to examine it,” she says. “It was the first time I noticed the center vein and all of the veins coming off of it, studying it and realizing how beautifully decorated it is. How God made everything so beautiful on every level, and most of us will never notice.” Sharpe says the beauty in nature has given her an appreciation for the inner workings of the human body too, and she began to study anatomy so she could perfect her images of the human form, another focal point of her work.

She began with absolutes and the pursuit of reality – monochromatic portraits, realism and natural settings. After a while, though, she began mixing abstraction with realism, sometimes diving completely into abstraction, as in a number of her large-scale works in her show at the Epic Center. Sharpe says she’s careful about what she names her paintings — if she names them at all — as well as what she says about them, since she wants people to see what they want to see. Sharpe has had debates about the definition of realism with people who appreciate more realistic art. She points out that when a child draws a horse, the child draws two eyes of the same size even though perspective might dictate the eyes look different sizes. In this instance, there are two realities.

With abstract art, there are infinite realities, says Sharpe. Where one person sees a streetscape in one of her paintings, she sees California. Where she sees cherry blossoms, her sons see fighting. The realization that abstraction represents multiple realities has pointed Sharpe back to her original calling: to create experiences of beauty, perception and emotion for her audience. “Art is an amazing arena where anyone willing to be involved can be,” she says. “Every experience and every perception is going to be different and unique.” For more information about Alixandria Sharpe and The Art of Alixandria, visit www.wix.com/ALIXART/the-artof-alixandria

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Double Phelix Collective’s Andy Catlin , left, and Ben Lau in the studio’s new, cozier digs in Kalamazoo.

36 | Encore JANUARY 2015

encore ARTS


Jef Otte

photography by


It began, somewhat fittingly, at a Kalamazoo College garage sale. Andy Catlin, then in his senior year, was staffing the sales table. “And I was like, man, who is this eccentric weirdo buying up all our chandeliers?� He and the weirdo got to talking. The weirdo turned out to be Darren Bain, who was getting ready to open the Strutt, which would w w w.encorekalamazoo.com | 37

“It was like, let’s put together a huge band that can play Feathername live, but also songs from across our catalog,” recalls Catlin. “We wanted to make it like a revue, like here’s all these songwriters and all these bands playing together.” And indeed it was: The lineup assembled some 20 musicians, including a full horn section, toward that common goal — a feat akin to herding cats. It couldn’t last long, but Catlin says, “We reserve the right to do it again.” If nothing else, the orchestra perhaps served to cement the collective’s ethos: everything big. Big bands, big gear, big records. Catlin found an engineering partner in Ben Lau, and the two developed that sound: thick and swimming and ethereal, a wash of echo and noise firmly anchored in Andy Catlin, above, and Ben Lau, opposite page, are the duo behind the Double Phelix Collective, a musicians’ a foundation of pure pop. “We’re obsessed collective, recording label and studio in Kalamazoo. Below, album covers from two of the artists who have with big spaces,” Catlin admits. recorded with Double Phelix, Lasso (bottom) and Maraj (top). At the same time, Parsons was channeling his involvement in become a near-mythical haven for local collective involves dozens of local the collective into music. Bain hired Catlin as his talent scout acts — Birdfingers, Elk Welcome, and his personal baby, on the spot, and Double Phelix got its modest Elisabeth Pixley-Fink, among others the Dan Schmitt start as a handful of bands rehearsing and — and a handful of national ones, Gift of Music and recording in the Strutt’s basement. The Strutt such as Kansas Bible Co., Frontier Education Fund, folded in 2011, but the which would meeting was a fateful LEARN MORE ABOUT…. become something one — Bain went on to like Double Phelix’s Double Phelix start the Kalamazoo outreach arm. The For more information on the Double Phelix Collective Coffee Co. and Black Gift of Music Fund provides and some of the musicians in it, visit doublephelix.com. Owl Café while Andy musical instruments and Catlin went on to turn Dan Schmitt Gift of Music and Education Fund lessons for underprivileged Double Phelix into a To contribute or volunteer, contact Graham Parsons at kids. It was created as a whole new beast. graham@grahamaparsons.com or mail donations to 2239 N. Farmers way to remember Parsons’ That “beast” was Block Road, Allouez, MI 49805. To learn more, go to facebook.com/ childhood friend Dan a collective of local TheDanSchmittGiftOfMusicFund. Schmitt. In 2007, Parsons, musicians, forming a Keweenaw County native, a way for this Ruckus, and The B.E.A.T. These acts had established himself in Kalamazoo, and he creative clique to formed, joined, conglomerated — convinced Schmitt to join him here. The day exchange ideas, and at one point created a whole before Schmitt was to leave, he died in a car work with each orchestra. “It was just this massive crash. other and promote “A bunch of us put together a festival as band,” recalls Go Rounds frontman and expand their Graham Parsons, who’s been in the a fundraiser, to honor his memory,” says reach. “The cool thing,” says Catlin, collective from the start (the Go Parsons, “not necessarily knowing what we “is you get outside Rounds’ original lineup featured were going to do with the money, outside of your comfort zone. Catlin). In 2012, the Go Rounds, with we wanted to start a nonprofit.” That music It’s an alternative help from the rest of the collective, festival, Farm Block Fest, still happens in to just being a recorded Feathername, an ambitious Keweenaw County the first weekend of every release that featured what would August, and the proceeds of its first (ahem) dude in a band.” become Double Phelix’s “huge” go-round went to starting the Dan Schmitt The idea caught Gift of Music and Education Fund. “The first signature sound. on. Today the 38 | Encore JANUARY 2015

encore ARTS thing we did was buy a bunch of old acoustic guitars and start giving free lessons to kids.” Last year the Gift of Music Fund partnered with Communities in Schools to bring a sixweek afterschool program to Kalamazoo area middle schools. Under the mentorship of musicians from Double Phelix, kids learned to play instruments together as a band and ended up writing and recording their own song — “the whole creative process, from conception to documentation,” says Parsons. “Music, or any art, can feel sort of selfindulgent,” he admits, “and you feel like, what am I giving to the world? I wanted to create an outlet for my friends to share that knowledge, those skills. And not just to give an outlet to artists, but also to give kids access to professional musicians, people who have made a career out of it. We show them how to collaborate, to tap into music as a way to vent or heal. We’re trying to teach kids how to be leaders within a group of peers, to be sympathetic — that push and pull of collaboration. Inadvertently, it’s been teaching the same thing to us.” Collective musician Fiona Dickinson, who participates in the Dan Schmitt project, expresses similar sentiments. “A lot of these kids are experiencing extreme anxiety and depression, and they don’t know how to communicate it, but those feelings are there. I worked with one girl who was very quiet, really reserved, and we were able to get her one-on-one to write it all out, about her relationship with her brother, who died. She said she never talks about that with anyone else.” Last year Catlin and Lau’s production ambitions reached their highest heights: With the help of the collective, they opened a fully stocked recording studio — producers, engineers, session musicians and a pristine recording space — and along with it a label. Double Phelix went professional. And just as quickly as the collective went pro, it decided to reverse course. In September, the group called it quits – at least the big recording studio part of it. Double Phelix gave up its lofty studio space, opting to tear down what it became to resurrect itself. The idea behind the studio was to harness the collective musical energy into

a moneymaking venture, but Catlin says he realized that turning the collective into a business defeated its original purpose. “We closed the studio to make it more of what I always wanted it to be, which is sort of a sonic lab. So I essentially moved the studio into the house that some of us are living at. Double Phelix will continue as a label and a collective, just not a business anymore.” So a newer, sleeker Double Phelix arises, fostering and recording the works of artists like Dickenson and the Go-Rounds. For

doing it constantly and sharing ideas. You’re constantly seeing people sitting in on other people’s bands.” Meanwhile, Double Phelix’s smaller footprint will allow Catlin to devote more time to his two main music projects: Lasso, a bizarro-Americana pop soundscape somewhere between Tom Waits and Beck, and Maraj, a sort of hip-hop pastiche. “I collect weird old records, and the roots of both bands are really about obsessing over that. Like with Lasso, I can take something

Dickenson, the fact that the collective thrives in Kalamazoo is pivotal. Not only has it given her a sense of belonging that often eludes women in music, but it also nurtures musical growth and experimentation. “Kalamazoo is sort of a kindergarten for artists, a safe place to figure out what your voice is and develop it,” she says. “I think larger cities are more competitive, and when you’re competing, you’re not being as honest. Everything here feels organic and real. I feel lucky that this where I chose to be a musician. It’s the idea of being able to record any idea we might have ourselves. We’re constantly, on a daily basis, playing music together, and I think that’s how you improve any skill —

like a crappy novelty record and reframe it into something modern and cool (for Maraj). The aesthetic is different, but Maraj is kind of my groove-based version of that. It’s a multiracial, multi-gender live project that gives me a chance to show my chops. For a producer, hip-hop is kind of the final frontier.” At the same time, the collective continues its involvement in the Dan Schmitt Fund. And Double Phelix’s mission remains the same. “We’re just trying to eliminate the neverending stream of crap you don’t want to hear,” says Catlin.

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PERFORMING ARTS – THEATER Plays The Whale — University Theatre presents the story of an overweight man desperate to reconnect with himself and his longestranged daughter, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 23, 24, 29, 30, 31, Feb. 6 & 7; 2 p.m. Feb. 1 & 8, York Arena Theatre, Western Michigan University, 387-6222. Theatre Kalamazoo New Play Festival — Performances of one-act and 10-minute plays written by Kalamazoo County playwrights, Jan. 30 & 31, Epic Center, 359 S. Kalamazoo Mall, 337-7000. For schedule, visit theatrekalamazoo.com.

Musicals Lend Me a Tenor — A furiously paced musical comedy with more than a touch of the Marx Brothers, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 9, 10, 15, 16, 17, 23 & 24; 2 p.m. Jan. 18, Civic Auditorium, 329 S. Park St., 343-1313. Disney’s Beauty and the Beast — Broadway musical based on the animated film, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 21 & 22, Miller Auditorium, WMU, 387-2300. The Who’s Tommy — A boy’s journey from pain to triumph, based on the iconic 1969 rock album, 7:30 p.m. Jan, 23, 24, 29, 30 & 31; 2 p.m. Jan. 25, Parish Theatre, 426 S. Park St., 343-1313. The Four Bitchin’ Babes: Hormonal Imbalance … A Mood Swinging Musical Revue — Join a renegade sorority of harmonizing gal pals for music and laughs, 8 p.m. Jan. 31, Miller Auditorium, 387-2300.

PERFORMING ARTS – MUSIC Bands & Solo Artists Vox Vidorra — Grand Rapids-based indie rock and soul band, 9 p.m. Jan. 8, Bell’s Eccentric Café, 355 Kalamazoo Ave., 382-2332. 40 | Encore JANUARY 2015

Deep Fried Pickle Project — Michigan-based jug band, 9 p.m. Jan. 9, Bell’s Eccentric Café. That 1 Guy & DJ Feels Goodman — Experimental funk on a one-of-a-kind instrument, The Magic Pipe, 9 p.m. Jan. 10, Bell’s Eccentric Café. Cloud Nothings — Indie rock band from Cleveland, 9 p.m. Jan. 15, Bell’s Eccentric Café. Rusted Root — Internationally known rock fusion ensemble, 8:30 p.m. Jan. 16, Bell’s Eccentric Café, 355 Kalamazoo Ave., 382-2332. Magic of Motown — A tribute to more than a decade of Motown classics, 8 p.m. Jan. 17, Miller Auditorium, WMU, 387-2300. Generationals — New Orleans-based indie soul band with special guests Jamaican Queens and ELEL, 9:30 p.m. Jan. 17, Bell’s Eccentric Café. Lasso, Heaters, The Uncanny & Boring People — A four-pack of Michigan rock bands, 9 p.m. Jan. 22, Bell’s Eccentric Café. Sango — Internationally renowned hiphop producer fusing trap drums, Brazilian percussion and vocal samples, 9:30 p.m. Jan. 23, Bell’s Eccentric Café. Crime Funk — Nine-piece funk band from Kalamazoo, 9:30 p.m. Jan. 30, Bell’s Eccentric Café.

Chamber, Jazz & Concert The Ensemble Des Amis and Arcadia Woodwind Quintet — Performing in The Ladies Library Association 2015 Concert Series, 8 p.m. Jan. 23, Richmond Auditorium, Ladies Library Building, 333 S. Park St., 344-3710. Fontana Presents: Jordi Savall — An internationally renowned master of the viola da gamba performing ancient and modern selections, 8 p.m. Jan. 24, Dalton Center Recital Hall, WMU, 382-7774.

Gilmore Rising Stars: Beatrice Rana — Award-winning Italian pianist, 4 p.m. Feb. 1, Wellspring Theater, 359 S. Kalamazoo Mall, 342-1166.

Symphony Classics Uncorked: Winter Evening — Enjoy a glass of wine and a performance by Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra musicians, 8 p.m. Jan. 9, Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, 3497775. The World of Prokofiev — The KSO performs works of the late Sergei Prokofiev, 3 p.m. Jan. 18, Dalton Center Recital Hall, WMU, 3497759. Bobby McFerrin Takes on Gershwin — The 10time Grammy winner joins the KSO for an all-Gershwin program, 8 p.m. Jan. 30, Miller Auditorium, WMU, 349-7759.

VOCAL St. Olaf Choir — The a cappella choir is presented by the Kalamazoo Bach Festival Society, 4 p.m., Feb. 1, Chenery Auditorium, 337-7407

VISUAL ARTS Kalamazoo Institute of Arts 314 S. Park St., 349-7775 Double Take: Artists Respond to the Collection — Kalamazoo-area artists select works that inspire them, through Jan. 4, Kalamazoo Institute of Arts. A Collector’s Eye: Works from the Collection of James and Sheila Bridenstine — A collection focusing on American and European art, through Jan. 4. Wired and Wrapped: Sculpture of Seungmo Park — Wire sculptures by this contemporary Korean sculptor, through March 15; guided tours at 6 p.m. Jan. 8 & 15.

encore EVENTS How to Return: Contemporary Chinese Photography — Visual examination of postboom China, through March 8.


Second Sight/Insight II — Works from the KIA permanent collection paired with poetry from local writers, Jan. 10–May 10; poetry reading at 6 p.m. Jan. 15.

First Saturday @ KPL — Family-friendly activities and more, 2-3:30 p.m. Jan. 3, Central Library, 315 S. Rose St., 553-7800.

Redefining the Multiple — Exhibition of 13 Japanese artists whose printmaking has transitioned into other media, Jan. 17– April 26. ARTbreak: Free presentations on art-related topics: The da Vinci Detective, two-part film presentation, Jan. 6 & 13; Hyman Bloom: The Beauty of All Things, two-part film presentation on figurative artist, Jan. 20 & 27; all sessions begin at noon, KIA Auditorium.

Richmond Center for Visual Arts, Western Michigan University, 387-2436 NYPOP Emerging Curators Series II: Nature Loves Courage — A group of emerging New York artists interpret nature through the lens of the city, Jan. 15–March 6, Monroe-Brown Gallery. Home: An Artists and Writers Project — More than 30 Kalamazoo-area poets and artists explore concepts of home, Jan. 15–March 6, Netzorg and Kerr Gallery; public reception 5-7:30 p.m. Jan. 14 in the gallery and poetry reading 5:30 p.m. Feb. 19 in Room 2008.

Kalamazoo Public Library

Top Shelf Reads — A monthly book discussion for young professionals, 7 p.m. Jan. 13, Latitude 42 Brewing Co., 7842 Portage Road, 329-4542. Mother-Daughter Book Club — 10 a.m. Jan. 18, 300 Library Lane, 329-4544.

Digital Filmmaking @The Hub — Learn about digital filmmaking in KPL’s digital creation lab, 6 p.m. Jan. 8 & 9, Central Library, 315 S. Rose St., 553-7800.

What is Feng Shui? With Janean Gieseler — Learn to create balance in your home, career and life, 6:30 p.m. Jan. 22 & 29, 300 Library Lane, 329-4544.

MLK Day Celebration — Event honoring Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., 4:30 p.m. Jan. 19, Alma Powell Branch, 1000 W. Paterson, 553-7960.

Richland Community Library

KPL Concert Series: Acclarion — Canadian accordion and clarinet ensemble, 7 p.m. Jan. 21, Central Library, 315 S. Rose St., 553-7800.

Joe Heywood — Meet the author of the wellknown Woods Cop mysteries, 7 p.m. Jan. 14, 8951 Park St., Richland, 629-9085.


Portage District Library

6151 Portage Road, 382-6555

Muffins and the Market — Informative market discussions, coffee and baked goods, 9 a.m. Jan. 2 & 16; 7 p.m. Jan 22, West Lake Room, 300 Library Lane, 329-4544.

Tigers: Tracking a Legend — An immersive journey into the lives of endangered Bengal tigers.

Free 2015

Upcoming Shows

JAN 10 - The Green Hornet JAN 24 - Grandfather Faraday Calling FEB 7 - The Cowfoot Stand Down FEB 21 - The Adventures of Zorro MAR 7 - The Ventriloquist Curse

West Michigan Glass Art Center 326 W. Kalamazoo Ave., Suite 100, 552-9802 A New Year that Shines with All That Glass! — Art Hop exhibit featuring blown, strained and fused glass, 5-9 p.m. Jan. 9, Reflections Gallery.

Back in the ‘Golden Age” of radio, weekly radio programs brought the young and old to their living rooms to listen to adventurous, mysterious and comical tales. Dedicated to promoting this rich history, All Ears Theatre performs newly scripted radio programs for live audiences, complete with old school sound effects, from January through May. Shows are later broadcast on 102.1 WMUK-FM. Performances are at 6:00 pm at the First Baptist Church and are FREE to the public.

MISCELLANEOUS Art Hop — Local artists and musicians at various venues in downtown Kalamazoo, 5-9 p.m., Jan. 9

Funding provided by For a complete schedule of shows, visit KalamazooArts.org w w w.encorekalamazoo.com | 41

EVENTS encore Kalamazoo Valley Museum 230 N. Rose St., 373-7990

2-3 p.m. Jan. 4. Wear appropriate outerwear, including boots and snowshoes if needed.

Voices For Social Justice — An audiovisual exhibit featuring community residents speaking about social justice and its future in Kalamazoo, through Jan. 19.

Winter Sports Demo Day — Learn about winter fun on snowshoes and cross-country skis with Lee’s Adventure Sports, 2-4 p.m., Jan. 18.

Kalamazoo for the Union — The Civil War through the eyes of Kalamazoo County residents, through May 17.

Winter Woods: Tree Identification — Learn about and practice tree identification skills while walking outdoors, 2-3 p.m. Jan. 25.


W.K. Kellogg Biological Station

City of Portage

Birds and Coffee Walk — Join an experienced guide for a short birding walk and discuss the morning’s sightings over coffee, 9 a.m. Jan. 14, Kellogg Bird Sanctuary, 12685 East C Ave., Augusta, 671-2510.

Snowshoe Nature Hike: Winter Animal Signs — Explore West Lake Nature Preserve with a naturalist guide, 2 p.m. Jan. 17, West Lake Nature Preserve, 9001 S. Westnedge Ave., 329-4522, portagemi.gov.

Kalamazoo Nature Center 7000 N. Westnedge Ave., 381-1574 Winter Scenery Hike — Take a trek to the top of the Raptor Ridge Trail to Cooper’s Glen,

MISCELLANEOUS Kalamazoo Beer Week — A weeklong celebration of local craft beer, including tastings, dinners and interactive events, Jan.10-17. Among the events: Kalamadoodle & Gonzo’s BigDogg Brewing, an evening of

drawing, beer and fun, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Jan. 14 & 15, Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, 314 S. Park St. Full schedule at kalamazoobeerweek.com. SW Michigan Bridal Show — A bridal expo featuring over 140 vendors, 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Jan. 11, Wings Stadium, 3600 Vanrick Drive, 744-5804. Kalamazoo Dance — A social dance for singles, couples and dancers of all skill levels; beginner and intermediate dance lesson included, 7-10 p.m. Jan. 17, Pointe Community Center, 2595 N. 10th St., 3445752. Winter Jamboree — Try out winter activities such as snowshoeing, sledding and igloo building in this event presented by the Kalamazoo Parks & Recreation Department, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Jan. 31, Milham Park Golf Club, 4200 Lovers Lane, 329-4522.

Lewis Reed & Allen P. C. attorneys

(left to right): Stephen M. Denenfeld, James M. Marquardt, Nicholas J. Daly, Robert C. Engels, Thomas C. Richardson, Richard D. Reed, Gregory G. St. Arnauld, William A. Redmond, Michael B. Ortega, Sheralee S. Hurwitz, David A. Lewis, Michael A. Dombos, Michael A. Shields, Vernon Bennett III, Ronald W. Ryan, Owen D. Ramey.

| kalamazoo | michigan | 49007-3947 | fax: 269.349.3831 | postmaster@lewisreedallen.com www.lewisreedallen.com

136 east michigan avenue suite 800 phone: 269.388.7600

42 | Encore JANUARY 2015

encore POETRY



what we spiral from

returns blooming on linden

Kaleidoscope rooflines—sloped, hipped,

and feathered in scent

gabled. Sunroom overlaid with driveway, porch. We long for details, the way light turns. Moments As if someone’s playing with double exposures,

when color glistens in a spectrum yet the pine keeps to green. Meantime the growth of summer

jamming slides into the projector all at once. The story

folds and the forest reopens. Meantime a neighbor burns leaves and you are taken, six years old again, thigh-high at the foot of a leaf mountain, your arms

of home can’t be unearthed in orderly excavation, studied one strata at a time—even if you run string

outstretched, and back you fall for a minute of blue sky, the far-off trumpet of the sandhill crane, and your nostrils full with maple. Then you get up, and do it again.

in quadrants, label religiously. It’s hard. Jumble of wax pilgrims and jewelry boxes with dancers

Your dog stops, lifts his nose. Wisps of your now white hair blow from your face. Yellow tamarack needles line the edges where you and the dog walk. Your steps follow

on the lids, framed diplomas and watering cans, sump pumps and inner tubes. Here, a bedroom lit

your sons’ when once they meandered the driveway through woods towards home. Their endless day sometimes focused outside the classroom window.

with northern light, another washed warm from the south. Part of the story is what the kids

You at home waiting, grasses and coneflower stitched on the chair cushion you sit upon, two layers of clothing between the lace-edged cami and the stone-colored vest . The screen door lets a breeze take you

carried off to apartments, what sold before the move to Florida, but time parses old input


You blink at the screech of the bus coming to a stop. You know your boys are tired. You are tired too. And dream

through translucent scrims, memory does a kind of collapsing—filing system as collage,

of early autumn, when your husband readied your home for winter’s grip — cleaning, chopping, and raking. Later when the shadows grew long, he retreated to the hammock

as Drummond Island puddingstone: spotty cluster of red jasper, chert and quartz. Keep an open mind.

pulled between two trees that spring when growth bristled. He lay suspended under the arboreal canopy, the creaking lullaby of trunk against tree trunk, doors opening and closing,

If you insist on orderly narrative, one slide after the other, you won’t get the whole effect.

ghosts coming and going. Not one concern. Maple leaves fluttered from their stems



oranges —

— Lynn Pattison

fat stars afloat. This is where you found him, loosened from his day. You lay along his side, your head resting on his shoulder.


is where you hope to lie again.

— Sydnee Peters Peters is an instructor of art at Western Michigan University’s Frostic School of Art. She is an image-maker and thinks of her work as visual poems. She has practiced the craft of writing poetry for more than 20 years, and her current works bring the two mediums together.

Pattison’s work has appeared in numerous literary magazines and reviews as well as several anthologies. She is the author of The Light that Sounds Like Breaking (Mayapple Press, 2006).

Both of the poems on this page are part of Home: An Artists and Writers Project. For more on the project, see page 8.

w w w.encorekalamazoo.com | 43



All Ears Theatre . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 AVB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 Bell’s Brewery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Borgess . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 Bravo! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Bronson Health Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Dave’s Glass Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33



Dement and Marquardt, PLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11


Farm ‘N’ Garden . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9


4:00–6:00 Local news every half-hour 6:00 Marketplace 6:30 BBC Business News Sponsor Haworth College of Business



Devisser Lanscape Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 First National Bank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Flipse, Meyer, Allwardt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 FYI Magazine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Gilmore Real Estate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Great Lakes Shipping Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Greenleaf Trust . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Hospice Care of SW Michigan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 HRM Innovations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Kalamazoo Community Foundation . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Lewis, Reed & Allen P.C. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 Mercantile Bank of Michigan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Miller Auditorium . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Parkway Plastic Surgery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Portage Printing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Professional Clinicians & Consultants Inc. . . . . . . 23 Varnum Attorneys At Law . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 Vlietstra Bros. Pools & Spas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Weedman . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 WMUK . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Woodwork Specialties Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

Why do you never see a full-page-sized digital ad? Usually, Internet advertising comes in banners or tall rectangles in side columns. Little squares of

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advertising are tucked here and there, but we have quickly learned to ignore them. Pop-up ads are becoming more and more common, but because of the power at our fingertips, one click, and they disappear as quickly as they came. We look for the “x”

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oors? Staying Indve Playroom Create an



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44 | Encore JANUARY 2015

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BACK STORY (continued from page 46) I ended up combining these and went to Concordia College, which is a great college for health care administration. There I decided I wanted to become a hospital CEO, and they had a great program in that.

What was the most influential moment in your life? As a student, I had a practicum at a nursing home. The first day, the administrator said, “Jay, I want you to know what it’s like to be a resident, so go home and pack a bag and plan to spend the night.” When I came back, they put me in a wheelchair, bandaged up my knee and said, “From this point forward you’re a resident that has had knee surgery, and everything we will do for you we would do for a resident.” The initial process of filling out contracts and paperwork for Medicaid and Medicare, like any resident and their family would do, was very confusing. And then, at the time, Minnesota law required all residents to be educated about nursing home abuse upon admission. So I am sitting in a wheelchair, not knowing anybody yet, signing all these confusing contracts about Medicaid and Medicare, and then I have to watch an old video on nursing home abuse. I remember thinking “This is really uncomfortable. Why would you educate me on nursing home abuse – has that happened?” If I needed to get up and go to the bathroom, they had to put a gait belt on me and help me go to the bathroom – talk

about issues of dignity and compassion. And residents have different diets. Some get food that is pureed. Others get liquids that are thickened. I got a chance to try them all. I still can’t eat tuna casserole to this day – it’s lost its luster. They turned me every two hours during the night, as they do so patients won’t get pressure sores, and I didn’t get any sleep. This was the only environment I had ever been in where my life was in the hands of caregivers. That experience changed my thought process about what I wanted to do with my career.

What question do you get most when you tell people what you do? When I say I run a retirement community, people don’t always know what I mean. Many people automatically think of a nursing home, and that’s not what we are. Not a lot of people realize when you combine those 420 residents with those 450 employees, it becomes like a little city. And we are trying to create a sense of community in that little city so that the residents know the employees and the employees know the residents and every day we have an opportunity to make someone’s life better.

What’s an ideal day like for you? A couple of mornings a week my day starts with coffee with the residents. The best part of my day is spending time with our residents, having a cup of coffee and not

talking about anything that’s work related, just about what’s going on with them or what’s going on with me. I like spending a lot of time in the community working on how to make it better.

What’s your favorite thing to do outside of work? I would say food. I have always loved food, and West Michigan has great food venues. Food Dance just blows me away. This area creates these great local businesses that are inventive with their food. I love that and being able to have a piece of that, even though I can only eat so much.

What keeps you up at night? I am very mission-minded, and I believe I am in a really important business. Heritage has a 70-year legacy — we have such a great foundation, those local donors, those stakeholders that created Heritage. I want to continue to have that vibrancy and hold on to that great vision. We serve such an important customer at such a pivotal time of their life, and I take that very personally. I just never feel like I have enough time in the day — you get tied up and there’s distractions — and the last thing I want to feel is that I missed an opportunity to make someone’s life better.

Do people call you Jay or Mr. Prince? Jay. I am absolutely Jay.

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w w w.encorekalamazoo.com | 45


Jay Prince,

President & CEO, Heritage Community of Kalamazoo

For being all of 30, Jay Prince

knows a lot about retiring and growing older. As the CEO of the area’s oldest continuing-care retirement community, Prince oversees 450 employees and the care of 420 residents. A transplant from Bemidji, Minn. (“You know how International Falls is always the coldest spot in the U.S. on the weather? It’s near there,” he says), he has been at Heritage’s helm since August 2013. Why do you do what you do? I grew up with a family that was involved in business, but I really wanted to help people and become a doctor. (continued on page 45)

46 | Encore JANUARY 2015

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