New Brews with Good Views
Newcomers Club Fosters Friendship
Cemeteries Offer History, Mystery
Meet Rodger Parzyck
Southwest Michigan’s Magazine
leads a new era at WMed
Got Arts? We do! New Arts Section page 26
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2 | ENCORE OCTOBER 2021
ENCORE EDITOR'S NOTE
From the Editor T
he pandemic ravaged many, many things, and our local arts organizations are among those that have suffered greatly. Without the ability to perform, have exhibitions or host events, many groups saw their revenues fall, had to lay off critical staff, lost volunteers, decimated their marketing and promotional budgets and wondered when and if they would come out on the other side. Those of us at Encore, which has been known for its arts and culture coverage in greater Kalamazoo since it began publishing in 1972, knew that emerging from the pandemic was going to be a long, hard process for our arts community. We wanted to help. But, like the arts organizations, Encore was adversely affected by the pandemic too. With less advertising support, we had less space to provide important arts content. We were thrilled when the Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo agreed to partner with us on a project called the "Arts Coverage Initiative" to help revive local arts. The initiative will provide a dedicated Arts section in our print and digital publications that informs our readers about arts events and organizations in our community at a time when these organizations cannot afford to do so on their own. We were exceedingly fortunate that the Irving S. Gilmore Foundation saw the need for what our partnership proposed and has provided grant funding to help defray the costs. In this issue, we are excited to have a "soft" unveiling of the initial phase of the Arts Coverage Initiative. Beginning on page 26 is our new monthly Arts section, which features previews of upcoming performances, exhibitions, events and other arts-related content. We call it a soft unveiling because we expect that as more arts groups and artists emerge from their pandemic hiatuses, our arts coverage will evolve and grow. The Arts section you see in this issue is laying the foundation for our more ambitious goal of not only providing better arts coverage in our print and digital publications, including profiles and features on artists, but offering timely reviews of performances and arts events on our website in the near future. The pandemic has taught us many things, but the most important is that we will all come out of it better by working together. We are very grateful to both the Arts Council and the Irving S. Gilmore Foundation for putting their energies behind this effort and for their support of Encore. We encourage other organizations and local businesses that love the arts to join them in supporting this effort in Encore. We also encourage our readers to provide feedback on this new coverage by sending email to email@example.com.
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New Brews with Good Views
Newcomers Club Fosters Friendship
Cemeteries Offer History, Mystery
Meet Rodger Parzyck
Southwest Michigan’s Magazine
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Got Arts? We do! New Arts Section page 26
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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, visit 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. The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by those interviewed and published here do not reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of Encore Magazine or the official policies, owners or employees of Encore Publications.
When assigned to write about the Kalamazoo Area Newcomers Club for this issue, Maggie was intrigued by the concept. "I haven't known a world where information about a new community I was going to wasn't there on the internet to be found," she explains, "so it was interesting to hear about how the club started back in the day and how it has evolved to be about connections and friendship." Maggie is an editorial intern at Encore and a senior at Western Michigan University majoring in journalism.
Thanks to the pandemic, John's story on new breweries in the area was something of a moving target. Every time we'd get ready to print it, there'd be another update. "The progress of these breweries in coming online was a bit sporadic,” John says. “... Some were on schedule, some not. But in the end, we've got three great new craft beverage spots to enjoy." John is the general manager of West Michigan Beer Tours.
Learning about the career trajectory of Dr. Paula Termuhlen, the new dean of the Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. Medical School (WMed), was an intriguing part of the story Marie wrote this month. "Dr. Termuhlen has a lot of passion for whatever she takes on, whether it's surgical oncology, rural medicine or WMed. She immerses herself fully," says Marie. "She's an excellent role model for young women entering the workforce today." Marie is the editor of Encore.
Donna, who interviewed The Heritage Company Architectural Salvage & Supply owner Rodger Parzyck for this month's Back Story, says there’s something about strolling through the Heritage shop in downtown Kalamazoo that she finds joyful. "I think part of the experience is wondering about the history of things that have passed the test of time: an ornate doorknob, a retro pink sink, a hand-carved fireplace mantel, swag lamps with chains like those I had in my childhood home," she says. "My creative juices get a workout with thoughts of the potential repurposing of things." Donna is a Kalamazoo-based writer and environmental advocate.
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CONTENTS FEATURE Paula Termuhlen
WMed's new leader is committed to diversity and skilled at building it
DEPARTMENTS 3 From the Editor Contributors 5 8 First Things
A round–up of happenings in SW Michigan
Unearthing history and mystery at local cemeteries
Forging friendships — Kalamazoo's Newcomers Club has connected women for 80 years
New Brews and Views — Local craft brewers are growing, expanding to new locations
Meet Rodger Parzyck — He's been saving and salvaging old architectural materials for three decades
ARTS 26 The Arts Spotlighting greater Kalamazoo's arts community Theater 26 On the cover: Dean Paula Termuhlen in front of the Body Donor Memorial Tree glass sculpture at WMU Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine. Photo by Brian K. Powers.
27 28 30 30
Comedy Music Visual Arts Dance
32 Events of Note
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FIRST THINGS ENCORE
Owner to discuss tiny house living If you've ever dreamed of downsizing your home
— really downsizing — to a tiny house, then Ben Brown will tell you what to expect at 6 p.m. Oct. 4 at the Kalamazoo Public Library's Eastwood Branch, 1112 Gayle Ave. Brown will talk about his experiences building and living in a 250-square-foot home. With the assistance of Habitat for Humanity, Brown built his home on Charles Street, in the Eastside neighborhood, in 2017, and it became the first legal tiny house in Kalamazoo. Brown will discuss how to make a tiny house comfortable while minimizing its impact on the environment. For more information, visit kpl.gov.
Portage hosts Fall Festival Horse-drawn carriage rides, fresh produce, cooking classes and historical demonstrations are all part of a day full of activities in Portage celebrating the arrival of autumn. The city's Fall Festival will be held from 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Oct. 3 at Celery Flats Historical Area, 7335 Garden Lane. Participants can take a horse-drawn carriage from Celery Flats to the Portage Farmers Market at City Hall to get fresh produce and return to the Celery Flats Pavilion for a cooking class. The historical buildings at Celery Flats will also be open and offer demonstrations on rope making, glass blowing and blacksmithing. The event is free (except for purchases made at the Farmers Market). For more information, visit portagemi.gov. 8 | ENCORE OCTOBER 2021
Relive bands from your youth With four nostalgiadriven concerts this month, you can transport yourself to the days when all we knew of music came Bob Mould from our radio dials. A tribute to Led Zeppelin comes to Bell's Back Room Oct. 10. Zoso: The Ultimate Led Zeppelin Experience has been described by the Chicago Sun-Times as "head and shoulders above all other Zeppelin tributes." The band and all its hair will perform at 9 p.m. Tickets are $16. Fans of the alternative bands Hüsker Dü and Sugar will be able to catch the guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter who fronted those groups, Bob Mould, in person at 8 p.m. Oct. 17 in Bell's Back Room. Tickets are $25 in advance or $27 the day of the show. If REO Speedwagon was more your jam in the 1970s and ’80s, then you'll want to see those rockers at the State Theatre Oct. 29. The show, which begins at 7 p.m., will feature the band’s greatest hits, including the No. 1 single "Keep on Loving You." Tickets are $49.50–$125. If you are just wanting a rocking time and a chance to sing along to "Another One Bites the Dust" with a live band, then the Almost Queen performance at 8 p.m. Oct. 30 at the State Theatre is for you. Kalamazoo's own ’80s cover band, Lisa Can't Sing, will open the show. Tickets are $29–$69. Entry to shows at both venues will require proof of Covid-19 vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit bellsbeer.com or kazoostate.com.
Please note: Due to the ongoing Covid–19 pandemic, some of these events may be canceled or changed after press time. Please check with venues and organizations for up–to–date information.
Artist to create 'pumpkin sculptures' You will never see jack-o-lanterns the same way again after you see the sculpting skills of John Angevine, an artist who takes pumpkins and carves them into works of art. Angevine will be on hand from noon–4 p.m. Oct. 9 at the South Kalamazoo Mall to give a free demonstration of how he transforms pumpkins into works of art with realistic features, original designs and intricate details. For more information, visit downtownkalamazoo.org
When can I retire?
Caitlin Horrocks to give reading, talk Michigan native Caitlin Horrocks, whose 2021 collection of short stories, Life Among the Terranauts, was selected as an Editor's Choice by the New York Times Book Review, will give a reading and talk about her work at 6 p.m. Oct. 19 at the Kalamazoo Public Library's Oshtemo Branch. Horrocks, who lives in Grand Rapids and teaches at Grand Valley State University, received acclaim for her 2019 novel, The Vexations, which was named one of the Ten Best Books of 2019 by the Wall Street Journal. Her stories and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, The Best American Short Stories, The PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories, the annual Pushcart Prize Anthology, The Paris Review, Tin House, and One Story, as well as other journals and anthologies. For more information, visit kpl.gov.
S-P-E-L-L for literacy Fancy yourself a Scrabble® Master? Well,
prove it or have fun trying at the Kalamazoo Scrabble® Fest, set for noon–3:30 p.m. Oct. 9 at the Radisson Plaza Hotel, 100 W. Michigan Ave. This annual event is a fundraising benefit for the Kalamazoo Literacy Council and is open to players 16 and older. Attendees can register to play in “competitive” or “just for fun” categories or sign up as a four-player corporate team. There is also an online option to participate in the just-for-fun category. The cost to compete is $25 per person or $200 per corporate team and includes hors d'oeuvres and gaming materials. To register or for more information, call 382-0490 ext. 211 or visit kalamazooliteracy.org.
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FIVE FAVES ENCORE
History and mystery abound in local cemeteries BY LYNN HOUGHTON
ast fall my husband and I decided to start taking Saturday afternoon and Sunday drives. Our destinations became cemeteries, specifically those in Kalamazoo County. There were a few that I knew well that we could cross off our list, but what remained was a substantial number of cemeteries on the many lettered and numbered roads of this county. Starting in September of 2020, we spent more than six months visiting 40 cemeteries. Social distancing was not a problem on our travels, to say the least. Here are five of my favorites.
U.S. 131 at Lyons Street, Schoolcraft
Gull Road and Riverview Drive Kalamazoo
You name it and Riverside Cemetery has just
t’s easy to forget as one walks through this township cemetery that a major highway is on its east side. It’s quiet and peaceful except for the occasional car horn in the distance. According to the county history, within 30 years after this cemetery's opening in 1843, it added close to 200 more lots. Many recognizable names of village residents can be found on the variety of tombstones. Dr. Nathan and Pamela Thomas, who operated a station on the Underground Railroad at their house in the middle of the village, are buried here along with three of their children. Despite the car exhaust emitted close by, most of the cemetery's marble tombstones are in excellent condition.
10 | ENCORE OCTOBER 2021
about everything one could see in a cemetery, including three types: the garden cemetery, the urban cemetery and the memorial park. Purchased in 1861 by Kalamazoo Township, the cemetery was planned with three to four “serpentine” walks following the rise and fall of the land. St. Augustine Roman Catholic Church purchased land in the cemetery from the township in 1862, as did the Congregation of Moses in 1907. There also are several military sections for soldiers from the Civil War to the Vietnam War, including a soldier’s monument erected in 1901 in a section with Civil War tombstones. By far the largest cemetery in the county, Riverside has a wide variety of marble, granite and metal tombstones. It is now owned and maintained by the city of Kalamazoo.
South 10th Street, south of West U Avenue Prairie Ronde Township
It would be easy to miss this small cemetery located off a dirt section of 10th
Street. This cemetery, nestled among fields, contains many marble tombstones, including ones for Bazel and Martha Harrison, the first permanent settlers in Kalamazoo County. They came from Ohio in November of 1828 to Prairie Ronde Township. Both of the stones have steel frames to support them. Many of the marble tombstones have symbols like weeping willow trees, signifying mourning, or clasped hands, signifying fidelity. Many of the tombstones here and in other area cemeteries state the exact age of the person when they died to the year, month and day. This space is peaceful and quiet due primarily to the lack of nearby traffic.
Oak Grove Cemetery
North 36th Street Galesburg
raveling north up 36th Street from the center of Galesburg will bring you to the Oak Grove Cemetery. In 1874, the Galesburg Oak Grove Cemetery Association, a private organization, purchased 20 acres of land, described in the 1880 County History as having “graceful undulations with little vales that wind in pleasant paths between them.” This cemetery is a perfect example of the 19th century garden or rural cemetery, where the roads follow the contours of the land. There is a wide variety of markers here, including some to memorialize Civil War soldiers buried elsewhere. The mausoleum for William M. Hill, who died in 1904, is very impressive, but there's a mystery behind it: The mausoleum has room for 11, but only William Hill is interred there. His wife is buried nearby, but not in the mausoleum.
East RS Avenue, near South 41st Street, Climax Township
ith many Harrisons buried here, it is more than likely someone with that surname donated the land for this modest-sized cemetery. The most prominent tombstone is a treestone — a memorial carved to resemble a tree stump — that’s situated prominently in the middle of the cemetery. It’s for farmer Alexander Harrison and his wife, Elizabeth Roe Harrison, who both died in 1887. Alexander’s mother, brothers and some of his 13 children also are buried here. In county cemeteries such as this one, some of the dead may have initially been buried on their farms and then reinterred in the cemetery years later. The cemetery tombstones also boast a number of unusual first names, such as Mehetable and Bersheba, both of which can be found in the Bible.
About the Author Lynn Houghton is the regional history curator of the Western Michigan University Archives and Regional History Collections. She leads the Gazelle Sports Historic Walks, a series of free architectural and historic walks at various locations in Kalamazoo County that happen during the summer and fall, and she is the co-author of Kalamazoo Lost and Found, a book on Kalamazoo history and architecture. She also participated in the PBS documentary series 10 That Changed America, about the history of architecture and urban planning. She has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history from WMU and a master’s in library and information science from Wayne State University. w w w.encorekalamazoo.com | 11
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ENCORE GOOD WORKS
Newcomers Club has connected women for 80 years BY MAGGIE DREW
hat began 80 years ago as a club to welcome new residents to Kalamazoo has become an enduring organization focused on forging friendships among women. The Kalamazoo Area Newcomers Club, which celebrates its 80th anniversary this month, was founded in 1940 by Ann Ewing Smith, a resident of Kalamazoo and a former Welcome Wagon hostess. Smith created her own advertising service, A.E.S. Hostess Service, and would meet with new residents to tell them all about what Kalamazoo had to offer. According to club member Nancy Greer, as Smith met with new families, she discovered a much larger need among the women she met: the need to make new friends in their new community. Smith’s hostess service would thus become the catalyst for what is now the Newcomers Club. Since it was common in the 1940s and beyond that husbands would work full time while wives stayed home with the kids, many of these women felt they had little opportunity to meet and connect with other women. Smith partnered with the Kalamazoo YWCA to form the Newcomer Club of the Young Women’s Christian Association, and the group became very popular, growing to more than 400 members by the 1970s. After meeting at the YWCA for more than 30 years, it split off from the YWCA in 1974 and became the Kalamazoo Area Newcomers Club, an independent group that’s not affiliated with any larger organization. In recent years the number of active members in the organization has averaged between 120 and 140, says Greer.
Members of the Kalamazoo Area Newcomers Club include, from left, Suzette Ross, president; Nancy Greer, publicity chairwoman; and Marge Davies.
A lot has changed since the group’s inception — more women work now, for one — but what hasn’t changed is the need for women to connect with one another, say organizers. “Initially it was for new people in the area,” says Marge Davies, a Newcomers Club member for more than 15 years. “Now it really is geared toward people experiencing a lifestyle change. Whether they have just retired, they lost a spouse, they are new to the area, it’s for them.”
Typifying the current makeup of the club is Greer, who has lived in the area her whole life but was seeking new friendships after retirement. “Recently retired, I was seeking out a way to do activities with women who shared similar interests with me,” Greer says. “I find you still look for structure and purpose in your free time once you retire. I have quickly met many other women through the garden group, happy hours, luncheons, and other events. The diverse group of women I have
w w w.encorekalamazoo.com | 13
GOOD WORKS ENCORE
met is enriching. I would not have met these women if it had not been for Newcomers.” The club has a monthly luncheon with guest speakers for all members and has about 15 special-interest groups that meet regularly. These include book, garden and
“KANC is a hidden gem in the community that supports friendships and learning opportunities for women. It's an accepting organization for women where they can feel involved, appreciated, acknowledged, and can learn and grow through their life changes.”
golf clubs, groups that play cards together, and groups that go to happy hours. Greer says these groups offer a way for women to connect on a more individualized basis and bond through shared interests. “It allows you to make deeper friendships and get a smaller lens as to what is going on,” Greer says.
14 | ENCORE OCTOBER 2021
Above: A photo from KANC's early days shows the members in the role of hostesses. Right: A program from the organization when it was affiliated with the YWCA.
ENCORE GOOD WORKS
“What has changed is the participation of who joins; women initially were stayat-home moms, but as women entered the workforce the group became a mixture of stay-at-home women, retirees, working and non-working women new to the community,” Greer says. “What has stayed the same is the need for friendship and learning amongst the members.
The smaller groups are also a good way for new members to ease into the organization. “Some people come in and they join for a particular interest group, and they meet fewer people and make friends easier,” Davies says. “There's a lot of meetup groups that are maybe tied to some other thing, like a church or a school,” Greer says. “Ours is much more socially based, with a component of charitable contribution and work in the community, but our key purpose is building lasting friendships.” Suzette Ross, the club’s president, says that while the organization is focused on the present, celebrating its history has been reaffirming. “Recently I borrowed the materials our organization has stored at the WMU Archives and Regional History Collections in preparation for the 80th anniversary event, and reviewing the history has been very enlightening,” Ross says. “There is much interest in our long, rich history from our current members and increasing community awareness of KANC and all it has to offer.” Greer and Davies both attribute the club’s longevity to the opportunities it offers women to create lasting friendships.
“KANC is a hidden gem in the community that supports friendships and learning opportunities for women. It's an accepting organization for women where they can feel involved, appreciated, acknowledged, and can learn and grow through their life changes.” For more information on the Kalamazoo Area Newcomers Club, visit its website at www.kazoonewcomers.com.
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Good Brews, Good Views
New locations, growth for local craft brewers Brian Powers
BY JOHN LIBERTY
hree area craft beverage companies have been growing in the midst of a pandemic economy.
Final Gravity finds deals The owners of Final Gravity Brewing Co. may have an unfair advantage over their peers in beer: Mike Christensen’s deal-finding prowess. The Christensen family, including Mike’s parents, Kevin and Trina, have opened an expansion of the company’s brewery operation on Phelps Street in Decatur. The budget-conscious father-son duo performed as much of the renovation work as they could. Mike also possesses a gift for thrifty online shopping that the family used to complete the project while still pinching pennies. “He opens up that laptop, and deals just fall out of it,” Kevin says. Take, for example, the new brewing system they are using. Mike, 16 | ENCORE OCTOBER 2021
Clockwise from left: Kevin, left, and Mike Christensen in front of the Newlands Brewing System at Final Gravity; the lineup of Final Gravity's brews; and Nicki Hostetler, left, and Amanda Mollett pour beer from the taps at Final Gravity's Decatur location.
who enrolled in Kalamazoo Valley Community College’s Sustainable Brewing Program, identified a Newlands Brewing System as his preferred equipment. “It’s the Ferrari of brew systems,” Mike says. “We wanted something that would last — but on a budget.” He found a used Newlands system for sale by Phantom Canyon Brewing Co., in Colorado Springs, Colo. When it was first built in the 1990s, this particular system carried a price tag of more than $200,000, Mike says. He and his father flew out to Colorado Springs
Clockwise from below: Owners Patrick, left, and Tanya Westover outside their Allegan brewery; patrons in the Tantrick taproom; and two of the Tantrick's craft beers.
Final Gravity will operate out of both Decatur buildings, with the new space being used primarily for brewing production and overflow space on weekends as well as for private events. The significantly larger brewing equipment will allow the family to produce more beer for both taproom locations and eventually pursue a somewhat wider distribution footprint.
Tantrick thriving in new locations Tantrick Brewing Co. opened in July 2018 at 633 Hooker Road in Allegan. When owners Tanya and Patrick Westover needed more space for the company, they found it at their new locations in downtown Allegan. After more than two years at the original location, Tantrick Brewing Co. was moved to a pair of buildings just off the Kalamazoo River. The 2,500-square-foot building at 134 Water St. features a taproom on the street level and a restaurant, Food Motivated, on the lower
in the fall of 2019 and purchased it for about $18,000. It was then trucked to Decatur and installed in the new space. The family can rattle off a slew of other examples of cost-saving finds over the last couple of years, when every cent counted, especially during the uncertainty of 2020. The family bought the former Patchwork Brewing Co. in Decatur in 2011 and opened it as Final Gravity Brewing Co. in 2014. The brewery expanded to a second location, in downtown Kalamazoo, at 246 N. Kalamazoo Mall, in December 2017. Before undertaking the Kalamazoo project, for which Kevin and Mike also did a lot of the renovation work themselves, the family purchased a series of empty storefronts “for a song” at 100 S. Phelps St. in Decatur, across from their brewery.
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Above: Brewer Jimmy Kolka in the new BrewHaus at Warner Vineyards. Top and bottom right: The taproom space includes a scenic patio as well as riverside amphitheater for live music.
level. The restaurant is operated by Alex and Sylene Wilkening. Both businesses provide views of the river, Tanya says. Tantrick’s brewing production takes place four blocks away, in a 2,200-square-foot building. Tanya says making this move during the pandemic was “terrifying,” but they “are too stubborn to fail.” She says she sees a lot of opportunity in downtown Allegan, including the development of a new hotel and the
social district where visitors can consume alcohol while walking through designated sections of town. Tantrick is also a couple of blocks away from Schaendorf Brewing Co., which opened in 2018 and also participates in the social district. Allegan officials and community members “are very excited to have us come downtown and bring some life back,” Tanya says. “Allegan has just needed something fresh and new. Schaendorf has been great, but
it (downtown Allegan) needs more. We’re excited.”
Warner Vineyards adds beer Warner Vineyards in Paw Paw gave its beer lineup a bigger physical presence this past spring. Warner BrewHaus, located in the renovated 1898 Paw Paw Waterworks station on the winery property, held a soft opening in May and its official grand opening in August.
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The new taproom space has often been used for private events. The grounds also feature an amphitheater and a patio along the Paw Paw River, and the Brewhaus boasts weekly live music. Brewer Jimmy Kolka, a Kalamazoo resident and a graduate of Kalamazoo Valley Community College’s Sustainable Brewing Program, joined Warner in July 2019 and uses a one-barrel system. He says his session IPA and wheat ale are popular options when the weather warms. “I love the venue,” he says. “The property is amazing, and the space is amazing.”
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WMed Dean Paula Termuhlen overlooking downtown Kalamazoo from the seventh floor of the WMU Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine.
20 | ENCORE OCTOBER 2021
BY MARIE LEE
Paula Termuhlen WMed’s new leader is committed to diversity and skilled at building it
o say June was a momentous month for Dr. Paula Termuhlen is a bit of an understatement. Just a month earlier, Termuhlen, 58, had taken the helm as only the second dean to lead the Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine (WMed), replacing Founding Dean Hal B. Jenson, who retired after establishing the school and running it for 10 years. But it was in June, more than three decades after she graduated from medical school, that Termuhlen finally paid off her student loans. And thanks to a $300 million gift to WMed that same month, future medical students at the school won't have to repeat Termuhlen's financial experience. The gift is part of a $550 million Empowering Futures Gift that Western Michigan University received from anonymous donors. It’s aimed at promoting diversity, equity and inclusion at the university, with a chunk of the $300 million earmarked for scholarships to reduce financial barriers for future doctors and allow the medical school to recruit more diverse student cohorts. Over time, the gift will help expand the percentage of WMed students who receive full scholarships to 50 percent, according to WMed. A little over half of WMed students received a merit and/ or need scholarships for this academic year, four of which were full tuition scholarships and all five students in the Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences program received full scholarships, according to Laura Eller, WMed's Director of Communications. It's an ambition that goes hand-in-hand with WMed's goal of increasing the diversity of the physicians it trains, in order to be more reflective of the populations they will serve. For the medical school to meet that goal, many of its students will come from communities traditionally underrepresented in medicine, communities that often have low socioeconomic status, so financial support and scholarships are critical. "As a first-generation college student, providing this kind of financial support for young people is personal to me," Termuhlen says. "We have students whom we worry about experiencing food insecurity. They w w w.encorekalamazoo.com | 21
Clockwise from top left: Termuhlen's dogs, Blue and Stella; her grandson Angelov; Termuhlen with husband David; and the Termuhlens' children, from left, Christopher, Anka and Sidharth.
don't have family resources, and they can't work and be focused on their studies at the same time. We have to start to think about how we can do a better job of alleviating the financial burden." A relatively new medical school in the state and in the U.S., WMed is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. It’s one of 29 medical schools established since 2006, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). Termuhlen says the anonymous gift positions WMed to become a "leader among medical schools" through its trailblazing work to incorporate diversity, equity and inclusion into all it does. "It is something that all medical schools are being called upon to do today, but I think we really have a chance to be leader in this,” she says. “We have really taken on this work around diversity, equity and inclusion and are making it a core value of who we are. It gives us an opportunity to establish an identity and a trajectory that can help us distinguish ourselves from other medical schools."
Room to grow WMed's newness is one of the things that attracted Termuhlen, who had served since 2015 as the regional dean of the University of 22 | ENCORE OCTOBER 2021
Minnesota Medical School’s Duluth campus, where she led faculty and staff educating 130 students in their first two years of medical school. Termuhlen says WMed has a strong foundation, but there's room to grow. "I can help craft the vision for WMed by creating the identity and position it to distinguish itself," Termuhlen says. This won't be her first foray into implementing such a vision. During her sixyear tenure in Duluth, Termuhlen helped boost the regional campus's emphasis on helping underserved, rural communities meet their health-care needs. Her efforts include facilitating a robust program focused on Native American health and recruiting and training Native American students to become physicians. Her leadership of the 50-year-old campus was marked by progress and growth, according to Dr. Peter Nalin, who became cointerim regional campus dean in Duluth after Termuhlen's departure. A major construction project initiated there during her tenure improved the facilities and included the creation of new educational spaces. "We have a brand new, modern lecture hall, new student lounge space and an expansion of student study spaces,” Nalin says. “We have new conference rooms for meetings and distance education, connecting either to our community affiliates or our central campus in the Twin Cities.”
At the same time, Nalin says, the campus's "outcomes and reputation," which were enhanced by Termuhlen, have been a boost to enrollment. "In the past, the class size was 45 or 50, but in recent years we are admitting 65 students quite successfully," he says. "Because of our mission-focused campus, we devote more specified effort to our admissions process, to find students who will succeed in our program. We don't struggle to fill our class, and that's great."
'Influenced by health' "Mission-focused" is a term that could be used to describe Termuhlen. The older of two children raised by working-class parents in Dayton, Ohio — her father was a tool-and-die maker and her mother worked in a physician's office — Termuhlen became interested in medicine at a young age. Her brother, Matthew Marcheski, was born prematurely and required around-the-clock care from her parents. Termuhlen's father was also ill, requiring hospitalization off and on, dying of complications after surgery for ulcer disease when she was 12. "I was definitely influenced by health,” she says. “I have friends that say from the time I was in kindergarten, or certainly by first or second grade, I was telling everybody I was going to be a doctor. I had this Barbie van, and sometimes they'd be in an accident or there'd
Meet Dr. Paula Termuhlen
of Southwest Michigan
Age: 58 Hometown: Dayton, Ohio
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Family: Spouse, David; three children, Christopher, 26 (Brown Deer, Wisconsin); Anka, 24, and Sidharth, 21 (both of Duluth, Minnesota); and one grandchild, Angelov, 2 How she'd spend a perfect day: "I love solving problems, figuring out a pathway forward for something that's been particularly challenging. So, for me, that's a great day. Another great day is when I get a chance to hang out with our medical students, our residents, and see the kind of incredible things our faculty are doing and know that we are budging the needle in a good direction. Those are really great days at work. Other than that, boy, find me out on a trail somewhere." What gives her joy: National parks and dogs. "I've visited 45 of the 63 national parks, including half of the national parks in Alaska and eight of the 15 least-visited national parks, including one north of the Arctic Circle. The goal is to get to all 63. Hopefully there'll be more by the time I get through the next few years." As for dogs: "We are dog lovers. We have Stella, which is a blue heeler mix and is 5 1/2 years." old, and Blue, who needs genetic testing because he's about every dog there is, but we believe is a lab mix, and he's 6." What surprised her about Kalamazoo: “How welcoming it is. I've moved around a lot, and I have never had people be so welcoming. Being a Midwest girl, you know, that's common, but Kalamazoo seems to do it in a way that really lets you feel a part of the community. And I say that explicitly about experiences where nobody knows that I'm the dean of WMed.”
be a tornado or something, and the Barbies would end up in the hospital. "I read everything I could possibly read about: How do you get into medical school? How do you be a doctor? What's the life of a doctor? All of that. I grew up living in the local public library. I'll always have a special place in my heart for public libraries.”
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Termuhlen was in the inaugural class of the Scholars Program at St. Louis University — a program that allowed her to apply to the university's medical school after her second year as an undergraduate. She was accepted to the medical school and went on to receive an undergraduate degree in biology. But after she became engaged to her now-husband David and wasn't sure where he, a biomedical engineer, would get a job, she gave up her acceptance to St. Louis University and applied to other medical schools. When David ultimately got a job in St. Louis, Termuhlen ended up going where she had originally intended and specialized in surgery. After graduating, Termuhlen completed her surgical training at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston. She then completed a surgical oncology fellowship at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center before joining the faculty at the University of Nebraska. She served on the faculty at the Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine in Ohio, where she became medical director of the High-Risk Breast Cancer Center. During this time, she and her husband adopted three children, two from Bulgaria and one from India. Because her career was taking the family to multiple locations, she says, her husband found opportunities to try new things in his career as well. "When I was matched to my residency in Texas,” she says, “he had the opportunity to either continue in the same field at the Texas Heart Institute or do what I call 'the family business,' which was to go into teaching. And so he began his teaching career, teaching math and science subjects at one of the Catholic high schools in Houston. He's done everything from teach part time and full time at high school, be adjunct faculty at local universities, and actually be a full-time, stayat-home dad."
A full plate Along the way, Termuhlen expanded her areas of specialty from surgical oncology to medical school education and rural health care and built a resume that's 20 pages long and includes dozens of published articles and papers, books and book chapters she's authored, and nearly 100 invited lectures, workshops and presentations. Her
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experiences at Duluth showed her there was a need for regional medical campuses — there are 155 in the U.S. — to be able to share best practices and their unique perspectives and challenges, so in 2018 she helped to create the online open-access Journal of Regional Medical Campuses, serving as its editor-inchief. That same year, she was elected to the inaugural class of the American College of Surgeons’ Academy of Master Surgeon Educators. It is evident that the woman has had a very full plate in her 36-year career. When asked about balancing it all, she laughs. "Well, I certainly wasn't doing all of that all at one time," she says. "I have advised a number of medical students over the years about career choices, particularly young women, and I tell them, 'You can have it all, but often you can't have it all at once.'" So it should surprise no one that Termuhlen's next step was to lead an entire medical school. According to Western Michigan University President Edward Montgomery, who chaired the 12-person selection committee charged with finding a new dean for WMed, Termuhlen "percolated strongly to the top as an exciting candidate" during a search process that was greatly complicated by Covid-19. The process, which normally would involve in-person interactions, had to be conducted virtually — everything from interviews and holding town hall meetings with candidates to hearing feedback from stakeholder groups. "Founding Dean Jenson had done an amazing job getting the school established, getting it fully accredited in the shortest time period possible and jumping through all those hoops,” Montgomery says. “It was an incredibly arduous ordeal. But now that we're established, the question becomes, What's Chapter 2? How do we build on that? What will be our particular points of distinction? Where do we want to be building new partnerships? "Dr. Termuhlen had a range of experiences, not only as a cancer surgeon and highly skilled in medicine, but also heading up the Duluth regional campus for the University of Minnesota. She had extensive experience not only getting that program going but building connectivity to the Native American
community, because there is a big indigenous community there. Diversity was very much part of how they built their program, and it had a track record of not only serving the community, but making sure it served all of the communities and providing doctors who look like the people that they serve. "That commitment to diversity was very important to us in the search process, as well as finding somebody who had a proven track record of building partnerships. WMed started as a partnership between Bronson Healthcare, Borgess Hospital (now Ascension Borgess) and the university and has always had a strong relationship with the community. Her ability to build those partnerships and her track record were key things in her selection." From Termuhlen's point of view, taking the helm at WMed was attractive for a number of reasons. "The easiest answer is I was running half a medical school and it seemed like the next step should be to run a full medical school,” she says. “Beyond that, the specific attraction of WMed was partly because of its location. Kalamazoo keeps us within easy driving distance of a lot of our family. But in particular I had been part of developing new medical school campuses in my past, and I know how messy startups can be. They're really messy. And there's a lot of stuff at the beginning that you have to do, some of which isn't very fun. But coming to WMed, I came into a place where a lot of the messiness is already over." That WMed had established itself as a community-based medical school strongly aligned with local hospitals was also a lure for Termuhlen. "It's a class of medical school that I personally have thrived in and I find to be very important in the United States," she says. "These schools work side-by-side with their community physicians, and that gives our students and residents the opportunity to learn truly what it's like to be a physician. “In my career I've worked for medical schools that are very research-intensive and doing all kinds of really complex clinical work. I've also worked for medical schools just like WMed, where we're very proud of producing physicians that are going to
be the doc on the corner that you're going to go see when you have a cold. I find this kind of an atmosphere really lends itself to creating a class of physicians that know from Day 1 exactly what it's like to be in practice, because most physicians practice in community settings; very few of us actually are part of medical schools." Finally, Termuhlen says WMed's newness affords her the chance to "do the fun part": molding the school's work of integrating its core values of diversity, equity and inclusion into its future growth. "We're not weighed down by our history, like … long-established schools," she says, "so we've been able to start from the getgo with some of the most contemporary best practices that are out there. And that's actually another exciting reason to be here." The $300 million that WMed will receive from the Empowering Futures Gift was "a vote of confidence" in Termuhlen, according to Montgomery. "The gift not only gave a vote of confidence to what had already been established by Dean Jensen, but also a vote of complete optimism for the future, that the medical school will continue to play a key role in our community and produce the cutting-edge doctors of the future," he says. "And that it will not only do great science and great medicine but also look like and reflect our community's diversity." When the gift was announced in June, Termuhlen praised it as integral to boosting those efforts, saying, "We need to create a workforce that reflects the populations we serve. That means building diversity, equity and inclusion into our medical school, not just with our students but with our faculty, residents and staff. This will not just transform WMed but can also help to transform Kalamazoo." Just how WMed will change the community and medical education is yet to be seen, but Termuhlen, who admits to having a competitive streak, is ready to lead the charge. "I love being the underdog, if you want to call it that."
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TheArts Spotlighting greater Kalamazoo's arts community
Into the Woods
Oct. 1–10 WMU University Theatre Get ready to be enchanted with Western Michigan University's outdoor presentation of this Tony Award-winning take on favorite storybook characters and tales. With music and lyrics penned by Stephen Sondheim, the musical intertwines the plots of several Brothers Grimm fairy tales, exploring the consequences of the characters' wishes and the choices they make. The show will be staged by University Theatre outside at the York Courtyard Theatre, behind WMU’s Gilmore Theatre Complex. Patrons will need to bring their own blankets and chairs to sit on, wear masks and social distance. The show is suited to audiences 13 and older. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Oct. 1 & 9 and 2 p.m. Oct. 3 & 10. Tickets are $18–$20 and available by calling 387-6222 or at wmich.edu/theatre.
Songs for a New World Oct. 8–24 Farmers Alley Theatre
Broadway star and Kalamazoo native Jerry Dixon will direct Songs for a New World, the first post-pandemic show at Farmers Alley Theatre, in downtown Kalamazoo. This combination musical/song cycle will feature a multicultural cast as they take audiences on a journey from the deck of a Spanish sailing ship to 30 stories high above Manhattan and all the way to the moon. The show will feature professional performers Cara Palombo (Honky Tonk Angels at Farmers Alley Theatre), Nattalyee Randall (the national tour of Vocalosity), Jos N. Banks (the national tour of Kinky Boots) and Matthew Stoke (soloist on AIDA Cruise Lines). The theater promises a performance that reflects the post-pandemic world. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Oct. 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 21, 22 & 23 and 2 p.m. Oct. 10, 17 & 24. Tickets are $39, or $15 for students with ID, and can be purchased by calling 343-2727 or online at farmersalleytheatre.com.
Oct. 21–24 Kalamazoo College’s Festival Playhouse Audiences have the chance to glimpse the work of rising playwright and actress Rebecca Chan with the performance of Unzipped at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 21–24 in Kalamazoo College’s Balch Playhouse, in the Light Fine Arts Building. Chan wrote the script and music and also stars in this one-woman show of alternating music and monologues that explore the perception of East Asians in the dominant United States culture and Chan's own coming-of-age as a queer Chinese-American. The production, which is part of the Festival Playhouse's Senior Performance Series, will also feature set and projection design by Kalamazoo College student Angela Mammel. Tickets are $10–$15 and can be purchased by calling 337-7333 or online at festivalplayhouse.kzoo.edu. 26 | ENCORE OCTOBER 2021
Many venues are requiring attendees to provide proof of Covid-19 vaccination and wear masks for entry to performances. For all the shows and events highlighted in this section, please check with the specific venue for its requirements.
The Rocky Horror Show Oct. 22–31 Barn Theatre
Pretty much everyone has felt they were in a time warp the past 18 months (thanks to Covid-19), so the season finale for the Barn Theatre is particularly appropriate: The Rocky Horror Show. The gender-bending rock romp tells the story of a conservative, engaged couple who stumble upon a castle run by a transvestite who is on the eve of unveiling his latest creation. Among the cast members are Alan Palmer as Dr. Frank'N'Furter, Brendan Ragotzy as Riff Raff, Penelope Alex as Magenta, Patrick Hunter as Eddie and Steven Burright as the Narrator. “Rocky is always so much creative fun for our company and the audience, it is time to bring it back, especially after the past year," says Ragotzy, who is also the show's producer. Show times are 8 p.m. Oct. 22–24 & 29–31 and 5 p.m. Oct. 23– 24 & Oct. 30-31 at the Barn, in Augusta. Dedicated Rocky Horror fans are encouraged to come to the show in costume and to dance “The Time Warp” but are asked to leave all props at home. Tickets are $41 and can be purchased by calling 731–4121 or online at barntheatreschool.org.
Oct. 29–Nov. 6 WMU University Theatre Secrets, friendship and survival are at the heart of the University Theatre's production of Sweat, a Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Lynne Nottage. The play follows a group of friends who have spent their lives sharing drinks, secrets and laughs while working together on the factory floor. But when layoffs and picket lines begin to chip away at their trust, the friends find themselves pitted against each other in a heart-wrenching fight to stay afloat. The show will be staged at the Williams Theatre on the WMU campus. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Oct. 29 & Nov. 4, 5 & 6 and 2 p.m. Oct. 31. Tickets are $18–$20 and available by calling 387–6222 or online at wmich.edu/theatre.
COMEDY Crawlspace Comedy Theatre October performances
No doubt we all could use a laugh these days. Thanks to Crawlspace Comedy Theatre, we'll have several in-person improv shows this month to make us chuckle. Whirled News Tonight, Chicago's longest-running independent improv show, lands in Kalamazoo this month, with shows on Oct. 1 and 2 at Crawlspace, 315 W. Michigan Ave. The news satire show invites audience members to clip articles from newspapers and magazines that the cast then improvises on. Tickets are $15. Pop Scholars, a four-man improv team from Grand Rapids, will bring their brand of humor to the Crawlspace stage Oct. 9, while Small Victories, a comedic ensemble from Southwest Michigan, will perform Oct. 23. Each show costs $15 to attend. Finally, Kalamazoo's longtime improv troupe, Crawlspace Eviction, will perform its improvisational and sketch comedy Oct. 29–30. Tickets are $10. All shows will start at 7 p.m., and proof of vaccination against Covid-19 will be required to attend. For more information, visit crawlspacecomedy.com. w w w.encorekalamazoo.com | 27
Music Mondays Monday evenings Livestreamed
You can get to know some of the area’s most talented musicians from the comfort of your couch Monday evenings through livestreamed performances presented by the Connecting Chords Music Festival. The free concerts begin at 7 p.m. and are broadcast from La Luna Recording Studio in Kalamazoo's Edison neighborhood. October's lineup features: • Frank Silva & Terry Lower, woodwind musician performing jazz standards with piano accompaniment, Oct. 4. • Dede Alder & Josh Holcomb, folk duo, Oct. 11. • Arturo Ziraldo, violinist and multiinstrumentalist, Oct. 18. For more information or to access the livestreamed concerts, visit ccmusicfest.com.
Oct. 9 Dalton Center Recital Hall Clarinetist Anthony McGill, who was the New York Philharmonic's first African American principal player, will perform and discuss his career experiences at 3 p.m. Oct. 9. McGill, one of classical music’s most recognizable figures, has performed as a soloist with top orchestras and chamber ensembles throughout North America, including the San Diego and Baltimore symphonies. McGill also serves as an ardent advocate for helping music educators reach underserved communities and for addressing issues of diversity, equity and inclusion in classical music. He performed at the inauguration of President Barack Obama, alongside violinist Itzhak Perlman, cellist Yo-Yo Ma and pianist Gabriela Montero. McGill will be joined at Western Michigan University by a pianist to be named, and the event will be moderated by Bradley Wong, retired director of the WMU School of Music. Tickets are $30 and available online at fontanamusic.org. 28 | ENCORE OCTOBER 2021
Matthew Whitaker Quartet Oct. 10 Dalton Center Recital Hall
Matthew Whitaker is a 21-year-old keyboardist from Hackensack, New Jersey, who was born three months premature and blind and fought his way to health. At 3, he was picking out nursery rhymes on a toy piano, and by 5 he was taking piano lessons at The Filomen M. D’Agostino Greenberg Music School, in New York City, where he learned to play and read Braille music as well. At 10, he was the opening performer for Stevie Wonder's induction into the Apollo Theater's Hall of Fame. You can witness Whitaker's talent in person or online when he and his jazz quartet perform at 4 p.m. Oct. 10 as part of The Gilmore's 2021 Rising Stars Series. Tickets for the in-person performance at Western Michigan University are $25, or $7 for students. Tickets for the virtual concert are available on a "name your own price" basis. To purchase tickets, visit thegilmore.org.
KSO Masterworks Opening Night Oct. 16 Miller Auditorium
A renowned pianist and a commissioned work by local cellist Elizabeth Start are on tap for the first performance of the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra's 2021-22 season. The program will begin the premiere of Traces, by Start. Traces was commissioned by the KSO for its 100th anniversary and inspired by strong, extraordinary women in Kalamazoo's history. (The KSO was founded in 1921 by Leta Snow.) Richard Goode, an American classical pianist known for his interpretations of works by Mozart and Beethoven, will then perform Mozart's Concerto No. 25 for Piano and Orchestra. The program ends with one of Dvorák’s best-loved symphonies, Symphony No. 8 in G Major, Op. 88, full of singing melodies and folk-inspired rhythms. Tickets are $19–$67 and $10 for students and can be purchased by calling 387-2300 or online at kalamazoosymphony.com.
Leyla McCalla Oct. 21 First Baptist Church
"Multi" is an adjective used a lot when describing Leyla McCalla. The Haitian American singer is multilingual — she sings in French, Haitian Creole and English — and a multiinstrumentalist who plays plays cello, tenor banjo and guitar. And Kalamazoo audiences will have a chance to see this multi-talented artist at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 21 as part of the Connecting Chords Music Festival. A founding member of Our Native Daughters and alumna of the Grammy Award-winning Carolina Chocolate Drops, McCalla's music is deeply influenced by traditional Creole, Cajun and Haitian music, as well as by American jazz and folk. Her music reflects her eclectic and diverse life experiences, as well as her work unearthing history of the cultures she has experienced. Tickets are $5–20, with a pay-what-you-can option and are available for purchase at ccmusicfest.com or at the door. Masks will be required for all patrons.
Kalamazoo Concert Band
Oct. 23 Chenery Auditorium
Because of Covid-19, the Kalamazoo Concert Band has had a long hiatus from performing, but it is ready to emerge with a joyful homage to those who kept the world turning during the pandemic. Joy from Awakening: A Tribute to Our Essential Workers will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 23 at Chenery. The free concert will feature a lineup of traditional and contemporary pieces reflecting a celebration of returning to the stage while honoring those essential workers who have toiled tirelessly during the pandemic. Caleb Piersma, a bassoonist from Otsego High School and the winner of the KCB's 2020 Youth Solo Competition, will also perform. For more information, visit kalamazooconcertband.org.
Maxwell Street Klezmer Band Oct. 24 Congregation of Moses
The Maxwell Street Klezmer Band, from Chicago, which tags itself "the premier Jewish music and cultural experience," will bring its lively music to the Congregation of Moses Oct. 24. Presented by the Connecting Chords Music Festival, Maxwell Street's 4 p.m. performance will feature the lively Eastern European Jewish folk music combined with Old World melodies and Jazz Age rhythms that the band has been playing across the globe since 1983. Tickets are $5–$20, with a pay-what-you-can option, and are available for purchase at mfsm.us or at the door.
KSO's Spooky Symphony Oct. 31 Chenery Auditorium
An event perfect for families and those who just love bewitching music, this Spooky Symphony will be brewed up by the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra at 3 p.m. Oct. 31 at Chenery Auditorium. Attendees are invited to wear their Halloween costumes for the program, which will be conducted by KSO Resident Conductor Daniel Brier and feature J.S. Bach’s Toccata and Fugue, Bernard Herrmann’s music for the movie Psycho, and Manuel de Falla’s El Amor Brujo. Tickets are $10–$25 and can be purchased at by calling 387-2300 or online kalamazoosymphony.com.
For more music events, see the Music section of our Events of Note, on page 32.
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Safer at Home: Pandemic Paintings
Ginny Ruffner: Reforestation of the Imagination
Through Nov. 14 Monroe-Brown Gallery, WMU
While it hasn't . been hard for most to remember the events of the past 18 months, Los Angeles-based artist Esther Pearl Watson has November 1, 2020 Altadena, CA., 2021 captured life since Covid-19 in a new exhibition of paintings on display at the Monroe-Brown Gallery of Western Michigan University’s Richmond Center for Visual Arts. Safer at Home: Pandemic Paintings features more than 100 paintings that chronologically recount the artist's memories of living through the height of the Covid-19 pandemic in Los Angeles. Beginning in early 2020 with talk of a new virus to mask mandates to devastating forest fires in California, Watson chronicles major events of the last year through her paintings, revealing the raw human emotions experienced. Gallery hours are noon–4 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday. For more information, visit wmich.edu/art/galleries.
Tsai Hsi Hung Open Rehearsal Oct. 8 Dalton Center Multimedia Room
Choreographer Tsai Hsi Hung, who has gone from being a choreographer for the Beijing TV show Passion for Dance, to being selected by the Joffrey Academy of Dance for their Spring 2020 Winning Works performance in Chicago, is bringing her talents to Western Michigan University this month through its Great Works Dance Project. Hung is the 2020 Winner of WMU's National Great Works Choreography Competition, which identifies emerging choreographers and brings their work to campus. While at WMU, Hung will stage dance masterworks, teach master classes and conduct seminars for students and the general public about the historical significance of the dances. The public can see Hung in action at an open rehearsal at 5 p.m. Oct. 8 in the Dalton Center Multimedia Room. For more information, visit wmich.edu/dance/events.
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Through Dec. 5 Kalamazoo Institute of Arts
Call it a fusion of technology and fire. In this exhibition, glass artist Ginny Ruffner has combined her traditional glass sculpture with augmented reality (AR) technology to create an interactive viewer experience. Visitors to the exhibition will use a downloadable app on their phones or tablets that superimposes digital information over seemingly barren sculptures, creating two distinct realities to explore. KIA hours are 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Wednesday–Saturday and noon–4 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $5, or $2 for students and free for members as well as children through age 12, school groups and active military personnel. For more information, visit kiarts.org
Dancing with the WMU/Kazoo Stars
Oct. 30 Dalton Center
This popular event, in which local notables pair up with Western Michigan University dance students for a competition that raises money for scholarships, returns to WMU's Dalton Center at 8 p.m. Oct. 30. The roster of dancers was still being finalized at press time, but if past events are any indication, the event promises to show audiences that people they never knew could dance can dance after all. This year's program will include new dance genres such as dance battles and pieces from musical theater, according to Megan Slayter, chair of WMU's dance department. The event will be held in the Dalton Center’s Multimedia Room and its Recital Hall. For ticket prices, as well as to see the celebrity lineup, visit wmich.edu/dance/events. For more dance events, see the Dance section of our Events of Note on page 32.
VISUAL ARTS Todd Gray: Crossing the Waters of Space, Time and History Through Jan. 2 Kalamazoo Institute of Arts
With his signature style of using found picture frames and stacked images, Todd Gray explores the impacts of colonialism on Black consciousness in this exhibition. This photo-based work, in which Gray uses images from his private archive, looks at issues of Black masculinity, the diaspora from Africa, and contemporary and historical examinations of power. The exhibition debuts three new works by Gray and some of the artist’s personal sketches, as well as a curated selection of books and the artist’s musical playlist. For more information, visit kiarts.org.
Oct. 1 Downtown Kalamazoo If taking a stroll on a crisp autumn evening to experience art sounds inviting, then the Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo's monthly Art Hop has you covered. Art Hop, which runs from 6–8 p.m., is a free event that features a variety of artists' work in various locations in downtown Kalamazoo as well as live music and the chance to visit downtown businesses. Don't know where to go or what to see? No problem: The Arts Council has an app that provides a guide and map of Art Hop sites, information about participating artists, and walking directions. Grab an adult beverage within downtown's Central Commons Refreshment Area and enjoy it while you stroll and shop through downtown. For more information or to access the app, visit kalamazooarts.org.
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For more visual art exhibits and events, see the Visual Arts section of our Events of Note on page 32.
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Please Note: Due to the COVID–19 virus, some of these events may have been canceled after press time. Please check with the venue and organizations for up–to–date information.
PERFORMING ARTS THEATER Plays Sweat — A group of friends and co-workers find themselves pitted against each other in a heartwrenching fight to stay afloat, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 29 & Nov. 4, 5 & 6, 2 p.m. Oct. 31, Williams Theatre, WMU, 387-6222, wmich.edu/theatre. Musicals Into the Woods — This Sondheim classic takes everyone's favorite storybook characters and brings them together in a timeless musical, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 1 & 9, 2 p.m. Oct. 3 & 10, York Courtyard Theatre by Gilmore Theatre Complex, WMU, 387-6222, wmich. edu/theatre. Songs for a New World — A multicultural cast takes the audience from the deck of a Spanish sailing ship to 30 stories high above Manhattan and all the way to the moon, Oct. 8-24, Farmers Alley Theatre, 221 Farmers Alley, 343-2727, farmersalleytheatre.com. Unzipped — Kalamazoo College’s Festival Playhouse presents this original show of alternating music and monologues that explores the perception of East Asians in the dominant United States culture, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 21-24, Light Fine Arts Building, 129 Thompson St., festivalplayhouse.kzoo.edu. The Rocky Horror Show — A parody of old horror and science-fiction movies combined with a rock show tells the story of a conservative married couple who stumble upon a castle run by a transvestite, 8 p.m. Oct. 22–24 & 29–31, 5 p.m. Oct. 23-24 & Oct. 3031, Barn Theatre, 13351 W. M-96, Augusta, 731-4121, barntheatreschool.org. Other Original and Classic Scripts from the Golden Age of Broadcasting — Presented by All Ears Theatre, Kalamazoo’s radio drama company, 7:30 p.m. Sundays, 102.1 FM WMUK. MUSIC Bands & Solo Artists Bell’s Eccentric Cafe Back Room Concerts — Mustard Plug, Oct. 1; Pokey Lafarge, Oct. 8; Zoso: The Ultimate Led Zeppelin Experience, Oct. 10; Tejano Music Night Part Two with JR Aldaco and the Midwest Allstars, Oct. 16; Bob Mould Solo Electric: Distortion and Blue Hearts!, Oct. 17; Satsang, Oct. 24; I am Kawehi, Oct. 29; all shows begin at 8:30 p.m., Bell’s Back Room, 355 E. Kalamazoo Ave., 382-2332, bellsbeer.com. Together Again — A new folk-music revue around the fire, 8 p.m. Oct. 1, 2, 8 & 9, The New Vic Theatre, 134 East Vine St., thenewvictheatre.org. The Skeletones — WMU’s R&B band, 5:30–8:30 p.m. Oct. 9, Bates Alley, behind 200 E. Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo, downtownkalamazoo.org. 32 | ENCORE OCTOBER 2021
Tommy Emmanuel — Australian guitarist, songwriter and occasional singer, with special guest Richard Smith, 8 p.m. Oct. 12, State Theatre, 404 S. Burdick St., kazoostate.com. REO Speedwagon — High-energy rock show, 7 p.m. Oct. 29, State Theatre, kazoostate.com. Almost Queen — This tribute band plays the music of the rock group Queen, 8 p.m. Oct. 30, State Theatre, kazoostate.com. Orchestra, Chamber, Jazz, Vocal & More Frank Silva & Tommy Lower (Livestream) — Duo performing jazz standards, presented by the Connecting Chords Music Festival, 7 p.m. Oct. 4, ccmusicfest.com. Anthony McGill — Fontana Chamber Arts presents the clarinetist who was the New York Philharmonic's first African American principal player, 3 p.m., Oct. 9, Dalton Center Recital Hall, WMU, fontanamusic.org. Gilmore Rising Star Matthew Whitaker — This 21-year-old jazz keyboardist from New Jersey who was born three months prematurely and is blind performs with his quartet, 4-5:30 p.m. Oct. 10, Dalton Center Recital Hall, thegilmore.org. Dede Alder & Josh Holcomb (Livestream) — Folk duo presented by the Connecting Chords Music Festival, 7 p.m. Oct. 11, ccmusicfest.com. Masterworks Opening Night — World-renowned pianist Richard Goode joins the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra for a program featuring music by Dvorák and Mozart, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 16, Miller Auditorium, WMU, 387-2300. Arturo Ziraldo (Livestream) — Performance by the violinist and multi-instrumentalist presented by the Connecting Chords Music Festival, 7 p.m. Oct. 18, ccmusicfest.com. Joy from Awakening: A Tribute to Our Essential Workers — The Kalamazoo Concert Band’s homage to the pandemic’s essential workers, 7:30–9:30 p.m., Oct. 23, Chenery Auditorium, 714 S. Westnedge, kalamazooconcertband.org. Maxwell Street Klezmer Band — Presented by the Connecting Chords Music Festival, 7 p.m. Oct. 24, Congregation of Moses, 2501 Stadium Drive, 3822910, ccmusicfest.com. Leyla MCalla — Haitian-American singer and multiinstrumentalist, presented by the Connecting Chords Music Festival, 7 p.m. Oct. 25, ccmusicfest.com. Spooky Symphony — The KSO presents a Halloween concert featuring J.S. Bach’s Toccata and Fugue, Bernard Herrmann’s music for Psycho and Manuel de Falla’s bewitched El Amor Brujo, 3 p.m. Oct. 31, Chenery Auditorium, 387-2300. DANCE Tsai Hsi Hung — Great Works open rehearsal, 5 p.m. Oct. 8, Dalton Center, WMU, wmich.edu/dance/events. Insite/Outside — Site-specific student pieces performed by first-year dancers, 2 p.m. Oct. 10, starting in Miller Plaza, WMU, wmich.edu/dance/events. Dancing with the WMU/Kazoo Stars — Local celebrities and their dance-student partners compete to raise money for WMU dance-student scholarships, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 30, Dalton Center, WMU, wmich.edu/ dance/events. COMEDY Whirled News Tonight — Chicago’s longest-running improvisation show, where improvisers craft sketches out of news stories that audience members are invited
to clip from local and national publications, 7 p.m. Oct. 1–2, Crawlspace Theatre, 315 W. Michigan Ave., crawlspacecomedy.com. Pop Scholars — A Grand Rapids-based four-man improv comedy team, 7 p.m. Oct. 9, Crawlspace Theatre, crawlspacecomedy.com. Small Victories — This group performs long- and short-form improv with audience interaction, 7 p.m. Oct. 23, Crawlspace Theatre, crawlspacecomedy.com. Crawlspace Eviction — Kalamazoo comedy team weaves together short-form, long-form and sketch comedy, 7 p.m. Oct. 29, Crawlspace Theatre, crawlspacecomedy.com. VISUAL ARTS Kalamazoo Institute of Arts 314 S. Park St., 349-7775, kiarts.org Exhibitions Sösaku-hanga: Creative Printmaking in Japan — Modern-era Japanese printmaking in which artists control the entire process of design, carving, printing and promotion of their work, through Oct. 17. It’s a David Small World — Through illustrations by Kalamazoo-area artist and Caldecott Medal winner David Small, this exhibition explores the process of creating a children’s book, through Nov. 29. Ginny Ruffner: Reforestation of the Imagination — Viewers are able to explore this reality-bending presentation that fuses glass blowing, augmented reality and drawing by using an app created for this exhibition, through Dec. 5. Todd Gray: Crossing the Waters of Space, Time and History — With found frames and stacked images from Gray’s private archive, this exhibition considers the impacts of colonialism on Black consciousness, through Jan. 2. Unveiling American Genius — Abstract and contemporary works from the KIA’s permanent collection, emphasizing stories that African American, Latinx and other artists have told about our culture, art and history, through 2022. Events ARTbreak — Program about art, artists and exhibitions: Visual Thinking Strategies, Jessica Sundstrom explains the importance of these strategies for students, educators and caregivers, Oct. 5; Chinese Decorated Letter Papers, talk by Ohio State University Ph.D. student Yifan Li., Oct. 19; sessions begin at noon, KIA Auditorium. Forging Islamic Science — An assistant professor of history at the University of California, San Diego, gives a virtual lecture on the many ways forged paintings undermine our understanding of Islamic science and our ability to understand how the past influences us today, 10 a.m. Oct. 13. Rock, Paper, Scissors: Chinese Art at the Crow Museum of Asian Art — In this virtual lecture, Jacqueline Chao, senior curator of Asian art at the Crow Museum, will share her insights on Asian art through the playful metaphor of rock (jade collections), paper (intricate ink paintings) and scissors (contemporary installations that respond to their environments), 6 p.m. Oct. 14. Book Discussion: Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants — Drawing on her life as an indigenous scientist, a mother and a woman, author Robin Wall
ENCORE EVENTS Kimmerer shows how other living beings offer gifts and lessons, 2-3 p.m. Oct. 20, KIA Auditorium. Motawi Tileworks Show and Sale — Motawi Tileworks, in Ann Arbor, makes handcrafted tiles as art pieces for residential and commercial installations; tiles will be for sale at the KIA on Oct. 23. Richmond Center for Visual Arts Western Michigan University, 387-2436, wmich.edu/art Safer at Home: Pandemic Paintings — Works by Esther Pearl Watson reflecting pandemic experiences, through Nov. 14, Monroe-Brown Gallery. Wild Corporation — Midwest premiere of artist Mimi Kato’s work combining photography and performance to explore gendered power dynamics in large-format digital prints and surreal sculptural objects, through Nov. 14, Monroe-Brown Gallery. Gardens in the Art & Life of David Small and Sarah Stewart — Celebrating the works of Michiganbased artists and authors David Small and Sarah Stewart, through Nov. 14, Netzorg and Kerr Gallery. Other Venues It’s a David Small World: The Graphic Novels — Original drawings by illustrator/author David Small from his graphic novels Stitches and Home After Dark, through Oct. 29, Kalamazoo Books Arts Center, 326 W. Kalamazoo Ave., Suite 103A, kalbookarts.org. Art Hop — Displays of art at various locations, 6–8 p.m. Oct. 1, downtown Kalamazoo, 342-5059, kalamazooarts.org. Arts & Eats Tour — Self-driving tour of art, local food and agriculture of rural regions in Allegan, Barry, Calhoun, Kalamazoo and Van Buren counties, 10 a.m.– 5 p.m. Oct. 16 & 17, artsandeats.org. LIBRARY & LITERARY EVENTS Comstock Township Library 6130 King Highway, 345-0136, comstocklibrary.org Spooky Treats & How to Make Them — Join librarian and local artist Lissa Greene as she shows how to make spooky treats in this online pre-recorded video, Oct. 4–Nov. 1. Kalamazoo Public Library 553-7800, kpl.gov Page Turners Book Club — Zoom discussion of The Women Who Flew for Hitler, by Claire Culley, 6:30 p.m. Oct. 4; registration required. Wild Honey Yoga: Into Being — An accessible, gentle yoga practice, 10 a.m. Oct. 7 & 11, Eastwood Branch, 112 Gayle Ave.; registration required. It’s Crime We Talk: A True Crime Book Club — Zoom discussion of Last Call: A True Story of Love, Lust, and Murder in Queer New York, by Elon Green, 6:30 p.m. Aug. 10; registration required. Dance and Movement with Heather Mitchell — Rootead’s Heather Mitchell will lead three sessions of movement through a combination of Zumba and dance, 6 p.m. Oct. 18, Eastwood Branch. Meet the Author: Caitlin Horrocks — Talk and reading by the author of Life Among the Terranauts, 6 p.m. Oct. 19, Oshtemo Branch, 7265 W. Main St. Classics Revisited — Discussion of The House of the Spirits, by Isabel Allende, 2:30–4 p.m. Oct. 21, Central Library, 315 S. Rose St. Halloween: A Haunted History — Join a viewing party (costumes encouraged) at the Central Library or the Oshtemo, Powell or Eastwood branch as author,
actor, motivational speaker and paranormal researcher Dustin Pari gives a virtual lecture on Halloween history and lore, 5:30 p.m. Oct. 25; registration required. Urban Fiction Book Club — Discussion of Tove: No Ordinary Love, by Neyrey, 6 p.m. Oct. 26, Alma Powell Branch, 1000 W. Paterson St.; registration required. Parchment Community Library 401 S. Riverview Drive, 343-7747, parchmentlibrary.org Parchment Book Group — 6:30 p.m. Oct. 4. Mystery Book Club — 4 p.m. Oct. 18. Michigan’s Haunted Lighthouses — Presentation by Michigan author Dianna Stampfler, followed by a book signing, 7 p.m. Oct. 28.
Portage District Library 300 Library Lane, 329-4544, portagelibrary.info The library is temporarily offering services at 5528 Portage Road while the building at 300 Library Lane is closed for renovations. Hours: 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday– Thursday, 9 a.m.–6 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Saturday. International Mystery Book Discussion — Discussion of Last Rituals, by Yrsa Sigurðardóttir, 7 p.m. Oct. 14. Level Up: Online Game Night — Play online family-friendly games over Zoom, 7–10 p.m. Oct. 16; registration required. Open for Discussion — Drop-in discussion of The Pull of the Stars, by Emma Donoghue, 10:30 a.m. Oct. 19.
LIVE MUSIC IS BACK! MASTERWORKS OPENING NIGHT
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YOU WE CREATE. CONNECT. ACGK membership has its benefits!
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“I am extremely proud to be a part of our richly diverse and uniquely talented arts community. My membership in the Arts Council is an essential way for me to stay connected.”
Become part of a network of members that share a similiar respect and passion for the arts in our community. Plus, access opportunities to showcase and promote yourself! Each membership includes an: • Online profile and listing in directory • Unlimited event listings on our website arts calendar. • Access to calls for work/calls for artists. How can we help you?
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EVENTS ENCORE Book Discussion — Discussion of Dune, by Frank Herbert, 7 p.m. Oct. 19; the first 40 people to attend the book discussion will receive a ticket to a private showing at 3:30 p.m. Oct. 23 of the novel’s movie adaptation. Documentary and Donuts — Watch Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made and enjoy locally made donuts, 6:30 p.m. Oct. 20; registration required. Writing Humor in Fantasy and Science Fiction — Michigan native and fantasy/science fiction author Jim C. Hines talks about how and why to include humor in your stories, 6:30 p.m. Oct. 21. Richland Community Library 8951 Park St., 629-9085, richlandlibrary.org Mystery Club Take-and-Solve — Pick up a mystery kit, take it home and see if you have what it takes to solve the mystery, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Oct. 6. The History of Faygo Soda — Author and Faygo soda historian Joe Grimm discusses the history of one of Michigan's most popular soda brands, 7 p.m. Oct. 7; registration required. Team Game Night: The Price is Right — Bring your team for game night, 7 p.m. Oct. 14; registration required. Pumpkin Decorating Contest — Drop off your carved/decorated pumpkin at the library, Oct. 19–23; vote for favorite pumpkins, Oct. 26–28; and join a celebration with hot chocolate and treats, where winners are announced and prizes given, 6 p.m. Oct. 28. Books with Friends Book Club — Zoom discussion of The Four Winds, by Kristin Hannah, 7 p.m. Oct. 21; registration required. MUSEUMS Southwest Michigan Cultural Membership Exchange — Visit 6 Southwest Michigan community institutions for one price (Air Zoo, Binder Park Zoo, Gilmore Car Museum, Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, Kalamazoo Nature Center and W.K. Kellogg Bird Sanctuary), and enjoy shared membership benefits for the entire month of October, swmimemberexchange.com.
Air Zoo Main Building: 6151 Portage Road, Portage, 3826555, airzoo.org Women in Air & Space — Featuring some of the earliest women in aviation, including Amelia Earhart; Harriet Quimby; Bessie Coleman; Katherine Wright, the Wright Brothers' younger sister; and Air Zoo cofounder Suzanne Parish, the first female licensed pilot. Restoration and Exhibits at the Flight Discovery Center — See efforts to restore two World War II aircraft recovered from Lake MIchigan, talk with the team and ask questions about their work, 3101 E. Milham Ave. Gilmore Car Museum 6865 Hickory Road, Hickory Corners, 671-5089, gilmorecarmuseum.org DeutscheMarques Oktoberfest — A gathering of German cars, owners and enthusiasts, along with some German beer, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 9. Congress of Motorcars — Featuring vehicles produced in 1942 and earlier, 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Oct. 15– 16, with a driving tour Oct. 15 and rides for guests and vehicle awards Oct. 16. Gilmore Fall Color Tour — 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Oct. 16. Kalamazoo Valley Museum 230 N. Rose St., 373-7990, kalamazoomuseum.org The Global Language of Headwear: Cultural Identity, Rites of Passage, and Spirituality — A selection of 89 hats and headdresses from a collection of over 1,300 that speak to cultural ties and identity, through Oct. 14. Beth Bradfish Sound Sculpture — Manipulate wiremesh screens and sounds for an auditory experience that blends arts and sciences. The Walker Brothers — A virtual exhibit about Ryan and Keith Walker, who were afflicted with the rare genetic disorder Hunter syndrome, and their lasting impact on family, friends, inclusive education and civil rights in Kalamazoo, kvmexhibits.org/2020/ walkerbrothers.
Filling in the Gaps: The Art of Murphy Darden — The artwork of Kalamazoo resident and nonagenarian Murphy Darden explores local history, civil rights, the enduring legacy of hate, and America’s forgotten Black cowboys, kvmexhibits.org/murphy-darden. NATURE Binder Park Zoo 7400 Division Drive, Battle Creek, 979-1351, binderparkzoo.org Cheetah Choktoberfest de Zoo, Uncorked! — Cheetah Chase 5K (run or walk), 9-11 a.m.; Festival at Zoo Pavilions, noon– 6 p.m. Oct. 2, with live music, bike riding, hiking, virtual auction and more. Kalamazoo Nature Center 7000 N. Westnedge Ave., 381-1574, naturecenter.org Public Astronomy Observing Sessions — Hosted by the Kalamazoo Astronomical Society: Highlighting the Galaxies of Autumn, Oct. 9; Venus, Jupiter & the Moon, Oct. 23; both sessions will be held from 7–11 p.m.; check kasonline.org for possible weather-based cancellations. Candlelight Night Hike — One-mile hike under the Hunter’s Moon, 7–9 p.m. Oct. 20; registration required. Fall Color Golf Cart Tour — Tour KNC’s Habitat Haven Trail by golf cart, 10 a.m., 11:15 a.m., 12:30 p.m. & 3 p.m. Oct. 9; registration required. Kellogg Bird Sanctuary 12685 East C Ave., Augusta, 671-2510, firstname.lastname@example.org Tales and Trails: Bats — In this collaboration with the Richland Library, pages from The Bat Book, by Charlotte Milner, will be posted along the sanctuary’s paved path for families to read as they walk, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. through Oct. 31. Birds and Coffee Chat Online — Grab your morning beverage and learn about a new bird species in Southwest Michigan, 10 a.m. Oct. 13; registration required. Arts & Eats — Tour the grounds and view some local art as part of the Arts & Eats Tour, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Oct. 16 & 17, artsandeats.org.
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EVENTS ENCORE Other Astrophotography Night — Learn about the art of photographing the night sky as Kalamazoo Astronomical Society shutterbugs show their best photos, 7–9:15 p.m. Oct. 1, Kalamazoo Math and Science Center, 600 W. Vine St., Room 400, kasonline.org MISCELLANEOUS Downtown Skeletour — 65-plus skeletons in wild and wacky poses throughout downtown Kalamazoo, Oct. 1-31, downtownkalamazoo.org. Kalamazoo Farmers Market — Local vendors selling fresh fruits, veggies, baked goods, farm-fresh meats and cheeses and more, 7 a.m.–2 p.m. Saturdays (through Nov. 20), 8 a.m.–1 p.m. Tuesdays (through Oct. 19) and noon–5 p.m. Thursdays (through Oct. 21), Mayors’ Riverfront Park, 251 Mills St., Kalamazoo, pfcmarkets.com. Portage Farmers Market — 10 a.m–2 p.m. Sundays, through Oct. 24, Portage City Hall, portagemi.gov/643/ Farmers-Market. Nightmare Realm Terror Park — A Halloween season haunted attraction, 7 p.m.–12:30 a.m. Oct. 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23, 28 & 31, 23492 Red Arrow Highway, Mattawan, with parking at Paw Paw High School, 30609 Red Arrow Highway, 269-259-0904, nightmarerealmkalamazoo.com. Fall Festival — Horse-drawn carriage rides, cooking classes, crafts and historical demonstrations, 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Oct. 3, Celery Flats, 7335 Garden Lane, portagemi.gov.
Food Truck Rally — Local food truck vendors and live music by Carrie McFerrin, 6–9 p.m. Oct. 8, parking lot of former Wayside West, 3406 Stadium Drive, foodtruckrallykz.com. Pumpkin Carving by John Angevine — Watch as the artist transforms pumpkins into works of art with realistic figures, original designs and intricate details, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Oct. 9, 226 S. Kalamazoo Mall, downtownkalamazoo.org. Fall Stamp & Cover Show — With dealers buying and selling stamps, covers, postcards and supplies from around the world, stamp exhibits and youth exhibits and free stamps for kids, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Oct. 9, 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Oct. 10, Kalamazoo County Expo Center, 2900 Lake St., 269-375-6188. Kalamazoo Record & CD Show — Thousands of new and used records and CDs to buy, sell and trade with collectors, 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Oct. 10, Kalamazoo County Expo Center, rerunrecords.com. Breaking the Stigma: African American Mental Health Symposium — African American mental health will be the focus of thistwo-day virtual symposium with the theme “Shifting the Narrative,” 8:30 a.m.–noon, Oct. 14 & 15; registration required, 323-1954, synergykzoo.org. Hocus Pocus — Celebration of the classic Halloween film, 8 p.m. Oct. 16, State Theatre, 404 S. Burdick, kazoostate.com. Kalamazoo Reptile & Exotic Pet Expo — Buy, sell or trade a variety of reptiles, amphibians, small mammals and other exotic pets, plus supplies & food,
all through October while supplies last
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10 a.m.-3 p.m. Oct. 16, Kalamazoo County Expo Center, kalamazooreptileexpo.com. Kalamazoo Hamfest 2021 — A gathering of radio and electronics hobbyists, 8 a.m.–noon Oct. 17, Kalamazoo County Expo Center, kalamazoohamfest.org. Rocky Horror Picture Show — Movie experience enhanced by WMU musical theater students, 8 p.m. Oct. 23, State Theatre, kazoostate.com. Haunted History of Kalamazoo Walking Tour — Hear local ghost stories and see haunted sites, 8 p.m. Oct. 23, beginning and ending at Bronson Park; tickets at paranormalmichigan.com. Halloween Beer and Bus Tour — A spooky fivehour bus tour featuring beer and haunts, 5-11 p.m. Oct. 29, beginning at Old Burdick’s Bar & Grill, 100 W. Michigan Ave.; costumes are encouraged and a stop at Psycho Ward & Nightmares is scheduled, westmichiganbeertours.com. Monster Mash: A Hocus Pocus Trail — Themed event including trick-or-treating, a spooky hayride through the forest, merry-not-scary shows, on-site pumpkin-carving demonstration and more, 3–7 p.m. Oct. 30, Ramona Park & Beach, 8600 S. Sprinkle Road, portagemi.gov. Southwest Michigan Train Show & Sale — Presented by the Kalamazoo Model Railroad Historical Society, featuring operating layouts, clinics, demonstrations and over 175 vendor tables, plus door prizes and a hands-on children’s layout, 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Oct. 31, Kalamazoo County Expo Center, kmrhs.org.
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Southwest Michigan Cultural Membership Exchange . . 39 Trust Shield Insurance Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Willis Law . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 WMUK . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
ENCORE BACK STORY Rodger Parzyck (continued from page 38)
house, but we ended up with a lot of salvaged materials, which I stored in my garage. I remember salvaging in my own neighborhood when someone threw out double glass oak doors. We ended up renting a little 700-square-foot storefront on Locust Street by what is now O’Duffy’s Pub. We were only open on Wednesday evenings and Saturdays. A year later we moved to a building by Louie’s Tavern (now called Louie’s Trophy House Grill), on North Street, and then again to Kalamazoo Avenue into what would become the Old Dog Tavern. In 1996, I purchased and renovated this building (on Edwards Street) with a number of investors. We wanted this to be our permanent location, and it has turned out to be perfect for what we do. I couldn't afford to run this business if I didn't own the building. With the little income we generate, renting would not be feasible. This isn't a lucrative business. Why do you do what you do? Maybe I have a hoarder gene. I don't know. There are so many beautiful things I can't bear to have destroyed, and I've been collecting them for 35 years. As a society we throw away so much stuff. Why? It wasn't so much for environmental reasons at the time I started but rather trying to save historical items that have value. I feel grateful to have been able to parlay what I love doing into a business. I enjoy doing it. This business has been a good fit for my personal life as well. I met my wife, Lia (Gaggino), when she was a medical student. In 1992, after we had two daughters, I decided to give up my P.A. role to do this business and support my wife in her career as a pediatrician. I loved being a “room mom,” coaching T-ball and having the flexibility of being my own boss and setting my own hours to alleviate the strain of my wife's demanding schedule. Lia recently retired from practicing medicine and now hosts a podcast called Pediatric Meltdown with Lia Gaggino, which focuses on children's behavioral and mental health. For a lighter, grown children's take on things, our adult daughters recently did an episode called “Cool Dad, Anxious Mom,” where they talked about how I packed their lunches (and) gave sentimental gifts with
inspirational quotes and how bath time was them watching Cheers on a little black-and-white TV while I sat on a closed toilet writing letters to the City Commission about historic preservation. I still make breakfast for my wife every morning. I still do the laundry. It's the way relationships should be. Our 38th wedding anniversary is coming up soon. What are some of the ways your business and the customers you serve have changed over time? A lot of what we do has remained the same through the years. Folks renovating old homes usually want to use replacement materials such as locks and doors. We have about a thousand doors in our shop right now. Our shoppers are typically homeowners, and they come from all over — Traverse City, Detroit, Fort Wayne, Cleveland, Chicago. We're getting more young shoppers now, which is nice. Antiques kind of fell out of favor, but over time low-quality, disposable furniture, which is often seen curbside because it's not repairable, has led people to find the value in old furniture. It's a quality issue. It matters to folks that they can have solid wood pieces with character, good design and wonderful joinery that will last forever. What else should we know about you? I'm not a curmudgeon, which people might think if they read the one really bad review I have online, which says, “The prices are too high, and the owner is a tool.” I don't even know what that means. Also, I spend a fortune on birdseed and peanuts for squirrels and blue jays. I've been feeding ducks here for nearly 10 years. Once, we counted 75. Police have dubbed them the Edwards Street Ducks. I love this town. There are so many cool people that chose to start businesses here — Judy (Sarkozy) at Sarkozy’s Bakery, Dean (Hauk) at Michigan News Agency, Larry (Bell) at Bell’s Brewery, Julie (Stanley) at Food Dance, Jamie (Kavanaugh) at O’Duffy’s Pub, Sean (Smith) at Old Dog Tavern, Rich (Munda) at Martini’s, Mark (Smutek) at Water Street Coffee. These are the independent businesses that give our community character. — Interview by Donna McClurkan, edited for length and clarity.
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BACK STORY ENCORE
Owner, The Heritage Company Architectural Salvage & Supply
f you've ever restored or renovated an old house or just love old architectural items, then you will appreciate Rodger Parzyck's "hoarder" gene. The owner of The Heritage Company Architectural Salvage & Supply, at 150 N. Edwards St., has been salvaging materials from old homes and buildings for nearly 35 years and selling them from his store in downtown Kalamazoo. His shop has everything — and we do mean everything — from hardware such as hinges, locks and doorknobs to lights, furniture, trim, fireplace mantels and doors. And, yes, kitchen sinks. It isn't just owners of old houses who frequent his shop, says Parzyck. “Popular TV shows have increased interest in our business, programs like Salvage Dogs, Pickers and Fixer Upper have led to people coming in looking for trendy things,” he says. “Pinterest too. People want to put old stuff on new construction. Chippy paint is popular and other items that have character. We sell more windows that are used for decorating than replacements, and French doors for wedding backdrops. All of a sudden, sliding barn doors are a thing, and now everyone wants a unique pantry door. I never realized how many people have pantries!” You're from Detroit. How did Kalamazoo become home?
I came (to West Michigan) to attend Grand Valley (State University) and then Western Michigan University. After graduation, I was
38 | ENCORE OCTOBER 2021
accepted into the physician assistant program at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and ended up moving back here from D.C. in 1978. At that time Bronson Methodist Hospital didn't have P.A.s on staff — the role was new — but they did hire me as an emergency room tech. Part of my role was running clinical drug studies in a program Bronson had with the (former) Upjohn Co. What drew you to architectural salvage? When I was studying to be a P.A., I heard about a group trying to save some old buildings that my university wanted to tear down. I got involved in historic preservation by joining that group. After moving back here in 1978, somehow I became chair of the city of Kalamazoo's Historic (Preservation) Commission, which I did for almost 20 years. How did your business get started? There was a church downtown that planned to tear down a house that I wanted to save from demolition. We couldn't save the (continued on page 37)
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