October 2023

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A Lot of Arts in October! Update: V & A Bootery Meet Trey Harris Great-Nephew Honors 'Immortal' Aunt Michigan’s Magazine ISK's Urgent Care Center A step forward for mental health October 2023

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From the Editor

October is one of those months to savor, with its vibrant fall foliage, still-warm days but cool nights and all the fun things to do such as pumpkin carving and apple picking, looking at the night sky while sitting next to a cozy campfire and watching football games.

And like the variety of weather, smells, sounds and views of October, this month's issue of Encore offers a wide-ranging look at some of the people and organizations that make the greater Kalamazoo area a better place.

First, we feature Integrated Services of Kalamazoo's new Behavioral Health Urgent Care & Access Center, which is a dynamic new tool in addressing the mental health needs in our community. The center offers access to same-day care for those needing it and works in partnership with local law enforcement agencies to assist with calls involving mental health.

We also meet Jermaine Jackson and learn about his effort to recognize his great-aunt Henrietta Lacks’ contribution to the health and well-being of all of us. Through an exhibit he curated, Jackson shows how the cells that were harvested from Lacks without her knowledge or permission have launched medical breakthroughs like the polio vaccine and continue to contribute to science even 72 years after her death.

We also feature our first Update story as part of Encore's celebration of its 50th anniversary year. Update features take a story we've published in the past and provide an update on the people or organization featured. So often Encore writes about people and organizations at the beginning of their great endeavors, but it’s also gratifying to tell our readers how those ventures turned out. This month we look at V & A Bootery, a longtime family-owned business in the Kalamazoo area that is twice as old as Encore. Its story is a testament to adapting and weathering change.

Finally, we meet Trey Harris, who leads the Western Michigan University Bronco Marching Band, one of the biggest college marching bands in the Mid-America Conference. Like the music the band plays at games, Harris’ spirit and enthusiasm are infectious.


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Publisher encore publications, inc

Editor marie lee

Art Director alexis stubelt

Photographer brian k powers

Contributing Writers zinta aistars, kalloli bhatt, elizabeth kerlikowske, marie lee, robert m weir, jarret whitenack

Copy Editor margaret deritter

Advertising Sales janis clark, janet gover, krieg lee

Distribution ron kilian robert zedeck

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Proofreader hope smith

Encore Magazine is published 12 times yearly. Copyright 2023, Encore Publications, Inc. All rights reserved. Editorial, circulation and advertising correspondence should be sent to:


117 W. Cedar St. Suite A, Kalamazoo, MI 49007

Telephone: (269) 383–4433

Fax: (269) 383–9767

Email: Publisher@encorekalamazoo.com

The staff at Encore welcomes written comments 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

A Lot of Arts in October! Update: V & A Bootery Meet Trey Harris Great-Nephew Honors 'Immortal' Aunt Michigan’s Magazine ISK's Urgent Care Center A step forward for mental health October 2023
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Zinta Aistars

For this month's story on the new Behavioral Health Urgent Care and Access Center of Integrated Services of Kalamazoo, Zinta took a ride with a police officer to experience the mental health calls public safety handles everyday. “Learning that so many of the calls police officers receive are due to mental health issues, I was only too glad to know our city has such a progressive — and desperately needed — service available for those who need help with mental health rather than to be treated as criminals,” says Zinta. Her story is being published as part of the Mental Wellness Reporting Project of the Southwest Michigan Journalism Collaborative, of which Encore is a proud participant.

Zinta is the creative director of Z Word, LLC; the producer and host of the weekly radio show Art Beat, on WMUK 102.1 FM; and a frequent contributor to Encore

Evaluation & Care of Trees and Shrubs

Kalloli wrote two stories for this issue: an Update story on V & A Bootery, a family-owned businessthat is celebrating its 100th anniversary, and a Back Story profile of Trey Harris, director of the Western Michigan University Bronco Marching Band. The latter is a story particularly close to Kalloli, since she is a member of the band. "As a part of the band, I know the history, effort and time that goes into a performance," she says. "I hope this provides an insight into how the band is a community.”

Kalloli is majoring in digital media and journalism and also in creative writing at Western Michigan University. She completed an internship at Encore in August.

Robert was intrigued by Kalamazooan Jermaine Jackson's work to recognize the legacy of his great-aunt Henrietta Lacks, whose cells have been key to major medical advances since being harvested from her without permission more than 70 years ago.

“Even though the story of HeLa cells has been the topic of a book and movie,” says Robert, “Jermaine has a personal connection to the woman these cells came from. He wanted to create a more personal way to honor what her legacy has meant.”

You can see more of Robert’s writing at robertmweir.com.

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Robert M. Weir Kalloli Bhatt

In the case of David Thoms, the jury has spoken.

Congratulations to our esteemed board member, David Thoms, for being selected by peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® for work in Litigation - Trusts and Estates, Nonprofit/ Charities Law, Tax Law and Trust and Estates. Well done and well deserved, sir.

Financial Security from Generation to Generation
www.encorekalamazoo.com | 7 CONTENTSOCTOBER 2023 Onthecover:IntegratedServicesofKalamazoo'sBethAnnMeints, administratorofclinicalservices,atleft,andJeffPatton,ISKCEO,stand outsideISK'snewBehavioralHealthUrgentCareandAccessCenteron KalamazooAvenue.PhotobyBrianK.Powers. FEATURE With its new Behavioral Health Urgent Care and Access Center, Integrated Services of Kalamazoo builds a safety net for those with mental health issues DEPARTMENTS 3 From the Editor 5 Contributors 8 First Things A round–up of happenings in SW Michigan Update V & A Bootery — After weathering changes and challenges, this century-old family-owned business has its feet on solid ground Good Works Honoring Henrietta Lacks — Great-nephew shines spotlight on her long legacy to science and medicine 34 Back Story Meet Trey Harris — He's the spirited leader of WMU's Bronco Marching Band 22 Theater 24 Music 26 Visual Arts 26 Comedy 27 Literature 27 Dance 28 Events of Note 32 Poetry "Next to the Community Garden" by Elizabeth Kerlikowske TheArts 18 Urgent Mental Health Care 10 14

First Things

Something Funny

Pete Davidson coming to the State

Stand-up comedian and Saturday Night Live alumnus Pete Davidson will perform at 7 p.m. Oct. 21 at the State Theatre.

Davidson has made a name for himself not only through stand-up and sketch comedy, but also through his acting career in movies such as The King of Staten Island and Meet Cute and in the Peacock series Bupkis

Tickets cost $48–$88 and can be purchased at kazoostate.com.

Something Festive Event celebrates all things Canadian

Something Buried

Cemetery tours highlight history

Living history at a cemetery may seem like an oxymoron, but that is what will be offered in both Kalamazoo and Paw Paw this month.

Tours of Paw Paw's Prospect Hill Cemetery will be featured in the Voices From the Past Living History walking tours presented by the Paw Paw District Library from 1–5 p.m. Oct. 14. Participants will learn about the community’s history as they hear from actors portraying notable people from Paw Paw’s past who are buried in the cemetery. The tours will last 60 to 90 minutes and involve a halfmile walk on moderately difficult terrain. The tours begin at the Paw Paw Lions Club, 59050 County Road 665, where participants will board shuttles to take them to the cemetery. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased by calling 657-3800 or visiting pawpawlib.org.

Local historian and frequent Encore contributor Lynn Houghton will lead a tour of Kalamazoo's Mountain Home Cemetery located at 1402 W. Main St. from 8–9:30 a.m. Oct. 20. This free walk is part of the Kalamazoo Historic Walk series sponsored by Gazelle Sports, Discover Kalamazoo and the Zhang Legacy Collections Center. For more information visit gazellesports.com/pages/kalamazoo-historic-walks.

A festival that celebrates our neighbor across the Great Lakes will be held Oct. 7 at the Arcadia Creek Festival Place, in downtown Kalamazoo.

Canadiana Fest will take place from noon to midnight and will feature Canadianfocused food, music, art and more. The event kicks off with a parade through the site led by the Kalamazoo Pipe Band. The music will also include tribute bands playing the music of Rush and Gordon Lightfoot, plus the Henpecked Dawgs performing Celtic tunes and sea shanties.

The Canadian food will include offerings from the winners of a poutine competition. Poutine is a combination of french fries, cheese curds and gravy.

The festival will also feature a curling lane, a chance to play lacrosse with the Kalamazoo United team, a theater company presenting stories of prominent Canadians, and an art car called The Canada Car and its artist, who is from Dundas, Ontario.

Tickets are $12.50–$30, with children under 12 admitted free. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit canadianafest.fun.


Something Michigan Concert highlights musicians with state ties

A collection of Michigan musical artists with varying styles will take the stage for the first-ever “Michigan Night” at the State Theatre, 404 S. Burdick St.

The event, set for 7:30 p.m. Oct. 20, will feature four acts: folk singer Lindsay Lou, born in Michigan and now living in Nashville; The Accidentals, an indie folk and rock trio originally from Traverse City and now based in Nashville; Patty PerShayla & The Mayhaps, a Grand Rapids rock band; and The Jordan Hamilton Trio, a Kalamazoo-based group that fuses hip-hip, soul and classical music.

Tickets are $20–$40 in advance and $35–$45 at the door. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit kazoostate.com.

Something Instrumental Black Violin to perform at Miller

The twice Grammy-nominated duo Black Violin will bring its style of hip-hop and jazz fusion to Miller Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 17. Black Violin principal members Kev Marcus and Wil Baptiste, who play violin and viola, respectively, will be joined on stage by Nat Stokes on drums, Liston Gregory on keyboard and DJ SPS on turntable. Opening for the group will be R&B musician Son Little.

Tickets are $41–$61 and can be purchased at millerauditorium.com.

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The Accidentals

100 and Counting Despite location change, V & A is on solid ground

V& A Bootery has seen a lot of change in its 100 years of business, and as it enters a new century of doing business, the changes just keep coming.

The shoe and accessory store, which had been the longest tenant in the same spot on the Kalamazoo Mall, closed that location in August to expand its location at Southland Mall, in Portage.

Transformation is nothing new for the store, which has been around since the time of the opening of King Tut’s chamber in 1923. When the footwear retailer originally opened, it was owned by Bill Van Dis and Fred Appledoorn, hence the name V & A Bootery. During the stock

market crash of 1929, Appledoorn lost his personal fortune and Van Dis bought Appledoorn’s share of the business and kept the store running.

In 1964, V & A remodeled its building on the Kalamazoo Mall, doubling the store’s size. Since the bootery had a large number of male customers, it needed extra space for that inventory. V & A Bootery opened additional locations in St. Joseph, Grand Rapids (which have both since closed) and Portage. In 2017, it purchased another downtown footwear retailer, Okun Brothers, to expand into the work shoe market.


And when the shopping world went digital, V & A kept up by creating an online store, but Bill Van Dis Jr., who now runs the company with his son Dan, says the brick-and-mortar storefront is still a critical component of the business.

“It’s much harder to look on the internet and know that a shoe is for you,” says Van Dis. “You can see if you like a style, but you can’t see if it works for you.”

The types of shoes now sold at the bootery have also changed, says Van Dis, and not just because of the whims of fashion.

“Our general lifestyle is becoming more casual. We are selling a lot more athletic shoes as a percentage of our business today than even five years ago,” he says, explaining that the company’s customer demographic is 25 to 65 years old. “The store caters less to fashion whims and more to those who want to look good and feel good in their shoes.”

This practice can be seen when looking at the brands V & A carries, such as Atom, Clarks, Jambu and Keen, which focus on comfort.

But with all the changes, a few things remain the same. The Van Dis family has been running the store for four generations: Bill Van Dis Jr.

When They Were First in Encore

In honor of Encore's 50th year, we are revisiting stories from past issues and providing updates. This update is a bit unusual in that the original story about the Van Dises and V & A Bootery was a Guess Who? photo riddle that appeared in Encore's November 1997 issue (pictured below). It featured Bob Van Dis, Howard Van Dis and Mel Van Dis disguised as the Three Musketeers. All three Van Dises were involved in the family business: Bob Van Dis and Howard Van Dis are sons of the founder Bill Van Dis; and Mel Van Dis is a cousin of the brothers. They were active in the community affairs serving with the organizations including the Voluntary Action Center, Kalamazoo Youth Ministry, Vineyard Outreach Ministry, Downtown Kalamazoo Inc., the United Way and the SCORE program. Bob's son Bill Van Dis Jr. and grandson Dan Van Dis currently run the business.

www.encorekalamazoo.com | 11 ENCORE UPDATE
Left: Bill Van Dis Jr., right, and his son, Dan Van Dis, are the third and fourth generations to run the family-owned shoe store which recently expanded its Portage location. Above: Bill Van Dis Jr. and his father, William Van Dis, look at the blueprints for the 1979 expansion of V & A Bootery's downtown location.
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is the grandson of the original owner, and Dan Van Dis, the great-grandson of the owner. Like the generations before them, Bill Jr. and Dan are actively involved in the community, serving on various committees and boards. In the 1930s, Van Dis Sr. chaired the city’s Chamber of Commerce Retail Committee.

V & A has also been a part of the organizations that have overseen downtown Kalamazoo development since the 1950s (most recently the organization is the Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership). The family has also served on boards of local nonprofit organizations such as the YMCA, the Voluntary Action Center and the Downtown Restaurant and Retailer Association.

And while change means the company will no longer have its flagship location in downtown, Van Dis says one more thing will stay the same: “We have maintained a commitment to value and providing good service to our customers.”

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Above: The fully stocked V & A Bootery in downtown Kalamazoo in the 1940s. Below left: An ad that ran in the Kalamazoo Gazette in 1937.

Honoring Henrietta Lacks Great-nephew spotlights her legacy to science and medicine

Before Henrietta Lacks was the topic of a bestselling book and an HBO movie, she was the long-dead great-aunt of Kalamazooan Jermaine Jackson, whose grandmother — Lacks’ sister-in-law — used to tell him stories about her.

“The stories were odd — about her cells being all over the world and out in space even though she’s dead,” he says. “It was like science fiction or Star Trek, something bizarre, and I couldn’t comprehend what she was saying.”

But now the 47-year-old great-nephew of this Black woman has made it his mission to make sure that Lacks’ startling, yet initially secret, contribution to the health and wellbeing of people around the world is known. Who was Henrietta Lacks?

On Jan. 29, 1951, Henrietta Lacks entered Johns Hopkins Hospital in her home city of Baltimore, the only hospital in the area that treated Black patients. She complained of a “knot” in her womb that proved to be a malignant cancer of the cervix. During her treatment and while she was under anesthesia, cell samples were harvested from the affected part of her body without her knowledge or permission, a common practice that was considered legal and ethical at that time.

These samples, labeled “HeLa” for the first two letters of her first and last name, were given to physician and cancer researcher George Otto Gey, who observed that the cells possessed a characteristic not previously seen in biopsies: the ability to survive more

Jermaine Jackson stands in front of a billboard promoting the exhibit he curated on his great-aunt Henrietta Lacks that was featured at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum.

than a few hours or days in a laboratory environment. In fact, they multiplied and multiplied so often that researchers referred to them as the “immortal HeLa cell line.”

In 1954, three years after Lacks’ death on Oct. 4, 1951, at age 31, Jonas Salk used HeLa cells to develop the polio vaccine. That was her first significant medical contribution to the world, but it was only the beginning.

In the 1960s, as a precursor to manned space flights, Russian scientists sent HeLa cells into orbit aboard Sputnik 6 to determine the effects of space travel on living tissue. The cells prospered at zero gravity.

In 2017, an article in the Baltimore City Paper said that HeLa cells have since been used for “research into cancer, AIDS, the effects of toxic substances, gene mapping, and countless other scientific purposes.”

HeLa cells have been so durable and prolific that if all of these microscopic cells grown by researchers over the last 72 years were piled together, they would weigh more than 50 million metric tons. Their sale price to researchers ranges from $400 to thousands of dollars per vial.

Yet, the origin of HeLa cells was purposefully kept secret during the 1950s, when the donor was identified as “Helen Lane” because of the belief that Whites would not accept Salk’s polio vaccine if they knew it originated from a Black woman.

Even Lacks’ family did not know until 1973 — 22 years after her death — that her cells were still alive. Scientists called the relatives then, asking permission to take their blood samples in order to study their genes.

The story of HeLa cells finally emerged in force with the publication of the bestselling book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by

Rebecca Skloot, in 2010 and the subsequent release of an HBO movie by the same name, starring Oprah Winfrey, in 2017.

Honoring Henrietta Lasks

Jackson, Henrietta Lacks’ great-nephew, had heard about Lacks in the early 1980s, when he was less than 10 years old, through stories told by his grandmother Bessie Lacks. Jackson was working as a library assistant at the Kalamazoo Public Library's Alma Powell Branch when Skloot’s exposé about the uses of Henrietta’s cells hit the market. Of the day the book arrived at the library, he says, “I sat there and I sat there and I sat there until I had read the whole book. Everything my grandmother told me came into proper perspective. It was fascinating.”

That enlightening spark would burst into flame over the next decade as Jackson considered the creation of an exhibit to honor Lacks and her contributions to society.

He was encouraged by the unveiling of a portrait of her in the Baltimore City Hall on Dec. 1, 2016. “It was a huge picture and the first picture of a Black woman there,” he says.

But he was primarily driven by his desire to tell the story of his great-aunt and the way her cells were used without the family’s knowledge or permission, which has been cited as one of the most famous examples of racist medical research practices in American history.

“So many people were uneducated or misinformed or uninformed about who she was,” says Jackson. “People, especially in science and physics, knew about her cells. They worked with them, but they didn’t know the person behind the cells and that she was a Black woman.”

Upcoming Festival Events

Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Wed, Oct 4 at 7:00 PM

First United Methodist Church

Silent-era classic movie with a live improvised score by organist David Briggs

Kommuna Lux

Wed, Oct 11 at 7:00 PM

Bell’s Eccentric Café

Self-described as “Odessa Gansta Folk presenting thrilling Klezmer Music”

Rahim Alhaj Trio

Sun, Oct 15 at 4:00 PM

Stetson Chapel

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Pedro Giraudo Tango Quartet

Tues, Oct 24 at 7:00 PM

Wellspring Theater

Latin Grammy-winning tango ensemble

Edmar Castañeda Quartet

Wed, Oct 25 at 7:30 PM

Dalton Center Recital Hall

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The String Queens

Tues, Nov 7 at 7:00 PM

Comstock Auditorium

Dynamic string trio with music spanning from baroque to the Hot 100

See the entire 2023 Festival lineup at www.ccmusicfest.com

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For the next two years, Jackson percolated his idea for an exhibit. He spoke with relatives, including remaining members of Lacks’ immediate family, some of whom are angry that medical research entities have profited greatly from the sale of HeLa cells while the family has not.

(In 2021, the estate of Henrietta Lacks sued Thermo Fisher Scientific, a biotech company, for reaping “staggering profits” by using the “stolen” HeLa cell line. The company, which estimates its annual revenue at approximately $35 billion, sought to have the case dismissed due to a statute of limitations, but it reached a settlement with the Lacks estate in August, the terms of which remain confidential.)

Gathering artwork, memorabilia, family photos, news clippings and other items related to Lacks and her cells, Jackson then contacted artists in Southwest Michigan, none of whom had any foreknowledge about Henrietta. “I sent articles and YouTube clips to them. And copies of the book and links to the movie,” he says. “They all came back to me awestruck. Like, ‘Are you kidding?’ They said this is an amazing, sad, unique story. They were so inspired that they all donated their gift, their art, their time.”

The Henrietta Lacks exhibit, consisting of artworks, memorabilia and more, debuted in 2017 in the Barnabee Gallery, a room in the Powell Branch of the Kalamazoo Public Library. At first, Jackson thought this showing would be “a one-time deal,” but it was only the beginning. “I was ready to give all the pieces away, but then I just put everything into storage,” he says. Within a few months, he added more pieces to cover more history and make it more likely to become a traveling exhibit.

Sharing her story

Late in 2019, Jackson approached the Kalamazoo Valley Museum about obtaining space for the exhibit there and was told there was a two- to threeyear waiting list, so he turned to his pastor at Christ Temple Church and made arrangements to show the exhibit for a weekend in the church basement.

Then came the Covid-19 pandemic and the ingenuity of videographer and photographer Josh Gibson, who transformed the artistic items and history into an online exhibit titled The HeLa Mobile Museum (available at whowashenrietta. wixsite.com/my-site) in which Lacks is credited with “kicking off a medical science revolution.”

Post-Covid, Jackson set up the exhibit for a weekend in the Radisson Plaza Hotel in downtown Kalamazoo. “I was in awe because people came from all over to see it,” Jackson says. “Someone traveled from Pennsylvania, a Black woman who was dealing with some type of medical mistreatment. She shed tears. We talked. She left, got lunch, came back. We talked some more.”

Thanks to the influence of Earlene McMichael, marketing project manager at Kalamazoo Valley Community College, who saw the exhibit at the Radisson, the Kalamazoo Valley Museum quickly made space for the exhibit. A HeLa Story: Mother of Modern Medicine opened there on Sept. 1, 2022, and was on display until March 5, 2023.

Since then, Jackson has taken the exhibit to venues throughout Michigan: schools and colleges, churches and synagogues, hospitals and companies, especially those with employee ethics teams. It has been shown to staff and clients of the Disability Network of Southwest Michigan, whose founder had polio.

This art piece depicting Henrietta Lacks was created by Kadir Nelson for Jackson's exhibit.

In 2022, through Jackson’s efforts, the Kalamazoo City Commission proclaimed Oct. 4, the anniversary of Lacks’ death, as Henrietta Lacks Day.

Jackson also commissioned a play, A HeLa Story, about his great-aunt and her cell line. The play was written and directed by local playwright Buddy Hannah, and it is

See the Exhibit

interwoven with poems and essays by area writers William Hatcher, Aija Hodges, Charles E. Peterson Sr. and James J. Smith.

The play ran for three shows at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum’s Mary Jane Stryker Theater on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, 2022. Lacks was played by Zaynee Hobdy, a member of Kalamazoo’s Face Off Theatre Company,

What: The HeLa Mobile Museum, a traveling exhibit on Henrietta Lacks and her “immortal HeLa cell line”

When: On display 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Oct. 4

Where: The lower level of the Radisson Plaza Hotel, 100 W. Michigan Ave.

and Jermaine Jackson by local actor Sid Ellis.

A HeLa Story was also presented at Loy Norrix High School in February 2023, and Jackson says the exhibit will be on display during the upcoming school year at all three high schools in the Kalamazoo Public Schools system.

Jackson describes Lacks’ contributions to the world of medicine as “a game changer, a gift to humanity.”

“It’s odd, in a sense, that she never knew the significance or the value of her life, or her death, and what her cells mean to the world at large. The discovery of immortal cells. That’s what I think about when I travel with the exhibit,” he says. “Science can get so inhumane. I wanted to bring back the humanity, the woman behind the cells."

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Brian Powers Beth Ann Meints, administrator of clinical services at Integrated Services of Kalamazoo (ISK), and Jeff Patton, ISK CEO, stand inside the lobby of the new Behavioral Health Urgent Care and Access Center.

ISK and police partner to build a community safety net

S ergeant Fidel Mireles II, a 25-year veteran of the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety, remembers well the moment in July when he saw the boy holding a knife in his outstretched hand.

“He was maybe 10, maybe 12 years old,” Mireles says. “The boy was holding a knife by the handle, dangling it, so I didn’t feel there was a threat to me. I started to ask him questions: ‘Where did you find that knife? What are you doing with it?’ He said he wanted to give it to me. When I asked if he wanted to hurt himself, he said he did.”

After offering the boy a Sprite and a snack, the sergeant brought him to the new Behavioral Health Urgent Care and Access Center at Integrated Services of Kalamazoo (ISK). With a call to the boy's parents, who quickly agreed that their son needed help, the boy was admitted to the center and treated for suicidal ideation.

Both the new center and KDPS have the same goal: to provide assistance to those in the community having mental health crises. The center, which opened in July, is a new tool that allows the two agencies, as well as other local police departments, to work together more effectively to do just that.

The center, located at 440 W. Kalamazoo Ave., is a 7,900-squarefoot building with nine treatment rooms, offices, waiting rooms, a conference room, a reception area, a lobby and a security office. A primary goal in creating the center was to divert people having mental health problems from incarceration and from visiting emergency departments at area hospitals. Another goal was to offer same-day treatment for mental health and substance abuse disorders for anyone needing it.

In its first month, the Behavioral Health Urgent Care and Access Center received 19,619 total calls for service from the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Department, the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety, the Kalamazoo Township Police Department and the Portage Police Department. Of those calls, 346, or a little under 2 percent, were flagged as behavioral health calls.

“If you look at just the city of Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety alone, they had 10,695 calls for service, and 125 calls were

coded as behavioral health calls,” says Lindsay O’Neil, ISK program manager.

According to Beth Ann Meints, administrator of clinical services at ISK, the center is "seeing the full gamut of individuals going through some kind of crisis."

"Whether they are simply seeking a counselor, they need medication or they are feeling suicidal, many are dealing with substance abuse issues,” she says. “They may be mild or moderate issues, while others come here after being discharged from a hospital.”

Funding for the $5 million center came from several sources, including local philanthropic organizations such as the Irving S. Gilmore Foundation and from money awarded to Kalamazoo County by the American Rescue Plan Act. The center is located near areas with a high concentration of individuals receiving behavioral health services, including those experiencing homelessness, and is an easily walkable distance from nearby shelters and other parts of the city’s downtown area.

The Behavioral Health Urgent Care and Access Center joins two other urgent-care mental health centers in western Michigan: Pine Rest Psychiatric Urgent Care, which opened in suburban Grand Rapids in 2019, and First Step Psychiatric Urgent Care Center, which opened in Battle Creek in 2021. The centers have reported growing numbers of people seeking help. The demand at the Kalamazoo center, for example, was such that just two weeks after opening, ISK modified the center's hours from 8 a.m.–8 p.m. weekdays to 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“We are Kalamazoo’s first such access center, and we saw right away that we needed to expand our hours and began that July 24,” ISK CEO Jeff Patton says.

Preventing incarceration

The partnership between ISK and public safety departments throughout Kalamazoo County comes at a time when there is a nationwide shortage of practicing mental health care workers and

www.encorekalamazoo.com | 19

when the number of those reporting having mental health problems continues to rise.

O’Neil says the idea for the Behavioral Health Urgent Care and Access Center came about sometime in 2014–15, when she was working at ISK as a jail clinician on call to help incarcerated individuals in need of mental health care, and “by 2020 the idea had come together to form this center.”

All too often, those suffering from mental health problems end up incarcerated rather than receiving the mental health care they need. For example, young people of color with behavioral health problems are more likely than white youth to be referred to juvenile justice systems rather than the mental health care system, according to the National Institutes of Health.

In 2022, the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police reported that Michigan public safety officers were being "overwhelmed" by mental-health-related service calls. In Kalamazoo, many of these mental health calls "can be mediated by officers and mental health professionals who can co-respond to critical situations," according to a statement from KDPS.

KDPS established its Kalamazoo Protect and Connect (KPAC) Council to address this need, working with ISK to plan and design the Behavioral Health Urgent Care and Access Center.

Riding along with officers

A hallmark of the collaboration is that a full-time mental health clinician rides along with officers every day to check on anything the officer codes as a mental health issue — welfare calls, domestic violence, disturbed or abused kids, overdoses. KDPS also employs a social services coordinator/victim advocate who can respond to scenes and provide follow-up referral services to those in need.

"We deal with a lot of trauma and depression — our most common calls,” says ISK's O'Neil.

According to O'Neil, the center works with "11 law enforcement agencies in Kalamazoo, Portage and beyond."

“The value of this program is that we are sharing resources with others in the community. We are no longer working in silos," she says. "Meanwhile, ISK staff is

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If You Need Help

The Behavioral Health Urgent Care and Access Center, at 440 W. Kalamazoo Ave. (just east of North Westnedge Avenue), is open to anyone struggling with an urgent behavioral health problem, whether that’s a mental health problem, a substance abuse disorder, a stress-related problem, or any other type of mental health crisis. It serves people of all ages and incomes, with or without insurance coverage. It is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and anyone in crisis may walk in or call 269-373-6000.

building relationships with law enforcement, and that is bringing about an informal kind of education in both directions, educating us about what their days look like. We are learning.”

From a public safety standpoint, the center is having an impact. In a statement, KDPS said "partners like Integrated Services of Kalamazoo have helped us tremendously with mental health crises by conducting assessments and providing other mental health services."

"We find these partnerships to be beneficial to both officers and the community,” it said.

“Nine times out of 10, people are having the worst day of their lives when they come to us,” says O’Neil. “Other times it might

be a case such as when a person (whom) the police contacted us to help needed a motorized wheelchair to get around. We were able to do that for him.”

A model for others

At the same time, she says, centers like the Behavioral Health Urgent Care and Access Center are pivotal to providing information to other communities looking to adopt similar models. "Other counties in the state are now opening similar centers, sharing resources and protocols in their communities," says O'Neil.

But ISK's Patton notes that the Behavioral Health Urgent Care and Access Center is "not an end-all." The center cannot provide medical care such as wound treatment, treat

physical illnesses or prescribe medication. For medical health care, people are urged to call 911 or go to the nearest hospital emergency department.

However, the success the center has experienced has ISK looking to the future.

"We are now looking to build our next phase, a Crisis Stabilization Center, as a diversion program for psychiatric hospitals," says Patton. "While people have same-day access here, they are not able to stay, but this new center would allow stays up to 72 hours, until an individual is stabilized. We hope to have that available within a year.

“One in 25 adults in the United States suffers from serious mental health issues. This has been a community effort, and we couldn’t have done this without communitywide support.”

This story is part of the Mental Wellness Project, a solutions-oriented journalism initiative covering mental health issues in Southwest Michigan, created by the Southwest Michigan Journalism Collaborative. SWMJC is a group of 12 regional organizations dedicated to strengthening local journalism. For more information, visit swmichjournalism.com.

www.encorekalamazoo.com | 21



Oct. 2–Nov. 5

Farmers Alley Theatre

This musical for young audiences uses puppets to explore friendship and highlight how all children have qualities that make them different.

It focuses on how Uno, a child with autism, navigates the challenges of competing in his school’s math competition after being signed up for it by his friend Addy and how his friends, who have varying disabilities, step up to support Uno in his endeavors.

Show times are 11 a.m. Oct. 28 and Nov. 4 and 2 p.m. Oct. 28–29 and Nov. 4–5. The theater is located at 221 Farmers Alley. Tickets are $15. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit farmersalleytheatre.com or call 343-2727.

AllofUs:ACelebrationof BIPOCVoices

Oct. 6–15

Kalamazoo Civic Theatre

This Kalamazoo Civic Youth Production features a collection of short plays focusing on characters who are people of color, including Black and indigenous people.

From tales of music being banned to real-life scenarios of dealing with the fallout of a viral video, the play presents 12 stories about issues facing BIPOC teens.

Show times are 7:30 p.m. Oct. 6 and 13 and 2 p.m. Oct. 7–8 and Oct. 14–15 at the Parish Theatre, 426 S. Park St. Tickets cost $15. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit kazoocivic.com.


Oct. 19–22

Face Off Theatre


Oct. 6–15

WMU Theatre

A lonely Black seamstress who makes intimate apparel for clients ranging from prostitutes to wealthy socialites but longs for a love of her own is at the heart of this Western Michigan University Theatre production.

Sherri L. Evans has the lead role as Esther, and Beniam A. Johnson plays George, a Caribbean man with whom she is corresponding.

Show times are 7:30 p.m. Oct. 6–7 and Oct. 12–14 and 2 p.m. Oct. 8 and 15 at the York Theatre, in WMU’s Gilmore Theatre Complex. Tickets cost $7–$21. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit wmich.edu/theatre.

Overworked teachers at an underfunded high school that has a rodent infestation and is in danger of being closed are at the center of this play.

Exit Strategy, written by American playwright Ike Holter, presents the saga of a small multiracial group of teachers who launch a last-minute effort to save the school. They put their careers, futures and safety in the hands of a fast-talking administrator, raising fear and anxiety among students and others within the community.

Show times are 7:30 p.m. Oct. 19–21 and 2 p.m. Oct. 22 at the Judy Jolliffe Theatre, 359 S. Kalamazoo Mall. Tickets cost $5. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit faceofftheatre.com.



Oct. 20–22

Queer Theatre


Telling your own story has to be easy, right?

But in this play biracial and bisexual writer Bell Linden is finding it harder than she thought.

The play, written by local playwright Brooke Lindley, explores Linden’s experiences as she comes to terms with feeling she is not enough and always wanting more.

Show times are 7:30 p.m. Oct. 20–21 and 2 p.m. Oct. 22 at the Kalamazoo Nonprofit Advocacy Coalition, 315 W. Michigan. For more information, including ticket prices, visit queertk.org.


Oct. 27–Nov. 5

Civic Senior Class Readers Theatre

The question in the title of this play is about the fear of losing your autonomy and control of your own life.

The play focuses on a successful artist’s battle for freedom by invoking the writ of habeas corpus (a law against unlawful detainment) after he becomes paralyzed in an accident and stuck in the hospital against his will.

The Senior Class Readers Theatre is a Kalamazoo Civic Theatre program for adult performers 50 and older.

Show times are 7:30 p.m. Oct. 27–28 and Nov. 3–4 and 2 p.m. Oct. 29 and Nov. 5 in the Carver Center Studio, 426 S. Park St. Tickets cost $15. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit kazoocivic.com.

Natasha,PierreandtheGreat Cometof1812

Oct. 27–Nov. 5

WMU Theatre

This electro-pop opera based on a section of Leo Tolstoy’s novel War and Peace will be presented at the Williams Theatre, in WMU’s Gilmore Theatre Complex.

In this musical written and composed by celebrated composer Dave Mallow, young, impulsive Natasha Rostova arrives in Moscow and begins a romance with the handsome and cunning Anatole. After her reputation takes a hit, she is helped out by her middle-aged friend Pierre.

Show times are 7:30 p.m. Oct. 27 and Nov. 2–4 and 2 p.m. Oct. 29 and Nov. 5. Tickets cost $7–$24. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit wmich.edu/theatre.

Ongoing Productions

Working:The Musical

Oct. 5–8

Farmers Alley Theatre


Through Oct. 1

Kalamazoo Civic Theatre

www.encorekalamazoo.com | 23


Esme Arias Kim

Oct. 1

Miller Auditorium

This silver medalist of the 2023 Stulberg International String Competition will perform with the Western Michigan University Symphony Orchestra at 3 p.m. Oct. 1. The free performance will feature the young violinist performing a program that includes works by Mikhail Glinka, Tchaikovsky and Dmitri Shostakovich. For more information, visit stulberg.org.

WMU School of Music Performances

Throughout the month

Various venues

Western Michigan University's School of Music has a full slate of performances planned this month. Unless otherwise noted, performances will be in the university's Dalton Center Recital Hall and are free. The performances scheduled are:

• University Jazz Lab Band — 7:30 p.m. Oct. 3.

• University Jazz Orchestra — 7:30 p.m. Oct. 5. Tickets are $5–$15.

• Nois Saxophone Quartet — Performing as part of WMU’s Guest Artist Recital Series, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 6.

• University Symphonic Band and University Wind Symphony — 3 p.m. Oct. 8, Miller Auditorium, wmich.edu/ music/events.

• Marja Kerney and Friends — The percussionist performs with other musicians as part of WMU’s Guest Artist Recital Series, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 10.

• Deirdre D.S. Sense — The hip-hop artist performs as part of WMU's Bullock Series, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 11, with a preconcert talk at 7 p.m. Tickets are $5–$15.

• John Mayrose — The guitarist and composer performs as part of WMU’s Guest Artist Recital Series, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 12.

• Choral Showcase — Featuring Amphion, Anima and University Chorale, 3 p.m. Oct. 15.

• The President’s Own United States Marine Band — The band gives a free concert at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 23 at WMU’s Miller Auditorium, but tickets are required. They are available at millerauditorium.com. For ticketed events, go to wmich.edu/music/events.

Connecting Chords Music Festival

Oct. 2–Nov. 7

Various venues

The festival returns to Kalamazoo this month with an abundance of live performances of music from around the world. Unless otherwise noted, tickets for all performances are $5–$20. They can be purchased at ccmusicfest.com or at the door. The lineup includes:

• David Briggs “Double Feature” – The renowned organist will perform a solo recital at 7 p.m. Oct. 2 at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 247 W. Lovell St. Briggs also will improvise a live score for the silent film classic Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1920) at 7 p.m. Oct. 4 at First United Methodist Church of Kalamazoo, 212 S. Park St.

• Friends of the Gamelan – This free event will feature the predominantly percussive traditional music of central Java. It starts at 2:30 p.m. Oct. 7 at the Kalamazoo Public Library, 315 S. Rose St.

• Kommuna Lux – This Ukrainian group playing klezmer music and folk songs will perform at 7 p.m. Oct. 11 at Bell’s Eccentric Cafe, 355 E. Kalamazoo Ave.

• Trail Walk with Slow Bell Trio – A 15-minute trail walk through Kleinstuck Preserve will end with a performance by this ambient jazz ensemble on Oct. 14. The walk begins at 6 p.m. at the tennis courts behind Maple Street YMCA, 1001 W. Maple St., and patrons are encouraged to bring a portable chair.

• Rahim Alhaj Trio – The Iraqi oud master will be joined by musicians playing santour and percussion at 4 p.m. Oct. 15 at Kalamazoo College’s Stetson Chapel.

• Pedro Giraudo Tango Quartet – This Grammy-winning ensemble will play a program celebrating the tango at 7 p.m. Oct. 24 at Wellspring Theater, 359 S. Kalamazoo Mall, Suite 204.

• Edmar Castañeda Quartet – An eclectic mix of jazz artists led by the Latin Grammy-nominated harpist will perform at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 25 at Western Michigan University’s Dalton Center Recital Hall.

• Tres Souls – The trio will perform songs stylized during the golden era of Mexican cinema, the 1940s. The concert starts at 4 p.m. Nov. 5 at the Dormouse Theatre, 1030 Portage St.

• The String Queens – This string trio with repertoire spanning from baroque to pop will perform at 7 p.m. Nov. 7 at Comstock Auditorium, 2107 N. 26th St., Comstock Township.

Fry Street Quartet

Oct. 13

Fontana Chamber Arts

This multi-faceted ensemble, which has been hailed as "a triumph of ensemble playing" by The New York Times, will perform at 7:30 p.m. at WMU's Dalton Center Recital Hall.

The quartet won the 2000 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and has played worldwide, including at New York's Carnegie Hall. Tickets are $15–$30 and available at fontanamusic.org or by calling 250-6984.

Deirdre D.S. Sense

Gilmore Rising Stars Oct. 8 & 29 Wellspring Theater

Two talented young pianists will grace the stage this month at the Wellspring Theater, 359 S. Kalamazoo Mall, as part of The Gilmore's Rising Stars Series.

Pianist and composer Esteban Castro, who, when he was 13, became the youngest-ever first-prize winner of the Montreux Jazz Solo Piano Competition, will give two performances. He will perform as part of the Esteban Castro Trio at 4 p.m. Oct. 8 at the Wellspring Theater. He will also give a free family concert at noon Oct. 7 at Willard Library, at 7 W. Van Buren, in Battle Creek.

The award- and competition-winning Ukrainian pianist Illia Ovcharenko will perform at 4 p.m. Oct. 29 at Wellspring. In 2022, Ovcharenko won the Honens International Piano Competition and the New York International Piano Competition, and in 2021 he was named Laureate of the Busoni International Piano Competition and won the Michelangeli Prize at the Eppan International Piano Academy.

Tickets for both performances at Wellspring are $28 for in-person viewing and on a name-your-price basis for virtual viewing. They are available at thegilmore.org.


Oct. 21

Kalamazoo Concert Band

The Kalamazoo Concert Band will explore the magical, musical world of Disney in this free concert at 7:30 p.m. at Chenery Auditorium, 714 S. Westnedge Ave.

The band honors the 100-year anniversary of the entertainment giant by playing music from favorite Disney movies, including The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Mary Poppins and The Incredibles

For more information, visit kalamazooconcertband.org.

KSO Performances Throughout the month

Various venues

Audiences will have three chances to catch a performance by members of the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra this month:

• Craft Music: Classics on Tap — KSO musicians will perform classical music and melodies at 7 p.m. Oct. 4 at Bell’s Eccentric Cafe. Tickets are $5–$25.

• KSO Bachtoberfest — Principal players of the KSO will pay homage to Johann Sebastian Bach in a concert featuring the composer's Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 and Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 as well as works by Béla Bartók and Sami Seif at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 21 at Miller Auditorium. Tickets are $5–$68.

• El Armor Brujo: Love Bewitched — The KSO performs Manuel de Falla's masterpiece about ghosts, enchantments and cursed love at 3 p.m. Oct. 29 in WMU’s Dalton Center Recital Hall. Tickets are $5–$35.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit kalamazoosymphony.com.

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KirkNewmanArt SchoolFaculty Review

Oct. 14–Jan. 28

Kalamazoo Institute of Arts

The works of more than 40 professional artist-educators on the faculty at the KIA School will be featured in this exhibition, along with works by some of the school's former faculty members.

Works in media such as ceramics, sculpture, painting, jewelry, photography and fiber will be featured.

The KIA is open 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. For more information, visit kiarts.org.


Oct. 6–27

Black Arts & Cultural Center

Works by painter and sculptor Rufus Snoddy and award-winning illustrator Kenjii Jumanne-Marshall will be featured in this exhibition at the center.

Snoddy, a native Californian who relocated to northern Michigan a decade ago, combines sculpture, painting, construction and other media in his work.

Jumanne-Marshall, whose illustrations have appeared in Detroit Metro Times, the Orlando Weekly, Wired magazine, The Detroit News and The New York Times, is a Kalamazoo-based artist. He is known for his caricature drawings of celebrities and his graphic novel Witchdoctor

An opening-night reception with the artists will be held at 5 p.m. Oct. 6. The BACC, at 359 S. Kalamazoo Mall, Suite 202, is open from 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Tuesdays–Fridays. For more information, visit blackartskalamazoo.org.

Kalamazoo Institute of Arts

ABridgeBetweenTwoWorlds: WorksbyWuJian’an , through Dec. 31

UnveilingAmericanGenius , through Dec. 31

C.C.Wang:LinesofAbstraction , through Dec. 31

Celebrate! through Jan. 14

Richmond Center for Visual Arts, WMU

PhotosynthesisII,through Nov. 18, Albertine Monroe-Brown Gallery

InItsPlace, through Nov. 18, Netzorg & Kerr Gallery

Ongoing Exhibitions COMEDY

Improv Performances Throughout the

month Crawlspace Theatre

Four different but fun comedic acts will be on stage this month at the Crawlspace Theatre, 315 W. Michigan Ave.

Unless noted, tickets for the shows will be $10. They are available at crawlspacecomedy.com. The acts performing will be:

• Riddled with English — A Kalamazoo improv troupe, at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 7.

• Oh Hey! — The comedy duo of Tanja Rowland and Sara Fish, at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 14.

• Blunder Bus —An improv troupe formed last year from the Crawlspace Comedy Improv School, at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 21.

• Crawlspace Eviction — Longtime local improv team with short-form, longform and sketch comedy, at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 27 and 28. Tickets are $15.

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Author Talks Throughout the month

Various venues and online

From Michigan writers to international bestselling novelists, authors of fiction and nonfiction works will present talks online or in person this month.

The Kalamazoo Public Library will offer three online author talks this month:

• European travel writer Rick Steves will provide tips and tools for traveling in Europe, from 4–5 p.m. Oct. 10.

• Bestselling author Ruth Ware will talk about her new book, Zero Days, from 2–3 p.m. Oct. 18.

• International bestselling author John Irving will discuss his most recent novel, The Last Chairlift, from 7–8 p.m. Oct. 26.

Registration is required for all three talks and can be done at kpl.gov/live.

In addition, Michigan authors will speak in Comstock and Richland:

Kathy Conder, author of the book Hauntings, Spirits, and Eats Michigan, shares her experiences with what she calls the ghosts of the Civil War battle site Gettysburg, from 6–7 p.m. Oct. 18 at the Comstock Township Library, 6130 King Highway. Registration is required. To register, call 345-0136 or visit comstocklibrary.org

Ron Rademacher will discuss his book Oddities and Rarities: Michigan Back Roads, from 7–8 p.m. Oct. 18 at Richland Community Library, 8951 Park St. For more information, call 629-9085 or visit richlandlibrary.org.

Tom Montgomery Fate

Oct. 6

KVCC Visiting Writers Series

Creative nonfiction author Tom Montgomery Fate will discuss his latest book and the craft of writing when he visits Kalamazoo Valley Community College this month.

Fate, whose new book, The Long Way Home: Detours and Discoveries, is a travel memoir, will present a craft talk at 10 a.m., followed by a reading at 2:15 p.m. in the KVCC Student Commons Theater, Room 4240, on the college's Texas Township campus.

Fate is the author of five other books of creative nonfiction, including Cabin Fever (2022) and Steady and Trembling: Art, Faith, & Family in an Uncertain World (2005). A regular contributor to the Chicago Tribune, his essays have also appeared in The Boston Globe, The Baltimore Sun, Orion, The Iowa Review, Christian Century, Fourth Genre and River Teeth

For more information, visit libguides.kvcc.edu/visitingwriters.

WMU Student Dance Concert

Oct. 27–29

Dalton Center

This annual showcase is produced, performed and choreographed by students in Western Michigan University's Department of Dance and features dance choreography in many genres as well as the repertoire of performance-based student organizations at WMU.

Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Oct. 27 and 28 and 2 p.m. Oct. 28 and 29 in Studio B of WMU’s Dalton Center. Tickets will be available through wmich.edu/dance/ events.

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Big Fish — Traveling salesman Edward Bloom tells larger-than-life tales that his son Will is determined to find out the truth behind, 2 p.m. Oct. 1, Civic Theatre, 329 S. Park St., 343-1313, kazoocivic.com.

All of Us: A Celebration of BIPOC Voices — A collection of short plays celebrating voices of people of color, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 6 & 13, 2 p.m. Oct. 7–8 & 14–15, Parish Theatre, 405 W. Lovell St., 343–1313, kazoocivic.com.

Intimate Apparel — A Black seamstress sews intimate apparel for clients ranging from the wealthy to prostitutes, presented by WMU Theatre, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 6–7 & 12–14, 2 p.m. Oct. 8 & 15, York Arena Theater, WMU, 387-6222, wmich.edu/ theatre.

Exit Strategy — Teachers fight to keep a Chicago public high school open despite funding cuts & rodent infestation, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 19–21, 2 p.m. Oct. 22, Face Off Theatre Company, Dormouse Theatre, 1030 Portage St., faceofftheatre.com.

BIcycle — Bell Linden begins writing about her experiences as a bisexual & biracial woman in this play presented by Queer Theatre Kalamazoo, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 20 & 21, 2 p.m. Oct. 22, Kalamazoo Nonprofit Advocacy Coalition, 315 W. Michigan Ave., queertk.org. 569-6250 or 383-4433.

Whose Life is it Anyway? — The Civic's Senior Class Readers Theatre presents this play about a paralyzed sculptor who invokes the law of habeas corpus, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 27–28, Nov. 3–4, 2 p.m. Oct. 29 & Nov. 5, Carver Center Studio, 426 South Park St., 343-1313, kazoocivic.com.


Working: The Musical —Stories about people living & working in Kalamazoo, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 5–7, 2 p.m. Oct. 1 & 8, Farmers Alley Theatre, 221 Farmers Alley, 343–2727, farmersalleytheatre.com.

MeanGirls— A naive newbie falls in with a vicious group of “frenemies,” 7:30 p.m. Oct. 24 & 25, Miller Auditorium, WMU, millerauditorium.com.

Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812 — An electropop opera based on a slice of Leo Tolstoy’s War & Peace, presented by WMU Theatre, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 27–28 & Nov. 2–4, 2 p.m. Oct. 29 & Nov. 5, Williams Theater, WMU, 387-6222, wmich.edu/theatre.

Addy & Uno — A child with autism competes in his school’s math competition in this puppet production, 11 a.m. Oct. 28 & Nov. 4, 2 p.m. Oct. 28–29 & Nov. 4–5, Farmers Alley Theatre, farmersalleytheatre.com.


WMU Student Dance Concert— 7:30 p.m. Oct. 27 & 28, 2 p.m. Oct. 28 & 29, Studio B, Dalton Center, WMU, wmich.edu/dance/events.


Bands & Solo Artists

Grace Potter — Bluesy roots rock, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 4, State Theatre, 404 S. Burdick St., kazoostate.com.

Open Mic Hosted by Layback Easy — Artists & other creatives gather for self-expression & community, 7 p.m. Oct. 5, Dormouse Theatre,1030 Portage St., dormousetheatre.com.

Kalamazoo Battle of the Bands Finale — Oct. 6, outside the State Theatre; seating starts at 5 p.m., music at 5:30 p.m., kazoostate.com.

Read Out & Rock Out — Bitch & Crys Matthews perform a concert in celebration of Banned Books Week, 6–8 p.m. Oct. 6, Kalamazoo Public Library, 315 S. Rose St., kpl.gov.

Bell’s Eccentric Cafe Concerts — Horseshoes & Hand Grenades, 8 p.m. Oct. 7; Rachel Davis, 8 p.m. Oct. 8; Deerfield Run & Carrie McFerrin, 8 p.m. Oct. 13; Kalamashoegazer, 5:30 p.m. Oct. 14; The California Honeydrops, 8 p.m. Oct. 19; Dopapod + Tauk, 8 p.m. Oct. 20; Bob Mould Solo Electric w/Jason Narducy, 8 p.m. Oct. 21; The Arcadian Wild, 8 p.m. Oct. 22; A. Savage w/Annie Hart, 8 p.m. Oct. 25; Jesse Ray & The Carolina Catfish, 8 p.m. Oct. 28; 355 E. Kalamazoo Ave., 382–2332, bellsbeer.com.

Edition Redux — Improvised music with reeds, keyboard, drums, tuba & electronics, 7 p.m. Oct. 8, Dormouse Theatre, dormousetheatre.com.

The Robert Cray Band — Soul/R&B, 7 p.m. Oct. 8, State Theatre, kazoostate.com.

Corn Potato String Band — Music of the flatlands, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 11, Dormouse Theatre, dormousetheatre.com.

Casting Crowns — Christian rock band with a live symphony, 7 p.m. Oct. 14, Miller Auditorium, wmich.edu/events.

Black Violin — A violin duo performing classical & hip-hop tunes, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 17, Miller Auditorium, wmich.edu/events.

Michigan Night — Featuring The Accidentals, Lindsay Lou, Patty PerShayla & The Mayhaps & the Jordan Hamilton Trio, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 20, State Theatre, kazoostate.com.

Kalamazoo Mandolin & Guitar Orchestra— 3 p.m. Oct. 22, Milwood United Methodist, 3919 Portage St., kalmando.com.

Lyle Lovett & Leo Kottke — Country musician & guitarist perform together, 7 p.m. Oct. 25, State Theatre, kazoostate.com.

Emo Orchestra — A live performance of emo songs with a full orchestra arrangement, 7 p.m. Oct. 28, Miller Auditorium, WMU, wmich.edu/events.

Orchestra, Chamber, Jazz, Vocal & More

Esme Arias Kim — 2023 Stulberg silver medalist performs on violin with the WMU Symphony Orchestra, 3 p.m. Oct. 1, Miller Auditorium, stulberg.org.

David Briggs — Playing an organ repertoire spanning five centuries, presented by the Connecting Chords Music Festival (CCMF), 7 p.m. Oct. 2, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 247 W. Lovell St., mfsm.us.

University Jazz Lab Band — 7:30 p.m. Oct. 3, Dalton Center Recital Hall, WMU, wmich.edu/ music/events.

KSO Craft Music — Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra musicians perform, 7 p.m. Oct. 4, Bell’s Eccentric Cafe, 355 E. Kalamazoo Ave., 382–2332, kalamazoosymphony.org.

University Jazz Orchestra — 7:30 p.m. Oct. 5, Dalton Center Recital Hall, wmich.edu/music/ events.

Nois Saxophone Quartet — Performs as part of WMU’s Guest Artist Recital Series, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 6, Dalton Center Recital Hall, wmich.edu/music/ events.

Esteban Castro — The pianist performs as part of The Gilmore’s “Baby Grands” program, noon Oct. 7, Willard Library, 7 W. Van Buren St., Battle Creek, 342–1166, thegilmore.org.

Friends of the Gamelan — Traditional music of central Java, in Indonesia, made up of predominantly percussive instruments, presented by CCMF, 2:30 p.m. Oct. 7, Kalamazoo Public Library, 315 S. Rose St., mfsm.us.

University Symphonic Band & University Wind Symphony — 3 p.m. Oct. 8, Miller Auditorium, wmich.edu/music/events.

Esteban Castro Trio — The Gilmore presents this piano & drum trio, 4 p.m. Oct. 8, Wellspring Theater, 359 S. Kalamazoo Mall, virtual & in-person tickets available, 342–1166, thegilmore.org.

Norse Code – David & Karin Code present a traditional folk music program with bowed stringed instruments of Norway & Sweden, 2 p.m. Oct. 8, Parchment Community Library, 401 S. Riverview Drive, 343-7747, parchmentlibrary.org.

Marja Kerney & Friends — A recital by the percussionist & other musicians, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 10, Dalton Center Recital Hall, wmich.edu/music/ events.

Kommuna Lux — Instrumental folk music, presented by CCMF, 7 p.m. Oct. 11, Bell’s Eccentric Cafe, mfsm.us.

Deirdre D.S. Sense — Hip-hop artist, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 11, Dalton Center Recital Hall; pre-concert talk at 7 p.m., wmich.edu/music/events.

John Mayrose — Composer & guitarist, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 12, Dalton Center Recital Hall, wmich.edu/ music/events.

Fry Street Quartet — Performing chamber music, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 13, Dalton Center Recital Hall, fontanamusic.org.

Trail Walk with Slow Bell Trio — Sound artist, percussionist & saxophonist playing ambient music at Kleinstuck Preserve, presented by CCMF, 6 p.m. Oct. 14; meet at Maple Street YMCA tennis courts, 1001 W. Maple St., & bring a portable chair; mfsm.us.

Choral Showcase — Featuring Amphion, Anima & University Chorale, 3 p.m. Oct. 15, Dalton Center Recital Hall, wmich.edu/music/events.


Rahim Alhaj Trio — Iraqi master of the oud, a lutetype stringed instrument, performs with a santour player & a percussionist, presented by CCMF, 4 p.m. Oct. 15, Stetson Chapel, Kalamazoo College, mfsm.us.

A Magical World — The Kalamazoo Concert Band performs music of Disney, 7:30–9 p.m. Oct. 21, Chenery Auditorium, 714 S. Westnedge Ave., kalamazooconcertband.org

KSO Bachtoberfest — Principal players of the KSO perform, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 21, Miller Auditorium, kalamazoosymphony.org.

The President’s Own United States Marine Band — The band performs a free concert, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 23, Miller Auditorium; tickets required; millerauditorium.com.

Pedro Giraudo Tango Quartet — Latin ensemble playing a tango repertoire, presented by CCMF, 7 p.m. Oct. 24, Wellspring Theater, 359 S. Kalamazoo Mall, Suite 204, mfsm.us.

Edmar Castañeda Quartet — Jazz artists led by Latin jazz harpist, presented by CCMF, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 25, Dalton Center Recital Hall, mfsm.us. ElArmorBrujo:LoveBewitched— KSO musicians perform this musical tale of ghosts, enchantments & cursed love,3 p.m. Oct. 29, Dalton Center Recital Hall, kalamazoosymphony.com.

Illia Ovcharenko — The Gilmore presents the Ukrainian pianist, 4 p.m. Oct. 29, Wellspring Theater, virtual & in-person tickets available, 342–1166, thegilmore.org.


Riddled with English — Local improv troupe, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 7, Crawlspace Theatre, 315 W. Michigan Ave., crawlspacecomedy.com.

Oh Hey! — Improv comedy with Tanja Rowland & Sara Fish, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 14, Crawlspace Theatre, crawlspacecomedy.com.

Pete Davidson — Comedian from Saturday Night Live, 7 p.m. Oct. 21, State Theatre, 404 S. Burdick St., kazoostate.com.

Blunder Bus — Games & fun characters perform improv, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 21, Crawlspace Theatre, crawlspacecomedy.com.

Nurse Blake — Sharing stories of being a nurse, 8 p.m. Oct. 26, Miller Auditorium, WMU, millerauditorium.com.

Crawlspace Eviction — Improv team, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 27 & 28, Crawlspace Theatre, crawlspacecomedy. com.


Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1920) — The silent-era movie presented with a live improvised score by organist David Briggs, presented by CCMF, 7 p.m. Oct. 4, First United Methodist Church, 212 S. Park St., mfsm.us.

The Nightmare Before Christmas — Screening of the 1993 film, with costume & contests, , 7 p.m. Oct. 13, State Theatre, 404 S. Burdick St., kazoostate. com.

A Nightmare on Elm Street — Screening of the 1984 film, with a costume contest, 9:30 p.m. Oct. 13, State Theatre, kazoostate.com.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show — Screening of the 1975 movie with a live shadow cast, 9 p.m. Oct. 14, State Theatre, kazoostate.com, & 8 p.m. Oct. 27, Miller Auditorium, WMU, wmich.edu/events.


Kalamazoo Institute of Arts

314 S. Park St., 349-7775, kiarts.org


A Bridge Between Two Worlds: Works by Wu Jian’an — Contemporary Chinese artist who works in cut paper, painting & sculpture, through Dec. 31.

painting & American postwar abstraction, through Dec. 31.

Unveiling American Genius— Abstract & contemporary works emphasizing stories told by African American, Latino & other artists, through Dec. 31.

Celebrate! — Images of joyful events & environments, through Jan. 14.

Kirk Newman Art School Faculty Review — Biennial exhibition showcasing 40-plus Southwest Michigan artists, Oct. 14–Jan. 28, 2024.


ARTbreak — Programs about art, artists & exhibitions: Borrowed Light, Homage to My Father, talk by Margaret Vega, Oct. 3; How the Teatro Olimpico & the Drottningholm Slottsteater “Perform” Their Pasts, talk by Ed Menta, Oct. 10; Introducing Leslie Donaldson, talk by the new director of the Kirk Newman Art School, Oct. 17; Engaging with Modern Dance, presentation by Marisa Bianan, Oct. 24; Witches, Devils, Goblins & Other Images of Halloween, talk by James Palmitessa, Oct. 31; sessions begin at noon in the KIA Auditorium, tickets available for online or in-person attendance.

Weight & Whimsy: Chinese Language in Contemporary Art — Alfreda Murck discusses contemporary artists who feature Chinese characters in their art, 6 p.m. Oct. 12, KIA Auditorium & via livestream; tickets required.

Book Discussion Discussion of Nicole Flattery’s Nothing Special, 2 p.m. Oct. 18; registration required.

Richmond Center for Visual Arts

Western Michigan University, 387-2436, wmich.edu/art

C.C.Wang:LinesofAbstraction— An exhibition focusing on the late artist’s synthesis of Chinese ink

Should I transfer my vehicle into the name of my Trust?

PhotosynthesisII— A 17-person exhibition curated by Ninth Wave Studio, through Nov. 18, Albertine Monroe-Brown Gallery. Q: A:

e answer is “it depends.” Generally, assets should be held in your trust in order to avoid probate exposure upon death. However, MCL 257.236(2) provides that if the total value of vehicles is less than $60,000 and a probate estate is not opened in the name of the decedent, the surviving spouse (or other heirs) may apply to transfer title to a vehicle with the Secretary of State. Your spouse or other heirs must bring a copy of your death certi cate to the Secretary of State’s o ce and ll out Form TR-29 – Certi cate From the Heir to a Vehicle.

For married couples, we do recommend if each spouse has their own vehicle, that the driver of that vehicle be the registered owner for liability purposes. Under Michigan no-fault law, in the event of an accident, the at-fault driver, and the owner, are liable.

www.encorekalamazoo.com | 29 ENCORE EVENTS
send your questions to Michael J. Willis, J.D., C.P.A.
Willis Law 491 West South Street Kalamazoo, MI 49007 269.492.1040

In Its Place — Print media artist Nichole Maury’s examination of the concept of home, through Nov. 18, Netzorg & Kerr Gallery.

Art Education Area Exhibition — Students display their work, Oct. 3–6, DeVries Student Gallery.

Other Venues

Portage Community Art Award — An exhibition by this year’s winning Portage artist, 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Monday–Friday, through Oct. 30, Portage City Hall Atrium, 7900 S. Westnedge Ave., portagemi.gov/ calendar.

Black Man — Art by Rufus Snoddy & Kenjji, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Tuesdays–Fridays, Oct. 6–27; opening night reception, 5 p.m. Oct. 6, Black Arts & Cultural Center, 359 S. Kalamazoo Mall, Suite 202, blackartskalamazoo.org.

Book Arts in Europe — An exhibition of artwork created by WMU art students who traveled to Europe this summer, Oct. 6–26, Kalamazoo Book Arts Center, Suite 103A, 326 W. Kalamazoo Ave., 373-4938, kalbookarts.org.


Comstock Township Library 6130 King Highway, 345-0136, comstocklibrary.org

Buck a Bag Book Sale — Fill a bag with books for $1, Oct. 2–14.

Writing with Wilma — Reminiscence writing led by Wilma Kahn, 10–11 a.m. Tuesdays, through Oct. 24; registration required.

Banned Book Discussion — Discussion of Rudolfo Anaya’s Bless Me, Ultima, 11 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Oct. 4; registration required.

Banned Book Club — Discussion of Art Spiegelman’s graphic novel Maus, 6–7 p.m. Oct. 11; registration required.

Haunted Gettysburg — Kathy Conder shares her experiences at Gettysburg, 6–7 p.m. Oct. 18; registration required.

Clue Scavenger Hunt — Follow clues to solve a mystery, 6–7 p.m. Oct. 25; registration required.

Fall Fest — Come dressed in a Halloween costume for games, crafts & snacks, 11 a.m.–1 p.m. Oct. 28.

Adult Book Club — Discussion of Victor LaValle’s Lone Women, 6–7:30 p.m. Oct. 30; registration required.

Kalamazoo Public Library

553-7800, kpl.gov

KPL Tech Days — Personal session to learn technology & the internet, 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Oct. 2, 7, 9, 14, 16, 21, 23, 28 & 30, Central Library, 315 S. Rose St.; sessions are first-come, first-served.

KPL Mobile Library — 3:30–5 p.m. Oct. 2, New Village Park/Heather Gardens, 2400 Albans Way; 11 a.m.–noon Oct. 4, Ecumenical Senior Center, 702 N. Burdick St.; 3–4 p.m. Oct. 24, Maple Grove Village, 735 Summit Ave.

Blackout Poetry — A workshop session on creating erasure poetry by blacking out words around other words in a piece of writing, 4:30–6:30 p.m. Oct. 2, Eastwood Branch, 1112 Gayle.

Banned Book Discussion Panel — Listen to individuals on the front lines of battling censorship, 6–7 p.m. Oct. 3, Oshtemo Branch, 7265 W. Main St. First Saturday of the Month — Community organizations, crafts, activities & more, 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m. Oct. 7, Alma Powell Branch, 1000 W. Paterson St. Music & Memories with Fiddlehead Music Therapy — Songs geared toward older adults & discussion about how music stirs memories, 10:45 a.m.–noon Oct. 9, Oshtemo Branch.

Page Turners Book Club — Discussion of Rachel Joyce’s Miss Benson’s Beetle, 6:30–7:30 p.m. Oct. 9, Oshtemo Branch & Zoom; registration required.

European Travel Tips & Tools with Guidebook Author Rick Steves — The author & TV host shares the latest in European travel in this online session, 4–5 p.m. Oct. 10, kpl.gov/live; registration required. Rose Street Poetry Club — Poetry reading & writing session for adults, 10–11 a.m. Oct. 14, Central Library.

Spooky Candy Houses — Made from graham crackers, frosting & candies, 10:30–11:30 a.m. & 11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Oct. 14, Central Library; registration required.

Author Talk: Ruth Ware — The bestselling author gives an online talk about her new book, Zero Days, 2–3 p.m. Oct. 18, kpl.gov/live; registration required.

Classics Revisited — Discussion of Peter Matthiessen’s The Snow Leopard, 2:30–4 p.m. Oct. 19, Central Library; Zoom option available.

Epoca Dorada del Cine Mexicano/Golden Era of Mexican Film — October’s film will be Por Mis Pistolas (With My Guns), 11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m. Oct. 21, Washington Square Branch, 1244 Portage St. I’m Dying to Talk To You — Dave Kampfschulte speaks on conversations with end-of-life patients & their families, 6:30–7:30 p.m. Oct. 24, Oshtemo Branch.

Dungeons & Dragons Game Night — Beginner & experienced tables, 5:30–7:30 p.m. Oct. 25, Washington Square Branch; registration required.

Author Talk: John Irving — An online talk by the international bestselling author on his most recent book, The Last Chairlift, 7–8 p.m. Oct. 26, kpl.gov/ live; registration required.

Bujo & Chill for Teens & Adults — A morning of lofi hip-hop music & bullet journaling, journals available for beginners, 10:30 a.m.–noon Oct. 28, Oshtemo Branch.

Researching Your African American/Native American Heritage — Learn how to explore the Native American ancestors on your African American family tree, 10:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m. Oct. 28, Eastwood Branch, 1112 Gayle; registration required.

Parchment Community Library

401 S. Riverview Drive, 343-7747, parchmentlibrary.org

Friends of the Library Garage Sale — To support library programs, 9 a.m.–noon Oct 7.

Parchment Book Group — Discussion of Jane Kirkpatrick’s The Healing of Natalie Curtis, 6 p.m. Oct. 9.

Parchment City Commission Candidate Forum — Moderated question-&-answer session with candidates, 6:30 p.m. Oct. 10.

Partial Eclipse Watch Party — Bring eclipse glasses or indirect solar viewers, 11:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m. Oct. 14.

Mystery Book Club — Discussion of SJ Bennett’s The Windsor Knot, 6:30 p.m. Oct. 17.

Halloween Painting — Paint a Halloween scene in a session led by Coleen Austin, 6 p.m. Oct. 19 or Oct. 26; limited seating, paid reservation required.

Yum’s the Word: Water & Wheat — Chef Josh Musinski shares samples & recipes of vegan dishes, 6:30 p.m. Oct. 25; limited seating, paid reservation required.

Portage District Library

300 Library Lane, 329-4544, portagelibrary.info

Muffins & the Market — A discussion of market trends, 9 a.m. Oct. 5 & 19.

Friends of the Library Book Sale — 9 a.m.–3 p.m. Oct. 7; members can shop early, 4–5:30 p.m. Oct. 6. How to Invest Your First $50 — Learn the process of risk analysis, 7 p.m. Oct. 9.

Video & Board Games for the Holidays 2023 — A presentation of new video & board games, 7 p.m. Oct. 10.

Kalamazoo Macintosh Users Group — Help with Macintosh programs & accessories, 9 a.m.–noon Oct. 11 & 21.

International Mystery Book Club — Discussion of Rita Todacheene’s Shutter, 7 p.m. Oct. 12.

Documentary & Donuts — Viewing of the film Audible, 10–11:30 a.m. Oct. 13.

Kalamazoo Valley Genealogical Society — Open to those interested in genealogy, 7 p.m. Oct. 16.

Plots & Pages: A Local Writers Group — Author Mark Love discusses the craft of writing, 6 p.m. Oct. 17.

Heartwarming Reads Book Club — Discussion of Katherine Center’s The Bodyguard, 2 p.m. Oct. 18. Family Game Night — Play a variety of board & card games, 6–8 p.m. Oct. 18; registration required.

Kalamazoo Plant It Forward Swap — A plant swap social event, 10 a.m.–noon. Oct. 21; registration required.

Kalamazoo Area Wild Ones: What is a Natural Landscape? — A monthly program on environmentally friendly landscaping, 7 p.m. Oct. 25.

Palliative & Hospice Care — Exploring the benefits & misconceptions of end-of-life care, 6 p.m. Oct. 26.

Richland Community Library 8951 Park St., 629-9085, richlandlibrary.org

Bridge Club — Noon Tuesdays.

Adult Art Club — 6 p.m. Oct. 3 & 4; registration required.

RCL Film Club — Discussion of Wait Until Dark, 6 p.m. Oct. 11.


Leah Meyer — The photographer discusses her work, 6 p.m. Oct. 12.

Richland Area Writer’s Group — 10 a.m.–noon Oct. 14.

Ron Rademacher — The author discusses his book Oddities and Rarities of Michigan, 7–8 p.m. Oct. 18.

Richland Genealogy Group — Roundtable discussion group, 10 a.m.–noon Oct. 19, in person & via Zoom.

Team Trivia — 6:30 p.m. Oct. 25; registration required.

RCL Book Club — Discussion of Barbara Kingsolver’s Demon Copperhead, 6 p.m. Oct. 26.

Adult Dungeons&Dragons Level 1 — Play a live game with other adults, 10 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Oct. 28; registration required.

Family Matinee — Watch Scooby Doo, 1–3 p.m. Oct. 28; bring blankets & pillows.

Other Venues

Tom Montgomery Fate — Author of the memoir

The Long Way Home gives a craft talk at 10 a.m. & a reading at 2:15 p.m. Oct. 6, KVCC Student Commons Theater, Room 4240, Texas Township, libguides.kvcc.edu/visitingwriters.

Therapy Dogs — 10:30 a.m. Oct. 7, Antwerp

Sunshine Library, 24283 Front St., Mattawan, 668-2534, vbdl.org.


Gilmore Car Museum

6865 Hickory Road, Hickory Corners, 671-5089, gilmorecarmuseum.org

Deutsche Marques Oktoberfest & Color Tour —

A gathering of German cars, 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Oct. 14; cars will depart on a color tour at 10 a.m.

Kalamazoo Valley Museum

230 N. Rose St., 373-7990, kalamazoomuseum.org

ExploreYourWorld! — Undertake a quest across land, sea & space to explore the role of mapping & navigation in everyday life, through Oct. 15.

Wonder Media: Ask the Questions! — Test your media literacy skills & learn to discern misinformation & disinformation in the media, through 2023.

SPLAT! The Buzz About Flyswatters — A collection of 3,300-plus fly swatters, through January.


Kalamazoo Nature Center

7000 N. Westnedge Ave., 381-1574, naturecenter.org

Bird Banding Up Close — Weekly meeting to view researchers banding birds for study, 8–10 a.m. Wednesdays, through Oct. 25; meet at the Banding Barn near KNC Camp.

Kalamazoo River Guardians — Take samples of & identify macroinvertebrates from the Kalamazoo River Watershed, 9 a.m.–2 p.m. Oct. 7, beginning

at Merrill Park, 5845 Comstock Ave.; registration required.

Kalamazoo Astronomical Society Public Observing Sessions — “Jupiter, Saturn & Galaxies of Autumn,” Oct. 7; “The Moon, Jupiter & Saturn,” Oct. 21; both sessions 7–11 p.m.; sessions will be canceled if the sky is mostly cloudy or overcast; check kasonline.org starting at 6 p.m. the day of the event.

Prescribed Fire & Conservation — Learn about our local ecology, 5:30–7 p.m. Oct. 18; registration required.

Returning & Reskilling Series — Land-based living skills, 10–11:30 a.m. Oct. 28, DeLano Homestead, 555 West E Ave.; registration required.

Other Venues

Storybook Walk — Pages of the book Hiking Day can be seen between 9 a.m. & 4:30 p.m. Oct. 1–29 along the paved path of the Kellogg Bird Sanctuary, 12685 East C Ave., Augusta, birdsanctuary@kbs. msu.edu.

Weekly Kal-Haven Trail Birding Walk — Walk to a bird marsh, 9–11 a.m. Tuesdays through October; meet at 10th Street caboose trailhead, kalamazooaudubon.org.

Dessert with Discussion: Genetic Rescue to the Rescue? — Lecture & informational booths on genetic rescue of imperiled species, 6:30–8:30 p.m. Oct. 3, Kellogg Biological Station, 3700 E. Gull Lake Drive, Hickory Corners; in-person & via Zoom, free registration required, kbs.msu.edu/events.

Astrophotography Night — Photographing the night sky, 7–9:15 p.m. Oct. 6, Kalamazoo Math & Science Center, 600 W. Vine St., with Zoom option available, kasonline.org.

Monthly Beginning Birding Walk — 9–11 a.m. Oct. 7; meet at Wolf Lake State Fish Hatchery's second parking lot, 34270 County Road 652, Mattawan, kalamazooaudubon.org.

Duck Banding Demonstration — Presentation on the Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ duck banding program, 10–11:30 a.m. Oct. 7, Kellogg Bird Sanctuary, birdsanctuary@kbs.msu.edu.

Social Hike at Spirit Springs Sanctuary — Led by a volunteer, 5:30 p.m. Oct. 19, Dutch Settlement Street, Marcellus, swmlc.org.


Portage Farmers Market — 9 a.m.–1 p.m. Sundays, through October, by Portage City Hall, 7900 S. Westnedge Ave., 329-4522.

Kalamazoo Farmers Market — 8 a.m.–1 p.m. Tuesdays & Thursdays through Oct. 12, 7 a.m.–2 p.m. Saturdays, through Nov. 18; 1204 Bank St., pfcmarkets.com.

Kalamazoo County Senior Expo — Free community event focusing on older adults, 9 a.m.–3 p.m. Oct. 3, Main Expo Hall, Kalamazoo County Expo Center, AAA3Ainfo@kalcounty.com.

Historic Walk: Architects in Kalamazoo —Lynn Houghton leads a walk looking at the historical

architecture of Kalamazoo, 8–9:30 a.m. Oct. 6, beginning at Gazelle Sports, 214 S. Kalamazoo Mall, wmich.edu/events.

Kalamazoo Hamfest 2023 — Event for amateur radio & electronics enthusiasts, 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Oct. 7, Main & North expo halls, Kalamazoo County Expo Center, kalamazoohamfest.org.

Olde Tyme Harvest Festival — Hayrides, pumpkin patch, corn shucks, husker shredder & more, Oct. 7–8, Scotts Mill County Park, 8451 S. 35th St., Scotts, 579-4627, kalcounty.com/newsandevents.

Kalamazoo Record & CD Show — New & used records & CDs, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Oct. 8, Room A, Kalamazoo County Expo Center, 734-604-2540.

Project Connect of Kalamazoo County — Free event connecting residents with services to improve quality of life, noon.–3 p.m. Oct. 11, Main Expo Hall, Kalamazoo County Expo Center, 441-1630.

Geek Fest — Robotics, games, art, comic books & cosplay, 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Oct. 14, South Room, Kalamazoo County Expo Center, 553-7911.

Vintage in the Zoo — Outdoor vintage market & handmade goods, noon–7 p.m. Oct. 14, KVCC’s Anna Whitten Hall, 202 N. Rose St., vintageinthezoo.com.

Historic Walk: Mountain Home Cemetery — Local historian Lynn Houghton leads this walk, 8–9:30 a.m. Oct. 20, 1402 W. Main St., wmich.edu/ events.

Kalamazoo Reptile & Exotic Pet Expo — Reptiles, amphibians, small mammals & exotic pets, 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Oct. 21, Kalamazoo County Expo Center South, kalamazooreptileexpo.com.

Women of West Michigan Beer Bus Tour — Highlighting women in Michigan’s craft beer industry, 1–7:30 p.m. Oct. 21, starting at Old Burdick's Bar & Grill, 100 W. Michigan Ave.; tickets at westmichiganbeertours.com/tour.

Monster Mash — Trick-or-treating, inflatables, hayrides, pumpkin-carving & the movie Hotel Transylvania shown drive-in style, 3–7 p.m. Oct. 21, Ramona Park, 8600 S. Sprinkle Road, parking for the movie starts at 5:30 p.m., portagemi.gov/calendar.

Halloween Forest — A free event with a costume contest, inflatables, a corn maze, a magic show & games, 2–5 p.m. Oct. 28, Milham Park, 607 E. Kilgore, kzooparks.org.

Dia de Los Muertos/Day of the Dead — An event observing an Aztec/Spanish holiday honoring loved ones, featuring live music, crafts & children’s activities, 4–8 p.m. Oct. 28, Main Expo Hall, Kalamazoo County Expo Center, elconciliokzoo.org.

Southwest Michigan Train Show & Sale —

Presented by the Kalamazoo Model Railroad Historical Society, 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Oct. 29, Main Expo Hall, Kalamazoo County Expo Center, kmrhs.org.

www.encorekalamazoo.com | 31

Next to the Community Garden

on Fremont Street in Battle Creek, old men hunch on an old porch of a spacious old house, nursing coffee, smoking, squinting into the early mist, abiding each other’s presence because the presence of another, even silent, helps us be human. The sun drops a fat ray into the front yard.

One of the men says, “Hmm,” spits into the lawn. They all know the worlds that contains.

Smell of burnt toast and bacon through screens.

The men rise slowly and file in, holding the door for each other. Old friend, I wish you were there.

Kerlikowske has lived in Kalamazoo for 45 years, the same amount of time she has known the friend referred to in the poem. Due to dementia, he has drifted further during the past three years than she ever would have imagined.

Visit KalamazooArts.org/membership/ Become part of a network of members that share a similiar respect and passion for the arts! New 2023 benefits reach even further to connect you with the community. Each Arts Council membership includes: • Unlimited event listings on the arts calendar • Promotional opportunties through select media channels • Waived application fees for Grants and Art on the Mall • Rental discount rates at member partner organizations • Membership at Public Media Network • And much more! WHAT’S NEW Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo CREATE. CONNECT. ACHIEVE. Membership has its benefits. A special Thank You to our advertisers! Arborist Services of Kalamazoo 5 & 12 Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo 32 Betzler Funeral Homes 4 Bronson Healthcare 2 Clear Ridge Wealth Management 25 Connecting Chords Music Festival 15 Dave’s Glass 21 DeMent and Marquardt, PLC 3 First National Bank 5 Greenleaf Trust 6 Kalamazoo Community Foundation 36 Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra 2 Kalamazoo Valley Community College Foundation 4 Lewis, Reed & Allen, PC 17 Park Village Pines 13 Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services 9 RAI Jets 20 Ray Financial Group 33 Shinar Law 13 Southern Michigan Bank & Trust 12 Trust Shield Insurance Group 26 Vandenberg Furniture 13 Willis Law 29 & 35 WMUK 35 YMCA of Greater Kalamazoo 4 POETRY ENCORE

Trey Harris (continued from page 34)

for education and music education. I decided to pursue a doctorate in music education at Florida State and worked a lot with the athletic bands there. I immediately jumped into my career as a collegiate athletic band director. I spent two years as the assistant athletic band director at Kennesaw State University, outside of Atlanta. Then, in 2019, I was incredibly honored to be offered the position at WMU. Why is having a marching band important?

When music first came around millennia ago, it was largely a communal activity, designed to be functional and participatory, not like how music is now, where we largely just listen and have the music presented to us. The music itself doesn’t necessarily serve a specific purpose, other than it’s a soundtrack to what’s going on in life. Athletic bands are the opposite of that. If we are doing our job, we play music that the crowd can respond to and participate in. We added a couple songs to our repertoire last year, such as “Go Broncos” and “Distraction,” that are designed to have the crowd scream or jump rather than just sit and have the music wash over them. And if that happens, the idea of home-field advantage for a sports team takes on a new meaning. If the music heard at the stadium does not have that functional, communal, participatory style, it weakens the idea of a home-field advantage.

How has the band grown and how does size have an impact?

Like a lot of programs in 2020 (during the start of the Covid-19 pandemic), the band membership dropped in size from 270 members the year before to about 180 to 190. In 2021, we had 208 members, and last season we were up to 250. We tend to be the largest marching band in our conference. The amount of sound, the quantity, volume and decibel level and also the visual impact that we create on the field is greatly impacted by our size.

What does a game day look like?

It’s a long day, but a great day. People that only experience the Bronco Marching Band inside the stadium might think that that’s all

we do, but our typical game day starts six and a half hours before kickoff. We warm up and have a short rehearsal, hopefully in Waldo Stadium. Then we relocate to another campus location and give a 30to 40-minute pre-game concert for the people that follow us (such as band parents, alumni and our general fans). We post all of this information on our social media.

After the pre-game concert, we march to Waldo Stadium, where 23 minutes before kickoff the band does a nine-and-a-half-minute performance. Then we run onto the field and play "WMU Fanfare" — which was written 30 years ago — and "Go Western," "WMU Cheer," "I’ve Got a Gal in Kalamazoo," "Fight Song," "WMU Alma Mater," and the national anthem. We stay on the field as a tunnel for the team to run through and as soon as the game starts we’re in the stands to play. We perform a halftime show and a post-game concert after the game. After that, the band takes over the field to do a post-post-game concert and play a bunch of tunes that mean a lot to them and just celebrate with one another.

On average, how many pieces will the band learn in a season?

It’s a big number. Everything that the Bronco Marching Band plays is by memory. We never have a flip folder or PDF of music in front of us. We do 15 to 18 songs for halftime shows, seven more for pre-game, probably 15 more which we play in the stands, and then anything we add for special events. That’s more than 40 songs in a season. Do you have anything you want people to know?

Honestly, the Bronco Marching Band is far more interesting and important than the person who sits in my office. It’s the responsibility of the person in my office to continue the standard of excellence, grow the tradition and the impact of the band. Directors will come and go, but, it’s the students in the group and the alumni that are far more important than the person in my chair.

— Interview by Kalloli Bhatt, edited for length and clarity

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Trey Harris Director of Athletic Bands, Western Michigan University

Trey Harris has never marched in a band, but he leads one of the largest marching bands in the Mid-American Conference (MAC), with the sole goal of making the rival sports teams’ jobs harder.

After the pre-game concert, we march to Waldo Stadium, where 23 minutes before kickoff the band does a nine-and-a-half-minute performance. Then we run onto the field and play "WMU Fanfare" — which was written 30 years ago — and "Go Western," "WMU Cheer," "I’ve Got a Gal in Kalamazoo," "Fight Song," "WMU Alma Mater," and

the national anthem. We stay on the field as a tunnel for the team to runthrough and as soon as the game starts we’re in the stands to play.

“If everything that we play is designed to get the crowd involved in the game, then there is a crowd of 25,000 people that are actively trying to make the rival team have a more difficult day,” says Harris. How did you get to where you are today?

I grew up in Texas and went into the Marine Corps to experience some life and to move outside of my bubble. I served four years. It was an amazing experience. Upon discharge, I decided to pursue a music degree at Michigan State University because I had never lived in the Midwest. I fell in love with that program. I finished my music education degree and moved to Kansas City to be with my now wife, Marja Kerney, where I earned a master’s degree in conducting.

I taught public middle and high school for the next five years. This is where I really learned how to teach and developed my philosophy

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Brian Powers
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