How Beads Help Kids Battle Cancer
Taking on Taiko Drumming
Fresh on the farm: Donut Depot
Meet Yolonda Lavender
Southwest Michigan’s Magazine
BONNIE JO CAMPBELL has tried – and failed – to give up writing
up front encore
TA-NEHISI COATES 8 P.M. ON NOV. 3 MILLER AUDITORIUM The Kalamazoo Community Foundation envisions a community where every person can reach full potential. That canâ€™t happen unless all people have equitable opportunities to live positive lives. At our 2015 Community Meeting, Ta-Nehisi Coates, author of the New York Times best-seller Between the World and Me, will speak about race in America. Please join us.
2 | Encore OCTOBER 2015
REGISTER 269.381.4416 WWW.KALFOUND.ORG
“I’ve always loved to golf. But as my heart condition got worse, I couldn’t do much of anything anymore. Even walking across the room left me feeling tired and out of breath. Fortunately for me, the doctors at Bronson helped change all that. They told me about a new heart surgery called TAVR that could actually give me my life back. And that’s exactly what happened. Within days of my surgery at Bronson Methodist Hospital, I could walk without feeling out of breath, and I wasn’t tired anymore. My nurses, they were great, too. They talked to me, listened to me, even gave me pudding and popsicles in the middle of the night. Better yet, I’m back doing all the things I did before my heart condition: mowing the lawn, going to the gym and playing golf with the guys — terrible as ever.” Roy, Battle Creek, Michigan
Your heart condition may be treatable. Find out about the life-saving TAVR procedure at bronsonpositivity.com/heart.
How Beads Help Kids with Cancer
Taking on Taiko Drumming
Fresh on the farm: Donut Depot
Meet Yolonda Lavender
Southwest Michigan’s Magazine
BONNIE JO CAMPBELL has tried – and failed – to give up writing
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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, you may visit www.encorekalamazoo. com. Encore subscription rates: one year $36, two years $70. Current single issue and newsstand $4, $10 by mail. Back issues $6, $12 by mail. Advertising rates on request. Closing date for space is 28 days prior to publication date. Final date for print-ready copy is 21 days prior to publication date.
FEATURES Bonnie Jo Campbell
Beads for the Brave
With a new book hitting the shelves, the acclaimed author admits to failing to give up writing
Hospital, artists create program to help young cancer patients mark their journey
DEPARTMENTS 6 Contributors Up Front 8 First Things — Happenings in SW Michigan 10 Donut Depot — Cider and doughnuts? It must be fall at Schultz Fruitridge Farm
Shape of Things to Come — RNS Packaging has a better way to protect packages
Culinary Kalamazoo — Tasty finds at Beer and Skittles
46 Back Story
Meet Yolonda Lavender — The multitalented leader of the Black Arts and Cultural Center
30 Sharing the Stage Theater companies coordinate, support each other
33 Taking on Taiko Japanese-style drumming resonates for local groups 36 Events of Note 42 Poetry
On the cover: Writer Bonnie Jo Campbell is as at home in a barn as she is in a classroom. She is pictured here at her family’s farm in Comstock. Photo by Brian Powers
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Kit, who is also a poet and fiction writer, found novelist Bonnie Jo Campbell an intriguing subject to interview for our cover feature this month. Kit, who last brought us the story of American Sign Language interpreter and teacher Jamie Rix in August, is a longtime contributor to Encore. She also works at the Kalamazoo Public Library and volunteers at the Kalamazoo Nature Center’s DeLano Homestead, teaching pioneer programs.
A frequent contributor to Encore, Andrew says he has practiced martial arts and enjoys listening to rock drummers, but never thought of putting them together until he learned about taiko. You can see more of his work at www.dominowriting.com.
A true foodie, Tiffany spends a lot of time exploring the nooks and crannies of Kalamazoo, especially the small grocers in the area. This month she brings us five “must-have” products from Beer and Skittles in Richland.
Lisa found working on the feature about Journey Beads a moving experience. “So many things spoke to my heart while working on the Journey Beads story, starting with the amazing courage and strength of the children and their families,” she says. “I was also touched by the deep care and commitment from every person I spoke with at each organization. They work together with one united goal in mind – helping the children.” Lisa is a freelance writer living in Portage whose work has previously appeared in various Chicken Soup for the Soul books, Dog World, MiBiz, and other publications.
Kara brought us this month’s story of Rich Daniels and his specialty shaped packing peanuts. “One of the coolest things about Rich Daniels is his contagious enthusiasm for his product. I found myself getting revved up about packing peanuts. He's down to earth and really easy to talk to, which is fun in a person who can also nerd out on manufacturing patents,” says Kara. Kara is a Kalamazoo-based freelance writer and blogger, whose work can be found at www. sutnambonsai.blogspot.com.
J. Gabriel Ware
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J. Gabriel, our editorial intern, was excited to interview Yolonda Lavender for this month’s Back Story. A WMU student who hails from Detroit, J. Gabriel says, "I haven't been in Kalamazoo a year yet, and the name Yolonda Lavender always seemed to pop up in local arts and music discussions. During my interview with her, I became fascinated not by her passion for her music career or being the executive director of the BACC, but of her pride of being a Kalamazoonian."
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up front encore
First Things Something Magical
Illusionists take the stage (or do they?) Challenge your willingness to suspend disbelief when the performers
Something Important Journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates talks about race
of The Illusionists Live from Broadway take the Miller Auditorium stage at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 7 and 8. “You will see magic performed by seven different illusionists,” says Bethany Gauthier, Miller Auditorium’s assistant director of marketing. “Though they all perform different styles of magic, the illusionists are all endlessly skilled at what they do. A few of the illusionists incorporate humor, so you may spend a good amount of the show laughing.” Tickets are $35–$65. For more information or to buy tickets, call 3872300 or visit millerauditorium.com.
Hear from one of the strongest new voices discussing race in America when author and journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates speaks at the Kalamazoo Community Foundation’s 2015 Community Meeting. Coates, the author of The Beautiful Struggle and Between the World and Me, will be the keynote speaker for the event, set for 8 p.m. Nov. 3 at Miller Auditorium. “Equity is one of our strategic priorities,” says Kalamazoo Community Foundation CEO Carrie Pickett-Erway. “Working with community partners, we are shaping a strategy for impacting equity in Kalamazoo County, and inviting this thought-provoking speaker to town is just one way we hope to increase community understanding.” Copies of Coates’ books will be for sale at the meeting. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Admission and parking is free, but those wishing to attend should register at kalfound. org or by calling 381-4416.
8 | Encore OCTOBER 2015
encore up front
Swan Lake at the State See what dance aficionados hail as the “ballet of all
ballets” when the Russian Grand Ballet presents Swan Lake at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 24 at the Kalamazoo State Theatre, 404 S. Burdick St. With music written by renowned composer Ilyich Tchaikovsky and based on Russian folklore and German legend, Swan Lake follows a heroic young prince as he works to free the beautiful swan maiden from an evil spell. The ballet is in three acts, with two intermissions. Tickets are $30–$56 and can be purchased online at ticketmaster.com, by phone at 1-800-745-3000 or in person at the State Theatre box office. For more information, call 345-6500.
Arctoberfest supports those with developmental disabilities Support
individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families at Arctoberfest 6–8 p.m. Oct. 29 at the Radisson Plaza Hotel, 100 W. Michigan Ave. The event will feature hors d’oeuvres, drinks, music and a silent auction. All proceeds go to The Arc Community Advocates’ efforts to advocate for and support Kalamazoo County residents with developmental disabilities. Tickets are $50 per person or $400 for a table of eight and are available at communityadvocates.org or by calling 342-9801.
Find more happenings in Events of Note on page 36.
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up front encore
Cider and doughnuts
Schultz Fruitridge Farms answers autumn’s call with fresh treats Lisa Mackinder
illy Schultz smiles while walking the grounds at Schultz Fruitridge Farms beneath a clear blue sky. “This is my office,” he says, motioning toward the barn, farm market and surrounding fruit orchards. As the farm’s operations manager, Schultz has several roles at this open-air workplace — farmer, mechanic and, when the crisp air announces autumn’s arrival, doughnut maker. Schultz Fruitridge Farm, 60139 County Road 652, in Mattawan, unveiled its Donut Depot a few years ago. In this custom-built cabin-
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Above: Billy Schultz of Schultz Fruitridge Farms stands in front of the customdesigned trailer housing the orchard’s doughnut-making operation. Opposite page: Apple cinnamon and pumpkin spice doughnuts are two customer favorites.
on-wheels, the Schultz family prepares and sells its fresh-made doughnuts and award-winning apple cider. “We always had customers that would suggest to us, ‘You know what would go great with your fresh cider? It would be so amazing to get a warm doughnut,’” Schultz says.
encore up front
Selling doughnuts made complete sense to Schultz, his brother, Dan Schultz — also an operations manager at the farm — and their parents and the farm’s owners, Bill and Denise Schultz. The farm market at the 500-acre farm stays busy from May through October, when it has at least 10,000 visitors, Billy Schultz estimates. Still, he says, doughnuts seemed a missing component. “We talked to a bakery consultant, and she engineered a plan around that. And it (the Donut Depot) was built from the framework up around our doughnut fryer,” he says. Unlike food trucks, which usually have a utilitarian look about them, the Donut Depot has a more rustic appearance that complements its natural surroundings. It took Greg Brininger, owner of Wolverine Coach Inc., in Mattawan, an entire summer to complete the structure, which is 8 feet wide by 18 feet long. The Depot’s small space required smart design to make sure
there was enough room for workers to cool, dress and package doughnuts all at the same time. On weekends, it takes three to four people to run the Depot. “Everybody has their station,” Schultz explains. “It’s just like a commercial kitchen in many aspects: Do it well and fast.” The doughnut machine, which Schultz calls “the doughnut robot,” is the largest machine that could be run off the farm’s power grid. It makes about one dozen doughnuts every minute when running at maximum speed. “We mix our doughnut batter up to how we want, and then we put it in the vat,” Schultz explains. “The vat drops a doughnut in the hot oil every so many seconds, and you can adjust the timing on it.” From there, the doughnuts float along on a conveyor and are flipped over halfway through. It might sound easy, but Schultz says
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it takes a lot of human management. The Schultzes put much practice into creating a doughnut with a crispy outside and fluffy inside, he says. The first year it was trial by fire. “A warm doughnut that’s enjoyable is an art form in some ways,” Schultz says. The family also wanted a flavorful recipe. At a convention, they met a Michigan-based doughnut expert who has spent his life perfecting his family’s doughnut mixes. He provided a handful of recipes for the Schultz family to try. Customer favorites are apple cinnamon and pumpkin spice. The Depot
also serves blueberry, cherry and chocolate doughnuts. For the past 22 years, the farm has been making fresh apple cider. In 2005, the Schultzes entered their cider for the first time into the apple cider contest at the Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable and Farm Market Expo, in Grand Rapids, where it took second place. There are about 30 to 40 entries each year, and it’s hard to place in the top three, Schultz says. Schultz Fruitridge Farm sells about 5,000 gallons of cider a year, which takes roughly 60,000 pounds of apples to produce. Coming
Schultz Fruitridge Farms & Donut Depot
60139 County Road 652, Mattawan Hours: 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, from Labor Day through the end of October At the farm market: 20 varieties of apples, plus pumpkins, winter squash, pears, jams, jellies and caramel apples At the Donut Depot: Fresh apple cider and doughtnuts. Bottles of hard cider are also sold at the Depot, but its consumption isn’t allowed on the premises. Also at the farm: Wagon rides on weekends, weather permitting
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12 | Encore OCTOBER 2015
up with the award-winning fresh apple cider recipe took some experimentation. “You have an idea of what your apples taste like on the tree,” Schultz says, “and you say, ‘I want to combine them in this fashion.’ We try to have a nice balance of sugar and acid in our cider. It makes it easy to drink, and it’s not too sweet.” The Schultz Donut Depot and the family’s farm market have complemented each other well. In the fall, the market features 20 varieties of apples, plus pumpkins, winter squash, pears, jams, jellies and caramel apples. Visitors also can pick their own apples, and on weekends the farm offers wagon rides. A third-generation farmer, Schultz takes great pride in continuing the family tradition. He credits the 61-year-old farm’s longevity to diversification and notes that not every farmer makes doughnuts and cider. “I believe we’ve attracted more people because of the doughnuts,” Schultz says. Perhaps the only drawback to his job is that acquaintances can always tell his previous whereabouts. Schultz laughs as he recalls their usual comment: “Your hair smells like doughnuts!”
Shape of Things to Come
RNS Packaging has a better, safer way to protect packages by
hen some people encounter a problem, they complain about it to friends. Rich Daniels, on the other hand, has spent hours at the U.S. Patent Office and dreams of revolutionizing the world one package at a time. After a Styrofoam packing peanut impacted his dog’s intestines while Daniels was on his honeymoon, the resident of Sister Lakes threw himself into researching an environmentally friendly packing solution that was safe for animals — and kids, too. In 2012 he founded RNS Packaging Corp., a company that produces non-static, biodegradable loose-fill packing shaped like dog bones. Originally located in Stevensville, RNS has leased a new warehouse in Paw Paw and has four employees, including Daniels, its CEO. The company produces the FunPak brand of non-toxic, cornstarch-based packing peanuts that disintegrate within hours of touching water. In addition to RNS’ signature dog bone shape, the company is producing packing peanuts in the shapes of hearts and shamrocks. “I can’t tell you how many hours I spent researching packing peanuts,” Daniels says. “It turns out no one had ever designed a packing peanut for its appearance.” Shortly after discovering this gaping hole in the packaging industry’s patents, he filed for several patents and received every one he requested. For Daniels, who worked as a manager for Lowe’s home improvement stores while creating his company, making a new product out of something sustainable was a no-brainer. “Why would you want your last interaction with your customer to be them experiencing a box full of garbage?” he asks. Daniels is referring not only to those irksome Styrofoam peanuts but also to the inflated plastic pockets that companies use to ship their products and the daintier, but equally wasteful tissue paper for personal gifts.
Rich Daniels, CEO of RNS Packaging Corp., has developed a safer, more attractive alternative to the Styrofoam packing peanut.
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Enterprise ENCORE “People don’t recycle tissue paper,” he says. “They might reuse it, but how many kids’ birthdays have you been at where there are just wads and wads of tissue paper that go in a big plastic bag and right out to the garbage can?” Daniels didn’t get serious about starting his own business until his father died in 2011. Daniels says he felt that he and his brother were the only legacy left after his father was gone. “At that point,” he says, “I had shelved everything. I spoke to my wife and said, ‘I’m going to do this.’” Daniels admits that running a business isn’t for everyone. “Who in their right mind is starting a manufacturing company right now in America? I remember people telling me, ‘You’re crazy. What are you doing?’ I just said, ‘I know this is a great idea.’” Daniels says companies can make a lasting impression with customers by choosing a packaging solution that doesn’t pollute homes or pose risks to children or pets and can be buried in the garden without any ill effects — all qualities of FunPak Packing Bones.
Plus, the shapes of FunPak Packing Bones are like a gift in themselves, Daniels says. “You wouldn’t believe the emails I get. People don’t know that a product like this exists.” Daniels says the manufacturing process for the biodegradable Packing Bones involves a “trick” to ensure their durability which he declined to reveal. The product has been tested internationally and passed environmental standards for compostability and biodegradability, he says. Daniels claims these smarter, safer and more fun packing peanuts are more economical too. “I don’t know why no one else hasn’t done it yet,” he says. “It seems like a very simple thing.” In August RNS Packaging announced plans to grow the business in both wholesale and retail directions through a new distribution center in Paw Paw, made
possible by financing from the Van Buren County Revolving Loan Fund. Currently, pet supply distributors ship products with FunPak Packing Bones, and individual FunPak products are sold at Meijer stores and through Amazon.
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encore Enterprise Daniels lived in Chicago when he first came up with the idea of biodegradable packing peanuts, and he implemented it after moving to Sister Lakes, southwest of Kalamazoo. He says Michigan’s support for RNS has been overwhelming. Citing mentors and advocates, partners and the loan officers instrumental in getting his business into Paw Paw, Daniels says that people aren’t just doing a job but care about his business and want to see him succeed.
As for his own legacy, Daniels has two young children — a boy and a girl — and has just enrolled in the Executive Master of Business Administration program at Notre Dame. “They see me doing homework,” Daniels says. “I’m an old-school kind of guy so I use note cards to memorize things. We were shopping yesterday for school supplies, and my daughter beelined for the note cards. That was really cool.”
2854 S. 11th Street, Kalamazoo From left to right: Molly Lacy, Practice Administrator, Chris Mars, Vice President Commercial Lending, Marcia Johnson, M.D.
Growing a practice is easy when you have the right partner. “One of the best problems to face in the medical field is outgrowing your current space. Once we decided to build a larger, amenity-rich facility, Chris Mars and First National Bank of Michigan made securing a construction loan as easy as a routine check-up. We appreciate First National’s efforts to treat our practice holistically, just like we do our patients.” – Molly Lacy, Practice Administrator, OB-GYN, P.C.
269.349.0100 or 616.242.6500
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Biodegradable and non-toxic, Fun Pak packing materials come in the shapes of dog bones, shamrocks and hearts.
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Five tasty finds at Beer and Skittles Tiffany Fitzgerald
The greater Kalamazoo area has a number of small grocery stores, each with a unique offering of foods. This series takes a look at those stores and the unique foods savvy shoppers can find at them.
estled into a crook of East D Avenue overlooking Gull Lake, specialty artisan grocer Beer and Skittles has settled into the new location it moved to in January 2015. “It’s been good — and hectic,” says owner Christine Horton of the new store at 12448 East D Ave., Richland, which is the former site of the Bayview Market. “We have been lucky to have a lot of our regular customers who make the trip out, and we’ve also been kind of surprised to find out a lot of our customers are from this area to begin with. And we’ve gained a new customer base here at Gull Lake too.” The new location hasn’t changed the store’s business model, however. Horton and her husband, David Mitchell, maintain their enthusiasm and dedication to stocking Michigan-made foods, beer and handmade goods. “We didn’t necessarily mean to focus on Michigan products, but I love artisan products and I like to go out and find that one special thing, like that one person making really good caramels,” Horton says. “My approach has been, instead of having 20 kinds of chips, let’s find
16 | Encore OCTOBER 2015
Clockwise from top: Beer and Skittles owner Christine Horton fills a bottle with one of the oils available on its olive oil bar; olive oils come in many flavors; and a sampling of the Everything Nice spice, salt and herb product line.
three really good ones and sell those. By proximity, and what I was looking for, I found a lot of Michigan products.” For those trying out Beer and Skittles for the first time, or for regulars thinking of new things to try, here are five suggestions from
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Horton and local shoppers who’ve reviewed Beer and Skittles online:
Olive Oil and Vinegar One of the enduring favorites at Beer and Skittles is The Olive Mill olive oil and balsamic vinegar bar, complete with tasting cups. Customers choose from balsamic vinegar flavors like serrano chili honey, mango, oregano and black cherry, as well as olive oil flavors including blood orange, white truffle, butter and basil. Patrons can fill up their own bottles from vats at the bar or choose prewrapped bottles. Reviewers boast about the dark chocolate balsamic vinegar, the 20-year-old aged balsamic vinegar, the walnut olive oil and the white truffle olive oil. Products from The Olive Mill, based in Geneva, Ill., are more expensive than other vinegars and oils but worth it, reviewers say. “I think it’s one of those things that, once you start using them, you can’t go back,” Horton says. “It’s a simple way to add flavor to a dish with very little effort, and they’re high-quality and healthy. It’s a way to eat healthier and not miss out on flavor.”
Another reviewer favorite is the store’s selection of Everything Nice salt, spice and herb products. The go-to suggestions include the Hawaiian Black Lava Salt and the Smoked Sea Salt. Horton says this line is particularly dear to her. “That’s actually our own brand,” she says. “I knew I wanted to bring in a line of herbs and spices, and it’s really important to me for things to be high-quality, high-value but also beautifully packaged. I couldn’t find one anywhere, and then all of a sudden I thought, ‘You know, you can do your own.’” Horton says the herbs, spices and peppers are organic. Two popular herb mixes are the
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E N C O R E
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constr green “W neighb residen garden bushes surrou Ga Westn serenit Paterso Land B proper garden “” would be a go says W outrea “We w pleasin reflecti will m So A-Lot l Comm La residen Michig three e be inte there. they w and ma Th Eastsid 100 pla food-p for the Comm Land B “T partne As look ac they se new ho lush ga once st have ch profou
savor encore Mediterranean herb blend, which is great in soup and as an herb blend for dipping, and the grilling herb blend, which has been very popular since Beer and Skittles’ move to Richland, “probably for obvious reasons” (lakeside living and fishing = lots of grilling),” Horton says.
Cherri’s Chocol’art Habanero Salted Caramels
The Beer and Skittles website says that these caramels are “mildly spiced, a perfect blend of sweet, salt and heat.”
Lupita’s Salsa and Chips Horton says Lupita’s Salsa and Chips, made by Jona and Julian Orta in Kalamazoo, are beloved by many customers, who recognize them from the Kalamazoo Farmers’ Market, where the Ortas sell them in person. Lupita’s chips are thinner than most, Horton says, and have been a cornerstone product since the launch of Beer and Skittles.
Meyers Bakery Spelt Pasta
These little caramels, handmade in Delton, combine sweet, salty and spicy tastes and come highly recommended by online reviewers. “These are the best salted caramels on the planet,” one reviewer says.
This pasta, made by Meyers Bakery in Lake Odessa, comes in different flavors including an Italian herb blend and a tomato basil flavor. The pasta is made from spelt, an ancient form of wheat, and cooks up perfectly, Horton says. “I love that pasta because I found it at a CSA (a community-supported agriculture endeavor) I was connected to through the Bank Street (Kalamazoo) farmers’ market,” Horton says. “It’s not gluten-free, and you
Left: Cherri’s Chocol’art habanero caramels combine sweet and heat. Above: Lupita’s salsa and chips are popular with regulars.
can’t eat it if you’re gluten intolerant or if you have Celiac disease, but what’s cool is that it’s low in gluten, so it’s easily digestible and doesn’t make you as feel as full. I also like that it’s so long and it’s just kind of fun to eat.” Beer and Skittles is open 8 a.m.– 7 p.m. every day. Find more information at BeerandSkittles.net or call 290-1441.
Lewis Reed & Allen P. C. attorneys
(left to right): Stephen M. Denenfeld, James M. Marquardt, Nicholas J. Daly, Robert C. Engels, Thomas C. Richardson, Richard D. Reed, Gregory G. St. Arnauld, William A. Redmond, Michael B. Ortega, Sheralee S. Hurwitz, David A. Lewis, Michael A. Dombos, Michael A. Shields, Vernon Bennett III, Ronald W. Ryan, Owen D. Ramey.
| kalamazoo | michigan | 49007-3947 | fax: 269.349.3831 | firstname.lastname@example.org www.lewisreedallen.com
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18 | Encore OCTOBER 2015
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Jack, one of her two donkeys, adoringly receives a kiss from Bonnie Jo Campbell at her familyâ€™s Comstock farm.
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Bonnie Jo Campbell The successful novelist who ‘failed to give up writing’ story by photography by
kit almy BRIAN POWERS
It’s a treat to get to visit with author Bonnie Jo Campbell on her screened
porch. The award-winning author, who shares a Kalamazoo Township home “in the swamp” with her husband, Chris Magson, speaks thoughtfully and with humility and humor on a range of topics, including green tea, bicycling, dishwashing, the entertainment provided by the former prison inmates living in the transitional housing next door and the similarity between a mathematical proof and a short story. But the most compelling story Campbell offers is how she has again and again “failed to give up writing.” Good thing. Campbell’s highly anticipated third short-story collection and fifth book, Mothers, Tell Your Daughters, comes out this month from W.W. Norton & Co., Inc. The book comes several years after Campbell crashed onto the literary up-and-comers scene when her short-story collection American Salvage was nominated for a National Book Award and National Book Critics Circle Award in 2009. Her 2011 novel, Once Upon a River, was a national bestseller and received wide media acclaim, and Campbell was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship that same year. “Getting the recognition made me feel confident that I was doing something that the literary establishment cared about,” Campbell says of receiving the Guggenheim. But Campbell admits she’s had enough experience with obscurity not to count on fame. “I feel like exactly the same person, poised for success or failure, either one,” she says. “You work really hard and you do your best and try to write a compelling story, and sometimes the world takes an interest and sometimes the world does not take an interest.” Campbell notes that award-winning books are not necessarily the same ones that people will care about and keep reading years later. “People may reward you for what you’re writing now, but it doesn’t mean that what you’re writing is going to turn out to matter in the whole larger scheme of things. And vice versa. Just because you don’t get accolades doesn’t mean that what you’re writing is not important. The important thing is to keep on writing. “I guess all you can do is just keep trusting yourself that it’s worth doing.” It took Campbell a long time to learn this. The 53-year-old has been writing since childhood but thinks that the praise she received from adults then did not serve her well. “I thought that in order to be a writer I had to be brilliant, and nobody taught me otherwise. People would say things like ‘You’re so talented,’ (so) when I didn’t write well, then it looked like I didn’t have talent for writing and therefore
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couldn’t be a writer,” she says. “What really was helpful was figuring out at about age 35 that it really was just about hard work and putting in the time and being analytical in editing and revision, and being open to any advice that people were kind enough to give me.” Before that, Campbell spent years struggling with competing feelings — the urge to write versus frustration and disappointment with writing as an impractical endeavor. “I really did try not to be a writer,” she says, but the need to write kept pulling her back. She loved the “whole enterprise” of working on her high school newspaper and found it very collaborative, but she says, “I found that doing anything else beyond writing for the school newspaper was very competitive. And it was very difficult to create work and share it in any practical way, and so I just kind of gave up on it.” She tried taking a writing class while in college at the University of Chicago, but the professor told her that her work “epitomized all that was wrong with writing today,” and she abandoned the craft again. Later Campbell created a newsletter for family and friends, which she kept up for almost 20 years. But after trying and failing to get her essays published elsewhere, she set aside a writing career in favor of another longtime interest: becoming a math teacher. Campbell earned a master’s degree in mathematics from Western Michigan University in 1992 and was working on a Ph.D. in math when, she says, she “just started writing again.” “I couldn’t stop writing, and I found that when I was doing mathematics I was very sad.” When her Ph.D. advisor, Arthur White (now retired), suggested she take a writing class,
22 | Encore OCTOBER 2015
she enrolled in an upper-level course taught by WMU English professor Jaimy Gordon (also now retired). “And once I got a little instruction in writing, it just was like a miracle,” she says. “I found out there’s stuff you learn and you learn to do it better, and I took off from there.” Campbell then entered WMU’s Master of Fine Arts creative writing program and although this meant dropping math, she says, “Art White said that I was a success because he got me where I needed to go.” Campbell’s first book, Women and Other Animals, contained stories she wrote in the MFA program and won the Associated Writing Programs award for short fiction in 1999. Shortly afterward, in 2002, her first novel, Q Road, was published by Scribner. Following this initial success, however, Campbell struggled for several years to find a publisher for her next manuscript. “I was going to forsake writing before American
Salvage was a hit because it just seemed that the world was not really interested in my writing. My agent had dumped me, and nobody in New York seemed to have any interest. So I thought I would just relegate the writing more to part time.” She was planning to go back to teaching math “because math is easier to teach because I know what’s right and wrong,” when her fortunes changed again with the publication of American Salvage by Wayne State University Press and the subsequent accolades for the book.
Dispelling ‘the mystique of writing’ Although Campbell has not returned to a math classroom, she is still teaching. She has taught writing in various settings, including at her alma mater WMU and as a faculty
was crucial,” she says. “(I learned) I should write about the kinds of people that I know or the kinds of people that I was thinking about on a daily basis.”
‘Failed short stories’ Campbell, who grew up on a farm in Comstock with her mother and four siblings, had initially tried to write about people from Chicago. They “seemed way more interesting to me than people from boring old Comstock,” she says, “until I learned to see that people from Comstock were actually very interesting.” Now much of her work, including both Q Road and Once Upon a River, is set in and around Kalamazoo. “Some people write about other worlds,” she says. “I am very interested in this world, very interested in things that happen around me where I see people getting into trouble and people having trouble thrust upon them. I take an interest, and I wonder how it’s going to work out, and then it gets my imagination going and I think about more complicated situations that would be worth writing about.” Campbell’s characters deal with a variety of real-life problems, including poverty,
Top left: The cover of Campbell’s new book, Mothers, Tell Your Daughters. Above: Campbell with her mother, Susanna Campbell, who says jokingly she fears readers of her daughter’s new book “are going to think these are stories about me.”
member of the low-residency MFA program at Pacific University in Oregon for the past five years. Finding enough time for her own writing while teaching is a challenge, and when Campbell is unable to fit in writing time — such as when she taught full time at WMU last year or during the 10-day residency at Pacific University each semester — she misses it. But she is well aware of the value of instruction and feedback for her own writing and is eager to share what she has learned with other writers and to dispel “the mystique of writing.” “I want to let people know that writing is mostly just hard work, that almost all writers
write bad things and then make them better, and it’s OK to write things that aren’t so great, and it’s OK if you don’t feel smart, and there really isn’t anything mysterious or magical about writing, that you just do it because it’s the creative work that you do.” Campbell says she has come to her own understanding of the cliché “Write what you know.” “It turns out that having an understanding of what that meant for me
violence, addiction and illness. In Mothers, Tell Your Daughters, she says, “Motherhood and daughterhood and sisterhood (are) the propelling forces for these characters. The trouble was caused by those relationships among mothers and daughters and sisters, and aunts and grandmothers, too.” Many of these characters have done things that appear inexcusable to a casual observer, (Continued on page 43)
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Brian Powers 24 | Encore OCTOBER 2015
Brave How Journey Beads helps kids cope with cancer story by
he 40 handcrafted glass beads 13-year-old Izze Fahl of Kalamazoo has collected since May are more than just brightly colored, eye-catching trinkets: They are badges of bravery and hope. Fahl, who recently finished treatment for Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system, is one of many pediatric cancer patients at Bronson Children’s Hospital who receive beads for challenges they’ve overcome during their cancer treatment. Called Journey Beads, the beautifully crafted beads made by artists at the West Michigan Glass Art Center embody hope in an otherwise daunting journey. At the beginning of May, doctors diagnosed Fahl, and seemingly endless tests, procedures and oncology visits ensued for the teen. “Going into all of this is so overwhelming,” Fahl says. “You think, ‘That’s the end. It’s over.’” In the midst of this whirlwind, Fahl decided to participate in Bronson Children’s Hospital Journey Beads program. Through the program, pediatric cancer patients Opposite page: Nattaly Brown, 5, shows the beads she received for all the procedures she endured during her treatment for cancer at Bronson Children’s Hospital. Above: Pediatric cancer patients often hang their string of Journey Beads on the IV poles in their rooms.
collect beads, each one symbolizing a specific procedure or trial endured such as a blood transfusion, surgery, bone marrow transplant or hair loss. The beads serve as a testament of strength and courage and offer a bright spot for patients. “It was fun to be part of something positive,” says Fahl’s mother, Michael Fahl.
Behind Journey Beads Bronson Child Life Specialist Corey Richardson is one of the hospital’s clinically trained staff members who introduce pediatric cancer patients to Journey Beads. In her work in Bronson’s inpatient pediatrics and the pediatric intensive-care unit, Richardson’s primary role is to “normalize” the environment for pediatric patients by teaching them about medical procedures using child-friendly language. Richardson also supports patients through those procedures and plans special events for the kids. “When a child is diagnosed with cancer, they spend the first few days in the hospital,” Richardson says. “We give them just a little time and after a few days, we go in and bring in a nice packet.” In that packet is a leather string and an initial set of beads signifying the procedures the patient has already been through. “Their first set is usually close to 20 beads,” which means the young patients have undergone 20 procedures in only two days, Richardson explains. Currently 50 kids are enrolled in Journey Beads, and Richardson says the program has elicited an overwhelmingly positive response from patients and their families. Parents will build strings of beads for their sick infants and toddlers, but children ages 5 and older become extremely engaged, Richardson says. When bringing in a bag containing a child’s earned beads, “I always pour it out onto their bedside table,” Richardson says. She holds up each one, explaining what it represents, 26 | Encore OCTOBER 2015
such as the bead with a paw print for “seeing the doggie” — pet therapy — or the fish, which signifies having a central venous catheter, also known as a central line, and/or port taken out. (The central line and port — a device that sits outside the skin and is attached to the central line — are used to administer medications and nutrients and for medical monitoring.) “It really brightens their day,” Richardson says. “They always have their beads hanging from their IV pole. And you see how much they’ve had done.” Besides having a therapeutic impact, the beads also help patients articulate their experience. “Often these kids are shy and nervous about what they’ve been through,” Richardson says, but the beads act as a conversation starter. When family and friends visit, they inevitably ask about the beads, and the kids open up, she says.
Clockwise from top left: Bronson Child Life Specialist Corey Richardson introduces patients to the Journey Beads program; patient Izze Fahl proudly displays beads she’s earned through the program; beadmaker Dawn Bennett-Dailey demonstrates beadmaking to a group; each handcrafted glass bead a patient receives is symbolic for a specific procedure; and a large group of volunteers makes the beads at the West Michigan Glass Art Center.
Matchmakers The Journey Beads program came about when a Bronson Hospital child life specialist attended a conference and heard about Beads of Courage, a national program that gives beads to pediatric cancer patients. Donna Moyer, a clinical nurse specialist at Bronson, says the hospital latched onto the idea and decided to seek partners within the local arts community. Moyer called Beth McCann, deputy director for programs and external communications at the Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo, who immediately knew the perfect resource: the West Michigan Glass Art Center. “I reached out to the executive director at the time, Rebecca Boase, and it turned out beads were already being made here,” McCann says. “I really sort of felt like the matchmaker.” Once the Journey Beads program was established as a collaboration of the Bronson Health Foundation, the Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo and the West Michigan Glass Art Center, the committee developing the program set about determining how many beads would be required. “The nursing staff really put a lot of effort into trying to figure out how many blood draws and how many spinal taps” the children might undergo, McCann says, using those procedures as examples. “They did a lot of internal research.” Now there are 37 procedures for which kids receive beads. The collaborators also sought grant funding for the program. “The State of Michigan has a project fund that you can apply to, and this fit the niche,” McCann says. Journey Beads received a $3,000 grant from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs. The program proved a match because of its collaborative nature, but McCann believes Moyer’s words in the grant application really made the difference. “She wrote it truly from the place of ‘this is what it means to the kids,’” McCann says, “not what it meant to the hospital, not what it meant to the nurses, but what this would mean to the kids and their families.” In addition to the grant, $6,000 in private donations funded the material costs to start Journey Beads. “(The donations) range in the single digits to multiple thousands,” says Terry Morrow, executive director of the Bronson Health Foundation, which acts as the program’s conduit for receiving funds. From the start, collaborators say they have fully grasped the significance of Journey Beads. But for Moyer, its importance resonated loudly during a recent meeting in w w w.encorekalamazoo.com | 27
Left: Each Journey Bead a child receives is handcrafted by a volunteer. Above: Volunteers have made thousands of beads for the program, which are stored in a cabinet at the hospital.
which the words of a young girl undergoing treatment were shared. “When she gets married, she wants a bead made for her bridesmaid,” Moyer says.
Volunteers behind the beads The Journey Beads begin life as colorful glass rods waiting in a cabinet at the West Michigan Glass Art Center until the skillful hands of artists transform them into vibrant, one-of-a-kind beads. “If you had to pay for this program as an organization, it would be cost-prohibitive if the artists did not donate their time to do this,” McCann says. Dawn Bennett-Dailey, WMGAC’s vice president, is one of about 50 artists who donate their time to make the beads. Bennett-Dailey is a cancer survivor and understands how a cancer diagnosis can feel like the end of the world. “I had to go through that and fight that,” she says. “I couldn’t imagine what the kids were going through.” When Journey Beads was launched in 2013, the artists had to create about 8,000 beads, and the need for making the beads continues. Many volunteers result from Art Hop demonstrations at the WMGAC, where attendees watch the bead-making process and an artist is on hand to speak with the public about the Journey Beads program. Some visitors become inspired and sign up for bead-making classes. Bead makers also come from Bronson Methodist Hospital, which offers its staff scholarships to learn the craft. 28 | Encore OCTOBER 2015
“We’ve had nurses enroll in classes after they have worked with the kids and become bead makers,” says Adrienne Marks, WMGAC marketing coordinator. Volunteers help the program in other ways too. Beads contain residue inside when removed from the mandrel, a skinny metal bar about 12 inches long on which the beads are crafted. Individual volunteers, as well as volunteer groups from Stryker Corp. and other organizations, often perform the task of reaming that residue out of the center of the beads and then washing the beads. Bennett-Dailey sees Journey Beads as the WMGAC’s most important endeavor. Her eyes light up when she speaks of the kids and their families, many of whom have come to meet her, sharing their stories and scars and, of course, showing her their beads. “I firmly think that making a difference in a child’s life during the most difficult phase in their life is very rewarding,” Bennett-Dailey says. “I have been told that they come out of a procedure or surgery wanting their bead instead of focusing on what just happened to them. It helps them forget about the pain and focus on something else. Nothing at the center has touched people’s lives as much as this program has.” For the children receiving Journey Beads, it means a great deal that someone in Kalamazoo crafted the beads especially for them. “I think that it’s phenomenal that the artists take time to do this,” says Michael Fahl, who expresses excitement about someday meeting the volunteers. Artistically gifted, Izze Fahl is making plans for her own beads — perhaps she’ll place them in the Bronson Pediatric Hematology Clinic. “I’m thinking about incorporating them into some sort of art piece to help someone else smile,” she says.
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Cooperation Is No Act
Theatre Kalamazoo ‘beneficial to all’ stage companies by
Bret Green, at right, stars as Preston, a paraplegic in the new CBS series The Inspectors. This scene features fellow actors Harrison Knight, at left, and Erica-Marie Sanchez.
Some of the members of Theatre Kalamazoo and the entities they represent are, top row, from left: Nikki Dobos, Fancy Pants Theater; Todd Espeland, Kalamazoo Civic Theatre; Carol Zombro, Fancy Pants Theater; Laura Livingstone-McNelis, Festival Playhouse at Kalamazoo College; and Emily Duguay, WMU Department of Theatre. Bottom row, from left: Kevin Dodd, New Play Festival; Janet Gover, Civic Theatre; Laura K. Henderson, Queer Theatre Kalamazoo; Chandra KatrinicHoss, Center Stage Theatre; and Adam Weiner, Farmers Alley Theatre.
ith 12 theater organizations in Southwest Michigan, the stage might seem a bit crowded. But cooperation among these organizations ensures that there’s ample room for everyone, from high school students with an eye on Hollywood to 30 | Encore OCTOBER 2015
touring professionals at Miller Auditorium, and for many kinds of shows, from the works of ancient Greek playwrights to gay- and lesbian-themed productions. The theater organizations are part of the collective Theatre Kalamazoo, a group
that began meeting regularly in 1998 to coordinate schedules and marketing efforts to bring a wide variety of plays and musicals to Southwest Michigan. “There’s a sense of artistic spirit that is beneficial to all,” says Ed Menta, professor of theater at Kalamazoo College and a member of Theatre Kalamazoo. The theater programs at both Kalamazoo College and WMU are part of Theatre Kalamazoo, as are the Black Arts and Cultural
Center, Center Stage Theatre, The Civic, South County Players, Farmers Alley Theatre, Fancy Pants Theater, The New Vic Theatre, Queer Theatre Kalamazoo, All Ears Theatre and Miller Auditorium. Each theater company is still its own business with its own casts, crews and schedule of plays. The Theatre Kalamazoo group is there to help make sure there’s an audience for each show. “The (group) is a response to the question, ‘How effective are email blasts?’” Menta says. “There’s online ads, radio ads. We’re always advertising in each other’s programs." In addition to cooperating with each other, the theater groups also collaborate on occasion. Theatre Kalamazoo, for example, sponsors its own signature event: the annual New Play Festival. The festival, which began in 2011, is a showcase for aspiring and professional writers who submit short plays for consideration. The plays selected are produced by the member theaters, with the Gilmore Foundation providing a small cash reward for the winning writers. The variety and number of theaters operating in the Kalamazoo area is unusual for the Midwest, Menta says. In some cases, their names alone, such as Queer Theatre Kalamazoo and the Black Arts and Cultural Center, indicate the nature of the group. All Ears Theatre creates live radio shows, often using scripts first produced in the 1930s and 1940s.
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Fancy Pants looks for new playwrights and “under-produced classics,” like the stage version of Night of the Living Dead scheduled for this October, says Carol Zombro, executive director of Fancy Pants. “We’ll take anybody — if you want to see some weird plays, come see us,” Zombro says. Fancy Pants Theater started in 2010, after Kalamazoo’s Whole Art Theater closed. Since 2013, Fancy Pants has been run out of an RV that delivers actors for Shakespeare readings in Kalamazoo parks, among other shows. Fancy Pants staff members are looking for a permanent home for the group. Now the group presents three to four productions a year, on stages belonging to other companies. “We attract the late-night crowd,” Zombro says. “If I’m making a big announcement, I don’t dare do it on Facebook before 10 p.m.” This spring Fancy Pants hosted three festivals of short plays, each on a social issue: #eracism (inspired by the Trayvon Martin shooting), Ladyfest (addressing feminism) and Gayla (addressing gays and lesbians). “We’re not afraid to put a play on and talk about it afterward,” Zombro says. “We want to make sure new plays get out there.” Fancy Pants Theater co-hosted Ladyfest and Gayla with Queer Theatre Kalamazoo, which was in its second season. QTK presents its shows at Fire Historical & Cultural Arts Collaborative, on Portage Road, and QTK founder Laura Henderson says the group is focused on
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— Ed Menta, professor of theater, Kalamazoo College & member of Theatre Kalamazoo gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender people and straight allies. She calls the group’s plays, like The Gayvengers vs. The Ex-Men and Bare the Musical, “equality entertainment.” “We see performance as a catalyst for change,” Henderson says. “Anyone who’s exploring their sexuality can go to a safe place. We hope to create an opportunity for free expression.” Henderson says audiences come to see people like themselves, although the group’s productions have plenty of audience members and actors who are straight. She says it’s equally important that the plays represent everyone. QTK offers shows written for and about gay men, but it also has offered eLLe Kalamazoo, inspired by the lesbian-focused L Word TV show, and I Ain’t Afraid of No Xenu, about the Church of Scientology. Despite Theatre Kalamazoo’s far reach, there are still a few groups, specifically minority groups, not represented, Menta says. There was a Latino theater group called New Latino Visions for a while, but it is now defunct. There’s no Asian theater company either. The Black Arts and Cultural Center, which has been in the Epic Center on the Kalamazoo Mall since 2001, is concentrating on theater this year by launching its Face Off Theater Company. The company debuted last month with a production of August Wilson’s Been Lovin’ You. BACC Executive Director Yolonda Lavender says the Face Off Theatre Company will help BACC offer a more consistent lineup of shows about once a month, allowing it to stay competitive with other live theater companies in the area. “(We are) the face of black theater in Kalamazoo, and maybe in Southwest Michigan,” Lavender says. “In the community we’re in, theater is a large component. We need to be more intentional about how we advertise (ourselves).”
Martial Arts Music
Japanese-style drumming resonates for local taiko groups by
orget Ringo Starr and Buddy Rich — if you want to see a drumming spectacle, check out Esther Vandecar and her taiko drum teams. Taiko are Japanese drums played in performance by a team of drummers. In such a performance, drums of various sizes — from 6 feet in diameter (so big, they’re rarely moved) to the size of a hardcover book — are spread apart on a stage so every performer
has a place to stand. Taiko drummers hold their bodies in specific poses and strike the drums not only at the same time as other drummers on the team, but also with the same range of motion. “Taiko is half martial arts and half music,” says Esther Vandecar of Kalamazoo, who has been teaching taiko in Southwest Michigan since 2011.
Members of Michigan Hiryu Daiko (Flying Dragon Drummers) are, back row, from left: Gerren Young, Carolyn Koebel and King Chang. Middle row, from left: Kat Koto, Esther Vandecar, Miro Koshio, Wyatt Harris, Miza Timmer and Heather Bergseth. Front row: Lillia Bistrek.
Now an instructor at Kalamazoo College, Vandecar directs both the Kalamazoo College Taiko Drumming Troupe — a 14-person junior team of drummers made up of Kalamazoo w w w.encorekalamazoo.com | 33
College students, local high school students and community members — and the Michigan Hiryu Daiko (Flying Dragon Drummers), a six-member group of taiko drummers that performs around the state. These groups are two of only three taiko drum teams in the state, Vandecar says; the other is based in Novi. Vandecar was one of the founding members of Fushicho Daiko Dojo, a group in Phoenix, Arizona, before she moved to Southwest Michigan to be near her children, grandchildren and other family members. She also created a taiko team comprised of children that performed at this summer’s Kalamazoo County Fair. Vandecar discovered taiko at a 1987 concert in Japan, where she was living at the time. Friends there “wanted to show me something I’d never seen before,” she said. They took her to a performance by Kodo, possibly the most famous taiko group in the world. Kodo is known not only for its drumming, but also for its onstage garb: The male performers sometimes wear a headband and a loincloth and nothing else. “When the lights came on, there were 10 huge drums and 10 naked men,” Vandecar says. “I thought I went to heaven. I found my niche.”
34 | Encore OCTOBER 2015
Taiko starts with the kata, or poses. Drummers kneel in front of the smaller drums and lunge forward or squat in front of the larger drums. The drummers hold their bodies in position while swinging their arms and drumsticks. While the loincloth is one option, most of the time taiko performers wear robes and have bare feet or wear soft shoes. Some drumming is accompanied by bamboo flutes, hand cymbals or other instruments, and the drummers will sometimes shout, as if they’re practicing karate. “It’s a great workout, almost like being on a sports team,” says Gerren Young of Kalamazoo, a Hiryu Daiko member for three years. A team can have almost any number of drummers. When Hiryu Daiko performs at West Michigan area schools, the group can be just two or three performers. The famed Kodo team has 32 drummers. “A member of my group (Young) is a Western-style drummer, and another is a West African-style drummer,” Vandecar Esther Vandecar, center photo, has directed and performed in several taiko drumming troupes including those pictured in the top and bottom photos.
says. “They just want to experiment with drums.” Young, a former percussionist with the Kalamazoo folk band Neon Tetras, says the two kinds of drumming are very different. A taiko performance is more like a drum line in a marching band. “It emphasizes the mind-body-spirit connection more than playing fast,” he says. “It’s about 75 percent visual and 25 percent audible.” Like any art form, taiko takes time to learn. Vandecar’s classes run 12 weeks or more, during which time students learn kata, proper drumming techniques and basic Japanese language skills. Vandecar owns some of the smaller drums and drumsticks; the larger
drums she uses are stored at Kalamazoo College because they are too big to easily haul around. Well-made drums are costly, starting at about $3,000 and ranging up to $10,000 or more. Vandecar has constructed her own drums, which cost about $1,000 each in materials and take a week to make. The body of the drum is made out of wood, and the drumhead consists of rawhide, which is soaked in water to stretch over the drum body. Vandecar says she’s had to fill her bathtub to soak the rawhide when building some of the larger drums. Young, a professional woodworker and drum maker, made an 18-inch-diameter taiko drum for Vandecar by reshaping an old
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wine barrel to get the right form. Making the drumhead tight was a challenge — he had to use car jacks to get enough pressure to push the body of the drum into the rawhide. “You only get one shot at making a drum,” Young says. To learn more about Hiryu Daiko, visit its website at taikomichigan.com or its Facebook page at facebook.com/MIHiryuDaiko. Information about the Kalamazoo College Taiko Drumming Troupe is available at reason. kzoo.edu/music/Ensembles/International_ Percussion.
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PERFORMING ARTS THEATER Plays Dracula — The classic gothic vampire tale, 8 p.m. Fri. & Sat., Oct. 9–Nov. 7, New Vic Theatre, 134 E. Vine St., 381-3328. Our Town — Thornton Wilder's play about the intricacies of small-town life, 7:30 p.m. Thurs.–Sat., 2 p.m. Sun., through Oct. 11, York Arena Theatre, WMU, 387-6222. The Country Wife — William Wycherley's bawdy Restoration comedy, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 23–24 & 30, 2 p.m. Oct. 25 & Nov. 1, 5 p.m. Oct. 31, Williams Theatre, WMU, 387-3220. Musicals Evita — Eva Peron's rise to power as Argentina's First Lady, 7:30 p.m. Thurs.–Sat., 2 p.m. Sun., through Oct. 10, Civic Theatre, 329 S. Park St., 343-1313. Little Shop of Horrors — The musical horror comedy about a man and his plant, 7:30 p.m. Thurs., 8 p.m. Fri. & Sat., 2 p.m. Sun., through Oct. 11, Farmers Alley Theatre, 221 Farmers Alley, 343-2727. Girls Night: The Musical — Female friends relive their past on a karaoke night out, 8:30 p.m. Oct. 8, State Theatre, 404 S. Burdick St., 345-6500. Ameriville — New York ensemble Universes fuses hip-hop, comedy, music and spoken word to discuss racial oppression, 7:30 p.m. Thurs.–Sat., 2 p.m. Sun., Oct. 9–18, Shaw Theatre, WMU, 387-3220. Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of the Crown Jewel — Civic Youth Theatre production, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 16 & 23, 1 & 4 p.m. Oct. 17 & 24, 2 p.m. Oct. 18, 9:30 a.m. & noon Oct. 21 & 22, Parish Theatre, 426 S. Park St., 343-1313. Jersey Boys — Musical about Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 20–22, 8 36 | Encore OCTOBER 2015
p.m. Oct. 23 & 24, 2 p.m. Oct. 24, 1 & 6:30 p.m. Oct. 25, Miller Auditorium, WMU, 3874667. Eric Gutman: From Broadway to Obscurity — One-man show presenting a music tour of Detroit-born actor Gutman’s life, 8 p.m. Oct. 23 & 24, Farmers Alley Theatre, 343-2727. The Great American Songbook — Reader's theater revue of 1920s–’60s music, 2 p.m. Oct. 30 & Nov. 1, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 31, Civic Theatre, 373-1313. Other The Illusionists — Showcase of illusionist acts, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 7 & 8, Miller Auditorium, WMU, 387-4667. MUSIC Bands & Solo Artists Joe Marcinek Band — Featuring Joey Porter and Cecil McDaniel, 8 p.m. Oct. 1, Bell's Eccentric Café, 355 E. Kalamazoo Ave., 3822332. The California Honeydrops — R&B, funk, soul and blues, 8 p.m. Oct. 3, Bell's Eccentric Café, 382-2332. Highway to Hell: The Ultimate AC/DC Tribute Show — 8 p.m. Oct. 3, State Theatre, 404 S. Burdick St., 345-6500. Dopapod — Boston-born, Northeast-based group, 8 p.m. Oct. 9, Bell's Eccentric Café, 382-2332. Buddy Guy — Grammy Award-winning rhythm and blues artist, 8 p.m. Oct. 10, State Theatre, 345-6500. Pimps of Joytime — Diverse musical styles by Brooklyn quintet, 8 p.m. Oct. 10, Bell's Eccentric Café, 382-2332. Melissa Etheridge — Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 13, State Theatre, 345-6500.
The Mersey Beatles — Liverpool tribute band, 8 p.m. Oct. 16, State Theatre, 345-6500. Super Happy Funtime Burlesque — Combining a band, burlesque troupe and circus act, 8 p.m. Oct. 16, Bell's Eccentric Café, 382-2332. That 1 Guy — Mike Silverman on his unusual, multifaceted instrument, 8 p.m. Oct. 17, Bell's Eccentric Café, 382-2332. of Montreal — Georgia band, 8 p.m. Oct. 23, Bell's Eccentric Café, 382-2332. Who Hit John? — Bluegrass, Americana roots and eclectic jazz mix band, 6:30 p.m. Oct. 24, Mangia Mangia, 209 S. Kalamazoo Mall, 2263333. Grace Potter — Pianist, guitarist, songwriter and singer, 8 p.m. Oct. 25, State Theatre, 3456500. Jesse Cook —Guitarist who performs flamenco rumba, jazz and world music, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 27, State Theatre, 345-6500. Joe Hertler & the Rainbow Seekers — Michigan-based folk-pop band, 8 p.m. Oct. 29, Bell's Eccentric Café, 382-2332. Orchestra, Chamber, Jazz & More Western Brass Quintet and Wisconsin Brass Quintet — Faculty and guest recital, 8 p.m. Oct. 2, Dalton Center Recital Hall, WMU, 3874667. Soprano Rhea Olivacce — Faculty recital, 8 p.m. Oct. 3, Dalton Center Recital Hall, WMU, 387-4667. Beethoven Lives Upstairs — Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra family concert presenting the story of young Christoph & the "madman" upstairs, 3 p.m. Oct. 4, Chenery Auditorium, 714 S. Westnedge Ave., 3497759. WMUsic Showcase Spectacular — Student and faculty ensembles from WMU School of Music, 3 p.m. Oct. 4, Miller Auditorium, WMU, 387-4667.
ENCORE EVENTs Music in the Round — KSO Burdick-Thorne String Quartet, 12:30 p.m. Oct. 7, Garden Atrium, Bronson Methodist Hospital, 601 John St., 349-7759. University Jazz Orchestra — 7:30 p.m. Oct. 8, Dalton Center Recital Hall, WMU, 387-4667. Jerusalem Quartet — Performing works of Haydn, Bartók and Dvorák, 8 p.m. Oct. 10, Stetson Chapel, Kalamazoo College, 3820812. University Symphony Orchestra — With 2015 Stulberg International String Competition Silver Medalist Oliver Herbert, cellist, 3 p.m. Oct. 11, Miller Auditorium, WMU, 387-4667. University Concert Band — 7:30 p.m. Oct. 12, Miller Auditorium, WMU, 387-4667.
Drummer Peter Erskine — Guest jazz artist recital, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 15, Dalton Center Recital Hall, WMU, 387-4667. Pianist John Mortensen — Guest artist recital, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 16, Dalton Center Recital Hall, WMU, 387-4667. The Texas Tenors — Trio performing country, classical and Broadway music, 8 p.m. Oct. 16, Miller Auditorium, WMU, 387-4667. Mozart & Haydn — James Austin Smith performing Mozart's Oboe Concerto in C Major with the KSO, 8 p.m. Oct. 17, Chenery Auditorium, 349-7759. University Symphonic Band — 3 p.m. Oct. 18, Miller Auditorium, WMU, 387-4667.
University Jazz Lab Band — 7:30 p.m. Oct. 13, Dalton Center Recital Hall, WMU, 387-4667.
Spektral Quartet — Part of the New Sounds Festival, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 21, Dalton Center Recital Hall, WMU, 387-4667.
The Derek Fawcett Band — 7:30 p.m. Oct. 14, Dalton Center Recital Hall, WMU, 387-4667.
Smitten with Britain — Kalamazoo Concert Band season opener, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 24,
Chenery Auditorium, 714 S. Westnedge Ave., 337-0440. Sarkozy Brunch Concert — Featuring KSO Burdick-Thorne String Quartet, 11 a.m. Oct. 25, Sarkozy Bakery, 350 E. Michigan Ave., 349-7759. WMU Choral Showcase — Featuring University Chorale, Cantus Femina and Collegiate Singers, 2 & 5 p.m. Oct. 25, Dalton Center Recital Hall, WMU, 387-4667. Coalescence Percussion Duo — 7:30 p.m. Oct. 28, Dalton Center Recital Hall, WMU, 387-4667. Chris Thile — Grammy Award-winning mandolin virtuoso, composer and vocalist, 8 p.m. Oct. 30, Dalton Center Recital Hall, WMU, 382-0812. DANCE Russian Grand Ballet Presents Swan Lake — Tchaikovsky's classic ballet, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 24, State Theatre, 404 S. Burdick St., 345-6500.
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Events encore Orchesis Dance Concert — Performance by WMU dance students, 8 p.m. Oct. 28–31, 2 p.m. Oct. 31 & Nov. 1, Dance Studio B, third floor, WMU Dalton Center, 387-5830. VISUAL ARTS Kalamazoo Institute of Arts 314 S. Park St., 349-7775 Common Ground: African American Art — Works from the Flint Institute of Arts, Kalamazoo Institute of Arts and Muskegon Museum of Art, through Nov. 15. Manierre Dawson: Engineering Abstraction — Abstract painting collection, through Dec. 13. Flowers in Chinese Art — Chinese paintings and ceramics, through Jan. 24.
historical novel by Tara Conklin, 2 p.m. Oct. 21, Meader Fine Arts Library, 585-9291. Reader's Theater: A Night with the Artists — Theatrical readings tell the stories of artists featured in Common Ground, 6:30 p.m. Oct. 22. Raise the Roof — A film on reconstructing a painted ceiling and roof in a Polish synagogue, 7 p.m. Oct. 29. Portage District Library 300 Library Lane, 329-4544 From Mind to Matter: World of Miniatures — Through Oct. 30. Larry Smith Photography — Through Oct. 30. Zinta Aistars Photography — Through Oct. 30.
Frida Kahlo — A film exploring Kahlo's personal and artistic life, 6:30 p.m. Oct. 1.
Richmond Center for Visual Arts Western Michigan University, 387-2436
Sunday Public Tour — Walk through the exhibitions with a docent: KIA Collection and Exhibitions in Spanish and English, Oct. 4 & 11; Manierre Dawson: Engineering Abstraction, Oct. 18; Common Ground: African American Art, Oct. 25; all sessions begin at 2 p.m.
Jim Hopfsenperger & Jason Lahr: Little Lebowski Urban Achievers — Furniture pieces and narrative paintings, through Oct. 9, Netzorg and Kerr Gallery.
ARTbreak — A weekly program about art, artists and exhibitions: Demystifying the Print, talk by Vicki VanAmeyden, Oct. 6; Duchamp, De Chirico, Dawson: The Early 20th Century Avant-Garde, with Christine Hahn, Oct. 13; Natural Science Illustration, talk by artist Gail Guth, Oct. 20; Jacob Lawrence: The Glory of Expression, film presentation, Oct. 27; all sessions begin at noon, KIA Auditorium.
Quintapata: Pascal Meccariello, Raquel Paiewonsky, Jorge Pineda, Belkis Ramirez — An artists' collaborative group from the Dominican Republic, through Nov. 6, Monroe-Brown Gallery. Cat Crotchett: Surfacing — The artist combines Indonesian and Western techniques in different forms, Oct. 15–Nov. 13, Netzorg and Kerr Gallery. Other Venues
Art League Lecture: “The Modern Art Cookbook” — Lecture on Mary Ann Caws' book and samples by local chefs, 6:30 p.m. Oct. 8.
ArtPrize — International art competition at various venues in Grand Rapids, through Oct. 11, artprize.org.
Get the Picture: Faith Ringgold, "Under a Blood Red Sky" — Learn about the artist and her screenprint, noon Oct. 15.
Art Hop — Local artists and musicians at various venues in Kalamazoo, 5–8 p.m. Oct. 2, 342-5059.
Conservation and Restoration of Artistic and Historic Works — Detroit art conservator Kenneth Katz discusses how art is cared for and preserved, 6:30 p.m. Oct. 15.
Art Hop @ the West Michigan Glass Art Center — Seasonal and spooky glass art with live glassblowing demonstrations, 5–9 p.m. Oct. 2, West Michigan Glass Art Center, 326 W. Kalamazoo Ave., 552-9802.
Book Discussion: The House Girl — Von Washington Sr. leads a discussion of this 38 | Encore OCTOBER 2015
Blue Coast Artists Fall Studio Tour — Driving tour of 12 working artists' studios between South Haven and Saugatuck, 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Oct. 3 & 4, 236-9260. Arts and Eats — Self-driving tour of backroads art, food and farms in Barry and Allegan counties, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Oct. 17 & 18, artsandeats.org. LIBRARY & LITERARY EVENTS Kalamazoo Public Library Giant Book Sale — Reduced-price books for adults and children, 9 a.m.–3:30 p.m. Oct. 3, Central Library, 315 S. Rose St., 553-7820. First Saturday at KPL — Family event with stories, activities, guests and door prizes, 2–3:30 p.m. Oct. 3, Children's Room, Central Library, 553-7844. Meet the Author: Emily St. John Mandel —2015–16 Great Michigan Read author of Station Eleven, 7 p.m. Oct. 7, Central Library, 553-7844. Beer Tasting with Alex Mantakounis — Owner of Tempo Vino Winery explains styles of beer, 6:30 p.m. Oct. 13, Shakespeare's Pub, 241 E. Kalamazoo Ave., 553-7879, registration required. An Evening with Bonnie Jo Campbell — National Book Award finalist reads from her new story collection, 7 p.m. Oct. 15, Central Library, 553-7844. The Great Grown-up Spelling Bee — KPL's annual spelling competition, 6–9 p.m. Oct. 18, Bernhard Center, WMU, 553-7800. Hop Head Farms with Jeff and Bonnie Steinmann — A virtual tour of the hops farm and processing center, 6 p.m. Oct. 20, Eastwood Branch, 1112 Gayle Ave., 553-7810. Mark Sahlgren & Darcy Wilken — The WMUK "Grassroots" cohosts perform American roots music, 7 p.m. Oct. 21, Van Deusen Room, Central Library, 553-7844. Getting Started with Homebrewing — David Curtis of Bell's General Store explains the process, 6:30 p.m. Oct. 22, Central Library, 553-7844.
ENCORE Events Board Game Night for Adults — 5:30 p.m. Oct. 27, Community Room, Washington Square Branch, 1244 Portage Road, 553-7970. Powell Book Discussion Group — Share insights about and reviews of various books, 6 p.m. Oct. 27, Barnabee Gallery, Alma Powell Branch, 1000 W. Paterson Ave., 553-7960. Stop & Taste with the Beervangelist — Fred Bueltmann on craft beer, 6:30 p.m. Oct. 27, Central Library, 553-7844. Choosing Home Brewing Equipment — David Curtis of Bell's General Store on equipment choices, 6:30 p.m. Oct. 29, Central Library, 553-7844. Portage District Library 300 Library Lane, 329-4544 NaNoWriMo Warm-up — Space and prompts for writers' creativity, 5:30 p.m. Oct. 1, 8, 15, 22 & 29. Friends of the Library Book Sale — 9 a.m.–3 p.m. Oct. 3.
PDL Writers Group — Author David Greenwald shares his writing process, 6 p.m. Oct. 22. Must Be 21+: Game Night for Grown-ups — Board games, cards and LEGOs, 7 p.m. Oct. 26. Other Venues Friends of the Library Book Sale — 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Oct. 3, Parchment Community Library, 401 S. Riverview Drive, 343-7747. Parchment Book Club — Discussion of Daughters of Mars, by Thomas Keneally, 7 p.m. Oct. 5, Parchment Community Library, 343-7747. October Book Group — Discussion of Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel, 7 p.m. Oct. 8, Richland Community Library, 8951 Park St., 629-9085. Richard Siken — Poet, painter, filmmaker and editor appears in Gwen Frostic Reading Series, 8 p.m. Oct. 15, Rooms 157–159, Bernhard Center, WMU, 387-2572.
Science Fiction and Fantasy Discussion Group — Six questions to ask about the new Star Wars movie, 7 p.m. Oct. 5.
International Mystery Book Group — Discussion of Frozen Assets, by Quentin Bates, 7 p.m. Oct. 8.
Black Wings: American Dreams of Flight — Smithsonian traveling exhibition chronicles African-American aviation pioneers, through Oct. 4. DaVinci: The Exhibition — Hands-on journey through da Vinci's life, research, innovations and art, through Oct. 4. Kalamazoo Valley Museum 230 N. Rose St., 373-7990 Child in a Strange Country: Helen Keller and the History of Education for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired — Exhibit that explores reading, science, math and geography, through Jan. 10. In the Dark — How plants and animals have adapted to dark environments, Oct. 10–Jan. 17.
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Great Books — Reading and discussion of Immigrant Voices: 21st Century Stories, 2 p.m. Oct. 11 & 25.
Open for Discussion — Discussion of The Leisure Seeker, by Michael Zadoorian, 10:30 a.m. Oct. 20.
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Meet the Chef: Meatballs with Youz Guys Sausage — Holiday appetizer ideas from Chris and Andy Capalbo, 2 & 6 p.m. Oct. 7.
Top Shelf Reads — A young professionals book group discussion of The Secrets of Life and Death, by Rebecca Alexander, 7 p.m. Oct. 12, Latitude 42 Brewing Co., 7842 Portage Road, 585-8711.
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Events encore Sunday Series: Geology of Southwest Michigan — Deborah Coates discusses the area's geologic landscape, 1:30 p.m. Oct. 11, Stryker Theater.
in the spring, 5 p.m. Oct. 15, DeLano Farms Market Barn, 357 West E Ave.
brunch, 12:15–3 p.m. program and reception, Oct. 11.
Dr. Batts Hiking Challenge — Hike all the KNC trails in one day, 9 a.m.–3 p.m. Oct. 17.
Backroads Barry County Bicycle Tour — Various scenic routes over gravel roads, 8 a.m.–1:30 p.m. Oct.17.
Sunday Series: Murders Most Foul — Tom Dietz speaks on notorious Kalamazoo murders in the 19th and early 20th centuries, 1:30 p.m. Oct. 25, Stryker Theater.
Zipline Adventures: Extreme Fall Color Tour — Fall color zipline canopy tour, 9 a.m.–1 p.m. Oct. 18.
Fall Color Hike — Enjoy scenic overlooks and fall colors, 2–3 p.m. Oct. 25.
Kalamazoo Nature Center 7000 N. Westnedge Ave., 381-1574 Bird Banding Up Close — Visit bird banders as they bring back the first birds of the day, 9 a.m. Oct. 3 & 17, Banding Barn. Kalamazoo Astronomical Society Public Observing — 7–11 p.m. Oct. 3 & 17. Exploring Nature's Color Palette — Join Sarah Reding for a walk to search for colors, 2 p.m. Oct. 11. Hands-on Gardening: Preparing for Next Year — Get your garden ready for healthier plants
Pierce Cedar Creek Institute 701 W. Cloverdale Road, Hastings, 721-4190 Tree Identification Hike — Use leaf and bark characteristics to identify species, 9–11:30 a.m. Oct. 3. Nature Photography Workshop — Take photos of autumn scenery, with focus on composition and lighting, 8 a.m.–3 p.m. Oct. 10. October Brunch and Artist's Reception: The Art of Being There — Richard Jordan speaks on plein air painting, 11:30 a.m. & 1 p.m.
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Lunch and Learn: Forest History of Michigan — Matt Dykstra discusses forest formation and patterns in flora, fauna and ecosystems, 10 a.m.–1 p.m. Oct. 23. Seasonal Quick Breads — Paul Vugteveen bakes fall-inspired breads, 3–5 p.m. Oct. 24. Woodlot Management Workshop — Shawn Kelly discusses getting the most out of a woodlot, 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Oct. 31. Other Venues Weekly Kal-Haven Trail Walks — Audubon Society's weekly five-mile walk, 9 a.m.–noon Oct. 6, 13, 20 & 27, starting at trailhead on North 10th Street between G and H avenues, 375-7210. 2015 Fall Color Cruise — Enjoy autumn scenery along the Kalamazoo River Valley Trail, noon–3:30 p.m. Oct. 11, Markin Glen County Park, 5300 N. Westnedge Ave., 3735073. Birds and Coffee Walk — A walk to view birds of the season, 9 a.m. Oct. 14, Kellogg Bird Sanctuary, 12685 East C Ave., Augusta, 6712510. MISCELLANEOUS
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Paul Stutzman — Hiker, biker and author speaks about his journey on the Appalachian Trail and across America, 6:30 p.m. Oct. 1, Westwood Christian Reformed Church, 620 Northampton Road, 649-1344. Haunted History of Kalamazoo Tour — A walking tour to learn about the haunted side of Kalamazoo, 8–10 p.m. Oct. 2, 3, 17 & 23, starting at Bullard School of Dance, 431 E. South St.; Oct. 17 & 26, starting at Bronson Park, 216-9727. The Haunted Hallow — 8 p.m.–midnight Fri. & Sat., Oct. 2–31, Olde World Village, 13215 M-96, Augusta, 580-1290.
ENCORE Events Howl-a-Palooza — Educational activities promoting wolf advocacy, Oct. 3, Binder Park Zoo, 7400 Division Drive, Battle Creek, 9791351. Old Tyme Harvest Festival — Hayrides, pumpkin patch and flea market, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Oct. 3 & 4, Scotts Mill County Park, 8451 S. 35th St., Scotts, 383-8778. Fall Stamp & Cover Show — 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m. Oct. 3, Kalamazoo County Expo Center North, 375-6188. Downtown Kalamazoo Brewery Bicycle Tour — Ride through downtown and learn about the city's beer culture, noon–4 p.m. Oct. 3, starting at Alamo Drafthouse; 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Oct. 10, starting at Shakespeare's Pub, 350-4598. Senior & Caregiver Expo — Information and free health screenings, 9 a.m.–3 p.m. Oct. 6, Kalamazoo County Expo Center, 373-5147. Fennville Goose Festival — Wild Goose Chase 5K and Gosling Run, arts and crafts, petting zoo and parade, Oct. 9–11, downtown Fennville, fennvillegoosefestival.net. 2015 Gazelle Sports Historic Walks — A historical walking tour focusing on Kalamazoo's history and architecture: Kalamazoo Theaters & Auditoriums, 8 a.m. Oct. 9, starting at Gazelle Sports, 214 S. Kalamazoo Mall; Hillcrest Neighborhood, 8 a.m. Oct. 23, starting at Kazoo School, 1401 Cherry St., 342-5996.
SW Michigan Postcard Club Show & Sale — 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Oct. 10, Kalamazoo County Expo Center North, 517-230-0734. Great Lakes Book Bash — With bestselling author Emily Snow as keynote speaker, plus author panels, book signings and exhibitors, Oct. 9-11, Radisson Plaza Hotel, 100 W. Michigan Ave., greatlakesbookbash.weebly. com, 207-5722. Bonteboktoberfest — Beer-tasting event after zoo hours, 6–10 p.m. Oct. 10, Binder Park Zoo, Battle Creek, 979-1351. Kalamazoo Record & CD Show — Collector records and music memorabilia, 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Oct. 11, Room A, Kalamazoo County Expo Center, 734-604-2540. South Haven Harvest Festival — Zombie 5K and stroll, polka bands, beer tent, pie-baking contest and pumpkin carving, Oct. 16–18, downtown South Haven, 637-5171.
Crescendo Café & Open House — Music, food and fun for families and friends, 1–4 p.m. Oct. 17, Crescendo Academy of Music, 359 S. Kalamazoo Mall, Suite 12, 345-6664. Kalamazoo Hamfest and Amateur Radio Swap & Shop — 8 a.m.–noon Oct. 18, Kalamazoo County Expo Center, 205-3560. Christmas Boutique Arts & Crafts Show — 9 a.m.–3 p.m. Oct. 24, Room A, Kalamazoo County Expo Center, 327-5373. Southwest Michigan Train Show & Sale — 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Oct. 25, Kalamazoo County Expo Center, 344-0906. Yelp Food Truck or Treat — Local food trucks at a Halloween event, 5:30–9 p.m. Oct. 28, Boatyard Brewing Co., 248-202-1297. Kalamazoo Numismatic Club Fall Coin Show — 9 a.m.–3 p.m. Oct. 31, Kalamazoo County Expo Center North, 381-8669.
SW Michigan Reptile & Exotic Pet Show — 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Oct. 17, Kalamazoo County Expo Center North, 779-9851.
families The best information and activities for families in Southwest Michigan! Upcoming Issues Fun Fall Festivities
Picking a Preschool
Guide to Area Schools
Ultimate Summer Camp Guide
Quilts Kalamazoo 2015 — 10 a.m.–7 p.m. Oct. 9, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Oct. 10, Kalamazoo County Expo Center, 373-2952. Furnace Fest 2015 — Food, music, auctions and custom ale, with proceeds supporting Community Homeworks, a local nonprofit that helps low-income homeowners, 5:30–9 p.m. Oct. 9, Boatyard Brewing Co., 432 E. Paterson St., 998-3275.
Fall Expo & Craft Show — 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Oct. 10, Kalamazoo County Expo Center South, 383-8778. Under the Harvest Moon Festival — Celebrate Michigan produce, art and antiques, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Oct. 10, downtown Dowagiac, 782-8212.
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If You Could Stand on Saturn A speck of light we are a smudge of brilliance amidst ever-expanding darkness not yet even a blue marble.
Return to Saturn.
Zoom in ninety hundred million miles. Land on the flat but sloping roof of Paris Cleaners in Kalamazoo. The premiere destination for dirty clothes since 1903!
You will not know when, one by one, glass tube letters burn out, the S in Paris destroyed by a small stone thrown from the hand of a boy. You will see none of this, nor know that
Look up while standing on this one-story, purple-painted tower of Pisa swathed in neon signage. See, at times, Saturn with your naked eyes. Take hold of binoculars, behold the gas giant’s swirling rings as beneath your feet generations of launderers clean sundry spots from shirts, faces blazing as they press crisp pleats, pant after pant, steam rising.
forming glass letters and injecting into neon gas a precise mix of metal and dust to create a wash of colors is a dying art. — Jennifer Clark In keeping with the subject of her poem, Clark says she rarely irons. But she does keep busy in other ways. She is director of community relations for Communities In Schools of Kalamazoo. She is also the author of the poetry collection Necessary Clearings (Shabda Press) and has poetry forthcoming in Amsterdam Quarterly, Nimrod, Slipstream and elsewhere.
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‘A lot of writing goals’ In addition to fiction, Campbell has written interview pieces, essays and poems that have appeared in various publications, and she has published a limited-edition poetry chapbook, Love Letters to Sons of Bitches. “I like to write poetry,” she says, “and it’s something I can do when I’m working on a novel and it’s giving me trouble. It seems
an honorable way to waste time.” It also complements her fiction writing. “Poetry is helpful because it makes us pay attention to every word, and there are some stories in (Mothers, Tell Your Daughters) that began as poems, that were inspired by the language of poems.” Campbell has many other writing projects in mind, including writing down her mother’s
Bonnie Jo Campbell’s writing is often inspired by her surroundings, including the farm she grew up on in Comstock.
stories and interviewing the ex-cons next door about their experiences in prison. “Life is too short. I have to eat really healthy and exercise. I have to live a long time because I have a lot of writing goals, and it’s the only way I’m going to make them.”
Great flavor comes from deep roots. since 1985
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but the stories reveal, often through the voice of a character defending herself, how circumstances have led to these actions, and the reader is forced to reconsider the difficult choices these women have made. While Campbell’s subject matter is usually serious, she weaves in an element of humor. “Humor is desperately important to me, in life and in my work,” she says. “Humor makes a difficult life bearable, and it also makes tough material tolerable for the reader. And the truth is that no matter how tough life gets, life is also funny and surprising.” Mothers, Tell Your Daughters is part of a two-book deal Campbell has inked with Norton. She is currently at work on the second book, a novel she says is “about a young woman who loves mathematics but is having difficulty making the rest of her life make so much sense.” One of the biggest challenges in writing this novel, Campbell says, is “bringing the reader along with me when I try to address some mathematical material in a deeper way, to say, ‘Look, you can get this. You can see this.’ I love mathematics, and I want my reader to see the beauty of it without feeling alienated.” Campbell admits she would rather be writing short stories because she is “a slow writer who revises many, many times” and finds the complexity involved in writing a novel a trial. “I always try to write a short story, and if I fail, then I have to write a novel. Usually I start from a character who interests me who is in a very difficult situation, and that’s enough to propel me forward. And if I get propelled forward enough, then I have a short story. But if, instead, it just gets more and more complicated as I go, then I may have to write a novel. “Those novels are just failed short stories.”
Campbell (continued from page 23)
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Letterpress: Why a 600-Year-Old Technology Still Gets So Much Attention
Many businesses feel the pressure to be edgy and modern. So why do designers keep going back to something from the 15th century to make an impression on people today? The reason is texture. We don’t just feel texture. We see it. Letterpress printing involves physically pressing a design plate or arrangement of text into paper. This creates more than just a mere copy. The process creates texture between the ink and the paper that can be felt and seen. Letterpress changes business cards, stationery, and other print material into something more. No longer just objects passing information along, each piece becomes an experience, a joy to look at, and a truly unique statement. Texture stays in people’s minds. When you want people to do more than just read your business card, your proposal, or your offer, consider the unique value expressed by the texture of your print assets. Something as old-fashioned as letterpress printing could make the difference.
INDEX TO ADVERTISERS The Ayres Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Bell’s Brewery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 Borgess . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Bravo! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Bronson Health Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Consumers Energy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Dave’s Glass Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 DeHaan Remodeling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 DeMent and Marquardt, PLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 DeNooyer Chevrolet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Destination Downtown . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Dr. Desjarlais . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 Farmers Alley Theatre . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 FarmNGarden Garden Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 First National Bank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Friendship Village . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 FYI Family Magazine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 Genesis Fitness & Wellness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Gilmore Keyboard Festival . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
1116 W Centre Avenue 323-9333 PortagePrinting.com
Gilmore Real Estate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Great Lakes Shipping Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Halls, Closets & More . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
LIKE WHAT YOU HEAR? JOIN WMUK
Horizon Bank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 Kalamazoo Community Foundation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Kalamazoo Valley Museum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 KNI/Southwest Michigan Imaging . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 Landscape Arborist Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Langeland Funeral Homes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Lawton Ridge Winery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Lewis Reed & Allen P.C. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 MacKenzies’ Café Bakery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Mercantile Bank of Michigan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Nature Connection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Oakland Centre . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
BECOME A MEMBER WMUK.ORG WMUK
Parkway Plastic Surgery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 Portage Printing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Professional Clinicians & Consultants . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Sherman Lake YMCA Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Stewart & Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 V&A . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Vandersalm’s Flowershop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Varnum Law . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 WMUK . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
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BACK STORY (continued from page 46)
You recently opened for Grammy Award-winning artist Erykah Badu at Miller Auditorium. How did you get that gig? Kevin Lavender, the CEO of my label Truth Tone Records (and her cousin), co-manages me and found out Erykah Badu was coming to Kalamazoo, so he sent my press kit to Smash Productions (the show’s promoter). After the initial contact, I didn’t think anything was going to happen, so I kind of let it go. But on the Thursday before the (Friday) show they called and said they would love for me to open for her. I’ve been trying to find balance between being the director of the BACC and being Yolonda Lavender the solo artist. So this opportunity was like, “Here’s your balance.” It felt so right because she was in Kalamazoo, and I was born and raised in Kalamazoo. Plus we were in Miller Auditorium, and I have so much history with Miller Auditorium. My high school graduation was in Miller Auditorium, at which I sang “The Star-Spangled Banner.” My graduation from Western Michigan University was in Miller Auditorium. So it just felt right. How do you create your music? It’s always different. With the last song I recorded, I picked the beat first. The beat tells me what the song is going to be about. So I just listen for the mode until I get the vibe. Then I decide whether I’m going to write a chorus or if the song is going to be me singing all the way through with no chorus. Once I figure that out, I start writing. When I finish writing, I go into the studio. The producer records me singing over the beat, mixes and masters the vocals so that it sounds high-quality, and then the track is ready to be delivered to the world. How do you prepare yourself before a performance? I literally have to remove myself from the world around me. So you have, like, a Beyoncé/Sasha Fierce thing going on? (She laughs at the reference to Beyoncé and her alter ego.) No, no, I’m still me. I’m still Yolonda. I mean I physically remove myself from the environment. I isolate myself in the dressing room or somewhere and listen to music. Who are some of your favorite music artists? I was raised on gospel music. My mama didn’t allow us to listen to secular music, and I remember washing the dishes to nothing but
gospel music. Later on, I began listening to Motown, Jill Scott, Jay-Z and Erykah Badu. I listen to a lot of old-school and underground artists. I usually know about new artists before everyone else does. What was the most impressionable moment in your life? I’ve had so many moments in my life that were all equally impressionable, but I’m going to say opening for Erykah Badu because it’s still super fresh in my mind. It was such an honor, and it was the largest crowd I have ever performed in front of. One of the songs I performed is called “Happy,” and after the show Erykah Badu told me that she liked that song, especially the lyrics. It was crazy to know while I was performing, Erykah Badu was intently listening to the lyrics of my song. What’s an ideal day like for you? As soon as I wake up, I have my time with God because if I don’t, the entire day wouldn’t go right. After that I spend most of my day at the BACC, taking care of things that need to be done. I really like to cook, so if I have time, I’d cook myself something. My schedule has been so busy lately that I haven’t had much time to work on music as much as I would like during the last few months. But an ideal day for me would be to have my time with God as soon as I wake up, handle my duties at the BACC, come home to cook and work on music. What keeps you up at night? Having so many ideas and wanting to do so many things, whether for the BACC or musically. New ideas are always popping in my head. I keep a notepad on my nightstand, and sometimes I just pop up at night and grab it whenever a new idea pops in my head. What is your perspective on life? I love volunteering at the Kalamazoo Gospel Mission because I feel like you have to put back into the world what was given to you. There have been so many people who opened doors for me, so who would I be if I didn’t do the same for other people? I’m all about community uplifting and being a service to people. — Interviewed by J. Gabriel Ware
DeMENT AND MARQUARDT, PLC A law firm focusing on estate planning, estate settlement, and the transfer of wealth.
the Globe Building Charles S. Ofstein • William B. Millard • Michael D. Holmes, Michele C. Marquardt • Daniel L. DeMent • Whitney A. Kemerling
211 East Water Street, Suite 401 Kalamazoo, MI 49007 269.343.2106 w w w.encorekalamazoo.com | 45
BACK STORY encore
Yolonda Lavender Executive Director, Black Arts and Cultural Center Kalamazoo native Yolonda Lavender is pulling
double duty these days. The neo-soul singer and songwriter with two albums to her credit — 2009’s Soul Artistry and 2013’s The Genre of Me — became the executive director of the Black Arts and Cultural Center in January. It might seem difficult to run a nonprofit arts organization and pursue a solo singing career at the same time, but Lavender finds both aspects of her work exhilarating. “I’m basically driving the vehicle, and I’m loving it,” she says. What do you do at the BACC? I manage the day-to-day operations, organize events and activities and manage our staff and volunteers. My schedule has been crazy as of late. We’re just coming off of the Black Arts Festival, and I was heavily involved in that.
(continued on page 45)
46 | Encore OCTOBER 2015
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KNI • 1700 Gull Road • Kalamazoo, MI 49048 • 269.342.1099 • www.kniimaging.com w w w.encorekalamazoo.com | 48
Southwest Michigan's Magazine: Author Bonnie Jo Campbell, how beads help kids with cancer cope, it's cider and doughnut season, taiko drummi...
Published on Sep 30, 2015
Southwest Michigan's Magazine: Author Bonnie Jo Campbell, how beads help kids with cancer cope, it's cider and doughnut season, taiko drummi...