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Encore Stories, Photos Win MPA Awards

Writers, photographer recognized for outstanding work

We are so proud!

Encore recently won several awards, including three first places honors, from the Michigan Press Association’s 2020 Better Newspaper Contest. The annual contest recognizes quality journalism produced by media across the state. As a monthly magazine, Encore competes in the Class D category for weekly news media (we know we’re not a newspaper or a weekly, but we’re a special case they don’t have a category for yet). In addition, The Homefront: Confronting Kalamazoo’s Homelessness Crisis, a deep-dive solutions journalism collaboration with Now Kalamazoo, won several top awards as well.

In the Feature Story category, writer Chris Killian took home First Place for “The Father of Legal Pot”, his profile on Martin Chilcutt’s lifelong effort to legalize marijuana in Colorado and Michigan, while Kara Norman earned Third Place honors for her story, “‘We’re Still Here’: Recognition of Kalamazoo’s indigenous roots has been a long time coming.”

Photographer Brian K. Powers’ poignant, intriguing and amusing “Porch Portraits” of families during the Covid-19 lockdown in the spring of 2020 nabbed First Place in the Photo Story category.

The Homefront: Confronting Kalamazoo’s Homelessness Crisis , a special publication with reporting by Ben Lando, Chris Killian and Miranda Drake on the homelessness crisis gripping our community, won several awards including:

  • First Place, Special Section
  • First Place, News Enterprise Reporting
  • Third Place, Government and Education Reporting

The Homefront also did well competing in the Open Class category against the state’s major media including The Detroit Free Press and MLive, snagging an Honorable Mention in Public Service Award Open Class. Lando was the lead editor and publisher for The Homefront , with Encore providing photography, design, editing and production for the collaboration, as well as initial hosting the content on (which can now also be found at

The Michigan Press Association has 320 members including print and digital media outlets across the state. Encore has been greater Kalamazoo’s lifestyle and culture magazine since 1972.

Encore Magazine

Encore Magazine is Southwest Michigan’s Magazine, bringing readers intriguing images and stories of the good things, good works and great people of our corner of the mitten. Published 12 times a year, Encore in its fifth decade of serving Southwest Michigan, carrying on a historic tradition of being the premier lifestyle publication of the greater Kalamazoo area.

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Martin Chilcutt helped make marijuana mainstream
Recognition of Kalamazoo’s indigenous roots has been ‘a long time coming’
Encore Photographer Brian K. Powers creates a little joy during COVID-19 restrictions
Faiths come together to meet community need

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The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by those interviewed and featured in our articles do not reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of Encore Magazine or the official policies, owners or employees of Encore Publications.

Encore Magazine is published 12 times a year. © 2024 Encore Publications. All Rights Reserved.
117 W. Cedar St., Suite A, Kalamazoo, MI 49007 (269) 383-4433