Summertime Live Concerts
It’s not summer without outdoor concerts, and the Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo does not disappoint, sponsoring a full roster of concerts in Kalamazoo, Portage and Oshtemo Township.
Unless noted, the concerts are free. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own blankets or chairs to the venues. The groups performing in June and the concert locations are:
• Capt. Cat, 5:30 p.m. June 1, Bates Alley (between Pitcher and Portage streets), downtown Kalamazoo
• Lisa Can’t Sing, 7 p.m. June 3, State Theatre, 404 S. Burdick St.
• Samuel Nalangira Ensemble, 4 p.m. June 5, Bronson Park
• BlueBack, 5:30 p.m. June 8, Bates Alley
• Denise Davis & The Motor City Sensations, 7 p.m. June 9, Overlander Bandshell, 7810 Shaver Road, Portage
• Megan Dooley, 11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m. June 10, Bronson Park
• Kalamazoo Concert Band, 4 p.m. June 12, Bronson Park
• The Incantations, 5:30 p.m. June 15, Bates Alley
• Hurricane, 11:30 a.m–1:30 p.m. June 17, Bronson Park
• DJ Dazzelship/Kunty Kittens, 5:30 p.m. June 17, State Theatre
• Shania Twin: Shania Twain Tribute, 7 p.m. June 17, Overlander Bandshell
• J.Cam.G and Flizz-E, 5:30 p.m. June 22, Bates Alley
• Kari Lynch, 11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m. June 24, Bronson Park
• Dana Scott, 4:30 p.m. June 24, Celery Flats, 7328 Garden Lane, Portage
• Indika, 5 p.m. June 24, Haymarket Plaza, 139 N. Edwards St., downtown Kalamazoo
• Flylite Gemini, 6:30 p.m. June 24, Celery Flats
• Schlitz Creek Bluegrass Band, 6 p.m. June 26, Flesher Field Gazebo, 3664 9th St., Oshtemo Township
• Zion Lion, 5:30 p.m. June 29, Bates Alley
• The Governor’s Own 126th Army Band, 7 p.m. June 30, Overlander Bandshell
For more information, visit kalamazooarts.org.
Haydn La Creación (The Creation)
June 9 & 10
Kalamazoo Bach Festival
The Kalamazoo Bach Festival is ending its season with a beginning, as it presents Haydn’s classical masterpiece for soloists, chorus and orchestra that depicts the biblical story of Creation.
The concert each night begins at 7:30 p.m. in Kalamazoo College’s Dalton Theatre and will be performed in Spanish and feature Latino guest soloists, including Angela Lowe, soprano; Edward Ferran, tenor; and Carlos Monzón, bass. They will perform with the Kalamazoo Bach Festival Chorus and the Arcato Chamber Orchestra.
The June 9 concert will also be available as a livestream on the Bach Festival’s You Tube channel.
Tickets are $5–$29 for in-person performances and, $19 for the livestream and are available at kalamazoobachfestival.org.
Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra
Masterworks Season Finale – June 4
100th Anniversary Gala – June 18
For information on these performances, see story here.
Wellspring Dance Academy
A journey through the elements of earth, water, fire and air will be offered when the Wellspring Dance Academy presents this concert at 1 and 3 p.m. at the Wellspring Theater, 359 S. Kalamazoo Mall, Suite 204.
The concert will feature both youth and adult students from the Wellspring Dance Academy, which provides modern dance education and performance in Southwest Michigan. In addition, the Youth Performing Ensemble of Wellspring/Cori Terry & Dancers will perform repertoire from this past season.
Tickets are $12 and available online at tinyurl.com/3h879km7
June 16–July 3
Farmers Alley Theatre
With a lively score by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell, Bright Star is a bluegrass musical about love and redemption set against a backdrop of the American South in the 1920s and ’40s.
Michelle Duffy, a seasoned stage actress, will play the lead role as literary editor Alice Murphy, whose meeting with a young soldier home from World War II launches her on a journey to understand her past and transform both of their lives. The show is directed by Kathy Mulay and features recognized local talent, including Jeremy Koch and Neil and Sandy Bremer.
Show times are 7:30 p.m. June 16–18, 23–25, 30 and July 1–2 and 2 p.m. June 26 and July 3 at Farmers Alley Theatre, 221 Farmers Alley. Tickets are $42 and available online at farmersalleytheatre.com or at the theater.
The Savannah Sipping Society
The New Vic Theatre
The New Vic is starting summer off with a laugh with its production of The Savannah Sipping Society.
This comedy is about four Southern women all needing to escape the sameness of their day-to-day routines and seeking to reclaim their enthusiasm for life. The play was written by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten (referred to as Jones Hope Wooten), a trio of former sitcom writers, and is directed by Jennifer Furney.
Show times are 8 p.m. June 3, 4, 10, 11, 24 and 25. Tickets are $29 and available by calling 381-3328 or visiting thenewvictheatre.org.
For more information, visit thenewvictheatre.org.
Ninth Wave Studio
Following the lead of an artists’ community in Mount Dora, Florida, that painted sunflowers in public places as a sign of solidarity with the besieged people of Ukraine, Kalamazoo’s Ninth Wave Studio has created a virtual exhibition of sunflowers by local artists.
More than 30 artists have submitted works to the exhibition, which can be viewed at nwsvirtualgallery.com.
This month’s Art Hop theme celebrates Juneteenth, the June 19 observance commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African Americans.
Art Hop, a free event organized by the Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo, features a variety of artists’ works in various locations in downtown Kalamazoo as well as live music and the chance to visit downtown businesses.
Art Hop runs from 5–8 p.m., and the Arts Council has an app that provides a guide and map of Art Hop sites, information about participating artists, and walking directions. For more information or to access the app, visit kalamazooarts.org.
KIA Fair and Art on the Mall
Bronson Park and downtown Kalamazoo
Get ready to stroll and take in works by more than 200 artists when the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts Fair and Art on the Mall come to downtown Kalamazoo.
The KIA Fair will have more than 190 artists’ booths in Bronson Park, while Art on the Mall, sponsored by the Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo, will offer 60 artists displaying their wares on South Street and the Kalamazoo Mall. The art on display and for sale will include paintings, jewelry, photography, sculptures and more. There will also be live entertainment and artists’ demonstrations on the mall.
For more information on the KIA Fair visit kiarts.org, and for more information on Art on the Mall visit kalamazooarts.org.
Opening in June
Kalamazoo Institute of Arts
June is a very busy month for the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts. In addition to its annual Arts Fair in Bronson Park June 3–4, the art museum will open four new exhibitions this month.
An exploration of a century of Surrealist art will be explored in the exhibition Surrealish: The Absurd and Unexpected, which opens June 4. Works by Surrealist masters like Salvador Dali and Joan Miro will be displayed alongside works by contemporary artists, including Kalamazoo artist Mary Hatch. The exhibition runs until Sept. 11.
Abstract and decorative works on paper and panels by a longtime Detroit educator and state legislator will be highlighted in the exhibition Jack Faxon: A Michigan Artist and Advocate, which opens June 15 and runs until July 31. As a state senator, Faxon (1936–2020) established the Michigan Council for the Arts (now the Michigan Arts and Culture Council) and further demonstrated his passion for the arts through his sketches and paintings that experimented in abstraction, portraiture and figurative methods.
Balancing the Cosmos: Works by Li Hongwei, opening June 8, will feature works created by the Chinese ceramist during the past four years. Li ’s works combine Eastern and Western aesthetics and traditional Chinese ceramic forms and contemporary glaze and sculptural practices. This exhibition, which runs until Oct. 2, examines how Li creates works that represent the delicate balance between traditional and contemporary methods and materials.
Finally, the KIA’s Upjohn Mason Grandchildren’s Gallery will be filled with the work of Stephen Hansen, a former Kalamazoo resident whose work is prominently featured in the interior of the Kalamazoo-Battle Creek International Airport. Stephen Hansen: You Are Here runs from June 18–Aug. 28 and features Hansen’s whimsical, humorous papier-mâché sculptures.
KIA hours are 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday and noon–4 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $5, or $2 for students and free for members, children through age 12, school groups and active military personnel. For more information, call 349-7775 or visit kiarts.org.
Linling Lu: Musical Meditations
Kalamazoo Institute of Arts
Through June 5
Colors! Shapes! Patterns!
Kalamazoo Institute of Arts
Through June 12
A Certain Slant of Light
Westminster Art Festival
Through June 15
Unveiling American Genius
Kalamazoo Institute of Arts
Through Dec. 31
Portage District Library
Local writer Heidi McCrary will give a reading and discuss her novel Chasing North Star, based on her childhood in Alamo Township. The event runs from 7–8 p.m.
Chasing North Star is the first book for McCrary, who had a long career in marketing and media in Southwest Michigan. The semi-autobiographical novel addresses small-town life, mental illness and childhood pursuits in the woods of Michigan.
Portage District Library has reopened at 300 Library Lane. For more information on this event, call the library at329–4544 or visit portagedistrictlibrary.info.
Richland Community Library
John Wemlinger is the author of The Cut, which was chosen as a 2022 Michigan Notable Book by the Library of Michigan. He will read and discuss his work at 7 p.m.
The Cut is Wemlinger’s fifth novel. It features a young couple who face relationship struggles amid feuding farmers and the powerful lumber industry in the 1870s in Manistee.
For more information, call Richland Community Library at 629–9085 or visit richlandlibrary.org.