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The Arts: July 2022

Spotlighting greater Kalamazoo’s arts community


Black Arts Festival
July 6–8
Various venues

This annual celebration of Black culture and arts in Kalamazoo will include networking, visual art and a Youth Day.

Among the events scheduled are a presentation on the metaverse and NFT art, which will discuss how to monetize artwork with digital currency, from 6:30–8:30 p.m. July 6; a networking event for artists, gallery and museum curators and arts program managers from 6–8 p.m. July 7; and an Art Hop exhibition from 5–8 p.m. July 8. These events will be held at the Black Arts and Cultural Center, 359 S. Kalamazoo Mall, Suite 102.

In addition, the festival’s Youth Day, with art, performances, games, vendors and food, will be held from noon–4 p.m. July 8 at the Douglass Community Center, 1000 W.Paterson St.

For more information or to register for events, visit

Kindleberger Summer Festival of the Performing Arts
July 6–11
Kindleberger Park

What began 40 years ago as a play in the park has become a week-long performing arts celebration in the heart of Parchment.

The festival begins July 6 with a performance of the youth theater production Bedtime Stories (As Told by Your Dad Who Messed Them Up) at 5:30 p.m., followed by a production of The Wizard of Oz at 7 p.m. on The Stage at Kindleberger. Bedtime Stories will also be performed at 5:30 p.m. July 7 and 8 and 3:30 p.m. July 9 and 10, and The Wizard of Oz will be performed again at 7 p.m. July 7 and 8 and 5 p.m. July 9 and 10.

July 9 is the busiest day for the festival, with activities including a pancake breakfast from 7–9 a.m.; a 5K walk and run at 7:30 a.m.; an arts and craft show, pop-up museum, book sale and plant sale all happening from 9 a.m.–3 p.m.; a parade through downtown Parchment at 10 a.m.; and “A Play in a Day” performance at 2 p.m. In addition, the festival will also feature a car cruise-in, children’s activities and a cornhole tournament.

For a complete schedule, visit


Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
Groundhog Day

Barn Theatre

The Barn Theatre is busy this month, with three shows scheduled.

First up is the rowdy musical Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, running through July 10. The production is based on the 1954 MGM musical set in the Wild West and includes new songs by Al Kasha and Joel Hirschhorn. Show times are 8 p.m. June 28–30, July 1, 2 and 5–9 and 5 p.m. July 3 and 10.

On July 12, the Barn will take on another classic with Cinderella, an adaptation of the original 1957 musical and the timeless fairy tale. Show times are 8 p.m. July 12–16 and July 19–23 and 5 p.m. July 17 and 24.

The Barn will end the month with another classic — well, a cult classic — with its performance of Groundhog Day, inspired by the 1993 movie starring Bill Murray that follows a man’s journey of self-discovery. Show times are 8 p.m. July 26–30 and Aug. 2–6 and 5 p.m. July 31 and Aug. 7.

The Barn Theatre is located at 13351 West M-96, Augusta. Tickets are $41–$49. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 731–4121 or visit

Jar the Floor
July 15–17
Face Off Theatre Company

Family secrets and old wounds are uncovered when four generations of African-American women gather to celebrate the 90th birthday of the family matriarch in this production of the dramatic comedy Jar the Floor at Dormouse Theatre, 1030 Portage St.

The play, written by Cheryl L. West, depicts the connections and dysfunctions in a family that is both loving and chaotic.

Show times are 7:30 p.m. July 15–16 and 2 p.m. July 16–17. For more information and ticket prices, visit

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast
July 8–17
Center Stage Theatre

The all-volunteer Center Stage Theatre company will perform the classic love story of Belle and the Beast, who is really a young prince trapped under the spell of an enchantress, at 7 p.m. July 8, 9, 15 and 16 and 2 p.m. July 10, 16 and 17 in the Comstock Community Auditorium, 2107 N. 26th St.

The July 16 performance will be sensory-friendly for those have autism or other challenges that create sensory sensitivities.

Tickets are $10–$12. Wearing face masks is recommended for patrons. For more information or to buy tickets, visit

Sandy Bremer: You’d Never Believe It!
July 29 & 30
Farmers Alley Theatre

Actress and singer Sandy Bremer will reminisce about her long theatrical career in this show, offering humorous stories and tales of behind-the-scenes shenanigans.

Bremer grew up in Kalamazoo and began treading the boards of local stages before going on to perform with national tours and regional productions of such shows as Funny Girl, Sweet Charity, Cats, Pajama Game, Guys and Dolls, Grease, Little Me, South Pacific and Gypsy.

Farmers Alley Theatre is at 221 Farmers Alley. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $35 and available at

Other Theater

Bright Star
July 2–10
Farmers Alley Theatre

Bedtime Stories (As Told by Your Dad Who Messed Them Up)
The Wizard of Oz

July 6–10
Kindleberger Summer Festival of the Performing Arts

See the entry under Festivals.


Photo Exhibition
July 1–Sept. 9
Portage City Hall Atrium

The winning photographs from the Portage Parks & Recreation’s annual photo contest will be on display 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Monday–Friday at 7900 S. Westnedge Ave.

This year’s contest challenged amateur shutterbugs to take and submit images that document Portage parks. The photos were judged by a panel of area photography professionals and will be displayed in four categories: seasonal change; outdoor recreation; flora, fauna and wildlife; and youth.

For more information, visit

Art Hop
July 8
Downtown Kalamazoo

This month’s Art Hop, running from 5–8 p.m., will have the theme “Art is Good for the Mind, Body and Soul.”

This free event organized by the Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo features a variety of artists’ works in downtown Kalamazoo locations as well as live music and the chance to visit downtown businesses.

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

Richland Art Fair
July 16
Gull Meadow Farms

The Richland Art Fair is happening for its 48th year but moving from its traditional spot in downtown Richland to Gull Meadow Farms, 8544 Gull Road.

The juried show, presented by the Gull Lake Area Community Volunteers, will feature fine artwork and handicrafts by artists in many media. Proceeds from the show will support educational, medical, dental and emergency funds to aid those who reside in the Gull Lake Community Schools district. For more information, visit

NEA Grants for Arts Projects Exhibition
& Intern Exhibition
Kalamazoo Book Arts Center

Art created by KBAC interns as well as art created with the help of a Grants for Arts Projects award that the KBAC received from the National Endowment for the Arts in 2021 will be on display this month.

The NEA Grants for Arts Projects Exhibition runs until July 29 and includes work created by two studio artists funded by the grant as well as the center’s newly produced books and its Poets in Print broadsides from 2021 and 2022. Studio artist Laura Citino created a chapbook of flash fiction pieces and two broadsides, while Rachel Stickney prepared a series of collagraph prints.

KBAC interns from 2021 and 2022 will share projects completed during their internships as well as their own work July 22–Aug. 26. A reception for the artists will be held from 5–8 p.m. Aug. 5.
The KBAC is located at 326 W. Kalamazoo Ave., Suite 103A and is open 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Monday–Friday.

For more information, call 373-4938 or visit


Kalamazoo Institute of Arts:

Jack Faxon: A Michigan Artist and Advocate
Through July 31

Stephen Hansen: You Are Here
Through Aug. 28

West Michigan Area Show
Through Sept. 4

Surrealish: The Absurd and Unexpected
Through Sept. 11

Balancing the Cosmos: Works by Li Hongwei
Through Oct. 2

Unveiling American Genius
Through December


Summertime Live Concerts
Various times
Various venues

Grab a lawn chair or blanket and head outdoors to enjoy the full slate of concerts sponsored by the Arts

Council of Greater Kalamazoo this month.
The concerts are free. The groups performing in July and the concert locations are:

  • Carrie & The McFerrinheits, 11:30 a.m. July 1, Bronson Park
  • Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, 7:30 p.m. July 6, Bronson Park
  • Sam Luna Band, 5:30 p.m. July 6, Bates Alley (between Pitcher and Portage streets), downtown Kalamazoo
  • Mike Struwin, 11:30 a.m. July 8, Bronson Park
  • Cabildo, 5 p.m. July 8, Haymarket Plaza, 139 N. Edwards St.
  • Shout! A Fabulous Tribute to the Fab Four, 8 p.m. July 8, Richland Area Community Center, 9400 East CD Ave.
  • Kalamazoo Concert Band & Kalamazoo Concert Brass, 3 p.m. July 9, Texas Drive Park, 6603 Texas Drive•
  • Moonshot Band, 4:30 p.m. July 9, Texas Drive Park
  • Denise Davis & The Motor City Sensations, 4 p.m. July 10, Bronson Park
  • The Michigan Nightingales, 6 p.m. July 10, Flesher Field Gazebo, 3664 Ninth St., Oshtemo Township
  • Matt Giraud, 6:30 p.m. July 11, The Stage at Kindleberger, Kindleberger Park, Parchment
  • Samuel Nalangira’s Trio, 5:30 p.m. July 13, Bates Alley
  • HairMania, 7 p.m. July 14, Overlander Bandshell, 7810 Shaver Road, Portage
  • Sam Luna Band, 11:30 a.m. July 15, Bronson Park
  • The Insiders: A Tribute to Tom Petty, 5:30 p.m. July 15, State Theatre, 404 S. Burdick St.
  • Matt Gabriel, 6:30 p.m. July 17, The Stage at Kindleberger
  • Flylite Gemini, 5:30 p.m. July 20, Bates Alley
  • Jordan Hamilton, 11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m. July 22, Bronson Park
  • Dogpatch Lullaby, 4:30 p.m. July 22, Celery Flats, 7328 Garden Lane, Portage
  • Iconix, 6:30 p.m. July 22, Celery Flats
  • The Gordon Lightfoot Tribute, 6:30 p.m. July 24, The Stage at Kindleberger
  • Chick & the Boomers, 5:30 p.m. July 27, Bates Alley
  • Monte Pride, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. July 29, Bronson Park
  • Blue Water Ramblers, 6:30 p.m. July 31, The Stage at Kindleberger

For more information, visit

Gershwin & Dvorák’s New World
July 16
Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra

Soprano and Western Michigan University faculty member Rhea Olivaccé will join the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra for an outdoor performance at the Gilmore Car Museum, 6865 W. Hickory Road, from 7–8:30 p.m.

The performance will include George Gershwin’s lively An American in Paris and other Gershwin tunes like “I Got Rhythm.” Closing the program will be Antonín Dvorák’s luscious and dramatic Ninth Symphony, “From the New World.”

Tickets are $55 for the front section and include a chair; tickets are $5–$30 for the lawn, where patrons should bring their own chairs or blankets to sit on. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

July 3
Crescendo Academy of Music

If violas are your passion, then Violapalooza is right up your alley.

This full-day festival for student violists, running from 9 a.m.–3 p.m., will feature workshops with and performances by guest clinicians, including Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra violist Arturo Ziraldo, Karin Code of Kalamazoo College and Code Studio Strings, and KSO Artist-in-Residence Nicholas Jeffery.

Crescendo Academy is located at 359 S. Kalamazoo Mall, Suite 12. The cost to participate in the festival is $25. To register or for more information, visit

Marie Lee

Marie is the editor of Encore Magazine and vice president of Encore Publications, Inc. She’s been at the helm of Encore since October 2011. Marie’s background covers the gamut; she’s a former newspaper reporter and editor, a public relations and marketing communications professional, and book editor and collaborator. As Encore’s editor, she is dedicated to bringing the best things about the greater Kalamazoo community to the magazine’s readers.

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