Things to Do

Friday, 23 August 2019 - 7:00pm

Box Factory for the Arts welcomes back Lake Effect Jazz Big Band August 23

 

We are happy to welcomeLake Effect Jazz Big Bandback to the Box Factory for the Arts for their second performance of the summer!

 

Friday, August 23rd

7:00 pm

General Admission $10

 

The Lake Effect Jazz Big Band is in its 19th year of bringing a unique blend of traditional and contemporary jazz big band music to the summer venues of beautiful southwest Michigan. The band performs new compositions for contemporary big bands as well as new arrangements of classic standards and golden oldies.  It performs music from the libraries of Stan Kenton, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Natalie Cole, Duke Ellington and others. The Lake Effect Jazz Big Band is committed to preserving the uniquely American art form of big band jazz in concert and jazz festival settings across Southwest Michigan.

 

The band is led by Steven L. Reed, retired instrumental music teacher for the St. Joseph Public Schools, where he taught jazz ensemble, orchestra, and band for 35 years.  Several members of the Lake Effect Jazz Big Band are current or retired music educators and jazz education is a priority for the LEJBB.

 

The Lake Effect Jazz Big Band will once again feature soloistBecky Derbas Selvidge.

 

The band performs between twelve and fifteen concerts each summer including Jazz Festivals, full length concerts at the Box Factory in St. Joseph, and outdoor venues in Southwest Michigan cities and townships.  Featured artists that have performed with the Lake Effect Jazz Big Band include vocalists Michelle Bythrow, Paul Mow, Katie Rohrer, Lisa Dabrowski, and Chicago jazz vocalist Tammy McCann. Instrumental soloists have included local trombonist Ed Bagatini, Chicago vibraphonist Jim Cooper, and Ann Arbor alto saxophonist Doug Horn.

 

The Box Factory for the Artsis located at1101 Broad Street, St. Joseph, MI 49085.

 

For more information, contact the Box Factory for the Arts at 269.983.3688 or visithttps://boxfactoryforthearts.org/

 

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Sunday, 25 August 2019 - 7:00pm

Box Factory for the Arts to hold Open Mic Night at the Box with hosts Nikki Gauthier & Rob Skibbe on August 25

 

Get into the Box for our monthly Open Mic Nights! In August our host is the duo ofNikki GauthierandRob Skibbe!

 

SUNDAY, August 25th

7:00-9:00 pm

Doors will open to the public at 6:30. Nikki & Rob will start off the performances at 7:00.

Email nikki@boxfactoryforthearts.org for your spot in the lineup.

There is no cover charge. Donations are encouraged and help to support our non-profit organization.

 

The Box Factory for the Arts exists to support and encourage the arts in all forms and expressions and to provide a space for artists of all levels to share their gifts. Open Mic Nights are the perfect opportunity for that! Each month we welcome folks of all ages to take to our stage and share their talent - be it music, comedy, spoken word, dance… you name it! All are welcome to come out and support artists and the arts.

 

Please keep in mind that the Box Factory for the Arts is a family friendly venue, so we do ask that you keep your performance respectful of all ages.

 

NIKKI GAUTHIER & ROB SKIBBE

Never one to seek the spotlight, something changed for Nikki when she hit 40! Suddenly her longtime love for the piano, learned at her grandmother’s side from the age of five, together with her brave new voice, started finding a home on open mic stages in the area. Nikki’s midlife artistic pursuits include a new love for painting, too — all of which led to her current work as Marketing and Programs Manager for the Box Factory for the Arts which was the home to that first Open Mic just two years ago. Her most recent performance was a tribute to Stevie Nicks as part of SMSO's RESPECT 2 concert.

 

Rob has been dreaming of making music since he bought his first guitar at ten years old. Both a songwriter and a performer, Rob's guitar riffs can take songs you've heard before and make them sound brand new. Rob's musical credits began with the St. Joseph HS Jazz Band (1993-94) and include The Ground (2011) and The Rain Dogs (2013). His house band the Meanest and the Growl has been playing together since 1998.

 

The pair started making music together recently when Rob agreed to help Nikki learn some Fleetwood Mac tunes for that Stevie Nicks performance. Once they started playing together, neither one wanted to stop.

 

The Box Factory for the Artsis located at1101 Broad Street, St. Joseph, MI 49085.

 

For more information, contact the Box Factory for the Arts at 269.983.3688 or visithttps://boxfactoryforthearts.org/

 

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Friday, 6 September 2019 - 5:00pm

Box Factory for the Arts unveils Series 6 Art Exhibition with Opening Reception and Face Off live portrait event Friday, September 6

 

TheBox Factory for the Artsis pleased to announce our next Art Exhibition - Series 6, featuring:

 

Grand Valley Artists- Juried Members Exhibition

Robert WilliamsPortrait Class Artists - The Art of the Portrait

Terry Choate- Laundry Is the Only Thing that Should Be Separated by Color

Lynne VanHusan- Copper in Transition

 

The Exhibition will begin on Friday, September 6 with an Opening Receptionto celebrate the artists and their work. The reception is free and open to the public. Join us at 1101 Broad Street in St. Joseph from 5:00 - 7:00 pm, followed byFace Off - A Live Portrait Event at the BOX

 

The Exhibition will run September 6 - October 12at the Box Factory for the Arts, and can be visited during our normal business hours (Monday through Saturday 10:00 am to 4:00 pm).

 

About Face Off:

Stroll through the galleries and watch portrait artists in action, painting and drawing from live models. See how each artist interprets the same model differently in their unique style. This one-of-a-kind event gives you the chance to experience art created right before your eyes and will immediately follow ourSeries 6 Art Exhibition Opening Reception(which happens to have an entire gallery devoted to "The Art of the Portrait").

 

Other dates:

On Saturday, September 28 the artists will be on hand to discuss their work and take questions during aGallery Walkfrom noon until 2:00 at the Box Factory. This event is free and open to the public. 

 

On Wednesday, October 2 the galleries will be open late (until 9:00 pm) and visitors are welcome to observe or participate in the evening portrait class from 6-9 pm. Please contact Bob Williams for more information (faceartistrrw@comcast.net) about joining the class.

 

About the Series 6 Artists:

 

Grand Valley Artistswas founded in 1957 by a group of artists who preferred an academic approach to drawing and painting as opposed to modernism. Today, however, GVA members’ art reflects both the traditional vision of the founders as well as modern interpretations of art in the contemporary world. Members are studio artists, illustrators, graphic designers, photographers, printmakers, ceramicists, sculptors, mixed media and digital media artists. They come from all walks of life, many from art related professions and others who cultivated their talents outside their professional careers. GVA artists’ work can be seen in juried competitions and some have become regionally, nationally and internationally recognized. Some are just beginning to include art in their lives. Together GVA members share the love of artmaking and seek to grow in their craft.

 

Grand Valley Artists is a nonprofit, 401c3 organization of over 275 West Michigan member artists. They have their own studio/gallery/meeting space in Grand Rapids, where they have life drawing/painting, portrait, still life, photography and en plein air groups. On site GVA holds monthly Art Chats, Critique Nights and Program Nights. Throughout the year there are workshops, guest speakers, gallery exhibits, and off site large juried competitions in venues throughout Western Michigan. Annually GVA hosts the Reeds Lake Art Fair each July, a major community art event.

 

This Juried Members Exhibition is an excellent selection of Grand Valley Artists’ work, curated by Doug Klemm and juried by Kristin Hosbein. Nearly forty artists are participating in the exhibition with a variety of media represented, including oil, watercolor, pastel, photography, monoprint, woodcut, pencil and more.

Robert R. Williamswas born in Northeast Ohio and grew up on the Pennsylvania/Ohio state line just 7 miles from Lake Erie. He has lived most of the last 43 years in the St. Joseph, Michigan area. Williams holds a BSEE degree and did not attend art school but has taken numerous studio art classes and workshops over the years.  He has specialized in portraits since art class in seventh grade. He was one of the founders of the Box Factory for the Arts in St. Joseph and has a studio there. Williams has won purchase awards at the Midwest Museum Juried Regional and has won first in category in the MAAC at the Box Factory and has won several awards including Best of Show at the Art Barn in Valparaiso and the Chesterton Art Center and had a piece accepted into a National show of the Pastel Society of America. 

 

Williams has taught portrait classes at the Box Factory for more than 15 years. The Art of the Portrait is a group exhibition featuring the artwork of current and former students, as well as the teacher himself. Bob describes the exhibit in own words: “In our portrait classes at the Box Factory for the Arts we work from live models. Working from life is both challenging and rewarding for both the model and the artist. Capturing a likeness can be done from photographs but capturing a little of the personality and the actual flesh tones of the model can only be done while interacting with the model. While not always successful, we strive to attain that result.”

 

A portion of this exhibit will be rotated to reflect current work from students in Bob’s weekly portrait classes. The remaining pieces will stay on display for the duration of the exhibition.  

Terry Choate has been painting and shooting photographs for over six decades - in fact, she got her first Kodak Brownie Hawkeye camera when she was nine and her first set of oils for her 10th birthday. Terry is continually amazed at the beautiful imagery she finds by simply opening her eyes to the wonders around her. Fortunately, Choate’s parents recognized her passion to create and provided her with early art lessons and she had excellent training in both high school and college. Her passion for photography put Terry through all formats including Instamatics, Polaroids, SLRs and early digital, but she now considers her iPhone her camera for its quality and convenience.

 

Choate was a pioneer in the computer animation and graphics industry and opened her own company in 1987. Animation Station, Ltd was located in Chicago, Illinois and Choate operated as President, Creative Director and Designer until 2005. Terry designed video graphics and animations for corporate and commercial clients, but is best known for having created the opening scoreboard animation for the Chicago Bulls and the Chicago Blackhawks for the Sony Jumbotron scoreboard at the new United Center in 1994.  Staying on the cutting edge of such rapidly changing technology led Terry to close the graphics studio and return to paint brush and easel. She also acquired a job with a major airline so she traveled extensively and often paints from her photographs. Terry’s photography has won numerous awards and she has developed a line of photo greeting cards that are available on her website www.terrykucerachoate.com and in her studio at the Box Factory for the Arts, as well as the gift shop there. Terry also does portraiture of children, people, pets and homes on commission working from photos she captures or those clients provide. Her favorite medium is oils, but she works in all mediums.

 

Terry’s Exhibit, “Laundry Is the Only Thing that Should Be Separated by Color,” features a collection of Terry’s photographs from all around the world. She describes her intention behind the exhibit in her own words: “When asked to do an exhibit of my photography, I felt it very timely to do this show of just the laundry photos I’ve captured throughout my years of trials and travels. Something I’ve always known is that people everywhere throughout the world have the same basic needs: Shelter, nourishment, companionship, love and clean clothes. It doesn’t matter what color their skin is, or what their politics are, or what religious beliefs they hold, or where they come from, or what their sexual identity is because everyone does laundry. It matters not how large their wardrobe is or where the clothing must be washed and dried, it must be done. Reason suggests that if hot water is used, colored items must be laundered separately than whites to prevent dyes from running. In life itself, blends are beautiful. I trust my photos and their captions will speak for themselves. My message is not subtle but certainly sincere.”

 

Lynne VanHusan was born and raised in southwestern Michigan. She describes herself as an animal and art lover. VanHusan Attended Grand Valley State College where she enjoyed many art courses. Lynne owns Salon Headlines Inc. in Elkhart, Indiana and works as a hairdresser there. Lynne describes her exhibit “Copper in Transition” this way: “As the flame meets the copper, a transformation begins. Life’s etchings and color begin to appear during the aging process. It can be very spiritual and primal as the colors flow.”

 

The Box Factory for the Artsis located at1101 Broad Street, St. Joseph, MI 49085.

 

For more information, contact the Box Factory for the Arts at 269.983.3688 or visithttps://boxfactoryforthearts.org/

 

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Saturday, 7 September 2019 - 12:00pm

LEMON CREEK WINERY will present their annual Harvest Festival on Saturday September 7th from 12 to 6pm. 

In continued celebration of the winery’s 35th Anniversary, this year’s Harvest Festival will feature a ‘throw back’ theme from the wineries first festival’s from the 1980’s.  Included in this gathering is a one-time only reunion of the original Park Avenue band!  Outdoor Kitchen, who served at all of the festivals long before “food trucks” were developed, will return for this event. 

Jeff Lemon co-owner and winemaker for the past 35 years, stated “In the 1980’s our festivals were a combination of celebrating the end of bottling, harvest, or Father’s Day and we would throw an open house party for our friends, neighbors and customers. There has been a lot of grapes grown and a lot of good wine made since then.”

 Park Avenue, starts the day off with classic dance music from the ‘60’s, ‘70’s, and ‘80’s.

 Live music will continue with Memphis Underground, an energetic 7 piece dance band from northern Indiana. Playing a mix of Memphis Soul, Motown, Blues, Rock, to current dance music.

In addition to Outdoor Kitchen, where festival patrons can purchase traditional off the grille favorites, Lake and Farmer food truck will serving up their unique farm to truck fare, from donut burgers to bacon jam grilled cheese.  

The festival will also feature a farmers market, including local produce, pumpkins, flowers, and crafts plus hayrides available for free throughout the day.  

Admission is $10.00 per person 21 and older, under 21 free when accompanied by parents. The gate fee entitles you to admission, parking, wristband for re-entry, a ticket for 3 free wine tastings of estate grown, award winning Lemon Creek wine, plus a souvenir wine glass. 

Lawn chairs or blankets are encouraged, dogs are not allowed on festival days. Only small snack coolers may be brought in and will be searched. No outside alcohol is permitted (outside alcohol will either be confiscated or you will be asked to leave).    

Lemon Creek Winery is located in the heart of Lake Michigan Shore wine country. Directions and more information about the wineries history, wines, awards, and future events may be found on the website at www.lemoncreekwinery.com or at 269-471-1321.

Saturday, 7 September 2019 - 8:00pm
EVENT “Fly Me to the Moon, A Tribute to Frank Sinatra”  Sept 7, 2019
 
"Fly Me to the Moon" a Tribute to Frank Sinatra will be presented at the Mendel Center at Lake Michigan College in Benton Harbor on Sept 7th at 8pm. This is a benefit for the Citadel Dance & Music Center who is celebrating its 10th year anniversary. Featured are the Lake Effect Jazz Big Band, Andrew Fisher, vocalist and the Citadel Dance Company. The 8pm show will feature 2 sets of 20 Sinatra tunes.  A pre-party will precede the show at 6:30 with appetizers, cash bar and a jazz duo. Audience and performers alike will be on the Mainstage in a “jazz night club” atmosphere. Frank Sinatra was known for creating memories for his audience, young & old alike,  from big band numbers like “New York, New York” & ballads like “My Way”. At the Citadel we pride ourselves on being able to share the wonder of music and dance with our students and our community at large. 
 
The Lake Effect Jazz Band is a 22 piece big band led by Steven Reed., a well-known area performer and retired music educator.  LEJBB, in it's 19th year performs 15 summer concerts and participates in two jazz festivals. Andrew Fisher, a Southwestern Michigan native teaches voice at the Citadel, leads the Andrew Fisher Quartet and performs everything from opera to jazz. The Citadel Dance Company is Citadel’s  premier dance ensemble led by Lari Lawrence-Gist, Director of Dance.
 
Sponsors include: Berrien Community Foundation, HoltBosse, Lake Michigan Nephrology, Quinlan & Fabish, Second Story Development, Three Pillars Music, Wales & Associates and WHFB.  Tickets are available at themendelcenter.com or by calling 269.927.8700
 
The Citadel Dance & Music is a 5013c non-profit and provides year round dance and music instruction to over 400 students. The Citadel is located in the historic Arts District in Benton Harbor. For more information go to citadeldmc.org or contact Susan Dietrich-Reed, Executive Director at dietrichreed@citadeldmc.org or 269.925.1099. 
Sunday, 8 September 2019 - 2:00pm

Krasl Avant-Garde(n) Party:

Be Unexpected. Be Imaginative. Be Here.

Krasl Art Center invites the community to their newly redesigned grounds to celebrate the successful completion of the Sculpting Community project.

The community is invited to celebrate the completion of fundraising for Krasl Art Center’s (KAC) new front yard. The Avant-Garde(n) Party is a free community gathering for all ages on Sunday, September 8, from 2 - 5 PM.

 

Watch thrilling acrobatics on the Oval Lawn, and learn a tumbling trick! Sip and savor unique mocktails celebrating summer flavors crafted by mixologists using Fruitbelt Soda. Create decadent and funky confections alongside Love and Macarons' Mandy Krause. Contribute to a community art project inspired by the Inhaling the Universe exhibition. Enjoy a performance by the Deep Fried Pickle Project (2:15 PM) and construct instruments out of household objects (3:30 PM)! And what party is complete without giant bubbles?!

 

The Avant-Garde(n) Party is a thank-you for the community's support of KAC’s $1.8 million grounds redevelopment. This redesign brings the center’s new mission, to “inspire meaningful change and strengthen community through the visual arts,” outdoors and makes art accessible to members and visitors alike. KAC's Avant-Garde(n) Party furthers this mission by sharing unique performances, community-based art projects, and dynamic experiences at this free-to-all celebration.

The Krasl Avant-Garde(n) party is underwritten by 1st Source Bank Wealth Advisory Services.

About Krasl Art Center:

Krasl Art Center is a nonprofit art museum and learning center that enriches the lives of people living in or visiting southwest Michigan by delivering enlightening art experiences through diverse education opportunities, meaningful events, and high quality exhibits and collections. KAC’s mission is to inspire meaningful change and strengthen community through the visual arts. To learn more, visit krasl.org.

Saturday, 21 September 2019 - 8:00pm

Event:              Beatles vs. Stones: A Musical Showdown

When:              Saturday, September 21, 2019, 8 pm

Where:             The Mendel Center at Lake Michigan College, 2755 E Napier Ave., Benton Harbor, MI

Mendel Center Box Office, (269) 927-8700, option 1, or www.TheMendelCenter.com

Tickets:            $26 - $48 + applicable fees

 

It’s the battle of the bands when Beatles vs. Stones: A Musical Showdown comes to The Mendel Center Sept. 21

 

 The question about which band is better – Beatles or Rolling Stones – has been a spirited debate for half of a century. The music of these legendary bands will be in the spotlight in an on-stage throw down Saturday, September 21, at 8 pm, at The Mendel Center at Lake Michigan College in Benton Harbor, Michigan. Beatles vs. Stones – A Musical Showdownwill pit Rolling Stones tribute band Satisfaction - The International Rolling Stones Show against rival Brit boys Abbey Road in an all-out musical battle for rock dominance.

 

Since 2011, the "Beatles" and the "Rolling Stones" have played to sold out audiences across the United States, including a four-month residency at the Harrah's Reno Showroom. Onstage, the bands alternate mini sets and trade improvised barbs and banter between songs to act out the famous rivalry.

 

From Mick Jagger’s (Sir Chris Legrand) infamous gyrations and Keith Richards’ sweet Tele licks to Brian Jones’ Vox Teardrop and the band’s original wardrobe, Satisfaction brings all the authenticity of an old Stones show.

  

For their part, the members of touring Beatles tribute band Abbey Road bring the mop top haircuts, harmonies, and boyish charm of everybody’s favorite Liverpudlians to the stage. They also play modern reissues of the exact same instruments and amps used by the Fab Four.

  

About Abbey Road

With their tight harmonies, flawless note-for-note renditions of Beatles hits, custom–tailored costumes, vintage instruments, Liverpudlian dialect, and precise attention to every detail, Abbey Road has honed their show to become one of the most musically and visually satisfying Beatles tribute acts in the world. Abbey Road recreates the magic, music, wit, and charm of the Beatles, including the Fab Four’s cheeky personalities, familiar onstage banter, and patter between songs.

 

Three costume changes cover the full range of the Beatles experience and beyond with authentic early black Beatles suits, Sgt. Pepper’s regalia, and Abbey Road attire. Hear the piccolo trumpet solo on “Penny Lane” and the full orchestration of “A Day in the Life.” Relive the emotional intensity of Paul’s moving “Yesterday” solo, as well as the high energy of stadium songs like “Twist and Shout” and other Beatles’ hits.

 

About Satisfaction - The International Rolling Stones Show

Satisfaction - The International Rolling Stones Show is the touring tribute to the World's Greatest Rock & Roll Band. This Billboard and Pollstar highly rated show, which got its start in 2000, now has over 3,500 worldwide performances to its credit. Its client list includes the nation’s top casinos, performing arts centers, music halls, and corporate clients. Performing up to 150 shows a year, this highly acclaimed production showcases the most authentic cast and costuming of its kind.

 

The likes of “Mick Jagger,” “Keith Richard,” and cast bring a colorful performance to over 50 years of classic hits. They have been featured in Rolling Stone magazine, Showbiz Magazine, Las Vegas Today, CBS Sunday Morning, and hundreds of national newspapers, magazines, and television and radio stations as the world’s greatest show honoring the Rolling Stones and their legacy. The cast now has three successful projects including “A Symphony for The Devil,” “Gimme Abbey,” and “Beatles vs. Stones: A Musical Showdown.”

 

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Tickets for Beatles vs. Stones: A Musical Showdown are on sale at www.TheMendelCenter.com, through The Mendel Center Box Office at (269) 927-8700, option 1, and in person weekdays from 10 am to 6 pm at the box office located in the Grand Upton Hall lobby of The Mendel Center at Lake Michigan College, 2755 E. Napier Avenue, Benton Harbor. Ticket discounts are available for seniors, students and children, active military members, and veterans. Groups of 10 or more receive ticket discounts when orders are placed through The Mendel Center Box Office or online.

 

This performance is sponsored by Chemical Bank, SuperHits 103.7, and 95.7 The Lake.

 

The Mendel Center is 30 minutes from Niles and 40 minutes from the Kalamazoo and South Bend areas. It is located on the Lake Michigan College campus at 2755 E. Napier Avenue, Benton Harbor, Michigan, one mile east of I-94 (Exit 30) and one mile west of the US 31 Bypass (exit 24). Its GPS mapping address is 1100 Yore Avenue, Benton Harbor, MI.

 

Find #TheMendelCenter online at:

Tuesday, 1 October 2019 - 7:30pm

10th anniversary national tour of Million Dollar Quartet kicks off at The Mendel Center Oct. 1

 

The Tony Award-winning, smash-hit Broadway musical Million Dollar Quartet comes to The Mendel Center at Lake Michigan College in Benton Harbor, Michigan, on Tuesday, October 1, at 7:30 pm as it kicks off its 10th anniversary national tour.

 

Inspired by an electrifying true event, Million Dollar Quartet tells the story of an auspicious twist of fate that brought together four young musicians – Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Elvis Presley. Sam Phillips, the undisputed “Father of Rock ‘n’ Roll” who was responsible for launching the careers of each of these icons, gathered the four legendary singer/songwriters at the Sun Records studio in Memphis, Tennessee, for the first and only time. The result was one of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll jam sessions in history.

 

Million Dollar Quartet brings that unbelievable musical moment to life with an irresistible tale of broken promises, secrets, betrayal, humor and celebration, complete with unforgettable performances of timeless hits such as “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Fever,” “That’s All Right,” “Sixteen Tons,” “I Walk the Line,” “Great Balls of Fire,” “Folsom Prison Blues,” “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On,” “Hound Dog,” and more.

 

Million Dollar Quartet won a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical and received two additional Tony nominations, one for Best Musical and one for Best Book of a Musical (Colin Escott and Floyd Mutrux). The show received an Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical, a Drama Desk nomination for Outstanding Musical Revue, and three Drama League nominations including Distinguished Production of a Musical and Distinguished Performance. Million Dollar Quartet is produced by Gershwin Entertainment Corporation.

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Tickets for Million Dollar Quartet are on sale at www.TheMendelCenter.com, through The Mendel Center Box Office at (269) 927-8700, option 1, and in person weekdays from 10 am to 6 pm at the box office located in the Grand Upton Hall lobby of The Mendel Center at Lake Michigan College, 2755 E. Napier Avenue, Benton Harbor. Ticket discounts are available for seniors, students and children, active military members, and veterans. Groups of 10 or more receive ticket discounts when orders are placed through The Mendel Center Box Office or online.

 

This performance is sponsored by WNDU Channel 16 and The Herald Palladium.

 

The Mendel Center is 30 minutes from Niles and 40 minutes from the Kalamazoo and South Bend areas. It is located on the Lake Michigan College campus at 2755 E. Napier Avenue, Benton Harbor, Michigan, one mile east of I-94 (Exit 30) and one mile west of the US 31 Bypass (exit 24). Its GPS mapping address is 1100 Yore Avenue, Benton Harbor, MI.

 

Find #TheMendelCenter online at:

●      Facebook @mendelcenter

●      Instagram @themendelcenter

●      Twitter @LMCMendel

●      www.TheMendelCenter.com

Thursday, 3 October 2019 - 7:00pm

Event:               Velvet Caravan

When:               Thursday, October 3, 2019, 7 pm

Where:              The Mendel Center at Lake Michigan College, 2755 E Napier Avenue, Benton Harbor, MI

Mendel Center Box Office, (269) 927-8700, option 1, or www.TheMendelCenter.com

Tickets:             $13 in advance, $18 at the door

 

Velvet Caravan opens the Living Room Series at

The Mendel Center on Oct. 3

 

Velvet Caravan, a high-energy, eclectic quintet based in Savannah, Georgia, brings its acoustic-based music to The Mendel Center at Lake Michigan College to open the Living Room Series season. This performance is scheduled for Thursday, October 3, at 7 pm. This special Living Room Series performance will be held on The Mendel Center Mainstage where audience members will sit on stage with the band for a unique musical experience.

 

Since its beginning, Velvet Caravan’s journey has continued to gain momentum as its reputation for top-notch virtuosity and unforgettable live shows has become the band’s unique global brand. Praised for its “compositional whimsy and ferocious technique” (The Austin Chronicle), Velvet Caravan “brings together musicians from as close as Austin and as far away as Venezuela and Slovenia. The quintet's varied lineage contributes to its eclectic sound, as the group weaves thick threads of Latin and gypsy music into acoustic swing jazz” (The Austin Chronicle). Whether on the big stage with a full orchestra or in an intimate jazz club, the band remains “tight and vibrantly free. Velvet Caravan pours violin, acoustic guitar, upright bass, accordion, keyboard, and percussion into a gumbo of lively swing music.” (Creative Loafing, Atlanta)

 

As a national and international touring ensemble that brings a bit of southern charm and coastal coolness to its music, the band still calls Savannah, Georgia, its home. If one were to name a Savannah-based musical act that most exemplifies this time-honored, eclectic, and adventurous city, they’d be hard pressed to find a more appropriate ambassador than Velvet Caravan.

 

This unorthodox group has emerged as one of the shining lights of the Coastal Empire's burgeoning music scene. It has grown from performing as an instrumental combo, which routinely drew enthusiastic and loyal followers at raucous restaurants and jazz clubs, into a respected and admired touring act that is comfortable in an attentive listening room or large concert hall.

 

Among its orchestral collaborations, the group has performed with the Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra, the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra, and the Jackson Symphony Orchestra. They have also performed in world-class jazz clubs such as The Iridium in New York City, The Jazz Corner in Hilton Head, and in intimate listening rooms such as Eddie’s Attic in Atlanta. Among many festivals and events, Velvet Caravan has enjoyed performing with many music festivals including the SXSW Music Festival in Austin, Texas, and the Rochester International Jazz Festival in Rochester, New York.

 

Velvet Caravan’s unique ability to subtly shift musical gears without sacrificing their integrity as composers and performers is rare indeed. This has resulted in an envelope-pushing group that is just as successful at dazzling jaded cocktail drinkers as they are at commanding the rapt attention of serious music aficionados in whisper-quiet recital environments. Of late, the band has even taken things a step further by mesmerizing and inspiring even the most finicky of schoolchildren through fun and engaging music educational programming.

 

Advance tickets for Velvet Caravan are $13 and available at www.TheMendelCenter.com, through The Mendel Center box office at (269) 927-8700, option 1, and in person weekdays from 10 am to 6 pm at the box office located in The Mendel Center, 2755 E. Napier Avenue, Benton Harbor. Tickets at the door will be $18. Published ticket prices do not include applicable fees.

 

The 2019-20 Living Room Series is sponsor Southwestern Michigan Tourist Council.

 

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The Mendel Center is 30 minutes from Niles and 40 minutes from the Kalamazoo and South Bend areas. It is located on the Lake Michigan College campus at 2755 E. Napier Avenue, Benton Harbor, Michigan, one mile east of I-94 (Exit 30) and one mile west of the US 31 Bypass (exit 24). Its GPS mapping address is 1100 Yore Avenue, Benton Harbor, MI.

 

Find #TheMendelCenter online at:

Facebook @mendelcenter

Instagram @TheMendelCenter

Twitter @TheMendelCenter

www.TheMendelCenter.com

Wednesday, 16 October 2019 - 5:30pm

Event:               Col. Nicole Malachowski (USAF, Ret.)

Part of The Economic Club of Southwestern Michigan Speakers Series

When:               Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Where:              The Mendel Center Mainstage at Lake Michigan College

                        2755 E. Napier Avenue, Benton Harbor, MI 49022

Tickets:            Mendel Center Box Office, (269) 927-8700, option 1, or www.TheMendelCenter.com

                       

 

Note: Media outlets wishing to cover this event are asked to contact Laura Kraklau by Oct. 11 to be added to the Mainstage seating list.

 

First woman Thunderbird pilot, combat veteran, fighter squadron commander, White House Fellow and adviser Nicole Malachowski to speak at the Economic Club of Southwestern Michigan Speakers Series Oct. 16

 

The Economic Club of Southwestern Michigan Speakers Series, hosted by The Mendel Center at Lake Michigan College in Benton Harbor, Michigan, welcomes Nicole Malachowski on Wednesday, October 16.

 

A leader, a combat veteran, the first woman pilot on the Thunderbirds Air Demonstration Squadron, a White House Fellow, and an inductee into the Women in Aviation International Pioneer Hall of Fame, Col. Nicole Malachowski’s (USAF, Ret.) distinguished 21-year Air Force career exceeded her wildest dreams. But the dream came to an end when a devastating tick-borne illness left her unable to speak or walk for ten months. An indomitable spirit, Malachowski fought back against overwhelming odds and prevailed.

 

While other high school students were practicing for their driver’s license, Malachowski was accumulating flight time. She was sixteen years old when she took her first solo flight. She earned her commission from the United States Air Force Academy in 1996. Following graduation, she attended Undergraduate Pilot Training (UPT) at Columbus AFB, Mississippi, and began her career as a pilot. Competitively selected to fly combat aircraft, she was among the first group of women to fly modern fighter aircraft.  As a career pilot, she served in combat as an F-15E Flight Commander, Evaluator, Instructor Pilot, and Flight Lead.

 

Over her 21-year career, Malachowski achieved the rating of Command Pilot with over 2,300 flight hours in six different Air Force aircraft. She was also selected to fly as Thunderbird #3 with the USAF Air Demonstration Squadron – the first woman to fly on any Department of Defense military jet demonstration team. Colonel Malachowski has served as a mission-ready fighter pilot in three operational F-15E fighter squadrons and has flown over 188 combat hours, including her proudest moment as a fighter pilot: leading the first fighter formation to provide security for Iraq’s historic democratic elections in 2005.

 

On the ground, Malachowski was a White House Fellow, class of 2008-2009, where she served on the Presidential Transition Support Team (PTST) while assigned to the U.S. General Services Administration. She has served two high-level staff assignments at the Pentagon – one in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD P&R) as well as the Secretary of the Air Force Office of International Affairs (SAF/IA). She also served as the Executive Director of the White House’s national ‘Joining Forces’ initiative where she directly advised former First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden on all topics relating to service members, veterans, and military families to include employment, education, mental health, veterans’ homelessness, and more.

 

Malachowski’s operational F-15E assignments include two tours of duty at RAF Lakenheath, United Kingdom, as well as one operational assignment to Seymour Johnson AFB, North Carolina. She has also served alongside the United States Army 2nd Infantry Division, Camp Red Cloud, Republic of Korea, as an Air Liaison Officer. During her second assignment to Seymour Johnson AFB, she had the honor of commanding the 333rd Fighter Squadron, leading an elite cadre of F-15E instructors in the training of the next generation of combat aviators. Further, she was responsible for resources totaling over $1.1B and the execution of a $119M annual flying hour program.

 

Malachowski earned a Master of Arts, with honors, in National Security Policy from American Military University and a second Master of Arts, with highest distinction, in National Security and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College. While there, she earned the Admiral Stephen B. Luce Award as the class honor graduate, the first Air Force officer in the history of the Naval War College to do so. Malachowski has been recognized with several honors for her consistent contributions to community service.

 

As Malachowski continues to recover from her neurological tick-borne illness, she embraces any opportunity to educate others about her medical journey and gains energy from educating others about this growing epidemic. She is on the Board of Directors at the LivLyme Foundation and is a Patient Advisory Board Member of The Dean Center for Tick Borne Illness.

 

Drawing on stories from her career and personal life, Malachowski will inspire the Economic Club audience to rethink everyday challenges during her presentation, “Harnessing Headwinds of Change.”

 

A pre-presentation buffet dinner will be served in newly renovated Grand Upton Hall. Dinner begins at 5:30 pm followed by a 25 – 30-minute panel discussion hosted by Lest We Forget at 6:30 pm featuring local female veterans with military service over the past few decades. These veterans will discuss their unique perspectives on serving in the armed forces.

 

Following the dinner program, attendees will take a short walk through The Mendel Center to their reserved seats in the Mainstage for the presentation. Volunteers and wheelchairs will be available to assist those with mobility issues.

 

Dinner tickets ($35) and reserved presentation seats ($50 - $80) are on sale now at www.TheMendelCenter.com, by calling 269-927-8700, option 1, or by visiting The Mendel Center Box Office in person. The box office, located in the Grand Upton Hall Lobby, is open weekdays from 10 am to 6 pm. Dinner tickets and presentation tickets are sold separately.

 

This Economic Club of Southwestern Michigan Speakers Series event is sponsored by Silver Beach Pizza.

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About The Economic Club of Southwestern Michigan Speakers Series

Established in 1943, the Economic Club of Southwestern Michigan has brought more than 430 world leaders, policy makers, experts, and other newsmakers to the region. Its goal is to provide unique opportunities for personal and community growth. By presenting national and international speakers from a wide range of fields and expertise, this non-partisan series is dedicated to the discussion of social, economic, and public policy questions important in today’s complex society.

 

About The Mendel Center at Lake Michigan College

The Mendel Center is 30 minutes from Niles and 40 minutes from the Kalamazoo and South Bend areas. It is located on the Lake Michigan College campus at 2755 E. Napier Avenue, Benton Harbor, Michigan, one mile east of I-94 (Exit 30) and one mile west of the US 31 Bypass (exit 24). Its GPS mapping address is 1100 Yore Avenue, Benton Harbor, MI.

 

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