Tag Archives: Saugatuck Center for the Arts

String Quartet blends classical and contemporary at the SCA

Well-Strung, a New York based string quartet with a twist, will perform at the Saugatuck Center for the Arts on July 14 at 8 p.m. The group is renowned for its fusion of classical music and modern contemporary hits. Tickets are on sale now for $35 in advance or $38 day of the performance. Visit sc4a.org or call 269-857-2399 to purchase.


The music of Taylor Swift, Rihanna, Adele, and Lady Gaga​ normally finds its home on the radio dial. But four young men from New York have given it a different home: on the strings of their violins, viola and cello.


The Huffington Post described the group as, “A genius mash-up of boyband and classical string quartet.”


Well-Strung is comprised of Edmund Bagnell (first violin), Christopher Marchant (second violin), Trevor Wadleigh (viola), and cellist Daniel Shevlin. Saugatuck isn’t new to Shevlin, as he is a Mason Street Warehouse alumni, who performed in the musical “Alter Boys”.


See why the New York Times says Well-Strung is, “A talented quartet of men who sing and play instruments … brilliantly fusing pop and classical music from Madonna to Beethoven.”


Well-Strung is sponsored by Hilliard Lyons of Holland, CKC Architect/Charles Carlson, Scott Habermehl, Renee Zita, Larry Gammons & Carl Jennings.

‘Summer in the Studio’ series at the SCA begins with Elden Kelly, July 10

Elden Kelly (photo supplied)

By Angela Peavey, Saugatuck Center for the Arts

The Saugatuck Center for the Arts (400 Culver St.) kicks off its Summer in the Studio concert series with guitarist Elden Kelly. Kelly will perform July 10 at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are $15 and available at sc4a.org, 269.857.2399, or by visiting the box office.

Elden Kelly is an improviser, bandleader, guitarist, composer and singer-songwriter. He is known for a type of classically influenced jazz and world music. Of a live performance, reviewer Lawrence Cosentino wrote, “He meandered from the Ganges to Delta blues, bluegrass, flamenco and a folk idiom so heartfelt it bordered on the devotional.”

After graduating from Boston’s prestigious New England Conservatory of Music with a degree in Contemporary Improvisation in 2008, Kelly accepted a full scholarship and teaching assistantship at Michigan State with Rodney Whitaker, earning a graduate degree in 2011 in Ethnomusicology.

Today Kelly’s sound is  influenced by genres such as jazz, neoclassicism, American Roots, Hindustani and Turkish music. Kelly is also known for playing the glissentar, an 11-string fretless guitar.

“The music I play on the fretless guitar is a combination of Indian music, Turkish music, and roots music, so I call it ‘Indo-Turkish Bluegrass’,” Kelly said.

Kelly processes a voice akin to Jeff Buckley, and technique that is the guitarists envy. But Kelly says he isn’t limited to just one genre such as folk. Instead he has experimented and blended many genres throughout his career to create his own powerful sound.

The Summer in the Studio series is an intimate, living room-style series hosted by the SCA. The next artist to be featured is Danika & the Jeb, a guitar and vocal duo who provide a unique blend of acoustic pop music.


SCA kicks off 15th theatre season with ‘Memphis: The Musical’

By Angela Peavey, Saugatuck Center for the Arts

Celebrate 15 years of theatre with Mason Street Warehouse at the Saugatuck Center for the Arts (400 Culver St., Saugatuck). The Tony Award-winning Memphis: the Musical opens the season and runs June 23–July 9. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at sc4a.org, by calling 269.857.2399, or at the box office.

Memphis: the Musical bursts off the stage with explosive dancing, irresistible songs, and a thrilling tale of fame and forbidden love. Inspired by actual events, Memphis is set in the places where rock and roll was born — underground nightclubs, radio stations, and recording studios of the 1950s. Romance sparks between a white radio DJ who wants to change the world, and a black club singer who is ready for her big break.

“We’re very excited to celebrate our 15th Anniversary season with the largest production in Mason Street’s history,” said SCA Executive Director Kristin Armstrong. “Memphis has a cast of nineteen, and we’ve brought incredible professional talent from New York City, Chicago, and across the country home to West Michigan for the production.”

Lindsay Roberts plays the lead role of Felicia for Memphis: the Musical. She made her Broadway National Tour debut starring as Felicia, and reprises the role for Mason Street Warehouse. Roberts’ Broadway credits include the role of Creole Love Call in After Midnight.

David R. Gordon plays the other lead: Huey Calhoun. The actor, who hails from Los Angeles, played the role of Roger in Flashdance the Musical during its first national tour.

Mason Street Artistic Director Kurt Stamm says that while the show is set in the 1950s, the story’s themes are fresh and relevant. The lead character Huey Calhoun is loosely based on the late Memphis DJ “Daddy-O” Dewey Phillips — who gained a devoted multi-racial following by boldly spinning a mix of country, rhythm and blues, and the new rock ‘n’ roll on his Red,
Hot & Blue radio show through most of the 1950s. And the message of Memphis, The Musical is the power music has to unite people across seemingly unbridgeable divisions.”

Mason Street Warehouse’s 15th anniversary season continues with:

Fully Committed (July 21 – August 6). You think you’re having a bad day? Meet Sam. He works the red‐hot reservation line at one of New York’s trendiest restaurants, where the best food inspires the worst behavior. Coercion, petty threats, bribes, histrionics—a cast of desperate callers will stop at nothing to land a prime reservation, or the right table. Amid the barrage, Sam has his own problems to deal with. While juggling scheming socialites, name‐dropping wannabes, fickle celebrities and egomaniacal bosses, can he still manage to look out for himself? Fully Committed serves up a delicious helping of juicy schemes and hilarious characters that will have you laughing out loud.

It Shoulda Been You (Aug 18– Sept 3). It Shoulda Been You invites you to a wedding day you’ll never forget, where anything that can go wrong does, and love pops up in mysterious places. The bride is Jewish. The groom is Catholic. Her mother is a force of nature, his mother is a tempest in a cocktail shaker. And when the bride’s ex-boyfriend shows up, the perfect wedding starts to unravel faster than you can whistle Here Comes the Bride. Plots are hatched, pacts are made, secrets exposed – and the sister of the bride is left to turn a tangled mess into happily ever after. Get ready to make a toast to the funniest wedding you’ve ever attended!


Urban artists featured in new summer exhibition at the Saugatuck Center for the Arts


By Taylor Koopman, Saugatuck Center for the Arts


The new summer exhibition, Stories of Us: Transforming Communities Through Art, comes to the Saugatuck Center for the Arts (400 Culver St.). Stories of Us will run from June 10 to September 3, Mondays through Fridays from 9 am-7 pm, and weekends from 10 am-7 pm, with free admission.


Stories of Us features works from four Chicago-based urban artists that create “street art” as well as works for galleries and exhibitions. In the exhibition, artists Rubén Aguirre, Andy Bellomo, Miguel A. Del Real, and Sam Kirk will share their own works, along with a collaborative 3-D installation piece made for the Saugatuck Center for the Arts’ gallery.


“We’re thrilled to welcome this group of incredibly talented young artists to West Michigan,” said SCA Executive Director Kristin Armstrong. “They are all connected by place (Chicago), their roots in graffiti art, and their passion for using art as a means of deep story telling. The four have never done a collaborative show before – we’re very excited to debut their work at the SCA!”


The artists’ exhibition at the SCA features work that encourages unity, and their pieces reveal stories interwoven with optimism and a better understanding of people; their culture, their identity, and their circumstances.


Ruben Aguirre, the Artist in Residence for summer 2017 at the Saugatuck Center for the Arts, transitioned from graffiti artist to abstract painter/contemporary muralist. His mural can be seen on buildings and neighborhoods in Chicago as well as Mexico, Brazil, Germany, Puerto Rico, and the Netherlands.


Andy Bellomo is a mixed media artist, using her perspective to transform acrylic, stained glass, repurposed objects, and spray paint into works of art. Bellomo’s pieces have been featured in galleries across the country.


Miguel A. Del Real’s art illustrates mostly black line works contrasted with colorful accents and original designs influenced by pre-Columbian and indigenous patterns, as well as calligraphy and urban art. Del Real has created large-scale public mural installations that can be recognized in Chicago neighborhoods, as well as in Brooklyn, New York and Oaxaca City, Mexico.


Sam Kirk creates paintings and murals using art to provoke people to feel, see or understand things differently. Recognized for her public art and solo shows in Chicago, Kirk has exhibited in New York, Miami, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., and Minneapolis. Kirk is an award-winning artist, and has been commissioned by Guinness, Smirnoff, Ciroc, Rolling Stone Magazine and Proctor & Gamble.


Rubén, Andy, Miguel, and Sam believe art is a transformative tool, each using their art as a means of creating community. Their work encourages unity, and understanding of others’ culture, identity, and circumstances. The art featured in this exhibition serves as a platform for discussion, learning, and human connection in the Saugatuck community in the spirit of creativity and openness to all people.


For information on other SCA programs featuring these artists throughout the summer visit sc4a.org.


Stories of Us is sponsored by Bud Baty & Max Matteson, Debra Minton & Terri Osborne, Lori & Keith Hayward, Marlo & Tom Byrne/Barbara Bradley Bakagaar Foundation.


Saugatuck Center for the arts celebrates 15th anniversary at annual benefit

Jay Hull

Saugatuck Center for the Arts


The Saugatuck Center for the Arts’ annual summer Benefit returns Saturday, June 17, with an evening celebrating the organization’s 15th Anniversary. Tickets are $180/person and can be purchased by calling 269-857-2399.


Honorary co-chairs Sandra & Travis Randolph and Monty Collins & Jerry Dark welcome guests for an evening of drinks, dinner, auctions, and live entertainment — all in support of the SCA’s cost free programming for children and adults. SCA Executive Director  Kristin Armstrong said she expects 300 guests, and calls the event an “SCA family reunion with a great mix of old and new friends. We love celebrating in the SCA rain garden with dinner and drinks — then heading into the theater for entertainment”.


This year’s dinner – created by The Gilmore Collection – features “elevated street fare” channelling the street truck food we all love with tastes from Cuba, Polynesia, Korea, and Greece.


The silent auction features dining and tasting experiences from Coppercraft Distillery, Virtue Cider, The Southerner, Salt of the Earth and others, plus jewelry, original art, tickets for hot concerts, and more. The live auction includes an exclusive wine pairing dinner at Wyncroft Winery, “must have” original art from Chicago artist Rubén Aguirre, hot summer sailing and dining experiences, a luxe trip to Cancun and more. And, guests will also get a sneak peek at the first Mason Street Warehouse production, the Tony award winning musical  “Memphis: The Musical”.


The event takes place at the Saugatuck Center for the Arts, 400 Culver Ave., Saugatuck. Space is limited; for more information or to buy tickets contact Kristin Armstrong at 269-857-2399 or visit sc4a.org.


‘I Am Not Your Negro’ screening at Saugatuck Center for the Arts

By Taylor Koopman

Saugatuck Center for the Arts


The Real to Reel program at the Saugatuck Center for the Arts show the Academy Award-nominated documentary “I Am Not Your Negro” on Thursday, June 8, at 7 p.m.


Tickets are general admission, priced at the door at $7 for non-members.


“I Am Not Your Negro” is based on novelist and activist James Baldwin’s last book, “Remember This House”. The unfinished novel was to be a revolutionary, personal account of the lives and successive assassinations of three of Baldwin’s close friends – Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King, Jr. In this incendiary documentary, filmmaker Raoul Peck envisions the book Baldwin never finished.


The film examines race in America, using Baldwin’s original words and rich archival material, questioning black representation in Hollywood and beyond. “I Am Not Your Negro” is a journey into black history that connects the past of the Civil Rights movement to the present of #BlackLivesMatter. Peck and Baldwin challenge the very definition of what America stands for.


The New York Times says “whatever you think about the past and future of what used to be called ‘race relations’ this movie will make you think again, and may even change your mind.”


The Saugatuck Center for the Arts is located at 400 Culver St., Saugatuck. For more information visit sc4a.org or call 269-857-2399.


Saugatuck Center for the Arts Farmers Market opens Friday

Farmers Market season opens Friday, May 26, for the Saugatuck Center for the Arts (SCA). This weekly market features local growers and craftsmen from 9 a.m – 3 p.m every Friday starting May 26 and running until Sept. 29 in the SCA’s parking lot, located at 400 Culver St. Each Friday, more than 20 vendors set up tents  in the SCA’s parking lot. The vendors offer a variety of local produce as well as crafts such as jewelry, bags, photo art, and more. All of the goods are grown, produced, or created by the people selling them.


Visitors to the market are treated to free coffee from Uncommon Grounds and live music. New this year are guest vendors, who will be at the market once a month. Also new this year is the bi-weekly “Taste of the Market.” This event runs from 10 a.m. – noon every other market day and offers recipe ideas and samples created from products at the market.


All of these offerings are wrapped in a friendly small town feel. SCA  Farmers Market Manager Bill Galligan says “the best thing about the Market for me is the sense of community. Because we’re a small market, my vendors have more interaction with each other and are more supportive of each other than in the larger markets in the area. Hopefully that sense of community extends out to our visitors.”


This sense of community is a highlight for SCA Executive Director Kristin Armstrong as well. She says “the Market is a wonderful gathering place! You run into friends and neighbors, have a cup of coffee, and chat with vendors. You can really experience two of the truly special things about Saugatuck: our agricultural & arts traditions.”


For the third year in a row, the farmers market vendors will accept SNAP Cards and Double Bucks. These programs make the market affordable and give low-income families the opportunity to buy healthy food locally. The market is open rain or shine. For more information on this event please visit sc4a.org or call 269-857-2399.

‘Springtime in Paris’ culinary class with Chef Jim LaPerriere

Jim LaPerriere

By Angela Peavey

Saugatuck Center for the Arts


Experience new flavors, and learn about seasonal European cuisine with a crisp glass of wine in hand. The “Springtime in Paris” culinary class with Chef Jim LaPerriere comes to the Saugatuck Center for the Arts Tuesday, May 23.


Join us from 7 – 8:30 p.m. as Chef LaPerriere leads a luscious, seasonal European-style butter and crème fraiche tasting experience.  Tickets are $35 per person with limited seating available. Guests must be 21 years or older.


The evening features samples of freshly made French-style cultured butter and baguettes, a classic French omelette, fresh pan-seared salmon, and a decadent strawberry-rhubarb clafoutis. Enjoy a glass of wine as Chef LaPerriere guides you through the menu for the evening.


With 23 years of experience in fine dining for renowned restaurants across the country, LaPerriere, now a personal executive chef, focuses on bringing a one of a kind dining experience to your own table. Through his culinary company, Distinctive Dining, LaPerriere hosts private group cooking classes, demonstration dinners, weddings, corporate team building, and wine dinners. His food has graced the covers of “Sacramento” Magazine and the “Sacramento Bee,” and he has been featured in various local publications including the “Holland Sentinel” and “Grand Rapids Magazine.”


For more information on “Springtime in Paris” with Chef Jim LaPerriere or to purchase tickets, visit www.sc4a.org or 269-857-2399. The Saugatuck Center for the Arts is located at 400 Culver St., Saugatuck.

Saugatuck Center for the Arts hosts an evening of cool jazz

Tania Chantzi

By Angela Peavey

Saugatuck Center for the Arts


The Saugatuck Center for the Arts features international singer Tania Chantzi for a “Hot Evening of Cool Jazz” Saturday, March 25, from 8 – 10 p.m. Hosted by Leslie and Stelios Dokianakis, guests will mingle, enjoy a drink, and experience  the smooth sounds of jazz classics and American Songbook favorites performed by Chantzi and her quartet.


Tickets for the event are $50/person and are in support of the SCA’s “Growing Young Artists” program for K-8thgrade migrant students. Space is limited; call 269-857-2399 or sc4a.org to reserve your tickets.


Native of Greece, Chantzi has performed with the bands Jazzin’ Around, Da Band, and Dear Rene. She is currently studying Jazz Voice at Hope College. Her quartet for the evening is an all-star lineup of West Michigan instrumentalists: Rufus Ferguson (piano), Jeff Beavan (bass guitar), Jim Cooper (vibraphone), and Steven Perry (drums).


“We are very excited about this event,” said Kristin Armstrong, SCA Executive Director. “We’re transforming the lobby into a club setting for the evening. This is the only opportunity to experience this group – it’s going to be a wonderfully intimate night of live music with these very talented musicians.”


Armstrong noted that proceeds from the evening will support the SCA’s “Growing Young Artists” (GYA) program which gives pre-K through 8th-grade migrant students the opportunity to participate in a two-week project based learning intensive. Taught in Fennville and South Haven schools, GYA supplements the students’ math, science, and language classes through arts-infused project based learning. As a result, the students learn important soft skills like teamwork, collaboration, problem-solving, and empathy.


“Leslie and Stelios are deeply supportive of Growing Young Artists and our children’s programs. This special event was their brainchild – a way to introduce friends to the SCA and our programming through an evening of great music.” Armstrong said only a few tickets remain for the event; they can be purchased online or by calling the SCA.


The Saugatuck Center for the Arts is located at 400 Culver St., Saugatuck.

Mason Street Warehouse summer line-up dazzles to celebrate SCA’s 15th Anniversary

Mason Street Warehouse housed at the Saugatuck Center for the Arts (SCA) is celebrating its 15th Anniversary, bringing a dazzling lineup to the stage.  The lakeshore’s only professional Equity theatre, Mason Street is producing the Michigan premiere of “Memphis The Musical:” the hilarious comedy “Fully Committed;” and the fresh, modern musical comedy “It Shoulda Been You.”


Mason Street Warehouse (MSW) performances are at the Saugatuck Center for the Arts, 400 Culver Street, Saugatuck. Season and individual tickets are now on sale at sc4a.org or 269-857-2399. 


MSW Founder and Artistic Director Kurt Stamm held auditions in New York City, Chicago, and various Michigan locations – Mason Street received more than 3,400 submissions in NYC alone this year.  Stamm says the strength of Mason Street’s brand means he’s bringing outstanding professional talent back to West Michigan this summer.


“Memphis is a huge song and dance show and we’ll be putting up the Michigan premiere. We had truly phenomenal talent audition for the production as well as for ‘Fully Committed’ and ‘It Shoulda Been You,’” Stamm said.  


“Memphis: The Musical” is the largest production Mason Street has produced in its 15-year history and was a very deliberate choice, Stamm said. “We had a tremendously strong season last summer and this year we’re celebrating our 15th anniversary. We’re pulling out all the stops and giving the community a seriously dazzling lineup!”


Stamm noted that this summer’s shows will feature professional actors making their Mason Street debuts as well as MSW “alumni.”  “We’re still nailing down our contracts, but I’m very excited about the possibility of welcoming back several fabulous actors who have been on the Mason Street stage before. It’s always wonderful to bring these professionals back to West Michigan.”

Individual and season tickets are now on sale, and season tickets to see all three shows can be purchased at a great discount. Mason Street also offers senior, student, and group discounts. Call the box office for more information: 269-857-2399

Saugatuck Center for the Arts offers an evening of family films


Grab a bag of popcorn and join us for a very special evening of award-winning family cinema at the Saugatuck Center for the Arts, 400 Culver Street, on Friday, March 24, at 6:30 p.m.  The SCA is proud to host the Telluride Film Festival’s Moutainfilm on Tour, featuring engaging films for all ages (run time 135 minutes).


The SCA’s Family Film Night features 14 films ranging from two-minute shorts to a 25-minute feature film. Mountainfilm staff member Cara Bunch will emcee the evening, introducing five of the selections. The playlist includes a variety of “adrenaline” films, thoughtful environmental films, and titles with a splash of humor, including:


  • Reinvention of Normal: Toothbrush maracas, an umbrella with plant pots, a tea cup cooling fan, and the reverse bungee … all are inventions of London artist/inventor/designer Dominic Wilcox. This short film follows Wilcox on his quest to come up with something creative every day. The result is a font of productivity as he transforms the mundane and ordinary into surprises, wonders and, sometimes, just plain absurdities.
  • Afterglow: Hailed as one of the most cinematically profound ski films ever made, Afterglow features bold, uncompromising, creative imagery. Filmed at night in British Columbia and Alaska’s backcountry with powerful lights and ski suits studded with LED lights.
  • Making Waves: Morocco has some terrific surf breaks, but for most local Muslim women these waves are off limits. Not so for Oumaima Erhali, a 17-year old determined to partake in the sport she loves.
  •  Rabbit Island: In the middle of the vast watery stretch that is Lake Superior sits Rabbit Island, 91 acres of rocks, earth, trees and wild habitat. Rabbit Island has never been divided or developed, nor will it ever be. This place offers a new kind of wild experience, where the point is to do nothing to an ecosystem and see what it teaches us. This film is a brief study of an island set on the majestic Lake Superior, and the artists who gather there for inspiration.
  • The Fisherman’s Son: Anyone who’s seen Patagonia photographer Jeff Johnson’s film “180 Degrees South: Conquerors of the Useless” remembers Ramón Navarro, the Chilean surfer who gives the traveler and his crew a humble introduction to his beloved, overfished waters. The Fisherman’s Son is a film that finally explores Navarro’s life in depth, following the trajectory of a boy who came from a fishing family to become one of best big-wave riders in the world and is now an impassioned environmental activist.


Making Waves

Established in 1979, Mountainfilm is dedicated to educating, inspiring, and motivating audiences about environments, cultures, issues, and adventures. Working at the nexus of filmmaking and action, its flagship event is the renowned Telluride Mountainfilm festival, in Telluride, Colorado. The festival has attracted leading documentary filmmakers, artists, photographers, conservationists, mountaineers, scientists, journalists and explorers form around the world to engage in the festival’s tag line of “celebrating indomitable spirit.”


Through Mountainfilm on Tour, the festival touches the lives of over 50,000 people every year and visits more than 100 locations on six continents. The visit to Saugatuck is their way of extending the reach of the annual festival and helping the filmmakers’ inspiring content be seen by audiences who otherwise might never have the opportunity.

Saugatuck Center for the Arts Hosts “Taste of Telluride” Screening March 24


By Angela Peavey

Saugatuck Center for the Arts


The acclaimed Telluride Film Festival is coming to West Michigan when the Saugatuck Center for the Arts presents a “Taste of Telluride” on Friday, March 24, at 7 p.m.  Reserved tickets for this special evening of film ($10/each; cash bar available) can be purchased at sc4a.org or 269-857-2399.



Hailed by Movie Maker Magazine as, “One of the Top 25 coolest film festivals in the world,” the SCA is presenting its “Taste of Telluride” screening as part of its special 15th Anniversary programming.



“The SCA is the only place in Michigan for people to experience films from Telluride,” said SCA Executive Director Kristin Armstrong. “We know West Michigan audiences love film; we’re really thrilled to bring this event to Saugatuck.”



Kitchen overseer Genghis Khan (aka Desert Dog) keeps an eye out for salami skins to dispose of and food pouches in need of a good licking. Photograph by Mary McIntyre

Armstrong said the SCA collaborated with the Telluride Film Festival to curate the films selected for its “Taste of Telluride” event. “Audiences are going to be blown away by these incredibly inspiring stories, including extreme sports and adventure, our environment, and foreign arts and culture.”



Films at the “Taste of Telluride” include “Angel Annihilates Alaska” (extreme skiing), “Ace and the Desert Dog” (backpacking and friendship), “When We Were Knights” (base jumping), “The Super Salmon” (environment), and “Mile 19” (marathoner & veteran Johnnie Jameson).



The Telluride Film Festival bills itself as a celebration of the best in film — past, present and future — from all around the world. Guest Directors have included luminaries like Salman Rushdie, Buck Henry, Laurie Anderson, Stephen Sondheim, and Peter Sellars. Telluride audiences were the first in the world to laugh with “Juno,” to observe “The Lives of Others,” to visit “Brokeback Mountain,” to learn the secret of “The Crying Game,” and to experience “Blue Velvet.”  As Roger Ebert said, Telluride is, “…like Cannes died and went to heaven.”



The SCA’s relationship with the Telluride Film Festival has grown over the past five years as the two organizations have collaborated via the SCA’s Children’s Film Festival. “Our film festival for young viewers began 15 years ago,” Armstrong said. “In 2014 we reached out to the Telluride Film Festival to see if we could bring their award-winning films for young viewers to our festival. They loved the idea of reaching students in West Michigan so they agreed – and we’ve been growing our relationship ever since.”



Thanks to support from sponsors, the SCA makes its Children’s Film Festival available to West Michigan schools cost free, even including “bus money” if schools cannot afford transportation funding. “We typically serve 1,500 K-12th grade students during a week of screenings at the SCA,” Armstrong said. “This year we’re excited to announce a new partnership that is expanding the festival’s outreach tremendously.”



The Children’s Film Festival, which runs March 20-24 for partner schools, is going “on the road” to the Allegan Public Schools Performing Art enter for a day.   As a result, an additional 1,100 students will experience the Festival, and in total more than 2,500 students from Allegan, Ottawa, Kent, and Van Buren Counties will participate in the 2017 Children’s Film Festival.



Armstrong notes that SCA Education and Exhibition coordinator Whitney Valentine has created post-festival resources for educators so students can continue to benefit from the film festival experience long after the screening.



The Children’s Film Festival is a vital part of the SCA’s three-pronged mission of education, entertainment, engagement, Armstrong said. “The Children’s Film Festival hits all three of our key focus areas. The topics matter, and the experience gets kids thinking and learning in a different way.”



Reserved tickets for the “Taste of Telluride” screening and additional information can be found online at sc4a.org.  


Acclaimed environmental documentary to be shown at Saugatuck Center for the Arts

Leonardo DiCaprio in the documentary “Before the Flood.”

By Angela Peavey

Saugatuck Center for the Arts


Academy Award-winning film-maker Fisher Stevens and Academy Award-winning actor, environmental activist, and U.N. Messenger of Peace Leonardo DiCaprio delve into the science and impact of climate change in their acclaimed documentary “Before the Flood.” The film is part of the Saugatuck Center for the Arts’ Real to Reel Series and set to screen March 16 at 7 p.m.


According to DiCaprio, “This documentary shows how interconnected the fate of all humanity is—but also the power we all possess as individuals to build a better future for our planet.”


This film, presented by National Geographic, follows DiCaprio as he travels to five continents and the Arctic to witness culminate change firsthand. He goes on expeditions with scientists uncovering the reality of climate change and meets with political leaders fighting against inactions. He also discovers a calculated disinformation campaign orchestrated by powerful special interests working to confuse the public about the urgency of the growing powerful special interests working to confuse the public about the urgency of the growing climate crisis.


“This is one of many documentaries about climate change; many aren’t much fun, but with DiCaprio at its center, this one offers crucial, current information, as well as a measure of hope,” says Common Sense Media.


With unprecedented access to thought leaders around the world, DiCaprio searches for hope in a rising tide of catastrophic news.


Saugatuck Center for the Arts is located at 400 Culver St., Saugatuck. General admission tickets are $5 for members and $7 for future members. For more information on this event please visit sc4a.org or call 269-857-2399.



NPR comedian James Judd comes to Saugatuck Center for the Arts

James Judd

By Angela Peavey

Saugatuck Center for the Arts


The Saugatuck Center for the Arts opens its 15th anniversary season with the star of NPR’s Snap Judgement comedian James Judd.  Judd will be at the SCA one night only: March 18.


The storyteller and comedian takes audiences on a rollercoaster joy-ride, sharing tales that pull you up and down and leave you laughing till you cry. The Toronto Star calls Judd, “off-the-wall and out-of-the ballpark entertainment,” and the San Francisco Chronicle says Judd is, “hilarious!”


A former member of the Los Angeles based improv group—and Saturday Night Live training ground—The Groundlings, Judd worked the stand-up circuit until he was 30, when he made a U-turn going back to law school to become a criminal defense attorney. Ultimately Judd returned to comedy but this time through autobiographic storytelling.


Judd is a recurring storyteller on the acclaimed radio show Snap Judgement and can be heard at festivals across the nation.  “Like David Sedaris on a pot of coffee,” says the Democrat & Chronicle.


The show is at 8 p.m. at the Saugatuck Center for the Arts, 400 Culver, Saugatuck. Tickets are $29 in advance and $32 the day of the show. For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit sc4a.org or call 269-857-2399.

Precision medicine is the next topic in the Saugatuck Center for the Arts’ ‘Intriguing Conversation’ series

The new concept of “precision medicine” and how it’s revolutionizing the delivery of healthcare is the next topic in the Saugatuck Center for the Arts’ Intriguing Conversation series. The free program takes place Tuesday, Feb. 21, at its new morning time of 8 – 9 a.m.


Big data analytics, artificial intelligence, pharmacogencomics, and wearable are all under the umbrella of “precision medicine.  Dr. Adam Kadlec will dig into these topics and answer questions about how the intersection of technology and medicine is changing how we manage our own health care and interact with our health care providers.


Kadlec is a fellowship-trained Endourologist with expertise in all forms of minimally invasive surgery. He earned his undergraduate and medical degrees with highest honors at the University of Wisconsin and completed residency training in Urology and a fellowship in Endourology and Minimally Invasive Surgery at Loyola University Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois.


Kadlec practices at the Western Michigan Urological Associates. His model of care is shared decision making, and he’s passionate about building long-term and trusting relationships with his patients as he helps them navigate health-related decisions both big and small.


Mix and mingle, grab a cup of coffee and breakfast nibbles from Uncommon Grounds, and take a peek into the future of technology and medicine.


The Saugatuck Center for the Arts is located at 400 Culver, Saugatuck. More information on this event can be found by visiting sc4a.org or calling 269-857-2399.

American pianist Loren Fishman set to perform at Saugatuck Center for the Arts

Loren Fishman brings his colorful technique and musical sensitivity to the Saugatuck Center for the Arts’ Hempy Keyboard Series on Sunday, Feb. 19 at 2 p.m. at the Saugatuck Center for the Arts, 400 Culver Ave., Saugatuck.


During his concert Fishman will perform music of great composers from the United States, including George Gershwin and Louis M. Gottschalk. Fishman combines the worlds of classical music, ragtime, and jazz to create an innovative, distinctly American musical language, bringing the colorful tapestry of American piano music to life.


Beginning piano lessons at the age of nine with Capital University Professor John Carter, Fishman later studied with Richard Lopez and Nina Polonsky. He received his Bachelor’s degree with honors in 2006 from Northern Kentucky, where he received a full scholarship and studied with Ukrainian pianist and master teacher Sergei Polusmiak. While there, he was the recipient of the prestigious Dean’s Scholarship and the Commonwealth Scholarship for Academic Excellence. He received his Master’s degree in music in 2009, and a doctorate in 2011 from the University of Minnesota, where he studied with the distinguished pianist Lydia Artymiw.


Fishman has won top awards in various competitions, including the Graves Regional Young Artist Competition, the KMTA/Bluegrass Young Artist Competition, the NFAA National Arts Recognition Talent Search, the Paducah Symphony Concerto Competition, the MTNA Kentucky State Piano Competition, the Columbus Symphony Concerto Competition, and the Bexley Summerfest Young Artist Competition.


Fishman currently maintains an active piano studio and performance schedule in Minneapolis, and is an adjunct professor of piano at Carleton College.


Tickets for this event are $10 for adults and free for students 18 and under. For more information on this event please visit sc4a.org or call 269-857-2399.


Work of Herman Miller designer featured in exhibit at Saugatuck Center for the Arts

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By Angela Peavey

Saugatuck Center for the Arts


The Saugatuck Center for the Arts opens its 15th anniversary season with an exhibition featuring works by designer Alexander Girard. “TEXTILE PLAY: The Magnificent Eye of Alexander Girard” opens Jan.27 and runs through Mar. 24.


The opening reception for the show is Friday, Jan. 27 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. and is free to the public. The exhibition is open Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and during evening events.


“We’re thrilled to bring this visually stunning exhibition to the West Michigan community,” said SCA Executive Director Kristin Armstrong. “It shares wonderful stories about Girard’s fascination with color and pattern – stories that fit squarely into our current conversations about the intersection of math, design thinking, and art.”


Armstrong noted that the SCA worked with both the Herman Miller archives as well as private collectors to gather works for the exhibition.


Girard was one of the most meaningful textile designers and interior architects of the Twentieth Century. He had a gifted eye for both the extraordinary and the little details of the world.


As the manager of the Material and Textile Department at Herman Miller, the American-Italian designer created more than 300 different graphic designs in 20 years. Every one of his designs expresses Girard’s affection for strong colors and abstract forms. His textile designs range from brightly colored, floral elements to monochromatic patterns – always including a playful element. Seemingly simple stripes, circles, and triangles became wonderful patterns – and their influence is still felt today.


“Textile Play” features Girard fabrics, screen prints, furniture, and books from Herman Miller’s archives and local collectors. The pieces, along with stories about Girard’s design process, celebrate his vision for using “everyday” shapes and objects, strong colors, and elements from pop art and folk art to create a rich, playful world that continues to be his lasting legacy.


A series of interdisciplinary educational opportunities related to the exhibition are available for children and adults throughout the run of the show. For more about those events or the show, visit www.sc4a.org. The Saugatuck Center for the Arts is located at 400 Culver St., Saugatuck.

Film on government and the media kicks off SCA’s Real to Reel Film Series

WASHINGTON – JANUARY 16: US President Barack Obama (L) former President Bill Clinton (C) and former President George W. Bush (R) walk to the Rose Garden to speak about relief for Haiti on Jan. 16, 2010 in Washington DC. President Obama spoke about how the American people can help in the recovery and rebuilding effort going forward in Haiti. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images. Photo supplied by Saugatuck Center for the Arts)

By Angela Peavey

Saugatuck Center for the Arts


The Saugatuck Center for the Arts’ Real to Reel Film Series kicks off this winter with a screening of “All Governments Lie: Truth, Deception, and the Spirit of I.F. Stone” by Jeremy Scahill, Glenn Greenwald, and Michael Moore. The screening is Thursday, Jan. 19 at 7 p.m. Tickets are general admission: $5 for members and $7 for future-members. Additional information is at sc4a.org or call 269-857-2399.


The “LA Times” said “All Governments Lie is,” “a damning indictment of mainstream media. Featuring footage from the last six decades, “All Governments Lie” is a timely, convincing documentary that will cause audiences to question what they see and read. It’s remarkably nonpartisan, revealing that the title does indeed refer to every government and politician, even those that we admire and align our ideals with.”


Vancouver-based filmmaker and TV news veteran Fred Peabody explores the life and legacy of the maverick American journalist I.F. Stone, whose long one-man crusade against government deception lives on in the work of such contemporary filmmakers and journalists as Laura Poitras, Glenn Greenwald, David Corn, and Matt Taibbi.


For decades, Stone took on the powers that be — from Red-baiting fearmonger Joe McCarthy to Lyndon Johnson to Ronald Reagan — in the pages of the tiny publication “I.F. Stone’s Weekly” (and later in the “New York Review of Books” and “The Nation”), most of it typed, two-finger style, by Stone himself. Working without the “access” to those in power so prized by establishment journalists, Stone took on the system regardless of personal risk. In “All Governments Lie: Truth, Deception, and the Spirit of I.F. Stone,” Peabody pays tribute to Stone’s work and looks at those who carry on his legacy today.



Not surprisingly, those contemporary journalists most influenced by Stone have had to work outside the mainstream. Peabody introduces us to men and women who are keeping Stone’s legacy alive by relentlessly speaking truth to power, despite the obstacles placed in their way: Jeremy Scahill, Glenn Greenwald, and Laura Poitras (who together founded “The Intercept” as a platform for the Snowden NSA leaks), Amy Goodman, David Corn, and Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi.


Don’t miss the film “Variety” calls an, “urgent and fascinating documentary.”


The Saugatuck Center for the Arts, located at 400 Culver Street, Saugatuck. For more information about the SCA and upcoming events, visit www.sc4a.org or call 269-857-2399.

Winners for the Saugatuck Shorts Film Competition to air on WKTV

Seth Yergin was the adult winner for his film “Summer.”

The winners of the Saugatuck Shorts Film Competition will be aired on WKTV Tuesday, Jan. 10, at 9 p.m., and Saturday, Jan. 14, at 10 p.m.


The theme for the 2016 competition was “Michigan Flavor.” Each filmmaker was to make a film, no longer than five minutes that show their interpretation of Michigan Flavor.


There were two different groups for the competition, one for students under the age of 18 and one for adults over the age of 18. Three prizes were awarded at the screening: $500 judges’ award for best student film, $1,000 judges award for best adult film, and $1,000 for “Fan Favorite.” Audience members had the opportunity to vote for their favorite after all the films were screened.


Brennan Huizinga took home the student award and Fan Favorite.

The winner for the student category of this year’s competition was Brennan Huizinga for his film A Lake Michigan Sunset. Not only did Huizinga win the student category but his film also won the award for “Fan Favorite.” This is Huizinga’s second time submitting his films for the competition, his second time being in the top ten finalists, and his first time winning both of these awards.


The winner for the adult category of this year’s competition was Seth Yergin for his film Summer. This is Yergin’s first time entering the competition and he said he couldn’t have asked for a better outcome.


Film ‘Life, Animated’ offers possibility, chance of stimulus

square-life-animated-jpgFrom Academy Award-winning director Roger Ross Williams, Life, Animated is the inspirational story of a young man who used Disney animated films to communicate with his friends and family. This coming-of-age film will be shown at the Saugatuck Center for the Arts (SCA) (400 Culver Street) on Nov. 17 at 7 pm. General admission $5/Members and $7/Future Members.


For more information, or to purchase tickets, please visit sc4a.org or call 269.857.2399.


Rolling Stone says about Life, Animated, “Instead of false hope, it offers possibility, the chance of a stimulus that might get past the blocks of developmental disorder.”


This refreshing film begins when Owen Suskind is a thriving three-year-old who suddenly and inexplicably goes silent — and for years has remained unable to connect with other people or to convey his thoughts, feelings or desires. Over time, through repeated viewings of Disney classics like The Little Mermaid and The Lion King, Owen found useful tools to help him to understand complex social cues and to re-connect with the world around him.


Roger Ross Williams

Prior to moving into independent filmmaking, Roger Ross Williams was an acclaimed television journalist and producer for over 15 years for outlets including: TV Nation, ABC News, NBC News, CNN, PBS, Comedy Central, and Sundance Channel. Williams serves on the Alumni Advisory Board of the Sundance Institute. He frequently mentors filmmakers from the developing world and under-represented communities on how to channel personal adversity into their art.


“Deeply moving. A warm testament to a family’s love and resistance.” –Variety


Real to Reel is sponsored by Great Lakes Manor and Cottages and Clark Hill Entertainment Industry Team, Hidden Garden Cottages & Suites, and Saugatuck-Douglas Antique Market.


About the Saugatuck Center for the Arts

The Saugatuck Center for the Arts, located at 400 Culver Street, Saugatuck, is a non-profit organization dedicated to creating a more vibrant lakeshore community in West Michigan and beyond. For more information about the SCA and upcoming events, visit www.sc4a.org or call 269.857.2399.

SCA: Gear up for the holidays with time-saving recipes, Nov. 9

wine-tasting-scaJoin Mike Gustaitis of Wine Sellars of Saugatuck and Chef Doug Rempel as they help you gear up for the holidays with delicious time-saving recipes and the perfect wine pairings. This event happens at the Saugatuck Center for the Arts (SCA) (400 Culver Street) on Nov. 9 from 7-8:30 pm.


Tickets are $35 and space is limited. For more information please visit sc4a.org or call 269.857.2399.


Those attending this event will have the opportunity to sample four holiday-inspired small plates that can be prepared in advance for a dinner party so you can spend time with your guests, not in the kitchen.


Mike Gustaitis is an accomplished Advanced Sommelier with extensive knowledge of wine from various wine-producing regions including Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, France, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Portugal, South Africa, Spain and the USA.


Doug Rempel has been cooking for more than 30 years, entertaining clients, family and friends with his unique recipes and inspired flavors.


Mike and Doug will work together to pair each small plate with the perfect red or white wine for a combination that will have your taste buds smiling.

Exhibition explores the question: Who is a hero?

‘Cost of Social Justice’ by Donna St. John

Artist and art educator Donna St John explores the provocative question, “Who do we consider worthy of the title ‘hero?’” in her assemblage exhibition at the Saugatuck Center for the Arts (400 Culver Street). She asks the viewer to consider whether we truly honor the people who have made extraordinary contributions in our society.



Tributes of Authentic Heroism: Investigation of Grace, Vision, Clarity, and Purpose highlights nine men and women from around the globe, who have been labeled as heroes. This exhibition will be available for viewing from Nov. 11- Jan. 14, Mon.Fri. during business hours. There will be an opening reception for the exhibition on Nov. 11 from 5:30 pm-7:30 pm. For more information please visit sc4a.org or call 269.857.2399. 


Some of the “heroes” in St. John’s exhibition have been internationally recognized and some are unknown to the average American. Each subject is blemished with doubts, imperfections, frustrations and the very same human qualities that are balanced within their own lives. Yet each individual was capable of seeing beyond their personal existence and was determined to improve the human condition.


As our world continues to blur the lines between simulated and authentic realities, St. John poses questions about the value and perceptions of honor and heroism in our contemporary society, as we struggle to cultivate social justice and recognize interconnectivity.


Donna St. John is currently an Associate Professor for Art Education at Kendall College of Art and Design. Before becoming a professor she taught in the K – 12 setting for 27 years. She has been named ‘Teacher of the Year’ by two separate districts and has been named ‘Most Inspirational Teacher’ nine times by Coopersville Public Schools.


St. John’s pieces will be on display in the gallery until December 15. Then half of her exhibit will be removed to make room for student-created pieces. After working with St. John, students from Hope College, Black River and Saugatuck High School will create assemblages based on their own “heroes” or social justice issues searching for champions to elevate awareness.


This exhibition is sponsored by Allegan County Community Foundation & Michigan Council for Arts & Cultural Affairs.


About the Saugatuck Center for the Arts

The Saugatuck Center for the Arts, located at 400 Culver Street, Saugatuck, is a non-profit organization dedicated to creating a more vibrant lakeshore community in West Michigan and beyond. For more information about the SCA and upcoming events, visit www.sc4a.org or call 269.857.2399.

SCA’s ‘arts|in’ open house Nov. 16 highlights student-business partnerships

artsin-open-house-1-jpgThe senior class of Saugatuck High School will present a special evening Nov. 16 as they conclude their 13-week Senior Seminar course in partnership with the Saugatuck Center for the Arts (SCA).

The open house on Wednesday, Nov. 16 at the SCA, 400 Culver Street, showcases the work the 70 students have accomplished during their arts|in Senior Seminar course. The event, which is free to the public, runs from 6:30–8:30 pm. Attendees will enjoy listening to live music, nibbling on hors d’oeuvres and engaging in an energetic evening with some of the community’s most creative young people.

During the Open House, students will introduce their partner businesses and preview the solutions they created. Participating area businesses include Lighthouse Immigrant Advocates of Holland, Pathways, Special Olympics, twisthink, Saugatuck Community Recreation, Critter Barn, Disability Network of Lakeshore, Felt Mansion, Grace of Douglas, Lakeshore Habitat for Humanity, United Way of Allegan and more. A special exhibition of artwork by Hamilton, Saugatuck and Fennville students, created in response to the Senior Seminar projects, will open the same evening in the SCA’s conference room.

Designed as an arts|in project-based learning class, the students spent the last trimester paired up with area businesses, helping solve real world problems. This project-based learning model created by the SCA — arts|in — gives students crucial “real world” opportunities to work with professionals, tackle current problems, and produce credible solutions. The result is deeper, more complex learning opportunities for students and valuable outcomes for the businesses.

SCA Executive Director Kristin Armstrong said the art center is very excited for students to have this opportunity to connect with community members. “For the past three years we’ve been working with the Saugatuck Schools to better prepare students for jobs in today’s innovative economy,” Armstrong said.

Project-based learning (PBL) enables students to develop deeper learning competencies required for success in college, career, and civic life. Through PBL projects, students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time investigating and responding to complex questions, problems, or challenges. Arts|in takes project-based learning to a higher level by injecting design thinking and community engagement into the process.

Ann McKnight, who is working with a group on teen mental health issues, says of students in the arts|in process, “I have witnessed the students working cohesively, brainstorming, and delegating responsibilities with ease, all the while showing respect for each other and being engaged in the project. Their communications with me have been clear and consistent.  All this to say I am very impressed with these students, and with the vision for learning that teaches soft skills as well as strengthens the community.”

Dr. Tim Travis, Saugatuck Middle School & High School Principal, says he was impressed by the students’ preparation for an “Intriguing Conversation” program they presented at the SCA in October. “I was even more impressed with their compassion, empathy, passion and commitment to making a difference in their school and community. Arts|in is providing great teaching, real world learning, and local impact from a very talented young adult workforce.”

The student exhibition of works responding to arts|in projects is open Monday-Friday, 9 am–5 pm, free of charge, through December.


Award-winning African Guitar Summit at the SCA Nov. 19

african-guitar-summitHeat up before the holidays with the award-winning African Guitar Summit as they bring their fresh, lively sounds to the Saugatuck Center for the Arts (400 Culver Street) on Saturday, November 19 at 8 pm.


Think: Ladysmith Black Mambazo meets the Buena Vista Social Club. That describes the African Guitar Summit’s upbeat, toe-tapping melodies and vocals.


“A collection of outstanding guitarists from across the African continent, African Guitar Summit is a joyful, danceable celebration of contemporary African Music,” said the Good Times Newspaper.


Hailing from multiple African countries, including Ghana, Guinea and Madagascar, each member is an award-winning musician in their own right and bring their own fusion of styles and instruments. The Guitar Summit was formed in 2004, recorded their first album in just three days, and went on to win the 2005 Juno Award (Canadian Grammy) for World Music Album of the year.


Their second album, African Guitar Summit II, was also nominated for a Juno. National Public Radio said, “Drums may be the heartbeat of African music, but the African Guitar Summit makes a powerful case for the guitar as the signature instrument of modern Africa.”


Tickets are $37 in advance and $39 at the door. For more information, or to purchase tickets, please visit sc4a.org or call 269.857.2399.


SCA announces top 10 finalists for 2016 Saugatuck Shorts Film Festival



Marking its fourth year spotlighting Michigan film with the help of filmmakers and industry professionals, Saugatuck Center for the Arts (SCA) has announced the top 10 finalists of the 2016 Saugatuck Shorts Film Competition.


Hand-selected by a group of five film industry professionals, the finalists (in no particular order) are:


In the ADULT category

  • Hold On – Andrew Behm
  • Summer – Paul Yergin
  • Buying Happiness – Paul Chittland
  • Conrad – Brittany Dunn
  • The Craftsman – Chris Mac

In the STUDENT category

  • Oh the Voices – Carson Tate
  • A Lake Michigan Sunset – Brennan Huizinga
  • A Taste of Michigan – Dario Lirio and Brennan Huizinga
  • October in Michigan – Holly Parker
  • The Pencil – Jillian Parker

The panel of judges has also decided who will be taking home the cash prizes of $2,500 for both the student and adult categories: $500 judges’ award for best student film, $1,000 judges award for best adult film, and $1,000 for “Fan Favorite.” Audience members will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite after all the films have been screened. All of the films for the competition were challenged to use their interpretation of “Michigan Flavor.”


The judges for this year’s competition were chosen based on their familiarity with the entertainment industry and their ability to provide credible, constructive feedback.


“We couldn’t ask for a greater group of people,” said SCA Marketing and Sales Director, Angela Peavey. ”Film is one of my passions, and to see these professionals willing to offer their time and talents is absolutely amazing. We’re very lucky to have them.”


The first industry professional taking the judge’s seat is Shane Carson. In 2014, Carson joined the prestigious SAG/AFTRA union and just returned from California where he represented the State of Michigan at their regional conference. Carson is most known for his role in the film, Pirate’s Code: The Adventures of Mickey Matson, where he portrayed the character Gunner Team Leader. Shane has also acted in 40+ lead roles in films. Follow him on social media @WowShane.


Co-founder of the Thriller! Chiller! Film Festival and owner of UnSAFE Film Office, Anthony Griffin also judged this year’s competition. UnSAFE Film Office has produced and shot multiple documentaries, short films, music videos and commercials over the last decade. Griffin has served on the board for the West Michigan Video and Film Alliance and the Grand Rapids Community Media Center and was named Michigan’s Top Filmmaker in 2010.


Doug Remtema owner of Sonlight Films also served as a judge at this year’s competition. Remtema started Sonlight Films in 2003 and works on producing films and television shows that revolve around positive and uplifting material.


Another judge, Kristin Mellian, has performed professionally in film, television, Off-Broadway and regional theatre. As a vocalist Mellian has headlined on Celebrity and Oceania Cruiselines traveling to North America, Central America, South America, Europe and Africa. Mellian is currently working in the acting department at the Compass College of Cinematic Arts.


Producer with Alarm 25 Studios and Media Director at Resurrection Life Church, Sean Silvia is another judge for this year’s competition. With a strong education and experience in theatre, film, live event production and graphic design, Silvia has a passion for creative storytelling and innovative media. Silvia prides himself on understanding the art in the details and pushes the design to it’s fullest.


The Saugatuck Shorts Film Competition will be held on November 5 at 400 Culver Street. The doors to the event will open at 6:30 pm, and those attending will have the chance to meet with the finalists and enjoy a cash bar. The screening of the films will begin at 7:15 pm.


Tickets are $10/Students and $20/adults and can be purchased online here or by at  phone at 269.857.2399.


Saugatuck Center for the Arts puts the call out for submissions to its annual film competition

shorts-logo-largeFilmmakers have until Oct. 14 to submit entries to the Saugatuck Center for the Arts’ fourth annual Saugatuck Shorts Film Competition.


This year marks the fourth year of the Saugatuck Center for the Arts’ (SCA) film competition, which is Nov. 5. Professional and student filmmakers will compete for $2,500 worth of cash prizes for their short films — five minutes or less — that feature some sort of Michigan flavor. Student submissions (age 18 and under) are free, and adults (age 19 and up) are $20 per entry. Video projects by schools, clubs, and religious organizations are encouraged to enter. Registration for Saugatuck Shorts is open now until Oct 14, and can be completed at sc4a.org.


“Over the past four years, the SCA’s Saugatuck Shorts competition has brought in filmmakers from across the state for a wonderful night of engaging entertainment on the big screen,” said SCA Executive Director Kristin Armstrong. “The competition is a great way for students and professionals alike to get their work in front of the community. We are very excited to bring this special competition back!”


Saugatuck Shorts is the only film competition in West Michigan that offers a cash prize for film submissions in a juried category and an audience favorite. Similar to ArtPrize, a panel of judges will choose the top tens shorts to be shown on screening night. Of those top ten, a winner from the student and from the adult category will be chosen. The Student Winner will be awarded $500 and the Adult Winner, $1,000. On screening night, after the audience has viewed all ten shorts, they will cast their votes for the “Audience Favorite” which will be awarded another $1,000.


This year’s competition also marks the second year that the SCA will partner with Wyoming- Kentwood Television (WKTV) to promote Saugatuck Shorts. In addition to the station coming to the event to broadcast it live on Nov. 5, WKTV will also feature the top ten juried films on the station.


WKTV is a community television station located at 5261 Clyde Park Avenue in Wyoming, Michigan. WKTV is one of the oldest community television stations in the country that is still in operation, celebrating 40 years in 2014. More information about WKTV can be found at www.wktv.org.


For more information and registration details for Saugatuck Shorts can be found at sc4a.org or by calling 269-857-2399. Saugatuck Center for the Arts is located at 400 Culver Street, Saugatuck.


SCA’s Intriguing Conversation focuses on childhood hunger in Allegan County

lunch bagsThe Saugatuck Center for the Arts’ Intriguing Conversation Series kicks off Thursday, Sept. 15 with a discussion about childhood hunger in Allegan County. The free program begins at 7 p.m.


Studies show there are more than 25,000 children in Allegan County and one in five are going hungry each day. Theresa Bray, executive director at the Allegan County Community Foundation, and Troy Vos from the non-profit Kids Food Basket, will unpack this number, talking about what we mean when we say that kids are hungry and how we know that children in Allegan County are struggling with hunger.


“I suspect most of us don’t know that our region struggles with childhood hunger,” said SCA Executive Director Kristin Armstrong. “But we hear fairly startling statistics about the numbers of children in Allegan County eligible for free or reduced school lunches, so we know there are issues very close to home. We hope this Intriguing Conversation provides facts about what’s happening and how people can impact the problem.”


Bray and Vos will discuss how programs like food banks, free school lunches, and nonprofits like Kids Food Basket impact hunger for our youngest citizens, and what else people can do to impact this serious issue.


For more information, visit sc4a.org or call 269-857-2399. The Saugatuck Center for the Arts is located at 400 Culver St., Saugatuck.


The Saugatuck Center for the Arts and AWARE feature acclaimed documentary

Actor Tab Hunter
Actor Tab Hunter

The Saugatuck Center for the Arts and AWARE will host a co-fundraising event on Saturday, Sept. 17, at 6 p.m. The fundraiser benefits AWARE’s scholarship fund and the SCA’s internship programs. The event, at the Saugatuck Center for the Arts, 400 Culver Street, features cash bar and appetizers along with a screening of Tab Hunter: Confidential. Tickets are $25 and can be reserved at sc4a.org or 269-857-2399.

Guests can mingle under the SCA’s pavilion from 6 – 7 p.m., then adjourn to the theater and have an opportunity to meet AWARE scholarship winners and SCA interns.

tabhunterconfidential_003_Tab_Hand_on_HeadThe acclaimed documentary “Tab Hunter: Confidential” will then be screened. Called on of the “Top 10 Best LGBTQ-Themed Films of 2015” by Big Gay Picture Show, Tab Hunter: Confidential follows the movie star and his struggles to hide his sexuality during his years of stardom. This documentary, directed by award-winning filmmaker Jeffery Schwartz, tells Hunter’s turbulent and inspiring story.

SCA Executive Director Kristin Armstrong explained that the two non-profits worked together on the screening of Saugatuck Cures last summer and decided to continue the partnership. “We had positive feedback from guests about the co-fundraiser,” Armstrong said. “The event gives us an opportunity to raise funds for the important educational work both organizations are doing and to showcase key young professionals.”

AWARE President Jim Renberg added, “We’re excited to share a short film about two recent AWARE scholarship recipients at the event. The film was made by SCA intern Chelsie Bender. We love highlighting these students and sharing their stories with the community.”

New York Times bestselling author Wade Rouse reads excerpts from ‘The Charm Bracelet’

Wage Rouse, author of "The Charm Bracelet" and a resident of the Saugatuck area.
Wade Rouse (pen name, Viola Shipman), author of “The Charm Bracelet” and a resident of the Saugatuck area.

New York Times bestselling author Wade Rouse will appear at a private cocktail fundraiser hosted by the Saugatuck Center for the Arts, 400 Culver, Thursday, Sept. 8 from 6-8 pm.


Limited tickets, which are $100 per person, are available for the event; to reserve call 269.857.2399 or go to www.sc4a.org.


Guests will enjoy heavy appetizers, drinks, and conversation with Rouse. The author will also read from his newest bestselling novel, The Charm Bracelet, and guests will receive a signed copy to take home.


The Charm Bracelet has been chosen three times by the nation’s independent booksellers as an Indie Next Pick and has been called a “Must-Read” by NBC’s Today Show. The novel was inspired by Rouse’s grandmother and he chose his grandmother’s name — Viola Shipman — as a pen name to honor her.


charm_bracelet_lgThe Charm Bracelet touches on the importance of family as an elderly lady, Lolly, shares stories about her life with her daughter and granddaughter. She tells tales commemorated through a charm bracelet she received from her mother at a young age.


“We’re just delighted to work with Wade for this special event,” said Saugatuck Center for the Arts’ Executive Director Kristin Armstrong. “This is a wonderful opportunity for conversation with him in an intimate setting. Wade is so supportive of the educational work the SCA does with children in our West Michigan communities – we’re honored to host him for the evening.”


Proceeds from this event help fund free educational programs for Pre-K through 12th graders at the Saugatuck Center for the Arts.


Saugatuck Center for the Art’s newest exhibition takes on a vibrant and playful atmosphere

"Just as Wild" by Jillian Dickson
“Just as Wild” by Jillian Dickson

The Saugatuck Center for the Arts, 400 Culver Street, welcomes two new artists to its exhibition gallery and corridor series. The exhibition runs through Oct. 7.


Pam Kravetz, born, raised and working in Cincinnati, debuts her engaging gallery of marionette puppets, pulley systems, and narrative quilts in her exhibition Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys. She combines her pieces alongside community student’s sock monkey creations to build an interactive experience for everyone who enters the gallery.


“Pam’s works have a wonderfully optimistic and whimsical quality that are appealing to the eye and relatable to anyone,” said SCA Education & Exhibit Coordinator Whitney Valentine. “We’re so fortunate to be able to exhibit this collection of work. The larger than life puppets, bold color and unique stories truly come to life in our space!”


Jillian Dickson, professor of drawing and painting at Alma College, brings to light the relationship between nature and the human body in her exhibit Just as Wild. After experiencing the transformative process of pregnancy and delivery, she began to understand her body in a different light. Her drawings examine the seemingly forgotten and neglected connection between tactile human bodies and wild nature. Although the two may seem different her drawings attempt to find their connections.


For more information about the exhibitions visit online at sc4a.org or call 269-857-2399.


The exhibition Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys is sponsored by Kathleen Markland. The corridor series is sponsored by the Michigan Council for Arts & Cultural Affairs.


Things get ‘wild’ at the Saugatuck Center for the Arts

Work by xxxxx will be on display at the Saugatuck Center for the Arts Aug. 25 - Oct. xx
Work by Jillian Dickson will be on display at the Saugatuck Center for the Arts Aug. 25 – Oct. 7.

The Saugatuck Center for the Arts will feature Just as Wild, a collection of drawings by artist Jillian Dickson, in the Corridor Exhibition from Aug. 25 through Oct. 7. A free opening reception will take place on Aug. 25 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Just as Wild is a series of colored pencil drawings which attempt to recognize the connections between nature and the human body, and how society shapes this connection. Inspired by her pregnancy, Dickson often explores topics of female empowerment, the naked body, and nature.

“Jillian creates beautiful, complex drawings filled with life,” said Whitney Valentine, Education & Exhibitions Manager at the Saugatuck Center for the Arts. “Her pieces encourage the viewer to think about the powerful connection between humans and nature and how that plays out in their own lives.”

Dickson’s intricately drawn works fuse images of human organs with budding flowers, ribbons, and butterflies. The mix of feminine details and claustrophobic detailing demonstrates the complexity of the female body and spirit.

“Her art is both beautiful and thought provoking,” said Saugatuck Center for the Arts Executive Director Kristin Armstrong. “It’s so personal, yet relatable for each of us.”

The installation will be open from Aug. 25 through Oct. 7 in the Saugatuck Center for the Arts Corridor Exhibition. the Saugatuck Center for the Arts is located at 500 Culver St., Saugatuck.

The exhibit is sponsored by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.

Creativity Revealed: Exploring Not My Circus, Not My Monkees with Artist Pam Kravetz

Artist Pam Kravxxxx's work will be at the Saugatuck Center for the Arts Aug. 25 - Oct. 7.
Artist Pam Kravetz’s work will be at the Saugatuck Center for the Arts Aug. 25 – Oct. 7.

The Saugatuck Center for the Arts will be hosting a Creativity Revealed featuring Pam Kravetz, the artist and creator of the “Not My Circus, Not My Monkees.” She will be discussing her inspiration and creative process in creating the whimsical exhibit. The event will be held Wednesday, Aug. 23 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. and is free to the public. More information can be found at sc4a.org or by phone at 269-857–2399.

Kravetz is a working artist and professional educator based in Cincinnati, Ohio. She uses vibrant colors and whimsical subjects to create a silly mood with a bold statement.

Kravetz says she gains inspiration everyday. “My creativity and art is inspired by the beauty and the chaos of the everyday. From a conversation with a friend, to a cupcake I received on the way to a road trip, to a shade of MAC lipstick. Nothing is too big or too small for me to explore using my art.”

“It’s always a pleasure to see an artist’s journey,” said Kristin Armstrong, Saugatuck Center for the Arts Executive Director. “It’s a special chance to glimpse inside of someone’s thoughts and then see the final project in front of you.”

The exhibit, “Not My Monkees, Not My Circus,” is a site specific art installation which comes to life when the viewer steps inside the gallery. Featuring marionette puppets, pulley systems, and narrative quilts, the exhibit is highly interactive. It will be featured in the SCA exhibition room Aug. 25 through Oct. 7.

‘Drive South’ returns to the Saugatuck Center for the Arts

Roger Brown and Mary Sue Wilkinson make up the guitar duo Drive South.
Roger Brown and Mary Sue Wilkinson make up the guitar duo Drive South.

Back by popular demand, Drive South will be making their second appearance at the Saugatuck Center for the Arts, 40 Culver St., for the Summer in the Studio concert series. The duo will perform Aug. 22 at 7 p.m. in the Performance Studio. Tickets are $15 and are available online at sc4a.org or by phone at 269-857-2399.


Mary Sue Wilkinson and Roger Brown, both seasoned artists, make up Drive South. The two pair Brown’s accomplished finger style guitar playing and Wilkinson’s rock solid rhythm guitar playing with tight vocal duets and harmonies.


“Something very special happens when Roger and Mary Sue sing together. When you add great songwriting and finger style guitar playing to great vocals you’ve got Drive South,” said David Holt, four-time Grammy Winner, TV and Radio Host, Doc Watson’s Music Partner.


The duo also performs as the core for the country band The Wilenes, who feature vocal duets perfectly matched with Brown’s finger style guitar and Wilkinson’s solid rhythm guitar.


“These two are so great together, their energy and charisma make the show one of a kind,” said Saugatuck Center for the Arts Executive Director Kristen Armstrong. “We are so happy they can come back and perform once again.”


Drive South is the last performance in the Summer in the Studio concert series at the SCA. The series was sponsored by Carol & Greg Josefowicz.



Easel On Down to the SCA’s Summer Exhibition

Artist Anne Corlett painting in Utah.
Artist Anne Corlett painting in Utah. Corset’s work will be featured at the Saugatuck Center for Arts June 10 through Aug. 16.








UPDATE: WKTV will be airing a video featuring “Easel Down the Road” exhibition currently at the Saugatuck Center for the Arts. Show times are 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 13; 9:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m Monday, Aug. 15; and 11:30 a.m. Friday, Aug. 19. The exhibit officially closes at SCA Aug. 15.


The latest exhibition at the Saugatuck Center for the Arts, 400 Culver Street, “Easel on Down the Road,” opens Friday, June 10, with a reception from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. The public is invited to experience what it’s like to journey, paint, and blog across all 50 states while enjoying refreshments and meeting artist Anne Corlett. The exhibition will be open Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. through June 25, then open every day until 5 p.m. through Aug. 15.


The exhibition includes landscapes painted in all 50 states and shares the story of Corlett’s unique three-year undertaking.  The quest eventually led to crowd-funding for the final leg of her journey, along with publication of a book detailing the creative adventure. Corlett’s books are for sale at the SCA throughout the summer.


“Take your journey,” Corlett said reflecting on the project. “You won’t believe what you’ll learn from it.” SCA Executive Director Kristin Armstrong added, “As soon as we heard about Anne’s ambitious project we approached her about an exhibition. Given her talent and passion we knew it would be a visually stunning show. What we didn’t expect were the rich stories that came from the trips, and Anne’s wonderful reflections on personal and professional accomplishment. This exhibition can be enjoyed on so many levels; we are very proud to host it at the SCA throughout the summer.”


Artist Anne Corlett will be at the Saugatuck Center for Arts xxxxxx
Artist Anne Corlett will be at the Saugatuck Center for Arts June 6 to discuss her “Easel on Down the Road” project.

Corlett’s love of painting “en plein air” and her road-warrior appetite combined to make this unique 50-work showcase a truly dazzling display of both the American landscape and one artist’s visionary goal of self-realization through pursuing her passion.


On Monday, June 6, from 7 – 8:30 p.m., Corlett will talk about her “Easel on Down the Road” project as part of the Creativity Reveled series.  Interviewed by guest moderator, New York Times bestselling author Jacqueline Carey, Corlett will share stories from the road and give guests a sneak preview of the exhibition. She’ll also give a demonstration of landscape painting. The event is free with an online RSVP (go to sc4a.org to register).


Admission to the exhibition is free. Find out more at www.sc4a.org or by calling 269-857-2399.


Two-time Grammy Nominee Matthew Santos appearing at the Saugatuck Center for the Arts

Matthew Santos performs at the Saugatuck Center for the Arts Aug. 8.
Matthew Santos performs at the Saugatuck Center for the Arts Aug. 8.

Two-time Grammy nominee Matthew Santos will perform in the “Summer in the Studio” Concert Series at the Saugatuck Center for the Arts, 400 Culver Street, on August 8 at 8 p.m. Hailed for his soulful voice and versatile style, Santos is recognized for his talent by critics and music giants alike. Tickets for the show are $15 and are available at sc4a.org or at 269-857-2399.

Santos tours the world with his “One-Man-Band” show, using multiple pedals along with his unique style of beat-boxing and looping to achieve a massive sound to accompany his soulfully crafted songs and renowned voice.  Santos has been recognized for his voice by Justin Timberlake, Rihanna, Jay-Z, John Legend, Eddie Vedder (Pearl Jam), and Kimbra.

“If I had one word…it would be captivating. It’s not just talent or skill…there’s something more profound there,” said CBS radio Program Director John Sebastian.

In 2008, Santos achieved international success with this collaboration of the song “Superstar” with Lupe Fiasco. The song was nominated for two Grammy awards. The two then opened for Kanye West’s “Glow in the Dark” tour.

Santos has performed world-wide, with appearances on David Letterman, Jimmy Kimmel, and Ellen. He has also performed at Lollapalooza, Coachella, Glastonbury, and Bonaroo and the MTV Video Music Awards.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Matthew to Saugatuck and showcase his talent in our intimate 55-seat performance studio,” said Saugatuck Center for the Arts Executive Director Kristin Armstrong. “This show will sell out – grab your tickets while you can!”

The Summer in the Studio Concert Series is sponsored by Carol and Greg Josefowicz. Tickets are available at sc4a.org or by phone at 269-857-2399.