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Cirque de la Symphonie (West Michigan Symphony)


Muskegon Museum of Art


Recently expanded in 2010, the museum puts on exhibitions, conducts research and hosts meetings. The Obama Corner is a permanent exhibition co-curated by students in the Muskegon Heights Middle School. Other exhibitions explore the Underground Railroad, Black Panthers and the migration of black people to Muskegon. On Saturday af- ternoons, the museum screens documentary movies like Slavery and the Making of America by PBS. The Museum of African American History is open to people of all walks of life. “African American history is American History,” Dr. Jackson said.


Continue your study of African American culture around the corner at RITE WAY COMMUNICATIONS (60 E. Broadway) in Muskegon Heights. Formerly called Harold’s House of Music, the storefront has an incred- ible selection of classic R&B, Jazz, Soul and Gospel music as well the latest Hip Hop hits. People from Detroit shop there for the great selection and low prices, with albums starting at 50 cents. The knowledgeable staff will help you navigate the stacks and racks filled with the vintage albums, cassettes and CD boxed sets. Young bucks coming in for the latest joints of Hova or Weezy may leave with semi- nal tracks by Coltrane and Gil Scott-Heron. Go and explore.


T h e MU S K E G ON S UMME R CELEBRATION (Heritage Landing) trans- forms a county park into “The Big Party” July 1-4 and July 6-9. Started in 1993 as a 10-day festival with a $170,000 budget, Summer Celebration has grown into an 11-day all- star extravaganza with a $600,000 music


budget. The festival also includes a fine art show and craft market, fireworks, community picnic and midway located along the shore of Muskegon Lake. This year, the Main Stage will rock out with Trey Songz/Hot Chelle Rae for the kids, Theory of a Deadman/Skillet for mom and dad and Charlie Daniels Band/ Aaron Lewis (of Staind) for the blue hairs. Local acts like Deadwood Stone and Troll for Trout perform as well. Recharge in the Snake Pit with schwag beer and the famous Station Burger. Tanya Gonzalez, the festival’s assistant executive director, tells of how a patron was impressed that the Porta-Johns had a purse holder. “The holder was actually the urinal,” she noted.


WEST MICHIGAN SYMPHONY is part of a proud musical tradition in Muskegon. Mr.


Palmer Quackenbush and a group of 40 mu- sicians founded the West Shore Symphony Orchestra in 1938 to perform classical music in city schools. The group was renamed the West Michigan Symphony in 2009 and has gained national recognition under current Music Director Scott Speck. When asked about why the symphony is special, Speck said, “These are some of the best musicians to be found anywhere in the tri-state area. Not only do they perform with jaw-dropping technical virtuosity, they play with pas- sion.” See that passion with the Cirque de la Symphonie (March 2 and 3, 2012), which will be a circus-like extravaganza. Beethoven and Blue Jeans (March 23 and 24, 2012) will feature a Philip Glass Violin Concerto by soloist Timothy Fain, who was featured in the movie Black Swan. The symphony re-


ally shines when performing in the historic FRAUENTHAL THEATER.


The MUSKEGON MUSEUM OF ART (296 W. Webster Ave.) is old Muskegon. At his death in 1905, lumber baron Charles H. Hackley established the Hackley Picture Fund to purchase paintings for Hackley Library, which was operated by the Muskegon Public Schools. The school board hired Chicago ar- chitect Solomon Beman to design a Classical Revival gallery to house the collection, which opened in 1912 and was expanded in 1980. Must sees include the cinematic New York Restaurant by Edward Hopper and the jewel- like landscapes of Saint Jerome in Penitence by Flemish artist Joos van Cleve. Elizabeth Catlett’s otherworldly bronze Glory is a hidden treasure. The museum’s REGIONAL EXHIBITION (through Aug. 3) reflects its service to the artistic community. Now in its 83rd year, the annual juried exhibition recognizes amateur and professional artists and is hailed for its competitive nature and professional presentation. Classically trained Thimgan Hayden of Plainwell won the Best of Show prize of $1,000 for her haunting painting Cedric and Chickadee. n


Want me to hang out in your town? Send me an email at stevendepolo@revuewm.com.


MMC Rodeo REVUEWM.COM | JULY 2011 | 17


SCENE


SOUNDS | SIGHTS | DINING | SCHEDULE


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