Kalamazoo Lively Arts – Kalamazoo Parks and Recreation Department

Kalamazoo Lively Arts – Kalamazoo Parks and Recreation Department


– Who says lunch
has to be boring? Kalamazoo’s Parks and
Recreation department is working to change that with their Lunchtime Live
series at Bronson Park. Let’s take a look. (upbeat fiddle music) – Okay, so we’re here at
Lunchtime Live in Bronson Park. Beautiful Bronson Park,
tons of people here. And is this your first time
coming to Lunchtime Live? – Yes, it’s our very first time. And my granddaughter
wants to play the violin. So I wanted her to come
and see how they play and some of the
music that they play. ‘Cause I knew she’d love it. – Well I loved it. I loved watching your dance. You’ve got some rhythm. Is that gonna be you one
day up on their stage? – Yeah. – Yeah, I could see
your eyes light up. And is this the big brother? – This is big brother.
– Yes, it is big brother. – And are you a musical guy too? – Not so much, no. – I’m here with Sean Fletcher, Parks and Recreation
Director for Kalamazoo. Thanks so much
for talking today. – Absolutely, thanks
for having me. – This city’s on fire. I can feel it. There’s an electricity. There are things
that are popping up that other cities don’t
even have the opportunity or the means to be able to do. I’ve heard the term
kind of floating around. Is it space making? – Place making?
– Place making. – So place making really talks
about different activities, maybe in non-traditional venues that help define the community. So Lunchtime Live is a
great example of that. You take an existing park, you have a program that
happens in that space that attracts people and it creates that sense
of place for the community. Different activities
in the community are part of the reason
people may choose to live in a certain community. And we want to
help make Kalamazoo a better place if you will. – Enjoying the music, The
Moxie Strings are playing. Is this your first time here? – No, this is my third time. I’m enjoying it and
I brought my friend. – [Shelley] How would you
describe the atmosphere, the people, the music? – It’s more of a community feel. So it’s a good feeling. Just kind of seeing people that
you haven’t seen in a while or noticing children playing and stuff like that
for the summer. It’s great. – [Shelley] Can I ask
you what brought you back to Lunchtime Live? – Well, I like the music. I like the atmosphere. Just seeing
everybody look happy. It’s just a joyful
time to be here. And that’s what brought me back. And plus, bringing
my friend also. – [Shelley] It’s a nice
little escape right? – Absolutely. – So when you have
like the band come in, it’s a great opportunity
for them right? – Yeah, and I know
that people have approached the stage to
get a musician’s card to say hey, you were great, or buy their CD, or hey do you do other events? I mean, we know that
kind of stuff happens. So, just I think from
an exposure standpoint, it’s good. The Moxie Strings are
kind of out there. They’re a rising
star if you will. And we’re gonna keep
having them back as long as we can afford ’em. – There’s got to be a… Socially, culturally, financially. How is that all come into play? – Yeah, so I have a
six year old daughter. And we go to Lunchtime
Live when she’s around. And just to see
her kind of go off and engage, and meet kids that
she’s never met before. Then they toss the
Cornhole bags around. They may get engaged in a game. And that wouldn’t have
happened without the event. The economics of the food trucks being
able to generate income and spending local
dollars with local vendors has a huge impact
on our community. There’s lot of value
in having those events in the community. And it goes back to that creating that sense of
place and place making. – I saw you sitting over
there enjoying the music. Is this your first time
here at Bronson Park for Lunchtime Live? – No, actually, the whole time that it’s been
going we’ve missed one day. – Wow, and what brings you down? You work downtown right? – I work down here. It’s a fun thing to do
on a Friday for lunch. It’s the beginning
of the weekend. The food is awesome and there’s lots
of people down here and usually the entertainment
is pretty awesome as well. – So how important do you
think this is to the community? – It’s kind of everybody
coming down here. You see older
people, you see kids, you see people like
me that work here, professionals. It’s just a really cool
thing to do on a Friday. And I think it’s awesome
for the community. – [Shelley] Do you go back
feeling a little rejuvenated? – Definitely. The sunshine and
the fresh air, yeah. Definitely is
something that helps us get back to the grindstone
at one o’clock or whenever and get through
the end of the day. – It’s kind of the perfect way to start off your
weekend, right? – Oh, for sure. – I’m curious, how do you
decide on the musicians, who’s going to play? – We try and have a diverse… Diversity, some acoustical, some amplified sound, some different instruments. Trying to keep it local
whenever possible. Sometimes we’ve
had a couple people that they’ve gone
on and done great and we can no longer afford ’em. But that’s okay. If we kind of help
them get that start and get moving up in
the right direction, we’re okay with that. (upbeat fiddle music) – Fritz McGirr
everybody, I guess. Hopefully there’s
more than that. Let’s see what else you got. (string drumming
and fiddle music) – Once again, we are
The Moxie Strings. That’s Diana Ladio
on the fiddle. Fritz McGirr on the
drums and chopsticks. I’m Alison Lynn, thank you guys. Have a great weekend. Thank you Kalamazoo
Lunchtime Live! (audience cheering) – Thank you.
– Thank you guys. – [Narrator] Support for
Kalamazoo Lively Arts is provided by the Irving
S. Gilmore Foundation, helping to build and
enrich the cultural life of Greater Kalamazoo.

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