The next Art Hop is May 7th in downtown Kalamazoo and it’ll have a different look.   For one thing, there will be live music at the State Theater!    Not inside, but there will be blues music outside, featuring “Blue Veins” from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

“We are thrilled to be able to participate in Art Hop and entertain guests with live music and a visual artist,” said Harry Phillips, director of marketing and development at the Kalamazoo State Theatre. “It’s been more than a year since we have hosted an indoor performance for the public, so it’s exciting to have them enjoying the music of Blue Veins performing from the marquee while hanging out in our outdoor patio.”

The outdoor, in-person Art Hop happens Friday, May 7, from 6 to 8 p.m. More than 20 local businesses and artists will have tents set up outside on the Kalamazoo Mall, Bates Alley, and near Bronson Park.

Another thing that you’ll see is people using the new Art Hop app to navigate the dozens of attractions to be found in the downtown area.    The Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo (ACGK) just launched the new app and they’re hoping you’ll sign up for a free account using your smartphone or computer.  Using the app, Art Hop attendees can interact with a map of the Art Hop stops, learn more about participating artists, get walking directions to each location, and more.

The Art Hop app will replace printed brochures so it’s good for the environment, convenient for patrons, and eventually could save the Arts Council some money.

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“The Art Hop app gives users a chance to check out the artists before the event, see their work, and find where they will be located,” said Arts Council programs director Bianca Washington-Ciungan. “The app serves as a tool for wider exposure, knowledge, and accessibility for our artists and businesses downtown. We are excited to see people out on the streets in the downtown area using this new platform.”

To keep Art Hop a safe, socially distant event, masks are required to visit artists, and 6-foot distancing rules are in effect. A virtual gallery of this month’s artists will also become available on the Arts Council’s website on the day of Art Hop.

Art Hop -Kalamazoo Arts Photo
Art Hop -Kalamazoo Arts Photo

Art Hop is a monthly community event that brings local artists, organizations, and businesses together to showcase artwork and culture.

The event is free to attend and typically takes place in downtown Kalamazoo and the surrounding neighborhoods on the first Friday of the month from February through December.

Instructions for using and downloading the app can be found on the Arts Council’s website here. 

Would you like to participate in the June Art Hop?  It’s not too late.  Register online here by Monday, May 10th.

The Arts Council is also seeking volunteers for Art Hop, specifically for the upcoming Art Hop in May. Volunteers can sign up online here. 


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