Stryker Theater

stryker theatre performance
Friday Night Highlights

Friday Night Highlight Series

Friday Night Highlights returns in September with live music and visual art during Art Hop Fridays year-round.  As always, expect to find some of your favorite local musicians, up-and-coming bands, and some evenings with doubleheaders.  Swing by the Museum on Art Hop nights (usually the first Friday of the month) and enjoy good music, a little refreshment, and good company! 

Friday Art Hop: visual art exhibits open at 5:00 pm; live performances begin at 6:00 pm – FREE
Laser Light shows begin at 8:00 – $3

  • Kalamazoo Fretboard Festival Play-In Contest
    January 8, 2016
    5:00-8:00 p.m.
    Stringed instrument players were invited to enter a contest for a chance to perform in the 2016 Kalamazoo Fretboard Festival, which takes place on March 5, 2016, at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum and Anna Whitten Hall. The top entries will be selected by a panel of judges to compete in the 2016 Kalamazoo Fretboard Festival Play-In Contest on January 8, 2016. This year, there are two categories, acoustic and electric. The winners from each category will be given an honorarium, a 60-minute time slot during the 2016 Kalamazoo Fretboard Festival, and an opportunity to contract with Kalamazoo Valley Community College for the 2016-2017 Friday Night Highlights Series at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum.

  • Storytelling Festival: Pen Dragons Calligraphy Guild

    February 5, 2016
    5-8 p.m.
    The Pen Dragon Calligraphy Guild originated in 1983. It is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to promote the study and practice of calligraphy as an art form and to foster a wider appreciation of its historical and present-day applications.

  • Storytelling Festival: The Storytellers
    February 5, 2016
    5:30 p.m.
    Husband and wife team Robert and Audrey Allison have taken storytelling and music to a whole new level, mastering a wide variety of instruments from all over the world and melding them with stories of emerging significance to their audiences. They have been performing and teaching for over 35 years in the Great Lakes region, including seven states and Canada. They will perform for the February Art Hop as part of the 4th Annual Storytelling Festival.

  • Storytelling Festival: Ralph Stocker, Sand Painting Stories
    February 5, 2016
    7 p.m.
    Local storyteller and sand painting artist Ralph Stocker makes his first public debut with his daughter Genevieve during the February 5th Art Hop at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum's Storytelling Festival kick-off. Ralph, a graphic design graduate from Western Michigan University, has been choreographing live drawings in sand to music at church in Kalamazoo for years, and his daughter recently joined him. These captivating performances were brought to the Museum’s attention when we were looking for a sand painter/storyteller to show the diversity of storytelling. We are excited to be able to show how music, art, and storytelling go together so well as part of this year’s theme, Stories Gone Wild!

  • 2016 Kalamazoo Fretboard Festival Kick-Off Concert with The Crane Wives
    March 4, 2016
    7-9 p.m.
    The Crane Wives kick off the 11th Annual Kalamazoo Fretboard Festival at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum. The Crane Wives are a homegrown indie-folk outfit from Grand Rapids, Michigan. They utilize three-part vocal harmonies, eclectic instrumentation, and a passion for songcraft to create organic music that is both accessible and innovative. Each live show features contagious energy as well as original music that ranges from whisper-quiet ballads to danceable grooves. The band formed in late August of 2010 and has released two full-length albums, entitled "Safe Ship, Harbored" and "The Fool in Her Wedding Gown." They are currently touring the country and completing their third full-length album.

    Counting Sheep by The Crane Wives on YouTube

  • Art Hop Visual Artist: Fractals to Forms by Frankie Heynig

    April 1, 2016
    5-8:30 p.m.
    Frankie Heynig is inspired by nature and the diversity of humanity. He paints in three different mediums: watercolor, acrylic, and oil. Many of his watercolor pieces are of water scenes, and flowers. Heynig feels this medium best reflects the light shimmering through water, and flower petals. He enjoys putting action in his paintings, such as horse racing or water cascading down falls.

    When Heynig paints portraits, he has fun using a limited color scheme. When painting from vintage photos for portraits, his favorite color palate is sepia tones. He feels that this evokes the feeling of the fading photographs of relatives that we still hold dear. Frankie Heynig is also fond of fractals, the beauty, symmetry, and motion conveyed in the ripples on water, and the veins in leaves.

  • Art Hop Musical Artist: Mortals 2

    April 1, 2016
    6-8:30 p.m.
    The Mortals 2, a popular Southwest Michigan blues-rock band from the late ‘80s, is back! Jimmy Phillips, Denny Anderson, and Terry James have reformed the group as a classic rock and blues power trio: Mortals 2. Their repertoire covers a wide range of material, from Chicago and Texas blues standards to revised and revamped classic rock covers and original music. They’ve recorded the first two parts of a CD project called “Listen Up,” and the third part is in development. The CDs will be available for download on and iTunes soon. A night with the Mortals 2 is unpredictable, reminiscent, nostalgic, and fun.

    MOJO Boogie - Live by Mortals 2 on YouTube.

  • Art Hop Visual Artist: Feathership of the Wing Jewelry Exhibition by LeeLee Joy

    May 6, 2016
    5-8:30 p.m.
    LeeLee Joy's jewelry is meticulously handcrafted in her studio in Kalamazoo. Each piece is unique and considered an artistic expression from something mirrored inside of her. Being a person who appreciates all that life and nature has to offer and who revels in personal expression spiritually and esthetically, each piece of jewelry has a story. The combination of magnificent stones, beads, and other collected objects is handcrafted in such a way that begs you to ask her what her inspiration for the piece was!

    LeeLee Joy's jewelry series "Feathership of the Wing" was inspired by a close-knit group of friends at a summer music festival and represents the love and heartfelt connections among birds of a feather. Stemming off of this is her "Festie" series, a collection of scarf necklaces that represent the free spirit of a music festival. LeeLee Joy's drive to create her jewelry is to make pieces that represent the world we live in, the beautiful and the ugly. She expresses her love and angst through a wearable medium. Seeing others wear her jewelry and the statement she is trying to make is her biggest thrill.

  • Art Hop Musical Artist: Jared Knox Band
    May 6, 2016
    6-8:30 p.m.
    Jared Knox has been singing since he was four years old. That's about the time his mother handed him a microphone for the first time in a little church in Winnsboro, Louisiana. He was asked in high school to sing for many talent competitions, graduations and proms. After high school, Jared moved to South Haven, Michigan, where his love of entertaining really began to flourish, singing for private parties and weddings, and guest appearing with his sister's cover band. He has performed with such artists as Jimmy Dillon and J.C. Heartsfield of The Heartsfield Band. He also has opened shows for Lorrie Morgan, Chris Cagle, and Tracy Lawrence. In 2006, Jared traveled to Minneapolis, where he tried out for American Idol. Since that time, he has been busy collaborating with a very good friend and talented song writer, musician, and producer Mark Moore. Jared and Mark released there first project together in June of 2010, titled "This." Two years later, Jared teamed up with Mark again to release "I Would Show Her." Both are available for download on Jared blends his southern roots, homegrown talent, and unwavering love for country music for a night of entertainment that will not soon be forgotten.

    Rock Our Country by Jared Knox Band on YouTube