Jump into Summer: Gaming and Animation Festival at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum



The Kalamazoo Valley Museum will host a double-header live music performance on Friday, June 6, followed by a Gaming and Animation Festival on June 7.

Dooley Noted will perform soulful, bluesy folk rock at 5 p.m. at the Museum to open for The Red Sea Pedestrians as part of the Friday Night Highlights concert series on June 6.

Serving the community for over 12 years, Megan Dooley has become a staple of the Kalamazoo music scene. With her powerfully soulful voice and genre-bending style, her bluesy, folkish rock will catch you when you least expect it. With a candor you won't often find on stage and a sheer love of performing, Megan Dooley is a musician you won't want to miss.

The Red Sea Pedestrians take the stage at 6 p.m. This band is a one-of-a-kind, full-blown, instrument-swapping fusion between tradition and the here-and-now. We’re talkin’ high-energy world-beat grooves, hypnotic laments from the earth, songs of celebration and wonder: a warped and beautiful blend of Klezmer, Greek, Gypsy, Celtic, Jazz, and American Roots, all filtered through the band’s original vision.

The fun continues on Saturday when the Museum and Center for New Media will host the “Jump into Summer: Gaming and Animation Festival” from noon to 4 p.m. Students of Kalamazoo Valley Community College’s Animation Labs will help launch Kalamazoo Animation Film Interactive with activities such as Lego Setup Two and Claymation stop motion creations, making comic strips, light painting, and more. See the Museum’s animated short, Nitewalk, a spooky planetarium show usually reserved for Halloween, and interact with professional gaming and animation designers. Suit up for free Challenger Experiences throughout the afternoon! The event will be fun for kids, but adults will want to try it, too.

As always, the Museum’s participation in June Jubilee will launch a summer of fun hands-on activities, planetarium shows, Challenger Learning Center missions, and two new exhibits. Special guests will give demonstrations about the process of creating animations and games. At 1:00 p.m. in the Stryker Theater, meet Steve and Jessica Hoogendyk, the creators of Lilly Looking Through, (GeetaGames) who will outline the process of game creation and animation. Visitors will get to try out this engaging game for children and enter a drawing to win a game pass.

Television producer and storyteller Adam Mellema and lead creative artist and animator of The Simpsons, Erick Tran, will appear in the Stryker Theater at 2:00 p.m. to give an insider’s view of the world of cartooning. They will lead visitors from blank page to final animation. Watch as Tran brings some favorite characters to life! Plus, get a sneak peek at what these talented artists are working on now.

This event will kick off a summer of fun and free hands-on Wednesday programs for children that will be focused on KVM’s two summer exhibits: The Robot Zoo, opening June 14, and Speed Bump, opening June 21.

The Kalamazoo Valley Museum is operated by Kalamazoo Valley Community College and is governed by its Board of Trustees. Admission to the Museum and the Gaming and Animation Festival is free.