Longtime WMUK volunteer wins Community Medal of Arts award

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Photo of Mark Sahlgren.

Sahlgren

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—A longtime WMUK volunteer and co-host of the acoustic music show "Grassroots" is being honored with a Community Medal of Arts award by the Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo.

Mark Sahlgren is one of two recipients of the award, which will be presented Sunday, July 13, at the Sunday Concerts in the Park event starting at 4 p.m. in Bronson Park. The awards ceremony is at 4:30 p.m.

'Tireless advocacy'

Sahlgren has been volunteer host of "Grassroots" for 36 years on WMUK, the University's National Public Radio station, with the first broadcast airing on April 3, 1977. He is also an accomplished musician and a leading advocate of acoustic music in southwest Michigan.

"WMUK nominated Mark because of his tireless advocacy and performance of acoustic music in our community," says Gordon Bolar, WMUK general manager.

The Arts Council presents the award to "an artist who is a leader in their field, has a significant body of creative activity, who has received local and/or national acclaim, and has impacted our community through art."

Grassroots

Since its inception, "Grassroots" has broadcast its self-described mix of "real music for real people" across the region. Listeners can tune in from 10 a.m. to noon every Sunday with a repeat from 8 to 10 p.m. Saturdays. Sahlgren and his co-hosts have been spinning albums and now CDs for both diehard bluegrass fans and casual listeners who are drawn by the show's catchy "pickin'-and-grinnin' " style of music, as well as thoughtful commentary by Sahlgren and his colleagues.