Lake Effect Jazz Big Band Wraps Season at the Box Factory

Lake Effect Jazz Big Band Wraps Season at the Box Factory

The Lake Effect Jazz Big Band wraps up its 2022 summer concert season at 7 p.m. on September 24 at the Box Factory for the Arts, 1101 Broad Street. Online tickets with reserved cabaret seating at $15 and general admission of $12 are available at Tickets at the door for each performance will be $15. A cash bar and light snacks will be available.

Now in its 22nd year, the Lake Effect Jazz Big Band continues to be one of the premier big bands in the Midwest. Specializing in new arrangements of classic standards, new compositions for contemporary big bands and golden oldies, the band will be performing music from the libraries of Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basic and others.

The band is led by Steven L. Reed, retired instrumental music teacher for the St. Joseph Public Schools. Several members of the band are current or retired music educators and jazz education is a priority for Lake Effect Jazz.

Joining the band for the Box Factory concert will be solo vocalists Becky Selvidge and Andrew Fisher. Each will be featured individually as well as together in popular jazz standards ranging from Broadway show tunes to the “American Songbook.”

Rebecca (Becky) Derbas-Selvidge holds a Bachelor of Music in Choral Education Western Michigan University and a Certificate of Musical Theatre Performance from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City. After many years of teaching music for the Coloma Public Schools, she is the new instructor of voice at Lake Michigan College.

Andrew B. Fisher has been a musician and singer for many years in Southwestern Michigan. He studied vocal performance at Andrews University. His Andrew Fisher Quartet has achieved an incredible level of success in the Michiana area and in 2022 he introduced Sunday Simmer Sessions at the Box Factory. Andrew also is the vocal instructor at the Citadel Dance and Music center in downtown Benton Harbor.

For more information about the Lake Effect Jazz Big Band, please visit the band online at

Series 5 of the 2022 Gallery Exhibition Opens September 16

Series 5 of the 2022 Gallery Exhibition Opens September 16

The Series 5 exhibits open September 16 at the Box Factory for the Arts with artists’ work in all four galleries. The five exhibits of distinctly different genres share a common theme of storytelling. An opening reception from 5:30 to 7 p.m. is open to the public with light refreshments and a cash bar. Exhibits will continue through October 30, 2022.

The exhibits include painting narratives by Lea Goldman of South Bend in the Williams Gallery; collage art by Box Factory studio artist Fred Holland in the Whitlow Gallery; small assemblages and a retrospective of her watercolors by Box Factory studio artist Elaine Harju in the Sky Level Gallery; and the paintings of John Moga of Berrien Springs and 3-D mosaics of Chris Stiller of LaPorte, IN in the Riverwalk Gallery.


Lea Goldman is a full-time painter and printmaker who incorporates multi-cultural traditions, legends and folklore into her images. Born in Romania and raised in Russia and the Middle East, she immigrated to the United States in 1975. She lived in New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago before moving to South Bend.

“My paintings, that look like big story book pages, aim to tap the collective unconscious and speak the language of human struggle without the traditional chronicle,” she says in her artist statement. “In my painted narrative I do not strive to achieve correct academic representation. Instead, I use the images to tell my stories authentically, the best I can.”

Lea, now in her 80s, earned an MA in Arts and Education from Columbia University Teacher’s College in New York City and an MFA in Studio Arts from California State University, Los Angeles.


Fred Holland says he has “worn a number of stylish hats” over his more than 40 plus years of working in different mediums. His current work reflects his interest in collage art which was created between 2019 and August, 2022, in his Box Factory studio.

“It’s been a very productive period of time for me as I have been fully engaged in these investigations, Fred says in his artist statement. “If someone were to ask me what the purpose of this new work is, I would say it’s about getting back to a too often overlooked but essential component of Art, entertainment”


Elaine Harju considers her assemblage work a combination of pure imagination and a love of small pieces of junk. She says, “My work begins with a saying, song or quote and ends with a product reflecting that pursuit.” It was a new way of creating during the shutdown of the pandemic

Before the pandemic, Elaine considered herself a watercolor artist and her exhibit will include some of that work. She is a self-taught artist who has learned her craft through books and workshops and is now returning to her first love of painting.

Originally from Chicago, she has lived in St. Joseph since 2000 and has been a studio artist since she discovered the Box Factory.


John Moga is a practicing artist and curator at the History Center at Courthouse Square. His work is about interesting shapes and colors. In his artist statement, he says “the imagery consists of the lyric elements of time and the illusory sense of space through clouded form and color. The application of color and form is automatic.”

John holds a BFA from the University of Michigan and and an MFA from the University of Windsor. He and his wife, Yehudit Newman, share an interest in theater where he often works as a scenic artist for professional and community theaters, as well as film.

Chris Stiller studied art and art history at Valparaiso University. She is a mixed media artist who uses organic materials such as glass, metal, wood and found objects to incorporate into composed art pieces.

Announced Partnership Brings Theatre to the Box

Announced Partnership Brings Theatre to the Box

A partnership between Twin City Players and the Berrien Artist Guild brings two productions to the Box Factory for the Arts stage on the last weekend in July and the first weekend in August. Scotland Road by Jeffrey Hatcher will be performed at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 28 through Saturday, July 30 and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, July 31. 

Then at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, August 4 through Saturday, August 6, and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, August 7, Women and War by Jack Hilton Cunningham will bring a “moving and poignant scrapbook of the American war experience” to the Box Factory stage. Financial support for the productions was provided by a Berrien Community Foundation “For Good” grant.

Online tickets with reserved cabaret seating at $15 and general admission of $12 are available at TicketStripe. Go to for Scotland Road tickets and for Women and War.

Scotland Road
Presented by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Scotland Road, finds a young woman in the last decade of the 20th century floating on an iceberg in the middle of the North Atlantic. When rescued she says only one word: Titanic. During the course of the play, an expert on the sinking of the liner tries to get the woman named Winifred to confess she is a fake and reveal her true identity.

 “A subtle play of ideas masquerading wonderfully as an edge of your seat mystery, Hatcher’s insights are perceptive, satisfying and a bit unsettling.” – Minneapolis Star-Tribune

Women and War
Women and War,
 presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of Samuel French, Inc., is a collection of fictional stories based on historical fact told by generations of Americans impacted by conflicts from The Great War to the War in Afghanistan. These are tales of sacrifice, love, determination and hope told by those who bravely persevered on the home front and on the battlefield.

 “Awe inspiring. Playwright Cunningham is a magician delivering the internal voices of multiple generations of women who served as wives, nurses, sweethearts and officers spanning from WWI to Afghanistan.” – United Stages