Last week (April 5 - May 3), a city by the name of Kalamazoo in the state of Michigan covered itself in the colors of black and white. At every street corner of Kalamazoo, flags and posters displaying a keyboard were announcing a festival that takes place every other year, attracting fans from all over the United States. The Irving Gilmore Keyboard Festival offers a wide program, including classical piano recitals, chamber music, organ concerts, jazz events and cabaret. Money is provided by a foundation the city inherited twelve years ago from Irving Gilmore, a rich business owner and piano lover. Located between Detroit and Chicago, Kalamazoo has a population of 200,000. Its rise to fame in the piano world is partially because of its proud citizens. A host of volunteers makes sure that everything goes smoothly. This makes the Gilmore Festival a typical American cultural institution where the arts are not supported by tax money but largely by the involvement of individuals Georg Hirsch was at the festival in Kalamazoo.
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