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For 14 seasons, audiences and musicians have held a collective breath as Robin Fountain raises his conductor’s baton. With a swoosh of his arm, everyone exhales as music notes make hearts swell with joy, pound with fear, beat peacefully or shatter with deep sadness. No one plays on peoples’ emotions like Maestro Fountain, music director of the Southwest Symphony Orchestra (SMSO).

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Creative Pursuit Game | Now-April 30, 2020 | 19 Art/Theater/Museum Venues in SW Michigan

September is one of our most colorful months of the year. Our orchards are bright with golden and crimson apples, our markets with plump pumpkins and mums, and our tree-lined streets and forests are turning brilliant scarlet, amber and orange. But in Southwest Michigan, you can take an indoor fall color tour that will wow you, too. It’s our Creative Connections to 19 participating arts and culture sites in Berrien County that showcase colorful creations and productions. And if you play our Creative Pursuit Game you also can earn cool prizes!

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Sommerfeldt's Farm Market | 1093 S. Benton Center Road | Benton Harbor | Sunday-Saturday | 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m. | Now-1st Week of November

Sandi Sommerfeldt is all for being picky. She believes you should be picky about where your food is grown and who grew it. Be picky about what goes on your plate — filling half of it with fresh fruits and vegetables from Sommerfeldt’s Farm Market. Here is what she suggests:

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Bob’s Barn: Farm Market, Café & Bakery | 4830 Coloma Rd. | April 15-Dec. 15 | Sunday: 1-5 p.m. | Monday, Wednesday-Saturday: 9 a.m.-6 p.m. | Closed Tuesday

In Southwest Michigan, you are always close to the freshest fruits and vegetables. Our harvest trail in Berrien, Cass and Van Buren Counties is renowned in the Midwest for its mile-after-mile of pick-your-own orchards and farm markets brimming with local foods. But Bob’s Barn in Coloma takes freshness beyond the bushel basket. They also serve grown-right-here foods on your plate.

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Ten years ago, Benton Harbor Public Schools drastically cut its arts programming. Anna Russo-Sieber (ARS) knew from her then 20+ years of arts education and programming experience that the arts were needed more than ever in this Southwest Michigan community. So in 2010, she boldly opened ARS Arts & Culture Center in a little corner warehouse at 147 5th Street in the Benton Harbor Arts District. Gershon, one of ARS’s students, will tell you Anna’s decision changed his life.

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