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If every­thing goes according to plan, Richard Wunsch soon will be running a second business out of his current store, Volume One Books at 98 North Broad St. in downtown Hillsdale.

Wunsch filed paperwork this week to start a new business called, “Book, Art, & Spir­itual Center of Hillsdale.”

The book­store will remain “Volume One Books,” but the new business will reflect the existing tri-fold nature of what goes on in the book­store: book sales, upstairs art studio, and spir­itual and political dis­cussion groups held in the evenings.

“A lot of it is just to make the name reflect the reality,” Wunsch said. “A lot of the stuff going on here is com­munity stuff, art stuff.”

On Mondays, employees host “political night” for a small circle of locals who want to talk about pol­itics. On Tuesdays, they have “spir­itual night” for people to discuss spir­i­tu­ality. Wednesdays and Sat­urdays are karaoke nights, and Fridays are open micro­phone night for poetry reading and music with a local pianist.

Main spir­itual night orga­nizer and employee Ian DeBacker said the gath­erings usually begin around 7 p.m., and attract between 5 – 10 people.

“We, as an insti­tution, are a non-affil­iated spir­itual center. We’ve been reaching out to the com­munity for the last three years,” DeBacker said.

Anyone from “all walks of life” is welcome, Debacker said. He said that he rep­re­sents St. Francis of Assisi because of his Catholicism, but the emphasis is on general spir­i­tu­ality rather than orga­nized religion. Wunsch also said they do not push any one doc­trine on the attendees of the events.

“I guess if there’s a doc­trine, it’s that you can’t tell people what to believe,” he said. “We’re all looking to achieve a better under­standing of our­selves and world and what may be behind the world as far as spir­i­tu­ality and things like that.”

Artist Jim Foster said the activ­ities reflect Wunsch’s “human­i­tarian” worldview. During the cold winter months, he said, the store serves as a safe haven from the cold.

“People come in off the streets just to get warm,” he said, “and we feed them soup. We give them a place to stay. We try to take care of them.”

DeBacker said the main reason for the event is to provide a place for people to voice their opinions and learn from each other.

“People nor­mally don’t talk about pol­itics and religion, but here we do,” DeBacker said.

sgilman@hillsdale.edu