Northern Michigan Arts & Culture

Kate Pillsbury (left), Emilee Petersmark (center) and Ben Zito (right) of The Crane Wives perform in IPR's Studio A.
Dan Wanschura

When The Crane Wives formed eight years ago, the band featured a straightforward acoustic sound and performed around the Grand Rapids area. Much has changed since 2010 though, as the band has evolved to a more amped-up, electric sound and has gained a national following.

Lindsay Lou performs in IPR's Studio A. She grew up in Kingsford but now lives in Nashville.
Dan Wanschura

Ten years ago, Lindsay Lou made the decision to quit her day job as a biologist and tour the country – and the world – as a full-time musician.


Brad Aspey

When Dan Nickels makes a mistake, he doesn’t throw it away. He keeps it. In fact, Dan puts his mistakes on display .


Jillian Speece (right) and her husband Nathaniel Hoff (left) perform "Mayflies" in IPR's Studio A.
Dan Wanschura

The Bergamot is the husband and wife duo made up of Nathaniel Hoff and Jillian Speece. The Brooklyn-based couple first brought their indie pop sound to northern Michigan in 2012, when they performed at the Traverse City Film Festival.

The TCFF recently launched its Student U program, which gives free movie tickets to high school and college students.
Dan Wanschura

Students will be able to watch films for free at this year’s Traverse City Film Festival. The festival recently announced the launch of it’s TCFF Student U program, which offers 10 tickets to each accepted high school and college students.

Drew Hale (center) says he adds northern Michigan flare to his country music.
The Drew Hale Band

A couple years ago, Traverse City singer Drew Hale burst onto the country music scene when he won the national Country Showdown competition in Nashville. He got a $100,000 prize and the title of Best New Act in Country Music.

Trenton Breithaupt (Chamomile and Honey) performs with his girlfriend Summer Green.
Dan Wanschura

Trenton Breithaupt is from Elk Rapids, and last month he graduated from the singer-songwriter program at Interlochen Arts Academy. That’s where he met his girlfriend Summer Green – and the two of them began performing under the name Chamomile and Honey.


Spencer McQueen paints in his studio in downtown Traverse City.
Dan Wanschura

Spencer McQueen says looking at his art isn’t enough. He wants you to feel his paintings.

“It’s just this little extra ability that you can give someone to connect with you and the things that you created,” he says.


Newly hired Joe Beyer resigned as executive director of the Traverse City Film Festival this week.
Dan Wanschura

After less than a month on the job, the new executive director of the Traverse City Film Festival is stepping down.

Artist Diane Hawkey created "Peaceable Kingdom: A Global History of Man" for Michigan Artists Gallery in Traverse City. The piece is based off Edward Hick's paintings and is displayed at Michigan Artists Gallery.
Dan Wanschura

In the early 1800’s, American painter Edward Hicks began painting “Peaceable Kingdom," a series of 62 paintings inspired by a verse in the book of Isaiah.

The verse says, “The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them.” 

In Traverse City, two different art galleries are bringing that concept to the art world.

 

Karen Anderson has been writing weekly essays for IPR for 10 years. Her new book, "Gradual Clearing" is a collection of 120 of those essays.
Windborne Studios

For the last 10 years, Karen Anderson has been writing weekly essays heard on Interlochen Public Radio.

The essays are vivid, personal, and relatable. Karen takes time to notice the little details and experiences of everyday life.


Joe Beyer (right) and Michael Moore in the Traverse City Film Festival offices in downtown Traverse City.
Dan Wanschura

Michael Moore has hired Joe Beyer as the new executive director for his Traverse City Film Festival. Joe replaces Deb Lake, who resigned last December.

“It’s like we found our long-lost soul brother here for Traverse City in the being of Joe Beyer,” says Michael.

Joe Beyer returns home to Michigan after working for the Sundance Institute for over 14 years.

Chris Andrews walked across the country pushing this cart in an effort to spark face to face conversations.
Chris Andrews

A couple years ago, Chris Andrews, a senior at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, realized he was addicted to his smartphone.

“It was something I was using as a crutch,” he explains. “Something that I was using in moments of boredom, moments of anxiety, or a moment of silence in a group of friends – we’d all reach for our phones.”


Matt Shepler prepares to blend some Ambrosia Sipping Chocolate in his kitchen in Traverse City.
Dan Wanschura

Ambrosia Sipping Chocolate is a brand new, gourmet hot chocolate that’s made in Traverse City. It hits the market on April 15th.

“It’s literally like you’re drinking chocolate bars because that’s exactly what it is,” says co-owner Matt Shepler.


Jason Dake, the education curator at the Dennos Museum points out some art during a recent walk-through of the museum.
Dan Wanschura

The Dennos Museum in Traverse City has almost three-thousand works of art in its collection.

At any given time, around 280 of those works are on display, including Inuit sculptures, contemporary paintings and modern photographs.

But on April 14th, the museum wants visitors to ignore most of these works and just focus on a handful of them.  


Author Jack Hobey has written about Edward Beebe, a photographer who would often lie about the location of his photos.
Matt Mikus

Edward Beebe was a popular photographer in northern Michigan in the early 1900s. He created postcards with his photos but often deceived people regarding the location of the shots.

“I think a lot of these cards were intended to take advantage of tourists and visitors,” says local author Jack Hobey.

The Boardman Review captures what it's like to live in northern Michigan year-round.
Dan Wanschura

The Boardman Review is a quarterly publication founded by brothers Nick and Chris Loud. 

They recently published their third issue, a winter edition.

 


Anders Kelto (right) stands next to Anthony Ervin, a swimmer who is featured in Kelto's new audio series "Gamebreaker with Keith Olbermann."
Caroline Kim

When Anders Kelto listened to sports podcasts, what he usually heard was a couple of guys sitting around bantering with each other.

“There was no good audio sports journalism in the world, at least that I had been exposed to,” he says.

Anders is changing that. Today, the Traverse City native is out with his own podcast —it’s a sports documentary series.

 


Cast members for Parallel 45 Theatre's production of "Go, Dog. Go!" rehearse in Traverse City Wednesday night.
Dan Wanschura

Parallel 45 Theatre is about to try something new.

The professional theatre company started in Traverse City seven years ago and typically produces three to four shows throughout the year.

Next year, the company wants to produce more shows, for more people. 

Jeremy Reisig, aka brotha James, is coming out with his second album in April.
brothajames.com

Jeremy Reisig, better known as brotha James, is a one-man band from Elk Rapids.

He’ll do all sorts of things — beatbox, play the guitar, rap, sing — sometimes all in the same song. He’s able to do all that because he often loops his own music tracks.

 


Michael Cleveland, blind from birth, is one of the most accomplished fiddlers in bluegrass music.
www.flamekeeperband.com

Michael Cleveland has been called “one of the premier fiddle players of his generation, if not in all of bluegrass history.”

He's also been completely blind since birth.

 


The 1968 Mustang Fastback used in the film "Bullitt" is on display at the Hagerty Insurance building in Traverse City.
Dan Wanschura

The Ford Mustang from the 1968 film “Bullitt” is currently on display at the Hagerty Insurance in Traverse City.


Interlochen Arts Academy Band Director Matthew Schlomer leads students in a recent dress rehearsal.
Interlochen Center for the Arts

When "The Soldier's Tale" premiered in 1918, an influenza epidemic cut short it's European performance tour.

Ironically, the flu caused some problems for Interlochen Arts Academy students as they practiced for the show earlier this year.


Luis Resto brings his Detroit-based band to northern Michigan this weekend.
Dan Wanschura

Songwriter and producer Luis Resto says other music scenes are more polished than Detroit, but that’s one reason why the Motor City is so special to him.  

“Detroit has this street grit, what we call ‘stank,’” he says. “Which is good.”


Traverse City author Doug Stanton wrote 'Horse Soliders,' which is the basis for the new film '12 Strong.' The film opens in theaters nationwide January 19.
Dan Wanschura

Next week, the movie based on Doug Stanton’s book ‘Horse Soldiers’ will hit theaters nationwide. It’s about a small group of Special Forces who rode horses to fight the Taliban.

“It’s a Western with lasers,” says Doug.

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