state theatre

A young speller competes in the Grand Traverse County Spelling Bee, in Kingsley on February 22.
Dan Wanschura

A few weeks ago, parents and students filled about half the bleachers at the Kingsley Middle School gym. It wasn’t for a sporting event but for the 2017 Grand Traverse County Spelling Bee. Spellers who do well here, will have a shot to go to the national competition which airs on ESPN. 


  

Mahogony Jones is a rapper and hip hop artist who lives in Detroit. She's performing at the State Theatre as part of the MLK Day celebration.
Mahogany Jones

Mahogany Jones says there was a time when rap and hip hop didn’t have the negative connotations like violence and misogyny. She says the music was about peace, love, and being a voice for the voiceless.

That’s the legacy Jones wants her music to reflect. She travels the world using her music as a way to empower others.

 


The 13th Annual Traverse City Film Festival released it's lineup earlier today.
Dan Wanschura

The 12th Annual Traverse City Film Festival gets underway next Tuesday.

This year, the 32 officially selected films are all directed by women. Meg Weichman is the Creative Director for the film festival. She says it was founder Michael Moore who had the idea making all the official selections, films that were directed by women. 

"We did try to look for more films by female filmmakers this year, and we were shooting for maybe just having fifty percent," explains Weichman. She says what they found was staggering. "Michael loved so many great movies by women, he wanted to make all of our official selections in competition just directed by women."


Traverse City Film Festival

The Traverse City Film Festival is asking for public money to help pay for a Hollywood-style “walk of fame” outside the State Theatre. The walk-of fame would feature concrete handprints of celebrities like Madonna, Rosie O’Donnell and Matthew Modine.

To keep it accessible year-round, festival officials plan to install a heated sidewalk in front of the theatre. They’re asking the publicly-funded Downtown Development Authority to contribute $18,000 toward the effort.

Traverse City Mayor Michael Estes said that could set a bad precedent.