Northern Michigan Arts & Culture

Northern Michigan is a place with incredible natural beauty and varied landscapes. It is also home to Interlochen Center for the Arts and several other longstanding cultural institutions. Little wonder the region has been so attractive to artists and musicians of all types. Here we bring you those stories. 

Aaron Selbig

IPR reporters Morgan Springer and Daniel Wanschura were recognized Saturday at the annual Public Radio News Directors, Inc. (PRNDI) awards banquet in St. Louis.

Springer won first place in the category "Best Soft Feature" for her story Behind Bars, Transformation Through Poetry, which tells the story of prisoners who find solace and community in a poetry writing workshop.

From left: Richard (Kyle Carter) Vickie (Macie Goodspeed) Janet (Madi Shank)
Joann Muma

Friday is the opening night of The Manistee Civic Players’ stage rendition of 1970s hit television show Free to Be… You and Me. Kate Botello sat down to talk with the director of the production, Connar Klock. He lives in Kalamazoo, but he’s originally from the Manistee area and was asked to come back to direct this show about gender neutrality and social constructs. Behind the bouncy and upbeat music, Free to Be… You and Me addresses serious themes that are still relevant today. 


Peggy McNew gets up close and personal with her watercolor painting. She has cone dystrophy, and uses her lower peripheral vision to see.
Dan Wanschura

Peggy McNew is a painter from Empire, Michigan. There’s nothing unusual about that— there are a lot of painters in Leelanau County. But Peggy is different. She’s legally blind. 

And a question that she’s wrestled with is whether or not that matters in relation to her art.


What would’ve happened if Lee Harvey Oswald missed and John F Kennedy lived?

Welcome to Episdoe 26 - the special Season Two Finale of Show Tunes with Kate Botello! Tonight - we throw our format out the window of the legendary Birdland Jazz Club in midtown Manhattan. It’s a Sophisticated Reunion with Terri Klausner, Ty Stephens and Valarie Pettiford - all original cast members of 1981’s Best Musical - SOPHISTICATED LADIES.

After a sophisticated introduction, we’ll hear highlights from their incredible careers. Tonight’s show will be presented in its entirety, without Intermission, due to an excess of excellence.

Click through for this week's playlist!