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. 

An old mural on the Coburn building in downtown Petoskey was recently repainted by artist Äbby Kent.
Matt Mikus

If you walk through downtown Petoskey, you might notice some old advertising murals on the sides of a few buildings. 

One of them is on the Coburn building on Mitchell Street. The mural is a weathered patchwork of ads for companies that used to occupy the building, like H.A. Easton Hardware and Cook Electric Company.

The mural had almost entirely faded away, until a local artist decided to restore it.

 

A painting of Wilberforce Falls, which is located north or the Arctic Cirlce in Canada. Cory Trépanier was inspired to paint the Canadian north in his project, "Into the Arctic."
Cory Trépanier

When Canadian Cory Trépanier graduated college, he jumped into the world of commercial art. He did airbrush painting for ad agencies and magazines. A lot of work inside a studio.

Then when he was 33, he took a trip to Lake Superior to paint the natural landscape.

“That was a turning point for me,” he says. "All I could recall, with my wife in the vehicle, was talking about, ‘how am I going to spend more time painting my own work?’”

 

National Writers Series: An evening with W. Bruce Cameron

Sep 15, 2017
Tom Haxby

Novelist W. Bruce Cameron says having his first story published at the age of sixteen was the worst thing that could have happened to him. After that first story, it took Cameron 25 more years to publish his first book, “Eight Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter.” That book was made into a sitcom on ABC. Since then he’s published 15 more books, including “A Dog’s Purpose,” which was made into a feature film released in January 2017. W. Bruce Cameron talks this hour with WTCM NewsTalk 580 radio host Ron Jolly.

This week on the Kids Commute - it's Mermaid Week! Come and search for treasure and pearls with us in the watery deep. Meet mermaids of all sorts, from all kinds of places!

EPISODE 7 - The Lovely Sirens (Wednesday, September 13, 2017)

People didn't always think of mermaids as lovely underwater ladies who spent all day pearl hunting. The Ancient Greeks thought of them as monsters, called, "sirens." Sirens were very nice to look at, and had beautiful singing voices...but they lured sailors to wreck their ships on rocks. American composer Stacy Garrop wrote, "The Lovely Sirens," as part of her Mythology Symphony -  it's music that shows both sides of our monster mermaids - beautiful singing that ends in a terrible shipwreck!

Here's today's Kids Commute:


Scribner

Nearly 50 years ago, North Vietnamese and Viet Cong soldiers launched an offensive that changed the course of the Vietnam War. 

"Busted" is a new show at Michigan Artists Gallery in Traverse City. It features ceramic busts of women who were portrayed by well-known artists.
Dan Wanschura

Agostina Segatori owned the Café du Tambourin in the late 1800’s. The Parisian cafe was a popular spot with artists, including Vincent Van Gogh. One day, Van Gogh decided to paint Agostina.

 

Each month, Stateside checks in with John Sinkevics, the editor and publisher of Local Spins, a site that covers West Michigan’s music scene. Sinkevics discusses new artists, their backstories and what makes their music great.

Congratulations on your new school year, and welcome back to IPR's Kids Commute! Tune in to Classical IPR this morning at 7:40, or listen any time at the link below!

This week is "Back to School Week," on the Kids Commute.

EPISODE FOUR (Friday, September 8, 2017)

Today, we'll hear some music by composer John Williams from his score to Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - meet Hagrid the Professor!

Here's today's Kids Commute:


Karen Curlee will bring her Broadway experience to the Ramsdell Regional Center for the Arts in Manistee on September 8th, with a show titled "What is this Thing Called Love?"
Gabe Gomez

Karen Curlee says when you get to a certain age and you start wondering, “What’s it all about?” you should go back to do what you did at 13 years old. For Karen, that was singing.

“Nobody could sing like I could sing when I was 13,” she says. “There was no technique involved. It was just I knew how to sing.”

 

Michael Coonrod has been teaching piano at Interlochen Center for the Arts for over 40 years.

But after a horrible camping accident, his career was put in jeopardy.


An engrossing book, delicious food, and sparkling conversation. Put all that together in Detroit and you've got the Shady Ladies Literary Society.

Group founder and Detroit-based writer Amy Haimerl, author of Detroit Hustle, and Ashley Shelby, whose novel South Pole Station will be featured at the society's upcoming meeting, joined Stateside on Wednesday.

What’s lighting up stages in Michigan this month?

David Kiley of Encore Michigan joined Stateside today to give his take on productions from professional theater companies around the state.

Chase Hunt paints on a longboard in his garage in Traverse City.
Dan Wanschura

Chase Hunt loves skateboarding and longboarding. But even more than that, he loves graffiti art. He says the two go hand in hand.

“They’re kind of the same people,” he explains. “You meet a lot of graffiti artists that are skateboarders.”


On the next edition of Michigan Writers on the Air, Julie Buntin will read from her stunning debut novel Marlena. Heather Shumaker will lead us through the saga of the saving of the Arcadia Dunes.  And Nancy Parshall will a read short story from her prize winning chapbook, Proud Flesh.


In 1969, the blues threw a party in Ann Arbor.

James Partridge, founder of the Ann Arbor Blues Society, calls that party “the first blues festival ever.”

Enough people came that it happened again, and again, and became the Ann Arbor Blues Festival, later re-christened the Ann Arbor Blues & Jazz Festival. Its last hurrah came in 2006.

But this year, musicians will breathe new life into that festival, as they work to reignite the energy that pulsed through the crowds so many years ago.

Looking for new music from the Detroit area that's perfect for the dog days of summer?

Khalid Bhatti​, executive editor of Detroit Music Magazine, has your back. So does Paul Young, the magazine's founder and publisher.

Katie Larson (left) and Sav Buist of The Accidentals stopped by IPR to chat about the band's new album.
Dan Wanschura

The Accidentals drop a new album this Friday.

“Odyssey” is the band’s first album since signing a record label deal with Sony Music Masterworks earlier this year. It features a mix of brand new songs and songs written years ago but never recorded.

He’s been writing and singing about Michigan for a good many years, and on Tuesday night, Michigan will say thank you to Jay Stielstra.

Michigan Senator Rebekah Warren will present Stielstra with a state of Michigan legislative tribute for his contributions in conserving Michigan’s natural resources. She’ll do this during a show called “A Michigan Tribute to Jay Stielstra” at The Ark in Ann Arbor, where an all-star group of Michigan singers, musicians and actors will perform in his honor.

Jessica Masse has been tuning and caring for pianos at Interlochen Center for the Arts for eight years.
Dan Wanschura

Interlochen Arts Camp just wrapped up for the season. During the summer, over 230 pianos are on campus for the students. That’s a lot of work for a piano tuner.

“The only thing I can compare it to is having an infant,” says Jessica Masse. “And always having to just be at their beck and call.”


Think back to grade school. Remember that one kid who was always disrupting the class? The one who talked out of turn, cracked jokes, and was always getting sent to the principal’s office. In other words, the class troublemaker.

Well, it's exactly those kind of kids who are the subjects of the new book Troublemakers: Lessons in Freedom from Young Children at School. Author Carla Shalaby, a research specialist at the University of Michigan School of Education, spoke with Stateside about the book.

"The Table of Knowledge" is a group of mostly old-timers who gather every morning at The Front Porch Cafe for a cup of coffee or a bite to eat.
Dan Wanschura

It’s five o’clock in the morning on Main Street in Ellsworth, and it seems like most of the village is sleeping. It’s quiet and dark outside, but there is a light on outside The Front Porch Cafe.

Inside, Brenda Powers is getting ready for another day.


It's time again to explore what's on stages across Michigan on Stateside's monthly Theater Talk segment.

David Kiley from Encore Michigan joined the show today to break down what's up in lights around the state right now.

Transom stories: Line dancing 'just lifts you up'

Aug 3, 2017
Jacquie Gwyn practices new choreography before she teaches her line dancing class in Interlochen.
Maddy Russell-Shapiro

Jacquie Gwyn is 73 years old, and she teaches line dancing in Interlochen. 

“It just lifts you up; that’s the best way to put it,” says Jacquie.


Marcel Price is on a mission: use poetry and the spoken word to encourage young people to open up about mental health and wellness.

As "Fable the Poet," this young Michigander has been visiting high schools around Michigan and across the country, helping kids understand their shared struggles.

And now he's taking it national with something he's calling "The Unpacking Tour."

The comedy panel from the 2017 Traverse City Film Festival includes include Samm Levine, Sean Jordan, Bob Byington, Jack Robbins, and Zefrey Throwell. The panel is moderated by Doug Benson.

Please be advised this panel discussion does include profanity and other language listeners might find offensive.


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