Northern Michigan Arts & Culture

Northern Michigan is a place with incredible natural beauty and varied landscapes. It is also home to the 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. 


4:55 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Dwayne Gill is a state trooper by day, and a stand-up comic by night

Dwayne Gill

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 5:32 pm

Michigan State Police Sgt. Dwayne Gill uses his day job as a reference pool for his stand-up sets.

Gill said that comedy came first for him, but open-mic nights did not bring in enough money, so he became a police officer.

“They knew that I was doing stand-up in the academy and I was called 'Recruit Joker,'” Gill said.

Gill started his comedic journey in 1989. He signed up for an Apollo Night contest in April 1995. After getting booed off the stage, he decided to quit comedy and focus on his police work.

Seven years later, he went to a retirement party for a trooper at the Ann Arbor Showcase, and said that gave him the itch to try comedy again.

He read books, took a class in New York, and learned more about comedy. September 11, 2002 he was back on stage, and started getting paid for his jokes in 2004.

Now he has opened up for celebrities like Tim Allen, and recently for Aretha Franklin.  

Gill has been working in law enforcement for 21 years. He is now the Michigan State Police liaison to the Legislature, and he still continues to do stand-up work.

*Listen to our full interview with Dwayne Gill above. 

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11:09 am
Thu August 28, 2014

War photographer stirs emotions with pictures and stories from Vietnam

School Girls is on display at the exhibit "through the eyes" in Ludington.
Credit John Hosier

One corner of John Hosier’s traveling museum looks a lot like the tent the doctors lived in on the TV show "M.A.S.H." They called it the swamp.

Hosier says in Vietnam, the place you lived was called your hooch. It had a cot, a standing locker, and a footlocker with a lock on it.

The cot on display now in Ludington is not the one he used as a soldier, but it was built in 1965. It’s made up with bedding and a pillow and on it is a mesh baseball cap with the emblem of the 173rd Airborne Brigade -- the unit Hosier fought with as an Army ranger.

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National Writers Series
7:59 am
Thu August 28, 2014

Karin Slaughter: Author of 'Cop Town'

Credit Allen Kent

Karin Slaughter's latest thriller, Cop Town, is set in Atlanta in the mid-1970s. In it, Slaughter focuses on the struggles of female police officers at a time when nobody thought they should be on the force. She is well-known for her debut novel Blindsighted, which was published in almost 30 languages. Karin Slaughter is the author of the Will Trent series that takes place in Atlanta, as well as the Grant County series set in rural Georgia.

Michigan Arts & Culture
2:18 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

History buffs seek Michigan location for a 19-day festival in 2016


Ludington and Traverse City are on a short list for a new 19-day festival being planned for 2016.

Listen to IPR's conversation with Mara MacKay about History Prize.

History Prize would be modeled after ArtPrize in Grand Rapids. Organizers of the new event hope to offer cash prizes in the tens-of-thousands of dollars for the best exhibitors.

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Classical Playlists
1:02 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

PLAY NOW: Dinner with that Nice Couple from the Office

PLAY NOW! Dinner With That Nice Couple From the Office

Making some new acquaintances, and still in that getting-to-know-you phase?  Perhaps you're having some delightful people over but don't know yet if they'd dig your massive collection of rare acid jazz. We've found some eclectic, fun, modern-ish tunes to hang out in the background and be friendly, without hampering your scintillating dinner conversation (but if the socializing's not going so well, you can always talk about the music!).


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