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. 


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.


Filmmakers talk about documentary film during the 2017 Traverse City Film Festival.
Linnaea Melcarek

The documentary panel from the 2017 Traverse City Film Festival features Anniken Hoel and Andrew Grant (director and producer of "Cause of Death: Unknown"), Neil Berkeley (director of "Gilbert"), Amir Bar-Lev (director of "Long Strange Trip"), Jonathan Olshefski (director of "Quest"), and Anna Chai and Nari Kye (directors of "Wasted! The Story of Food Waste"). Moderated by Thom Powers, documentary programmer for the Toronto International Film Fest.

 


Leonard Maltin is a renowned film reviewer and critic. He's a featured guest at the 2017 Traverse City Film Festival.
Becky Sapp

Leonard Maltin is one of the most recognized film critics out there. Why do his reviews resonate with so many people?

“I love movies," he says. "And I love what I do. People tell me that comes through...it’s honest, it’s genuine.”

Filmmakers talk about the ways their films have changed them and their audiences. 

The panel is comprised of Pamela Yates, Paco de Onis, Pau Faus, and Zaradasht Ahmed.

Dan Wanschura

More than 150 young people are gathered in northern Michigan this week. They sing, dance and some play instruments.

They come from all over the world – Russia, Vietnam, Germany and northern Michigan. They all join together for what’s called the Children of the World in Harmony International Choir and Dance Festival. 

If you've ever been driving through the countryside, unsure of exactly where you are, maybe you’ve told a friend: “I passed some podunk town in the middle of nowhere.”

Many Michiganders are familiar with the saying. But there’s really only one Podunk, Michigan.

The Great Lakes are the largest group of freshwater lakes on the planet. But their future is uncertain.

Every year, a Native American group called the Mother Earth Water Walkers treks hundreds of miles around the Great Lakes to raise awareness of water issues in the region.

This year, the group is making its 2,000 mile trip from Duluth, Minnesota to Matane, Quebec.

Stateside producer Mercedes Mejia caught up with the group near Leamington, Ontario, and learned that the walk is more than a call to action. For many, it's a spiritual journey that connects them to each other and to other indigenous communities.

Julie Buntin is a featured author at this year's Harbor Springs Festival of the Book.
Nina Subin

“Marlena” is a novel about two teenage girls and their short but intense friendship.

Cat, the main character in the book has just moved to northern Michigan. She quickly latches on to her neighbor, Marlena, and acquires her habits and friend group.

The Giving Tree Band has been called "The Greenest Band in the Land." They perform in Lake Leelanau on Sunday.
Taylor Castle

The Giving Tree Band has been called “The Greenest Band in the Land.” The band from Illinois has a vision statement that outlines an eco-friendly approach to their music and life.

 

Summer is a time for crowd pleasers in the theater world.

David Kiley of Encore Michigan joined Stateside for another round of Theater Talk, highlighting the newest summer shows.

The Gryphon Trio
John Beebe

The Gryphon Trio is performing a concert tonight in the Concert Hall of the former Holy Rosary School/Sala Koncertowa in Cedar as part of the Leelanau Summer Music Festival. Violinist Annalee Patipatanakoon, cellist Roman Borys and pianist Jamie Parker talked with Kate Botello and performed works of Beethoven and Astor Piazzolla.

In this special hour of Morning Classical, Interlochen Center for the Arts President Trey Devey shares some of his favorite classical music with listeners.

Click through to see Trey's playlist.


Ansel Adams takes a moment to adjust his camera in Yosemite National Park. An exhibit  featuring some of Adams' most iconic work is hanging at the Crooked Tree Arts Center in Petoskey.
Alan Ross

Alan Ross worked with Ansel Adams for about 10 years. Like Ansel, he’s known for his striking black and white photography.

Alan says a lot of people know about Ansel – the photographer – but fewer know him as a person.


When you hear the words "ghost town," you might imagine a dusty, vacant place in the Old West, where cowboys once tread.

Well, think again because Michigan has its share of ghost towns, too. 

Mark Harvey from the Michigan History Center joined Stateside to talk about one of them: Singapore, Michigan. 

Summer has been full of music festivals in Michigan, many of them showcasing regional and local Michigan artists.

Local Spins Editor and Publisher John Sinkevics told Stateside about groups in West Michigan. He explored an indie rock group’s new EP, a jazz organ trio’s Beatles cover songs, and Jim Shaneberger’s blues rock band.

OK Go is a Los Angeles band that started at Interlochen Arts Camp.

 

Even if you don’t know the band’s music you might have seen their music videos.

 

The videos are highly-choreographed, colorful, and tend to go viral online.

 

In 1884, Congress passed a bill recognizing the service of, and granting a pension to Sarah Emma Evelyn Edmundson Seelye for her service to the country. She served in the Civil War as a soldier in Company F of the Second Michigan Volunteer Infantry Regiment, under the name of Franklin Thompson. 

Al Anderson shows off one of his Betsie Bay Kayaks. Al has been building the boats for over 30 years.
Andrew Bauld

Al Anderson owns Betsie Bay Kayak. Since 1984, he’s been crafting boats made from wood and fiberglass.

“There’s just something about a kayak,” Al says. “It’s like a magic carpet in a way.”


In another edition of Theater Talk on StatesideDavid Kiley of Encore Michigan joined the show to discuss what's happening in the community this summer with professional theater productions.

He began by discussing the Michigan Shakespeare Festival. This year, the festival is offering Julius Caesar, among others.

Holly Wren Spauldling arranges the poems in her series called "Lost Lexicon." The poems get their names from nature words which have been removed from the "Oxford Junior Dictionary."
Dan Wanschura

The "Oxford Junior Dictionary" is aimed at kids seven and up. It’s not meant to be a comprehensive book – that’s why it has a limited space for word entries.

So, when the publishers added words like "analog," "broadband" and "chatroom" – other words like "ash," "beech" and "crocus" got the boot. 

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