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. 

Shanny Brooke opened up the Higher Art Gallery in Traverse City in November. She wants to bring more modern and contemporary art to the northern Michigan community and is coming up with unique ideas to do so.
Dan Wanschura

Shanny Brooke moved from Florida to Traverse City about nine years ago. Soon, she noticed that her type of art, was missing. She sees a lot of what she calls “loons and dunes,” but little modern or contemporary art. 

Shanny says that’s because businesses cater to tourists and visitors.

 

The town of Williamston, in Ingham County, has a population just under four thousand people. Like many Michigan towns of its size, its downtown historic district boasts a variety of retail and dining establishments.

But nestled among the brick storefronts is a somewhat less-familiar sight: an 88-seat black box theater.

His name is Alex Petroski. He’s eleven years old. His best friend is the stray dog he adopted and named after his hero, astronomer Carl Sagan.

Together, they set out on a road trip to attend SHARF – that’s the (fictional) Southwest High-Altitude Rocket Festival. Along the way, Alex adds recordings to an iPod that he hopes will one day find the ears of extraterrestrials.

Alex is the central character in a newly-released young adult novel, See You in the Cosmos. Its author, Jack Cheng, immigrated to Michigan at age 5 and today lives in Detroit.

National Writers Series: An evening with Daniel Bergner

Mar 3, 2017

Daniel Bergner is the author of five books, including "In the Land of Magic Soldiers" and his latest, "Sing For Your Life," about African-American opera singer Ryan Speedo Green. He's also a journalist who writes for the New York Times Magazine and other publications. Bergner talks this hour with Interlochen Public Radio music host and producer Kate Botello. She asked Bergner how he first heard about Ryan Speedo Green.

Charles Ross is the creator of the One Man Star Wars Trilogy. He's performed the show thousands of times all over the world. He'll be at the City Opera House in Traverse City, March 10.
onemanstarwars.com

For the past 16 years, actor Charles Ross has been performing his One Man Star Wars Trilogy.

“Every time I think that the show is going to dry up, Star Wars just keeps on putting new things out and making new generations of fans,” he says. 


In the D.C. Comics universe, Superman has Metropolis, Batman has Gotham, and now Cyborg has Detroit.

When D.C. rebooted its universe a few years ago, the superhero Cyborg got a promotion. He joined Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman as part of the Justice League and has become a higher-profile character. 

Grammy-award winner Bob James is well known for his jazz music, but recently just premiered his new piano concerto. Since December, he has had his piano at Interlochen Public Radio. That’s because he recorded a new album with Nancy Stagnitta, flute instructor at Interlochen. The duo is about to premiere their new work at a concert in the Dendrinos Chapel and Recital Hall here on the Interlochen campus. Fittingly, the album is called, “In the Chapel in the Moonlight.”

Bob and Nancy joined Kate Botello in Studio A to give us a preview. The concert will be held March 4 at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. For tickets, visit tickets.interlochen.org or call the Interlochen box office at 231-276-7800.


 

When classic English poet John Keats coughed up blood in 1821, he knew it wasn’t a good sign. According to medical historian Dr. Howard Markel, Keats was able to diagnose the disease that would end his life: consumption.

The story of the Great Lakes is one of remarkable beauty and extraordinary violence.

According to the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum, the Lakes have collectively claimed some 6,000 ships and 30,000 lives. As long as ships have been on the Lakes, ferocious storms have been swallowing those ships—and their crews—whole.

It’s that grim yet compelling history that Cindy Hunter Morgan explores in her new collection of poems, Harborless. The collection is Morgan’s telling of 40 different Great Lakes shipping disasters, stretching across two centuries.  

The 89th Academy Awards ceremony will take place in Hollywood this Sunday evening.
Ivan Bandura

If you’re using Oscar nominations as a reference, La La Land is one of the best films in history, with 14 nominations.

Only two other films— All About Eve and Titanic— have been nominated 14 times by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. 

The Academy Awards are coming up on February 28, and it's your turn to pick a winner!

Five films have been nominated for the Best Musical Score Oscar - which is your favorite? Listen to the scores and vote for the one YOU think should win the Oscar this year. See how your pick measures up with Academy voters!

We'll be featuring suites from the scores all week on Classical IPR.

Click through for links to the scores, and to vote in our poll!

Welcome to Episode 39 - the Season Three Finale! - of Show Tunes with Kate Botello.  Coming up: it’s our Audience Appreciation Special! We asked, you answered - and tonight we’ve got a pile of YOUR favorite show tunes. At Intermission, we’ll talk with Rene Ruiz, founder of Toxic Audio, about combining the worlds of a capella singing and theatre.

Click through for this week's playlist and a beautiful video of Jake Gyllenhaal from the new production of SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE.


Frank Pahl's automatons play a prominent role in Neruda's Suitcase, a show playing Thursday and Friday at Interlochen Center for the Arts.
Dan Wanschura

Frank Pahl is a different kind of composer. What other people see as toys or junk, Frank sees as music-making potential.

“I didn’t grow to appreciate Tinker Toys until I was, wow, pushing 40,” he says.

Music has been part of singer-songwriter Aoife O’Donovan’s life and career aspiration from her earliest days. The Irish-American musician was born to two Boston-based musicians and spent her summers in Ireland with her cousins.

Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne
digitalgallery.nypl.org

Welcome to Episode 38 - our Valentine's Edition! - of Show Tunes with Kate Botello. Coming up: love, musical theatre style, from First Date to Fond Memory! At Intermission, a few lesser-known takes on Romeo and Juliet that might be new to you. In Act Two: famous Valentines of the theatrical variety.

Click through for this week's playlist and a rare movie clip of Broadway legends Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne.


Jetty Rae performs a song off her new album, 'Can't Curse the Free' in IPR's Studio A. The album features a different sound from Jetty's previous projects.
Dan Wanschura

Jetty Rae is a singer-songwriter who used to live in Charlevoix.

Lately she’s been traveling the country in an Airstream and working on a new sound. She recorded her new album in Nashville— it’s called Can’t Curse the Free

Welcome to Episode 37 of Show Tunes with Kate Botello! Coming up: two types of princesses. We’ll hear Cinderella stories - then slap some Icy Hot on your teeth for tunes about beauty pageants! Speaking of princess, at Intermission our friend Julie Garnye will be here to talk about the Los Angeles theatre scene and her role as a Disney Queen! In Act Two, surprisingly good performances from actors who weren’t really known as singers before they landed a big role in a movie musical.

Click through for this week's playlist and a couple of bonus videos of divas in action!

Raclette cheese wheels age in the cellar of Leelanau Cheese Company in Suttons Bay. The company was recently awarded a Super Gold award at the World Cheese Awards in Spain.
Dan Wanschura

Anne and John Hoyt own Leelanau Cheese Company in Suttons Bay. Leelanau Cheese is famous for it’s raclette.

“When people ask what it tastes like, I often say it’s between a gouda and a gruyere,” says Anne.

 

He teaches young writers at the University of Michigan, and he practices what he teaches.

Throughout the years, Keith Taylor has published short stories, co-edited volumes of essays and fiction, and written powerful collections of poetry.

Taylor joined Stateside to talk about his newest book of poetry, The Bird-while

Welcome to Episode 36 of Show Tunes with Kate Botello! Coming up: when rock stars make musical theatre, the shows tend to either be soaring successes or massive flops. We’ll hear from both. At Intermission, why actors won’t say the FORBIDDEN WORD - and other superstitions for theatre types. In Act Two, we’ll hear from some hugely successful, long-running shows, both of which are kind of surprising.

Click through for this week's playlist!


Happy birthday, Michigan!

On Jan. 26, 1837, 180 years ago today, Michigan became the 26th state to join the union.

Before that could happen, there was some housekeeping to do, namely: to settle the fight between Michigan and Ohio over a narrow strip of land known as the Toledo Strip. The conflict is otherwise known as the "Toledo War."

State Archivist Mark Harvey from the Michigan History Center joined Stateside to look back at how the state of Michigan got started.

Rebecca Reynolds and Jim Carpenter work on their podcast 'Hollywood and Crime' from their home in Leland.
Dan Wanschura

Rebecca Reynolds and her husband, Jim Carpenter are filmmakers from Leland, Michigan.  About two years ago, Rebecca had a conversation with a friend in Los Angeles. Together, they came up with the concept for a true crime and Hollywood show.


Pianist Jeffrey Biegel
I.U.M.A. Management

Pianist Jeffrey Biegel - the first ever pianist chosen to record on the Steinway & Sons label - is in town  to perform a concert with the Traverse Symphony Orchestra - a new work, the “Concerto for Simply Grand Piano and Orchestra,” by Peter Schickele, otherwise known as PDQ Bach. He dropped by Studio A to give us a taste of the concerto - and to help us get the jokes!

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