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. 

It has been nearly 41 years since the passing of Elvis Presley, but "The King" can still draw a crowd.

Continuing Stateside's look at Michigan festivals, we headed to Ypsilanti for Michigan Elvisfest, taking place July 6 and 7 at Riverside Park. 

Aaron Selbig

There are polka bands across the country, particularly in Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio and Michigan.  Where there are Polish-American communities in Michigan, there is usually polka music and dance.

 

Judy and Her Suchey Brothers are a polka band from the Alpena area. They've been playing together for 45 years.

It is the 157th birthday of someone whose life is proof that you shouldn't let the negative opinions of your professor get in the way of your ambitions.

William Mayo, half of the dynamic duo who went on to found the famed Mayo Clinic, was born this week in 1861.

Dr. Howard Markel, University of Michigan medical historian and PBS contributor, joined Stateside to tell us about his extraordinary life. 

Hemingway sculpture missing from Beaver Island

Jun 28, 2018
Cynthia Hector-Johnson

A sculpture commemorating Ernest Hemingway is missing from outside the Beaver Island Public Library. 

 


The world knows her as the doctor who used science to force the state of Michigan to admit it had caused the Flint water crisis.

 

Drew Hale (center) says he adds northern Michigan flare to his country music.
The Drew Hale Band

A couple years ago, Traverse City singer Drew Hale burst onto the country music scene when he won the national Country Showdown competition in Nashville. He got a $100,000 prize and the title of Best New Act in Country Music.

Trenton Breithaupt (Chamomile and Honey) performs with his girlfriend Summer Green.
Dan Wanschura

Trenton Breithaupt is from Elk Rapids, and last month he graduated from the singer-songwriter program at Interlochen Arts Academy. That’s where he met his girlfriend Summer Green – and the two of them began performing under the name Chamomile and Honey.


“When I first go on stage I’m nervous, but as I go I feel exhilarated. I feel like I am the only one out there and that’s amazing.”

New and exciting artists are cropping up around West Michigan. There are even a few moving from abroad to join the lively music scene there.

Editor and publisher of Local Spins, John Sinkevics returned to Stateside to discuss the latest music trends being crafted and performed in West Michigan.

Listen above to hear more.

Do corporations have too much power and too little oversight? That question has dominated American society since the Civil War and it does not seem to be going away any time soon.

Over the decades, the political pendulum has swung back and forth between workers’ rights and corporate power.

When you think of a mermaid story, maybe an ocean comes to mind.

But couldn’t a mermaid live in the Great Lakes? Lake Michigan maybe?

Writers Linda Nemec Foster and Anne-Marie Oomen posed that question to each other ten years ago. Their new book is called The Lake Michigan Mermaid: A Tale in Poems.

This Friday marks the 172nd anniversary of a uniquely Michigan milestone. On May 18, 1846, Michigan became the first English-speaking government in the world to vote and pass a measure to abolish the death penalty.

Mark Harvey, State Archivist with the Michigan History Center, joined Stateside to talk about Michigan’s progressive past. Judge Avern Cohn, the Senior United States District Judge for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, also joined the conversation.

Michigan born-and-raised actors may wind up working in New York or Hollywood, but they make sure the world knows they’re from the mitten.

Toni Trucks has been in a host of movies and TV shows, including her current roles as Lisa Davis in “SEAL Team” on CBS. Trucks began her performing career here in Manistee, and now she’s giving back to her hometown by loaning it her voice.

It’s time for another edition of Theater TalkDavid Kiley, editor-in-chief of Encore Michigan, joined Stateside to preview and review plays, with a special focus on West Michigan.

 

Today is the 20th anniversary of Frank Sinatra's death, but he lives on in Bob Anderson​. Anderson has been a fixture in Vegas and on stages all around the country with his show, "Frank. The Man. The Music."

 

 

The Detroit Public Theatre is wrapping up its third season with a new play that it commissioned: "Birthday Candles." It's written by Noah Haidle, a Grand Rapids native. 

Spencer McQueen paints in his studio in downtown Traverse City.
Dan Wanschura

Spencer McQueen says looking at his art isn’t enough. He wants you to feel his paintings.

“It’s just this little extra ability that you can give someone to connect with you and the things that you created,” he says.


Newly hired Joe Beyer resigned as executive director of the Traverse City Film Festival this week.
Dan Wanschura

After less than a month on the job, the new executive director of the Traverse City Film Festival is stepping down.

Artist Diane Hawkey created "Peaceable Kingdom: A Global History of Man" for Michigan Artists Gallery in Traverse City. The piece is based off Edward Hick's paintings and is displayed at Michigan Artists Gallery.
Dan Wanschura

In the early 1800’s, American painter Edward Hicks began painting “Peaceable Kingdom," a series of 62 paintings inspired by a verse in the book of Isaiah.

The verse says, “The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them.” 

In Traverse City, two different art galleries are bringing that concept to the art world.

 


   

Last week, the Board of State Canvassers approved a ballot petition that might end the prohibition of recreational marijuana in Michigan

 

Meanwhile, this week marked the 100th anniversary of another important social experiment: Prohibition. 

 

 

Some 11 million people were killed during the Holocaust, and those who survived have lived so long, they're now watching the world forget. 

 

A recent poll shows 66 percent of American millennials don't know what Auschwitz is. Another 22 percent had not heard of the Holocaust or weren't sure if they had. 

 

It’s easy to picture “comfort food,” but what about “discomfort food?”

That’s what Tunde Wey will be serving up in the pop-restaurant Saartj, running from May 2 to May 5 inside the community space Bank Suey in Hamtramck.

Karen Anderson has been writing weekly essays for IPR for 10 years. Her new book, "Gradual Clearing" is a collection of 120 of those essays.
Windborne Studios

For the last 10 years, Karen Anderson has been writing weekly essays heard on Interlochen Public Radio.

The essays are vivid, personal, and relatable. Karen takes time to notice the little details and experiences of everyday life.


Joe Beyer (right) and Michael Moore in the Traverse City Film Festival offices in downtown Traverse City.
Dan Wanschura

Michael Moore has hired Joe Beyer as the new executive director for his Traverse City Film Festival. Joe replaces Deb Lake, who resigned last December.

“It’s like we found our long-lost soul brother here for Traverse City in the being of Joe Beyer,” says Michael.

Joe Beyer returns home to Michigan after working for the Sundance Institute for over 14 years.

Chris Andrews walked across the country pushing this cart in an effort to spark face to face conversations.
Chris Andrews

A couple years ago, Chris Andrews, a senior at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, realized he was addicted to his smartphone.

“It was something I was using as a crutch,” he explains. “Something that I was using in moments of boredom, moments of anxiety, or a moment of silence in a group of friends – we’d all reach for our phones.”


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