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’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.”


On the first day that Michael Gustafson and his wife Hilary opened Literati Bookstore in the heart of downtown Ann Arbor, something possessed him to place a typewriter on a table for anyone to use.

That was in the spring of 2013. Since then, Gustafson’s “public typewriter experiment” has yielded a treasure trove of notes: some droll, some heartbreaking, some witty, some poignant.

Matt Shepler prepares to blend some Ambrosia Sipping Chocolate in his kitchen in Traverse City.
Dan Wanschura

Ambrosia Sipping Chocolate is a brand new, gourmet hot chocolate that’s made in Traverse City. It hits the market on April 15th.

“It’s literally like you’re drinking chocolate bars because that’s exactly what it is,” says co-owner Matt Shepler.


Let’s talk about Celtic music. Nessa, a Southeast Michigan band, re-imagines the ballads and dance tunes of the old Celtic world, bringing in a wide range of musical styles.

The ensemble is led by Kelly McDermott, who plays the flute and sings. She joined Stateside to talk about her musical influences, Celtic fusion, and the release of her new EP, Travel Walk to Celtica, produced by Brian Bill.

Hope College is a small, private liberal arts college near Holland, in West Michigan.

It was founded in 1862 in partnership with the Reformed Church in America, so its Christian identity is central.

Safia Hattab, a freshman at Hope studying English and computer science, brings a different perspective to the school of over 3,300 students: she’s Muslim. Hattab turned her experience of being Muslim in West Michigan into an award-winning essay titled “Through the Dome.”

 

This winter driving season has created many white-knuckled moments throughout our state.  

If you find yourself thinking, “There’s got to be a better way to get around in the snow,” then you wouldn’t be the first. 

Manistee’s Vogue Theatre celebrates milestone

Mar 30, 2018
The Vogue Theatre

The Vogue Theatre in Manistee is celebrating its 80th Anniversary this year.

The theater reopened to the public in 2013 after a fundraising effort to refurbish the historic building.

Theaters like the Vogue are being restored across the state and country in an effort to capture the nostalgia people hold for neighborhood theaters. 

David Mix, the vice president of the nonprofit that restored the theater, spoke with Caroline MacGregor about the anniversary. 


 

As controversy swirled around Bob Dylan's 2017 Nobel prize for literature, some argued that Dylan wasn't even the first songwriter to win the prize. That honor may belong to Indian songwriter, poet and philosopher Rabindranath Tagore.  

Jason Dake, the education curator at the Dennos Museum points out some art during a recent walk-through of the museum.
Dan Wanschura

The Dennos Museum in Traverse City has almost three-thousand works of art in its collection.

At any given time, around 280 of those works are on display, including Inuit sculptures, contemporary paintings and modern photographs.

But on April 14th, the museum wants visitors to ignore most of these works and just focus on a handful of them.  


Ever since the arrival of Europeans to Michigan, farming has been a key economic component for our state. However, without the life’s work of a Michigander from South Haven, farms in Michigan and across the nation might evolved quite differently.

Mark Harvey, State Archivist at the Michigan History Center, joined Stateside to discuss the life of pioneering botanist and horticulturist Liberty Hyde Bailey, how his “agrarian ideology” of advanced technology was received at the time, and how he’s remembered today.

Turning shame into pride.

That’s the idea behind an exhibit of black velvet paintings. It’s called “Black Velvet: A Rasquache Aesthetic,” and it’s happening at the Latino Cultural Center in Detroit's Mexicantown.

 

 

This time, David Kiley of Encore Michigan brings us an eclectic mix of shows from theaters across Michigan.

 

Listen above to hear Kiley’s previews of the following shows:

When Michigan’s economy tanked a decade ago, it stepped up a steady stream of young people leaving Michigan to seek work in Chicago.

Michael Ferro was one of those young Michiganders. His experience working for the federal government in the Windy City was the inspiration for his debut novel Title 13.

Author Jack Hobey has written about Edward Beebe, a photographer who would often lie about the location of his photos.
Matt Mikus

Edward Beebe was a popular photographer in northern Michigan in the early 1900s. He created postcards with his photos but often deceived people regarding the location of the shots.

“I think a lot of these cards were intended to take advantage of tourists and visitors,” says local author Jack Hobey.

The Boardman Review captures what it's like to live in northern Michigan year-round.
Dan Wanschura

The Boardman Review is a quarterly publication founded by brothers Nick and Chris Loud. 

They recently published their third issue, a winter edition.

 


Anders Kelto (right) stands next to Anthony Ervin, a swimmer who is featured in Kelto's new audio series "Gamebreaker with Keith Olbermann."
Caroline Kim

When Anders Kelto listened to sports podcasts, what he usually heard was a couple of guys sitting around bantering with each other.

“There was no good audio sports journalism in the world, at least that I had been exposed to,” he says.

Anders is changing that. Today, the Traverse City native is out with his own podcast —it’s a sports documentary series.

 


The Traverse Symphony Orchestra on Classical IPR

Mar 8, 2018

This Friday night Interlochen Public Radio brings you the TSO and legendary pianist Ralph Votapek. The program includes Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 20, Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 3 “Scottish”, and Lacrimae Beati by Richard Danielpour. Kevin Rhodes conducts the concert from earlier in this 65th Anniversary Season for the Traverse Symphony Orchestra. This program airs at 8 p.m. on Classical IPR.

Cast members for Parallel 45 Theatre's production of "Go, Dog. Go!" rehearse in Traverse City Wednesday night.
Dan Wanschura

Parallel 45 Theatre is about to try something new.

The professional theatre company started in Traverse City seven years ago and typically produces three to four shows throughout the year.

Next year, the company wants to produce more shows, for more people. 

Things don't always fit together neatly. Life would be really boring if they did.

That's the driving idea behind a new podcast called Mismatch – "stories of the incompatible, the unsuitable, and the out-of-step."

The podcast will air during Stateside’s normal time slot (3-4 p.m. and 10-11 p.m.) on Monday, Feb. 26 and on Tuesday, Feb. 27.

Laura Checkoway just finished a film that is now being nominated for an Oscar. She’s the director, producer, and editor of a film called Edith+Eddie. It’s up for Best Documentary (Short Subject). She is from Ann Arbor.

Checkoway joined Stateside to discuss how she learned about Edith and Eddie, who at 96 and 95 are America’s oldest interracial newlyweds, how her film comments on America’s system of elder care, and what it feels like to receive an Oscar nomination.

Jeremy Reisig, aka brotha James, is coming out with his second album in April.
brothajames.com

Jeremy Reisig, better known as brotha James, is a one-man band from Elk Rapids.

He’ll do all sorts of things — beatbox, play the guitar, rap, sing — sometimes all in the same song. He’s able to do all that because he often loops his own music tracks.

 


 

 

A lot of Michigan residents might know that Malcolm X grew up in this state, but beyond that, the facts might get a little fuzzy. 

 

 

Michigan History Center’s Rachel Clark joined Stateside to bring some clarity to that history.

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