Northern Michigan Arts & Culture

Aaron Selbig

Local artists are making tough times a little brighter for patients and health care workers at Paul Oliver Memorial Hospital in Frankfort. A collection of 23 hand-decorated masks was delivered to the hospital Monday. The masks are part of a contest called “Make a Mask, Make a Difference,” held by the Oliver Art Center. 

Young fans watch a Traverse City Pit Spitters game during the 2019 season.
Dan Wanschura / Interlochen Public Radio

After starting last week, the Traverse City Pit Spitters season has been put on hold. The same goes for the newly created Great Lakes Resorters and Northern Michigan Dune Bears.

Several players recently tested positive for COVID-19 which prompted the pause.

 

 


The Traverse City Pit Spitters announced the creation of two brand new teams on Monday. All three teams will play at Turtle Creek Stadium in Traverse City, which allows the teams to play ball while not traveling during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Whitney Waara

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, baseball is coming back to northern Michigan this summer. On Monday the Traverse City Pit Spitters announced the creation of two brand new teams – the Great Lakes Resorters and the Northern Michigan Dune Bears.

To eliminate travel during the COVID-19 pandemic, all three will play against each other at Turtle Creek Stadium in Traverse City this summer.

 

Max Johnston / Interlochen Public Radio

Some businesses in northern Michigan reopened Friday, with restrictions, under an executive order from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

While many welcomed the news, some businesses are playing it safe.

Artists across northern Michigan are scrambling to find ways to make up for lost income due to the COVID-19 crisis.

 

With many events and large gatherings canceled through spring and into the summer, artists have lost out on gigs and other opportunities they were depending on to make ends meet. 


   

Essay: Uneventfulness

Mar 27, 2020

Several years ago, I heard a woman give a talk about a trip to Greenland where she lived with theInuit people, traveled by dog sled, ate raw seal meat. It wasn’t the kind of vacation most of us would choose—but for her, it was life-changing.

Maria Farney (bottom left) teaches a Chinese student (top left) a song written by Traverse City singer songwriter Miriam Pico (right).
Miriam Pico

Traverse City singer songwriter Miriam Pico thought she was just writing a song to sing to her own kids. But now, kids in China are learning that song to help get through the COVID-19 pandemic. 

New public art in Traverse City's Clinch Park Tunnel honors Anishinaabe heritage. The murals were painted by artist Bobby Magee Lopez from Denver, Colorado.
Dan Wanschura / Interlochen Public Radio

New public art is now on display in Traverse City at the Clinch Park Tunnel, and it once again features art murals honoring the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians.

Waves crash over the Frankfort Pier as Ella Skrocki heads out into a raucous Lake Michigan.
Beth Price / Beth Price Photography

Gale force winds fueled huge waves on the northern Great Lakes Tuesday with some on Lake Michigan topping out at 13 feet. For some residents in Michigan, the fall storm season is the time to hunker down — but for others it’s the perfect time to jump in the lake.


The Northland Players will put on a production of "Once Upon a Mattress" this weekend at the Cheboygan Opera House. The classic 1959 musical, at its time a star-maker for Carol Burnett, is based on the fairy tale "The Princess and the Pea" with music by Mary Rodgers and Marshall Barer.

Cast member Jim Sturgill, who plays The Jester in the show, stopped by Classical IPR to share some music from the show and talk about communities coming together as a volunteer artistic force.

Hear the interview and music by clicking below!

Music chosen for this hour includes:

Craig Hadley is the new executive director of the Dennos Museum Center in Traverse City, Michigan.
Cindy O'Dell

When Eugene Jenneman announced his retirement from the Dennos Museum Center last year, the art museum in Traverse City began a national search for his replacement. Jenneman had been the first and only executive director of the museum since it opened nearly 30 years ago.

After narrowing the search, their top choice was 35 year-old Craig Hadley, who spent the last eight years as curator of the art museum at DePauw University in Indiana.


Taylor Wizner

This week on Points North, a private prison in Baldwin will hold immigrants convicted of crimes. Some nearby residents argue it will bring jobs to the area, while others want nothing to do with it.

Plus hear about a legal scholar turned writer whose stories brought her back to northern Michigan.

The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island was built in 1887. It was sold this week to an investment firm based out of Denver.
Grand Hotel

The historic Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island has been sold. The hotel made the announcement Tuesday.

 

Players from the Traverse City Pit Spitters celebrate winning the 2019 Northwoods League championship on August 16th, in Traverse City.
Traverse City Pit Spitters

It’s going to be hard to top the season that the Traverse City Pit Spitters had in 2019. Besides winning the Northwoods League title, the team set a new league record with an 18-game winning streak. Looking ahead, general manager Mickey Graham thinks 2020 will be even better.

 


Essay: White privilege

Aug 16, 2019

When I was growing up in Grand Rapids in the 1950s, my mother had a “cleaning lady” named Gladys, a soft-spoken colored woman who helped with housework.  I liked Gladys, especially when she made my lunch and cut the sandwiches diagonally.


People stand in the water, holding both ends of a large net.
Kaye LaFond / Interlochen Public Radio

This week on Points North, hear how citizens are becoming scientists on the Great Lakes.

Plus, a cheesy grits casserole recipe with a special ingredient: family history.

At the conclusion of the 2019 Traverse City Film Festival, filmmakers confront the question, "Can Cinema Save the World?"


 

Essay: Summer Fun

Aug 9, 2019

Walking outdoors on a summer morning, I uncoil the hose and turn on the faucet.  Then I bend to inhale the wet, metallic smell of water pouring out of the nozzle—grateful for things that do not change.


Some of the Traverse City Film Festival's visiting documentary filmmakers share their stories from out in the field.


Michael Moore and special guests discuss the future of film in the age of streaming.


Essay: Rest Areas

Aug 2, 2019

When I was a kid, our family vacations were often road trips to scenic destinations.  And since this was the 1950s, there were no clean, friendly “rest areas.” provided by the highway department.  Instead, when we needed a bathroom, we had to depend on random gas stations along our route.


Essay: Responses to Suffering

Jul 26, 2019

When my young daughter was diagnosed with cancer, we were all shocked and terrified.  Then, gradually, we found the strength to go forward—and it was a long journey, a hard journey.  Strangely enough, what sometimes made it harder was responses from friends and family and even from health care workers. 


Essay: Post Office Cure

Jul 19, 2019

A cloud is following me around today, casting a shadow on my life.  I feel lonely and discouraged—but when I try to figure out why, nothing comes to mind.  In an effort to get out of the house and out of my self, I take up my list of errands. 


The Traverse City Pit Spitters are trying all sorts of ways to get fans to the ballpark, including letting them bring their dogs on ‘Bark in the Park’ night.
Dan Wanschura / Interlochen Public Radio

This week on Points North, Traverse City’s new baseball team dominates on the field, but getting fans in the seats has been another matter. Plus, a review of Kathleen Stocking’s collection of essays “From the Place of the Gathering Light.”


Despite the Traverse City Pit Spitters' winning record and engagement efforts, fan attendance numbers have been low.
Dan Wanschura / Interlochen Public Radio

This spring, a lot of fanfare accompanied the announcement the Pit Spitters baseball team was coming to Traverse City. Billboards went up declaring, “New Team. New Fun.” Now free pocket schedules can be found at just about any gas station you stop at in northern Michigan. But for all these efforts and the team’s recent 18-game winning streak, fans have been slow to respond.

 


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