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. 

Essay: Meadow

Jul 12, 2019

I stay in the tent until my husband tells me the coffee is perking. It’s one of the few luxuries available out here in the woods. Slowly, I roll out of my sleeping bag and pull on cold blue jeans. Dick has built a small fire and I drag my canvas chair close to the warmth. 


Essay: Lost Scarf

Jul 5, 2019

It wasn’t a fancy scarf, just a strip of red and blue plaid that I wrapped around my neck in the winter.  On really cold days, I pulled the edge up over my nose, enjoying the smell and warmth of wool.


Essay: Holy Places

Jun 28, 2019

It’s almost too warm to jog but I lace up my shoes anyway. There’s no traffic this morning because it’s Sunday and the streets are quiet. The only cars are on their way to church or to the convenience store for coffee and a paper.


Essay: Don't Contradict

Jun 21, 2019

Freedom of speech, while guaranteed in the Constitution, was not encouraged in my home when I was growing up. I could speak my mind only if I agreed with my parents. Otherwise, I was told, “Don’t contradict.” 


Eugene Jenneman has been the executive director of the Dennos Museum Center since it opened in 1991. He will retire at the end of the month.
Dan Wanschura / Interlochen Public Radio

Ever since it opened in 1991, the Dennos Museum Center has had one executive director: Eugene Jenneman. After all these years, he's retiring at the end of June. Jenneman’s path to become an art connoisseur took a different route than most would expect.

National Writers Series: An evening with Marie Benedict

Jun 15, 2019
Tom Haxby

Marie Benedict is a former lawyer who’s written ten novels. Her latest book, “The Only Woman in the Room,” is a work of historical fiction about the actress from the golden age of Hollywood, Hedy Lamarr. In addition to her acting career, Hedy was also an inventor. In the 1940s, she created a radio guidance system that eventually led to the development of Bluetooth and Wi-Fi technology. Marie Benedict talks this hour with journalist and director of arts and culture for the city of Detroit, Rochelle Riley.

Alan Newton

Lynne Olson, Elizabeth Berg, and Elizabeth Letts all join Writers Series co-founder Doug Stanton on the stage of the City Opera House to talk about their work. Author and journalist Lynne Olson is known for her books about history, especially World War II. Her latest is “Madame Fourcade’s Secret War.” Elizabeth Berg writes novels, such as “Open House” and “The Story of Arthur Truluv.” And Elizabeth Letts writes books of non-fiction and historical fiction. Her latest is about “Wizard of Oz” author Frank L. Baum’s wife, Maud Baum. Doug asked each author to describe their latest book.

Essay: Disappointed Life

Jun 14, 2019

When I was in college, I read a novel by Saul Bellow called “The Adventures of Augie March,” the story of a young man growing up in Chicago.  Augie had a kind of bold optimism, inspired by a woman who’d survived the London bombings during World War II.  


Essay: Cucumbers Don’t Like Me

Jun 7, 2019

“I like cucumbers,” my grandmother used to say, “but cucumbers don’t like me.”

I wondered what she meant by this but I was too embarrassed to ask.  At our house, cucumbers were part of every meal during the summer.  I loved them and, as far as I could tell, they loved me back.

My grandmother said other things I didn’t understand.  Sometimes she announced that she had slept well as if it were a special occasion.  I always slept well and couldn’t figure out why she didn’t do the same. 

Leslie Hamp

At a time when many their age have retired, three northern Michigan artists are reuniting for a multimedia exhibit. They were the stars of the art department at Traverse City Central High School 50 years ago. Now they're getting back together and seeing each other in a whole new light.


Essay: Another Pair of Eyes

May 31, 2019

As we slide the canoe into the Betsie River, I tie a bandana around my hair and pick up a paddle.  The water looks high but before I comment, my husband says, “Water is low; I wonder if they’ve lowered the dam.”


Essay: Turtles in the Sun

May 24, 2019

Before the snow melts from the woods, before the buds swell on the branches, my husband and I drag our canoe into the river. Bundled in layers, we paddle hard to warm up, lifting our faces to the sun.


Essay: What Kind

May 17, 2019

As a little girl, I often went to play at friends’ houses and my mother sent me out the door with firm rules about being polite—which began with please and thank you.  Next, she insisted we call all adults by their Mr. and Mrs. names.

Essay: Scattered Clouds

May 10, 2019

I sit at the kitchen table with my husband before dinner. We’re drinking a beer and eating pretzels and talking about the day. And while we’re talking, I look over his shoulder out the window where gray-bellied clouds are moving across a blue sky. 


Essay: Looking Back

May 3, 2019

“The first time I saw your mother,” my father liked to say, “I knew I was going to marry her.’” He was sitting in church choir at the time and my mother was coming in late to practice. Late on purpose so that she would be noticed. It was a fairytale beginning, my parents’ marriage. 


The Michigan DNR has proposed a partial ban on deer baiting in the U.P. among other recommendations, in advance of the 2019 hunting season.
Michigan DNR

A ban on deer baiting could spread to the Upper Peninsula for the 2019 hunting season.

Last year, the first deer tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease in the U.P. and that prompted the recommendation by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. The deer was found in southern Dickenson County.

Chad Stewart, deer and elk specialist for the DNR, says the ban would not be across the entire U.P.

“We’re proposing just a small area focused around that index case that we identified last year,” he says.

Essay: Leaving Home

Apr 26, 2019

It began with me sleeping overnight at my grandparents’ house. They lived close by, so it didn’t feel like being away, or not very far away. The next step was sleeping overnight at my best friend’s. Everything about Bonnie’s house was different:  late bedtime, unlimited candy, noisy furnace. 


National Writers Series: An evening with Lisa Scottoline

Apr 25, 2019
Halle Meyers

Lisa Scottoline is known for her legal thrillers, including the Rosato and Associates series, about women who are partners at a law firm. She's written thirty-two novels, and her latest book, "Someone Knows," is a stand-alone novel that tells the story of five teenagers whose lives are shattered after a dangerous prank goes wrong. Lisa also writes a weekly column for the Philadelphia Inquirer with her daughter.

Libor Ondras holds a violin from the 'Violins of Hope' project. It's a collection of violins that made it through the Holocaust.
Dan Wanschura / Interlochen Public Radio

During the Holocaust, some six million Jewish people were killed. Some of them were musicians. 

Currently, the Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra has a violin which made it through the Holocaust. The violin is a rich brown color and has a beautiful inlaid Star of David decorating the back of it.

Lawrence Brownlee sings about experiences of black men in America in ‘Cycles of My Being.’
Shervin Lainez

Lawrence Brownlee is using his clout to make opera more relevant for today’s audiences. The world-renowned tenor co-wrote a piece about being black in America called, "Cycles of My Being." Brownlee performed at Interlochen Center for the Arts on Thursday.

 


Essay: Horse Love

Apr 19, 2019

When I was about eight years old, I fell in love with horses.  It began with “Black Beauty,” the classic novel about a carriage horse who narrates his life story.  Then I begged my father for riding lessons and found myself climbing into an English saddle on a bay mare named “Miss Muffet.” Horses were a lot higher off the ground than they looked!


National Writers Series: An evening with Keith Gave

Apr 16, 2019
Halle Meyers

Keith Gave spent six years in the U.S. Army, where he worked as a Russian linguist for the National Security Agency. When he left the army, Keith became a sports reporter covering hockey for the Detroit Free Press. He didn’t know then how his Russian experience would play a role in his journalism career. Keith explains it all in his book “The Russian Five: A Story of Espionage, Defection, Bribery and Courage.” This hour, Keith talks with fellow author, journalist and hockey fan Tim Rappleye. Keith told Tim that he was working on a new project.

National Writers Series: An evening with Tommy Tomlinson

Apr 15, 2019
Halle Meyers

Tommy Tomlinson spent 23 years as a reporter and columnist for the Charlotte Observer newspaper, and he’s written for publications including Esquire and Sports Illustrated. Since childhood, Tommy has struggled with obesity, and he decided to change his life by losing weight. He wrote about the process in his memoir, “The Elephant In the Room: One Fat Man’s Quest to Get Smaller in a Growing America.” Tommy talks this hour with acupuncturist and storyteller Elon Cameron. Tommy told Elon that when he started writing his book, he weighed 460 pounds.

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