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: 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.

Essay: Hitchhiking to Stonehenge

Apr 12, 2019

Homer asked if I wanted to go to Stonehenge. “We’ll have to hitch-hike,” he said, so we took the London tube as far west as we could and stood in the rain with our thumbs out. A lorry driver waved and shifted his enormous semi down, down until it finally stopped and we climbed into the cab. 


Michael Dause, Katie Larson and Sav Buist form The Accidentals. The Traverse City-based band releases a new live album later this month and embarks on a U.K. tour.
Shervin Lainez

The Accidentals are releasing a new live album on April 28. It comes as the Traverse City-based band heads to the U.K. for its first international tour.


Essay: Giving Your Gifts

Apr 5, 2019

When people ask me how I became a writer, I tell them about Mrs. Goudzwaard, my tenth grade English teacher.  She gave me an A+ on a paper once and read it to the class.  I was embarrassed, of course, but also amazed.  I didn’t know I could write!


Kaye LaFond / Interlochen Public Radio

This week on Points North, a renewable energy company wants to build a wind farm in a forested part of the Upper Peninsula, but there’s resistance. Plus, the last coal plant providing electricity in the U.P. shuts down.


Essay: Forgiving My Father

Mar 29, 2019

“On the way to the hospital, we didn’t have a name picked out for a girl,” my father liked say. “We were so sure it was going to be a boy.”


Benzie Central Schools got a cop in the district in January. The position is funded by a county millage and will last four years.
Morgan Springer / Interlochen Public Radio

This week on Points North, learn about how one northern Michigan county tackled school safety by putting police officers in their schools. Plus, head out to Lake Leelanau to watch ice boaters enjoy the final days of the season.


A new bill introduced by State Sen. Curt VanderWall (R/Ludington) would reverse Michigan's ban on deer baiting and feeding.
Michigan DNR

A bill introduced in the State Senate earlier this year would reverse the ban on deer baiting in Michigan.

 


One of the concept paintings submitted by Colorado-based artist Bobby Lopez. He was selected by the Traverse City Arts Commission to honor Anishinabek culture in the Clinch Park tunnel mural.
Bobby Lopez

There used to be Anishinabek art in the Clinch Park Tunnel in downtown Traverse City. But in 2013, the tunnel was remodeled and the art was painted over. Now, the Traverse City Arts Commission is returning native American art to the tunnel. 

 


Essay: Geographic Fix

Mar 22, 2019

When my first marriage was seven years old and my daughter four, I started feeling restless and discontent.  Looking around for something to blame, I decided that our house was too small and the neighborhood too noisy.


Erin Iafrate

This week on Points North, March Madness is here. But for some in northern Michigan that means practicing their musical instruments – not college basketball. Plus, we meet the Upper Peninsula Poet Laureate and take a look at counterfeit money in northern Michigan.


Marty Achatz poses with a Sasquatch statue
Marty Achatz/Facebook

 

Marty Achatz was more than a little surprised to be nominated as the Upper Peninsula Poet Laureate for a second time.

"I was absolutely flabbergasted," he says. "Stunned for a couple days."

 

Regardless of what Achatz says, the Ishpeming native is a fan favorite for a reason. Reading his poems you can feel the pangs of heartache and moments of joy in equal measure.

David Reimer incorporates sports into his music teaching.
Erin Iafrate

March Madness begins this week. The huge college basketball tournament starts with 68 teams and will eventually end with one national champion. But for some in northern Michigan, March Madness means more than basketball. For 10-year-old Ricky Bristol, who lives in East Jordan, it means practicing his violin.


Gretchen Carr / Interlochen Public Radio

For northern Michigan artists, getting in to the annual Regional Exhibit at Traverse City’s Dennos Museum Center is a big deal. But not everyone is accepted to the juried show.

Artists deal with rejection all the time, but this year the artists who were not admitted got together and created a show of their own.

 


Cross-country ski report - March 21

Mar 21, 2019

Yes, it's March 21st. And yes, we're still skiing. But this will be the last ski report of the year since the season is winding down. The warm temperatures during the day and the cold temperatures during the night mean a lot of trails are icy. So be careful on the sharp turns and downhills.


Essay: Doing Your Duty

Mar 15, 2019

Every Sunday afternoon when I was a kid, my father went to visit his father—a widower who lived alone.  Sometimes our whole family went to see Grandpa Anderson, but often it was just my dad.  The two men weren’t close and I don’t know what they found to talk about.


Cross-country ski report - March 14

Mar 14, 2019

Today's rain means we'll have to stay off the trails until tomorrow. But don't worry, it looks like colder temperatures and fresh snow will have us back on the skis for the weekend.


Essay: Ask for What You Want

Mar 8, 2019

When my daughter was young, I used to embarrass her when we went to restaurants because I asked for the table I wanted.  Someone was going to get that nice table by the window; why not us?  Anyway, it couldn’t hurt to ask, politely.  And, most of the time, we sat by the window—no objections made.


Charlevoix native Jetty Rae is out with a new album called 'Stardust.' It's a kids album she recorded in her Airstream trailer.
Jetty Rae

Charlevoix native Jetty Rae is out with a new album called "Stardust." It’s a children’s album, and the songs have a light, mellow, drifting sound to them.


Taylor Wizner

This week on Points North, a community prepares to be stranded on an island in the middle of winter. Plus, a furrier transforms animal pelts into expensive clothes. 


Cross-country ski report - March 7

Mar 7, 2019

If you were skiing earlier this week, you might still be warming up! The conditions were frosty and slow... But the good news is that you can break out the warmer glide wax and peel off a few layers because this week's warmer weather will make conditions fast all over northern Michigan.

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