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. 

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.

 

National Writers Series: An evening with Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Sep 5, 2019

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is an activist, scholar, former politician, and author. She’s known for her vocal criticism of Islam. Ayaan’s most recent book is “Heretic: Why Islam Needs A Reformation Now.” Her book “Prey” is coming out in 2020. Ayaan visited Traverse City in 2012 and talked with lecturer, columnist, and former diplomat Jack Segal on the stage of the City Opera House. Jack asked Ayaan to talk about her journey from Somalia to the United States.

National Writers Series: An evening with Karl Marlantes

Sep 5, 2019
Tom Haxby

Karl Marlantes was one of the first ever guests of  National Writers Series in 2010, when he came to talk about his first book, “Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War.” That book draws on Karl’s experiences as a Marine in Vietnam. His latest novel, “Deep River,” is inspired by the history of his ancestors, who immigrated to Washington from Finland in the early 20th century. Karl talks this hour with fellow author and veteran, Benjamin Busch. Benjamin asked Karl to talk about the difficult process of getting his first book published.

Traverse City's Old Town Playhouse will soon open a production of Oscar Wilde's "The Importance of Being Earnest." The play features many delightfully oddball characters, including the staunch Victorian Lady Augusta Bracknell, portrayed in this production by Betsy Willis.

Willis came to IPR's Studio B in character as Lady Bracknell to share some of that great lady's favorite music, interspersed with some firm Victorian opinions about edifying music, a fondness for German respectability and a general suspicion of all things French.

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.


National Writers Series: An evening with Douglas Brinkley

Aug 3, 2019
Tom Haxby

Douglas Brinkley is an author, professor, commentator and historian. He’s written and co-authored dozens of books, on topics as diverse as Rosa Parks, Jimmy Carter, Walter Cronkite and Hunter S. Thompson. Doug’s latest book is “American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race.” He talks this hour with author John Bacon. John asked Doug how growing up in Perrysburg, Ohio made him feel connected to the first moon landing.

National Writers Series: An evening with Daniel Pink

Aug 3, 2019

Daniel Pink specializes in books about business. He has one of the most-viewed TED Talks of all time, “The Science of Motivation,” and he adapted it into a bestselling book, “Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us.” Daniel’s latest book is “When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing.” He talks his hour with Angie Morgan, founder of Lead Star, which is a consulting firm that helps professionals become better leaders. Before getting into business writing, Daniel was involved in politics. For two years, he was the chief speechwriter for Vice President Al Gore.

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.

 


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.” 


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.  


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