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. 

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.

Essay: Ice Floes

Mar 1, 2019

Ours is the only car in the parking lot on this Sunday afternoon. My husband and I walk north along the Lake Michigan shore, pulling on gloves and putting up hoods. It might be twenty degrees on the thermometer but it feels like zero.  


Jacques LeBlanc, a commercial fisherman from the Bay Mills Indian Community, pulls a gill net out of the ice on eastern Lake Superior.
Kaye LaFond

This week on Points North, a decline in lake whitefish is pushing tribal commercial fishermen to the northern edge of their treaty waters. Plus, we look at test results for PFAS contamination in Michigan’s public water and meet a funk band from Boyne City.


Cross-country ski report - February 28

Feb 28, 2019

Last week's blizzard conditions have created some of the best ski conditions of the year. The heavy amounts of freezing rain of early winter have left behind a firm base. With the snowfall on top of that icy base, we might have quality skiing for weeks to come.


Essay: Turquoise Silk Dress

Feb 15, 2019

I am looking through my button box and pick up a small cloth-covered button. “Turquoise silk,” I murmur, remembering the dress it came from, a dress I wore only once.


Essay: Saying Hello

Feb 8, 2019

I am leaving a store when I notice the woman in front of me. There is something familiar in her walk and then I know who she is—a friend from long ago.


Max Johnston

Homeless shelters and nonprofits are getting headcounts of the homeless across the country this month. The data goes to the federal government for homelessness prevention. But this year's count in northern Michigan happened to fall on one of the coldest nights of the year.

Essay: My House

Feb 1, 2019

When I die, I will leave the people I love which makes me sad.  But what really bothers me—and I confess this with a certain embarrassment—is leaving my house.  As a house, it’s not that special—an old, two-story, needs-work place—but as a source of shelter and security, it has never let me down.  I can’t say that about people.


TheraCann

Lake Superior State University is offering what they call the nation’s first 'Cannabis Chemistry' degrees.

For example students can take classes on the preparation and hydration of cannabis, also known as marijuana, as part of their degree. University President Rodney Hanley says the curriculum is no joke.

“This is not a slouchy education that you get here, and it’s certainly not some stereotyped thing around cannabis or something like that," Hanley says. "This is very much a high-quality, analytical chemistry program.”

The Traverse City Pit Spitters revealed the baseball team's new name and logo Tuesday morning at the State Theatre.
Dan Wanschura

The new baseball team in Traverse City has a name. The 'Pit Spitters' was the name chosen from over four-thousand fan suggestions, including Dogmen and Dune Bears.

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