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. 

Bill Church, theatre director at Interlochen Art Academy, performs a section of 'A Christmas Carol' at Interlochen Public Radio.
Dan Wanschura

The Traverse Symphony Orchestra performs its “Home for the Holidays” concert this weekend.

Bill Church, theatre director at Interlochen Arts Academy, will give a dramatic reading of a section from “A Christmas Carol.” 

National Writers Series: An evening with Diana Gabaldon

Dec 9, 2018
Nancy Castaldo

Diana Gabaldon’s bestselling “Outlander” series of novels begins by telling the story of a young nurse during World War 2. She travels back in time to 18th century Scotland. Diana has published eight “Outlander” books, and she says her ninth one, called Go Tell the Bees that I Have Gone, should be released in 2019. The books have been developed into a popular TV show on Starz. Diana talks this hour with Deb Leonard, a member of the board of directors for the Book Industry Charitable Foundation, and a bookseller at Literati Bookstore in Ann Arbor.

National Writers Series: An evening with Benjamin Percy

Dec 9, 2018
National Writers Series

Benjamin Percy’s writing could be classified as genre fiction, but with a twist. His book Red Moon is about werewolves, but it’s also a commentary on the war on terror. And his newest novel, The Dark Net, is a techno-thriller that imagines the sordid corners of the Internet as full of actual demons. Benjamin talks this hour with his friend and fellow writer, Jeremy Chamberlin. Their conversation was recorded at the Traverse City Opera House in September 2013. Percy started the discussion talking about his appetite for books as a child. 

 

National Writers Series: An evening with John U. Bacon

Dec 8, 2018
Halle Meyers

John U. Bacon is a journalist, commentator and educator, and he’s written books on sports and business. His latest book tells the tale of a historical event that isn’t as well-known as it probably should be: the great Halifax Explosion. In 1917, a French ship carrying volatile explosives was hit by another ship in the harbor in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. The resulting fire caused the ship to explode, which resulted in a disaster killing and injuring thousands.  John U.

National Writers Series: An evening with Richard Clarke

Dec 7, 2018
Halle Meyers

Over his long career in public service, Richard Clarke has been an adviser to presidents Reagan, Clinton, and both Bushes. His 2004 memoir Against All Enemies was critical of multiple administrations for their lax approach toward counter-terrorism before and after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and of the Bush administration’s decision to wage war in Iraq. Richard has also written four fictional thrillers.

Essay: Better Than

Dec 7, 2018

No one used the term “sex education” when I was growing up; in fact, no one used the word “sex.” Whatever information we gathered about this mystery was from glimpses and whispers, from eavesdropping on adults and gossiping with peers.


Jeffrey Cobb leads the 40th Annual Messiah Sing at Central United Methodist Church in Traverse City on Sunday.
Dan Wanschura

For the past 40 years, people have been gathering at Central United Methodist Church in Traverse City to sing Handel’s Messiah. Last Sunday, about 600 people pushed through the doors for what’s become a northern Michigan Christmas tradition.


Essay: Being a Dog

Nov 30, 2018

When I was about eight years old, I decided I wanted to be a dog instead of a little girl.  I announced this to my parents and my father said, “Good for you.  That sounds interesting.”


Lee Erck smokes his pipe in the basement of his home just outside Marquette.
Dan Wanschura

Just off U.S. Highway 41 outside of Marquette, there’s an old man who lives alone in a small, one-bedroom house. Most days he's upstairs sitting at his desk or downstairs in his workshop. There he makes some of the best tobacco pipes in the world.

 


Weekly fishing report - 11/29/18

Nov 29, 2018

Doc Elliott of The Northern Angler in Traverse City, updates us on this week's fishing report for northwestern Michigan.

The Clinch Park tunnel in Traverse City will soon be home to new public art. The city commission unanimously approved the location and $10,000 in public funding for the project on Monday. Artists around the country will now submit designs for the tunnel walls.

Essay: School Bus Driver

Nov 16, 2018

When my daughter was in elementary school, we lived on a hill in the woods. The school bus picked her up at the bottom of the hill and in the afternoon I would watch for her to come home.

 


Changes are coming to The Bay Theatre in Suttons Bay. The Bahle family has decided to stop managing the theater at the end of this year.

Theater Manager Erik Bahle says they’re tapped out physically, financially and emotionally.

He says he hopes the community will take over management and eventually ownership, and there is already energy and enthusiasm around this.

"This really is the start of its life," says Bahle. "This isn't the end of anything."

Weekly fishing report - 11/15/18

Nov 15, 2018

Doc Elliott of The Northern Angler in Traverse City, updates us on this week's fishing report for northwestern Michigan.


National Writers Series: An evening with Tayari Jones

Nov 11, 2018
Tom Haxby

Tayari Jones has written four novels, including Silver Sparrow and The Untelling. Her latest book, An American Marriage, is a love story challenged by racial injustice. Tayari talks this hour with fellow writer Aaron Stander, author of ten crime novels and host of Interlochen Public Radio’s “Michigan Writers on the Air.” Tayari starts by telling Aaron why she prefers writing her books on a typewriter.

National Writers Series: An evening with Amy Goldstein

Nov 10, 2018
Tom Haxby

Amy Goldstein is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and a long-time staff writer at the Washington Post. Her book Janesville: An American Story is about the city of Janesville, Wisconsin, whose General Motors plant closed during the Great Recession. Amy talks this hour with Shannon Henry Kleiber, a radio producer for To the Best of Our Knowledge from Wisconsin Public Radio and PRX. Shannon asked Amy to start off by reading from her book Janesville.

National Writers Series: An evening with Alice Walker

Nov 9, 2018
Tom Haxby

Alice Walker published her first book in 1968, making 2018 the 50th anniversary of her writing career. She’s authored dozens of works since then, including poetry, essays, short stories and novels. Alice won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for her novel The Color Purple, becoming the first African American to receive that honor. Alice Walker is also known for her activism for human rights. Her latest book is a collection of poetry called Taking the Arrow Out of the Heart. Alice talks this hour with Detroit Free Press columnist Rochelle Riley.

Essay: To Last

Nov 9, 2018

The shoe repairman glances up as I walk into his tiny shop.

“I’m having my kitchen remodeled,” I say, “and when the guys pulled the cabinets off the walls, they found this in the rafters.” I haul a leather boot out of my backpack. “I’m hoping you can tell me something about it.”

 

Weekly fishing report -11/08/18

Nov 8, 2018

Doc Elliott of The Northern Angler in Traverse City, updates us on this week's fishing report for northwestern Michigan.


The Accidentals dropped a new single Friday titled "Heavy Flag" — a song the band says addresses the costs of societal apathy.

Essay: Sleeping Habits

Nov 2, 2018

Long before I became a parent, I watched my brother-in-law and his wife with their newborn baby. One afternoon, while I was visiting, they placed their tiny son in his infant seat in front of the television while they watched football.

 

Doc Elliott of The Northern Angler in Traverse City, updates us on this week's fishing report for northwestern Michigan.


National Writers Series: An evening with Joe Hill

Oct 21, 2018
Tom Haxby

Joe Hill was born with the name Joseph King: he’s the son of legendary author Stephen King. But Joe writes under the last name “Hill” out of a desire to succeed on his own merits. Now he’s recognized as one of today’s best horror writers.  Joe Hill’s novels include Heart-Shaped Box and The Fireman. His latest book is Strange Weather, which is made up of four short novels. Joe talks this hour with fellow author Loren Estleman, who is best known for a series of crime novels featuring the investigator Amos Walker.

National Writers Series: An evening with David Ebershoff

Oct 20, 2018

David Ebershoff’s novel The Danish Girl is about a Danish man named Einar Wegener who becomes one of the first people to seek out gender-altering surgery to become a woman, named Lili Elbe. The book was made into a movie in 2015. David talks this hour with writer David Griffith, who asked Ebershoff if he knew when he was writing The Danish Girl that it would interest the public so widely. This event was recorded at the Traverse City Opera House in May 2016. 

Tom Haxby

Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha is a pediatrician, scientist and professor. In 2015, she held a press conference to announce that children in Flint had dangerous levels of lead in their bodies. She documented how lead levels had doubled since the city's water source switched from the Detroit River to the Flint River the previous year. Since then, awareness of the city's water issues has spread across the world, and yet Flint is still struggling to provide safe water to its citizens. Dr. Mona talks this hour with WKAR station manager Peter Whorf.

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