Four Ways to Express Your Love of the Arts on Mackinac Island

From the weekly Music in the Park series to artist lead workshops, films in a historic theatre and an exhibit gallery, the Mackinac Arts Council has enhanced Michigan’s picturesque Mackinac Island with the love of the arts. Here are four fun ways you can enjoy the arts during a trip to Mackinac Island.

Photo courtesy of Mackinac Arts Council

Photo courtesy of Mackinac Arts Council

What started as a vision to meet the arts and cultural needs of the island has developed into a world-class program encompassing music, film, workshops and more, giving residents and visitors enhanced access to the arts. The Mackinac Arts Council continues to grow and provide expanded arts and cultural programming including Music in the Park, 2014 Film Series, Workshops and Special Events.

The Marquette Park lawn, at the foothills of Historic Fort Mackinac downtown across from the marina, is the place to be on Thursday evenings for Music in the Park. The summer concert series, Thursday evenings in July, welcomes folk, jazz, rock, country, and blues musical guests to the island. From American Opera to The Accidentals and Jetty Rae this season is sure to offer music for all tastes. Plan a picnic, or ask an island restaurant to prepare a gourmet picnic of menu favorites, and find the perfect spot on the lawn to enjoy the sights, sounds and tastes of Mackinac.

Photo courtesy of Mackinac Arts Council

Photo courtesy of Mackinac Arts Council

The Center for the Arts, Mackinac Arts Council’s new home generously donated by and located at Mission Point Resort, will offer three art exhibits during the summer 2014 season including Children’s Book Illustrations, June 2-28, features the work of numerous children’s book illustrators; Puppet Art, July; and featuring 16 original collages from Jennifer Powell’s children’s book “What I saw on Mackinac” an exhibit of the same name, August 4-September 30.

For a hands-on art experience, join local and regional artists as they share their expertise during the workshop programs. From pastels to photography, jewelry and more, the workshops offer a broad range of media. Workshops at the Museum kick off on July 1 with Kids Day. The workshop program has grown this year to include multiple day workshops taught by nationally known artists, including papermaking, bookbinding, painting, felting and weaving. Extended workshops book early, check the website for the 2014 schedule.

Photo courtesy of Mackinac Arts Council

Photo courtesy of Mackinac Arts Council

In addition to the gallery space the Center for the Arts also includes a 500 seat theater. Take in a classic, or cult-classic, film at the historic theater at Mission Point Resort. Throughout the season films are shown most Fridays and Mondays. Along with the regular line up, the Arts Council will also feature an Art and Artists on Film Series on Fridays during August. Check the calendar to see what’s showing this season.

Stay up-to-date with the Arts Council happenings on Mackinac Island by signing up for their newsletter.

The Mackinac Arts Council would like to thank several local and statewide organizations, businesses and individuals for their dedication to the arts. For without their support the arts programs and operations on Mackinac Island would not be where they are today.

Do you have a trip to Mackinac Island planned for this summer?

Something So Special

Do you share the feeling to tell the world when you unexpectedly stumble across something so special that you can’t wait to relive the experience again and again? Well, my “something so special” took place last summer on beautiful Mackinac Island

After weeks of planning a unique and family-friendly vacation, we made it to Mackinac Island. My family was finishing a wonderful evening bike ride, listening to the sounds of the gulls and loons over the lake, the water lapping along the shore…sounds that signal the quiet and comfort of the sun readying for sunset. We pulled into town to have dinner along the water when we saw the hustling of people toward Marquette Park.

This park is beautifully positioned in the heart of downtown, at the base of historic Fort Mackinac. A prominent statue in tribute to Father Marquette, a Great Lakes explorer, stands tall at the center of the park, overlooking the harbor. What we saw and what we began to hear was the transformation of a lovely day on the island to one that made my family feel at ease as we were welcomed as part of this community.

Blankets and lawn chairs covered the lawn surrounding the revered statue. Picnics had been spread (many of which had been thoughtfully assembled by island restaurants or Doud’s Market). As if in a movie, the show started as the sun began to set. Music flowed…live folk with rock, country, and blues….a feeling of true Americana. We sat on the lawn and became immersed in the whole experience. We sang along to songs we knew, and engaged in conversation with others.

We are so happy to know that this summer of 2012, Music in the Park continues on Thursday evenings on Mackinac Island. We got on mackinacartscouncil.org for the complete listing of concerts and artists for this summer. Wow, the magic of Mackinac Island continues for us. Can’t wait to be a part of the magic again!

See you soon MI!
- an anonymous fan of Michigan

Contact the Mackinac Island Convention & Visitors Bureau for information on where to stay and play.