Embrace a richer appreciation for the world around you. Winter is the perfect time to experience unmatched bursts of color, uncommon creativity, unexpected passion and unusual presentation when you visit Michigan's fine art galleries, cultural institutions and performing arts venues located in every corner across the state.
The Grand Rapids Ballet Company (GRBC) is Michigan's only professional ballet company. The GRBC remains committed to its mission, to lift the human spirit through the art of dance. A proud recipient of the ArtServe Michigan Governor’s Arts Award for Outstanding Cultural Organization, the GRDC has a rich history marked by steady growth, a commitment to excellence, and strong community support. The professional company consists of fifteen professional dancers and four apprentices under the leadership of Acting Artistic Director Patricia Barker; the School of GRBC has an enrollment of over 250 students taught by instructors from professional dance backgrounds; and the educational programs GRBC offers to the community are outstanding ways to foster the connection between the arts and education. In 2007 the Company opened the LEED-certified Peter Martin Wege Theatre, a beautiful, intimate 300-seat theatre perfect for experiencing dance as well as other art forms. Presenting the best classical and contemporary choreography, the Grand Rapids Ballet remains commitment to artistic excellence. With artists invested in the community and a community that supports the arts, GRBC has created a flourishing arts center for all of Michigan, and continues to provide the highest level of excellence in dance theatre and education for all individuals.
Founded by actor, musician and playwright Jeff Daniels—a Chelsea, Michigan native--the Purple Rose Theatre Company recently celebrated its 20th season and serves Midwestern culture by focusing on new plays and working with local theatre professionals. In the early 1900′s, the building that houses our “Garage Theatre” was a used car and bus garage owned by Jeff Daniels’ grandfather. In 1989, the building was purchased and renovated by Mr. Daniels and later donated to the Purple Rose.
The building fits beautifully into the historic district of Chelsea’s downtown. The interior features authentic 1930′s theatre decor – from the marbled glass chandelier in the lobby, from the art deco doors to the ticket booth. Starting out with a garage and only the most essential staff, the Purple Rose began producing new American theatre productions immediately and was named “Theatre of the Year” in 1994 by The Detroit News. In addition to performances, the Purple Rose Theatre Company offers a variety of education programs including youth classes, its renowned Actor/Director Lab and behind-the-scenes tours.
Visitors to the Cranbrook Art Museum will find exceptional modern and contemporary art, architecture and design in all media. Collection highlights include works by Dubuffet, Eames, Lichtenstein, Saarinen, Stella and Warhol, along with a wealth of objects from the Arts and Crafts Era to the present. The museum offers more than a dozen different temporary exhibitions throughout the year, including work by leading national and international artists. Live music, films, lectures, openings and other events happen monthly throughout the year.
At Cranbrook House and Gardens, the growl of rush-hour traffic yields to the quiet of perfect lawns, prim English rose gardens and gurgling bronze fountains. This educational community, which welcomes visitors, salutes the arts, science and architecture in Bloomfield Hills just northwest of downtown Detroit.
Cranbrook's founders, newspaper publisher George G. Booth and his wife, Ellen, named the 315-acre oasis after the English town where the Booth family originated. The complex reflects the Booth's genteel lifestyle, fascination with landscape gardening and support of the American Arts and Crafts Movement. As you stroll past handsome, ivy-covered brick buildings, you'll see the influence of Finnish architect Eliel Saarinen. Visitors also can tour Saarinen's Art Deco row house, with its hand-woven tapestries and geometric-accented furnishings.
Nearby, graceful sculpted figures spring to life from Carl Milles Orpheus fountain at the entry to the Art Museum. Galleries feature traveling exhibitions of paintings, sculptures and textiles by contemporary artists, plus works by Cranbook Academy of Art students and alumni. A statue of a lumbering stegosaurus points the way to the entrance of the Institute of Science, where you can watch a laser-light show at the planetarium and explore the maze of exhibit halls. Interactive displays and audio narratives captivate kids.
Below, we've gathered a small sample of arts institutions across Michigan:
- Calumet Theatre, Calumet
- Crooked Tree Arts Center, Petoskey
- Interlochen Center for the Arts, Interlochen
- Marquette Symphony Orchestra, Marquette
- Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum, Saginaw
- Mason Street Warehouse, Saugatuck
- Michigan Historical Museum, Lansing
- Michigan Theater, Ann Arbor
- Muskegon Museum of Art, Muskegon
- Old Town Playhouse, Traverse City
- Richard and Jane Manoogian Mackinac Art Museum, Mackinac Island
- The Henry Ford, Dearborn
- Wharton Center for Performing Arts, East Lansing
- William Bonifas Fine Arts Center, Escanaba
For a comprehensive list of Michigan cultural offerings, check out the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs (MCACA) registry of cultural