Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Moxie Strings at the Mackinac Island Public School 

This past spring, the Mackinac Arts Council brought The Moxie Strings to the Mackinac Island Public School to further the students music education by providing a half-day clinic and concert. This was made possible by a grant awarded from the Mackinac Island Community Foundation. The talented musicians (who are also certified music teachers) taught and performed for 28 K-3rd grade students, 21 4th-8th grade students, and 5 high school students, as well as several teachers, parents, and community members. The clinic included lessons on learning by ear, improvisation, arranging, song writing, music theory and composition. That evening they performed a concert, part of which included the students preforming with them and demonstrating what they learned earlier that day.
The participation and feedback from the students was extremely positive. They learned a great deal from the clinic and were very inspired to participate and create musically. 

Monday, July 8, 2013

All Hands on Deck

Volunteer Spirit

            The Mackinac Arts Council (MAC) events are in full swing, and you can feel the excitement in the air. We are happy for the successful turnout for each event the council has had thus far, and for the support of our sponsors and the overwhelming response of people wanting to donate their time to the arts council. The council has been able to organize events that bring the community together in support of the rich culture and history of Mackinac Island.
Volunteers are a key component in the strength of this organization. Over the past few weeks, the arts council has seen a steady increase in volunteers. Each week MAC has had 5 or more young adults’ and community members donating their free time to help with the various programs and events. Many of our volunteers discovered MAC through social media networks such as Facebook, while some volunteers found it through local neighborhood postings and word of mouth.
Spirited volunteers have been a great help in event promotion for the Film Series, Music in the Park, and Workshops at the Museum. The MAC Film Series has featured American classics: Caddyshack, The Godfather, An American in Paris, Grease, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Casablanca, are some of the many films shown this season. (See the Film Series schedule here)
On June 27th, Earthworks Music Collective artists, Seth and May performed for the arts council’s first 2013 Music in the Park event. Music in the Park is a free, outdoor concert series featuring musicians such as Rachel and Dominic Davis, The Moxie Strings, and Leo Kottke. Seth and May captivated hearts of young and old, with soulful organic tunes that inspired environmental awareness and unity. (See the Music in the Park schedule here)
Last week, MAC hosted the first 2013 Art Workshops at The Richard and Jane Manoogian Mackinac Art Museum. Each week the arts council has local and regional artists teach workshops on different art forms including figure drawing (taught by Bill Murko), fiber arts (Shanna Robinson), collage (Jennifer Powell), watercolor (Mary Lou Peters), jewelry making (Rosemary Gould), and many more. (See the Workshops at the Museum schedule here)
Most volunteers are college students or recent graduates who are active participants on their college campuses. The arts council allows summer workers who miss extra-curricular activities on their campuses, an opportunity to use their free time to facilitate programming and events. To hear more about how MAC has inspired committed volunteers, read Andrew Moorhead and Ryanne Ross’ stories below.

Andrew Moorhead
Volunteer Hours: 20 hours & counting…
School: Eastern Kentucky University
Season on Mackinac: First
            “…the Arts Council has presented me with numerous chances to experience some of what the area has to offer and to familiarize myself with the community and the people within it.”   ~ Andrew

I initially found out about the Mackinac Island Arts Council through a Facebook post.  I thought it would be a wonderful opportunity for me to get more involved with the community and to meet new people.  As someone who was unfamiliar with the island, the Arts Council presented me with numerous chances to experience some of what the area has to offer and to familiarize myself with the community and the people within it.  I love to volunteer with the council because it is truly a unique experience.  I've also had the chance to meet new people and become good friends with other volunteers. My favorite part of volunteering with the Arts Council is helping with the film series. I have had the opportunity to watch some of the films many consider to be classics. Ranging from the Godfather to An American in Paris. These are films I would have never thought to watch.  I can't wait to continue with the other movies and to take part in the upcoming events that the Mackinac Arts Council has to offer!

Ryanne Ross
Volunteer Hours: 9 hours & counting…
School: St. Mary’s College of Maryland
Season on Mackinac: First
“Giving back to the Mackinac Island community that has made me feel so welcome.” - Ryanne

I was fairly new to the Mackinac Island when I happened to visit Mackinac's Little Gallery on Market Street. Before I left, I picked up a small handout with the Mackinac Arts Council Calendar of Events. A few minutes later, I chanced to meet with my now good friend Barbie who invited me to volunteer for film series sponsored by the Mackinac Arts Council.
Volunteering for the Mackinac Arts Council (MAC) has been a great way to meet people who live and work on the island.
While I initially volunteered as a way to add experience to my resume (and the cool free T-shirt!), I enjoy watching the great classic films (both old and new) - some of which I have never seen before and some that I am excited to see again, hanging out with the other volunteers (and the lovely Lily Porter, MAC's Program Director) and giving back to the Mackinac Island community that has made me feel so welcome.
Another perk of volunteering with the Mackinac Arts Council that I just discovered, is that in addition to making at least a $25 donation to the Mackinac Arts Council, another way to become a Mackinac Arts Council member is to volunteer at least five hours. I guess now I'm a member too!

Interested in volunteering with Mackinac Arts Council? Call 906-984-4124, or email info@mackinacartscouncil.org

This blog post was written by Mackinac Arts Council 2013 intern, Barbie Chapman. Barbie is a recent graduate from Lake Forest University, and an advocate for the arts on Mackinac. She lived on Mackinac year-round when she was in 7th grade, and is back working on the island for the season. We are happy to have her on board!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Arts at Mackinac Island High School

Since 2004, Mackinac Arts Council (MAC) has supported the art and music programs at Mackinac Island Public School (MIPS) (K-12). This year, as a part of the continuing support, MAC raised $5,000 for art and music supplies, and I (Lily Porter) am working with Heather May, the Art & Music teacher to further develop the visual arts program.

Over the past couple months, I have greatly enjoyed working with Heather and the five high school students. We are constructing a curriculum covering the basics of visual arts at the high school level. The program began in October with the drawing unit. I decided to start the class with drawing because it is fundamental to most other forms of visual art. Over the past couple months, they have learned about the Elements and Principles of Art and Design, blind contour line drawing, drawing a still life from observation, charcoal drawing and reduction techniques, and 1- and 2-point perspective drawing. These lessons have helped their observational skills, analyzing and articulating works of art, hand-eye coordination, experience with different drawing materials, and an understanding of such elements as value, line, shape, and proportion.

This coming Thursday, at 7:00pm there will be a Christmas concert performed by the Mackinac Island Public School students in the school gym. 
Perspective drawing by Justin Acosta.

Perspective drawing by Meadow Greenlee.

Perspective drawing by Shanon Blanton.
Perspective drawing by Will Barnwell. 

Perspective drawing by Adrienne Rilenge. 

Demonstration of contour line drawing of a bicycle.
Students making blind contour line drawings.
Students working on perspective drawings of the hallway.
Students working on perspective drawings of the hallway.
Still life from observation by Adrienne Rilenge.
Still life from observation by Shannon Blanton. 
Still life from observation by Will Barnwell. 
Still life from observation by Meadow Greenlee.
Still life from observation by Justin Acosta.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Susan Sarback, Margaret Dyer Workshops

Susan Sarback, Oil
Mackinac Arts Council is proud to announce that we will be hosting two multiple-day workshops in 2013. Susan Sarback, master oil painter from the School of Light and Color is coming to Mackinac in August to teach a four-day workshop on plein air painting. Students will go out to different locations around the island to paint onsite and receive personal instruction from Susan.

Margaret Dyer, Pastel
In September 2013, Margaret Dyer, master pastelist will teach a three-day workshop in pastels. Don't worry--for you Drop-in-and-Draw lovers, we will continue our biweekly 2-hour art workshops at the Manoogian Mackinac Art Museum in July and early August on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. We have some wonderful instructors lined up to teach workshops in watercolor, collage, drawing, jewelry, photography and more!

 If you're interested in taking these classes:

Susan Sarback, Plein Air Oil Painting:
August 12-15, 2013. 9am-4pm. Adults. Four-day outdoor painting workshop. $525/member. $575/non-member. For more information, contact Lily Porter at director@mackinacartscouncil.org or (906) 984-4124.

Margaret Dyer, Pastels:
September 9-11, 9am-4pm. Adults. Three-day pastel workshop. $300/member. $350/non-member. For more information, contact Lily Porter at director@mackinacartscouncil.org or (906) 984-4124.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Fall Happenings

It's a beautiful fall up here on the Great Turtle, and Mackinac Arts Council is already busy getting ready for the 2013 season! We have written grants to Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, the Mackinac Island Community Foundation, and a Letter of Inquiry to ArtPlace America. These grants request funding for operations, professional development, supplies, and equipment. The grant decisions will be announced in early January.

The line up of musicians for our series Music in the Park is coming together. We will have seven outdoor concerts on the lawn of Marquette Park featuring 11 Michigan artists. Be sure to keep an eye out for our calendar, you won't want to miss next year's concerts!

We have some great artists instructors preparing to teach for Workshops at the Museum next year. Jennifer Powell of St. Ignace, MI, and former resident of Mackinac Island, will teach "Colorful Collage," a class on paper collage. Jennifer wrote and illustrated the children's book "What I saw on Mackinac." Her beautiful collage work can be seen in this book. Nicki Griffith will be teaching a workshop on pastels. Nicki lives on Mackinac and is part of the artist group, The Mackinac Seven. We will also have return instructors Bill Murcko and Rosemary Gould. Bill will teach live figure drawing of people dressed in historic costume. A two-day workshop on metal jewelery making will be taught by Rosemary. We still have available spots if you are an artist and would like to teach a class. Please send us an email if you are interested.

Want to be added to our mailing list? Easy. Just sign up here.

Stay tuned for more updates throughout the winter!

The Mackinac Arts Council creates, supports, and promotes the arts to enrich the lives of people visiting, working, and living on Mackinac Island. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Award Winning Slide Guitarist Kraig Kenning Performs for Music in the Park

Kraig Kenning | Mackinac Island Music Festival
photo by Kate Levy | www.katelevyphotography.com
Marquette Park is the place to be at 8pm, Thursday, August 5th when slide guitarist Kraig Kenning takes the stage at the Father Marquette Memorial. Call him contemporary folk, blues, roots rock, American Fingerstyle or Americana. With airplay on 40 stations nationwide, and selling 60,000+ recordings of six self-produced CDs, Kenning has shaped himself into one of the most capable slide guitar performers we know. "There is an exchange at a spiritual level in a great performance. My goal is to journey with all my listeners to this magical place." Together with his trademark dobro and passionate lyrics, Kraig reminds us just how personal--and potent--original music can be.

His electrifying stage presence has been honed over 20 years as a live performer throughout the U.S. At National Guitar's 1st Annual Slide Competition, Kraig took first place honors as Best Unsigned Artist. He has opened for Mick Taylor of the Rolling Stones, and slide guitar master Sonny Landreth; and he has shared lineups with club and folk series favorites such as John Gorka and Patti Larkin. His skills have also found a rewarding second home in the blues arena as part of an acoustic duo with noted bluesman Steve Arvey. It's a pairing that not only swept crowds off their feet at Chicago's renowned annual Blues Fest, but also resulted in critical praise and worldwide airplay for their collaborative "Pass the Hat" CD.

Watch Video 

According to Blues Review Magazine, "The vocals are sincere and pure while the strumming, slide and pickin' are top-shelf."While there is a distinctly affecting quality to Kenning's sound, his warmth and wisdom have helped create a universal appeal. He transmits his own brand of special through one of the broadest range of venue bookings in the business. Kraig has played some of the nation's largest, most respected music festivals, as well as classic clubs like the Vic and Fitzgeralds in Chicago. At the same time, he has also taken traditionally smaller gigs to heart, and expanded his venue selection to include public library auditoriums, state parks and nature sanctuaries. "Those kinds of shows become a real 'mini-concert' and I would not sell them short. The atmosphere is intimate, and the environment is conducive to my music and my lifestyle." And Kraig's enthusiasm for the outdoor is common knowledge among fans. "The kinds of audiences who dig me know that I love being in those places with them. I camp there myself, and we create something special every time. Imagine being in the middle of nowhere, at a beautiful state park, enjoying live music by the light of a campfire and tiki torches. I hope I can continue to do even more of those kinds of shows on my journey."

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Music in the Park features Drew Nelson

Musician Drew Nelson performs for Music in the Park at 8pm, July 19, 2012.
Michigan-born Navy veteran Drew Nelson is a storytelling songwriter and multiinstrumentalist. A fly fisherman and world traveler, he writes as a witness to the lives and journeys of those he has met along the way, mixing Americana and roots-rock with traditional folk styles.
Drew has toured across North America and Europe, performing solo and opening for popular rock artists like Melissa Etheridge and Edwin McCain as well as esteemed folk singers like Josh White Jr. and John Gorka.
He first met John Gorka in 2006, when Drew performed as part of Falcon Ridge Folk Festival’s prestigious songwriting contest. John found him backstage after his performance and told him how much his songs moved him. Since then, Drew has shared the stage with John several times, including at such big events as the Kerrville Folk Festival. “Drew Nelson is one of my favorite new artists,” John Gorka says. “His songs sound like the rest of us feel….dazed, angry, amazed and climbing.”
Drew garnered further attention in 2009, when he released Dusty Road to Beulah Land (Waterbug Records), and it topped the folk radio charts. It also caught the attention of the Grammy-winning indie label Red House
Records, which just signed him. “I love that Drew can rock out as well as write sensitive ballads,” Red House president Eric Peltoniemi says. “I admire his down-to-earth songwriting which portrays our world and ordinary people with such deep feeling and unflinching clarity. He has worked hard in life and hasn’t been afraid to get his hands dirty. He has 100% credibility in the subject matter he writes about, and I’m excited to get the chance to work with him.”
Drew’s Red House debut Tilt-A-Whirl comes out in early 2012. He can also be heard on the new album Dark River: Songs of the Civil War Era, along with Jon Dee Graham, Slaid Cleaves, James McMurtry and new label-mate Eliza Gilkyson.
In support of his new album, Drew Nelson will be showcasing at the 2012 International Folk Alliance Conference in Memphis and will be touring across North America and Europe.
When Drew is not on the road, he enjoys reading, rooting for the Detroit Tigers, doing hot yoga and working as an amateur luthier, building guitars and octave mandolins. He is also working on putting together a photography show.