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

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!