Interlochen Center for the Arts
Interlochen Center for the Arts is a tax exempt, 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, operating an arts education institution in northwest Michigan. The center is situated on a 1,200-acre (490 ha) campus in Interlochen, Michigan, roughly 15 miles (24 km) southwest of Traverse City. Interlochen draws young people from around the world to study music, theater, dance, visual arts, creative writing, motion picture arts, and comparative arts. Interlochen Center for the Arts is the umbrella organization for Interlochen Arts Camp (formerly the National Music Camp, founded 1928), Interlochen Arts Academy boarding high school (founded 1962), Interlochen Public Radio (founded 1963), and the "Interlochen Presents" performing arts series. The Interlochen College of Creative Arts (founded 2004) is an affiliated but separate non-profit corporation.
|Interlochen Center for the Arts|
|Type||Educational institution, privately owned|
|Motto||Dedicated to the Promotion of World Friendship|
Through the Universal Language of the Arts
|Enrollment||Camp (summer): 3000|
Academy (school year): 500
|Campus||1,200 acres (490 ha), wooded, rural, between two lakes, and immediately adjacent Interlochen State Park|
Interlochen Arts Camp
An annual summer camp attended by young artists from around the world. Programs are offered to students in grades three through twelve, providing an opportunity to learn, create and perform alongside leading artists and instructors.
Interlochen Arts Academy
A fine arts boarding high school offering arts training combined with comprehensive, college-preparatory academics.
Interlochen College of Creative Arts
An adult artist learning program offering programs in a variety of arts disciplines.
Interlochen Public Radio
Two listener-supported stations that broadcast to northwest Michigan: Classical Music 88.7, 88.5, 94.7 and 100.9 FM; News Radio 91.5, 90.1 and 89.7 FM. Broadcasts include arts, news and culture from around the world, as well as local and regional news, information and artists. IPR was a charter member of National Public Radio.
An ongoing series of performances by students, faculty and dozens of world-renowned guest artists. The series presents more than 600 events each year, making Interlochen one of the nation's largest arts presenters.
Interlochen Arts Academy
The Interlochen Arts Academy (IAA), the highest profile pre-professional arts boarding high school worldwide, was founded in 1962 by Joseph E. Maddy. As of 2019, it had over 350 faculty and staff, and approximately 550 students, from Freshman to Postgraduates. Admission is by audition only. While more than half the students major in Music Performance, IAA offers majors in Comparative Arts, Creative Writing, Dance, Theatre (Performance; Design and Production), Motion Picture Arts, and Visual Arts. Newer majors include Motion Picture Arts beginning in 2005, and Comparative Arts in 2011. The vast majority of students at Interlochen Arts Academy are boarding students, including many international students; some are day students who live in the vicinity.
Upon graduation, most IAA graduates continue to universities or conservatories for further study in the arts or academics. Conservatories that often admit Interlochen students include Juilliard, Eastman, Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM), School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Curtis, New England Conservatory (NEC), Oberlin Conservatory, Manhattan School of Music, Boston Conservatory, Peabody Institute, and CalArts. Interlochen Arts Academy graduates also matriculate at colleges and universities that do not have a primary focus on the arts.
Due to its reputation and secluded location, Interlochen Arts Academy has attracted many celebrity offspring, including children of Robin Williams, Hugh Hefner, Bruce Willis, Demi Moore, and Alan Menken.
The campus of Interlochen has seven dorm buildings for use year-round for Academy students and staff:
- Hemingway House
- Picasso House
- Mozart-Beethoven House
- McWhorter House
- Deroy House
- Thor-Johnson House
- Frida Kahlo House
Ottawa Indians once lived in the pine forest between lakes Wahbekaness and Wahbekanetta. In the late 1800s white men came and cut the pines, leaving only a small forest between the lakes. This virgin pine was purchased in 1917 by the state and became part of one of the first state parks. When the lumber era ended, the Wylie Cooperage mill occupied the Indian village site, making barrels until the hardwood ran out. Willis Pennington's summer hotel, opened in 1909, was popular with fishermen until automobiles and better roads drew them elsewhere. Then in 1918, Camp Interlochen, one of Michigan's first girls' recreation camps, was opened, followed in 1922 by Camp Penn Loch for boys. In 1928, by arrangement with Willis Pennington, Joseph E. Maddy and Thaddeus P. Giddings established the National High School Orchestra Camp. It grew rapidly in scope, size, and reputation, becoming the National Music Camp in 1931, and affiliating with the University of Michigan in 1942. Interlochen Arts Academy was chartered in 1960 to provide year-round training in the creative arts.
From the book Interlochen, The First 25 Years:
In 1926, Joe Maddy was asked to organize and conduct the First National High School Orchestra for the Music Supervisors' National Conference (now known as the Music Educators National Conference) in Detroit. Its resounding success led to an invitation to duplicate the experience at the Dallas, Texas convention of the National Education Association's Department of Superintendence in 1927. The exuberant young musicians pled for the chance to work and play together longer than the few days the convention appearance afforded. Joe Maddy promised them a music camp! In June, 1928, at Interlochen, Michigan, in the midst of a magnificent stand of virgin pine trees between two lovely lakes, The National High School Orchestra Camp opened its doors. On leased land, with the old Hotel Pennington, several cottages, 29 new camper cabins, a hospital, water and sewer system, the new Interlochen Bowl, and $40,000 debt, this brave experiment was launched.
Interlochen was the inspiration for the 1941 Paramount motion picture There's Magic in Music (AKA "The Hard Boiled Canary"). Interlochen also provided inspiration, along with Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, for Alyson Hannigan's character in American Pie.
In 2006, Katalyst Media filmed a reality TV pilot for MTV at Interlochen Arts Academy. Afraid that an MTV show would ruin Interlochen's distinguished reputation, a large group of students resorted to protesting and trolling the Katalyst Media film crew in order to prevent Katalyst Media from filming viable footage. Student efforts were successful, and the pilot never aired.
The Interlochen Alumni Organization Board serves as the liaison between Interlochen's global alumni community and Interlochen Center for the Arts. Members are elected from the Camp and Academy alumni population and serve two-year terms.
Some notable alumni are:
- Michael Arden - singer, actor, and director
- Michael Arrom - musician
- Meredith Baxter - actress
- Vince Gilligan - producer and screenwriter
- Charles Roland Berry - composer
- Garrett Børns - musician
- Chris Brubeck - musician
- David Burtka - actor and chef
- Bruno Campos - actor
- Rachel Carns - musician
- Charlie Carver - actor
- Angelin Chang - pianist
- Victoria Clark - singer and actress
- Kat Coiro - writer and director
- Larry Combs - clarinetist
- Terry Crews - actor and pro football player
- John Dalley - violinist
- Chip Davis - musician
- Xavier Davis - musician
- Michael Delp - writer
- Elaine Douvas - musician
- Kermit Driscoll - musician
- Aaron Dworkin - Dean of the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance
- Doriot Anthony Dwyer
- Jennifer Ehle - actress
- Peter Erskine - drummer
- Tovah Feldshuh - actress
- Anna Fidler - artist
- Barrett Foa - actor
- Ben Foster - actor
- Shelley Gillen - producer, screenwriter and songwriter
- Kimiko Glenn - actress and singer
- Steven M. Goodman - biologist
- Josh Groban - singer/songwriter & record producer with record sales over 35 million
- Keitaro Harada - conductor
- Steve Hayden - advertising executive
- Bob Havens - Musician
- Christie Hefner - publishing executive
- Marcy Heisler - lyricist
- Ed Helms - actor
- Evan Helmuth
- Jerry Hey - musician
- Anne Hills - singer/songwriter
- Wataru Hokoyama - composer and conductor
- Mary Holland - actress
- Marya Hornbacher - author
- Hao Huang - pianist
- Felicity Huffman - actress
- Tom Hulce - Oscar-nominated actor
- Linda Hunt - Oscar-winning actress
- Carol Jantsch - musician
- Richard Joiner - clarinetist
- Norah Jones - multiple Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter.
- Kim Kashkashian - violist
- Ani Kavafian - violinist
- Ida Kavafian - violinist
- Celia Keenan-Bolger - actress
- Jewel Kilcher - singer
- Amelia Kinkade - actress
- Damian Kulash - musician - founding member of rock band OK Go
- Dane Laffrey - scenic designer
- Naomi Lang - ice dancer
- Phill Lewis - actor
- Jennifer Chambers Lynch - director
- Lorin Maazel - violinist, composer and ex-music director of the New York Philharmonic
- Anthony McGill - clarinetist
- Michael McMillian - actor
- Dmitri Matheny - musician
- Herman Matthews - drummer
- Mia Michaels - choreographer
- Eric Millegan - actor
- F. Hudson Miller - sound editor
- Bob Mintzer
- Ross Mintzer
- Elizabeth Fischer Monastero
- Dermot Mulroney - actor
- Jessye Norman - opera singer and Grammy Lifetime Achievement award winner
- Sean Osborn
- Larry Page - co-founder of Google
- Donovan Patton
- Shelley Posen
- John Quale
- Rain Pryor - actress
- Anthony Rapp - Broadway actor
- Jackson Rathbone
- Margot Rose
- David Shifrin
- Trish Sie
- Alexandra Silber
- Peter Sparling
- Doug Stanton - New York Times bestselling author
- Sufjan Stevens - singer/songwriter and Academy Award and Grammy Award nominee
- Casey Stratton
- Toni Trucks
- Rufus Wainwright - Juno Award winning singer/songwriter
- Benjamin Walker
- Mike Wallace - television journalist
- Debbie Weems
- Michael Weiss
- Lawrence Irving Wilde - composer, singer, songwriter and producer of House of Faces
- Charley Wilkinson - timpanist
- Rumer Willis - actress
- Betty Who - Australian recording artist with top-ten single
- Peter Yarrow - singer
- Sean Young - actress
Interlochen Public Radio
Interlochen Center for the Arts is home to Interlochen Public Radio, a National Public Radio member station with studios on the Interlochen campus and multiple broadcast locations that allow the station's signal to reach most of Northern Michigan as well as parts of eastern Wisconsin.
When it was founded in 1963, WIAA (note the similarity between the station call letters and the "IAA" abbreviation for Interlochen Arts Academy) was envisioned as a logical extension of the long-running "Music From Interlochen" program that had been heard for many years on the NBC radio network, and which helped to spread word about the activities at the then-named National Music Camp and the then-fledgling Interlochen Arts Academy. The station performed so poorly in its early years that there was talk of shutting down the operation. Today, however, Interlochen Public Radio thrives and includes both a music service and a news service.
Despite being one of the smallest NPR members, IPR boasts one of the highest rates of per capita contributions of any public radio station in the United States. The station's classical music service is broadcast from their main tower at WIAA 88.7 FM in Interlochen, along with WIAB 88.5 FM in Mackinaw City, and W234BU 94.7 FM in Traverse City. In 2000, IPR began offering a separate news service on WICA 91.5 FM in Traverse City and later added WLMN 89.7 FM in Manistee and WHBP 90.1 FM in Harbor Springs. Interlochen is currently investigating acquisition of additional licenses so that IPR can reach larger, more geographically-diverse audiences.
Interlochen Presents has a summer festival running from June through August (schedule announced in April) and a performing arts series from September through May coinciding with the Academy school year (schedule announced in August). It features concerts, plays, art exhibits, readings, film screenings and dance productions presented by students, faculty, and staff, as well as both well-known and obscure guest artists. Interlochen Presents events are held in numerous venues around campus. The list of recent guest artists includes Steely Dan, Sheryl Crow, Willie Nelson, Joshua Bell, Jason Mraz, Bonnie Raitt, Olga Kern, Sara Bareilles, Dierks Bentley, Norah Jones, Martha Graham Dance Company, Ra Ra Riot, Bob Dylan, Jewel, Carol Jantsch, Josh Groban, Paula Poundstone, Nathan Gunn, Chris Thile, and Bela Fleck. Interlochen Presents and Interlochen Public Radio serve as the primary channels by which Interlochen Center for the Arts connects with the northern Michigan region.
Interlochen College of Creative Arts
Interlochen College of Creative Arts was founded in 2004, and offers non-degree arts programs for adults 18 years and over. Most programs are 3–7 days long, and are housed in the Mallory-Towsley Center for Arts Leadership building on Interlochen's campus. The Mallory-Towsley building was completed in summer 2011.
Awards and accolades
- National Medal of Arts: In 2006, Interlochen Center for the Arts was named recipient of the National Medal of Arts, one of the highest honors bestowed by the President of the United States and National Endowment for the Arts on individuals or institutions that have contributed substantially to the growth and advancement of the arts. Interlochen president Jeff Kimpton received the award on behalf of Interlochen Center for the Arts from President George W. Bush in an Oval Office ceremony.
- Presidential Scholars in the Arts: Interlochen Arts Academy is a perennial front-runner among American high schools in its production of Presidential Scholars in the Arts, having produced more recipients of the award than any other school in the nation.
- National youngARTS Foundation: Interlochen Arts Academy is also a perennial front-runner in the youngARTS competition, representing approximately 19% of youngARTS finalists. In connection to the youngARTS competition, three Interlochen students, Adam Blodgett '08, Alix Briggs '08, and Steven Johnson '09, were featured on HBO's Primetime Emmy-winning Masterclass series. Alumni Josh Groban has also appeared on the series as a mentor.
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- Feild, Thom (August 2006). Pine Nuts - Recollections of Summers at Interlochen. Thom Feild Design LLC. ISBN 0-9786677-0-0.
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