2013-02-08 / News

Center for the Arts Finds Home at Mission Point Theater

By Stephanie Fortino

Come mid-May, the Mackinac Arts Council will have a new, permanent residence at the Mission Point Theater called “Center for the Arts.” The council will take over management and house its administrative office at the theater at Mission Point Resort after some superficial renovations.

Mission Point Theater will be the Arts Council’s first real home since its inception in 2003, said Mackinac Arts Council Director Lily Porter. She believes the new home will give her organization a greater presence in the community.

Mission Point Resort’s gift of free space, said Ms. Porter, gives the group “something tangible to grasp onto,” where the public can visit, enjoy art, and learn more about Mackinac Arts Council and its events.

Bradley McCallum, general manager of the resort, spoke positively of the partnership between Mackinac Arts Council and the resort.

“The Arts Council has been in existence for something like 10 years and didn’t have a home,” Mr. McCallum said. The architecture of the theater is an impressive example of Americana, he noted, but the facility has been underutilized. Turning its management over to the Mackinac Arts Council will bring it to life and showcase the Arts Council’s varied programs, plus allow the group to expand into new areas.

The partnership, he said, allows Mission Point Resort to involve itself more fully in the community and promote the artistic side of Mackinac at the same time. This, he said, has been a long-time goal of Mission Poiint Resort owner John Shufelt.

“We at the Mission Point Resort see a lot of value in art as a part of life on Mackinac Island,” Mr. McCallum told The Town Crier, and the hotel was happy to take advantage of the opportunity to work with the Arts Council.

Mackinac Arts Council already is well into planning for the summer.

The new Center for the Arts will screen 40 films on Monday and Friday nights, from May to October, as part of this new collaboration. Titles will include “film favorites,” said Ms. Porter, from “Casablanca” to “Caddy Shack.” Also in the works is a permanent art gallery, featuring contemporary pieces from Michigan artists, to be installed in the foyer at the Center for the Arts, made possible with a grant from the Mackinac Island Community Foundation.

The facility will also feature a new program, “How to Watch a Film,” a five-film mini-lecture series by Jim Bogan, a Mackinac Island cottager and professor of art history and film at the Missouri University of Science and Technology.

Among the titles featured for this series is Buster Keaton’s silent movie classic, “The General,” complete with live musical accompaniment in the style of its original showing.

Another movie to be featured is “Winter’s Bone.” Mr. Bogan will be joined by Petoskey High School teacher and Island cottager Glen Young for this lecture, called “Literary Lens,” which will focus on the transition of the work from book to film.

Two multi-day workshops with award-winning artists will be hosted at the Center for the Arts. Master pastelist Margaret Dyer of Atlanta, Georgia, will host a three-day pastel workshop September 9 to September 11, and Susan Sarback of the School of Light and Color in Fair Oaks, California, will host a four-day workshop on plein air, or painting on site, August 12 to August 15.

All of the programs offered at the Center for the Arts will add new dimensions to both the opportunities available for summer visitors and the natural splendor of Mackinac Island, said Mr. Mc- Callum.

Mackinac Arts Council will continue to host its established summer functions, including the “Music in the Park” series at Marquette Park and the weekly artist workshops at the Richard and Jane Manoogian Mackinac Arts Museum, featuring local and visiting artists.

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