What The Arts Council Does…


We provide opportunities to participate in providing art, entertainment and educational events throughout the community in a variety of locations.

Here is just a sampling of activities we have sponsored over the years.

In 2011  MCAAC sponsored four bi-weekly summer children’s art workshops with local artist Carmel Desy Peppler in 2011. This year we will be sponsoring three Children’s Arts and Crafts workshops in the Village pavilion (behind the school facing Perrot Street), beginning Thursday, June 27, July 18 and August 8,  from 10:00am until 12:00pm. Our Artist-In-Residence is Aliana Lee.  The workshop is free to all ages, no registration is required.  Ages 6 and under must be accompanied by and adult.  First come first serve. (20 Person Limit) Wear clothes to get creative in. For questions contact Aliana at email hidden; JavaScript is required

Our first Plein Air event began in 2012 with artists documenting the beauty of the straits in oil, watercolor and pastels, judged by Sharon Tarr. In 2013 we sponsored a very successful adult painting workshop with Sharon Tarr as instructor.

In 2013 we sponsored the “Desy Exhibit” in cooperation with the Mackinaw Area Public Library. At that time, it was our most ambitious project to date. Many owners of Mr. Desy’s paintings graciously loaned them for the exhibit curated by Carmel Desy Peppler. In addition to the exhibit, we sponsored a Saturday trolley tour of Mr. Desy’s murals that can be found in public buildings, stores and private homes in Mackinaw City.

In 2014 we collaborated with Joann Condino from Three Pines Studio in Cross Village and Mary Stewart Adams from the Dark Sky Park on the Orion Project at Mackinaw School. The Orion project was based on the story of Jack in the Beanstalk as described to students by Mary Stewart Adams in the context of the constellation “Orion”. This work went on display at the Pellston Regional Airport in June of 2014.

In 2015 we organized and presented in collaboration with the Mackinaw Area Historical Society a week long “Discovery Camp” for 4th-8th grade students, providing an outreach to young people wanting to learn about history, science and art opportunities in the Mackinaw City area. This first year the program was funded through a grant received from the Petoskey Harbor Springs Community Foundation.

We had three seasons of the Mackinaw Area Youth Chorale. We are currently searching for a new Choral leader. Dance Bratz continues to increase in size with classes offered by Jo Cooley in the Mackinaw School multi-purpose room. Photography workshops have been offered to 4th grade students by Greg Teysen. In 2017 MCAAC sponsored a photography contest for Mackinaw City students in various age categories, with cash prizes.

The Mackinaw City Public School student’s preschool through 6th grade created their version of Vincent Van Gogh’s starry night in celebration of winter’s dark sky. The project Starry Starry Night North was a collaborative effort with MCAAC, Mackinaw City Area Library and Three Pines Studio in Cross Village. Other Mackinaw City Public School art events were presented by MCAAC board members included a Loon Watercolor painting project with Indian River Artist Sheree Lincoln with the help of fellow board member Gerry Lou Kania and then President Danna Marvin. Artist Joan Condino presented a wooden spoon painting class. Gerry Lou Kania and Sheree Lincoln taught the kids how to make Marionettes from recycled Materials.

We partner with Emmet County and Pellston Regional Airport to exhibit MCAAC member’s works including photography, painting and textiles. This is a display of local area artists.  We encourage you to view these artistic offerings,  located on the second floor across from the public restrooms.

We have hosted an exhibit of local member’s art during Mackinaw City’s Annual Winterfest, which takes place over the third week-end in January. Our exhibit is housed in Mackinaw Clothing and Sportswear on Central Avenue which has graciously supported this project as our exhibition venue.

MCAAC provides scholarships for education in various arts related areas.  In previous years we have provided scholarships to attend the 3-day Young Americans workshop held at Cheboygan High School. Scholarships for students have been granted for famed local watercolor artist Mary Lou Peters painting classes. In 2015 we awarded $500 to a deserving art student who attended a portfolio camp at Kendall School of Art and Design in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Scholarships are available through the Mackinaw City Public Schools to any student who will go on to college to pursue the arts. Scholarships are also available to students of Dance North, a program which includes young dancers from all over Northern Michigan and is taught by our own Jo Cooley.

If you are interested in volunteering for any of our events or wish to participate on any committee, please visit our Contact Us for more information on how to contact Joann Leal,  President of our Arts Council. Board meetings are every third Thursday of the month at 2:00pm at the Church of the Straits basement at 307 N. Huron Mackinaw City, Mi. 49701.

Our Board


Linda Orlow, President

Ann Chastain, Treasurer

MaryAnn Moore, Trustee

Dan House-Trustee

Jackie House-Trustee

Sarah May-Trustee

Lorie Axtell Archambeau-Trustee

Aliana Knapp-Prasek-Trustee