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Summer Newsletter from our President

Summer has finally arrived after a very brief Spring. The Mackinaw City Area Arts Council has been fortunate to provide many arts opportunities over the past few months while planning for a very busy coming season.

To begin with, we are very privileged to have been chosen to host The Detroit Institute of Arts program called DIA-Inside/Out. This is a community outreach program intended to connect with new audiences outside of traditional museum walls. Individual communities are selected through an application process in which to place framed reproductions of famous artwork, often clustered within walking distance, to enable residents and visitors to find art in unexpected places – a random act of culture that elicits surprise and wonder from those discovering the art. Three high-quality reproductions of well-known works of art from the DIA collection were installed on May 16 and will remain in place through October 2018.


Detroit Inst of Arts Inside Out Program

On Sunday afternoon, June 24, at 2 PM, Sister Chris Herald will be giving a Tour of St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church, 600 West Central Avenue, Mackinaw City, which contains many pieces of art created by area designers and artists. Upon entering the sanctuary, your eyes will become riveted on the large fourteen-foot, 1,875-pound stainless steel double cross designed and constructed by Ann Gildner and Tom Moran. Topping the cross is a crown of 150 raw metal thorns. Behind the cross is exquisite woodwork and stone pillars designed by Enzo Lieghio. Mr. Lieghio also designed the river of rocks flowing beneath the baptismal font. Lee Sova carefully placed the rocks and the sparkling grout he used, makes the rocks appear wet. Included on the tour will be seven stained glass windows made by White and Associates of Canton, Ohio and several icon writings by Sr. Chris Herald and Jane Cardinal, including the newly dedicated Our Lady of the Straits. A reception in the Conference Center, hosted by the Arts Council, will immediately follow the tour.

If you haven’t yet had a chance to view MaryAnn Moore’s exhibit at the Pellston Airport Gallery, you still can until in or around June 19. At that time a new exhibit will be installed. Shannon Cooley has been teaching art classes to the Cheboygan-Otsego-Presque Isle Counties ESD students this past Spring on behalf of Northeast VSA
Michigan, the State Organization on Arts and Disability. Part of this exhibit will be installed in Pellston and the larger pieces will be installed at the Mackinaw Area Public Library. You won’t want to miss it.

A series of Children’s Arts & Crafts Workshops will begin on Thursday, June 21 and run every other Thursday from then through August 16th. They will be held from 11am to 1pm in the Village pavilion behind the Mackinaw City Schools. The instructor is Aliana Lee, a local artist from Levering, who from a young age has had a creative spirit. She first came to our attention when she exhibited at the 2017 Winterfest Art Exhibit at the Mackinaw Clothing and Sportswear Store. Vibrant colors, texture and imagination can be seen throughout her work. She hopes to pass this passion for art onto her students through five workshops which are described as follows:

June 21 – Summer Solstice Art Journals which the students will record their experiences and creative thoughts to take home with them;
July 05 – Canvas Banner Art: each child gets to decorate and take home a 10” x 12” personalized banner to hang on their door or wall;
July 19 – Driftwood Wall Mobile: driftwood provided or bring your own piece and turn it into a work of art. There will be lots of fun supplies available to get creative;
Aug 2 – Starry Night Cards – note cards (with envelopes included) created with watercolor techniques, honoring the dark skies and the upcoming Perseid Meteor Shower;
Aug 16 – Butterfly Magnets – Now that the butterflies are getting ready to migrate to warmer temperatures, each child will get to paint their own ceramic butterfly with a magnet on the back. There will be Painted Ladies, Swallowtails, Monarchs and Red Admirals or – come up with your own design.

Discovery Day Camp is still accepting registrations. From Monday, June 25 through Friday, June 29, the Mackinaw Area Historical Society and the Mackinaw City Area Arts Council will collaborate to sponsor a five-day Discovery Camp. Camp will begin at 9:00 each morning, adjourning at 3:00pm. Children entering the 4th through 7th grades will be exposed to a variety of art, local history, music and science experiences, led by Linda Rogers, Camp Director and educator, and several adult volunteers. The five (5) fun-filled days will include local tours, organized activities, and crafting projects. Tuition per child is $35.00, payable to MAHS. Camp registrations are limited to 24 students. Registration forms are available through the Historical Society’s web site To receive more information about the program, call or text Linda Rogers at 231-818-2878 or email email hidden; JavaScript is required.

Summer Art Classes are pending. Confirmed is a Watercolor Class by our own Mary Lou Peters, to be held on Tuesday, August 21 at the Mackinaw Woman’s Club from 1:00 to 3:00pm. This class is an introduction to watercolor painting, designed for those who have always wanted to try working with watercolors without investing in the supplies. Students will leave with a completed 5” x 7” painting suitable for framing. While Mary Lou’s normal fee is $35 per student (supplies included), the Arts Council is only charging $10 per student and will subsidize the balance due Mary Lou. Class size is limited to sixteen.
Plus, Paint Small with Paula McNamara, artist and author. Create your own alter-ego in pencil and acrylics to tell your own story! All that is needed is your imagination and time. Think tiny animals, stories of your life, people you have met, places you visited or want to visit. Fly with ideas!

The Music in Mackinaw season will begin at 9:00pm on Wednesday, July 4th with a rousing concert of patriotic music, marches, showtunes and contemporary compositions by the Straits Area Concert Band. This group will subsequently perform each Tuesday through August, beginning at 8:00pm. Other concerts will include:
Friday, July 6 – 8pm Seven Bridges, Classical Rock, Country and Originals
Saturday, July 7 – 8pm A Tribute to Country Star Tim McGraw
Friday, July 13 – 8pm Boogie-Woogie, Ragtime and Jazz Pianist Matthew Ball
Saturday, July 14 – 8pm A Gordon Lightfoot Tribute, Canadian legendary singer-songwriter
Friday, July 27 – 7pm Dance North, Jo Cooley’s Student Dance Performance
Saturday, July 28 – 8pm The Raisin Pickers, Rustic Appalachian, Swing and Bluegrass

And finally, the first in a four-event series to be held over the summer entitled “Paint ON the Mackinaw, sponsored by the Icebreaker Mackinaw Museum Ship, Carrying on the theme of this year’s painting project, they welcome Ms. Martine Hahn aboard as their teacher-artist, a highly acclaimed artistic performer and motivational speaker throughout Michigan and the United States. The June event will begin on June 30th at 6:00pm “sharp” so please be on the ship no later than 5:45pm. All materials are provided, and a complimentary beverage will be offered. The cost is $40. To register, call the Mackinaw office at 231-436-9825 between 9am and 3pm, Monday through Friday. Advance payment is required, and seating is limited so they ask that you call soon! The Icebreaker Mackinaw Museum Ship is located at 131 S. Huron Avenue, Mackinaw City.

Members are always the life-blood of a not-for-profit organization and we not only welcome your financial support to help carry out our programs, we especially welcome your volunteer time. If you would like to serve on any one of our committees, please be sure to let us know. You can find out more about us at Also, be sure to check out our Facebook page.

Your current board of directors for the 2018 fiscal year are (in alphabetical order):
Ann Chastain, Judy Churchill, Jo Cooley, Scott Gasparich, Joann Leal, Danna Marvin,
Jolene Michaels, MaryAnn Moore, Susie Safford, and Keeney Swearer
Officers: President – Joann Leal, Vice-President – Jo Cooley,
Secretary – Judy Churchill, Treasurer – Ann Chastain

Committees & Chairpersons include: Concerts & Exhibits, MaryAnn Moore; Education and Scholarships, Jo Cooley; Fundraising & Events, Scott Gasparich; Marketing, Keeney Swearer; Membership, Judy Churchill; Venue and Operations, Susie Safford; and Finance/Budget, Ann Chastain.

Always feel free to contact any one of our board members if you have suggestions or ideas for fulfilling our mission which is to promote and encourage participation in and appreciation of the Fine Arts in the Greater Mackinaw City Area through exhibits, education, activities and performances throughout the entire year. Thank you once again for your support.

P.S. Watch for breaking news of a special event coming on August 26 of 2018!!!

Save your Family Fare and other SpartanNash owned retail store receipts! We are participating in the Direct Your Dollars program which allows nonprofit organizations to earn $1000 by collecting $150,000 in receipts. Joann Leal is coordinating this effort. Either give them directly to her or mail them to MCAAC, P.O. Box 113, Mackinaw City, MI 49701. Obviously, this is a long-term money-raiser, but it can be done. Many thanks for your help in this endeavor!