Arts Council Workshops, Classes

Special Events

In response to the COVID-19 public health emergency, all Mackinaw City Area Arts Council events that require contact with other individuals have been suspended until further notice.  Please follow us on Facebook and this web page for the latest updates. 


The Mackinaw Area Public Library and the Mackinaw City Area Arts Council are joining forces to bring you – our members and patrons – an awesome project to keep you entertained through the dark half of the year. Library Director Tanya Procknow has set aside 100 vintage, hardcover books for you to create your own Altered Art Book. The books are available for pick up at the Mackinaw Library on a first come-first served basis. You’ll want to pick up your book ASAP so you have your choice of title and/or cover color. The theme for your Book is completely up to you. Throughout the winter months, we will post short video how-tos on both the MCAAC and MAPL websites to keep you inspired, but in the mean time, check out altered art books on Pinterest and YouTube. There are no limits as to what you can do with a bit of inspiration and basic art supplies. Cut, collage, paint, draw, write, carve, glitter, glue, sew, splash, color, fold, embellish, trim, stamp, print…. whatever makes your own heart sing. We’d like to have your books finished by March 1, 2021, so that they can be displayed at the library for everyone to enjoy. We’d also love for you to share photos with us as you go along. Be sure to “Like” both of our Facebook pages as well to make sure you are in on all the Art Book activity. You are free to get started as soon as you pick up your book. In the near future, the Mackinaw Library will have books you can check out on all aspects of creating Altered Art Books to get or keep you going.

2020 Pandemic Memories Quilt Project


The Mackinaw City Area Arts Council is sponsoring a “2020 Pandemic Memories” quilt project. Members and non-members can participate in this community activity. Simply create a design on a 9″ x 9″ square of fabric leaving a one/half inch undecorated margin on all four sides so none of the design will be hidden when the squares are sewn together. Be sure to include your name and location in the 8” X 8” portion of the design so your square is identifiable.

Many forms of art can be used to decorate the square; think embroidery, painting, quilting, stenciling, block printing, permanent markers, crayons, mixed media. Once completed, mail your 9”x9” square to MCAAC at PO Box 113 Mackinaw City, MI.  49701 along with the following information:

Name ____

Location (City, State) ____
Contact email____
Materials used_____
Story (if you have one, why you decided to join in on the project, did you include personal materials, what happened to you while in quarantine, your history as an artist, really anything you want to tell us) ______

Blocks will continue to be accepted until November 15, 2020. You can also share photos of your square on the MCAAC Facebook page.

Once received, the squares will be sewn together and displayed on the MCAAC Art Wall at the Pellston Regional Airport. If your organization would like to display the quilt/quilts at their location, please contact MCAAC.

The pandemic has caused uncertain and frightening times. Making art can relieve the stress that is upon us and can bring people together for the good of all. This project will remind us that we are all part of a community and we need to stick together while being apart.

The mission of the Mackinaw City Area Arts Council is to promote participation in and appreciation of the arts in the Straits of Mackinac area through year-round exhibits, education, activities, and performances.

Membership dues support MCAAC’s general operating fund to promote the cultural vitality of the Straits area of Northern Michigan. If you are not a member, consider becoming one. Memberships information can be found at

*Note* Any block/story sent in may be used on social media or in promotional materials for the arts council, including but not limited to: exhibitions, photographs, books or other media. Once blocks/stories are received by the arts council, they are considered a donation and become property of MCAAC.




Mackinaw City Area Arts Council  “The Kindness Rock project ” is now live at Maritime Park down on the waterfront at Huron avenue and Depeyster st. We hope you bring your painted rocks and share your creativity with our community.  Please take a picture of your rock(s) and share with us when placing in the garden.  You can view ideas for painting and materials to use at the link below for… The Kindness Rocks Project.  This activity provides great social distancing with hours of creativity and is a great pursuit for both children and adults.




The art walk has been removed for the winter season. Please check in the spring for new locations and imagery.


 “The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance”…..Aristotle

We all see things differently to some extent. Public art is a way to share others’ views of the world we live in, appreciate their talents, and enrich our community aesthetic. Based upon public interest and reaction to this year’s installations, MCAAC is hoping to keep this as an annual event in future years.


The Mackinaw City Area Art Council (MCAAC) is excited to announce the completion of their 2020 MCAAC Art Walk. MCAAC has installed and will maintain a year-round public display of fine art reproduction prints in four popular lake-side Village of Mackinaw City parks. This project, in partnership with the Village of Mackinaw City, is intended to encourage art awareness and appreciation, local tourism engagement, cultural awareness and enhancement.

Aristotle said, “The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.“

“We all see things differently to some extent. Public art is a way to share others’ views of the world we live in, appreciate their talents, and enrich our community aesthetic. Based upon public interest and reaction to this year’s installations, MCAAC is hoping to keep this as an annual event in future years.“, stated Trustee Dan House.

Four submissions from a wide variety of entries from Michigan-based artists were selected for this year’s public MCAAC 2020 Art Walk. The entries were evaluated for their interest and artistry in the context of the theme of “The Nature of Northern Michigan”. Art Walk participants can look forward to seeing works of art from Kim Diment (Grayling), Dan Feldhauser (Grayling), Robert Parrish (Livonia) and Barb Weisenburg (Milford). Art installations will be at Alexander Henry Park, Gary Williams Memorial Park, Chief Wawatam Park and the Veteran’s Memorial Park (marina).

The mission of the Mackinaw City Area Arts Council is to promote participation in and appreciation of the arts in the Straits of Mackinac area through year round exhibits, education, activities, and performances. Grants and membership dues support MCAAC’s general operating fund to promote the cultural vitality of the Straits area of Northern Michigan.



In partnership with Mackinaw City Historical Society and Heritage Village we present Art in the Woods Trail.  If you are interested in sharing your creativity with the community please contact MaryAnn Moore.  Information listed below.



New for 2020

DROP-IN ART is cancelled until further notice!

Do you want to dabble with your favorite art technique or learn something new? If so, then come to our new (free) Drop-In Art Class at Church of the Straits (307 N. Huron Street, Mackinaw City), on Fridays at 2 PM, starting February 14th.

Bring the work you want to finish and your artistic enthusiasm, and we will decide where the spirit moves us. We may have five different activities going on or may decide to concentrate on one thing for a day.

* The classroom is located in the basement of the church. Enter the door near the flag pole facing N. Huron Street. Contact MaryAnn Moore at 734-934-0170 for more information.





The Mackinaw City Area Art Council will be sponsoring the 9th Annual Winterfest Art Exhibit during the Mackinaw Winterfest Weekend, organized by the Mackinaw Area Visitor’s Bureau. The exhibit will be held Friday, January 17 through Saturday, January 18, 2020 with an artist reception on Friday afternoon from 3:00pm to 4:30pm. Saturday hours are from 10:00am to 4:30pm.The exhibit will be held at Mackinaw Clothing and Sportswear, located downtown at 319 East Central Avenue, Mackinaw City.

Art lovers will expect to see artwork never before displayed at Winterfest. Come, explore the exhibit and decide which artist should receive the People’s Choice Award.

This Winterfest Arts Council Exhibit is free and open to the general public. The “Meet and Greet” Reception is an opportunity to come and view the artwork while enjoying refreshments and speaking with the artists.

The members of the MCAAC are looking forward to this year’s exhibit and they are hoping to see many new members displaying their work. If you would like to exhibit your artwork and you are not a member, membership information can be found at:

MaryAnn Moore, Chairperson

Mountain Dulcimer Classes


Classes are being offered at the library.  Spectators, new participants or the curious are welcome to attend.  Email email hidden; JavaScript is required for more information.


Below are 2019 Archived Events

Fabric  Dyeing in a Jar




Driftwood Art Part Two


Due to our highly popular class on June 18 we are bringing back the class for another night on Thursday August 8 from 6-9:30pm.  Please see the particulars below from our first class description.

From Clay to BRONZE

A talk by sculptor Andy Sacksteder

Andy Sacksteder, a sculptor, is one of the recipients of the first Mackinac State Historic Parks Artist-in-Residence Program.

Andy has won several awards including first place in 2015 International Art Prize competition.  He will be coming from Gladstone, MI for three weeks on Mackinac Island during which time he will sculpt a life-size bust of a person historically relevant and significant to Mackinac Island.

Two of his Art Prize award winning sculptures entitled “Reach and Splash” are now overlooking the Straits from Mission Point on Mackinac Island.  Among many other works he was commissioned to sculpt a young 6’3″ Ernest Hemingway which stands in Pennsylvania Park in Petoskey, MI as well as renowned Ohio State University football Coach Woody Hayes which stands in Columbus, OH.

Monday July 1, 2019 7pm

Mackinaw Area Public Library

528 W. Central Ave.

Free and open to everyone.




Children’s Summer Workshops

Again this summer MCAAC is hosting Children’s summer workshops.  Three workshops will be offered  June 27,  July 18 and August 8. All workshops are from 10am to 12pm at Mackinaw Pavilion behind Mackinaw City Public Schools 609 West Central Ave. Mackinaw City.  Workshops are free to all ages, no registration required. Age 6 and under must be accompanied by an adult.  Twenty person limit.  Wear clothes to get creative in.

Smart Phonography with Dan Weilhan

The best camera to use is the camera with you and that camera is almost always your smart phone.  This presentation will help you get the most out of your smart phone with tips that move you beyond taking “snapshots”.  It will give you the know-how to make images you are proud to post, print and display.

Tuesday July 9 from 7-8PM      Mackinaw Public Library 528 W. Central Ave. Mackinaw City.

Free class (donations always appreciated)


           Drawing with Meagan and Christine Nola


Basic introductory tips to drawing, including a variety of landscape and perspective methods will be taught.  A few simple drawing techniques will be covered to help improve basic drawing skills and ability to capture a moment or idea.  Drawing doodles and sketches can be useful tools throughout everyday life.  Examples of adding color will be shown.  No experience needed-any skill level welcome.

Tuesday August 6 from 6:30-8:30pm     Pellston Airport 2nd floor conference room, 1395 US-31 , Pellston, Mi.

$20/$15 MCAAC Members.       Registration check to MCAAC P.O. Box 113, Mackinaw City, Mi.  49701 by August 1, 2019



Christmas Time in Chicago

Thursday through Saturday Dec 5-7, 2019.  One of a Kind Show.  Chicago Art Museum, Macy’s/Marshall Fields building tour, German Christkindlmarket, Driehaus Museum, Museum of Science and Industry.Trader Joe’s

Price includes: Bus, two nights in downtown hotel and tickets to all shows/tours/museums  $450 per person based on double hotel occupancy.  $570 per person for single occupancy.  $430 and $550 respectively for MCAAC members One pick up/drop off downstate available.

Registration check and contact info to MCAAC, P.O. Box 113, Mackinaw City, Mi. 49701 by September 1, 2019

For more information contact Linda at 231-838-4484 or Mary Ann at 734-934-0170













2018 Archived Workshops

Mary Lou Peters Intro to Watercolor


On Tuesday, November 13, Mary Lou Peters presented a workshop designed for those who have always wanted to try watercolor painting without investing in supplies. The class was held from 7:00 to 9:00pm at the Mackinaw Woman’s Club building, 310 East Jamet Street, Mackinaw City. Students left with a completed 5” x 7” painting suitable for framing. Cost to student was $35.00, with a $10.00 discount offered to members of MCAAC, which includes all materials provided for this class.

Mary Lou teaches watercolor classes on Mackinac Island and on Sanibel Island, Florida, as well as in her home studio near Mackinaw City. Her joyful spirit is contagious, and her gentle encouragement brings out the artist in her students. For more information, contact the Mackinaw City Area Arts Council, c/o Joann P Leal at email hidden; JavaScript is required or 231-436-5626.

The mission of the Mackinaw City Area Arts Council 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. Providing art related experiences for our youth is a high priority. Partnerships are key to the success of MCAAC programs. Most projects involve the Mackinaw City Public Schools, Mackinaw Area Public Library, Mackinaw Area Historical Society, Mackinaw Woman’s Club, and local businesses either directly or indirectly. All programs of MCAAC are supported by a grant from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.



Art show was October 2018 at Wawatam Senior Center hosted by MCAAC board member Stephen Smith.

Photography and Drawing Arts, Painting Arts in
( Acrylic, Oil, Pastel, Pencil, Watercolor )
Fiber Arts, Glass Arts, Metal Arts,
Paper Arts and Wood Arts


Bridge, Barracks and BBQ


A lively Evening of Community Fun took place on August 26, 2018, including Bridge Views, Local BBQ and Brews Tasting Stations, Barracks Tours and Interpreters, Live Music and Entertainers, Games and Demonstrations. Event took place at Fort Michilimackinac, 102 West Straits Avenue, Mackinaw City.  Visitor’s Center entrance located under the bridge was used.
Three entertainment locations within the park along with four food and beverage locations. Cost is $25 per person. This event was for adults only! August 26, 2018 from 7:00 to 10:00pm  For more information contact us at 231-412-2787 No preregistration is required.

Evening with Photography Trainer Bob Grzesiak


Mackinaw City Area Arts Council presented an evening with photography trainer Bob Grzesiak,  July 12, 2018 from 7-9pm at Mackinaw Woman’s Club at 310 Jamet St. Mackinaw City, Mi.
Bob Grzesiak (Gree-shack) began his career in photography as a way out of his high school journalism class. It worked.
Covering the 1972 election photographing Ed Muskie, George McGovern and Thomas Eagleton  as they campaigned through Saginaw peaked his interest photography as a communication medium.
 From Regional Manager of Fotomat-Quarry Camera stores to General Manager of Linn’s Camera and Saginaw Photo Supply for over 20 years he became the Midwest Technical Representative for Fuji Film Professional Products for digital cameras, film, color paper and lab equipment for 20 years

Most recently he conducted Eco-Photo Tours through his company, Great Lakes Photo Tours, encouraging environmental support and appreciation through photography.
His approach is simple; know your camera’s abilities and short-comings and the settings and tools that allow you to “create images in your brain and camera” rather than “fixing images in your computer.” He reminds us we don’t “photograph things”, rather, we “record how light falls on selected subjects.”  That awareness can make or break your images.
The evening discussion included: A Camera’s View on Photographing Nature

Bob discusses how to recognize your camera’s strengths and weaknesses for nature photography and tools to assist you as you photograph, from gear and exposure to light control and composition in the field.
After the lecture we opened up for question and answers. The attendees toke advantage of Bob’s passion for the technical. This was a rewarding evening for anyone who’s interest lies in improving their photo work. Class was $10 at the door, no prior registration required.





Artwork of St. Anthony’s of Padua

We met the local artists and explored the artwork of St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church on a tour guided by Sister Chris Herald on Sunday June 24, 2018 at 2:00 pm. A reception in the conference room followed the tour. This was a free event.

Intro to Water Color with Mary Lou Peters


A new class  added to Mary Lou Peters’ fall teaching schedule: Introduction to Watercolor Painting in Mackinaw City on Tuesday, September 25 from 7-9 p.m. at the Mackinaw City Women’s Club building at 301 E. Jamet Street. Cost is $10 and we painted a zinnia. All skill levels were welcome and all supplies were furnished. Call 231-412-2787 or email email hidden; JavaScript is required to register.





Gemini Twins

GEMINI, twin brother musicians, performed “A Musical Celebration for Children and the Whole Family on Friday September 28, 2018 at Church of the Straits, 307 N. Huron Street, Mackinaw City from  7pm to 8pm.    The concert featured Gemini’s uncannily matched voices, their up-beat flair for sparking audience participation, a stage full of instruments and award-winning songs which captured the warmth and humor of family life.  Bring the whole family for this one. For information call 231-412-2787

There was an afternoon school assembly the same day from 2:00pm to 2:45pm.

Born in Budapest, Hungary in 1949, the twin brothers emigrated with their parents after the 1956 Revolution and lived in Israel for three years before moving to the United States.  Living in several countries as they were growing up gave San and Laz a chance to see and appreciate many different ways of life, as well as exposing them to the music and instruments of various cultures.  They grew up hearing a rick variety of music at home.  Their father, a fine singer and a Cantor in the synagogue, taught them everything from religious music and Italian opera, to Hungarian and Yiddish fold songs.  Their mother, though not a musician, nevertheless had a powerful impact on their choice of careers.  “The music comes from our father,” the brothers say, “but whatever it takes to get up in front of an audience and put a song across, that comes from our mother’s spirit.”



Johnathan Rand “Michigan Chiller” Author

This workshop has been completed.

Under the pen names of Johnathan Rand and Christopher Knight, Wright has written over 60 books, with over 4 million in print!  As Johnathon Rand , he has authored over 90 books and hundreds of magazine articles and short stories.  He is best known for the Michigan CHILLER series.

On Monday September 10, 2018, popular author Christopher Wright visited the Mackinaw City Public Schools.  He did a lively presentation in the multi-purpose room for all students in grades 1-6 at 1:30 to 2:30pm.  At 3:00, he conducted a creative writing workshop for students in grades 4-12. After the workshop we asked workshop participants to submit their original compositions/stories to a panel of arts council members who judged the work and will award 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes.  The first prize winner had their piece published in the Mackinaw (on line) Newsletter by Sandy Planisek.

Children’s Arts and Craft Summer Workshops



These workshops have been completed for Summer of 2018






The DIA Inside/Out Program comes to Mackinaw City

The DIA Inside/Out program has come to town. The Village of Mackinaw City (through MCAAC) has been awarded three reproductions that were installed on May 16th 2018 and will remain in place until October 2018.
The three locations selected for the reproductions are WaWatam Park, Conkling Heritage Park (on the west side of the Performance Shell), and Veterans Memorial Park(Marina Lawn) as the installation sites.

The pieces include:

Bank of the Oise                                                                The Sinfonia                                                       Asafo Flag

Vincent Van Gough                                                           Michiel VonMusscher                                    Unknown Artist Yorba

Veterans Memorial Park                                                  Conkling Heritage Park                                  Wawatam Park