Traverse City Area Arts & Galleries

For all of its small-town charm, Traverse City possesses plenty of big-city sophistication --thanks in large part to its established and thriving arts community.

The Traverse City Symphony Orchestra -- often performing in the beautifully restored City Opera House -- is easily on par with orchestras from large metropolitan areas. Interlochen Center for the Arts attracts internationally acclaimed artists, and each summer concert-goers can enjoy a tailgate picnic before heading into the open-air, 4,000-seat ampitheatre overlooking Green Lake to enjoy the likes of Tony Bennett, Norah Jones, Bonnie Raitt and Josh Groban.

One reason for the abundance of art offerings in the Traverse City area is the fine arts community at the Interlochen Center for the Arts. Located just 13 miles south of Traverse City, Interlochen has been a resource for quality arts presentations for 70 years hosting some 750 concerts, visual art exhibits and theater and dance productions annually. During the summer months, pack a picnic and a bottle of wine and plan to tailgate under the pines before the show.

The Interlochen Arts Summer Camp and the Interlochen Arts Academy during the academic year are among the country's premier training centers for young musicians, dancers, actors, visual artists and writers. More than 2,000 campers age 8-18 come from 50 states and 38 foreign countries. The Academy's 425 high school and post-graduate students come from 46 states and 17 countries.

Having access to both the campus and performances is a delight for both visitors and Traverse City locals. Even without a concert ticket, visitors can take in the inspiring atmosphere and visit the historic sites. Walk through the campus and catch the sights and sounds of the gifted young musicians playing their instruments in small practice huts and musical groups of all sizes in the classroom buildings or outside under the trees.

The Traverse City Film Festival is a charitable and educational non-profit organization founded by filmmaker, Acedamy Award winner and local resident Michael Moore. The Traverse City Film Festival has grown to become one of the largest film festivals in the Midwest, and one of the most respected in the country. In 2011, there were over 128,000 admissions to 156 screenings. The festival brings films and filmmakers from around the world to northern Michigan for the annual film festival in late July to early August, and also owns and operates a year-round, community-based, mission-driven art house movie theater, the State Theatre.

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