|Interlochen Center for the Arts|
|Type||Educational institution, non-profit|
|Motto||Dedicated to the promotion of world friendship through the universal language of the arts|
|Enrollment||Camp (summer): 3000|
Academy (school year): 500
|Campus||1,200 acres (490 ha), wooded, rural, between two lakes, adjacent to Interlochen State Park|
Interlochen Center for the Arts is a tax exempt, 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, operating arts education institutions and performance venues in northwest Michigan. Situated on a 1,200-acre (490 ha) campus in Interlochen, Michigan, roughly 15 miles (24 km) southwest of Traverse City, Interlochen draws young artists from around the world to study music, theater, dance, visual arts, creative writing, film, and interdisciplinary arts.
Interlochen Center for the Arts is the umbrella organization for summer program Interlochen Arts Camp, arts boarding high school Interlochen Arts Academy, National Public Radio (NPR) charter station Interlochen Public Radio, performance series Interlochen Presents, adult arts program Interlochen College of Creative Arts, and online arts program Interlochen Online.
Founded in 1928 by Joseph E. Maddy, Interlochen Arts Camp (formerly known as National Music Camp) offers multiple summer arts camp programs for students in grades 3-12. Programs range from one- to six-weeks.
Interlochen Arts Academy is a pre-professional arts boarding high school, founded in 1963 by Joseph E. Maddy. The school offers seven arts majors in creative writing, dance, film and new media, interdisciplinary arts, music, theatre, and visual arts.
Ninety-six percent of graduates are accepted into one of their top three colleges. The 2021 graduating class matriculated to various institutions, including: Berklee College of Music, Boston Conservatory at Berklee, Eastman School of Music, Jacobs School of Music, Juilliard School, New York University, Northwestern University, Princeton University, Stanford University, University of Southern California, and Yale University.
Founded in 2004, Interlochen College of Creative Arts offers non-degree granting arts programs and continuing education units for adults 18 years and older.
Interlochen Center for the Arts is home to Interlochen Public Radio, a National Public Radio member station that broadcasts a signal to most of the lower peninsula of Northern Michigan as well as parts of eastern Wisconsin. Two listener-supported stations broadcast to northwest Michigan: Classical Music 88.7, 88.5, 94.7 and 100.9 FM; News Radio 91.5, 90.1 and 89.7 FM. Broadcasts include arts programming, news and culture from around the world, as well as local and regional news. IPR was a charter member of National Public Radio.
Founded in 1963, Interlochen Public Radio or WIAA was envisioned as an extension of the "Music From Interlochen" program which ran on the NBC radio network. The Music From Interlochen Program informed a wider audience about the activities at the then-named National Music Camp and the nascent Interlochen Arts Academy. The station was slow to catch on in its early years and some considered shutting down the operation. Interlochen Public Radio went on to establish itself with two service channels: one for music and one for news.
In 1993, Interlochen Public Radio reportedly had one of the highest rates of per capita contributions of any public radio station in the United States. The station's classical music service is broadcast from their main tower at WIAA 88.7 FM in Interlochen, along with WIAB 88.5 FM in Mackinaw City, and W234BU 94.7 FM in Traverse City. In 2000, IPR began offering a separate news service on WICA 91.5 FM in Traverse City and later added WLMN 89.7 FM in Manistee and WHBP 90.1 FM in Harbor Springs.
Interlochen Presents offers a summer festival from June through August during the arts camp and a performing arts series from September through May that coincides with the Arts Academy school year. It features concerts, plays, art exhibits, readings, film screenings, and dance productions presented by students, faculty, and staff, along with an assortment of guest artists. Previous guest artists include Steely Dan, Sheryl Crow, Willie Nelson, Joshua Bell, Jason Mraz, Bonnie Raitt, Olga Kern, Sara Bareilles, Dierks Bentley, Norah Jones, Martha Graham Dance Company, Ra Ra Riot, Bob Dylan, Jewel, Carol Jantsch, Josh Groban, Paula Poundstone, Nathan Gunn, Chris Thile, and Bela Fleck.
From the State of Michigan historical marker on Interlochen's Osterlin Mall:
Ottawa Indians once lived in the pine forest between lakes Wahbekaness and Wahbekanetta. In the late 1800s white men came and cut the pines, leaving only a small forest between the lakes. This virgin pine was purchased in 1917 by the state and became part of one of the first state parks. When the lumber era ended, the Wylie Cooperage mill occupied the Indian village site, making barrels until the hardwood ran out. Willis Pennington's summer hotel, opened in 1909, was popular with fishermen until automobiles and better roads drew them elsewhere. Then in 1918, Camp Interlochen, one of Michigan's first girls' recreation camps, was opened, followed in 1922 by Camp Penn Loch for boys. In 1928, by arrangement with Willis Pennington, Joseph E. Maddy and Thaddeus P. Giddings established the National High School Orchestra Camp. It grew rapidly in scope, size, and reputation, becoming the National Music Camp in 1931, and affiliating with the University of Michigan in 1942. Interlochen Arts Academy was chartered in 1960 to provide year-round training in the creative arts.
From the book Interlochen, The First 25 Years:
In 1926, Joe Maddy was asked to organize and conduct the First National High School Orchestra for the Music Supervisors' National Conference (now known as the Music Educators National Conference) in Detroit. Its resounding success led to an invitation to duplicate the experience at the Dallas, Texas convention of the National Education Association's Department of Superintendence in 1927. The exuberant young musicians pled for the chance to work and play together longer than the few days the convention appearance afforded. Joe Maddy promised them a music camp! In June, 1928, at Interlochen, Michigan, in the midst of a magnificent stand of virgin pine trees between two lovely lakes, The National High School Orchestra Camp opened its doors. On leased land, with the old Hotel Pennington, several cottages, 29 new camper cabins, a hospital, water and sewer system, the new Interlochen Bowl, and $40,000 debt, this brave experiment was launched.
Interlochen was the inspiration for the 1941 Paramount motion picture There's Magic in Music (AKA "The Hard Boiled Canary"). Interlochen also provided inspiration, along with Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, for Alyson Hannigan's character in American Pie.
In 2006, Katalyst Media filmed a reality TV pilot for MTV at Interlochen Arts Academy. Afraid that an MTV show would ruin Interlochen's distinguished reputation, a large group of students resorted to protesting and trolling the Katalyst Media film crew in order to prevent Katalyst Media from filming viable footage. Student efforts were successful, and the pilot never aired.
Notable alumni include: