MyNorth News Service

(Press Release provided by Dennos Museum Center) 

TRAVERSE CITY: – For a second year, the Dennos Museum Center at Northwestern Michigan College has been awarded a contract by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts to cover some of the costs of programming for students with disabilities enrolled at the Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District, as well as throughout the region. Joining the partnership this year is Blackbird Arts, which will work with students as a follow up to their museum visit.

To strengthen the established partnership between the Dennos Museum Center and the Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District (TBAISD), the Art Works program will provide a museum tour and hands-on art project for approximately 150 students with disabilities and 100 general education students in order to create opportunities for students to develop meaningful connections with each other through art. The program will combine last year’s successful model of discussion, interaction, and encouragement, with additional resources based on evaluations from staff, volunteers, and students. Art Works admission waivers will be extended to classrooms outside of TBAISD that work with special needs students, increasing the number of students able to experience the exhibition and hands-on project at reduced cost. For information on Art Works for your classroom, contact Jason Dake, Curator of Education, at 231-995-1029.

The featured exhibition, Re-Tooled: Highlights from the Hechinger Collection, includes 28 artists from 5 countries, with art that contains tools as subject matter. The exhibition is designed to engage viewers in conversation about everyday objects while learning about art. TBAISD programs will occur February—March, 2015. Covered tour programs for classes with students with special needs are available January 25 — May 17, 2015, during the run of the exhibition.

In addition, TBAISD students will participate in a related art project with Blackbird Arts in Traverse City, reinforcing the themes and vocabulary learned during the museum visit. Students will explore the whimsical side of tools by creating sculptures in clay that reflect the unique ways we can redefine their use.  They will also have the opportunity to explore movement and music to uncover the playful way tools shape our ability to work separately and together. 

“We are appreciative that the Kennedy Center has awarded us a contract again this year, allowing us to improve last year’s model and provide programming to this audience,” says Drake. “TBAISD and Blackbird Arts are great partners to have in the community, and it’s been a pleasure to work together on this project.”

Jill Mumford with TBAISD says, “Our students and teachers feel very fortunate to once again have The Kennedy Center award this contract to The Dennos Museum Center on our behalf.  The Dennos Center Museum has served our students well and promoted occasions for our students to gain access to the local fine arts opportunities such as Blackbird Arts.”

“We’re delighted to be a part of this collaboration to build inclusive arts programming and for the opportunity to teach with such a unique exhibit,” says Melissa Johnson of Blackbird Arts, “Our partnership with Dennos Museum Center and TBAISD has enriched our programs and provided wonderful opportunities to connect students to the arts within and outside our community.”


The Dennos Museum Center is open daily 10 AM to 5 PM, Thursdays until 8 PM, and Sundays 1-5 PM. Admission is $6/person ages 13 and up; $4/person ages 3-12; and free for members and NMC students with ID. For information on the Museum and its programs, go to or call 231-995-1055. The Dennos Museum Center is located at 1410 College Dr., Traverse City, MI 49686, at the entrance to the campus of Northwestern Michigan College.