The Interlochen Center for the Arts is a globally-renowned institution and a celebrated staple of the Northern Michigan music and art communities. Founded in 1928, the Center started as a high school orchestra camp and gradually developed into a comprehensive arts education institution. The Center holds annual summer camps, a boarding high school, a series of seminars for adults, and a public radio service. The Center has gained a reputation for its prestigious educational programs; in 2006, the institute received the National Medal of Arts from the U.S. Government.

The Center is located on a 1,200-acre campus in the town of Interlochen. The campsite lies 15 miles outside of Traverse City and is situated between two lakes: Duck Lake and Green Lake. The Center is also close to the shores of Lake Michigan, where campers often take field trips.

The Center’s camps and classes attract students from all over the world. Students who attend Interlochen’s various programs often go on to attain high-profile success. Interlochen alumni have achieved a total of 11 MacArthur “Genius” Grants, 124 Grammy Awards, and 26 Tony Awards. Notable celebrities who have studied at the Center include Terry Crews, Vince Gilligan, Ed Helms, Norah Jones, Larry Page, and Rufus Wainwright.

In addition, Interlochen Center for the Arts hosts several events that are open to the public. The Center hosts an “Interlochen Presents” summer series, an annual arts festival, and a Shakespeare Festival. Several famous musicians, actors, and artists have performed at these events. The Center hosts seven performance sites: Kresge Auditorium, Corson Auditorium, Harvey Theatre, Dendrinos Chapel and Recital Hall, Upton-Marley Pavilion, Interlochen Bowl, and Phoenix Theatre.

Learn more about Interlochen’s programs below.

Interlochen Arts Camp

The summer education camps are the Center’s oldest and most renowned programs. Students in grades 3-12 spend anywhere from two to six weeks perfecting their craft in an artistic field of their choice. Subjects offered include music, theatre, motion picture arts, visual arts, creative writing, dance, and general arts. Auditions are required.

Interlochen Arts Academy

Founded in 1962, Interlochen Arts Academy was the first arts-based boarding high school of its kind and remains the foremost in its field. Students stay on campus and complete a high school education while ‘majoring’ in a particular area of study. Subjects offered include comparative arts, creative writing, dance, motion picture arts, music, theatre arts, and visual arts.

Interlochen College of Creative Arts

Started in 2004, the College of Creative Arts offers a series of short yet comprehensive arts programs for adults. Subjects offered include music, creative writing, media, visual arts, and professional development.

Interlochen Public Radio

Founded in 1963, Interlochen Public Radio is a broadcasting company that plays prominently in Northern Michigan. The service hosts a classical music station and a news station. IPR is affiliated with NPR, Michigan Public Radio, and the Associated Press.

More Interlochen Center for the Arts

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Photo(s) by Linsey Wuepper