About the Center

The Center

When the curtain rose for the first time at the Grand Opening on July 7, 2018, the Great Lakes Center for the Arts became a cultural and social hub in Northern Michigan offering year-round events across all genres—music, dance, theater, movies and film, intellectual dialogue, education—making it a regional and national performing arts destination.

As an architectural landmark designed by renowned theater designers Fisher Dachs Associates and architects TowerPinkster, the Center is centrally located in Northern Michigan, just outside of Petoskey on US31, near Harbor Springs, Charlevoix, and Boyne City. The Center includes a beautifully crafted, intimate 525-seat theater housing a large stage with state-of-the-art features that meet the demands of internationally acclaimed artists and companies.

The Center’s spaces such as the Community Engagement Room, Rooftop Terrace, Main Level Patio, and Donor Lounge allow patrons to gather, enjoy conversations, a beverage, and views of Lake Michigan prior to events.

The Great Lakes Center for the Arts is a 501(c)3 charitable organization with an independent Board of Directors.

The Mission

To inspire, entertain, educate, and serve all in Northern Michigan year-round by presenting exceptional experiences across the full spectrum of the performing arts and offering impactful educational opportunities.

The Vision

Over the next five years, the Great Lakes Center for the Arts will be recognized as a leading Midwest performing arts presenter and provider of broadened cultural opportunities.

Founding Artistic Director and lead consultant for all areas, including mission, vision, program planning, and leadership, Michael M. Kaiser, President Emeritus of the Kennedy Center in Washington and Chairman of the DeVos Institute of Arts Management, is providing expertise, knowledge, and experience to the Great Lakes Center for the Arts ensuring its sustainable success.



Centrally located in the five-county region of the Northwest Lower Peninsula, the Center cultivates an approachable, welcoming, and inclusive environment in all aspects from affordability to those with physical, cognitive, and emotional impairments.


The Center strives to serve as a cultural and social hub fostering collaborative relationships with the Northern Michigan artistic, non-profit, business, and geographic communities, and the artistic community-at-large.


The Center embraces diversity and inclusivity in all its forms within its leadership, service to all in Northern Michigan, and opportunities to experience events across the vast spectrum of the performing arts and intellectual discussion.


The Center delivers exceptional service to its artists and patrons and operates at a high standard of quality and excellence.


In all its interactions, the Center and its representatives conduct themselves with professionalism, transparency, honesty, accountability, and respect.


The Center is a responsible steward of its community resources – both ongoing donor investments in its mission and long-term maintenance of its state-of-the-art venue – and continually seeks to optimize earned income and build broad, sustainable support to maximize its impact on the region.