Great Lakes Center For The Arts
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Mark your calendars for special events July 2018 celebrating Grand Opening!

Celebrations surrounding the Grand Opening of the Great Lakes Center for the Arts in July 2018 will span several days and include world-class performances and fun, family activities in recognition of this historic occasion in Northern Michigan. From a Founding Circle donor dinner on stage, to the incredible music of the distinguished Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and culminating with a Community Open House, “it will be a time of celebration, a time to thank our supporters for making this dream a reality, and a time to welcome the community to explore the Great Lakes Center for the Arts.” said Jill O’Neill, the Center’s Executive Director. “The community can expect a jubilant Grand Opening celebration and a summer filled with exceptional programming during this once-in-lifetime opportunity to open a year-round, state-of-the-art performing arts venue in Northern Michigan.”

The Center is shining the spotlight this week on the first few events planned for July 2018:

  • Thursday, July 5, 2018: The GLCFA’s Founding Circle donors Take Center Stage at this special dinner on stage inside the theater. “Our Founding Circle donors will be the first to set foot on the stage and have that moment of taking in the entire space, enjoy the perspective artists will have as they perform, and experience the intimate feel of the theater. It is a special way of saying ‘Thank you’ to our Founding Circle supporters for their generosity, trust and vision,” said O’Neill.

(All are welcome to join the Founding Circle; please contact Maris Harrington, Director of Development, at 231-439-2606 or to inquire.)

  • Friday, July 6, 2018: Seat Campaign supporters, it’s time to Meet Your Seat! Join the Center staff for a champagne tour of the Center and find your seats and personal inscriptions.
  • Saturday, July 7, 2018: The Center’s Grand Opening Gala has arrived! Raising the Curtain will feature the 90-member Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Interlochen World Youth Choir and other special guests.
    Each year, the Center will host a gala fundraiser to support exceptional year-round programming at affordable, accessible ticket prices. “The Center’s annual gala will be in the tradition of so many vibrant performing arts institutions throughout the country that host a special event annually that serves as a major fundraiser to sustainably support its mission. With the music of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra set against the beautiful backdrop of Little Traverse Bay in summertime, this event is sure to be spectacular,” said O’Neill. “We gratefully welcome the community to join us for this gala event in support of the performing arts.”
  • Sunday, July 8, 2018: All the World’s a Stage Community Open House. As a thank you to the entire Northern Michigan community and all those who have shared in the excitement of the Great Lakes Center for Arts there will be free family-fun activities, tours of the Center, refreshments and special performances by Voices Without Borders, the Up North Vocal Institute and others to be announced.

Just a few days later, the 2018 Premiere Summer Season launches first with the Great Lakes Leadership Forum on Thursday, July 12, 2018, and then the renowned Stars of the Joffrey Ballet on Saturday, July 14. Details about these events and all of Summer 2018 available online at


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  • Dance
  • Music
  • Intellectual Dialogue
  • Movies & Film
  • Education