“Many of my students have little or no experiences with music, art, or theater. The only exposure they receive is through school. My students were able to experience an event (The Accidentals) that expanded their horizons, one that showed them new possibilities.” – Local 4th Grade Teacher
“Thank you so much for organizing the opportunity for our middle school students to experience the ballet in person in such a beautiful venue. We were AMAZED! It was my first time there AND my first time seeing a live ballet, and I couldn’t have been more pleased. The details were very well organized, and we enjoyed the special lessons plans for preparing for the ballet.” – Local 6th Grade Teacher
The mission of the Great Lakes Center for the Arts is to inspire, entertain, and educate through year-round, world-class programming, affordable ticket pricing, and a robust education program.
The Center offers broad experiences and school matinees that reach many students across the region, as well as intensive opportunities that reach specific student groups. Area youth interact with and learn from world-class artists while cultivating a stronger appreciation for the performing arts. Thanks to the generous support of our Family of Donors and a grant from the State of Michigan, student performances are offered free of charge.
The GLCFA strives to present opportunities for students at all grade levels, pre-kindergarten through high school, across many genres. Working with a team of certified teachers, the Center staff aligns its events with the Michigan Standards and Curriculum. In the 2018-2019 academic year, events focused on literature, history/government, dance, and music, and in the 2019-2020 year will expand to also include science. Teachers are provided with pre- and post-lesson plans to use in their classrooms to optimize learning and enhance the theater-going experience for students.
Notable events with limited complimentary student tickets and/or educational components from 2018-2019: The Accidentals, Black Violin, Freedom Bound, Interlochen Swan Lake ballet, The Joffrey, Senator George Mitchell, Matthew Morrison, the Vienna Boys Choir, among others.
2019 | 2020 Fall – Spring Events
3rd – 5th Grade, Science
October 17 10:00AM | 1:00PM
October 30 10:00AM | 1:00PM
Doktor Kaboom strives to empower, excite, educate, and entertain the people of Earth.
Through interactive character-driven science comedy we improve society’s understanding and retention of basic scientific principals, build upon those basics, demonstrate that all science is for everyone, and remove the cultural stigma that scientific awareness is something to fear.
“Spectacular. . . nobody can captivate an audience better”– Broadway World
“Better than Bill Nye”– DC Theatre Scene
“Better than Star Wars! Well, episode 2” – Ecstatic 8-year-old
Pete The Cat
Pre-K to 2nd grades, literature, relationships, and teamwork
November 8 9:30AM | 1:00PM
When Pete the Cat gets caught rocking out after bedtime, the cat-catcher sends him to live with the Biddle family to learn his manners – and boy are they square! But for the groovy blue cat, life is an adventure no matter where you wind up, so the minute Pete walks in the door, he gets the whole family rocking. The whole family that is, except for young Jimmy Biddle, the most organized second-grader on planet earth. As the end of second-grade approaches, Jimmy has a lot of tests, and the last thing he needs is some groovy cat in his life, changing his family and turning everything upside down. But when Jimmy draws a blank in art class during the last week of school, it turns out Pete is the perfect friend to help him out. Together, they set out on a mission to help Jimmy conquer second-grade art, and along the way, they both learn a little something new about inspiration. Join Jimmy and Pete on an adventure of friendship, all the way to Paris and back in a VW Bus.
“Delightful and funny with a breezy, upbeat score, lively book any lyrics.” – Huffington Post
“A high-energy irrepressibly cheerful whirl.” -New York One
Walk On: The Story of Rosa Park
7th & 8th grades, history
“A glimpse into the past, into our souls, with wit and genuine American ingenuity.” -The Annenberg Center, Philadelphia, PA
“Consistent quality of productions and integrity of theme and presentation.” -Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C.
Interlochen Ballet Sleeping Beauty
6th grade, literature, and dance
February 28 12:30PM
Interlochen Arts Academy’s dance students present the classic tale of a princess cursed to slumber for 100 years. Accompanied by Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s beloved score, the company will stage a ballet based on Marius Petipa’s original choreography.
To book your next educational visit to the Center, use the buttons above to register. To learn more, contact Heather Russell, Education Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 231.439.2604.
How much does it cost to attend a matinee at the Center?
Nothing! We are thrilled to offer educational events free of charge to schools thanks to our generous family of donors, endowments, foundation grants, and the State of Michigan. That said, we very much appreciate feedback through emails, cards, notes, etc. which helps with grant reports and aids in securing additional funding for future programs.
What about bussing?
The Center can reimburse your school district for the cost of the busses. Please email an invoice to email@example.com
How many events may we attend during the year?
There is no limit; however, we strive to fulfill requests and provide experiences to as many schools/students from across Northern Michigan as possible.
How many chaperones do we need?
We kindly ask that you provide 1 adult per 20 students. These may be teachers, administrators, health care aides, drivers. For schools seated in the upper-level boxes, one adult must be present for every 5-7 students (one adult per box). The Center will also try to fill this role using our volunteer team.
How do we make a reservation?
The best way to reserve your space is to fill out the form above. Please be as accurate with your numbers as possible. We will hold back a few seats, should your numbers change. You may also contact Heather Russell, Education Director, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 231.439.2604.
Are lesson plans provided?
Yes! The Center’s Teacher Advisory Committee (comprised of teachers from four area school districts) creates lesson plans that correspond with the state curricula. All materials will be classroom-ready (but also adaptable) for you to use at your discretion. We encourage teachers to use the pre- and post-event lesson plans to maximize students’ learning and enhance their overall experience at the Center.
What is the cancellation policy?
There is no cost, and therefore no deposit required. We ask that you please be respectful of other schools and let the Center know as soon as possible if your plans or the total number of students/adults changes. Often there is a waiting list for educational events, and we would like to ensure a full house to take full advantage of the performing arts opportunities.
Will more events be added during the year?
Currently, the calendar is set, but there are other educational opportunities through our regular season evening events.
Is photography allowed?
It depends on the artists’ contracts and will be announced from the stage at the start of the show. GLCFA reserves the right to take pictures, post to social media, use in our publications and the like. Students’ names will not be included.
How early should we arrive at the Center prior to the show?
Please arrive 15-20 minutes before the start of the program. Any earlier…you’re responsible for the “antsy pants.” In the days leading up to the event, rows/seats will be assigned to schools (not individuals) and communicated via email.
Will we be back in time for lunch/afternoon bus runs?
The length of the event will be communicated ahead of time so you can plan accordingly. Generally speaking, morning shows will end around 11:15; afternoon show will conclude no later than 2:30.
What if there is a snow day?
Center staff will watch for school closings on local tv stations but calls and/or emails would also be appreciated. Conversely, if the Center needs to cancel an event due to inclement weather, staff will send out an email to the contact person from each school as early as possible. School personnel is also welcome to contact Heather Russell, Education Director, via email at email@example.com or by calling 231-439-2604.
Can you accommodate a child with special needs?
We will do our best to accommodate all students. Please let us know ahead of time if you have students with special needs (wheelchair, aisle seat to be able to leave if needed, etc.)