Events

FRIDAY, JANUARY 17 – MONDAY, JANUARY 20

Interlochen Collaborative Exhibition: “What is Home?” at the Dennos Museum Center*
Designed as part of an “intermester” class at Interlochen, the comparative arts department will work with Traverse City High School students to develop a variety of visual, written, and performance art around the theme, “What is home?”

The program and exhibition is sponsored by the Dennos Museum Center and NMC Student Life with additional support from STEP: Student in Transition Empowerment Program, Blackbird Arts, and Third Level Crisis Intervention Center.

*A free public opening reception will be offered  on Thursday, January 16 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm. The opening reception will be open to the public free of charge.

MONDAY, JANUARY 20

State Theatre Free Programming
Traverse City’s State Theatre will offer a full day of FREE community events and film screenings to celebrate MLK Day. The events include:

9 am: To Kill a Mockingbird Film Screening
Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize–winning novel about a single father lawyer who defends a falsely accused black man was made into one of America’s best films in 1962, the year before Dr. King led the March on Washington. Join the many families who make an annual trek to the State to watch Gregory Peck steer his children through an eventful summer in their small hometown, as they are exposed to prejudice and evil, courage and compassion. Not Rated, 129 minutes. State Theatre, Free!

12 noon: King: A Filmed Record…Montgomery to Memphis Film Screening
From five time Academy Award nominee Sidney Lumet and four time Oscar-winner Joseph L. Mankiewicz comes the never before released landmark documentary that chronicles the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., from the beginnings of the Civil Rights movement in Montgomery, Alabama, and culminating with his assassination in Memphis in 1968. Originally screened in theaters for only a single night in 1970, King: A Filmed Record features Paul Newman, James Earl Jones, Charlton Heston, Sidney Poitier, Walter Matthau & Marlon Brando, among others, with newsreel and archival footage to create a powerful and comprehensive record of Dr. King’s legacy and the American Civil Rights movement. King: A Filmed Record is an indispensable primary resource of a pivotal moment in American and world history. Not Rated, 185 minutes. State Theatre, Free!

5:30 pm: Freedom Sounds Special Event
This special live performance event features an engaging and often familiar collection of music by iconic folk, blues and jazz artists whose music had historical significance and helped define the civil rights movement such as Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, Otis Spann, Dave Brubeck, Max Roach and Herbie Hancock. Headlining performers include critically acclaimed singer/historian Ray Kamalay, and the renowned Rodney Whitaker Quintet with vocalist Rockelle Fortin. Sponsored by the TC Human Rights Commission, the State Theatre, and Building Bridges with Music, Golden-Fowler and Grand Traverse Pie Company, this year’s event promises a unique and engaging musical perspective on the civil rights movement. State Theatre, Free!

8:00 pm: Lee Daniels’ The Butler Film Screening
Lee Daniels’ The Butler tells the story of a White House butler who served seven American presidents over three decades. The film traces the dramatic changes that swept American society during this time, from the civil rights movement to Vietnam and beyond, and how those changes affected this man’s life and family. Forest Whitaker stars as the butler with Robin Williams as Dwight Eisenhower, James Marsden as John F. Kennedy, Liev Schreiber as Lyndon B. Johnson, John Cusack as Richard Nixon, Alan Rickman as Ronald Reagan, and many more. Academy Award® nominated Lee Daniels (PRECIOUS) directs and Emmy®-award winning Danny Strong (GAME CHANGE) wrote the script. Rated PG-13, 132 min. State Theatre, Free!

MLK Peace Day Celebration at the Great Lakes Children’s Museum
The Great Lakes Children’s Museum will celebrate MLK Day with special programming from 11 am – 3 pm. Activities encourage children to think about diversity, tolerance, and acceptance, including age-appropriate experiences with messages about anti-bullying, peaceful communications, and cooperation. Cost: included with price of $6 admission or annual membership.

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 22 – SATURDAY, MARCH 15

“Celebrating Legends: The Stories of Father Fred and Roy and Ellen Brigman” Exhibit at the History Center of Traverse City
The History Center of Traverse City will be celebrating Legends of the Grand Traverse Region with exhibitions featuring Father Fred, founder of the Father Fred Foundation, and Roy and Ellen Brigman, who ran Camp Roy-El, a retreat for children with special needs, from the late 1950s into the 1980s.

Legends exhibits and public programs will explore the history of these individuals and examine the current contributions and challenges faced by the people they served so well in the past.

In choosing Father Fred and the Brigmans, Legends is highlighting an often-unseen portion of our diverse community. Those with financial, social, or physical challenges are as much a part of our community as anyone else. Dr. King’s dream of a nation that treats all of its citizens as people of value would certainly include such citizens.

Admission $5, children 4 and under FREE.

Legends partners also include: the Grand Traverse Genealogical Society, the Northwest Lower Michigan Women’s History Project, Temple Beth El, the Hispanic Apostolate of the Diocese of Gaylord, the Traverse City Human Rights Commission, Professor Jim Press of Northwestern Michigan College’s History Department, Cindy Winslow of the Grand Traverse Tribe’s Eyaawing Museum and Cultural Center, and the Traverse City Human Rights Commission.

All Events occur at the History Center of Traverse City, 322 Sixth Street.

THURSDAY, JANUARY 23

7:00 pm: Slavery by Another Name Film Screening at the Dennos Museum Center
Slavery by Another Name is a documentary that challenges one of Americans’ most cherished assumptions: the belief that slavery in this country ended with the Emancipation Proclamation. The film tells how even as chattel slavery came to an end in the South in 1865, thousands of African Americans were pulled back into forced labor with shocking force and brutality. It was a system in which men, often guilty of no crime at all, were arrested, compelled to work without pay, repeatedly bought and sold, and coerced to do the bidding of masters. Tolerated by both the North and South, forced labor lasted well into the 20th century. Not rated, 90 min. Milliken Auditorium, Free!

In conjunction with the Created Equal Film Festival, January 23-26, Slavery by Another Name will help to frame a conversation and community-centered dialogue to take place on January 26 at the Dennos Museum Center.

FRIDAY, JANUARY 24

7:00 pm: The Loving Story Film Screening at the Dennos Museum Center
Mildred and Richard Loving knew it was technically illegal for them to live as a married couple in Virginia because she was of African American and Native American descent and he was white. But they never expected to be woken up in their bedroom and arrested one night in 1958. The documentary brings to life the Lovings’ marriage and the legal battle that followed through little-known filmed interviews and photographs shot for Life magazine. Not rated, 77 min. Milliken Auditorium, Free!

In conjunction with the Created Equal Film Festival, January 23-26, The Loving Story will help to frame a conversation and community-centered dialogue to take place on January 26 at the Dennos Museum Center. 

SATURDAY, JANUARY 25

7:00 pm: Freedom Riders Film Screening at the Dennos Museum Center
This inspirational documentary is about a band of courageous civil rights activists calling themselves the Freedom Riders. Gaining impressive access to influential figures on both sides of the issue, it chronicles a chapter of American history that stands as an astonishing testament to the accomplishment of youth and what can result from the incredible combination of personal conviction and the courage to organize against all odds. Milliken Auditorium, Free!

In conjunction with the Created Equal Film Festival, January 23-26, Freedom Riders will help to frame a conversation and community-centered dialogue to take place on January 26 at the Dennos Museum Center.

SUNDAY, JANUARY 26

2:00 pm: “Is the United States a Post-Racial Society?” Created Equal Discussion
As the closing event for the Created Equal Film Festival, the community is invited to a presentation and discussion with Dr. David Pilgrim of the Jim Crow Museum at Ferris State University, Big Rapids, MI. With documentary film as the catalyst, this event will explore themes surrounding the question, “Is the United States a post-racial society?” There is no requirement for watching any of the films, and the entire community is encouraged to attend. This program is free of charge, and light refreshments will be available. Milliken Auditorium or Janis Room, Free!

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 1

11:00 am: Create Your Own Peace Flag at the Traverse Area District Library-Woodmere
Children and their families will create peace flags, which we will hang and be on display in the atrium of the Woodmere (Main) Branch throughout March. Free!

Also on February 5 and 12 at 4 pm.

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 5

10:30 am: Amistad Black History Month Classics at the State Theatre
This Steven Spielberg-directed exploration into a long-ago episode in African-American history recounts the trial that followed the 1839 rebellion aboard the Spanish slave ship Amistad and captures the complex political maneuverings set in motion by the event. Filmed in New England and Puerto Rico, the 152-minute drama opens with a pre-credit sequence showing Cinque (Djimon Hounsou) and the other Africans in a violent takeover of the Amistad. Captured, they are imprisoned in New England where former slave Theodore Joadson (Morgan Freeman), viewing the rebels as “freedom fighters,” approaches property lawyer Baldwin (Matthew McConaughey), who attempts to prove the Africans were “stolen goods” because they were kidnapped. Running for re-election, President Martin Van Buren (Nigel Hawthorne) overturns the lower court’s decision in favor of the Africans. Former President John Quincy Adams (Anthony Hopkins) is reluctant to become involved, but when the case moves on to the Supreme Court, Adams stirs emotions with a powerful defense. The storyline occasionally cuts away to Spain where the young Queen Isabella (Anna Paquin) plays with dolls; she later debated the Amistad case with seven U.S. presidents. The character portrayed by Morgan Freeman is a fictional composite of several historical figures. For authentic speech, the Africans speak the Mende language, subtitled during some scenes but not others. Rated R, 155 min. State Theatre, Tickets Just 25 cents!

4:00 pm: Create Your Own Peace Flag at the Traverse Area District Library-Woodmere
Children and their families will create peace flags, which we will hang and be on display in the atrium of the Woodmere (Main) Branch throughout March. Free!

Also on February 1 at 11 am and February 12 at 4 pm.

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 6

7:00 pm: Las Marthas - Community Cinema at the Dennos Museum
The annual debutante ball in Laredo, Texas is unlike any other in the country. The festival lasts an entire month and coincides with George Washington’s birthday. For more than a century the city’s coming-out celebrations have involved intricate paeans to America’s colonial past.
In 1939, the Society of Martha Washington was founded to usher each year’s debutantes (called “Marthas”) into proper society at the Colonial Pageant and Ball. The girls’ attendants also dress as figures from America’s colonial history and participate in traditional ceremonies.

The centerpiece of the festivities is the Martha Washington Pageant and Ball, when the girls are presented in elaborate dresses that take up to a year to create.

The celebration – which dates from the aftermath of the US/Mexico War and was shaped by the tensions following the influx of Anglo migrants to the newly American state of Texas, resonates anew in a time of economic uncertainty and political tension over immigration.

Still, the Washington Celebration has managed to persevere and even flourish, thanks in large part to the Mexican American girls who carry this gilded tradition on their young shoulders. Milliken Auditorium, Free!

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 7

7:00 pm: The Spirit of Harriet Tubman Live Performance at the Dennos Museum Center
For more than ten years, “The Spirit of Harriet Tubman” has been thrilling audiences of all ages across North America. This powerful portrayal of the life of Harriet Tubman, written and performed by Leslie McCurdy, has been called “exceptional!”, “amazing!”, “brilliantly conceived!”, “compelling!”, “beautiful to watch!”, “like watching Harriet Tubman grow up!”, “one of the best performances I have ever attended!” It is an inspiring, must see performance for the whole family! Milliken Auditorium, All Seats $10. Get Tickets Here

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 8

2:00 pm: History of Camp Roy-El at the History Center of Traverse City
Gather to explore and celebrate the history and accomplishments of Camp Roy-El. Free!

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 12

10:30 am: Malcolm X Black History Month Classic at the State Theatre
Writer-director Spike Lee’s epic portrayal of the life and times of the slain civil rights leader Malcolm X. Rated PG-13, 202 min. State Theatre, Tickets Just 25 cents!

4:00 pm: Create Your Own Peace Flag at the Traverse Area District Library-Woodmere
Children and their families will create peace flags, which we will hang and be on display in the atrium of the Woodmere (Main) Branch throughout March. Free!

Also on February 1 at 11 am and February 5 at 4 pm.

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 19

10:30 am: The Jackie Robinson Story Black History Month Classic at the State Theatre
Biography of Jackie Robinson, the first black major league baseball player in the 20th century. Traces his career in the negro leagues and the major leagues. Jackie Robinson plays himself. Not Rated, 76 min. State Theatre, Tickets Just 25 cents!

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 20

7:00 pm: The Father Fred Story at the History Center of Traverse City
Experience the story of Father Fred and his foundation. Free!

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 26

10:30 am: Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner Black History Month Classic at the State Theatre
Old-line liberals Matt and Christina Drayton (Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn) have raised their daughter Joey (Katharine Houghton) to think for herself and not blindly conform to the conventional. Still, they aren’t prepared for the shock when she returns home from a vacation with a new fiancé: African-American doctor John Prentice (Sidney Poitier). While they come to grips with whatever prejudices they might still harbor, the younger folks must also contend with John’s parents (Roy Glenn Sr. and Beah Richards), who are dead-set against the union. To complicate matters, the older couple’s disapproving maid (Isabel Sanford) and Christina’s bigoted business associate (Virginia Christine) put in their two cents’ worth. While Joey is determined to go ahead with the wedding no matter what people think, John refuses to consider marriage until he receives the unqualified approval of all concerned. The closing monologue delivered by Spencer Tracy turned out to be the last scene ever played by the veteran film luminary, who died not long after the production. The film was a success in the racially volatile year of 1967 and was nominated for 10 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and won for Hepburn and screenwriter William Rose. Not Rated, 108 min. State Theatre, Tickets Just 25 cents!

THURSDAY, MARCH 6

7:00 pm: The Trials of Muhammad Ali - Community Cinema at the Dennos Museum Center
The Trials of Muhammad Ali is a feature-length documentary film covering Ali’s toughest bout, his battle to overturn the five-year prison sentence he received for refusing U.S. military service. This is not a boxing film. It is a fight film tracing a formative period in Ali’s life, one that is remarkably unknown to young people today and tragically neglected by those who remember him as a boxer, but overlook how controversial he was when he first took center stage. Milliken Auditorium, Free! 

THURSDAY, MARCH 13

7:00 pm: “Individuals with Special Needs” Panel Discussion at the History Center of Traverse City
Panel discussion to explore the evolving place of individuals with special needs in our community. Free!