Interlochen Center for the Arts Completes 30-year Master Plan

Interlochen Center for the Arts, a global destination for artists looking to grow their skills in Interlochen, located southwest of Traverse City, has announced the completion of its campus master plan, a 30-year transformation that played a key role in its evolution from a national summer music camp to a year-round multidisciplinary arts and education leader.
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Interlochen Center for the Arts announced it has completed a 30-year campus transformation, including The Music Center (pictured). // Courtesy of Interlochen Center for the Arts
Interlochen Center for the Arts announced it has completed a 30-year campus transformation, including The Music Center (pictured). // Courtesy of Interlochen Center for the Arts

Interlochen Center for the Arts, a global destination for artists looking to grow their skills in Interlochen, located southwest of Traverse City, has announced the completion of its campus master plan, a 30-year transformation that played a key role in its evolution from a national summer music camp to a year-round multidisciplinary arts and education leader.

“Over the last 30 years, the incredible generosity of our community has brought the Sasaki Plan to fruition and remade the artistic face of our campus,” says Trey Devey, president of Interlochen. “Young creatives ages 8 to 18 from all 50 states and 40 countries journey each year to Interlochen to transform their passion into purpose across arts disciplines in facilities on par with professional arts organizations, colleges, and conservatories.”

The Sasaki Associates Campus Master Plan guided 17 major facility projects, including dedicated “homes” for the center’s seven arts discipline: creative writing, dance, film and new media, interdisciplinary arts, music, theatre, and visual arts.

Interlochen will celebrate the milestone for an invited audience on Oct. 21-22 with performances, exhibitions, and readings by Arts Academy students across campus and with dedication ceremonies at the two most recently completed facilities: the newly opened Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow House and the Dance Center.

“Thanks to the extraordinary support of our community, we can now shift our focus to making Interlochen even more transformative and accessible for future generations of creative changemakers as we approach our second century,” says Devey.

Before the centennial celebration in 2028, Interlochen plans to substantially increase merit- and need-based financial aid for Arts Camp and Academy students to ensure the Interlochen experience is accessible to even more young artists.

Sasaki, the Boston-based architecture and design firm, created nine world-class arts facilities: the Phoenix Theatre, the Frohlich Piano and Percussion Building, the Harvey Theatre Complex, the Writing House, the DeRoy Center for Film Studies, the Herbert H. and Barbara C. Dow Center for Visual Arts, the Upton-Morley Pavilion, the Music Center, and the Dance Center.

The plan also encompasses renovations to major venues: the Corson Auditorium, the Interlochen Bowl, the Mallory-Towsley Center for Arts Leadership, the College of Creative Arts, Bonisteel Library, Corson Park, the Dennison Center for Recreation and Wellness, and the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow House.

The 173-seat Phoenix Theatre is a versatile black-box performance and rehearsal space. The space features an updated lobby with a ticket office, restrooms, a professional sound and lighting system, an on-site scene shop, and a large dressing area for performers.

The Harvey Theatre Complex is a state-of-the-art space for teaching, designing, and presenting theatrical works. The centerpiece of the complex is the Harvey Theatre. The complex also features an on-site scene shop for the construction of sets, movement and rehearsal rooms, classrooms, and offices.

The Frohlich Piano and Percussion Building is a climate-controlled space for studying percussion, piano, and other keyboard instruments. The building features a freight-sized elevator for transporting large instruments and is connected to Corson Auditorium through the Music Center. Other amenities include a piano technician’s studio, several large classrooms, numerous individual practice rooms equipped with acoustic and electric pianos, and a custom-built practice organ made by Wahl Organbuilders.

The Writing House is a building dedicated to the craft of writing at the pre-college level. Designed in the style of a north woods lodge, the building features rustic flagstone fireplaces and soaring wood beams. The central Great Room is equipped with a lighting and sound system for readings by students, faculty, and guests. Other amenities include classrooms, conference rooms, community-use printers, and a full kitchen.

The DeRoy Center for Film Studies is a living and learning space dedicated to high school filmmakers. The 26,000 square-foot facility is home to the Film & New Media division and features four editing suites, a sound stage, a 178-seat projection space, and classrooms equipped with cutting-edge technology. Its 24 residential rooms are prioritized to the Film and New Media students during the Academy year.

The Herbert H. and Barbara C. Dow Center for Visual Arts is dedicated to visual art at the high school level. The 36,000 square-foot facility features separate studios for painting, drawing, sculpture, ceramics, metals, fibers, photography, and printmaking, as well as a professional-caliber gallery for exhibitions by students, faculty, and staff.

The Upton-Morley Pavilion is an outdoor performance and rehearsal space. The 8,400 square-foot venue features 467 open-air seats, modern lighting and sound equipment, and backstage facilities for both student and professional performers.

The Music Center contains two 3,500-square-foot rehearsal halls, providing amazing spaces for orchestra, wind symphony, and vocal rehearsals; alongside two recording studios, which allow for rehearsal and performance recordings in multiple venues throughout campus.

The Dance Center is a scenic, 25,000-square-foot facility, which was dramatically renovated and expanded. The building’s southern section was completed in 1950 and features spacious, light-filled studios, faculty offices, lounge area, fitness area, and stunning views of the waterfront.

The northern section is a 16,000-square-foot addition which includes three new climate-controlled studios with 16-foot ceilings to accommodate dance teaching and performance requirements.

It also has an outdoor deck space, locker rooms for students and faculty, a dedicated costume and fitting room, and ADA-compliant accessibility features. The addition was designed by the Boston-based architecture firm Flansburgh Architects.

Other new facilities and upgrades work towards Interlochen’s goal to create a unique space for artists and to inspire people worldwide through excellence in the arts and art education. For more information, visit interlochen.org.

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