Arts and Culture Destinations

Below is a list of Arts and Culture Destinations in the state of Michigan. This list is to be used as a reference. If you are an arts and culture organization that can welcome school groups and are interested in being included in the database, CLICK HERE for the application.  

Cultural Historical, Dance, Instrumental Music, Theatre, Vocal Music

Brighton Center for the Performing Arts

Brighton Livingston

Education outreach with performing groups. Workshops for local High School Choirs. Children's Series.

Cultural Historical, Dance, Instrumental Music, Literary Arts, Theatre, Visual Arts, Vocal Music

Chenery Auditorium

Kalamazoo Kalamazoo

The Aesthetic Education (AE) Program functions within the collaborative partnership between EFA Teaching Artists and Aesthetic Education-trained classroom teachers. Working together, classroom teachers and Teaching Artist develop and implement inquiry-based, experimental units of study around specific works of art that students view. These units are designed to highlight the possible relationships between an artist's choices and the viewer's aesthetic response. Through participatory activities and reflections, students further develop their capacities for observation, analysis, questioning, and meaning making allowing them to deeply engage with and experience works of art while making connections to their personal lived experiences, the outside world, and beyond.

Cultural Historical, Dance, Instrumental Music, Literary Arts, Theatre, Visual Arts, Vocal Music

Downriver Council for the Arts

Wyandotte Wayne

Founded in 1978, the Downriver Council for the Arts (DCA) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) arts and cultural organization that proudly serves nearly 400,000 residents in 21 Downriver communities. The DCA's mission is to enrich the quality of life in the Downriver communities by advocating and promoting the arts and providing opportunities for involvement and participation in arts and cultural activities. We actively support local artists and performers through artistic outreach programs and special promotional opportunities.

The DCA also creates regional partnerships with other cultural organizations, schools and service clubs to promote artistic, cultural and special events throughout Southeast Michigan. We hold these activities in our Arts Center and by operating in the various cities we serve. Each program and event at the DCA seeks to increase knowledge and understanding of art and ourselves, improve skills by participants, change one’s attitude or values, give enjoyment, inspiration, and creativity. We welcome all people including youth of all ages, disabled people, underserved/minority populations, and social conscious groups.

Cultural Historical, Instrumental Music, Science

Ford Piquette Avenue Plant

Detroit Wayne

The Ford Piquette Avenue Plant is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to the preservation of the birthplace of the Model T and the interpretation and celebration of Detroit’s automotive heritage and spirit of innovation.

Cultural Historical, Dance, Instrumental Music, Literary Arts, Science, Theatre, Vocal Music

Great Lakes Center for the Arts

Bay Harbor Emmet

The Center’s mission is to inspire, entertain, and educate through the performing arts with year-round, world-class performances, affordable ticket pricing, and robust educational programming, and to serve as a cultural and social hub for Northern Michigan.

Cultural Historical, Science

Hartley Outdoor Education Center

St. Charles Saginaw

Hartley Outdoor Education Center is a residential facility located 15 miles Southeast of Saginaw in Saginaw County. It has three state registered historic sites of which one is an old Coal Mine (some ruins are still visible) which operated from 1917-1931 and was the longest running Coal Mine in Michigan (14 years).

Another is the Schroeder Log Home which was built in 1896 and moved to the Hartley property in 1978. The third is the Fowler One-room Schoolhouse (the first schoolhouse in District 1). We also moved the oldest barn still standing in Saginaw county to our property last summer. That made a nice addition to our 100 acre Farm Learning Center which also includes the Murphy Farmhouse and the Henige Log Cabin.

Students spend three days and two nights experiencing the outdoor, hands-on classes that their teachers have chosen in one of three categories: Social Studies (Lumberjack Lore, Pioneer Heritage, Native American Living, Coal Mine #8, and Archaeology); Team Building (Confidence Course, Wilderness Survival, and Navigation Challenge); or Science (Wetland Lab, Watershed, Mammals, Bird Study, Forest Ecology, Photography and Weather). Mini/day trips are where schools can get a "little taste of Hartley". We also have an Fall Festival in October where the community can get a delicious breakfast, see presentations, listen to performers (we have had dulcimers, Beats Settin' Home, the Rusty String Band and singers) and to explore and enjoy the Hartley surroundings.

Cultural Historical, Science

Historic White Pine Village

Ludington Mason

Historic White Pine Village offers a living-history, family-friendly, fun-filled tour of a late 19th – early 20th century pioneer village. The Village boasts 30 historic exhibit buildings, including the original 1849 Mason County Courthouse (on the State Register of Historic Places) and an authentic turn-of-the-century steam locomotive, tender car, and flat car loaded with logs and headed toward the Village’s working sawmill.

Visitors come face-to-face with early settlers: first-person interpreters with scripts carefully prepared by staff and historians, they interact and improvise with visitors in the persona of historical characters and recreate actual personages from Mason County. The buildings contain thousands of authentic artifacts and archives depicting the rich lumbering and agricultural history of its area. Thousands of area school children, families, individual visitors, and residents tour the Village annually. Historic White Pine Village is open early May through October and takes around 2 hours to tour through.

Cultural Historical, Science, Visual Arts

Kendall College of Art and Design

Grand Rapids Kent

KCAD is offering a hands-on printmaking presentation that focuses on technology and social media. This high school STEAM lesson discusses the power and responsibility readers have regarding information found on the web.

Cultural Historical, Instrumental Music, Science, Theatre, Visual Arts, Vocal Music

PIX Theatre

Lapeer Lapeer

The PIX Theatre was built by George Smith, who began his “show business” life in a production of Uncle Tom’s Cabin at the White Opera House. When the show went on the road, 18 year-old George went with it. Before long the troupe ended up broke in Chicago and George returned to Lapeer. Next, George began playing in theater orchestras in Flint and Saginaw where he met and married Vera, the band’s pianist. In 1914, the Smith’s opened a small movie theater next door to what would become the PIX Theatre. Business was good, with tickets selling for five and ten cents. By 1921, the Smith’s were ready to expand their business, so they built the Lyric Theatre, “the fanciest show house around.” Silent movies reigned supreme, accompanied by Vera on the piano until 1928, when the “talkies” came to town.

Early in 1940, with movies at the peak of popularity, it was rumored that Harry Holboth, owner of the Deluxe Theater in neighboring Imlay City, was planning to build a new theater in Lapeer. George Smith, not to be outdone by the competition, quickly set to work locating a site for a new, modern movie house that he would name The PIX Theatre.

George bought the Wattles Bank property and set to work building a theater that would serve the community for decades to come. The PIX opened one year later on April 9, 1941. Its flashing marquee and porcelain enamel panels were the pride of the community. Prior to the Grand Opening presentation of The Bad Man, starring Wallace Beery, Lionel Barrymore and Ronald Reagan, George Smith declared that the policy at The PIX would be “strict adherence to just one aim … the finest of entertainment,” and promised never to inflict upon his audiences “such parasitical annoyances as BUNKO NIGHT, BANGO, SCREAMO and – most important of all – never a double bill!”

From 1941 to the mid 1950’s, Smith operated both The PIX and The Lyric theaters, but rarely at the same time. The Lyric was a larger and grander theater, but The PIX had a state-of-the-art cooling system (which in 1941 meant cold water dumped from a well through a series of coils to chill the air before it was blown into the theater). In the 1950’s, with the advent of television, Smith closed the Lyric theatre for good. After years of private ownership, The PIX closed in 1996 and was purchased by the City of Lapeer Downtown Development Authority.

Today, the PIX Theatre still retains its original art deco façade and marquee. Many of the interior elements remain as well following a $325,000 renovation made possible by funds from the Downtown Development Authority, the City of Lapeer and a capital improvement grant from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.

Renovation of the Theatre included the installation of a stage and stage lighting system. The PIX reopened as a live performance venue in 1997 with an inaugural performance by the popular Michigan vocal trio, Three Men and a Tenor. The private non-profit PIX Arts Council now manages the Theatre on behalf of the Downtown Development Authority offering approximately fifty live performances per season.

Cultural Historical, Science

Port of Ludington Maritime Museum

Ludington Mason

The Port of Ludington Maritime Museum brings history to life with digital storytelling, authentic images and artifacts, and engaging interactive exhibits that entertain, enlighten, and inspire a deeper appreciation for the region’s maritime history. Located in the former U.S. Coast Guard Station, now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this family-friendly, three-story museum overlooks Lake Michigan’s wild shoreline, Ludington’s iconic North Pier Light, and the historic car ferry Badger, extending the maritime experience beyond its doors in this vacation wonderland. The museum is operated by the Mason County Historical Society, which also operates the nearby Historic White Pine Village.