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Interlochen Center for the Arts

Coordinates: 44°37′45″N 85°46′06″W / 44.62927°N 85.76820°W / 44.62927; -85.76820
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Interlochen Center for the Arts

United States
Other namesI.C.A., "Inty"
TypeEducational institution, non-profit
Motto"Dedicated to the promotion of world friendship through the universal language of the arts."
Religious affiliation(s)Secular
FounderJoseph E. Maddy
PresidentTrey Devey
EnrollmentCamp (summer): 3000
Academy (school year): 500 [citation needed]
Campus1,200 acres (490 ha), wooded, rural, between two lakes, adjacent to Interlochen State Park
Color(s)  Blue
Team nameFighting Blueberries

Interlochen Center for the Arts (/ˈɪntərˈlɒkən/ IN-tər-lock-ən; also known as I.C.A. or Inty) is a non-profit corporation which operates arts education institutions and performance venues. Established in 1928 by Joseph E. Maddy, Interlochen Center for the Arts is located on a 1,200-acre (490 ha) campus in Green Lake Township, Grand Traverse County, Michigan, near the eponymous community of Interlochen.[1][2]


Score sheets at Interlochen's Music Library in the 1940s

Early settlement[edit]

Beginning in the late 19th century, European settlers began logging and fishing industries in the area, and founded the small village of Wylie, one mile south of the present-day community of Interlochen. Due to the prospering logging industry in the area, the Manistee and North-Eastern Railroad (owned by the Buckley and Douglas Lumber Company of Manistee) extended its line northeast from Nessen City and arrived between the lakes in the fall of 1889. Similarly, the Chicago and West Michigan Railway extended its line north from Baldwin on its way to Traverse City in 1890. The two lines crossed in current-day downtown Interlochen where a depot and interlocking tower were located.

Interlochen State Park, immediately adjacent to campus, is the first state park organized by the state of Michigan, established in 1917 and opening in 1919 (Mackinac Island was originally a national park before becoming Michigan's first state park in 1895).[3]

School history[edit]

In the 1920s, the Music Supervisors National Conference called upon conductor and educator Joseph E. Maddy to assemble talented high school musicians from around the United States to form the National High School Orchestra. The orchestra met in 1926 in Detroit, and the orchestra was asked to reconvene in 1927 and 1928.[4]

In 1927, Maddy and fellow music educator Thaddeus P. Giddings incorporated the National High School Orchestra Camp, and began searching for ideal locations, eventually narrowing it down to sites in Maine and Michigan. Maddy was invited by Interlochen businessman Willis Pennington to tour his hotel and summer camp properties, adjacent to Interlochen State Park (Camp Interlochen and Camp Penn Loch, for boys and girls, respectively).[5] Maddy chose the site, and, in 1928, the first season of the National High School Orchestra Camp convened.

In 1944, Maddy purchased Camps Interlochen and Penn Loch, absorbing them and the National High School Orchestra Camp into his new Interlochen Center for the Arts.[4]

In 1963, WIAA, Interlochen's public radio station, signed on for the first time. Originally broadcasting eight hours per day, it grew enough within a decade to become a charter member of National Public Radio. Interlochen Public Radio became a network in 1989 with the addition of WICV. Interlochen bought contemporary Christian station WDQV in 2005 and converted it into a third satellite for the eastern portion of the market, WIAB.[citation needed]

Recent history[edit]

In 2006, Katalyst Media filmed a reality TV pilot for MTV at Interlochen Arts Academy. Afraid that an MTV show would ruin Interlochen's distinguished reputation, a large group of students resorted to protesting and trolling the Katalyst Media film crew in order to prevent Katalyst Media from filming viable footage. Student efforts were successful, as a pilot never aired.[citation needed]

In 2020, M-137, the highway connecting Interlochen Center for the Arts to US 31, was decommissioned by the Michigan Department of Transportation. Upon the roadway's handover to the Grand Traverse County Road Commission, the roadway was renamed to the "J. Maddy Parkway", after the institution's founder.[6]


Interlochen Center for the Arts is the umbrella organization for summer program Interlochen Arts Camp,[7] arts boarding high school Interlochen Arts Academy,[8] National Public Radio (NPR) charter station Interlochen Public Radio,[9] performance series Interlochen Presents, adult arts program Interlochen College of Creative Arts,[10] and online arts program Interlochen Online.[11]

Interlochen Arts Camp[edit]

The Interlochen Arts Camp is the original educational institution created by Joseph E. Maddy.

Interlochen Arts Academy[edit]

Interlochen Arts Academy is a pre-professional arts boarding high school, founded in 1962 by Joseph E. Maddy. The school offers seven arts majors in creative writing, dance, film and new media, interdisciplinary arts, music, theater, and visual arts.

Ninety-six percent of graduates are accepted into one of their top three colleges.[12][better source needed]

Interlochen Online[edit]

Interlochen Online began during the COVID-19 pandemic and is now a main educational pillar for the institution. The program offers private lessons and group courses in all seven of Interlochen's arts area: Creative Writing, Dance, Film & New Media, Interdisciplinary Arts, Music, Theatre, and Visual Arts. Plus, Interlochen Online offers private, college advising to those interested in pursuing conservatory or arts-focused higher education.

Interlochen College of Creative Arts[edit]

Founded in 2004, Interlochen College of Creative Arts offers non-degree granting arts programs and continuing education units for adults 18 years and older.

Interlochen Public Radio[edit]

Dancers rehearsing at Interlochen, 1969

Interlochen Center for the Arts is home to Interlochen Public Radio (or IPR), a National Public Radio member station that broadcasts a signal to most of the lower peninsula of Northern Michigan as well as parts of eastern Wisconsin. Two listener-supported stations broadcast to northwest Michigan: Classical Music 88.7, 88.5, 94.7 and 100.9 FM; News Radio 91.5, 90.1 and 89.7 FM. Broadcasts include arts programming, news and culture from around the world, as well as local and regional news. IPR was a charter member of National Public Radio.

Founded in 1963, Interlochen Public Radio or WIAA was envisioned as an extension of the "Music From Interlochen" program which ran on the NBC radio network. The Music From Interlochen Program informed a wider audience about the activities at the then-named National Music Camp and the nascent Interlochen Arts Academy. The station was slow to catch on in its early years and some considered shutting down the operation. Interlochen Public Radio went on to establish itself with two service channels: one for music and one for news.

In 1993, Interlochen Public Radio reportedly had one of the highest rates of per capita contributions of any public radio station in the United States.[13] The station's classical music service is broadcast from their main tower at WIAA 88.7 FM in Interlochen, along with WIAB 88.5 FM in Mackinaw City, and W234BU 94.7 FM in Traverse City. In 2000, IPR began offering a separate news service on WICA 91.5 FM in Traverse City and later added WLMN 89.7 FM in Manistee and WHBP 90.1 FM in Harbor Springs.

Awards and accolades[edit]


Notable alumni[edit]

Notable alumni include:

Further reading[edit]

  • Boal, Dean (August 1998). Interlochen: A Home for the Arts. University of Michigan Press. ISBN 978-0-472-10882-4.
  • Browning, Norma Lee (1992). Joe Maddy of Interlochen. Contemporary Books. ISBN 0-8092-3907-8.
  • Feild, Thom (August 2006). Pine Nuts - Recollections of Summers at Interlochen. Thom Feild Design LLC. ISBN 0-9786677-0-0.


  1. ^ "Geographic Names Information System". edits.nationalmap.gov. Retrieved January 9, 2023.
  2. ^ "Maps and Directions". www.interlochen.org. Retrieved January 9, 2023.
  3. ^ "History of Interlochen". Interlochen Center for the Arts. 2007. Archived from the original on October 15, 2007. Retrieved November 22, 2007.
  4. ^ a b "History". www.interlochen.org. Retrieved January 9, 2023.
  5. ^ "From timber to tourism: How conservation shaped Interlochen, Michigan". www.interlochen.org. Retrieved January 9, 2023.
  6. ^ "Interlochen and Green Lake Township to dedicate newly named J. Maddy Parkway". www.interlochen.org. Retrieved January 9, 2023.
  7. ^ "Interlochen Arts Camp". www.interlochen.org. Retrieved January 11, 2022.
  8. ^ "Interlochen Arts Academy". www.interlochen.org. Retrieved January 11, 2022.
  9. ^ "Interlochen Public Radio". www.interlochenpublicradio.org. Retrieved January 11, 2022.
  10. ^ "Interlochen College of Creative Arts". www.interlochen.org. Retrieved January 11, 2022.
  11. ^ "Interlochen Online". www.interlochen.org. Retrieved January 11, 2022.
  12. ^ "Interlochen Arts Acaedmy". Retrieved January 11, 2022.
  13. ^ "About Interlochen Center for the Arts | Interlochen Center for the Arts". www.interlochen.org. Archived from the original on December 25, 2008.
  14. ^ "Lifetime Honors: National Medal of Arts". nea.gov. Archived from the original on March 4, 2010. Retrieved October 7, 2009.
  15. ^ "NEA News Room: 2006 National Medal of Arts - INTERLOCHEN CENTER FOR THE ARTS". nea.gov. November 9, 2006. Archived from the original on June 28, 2009. Retrieved October 7, 2009.
  16. ^ "U.S. Presidential Scholars Program". ed.gov. July 21, 2009. Retrieved October 7, 2009.
  17. ^ "PIPPIN Will Be Performed by Interlochen Arts Academy This Week". Broadway World. Retrieved May 28, 2022.
  18. ^ Baxter, Meredith (2011). Untied: A Memoir of Family, Fame, and Floundering. Random House LLC. p. 41.
  19. ^ McConnell, Jim. "Our Man in Hollywood". Chesterfield Monthly. Archived from the original on September 26, 2013. Retrieved September 14, 2013.
  20. ^ a b c Winowiecki, Emma (May 3, 2017). "Interlochen Center for the Arts to get $24M music building". Michigan Radio. Retrieved July 9, 2017.
  21. ^ Stewart, James B. (April 22, 2022). "Jeffrey Epstein, a Rare Cello and an Enduring Mystery". The New York Times. Retrieved May 29, 2024.
  22. ^ "IGN: Helms Deep".
  23. ^ Emke, Dave (July 28, 2017). "Obituary: Actor Evan Helmuth, 40, Lived in Reston as a Boy". RestonNow.com. Retrieved July 29, 2017.
  24. ^ Wasylak, Victoria (April 3, 2020). "Interview: Allie X revisits the devil she knows on 'Cape God'". Retrieved April 4, 2020.
  25. ^ Wright, C. (January 6, 2015). "Bebop and Cool Jazz". Statesman Journal.
  26. ^ "Aaron Johnson". ReverbNation.
  27. ^ "Award Winning US Singer Norah Jones Makes Nostalgic Return to Youth Arts Camp - 2003-07-14". VOA News. October 30, 2009. Retrieved July 9, 2017.
  28. ^ Boissoneau, Ross (June 14, 2017). "Pop Band with Local Roots Returning to Interlochen". Traverse Magazine. Retrieved July 9, 2017.
  29. ^ "Jennifer Lynch | Biography, Photos, Movies, TV, Credits". Hollywood.com. Archived from the original on January 25, 2013. Retrieved October 7, 2009.
  30. ^ a b c "New Philadelphia's Adam Exley attends renowned Interlochen Arts Camp". Times Reporter. July 3, 2017. Retrieved July 9, 2017.
  31. ^ Victoria Schneps (December 23, 2021). "Power Women with Victoria Schneps" (Podcast). Schneps Media. Event occurs at 2:12-3:32. Retrieved January 1, 2022.
  32. ^ Serba, John (June 28, 2012). "Singer/songwriter talks about getting married, Interlochen and new album 'Out of the Game'". M Live. Retrieved July 9, 2017.
  33. ^ "Sean Young". seanyoung.com. May 9, 2008. Archived from the original on May 9, 2008. Retrieved April 6, 2023.

External links[edit]

44°37′45″N 85°46′06″W / 44.62927°N 85.76820°W / 44.62927; -85.76820