College Celebrates 22nd Annual Arts Weekend

Mackinac Island's Grand Hotel was the setting for the MSU College of Arts and Letters' annual Arts Weekend, a tradition that has continued for 22 years. A portion of the reservations helps to support the Grand Hotel Endowed Scholarship for Arts and Letters, created by the Musser family. The scholarship supports students wishing to pursue creative endeavors both inside and outside of the classroom.

man performing playing guitar at arts weekend“For the 22nd year running, we gathered at Grand Hotel to celebrate the transformative power of the arts," said Christopher Long, dean of the College of Arts and Letters. "This was our first visit to Mackinac Island, and my family and I enjoyed the majestic island and the opportunity to deepen our relationships with so many committed, creative and extraordinary alumni of the College of Arts and Letters.”

The weekend was a celebration of the arts, from music and theater to fine art and artists' influence on the revival of Detroit.

The MSU Department of Theatre presented "A Grand Night for Singing" Friday evening, a production featuring the music of Rodgers and Hammerstein that kicked off the Summer Circle Theatre lineup at MSU earlier in June.

MSU alumna Tatum Walker, associate director of digital strategy with Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C., led a guided tour of Mackinac Island's Manoogian Art Collection. Fellow alumna Elysia Borowy-Reeder, executive director of the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, presented "Radically Yours in Detroit," a discussion about the growing arts scene in the city and its impact.

Grand Hotel and Mackinac Island provide the perfect backdrop for this celebration of the arts, music, theater and creativity. 

Linda Karbo

Saturday's events culminated in a performance from Theatre alumnus and finalist on "The Voice," Joshua Davis. 

Linda Karbo, assistant director of alumni relations for CAL, calls Arts Weekend a magical event. "Grand Hotel and Mackinac Island provide the perfect backdrop for this celebration of the arts, music, theater and creativity. Having the opportunity to showcase our students, faculty and alumni with our guests is a unique connective experience and is a pleasure to watch unfold.”

It's a grand tradition the College of Arts and Letters looks to continue for years to come.

"Fostering the arts is essential to Michigan State’s world-grant mission, and it was a pleasure to celebrate the arts together in a such a beautiful place,” said Long.

Originally published on MSUToday.