Mission: To engage and inspire people worldwide through excellence in educational, artistic, and cultural programs and enhance quality of life through the universal language of the arts.
About the Organization: Founded in 1928 in northwest Michigan by music educators Joseph P. Maddy and T.P. Giddings as the National High School Orchestra Camp — at a time when few schools had music programs — the Interlochen Center for the Arts today provides thousands of artists and arts patrons each year with world-class educational and cultural opportunities in music, theater, visual arts, film, creative writing, and dance. In 1963, the organization launched WIAA, an FM public radio station that in 1971 joined with thirty-seven other radio stations to create National Public Radio, and in 1964 it launched the Interlochen Arts Festival.
Current Programs: Interlochen's Summer Arts Camp offers one- to three-week programs for students in grades three through twelve in creative writing, dance, general arts, film, music, theater, visual arts, and electives — and provides need-based financial aid as well as merit scholarships for kids interested in attending. Twenty-five hundred students from around the world gather each summer on the 1,200-acre Interlochen Arts Camp campus, which includes a hundred and twenty cabins, three cafeterias, two sandy-bottomed freshwater lakes, and more than a dozen performance venues.
The Interlochen Arts Academy, which opened in 1962 as the nation's first independent boarding school in the arts, offers majors in creative writing, dance, film, music, theater, visual arts, and comparative arts for young artists with multiple skills and interests, as well as a postgraduate year option. Students attend class from 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. each day, where they receive accelerated academic instruction combined with intensive artistic studies. In 2004, the center opened the Interlochen College of Creative Arts for adults age 18 and older interested in taking classes and attending workshops in a variety of arts disciplines as well as digital media and professional arts development.
Website: Visitors to the Interlochen website can search its arts program directory, learn about upcoming performances, sit in on video lessons for lifelong arts learners, and/or stream music and news from WIAA, the center's public radio station. They can also request information about the organization's Summer Arts Camp or the Interlochen Arts Academy, join the Interlochen College of Creative Arts mailing list, and/or support the organization.
Funding: The Interlochen Center for the Arts is funded by individuals, foundations, corporations, and program and lodging fees.