Interlochen, Creating Amazing since 1928

"Founded in 1928."

Those words are a testimony to the resilience and excellence of any institution; they are a seal of quality for the product produced. After 89 years, Interlochen Center for the Arts has earned not only a seal of quality, but also a reputation as one of the most innovative, creative places on earth, producing generations of young artists and future leaders.

True to its reputation as an innovator in the arts, Interlochen has been looking ahead. In 2012, the Board of Trustees approved Interlochen's most significant fundraising campaign in its history. Four years later, on July 23, 2016, CREATE AMAZING: The Campaign for Interlochen was publicly launched with the goal of raising $100 million to give everyone a place to unite through the power of the arts.

Supporters of Create Amazing will help complete those revitalization projects, including the first centralized home for Music, a renovated and expanded home for Dance, as well as a completely new building that promotes student health and wellness.

Other campaign priorities include increasing scholarship aid and enriching the Interlochen experience through innovative programs that help students realize their artistic dreams. These include securing the legacy of Interlochen's founding ensemble, the World Youth Symphony Orchestra, supporting guest artists in all disciplines, and helping Interlochen Public Radio share the Interlochen experience with the world.

"Since 1928, Interlochen has been a place where talent blooms, where friendships are made and where futures begin," said Interlochen president Jeffrey S. Kimpton. "Through this campaign, we will have the opportunity to profoundly affect the people, place, and programs of Interlochen Center for the Arts, and set the stage for our second century as a beacon of arts and culture and a leader in arts education."

By the morning of the campaign launch on July 23, Interlochen's campus was buzzing with activity as students hurried to rehearsals and prepared for "Collage."

The 23rd annual performance of "Collage" was the centerpiece of the CREATE AMAZING launch, and by the early evening hours, festivities on Osterlin Mall were in full swing. Campaign launch guests joined local families, students and staff for pre-“Collage” activities such as art demonstrations, small ensemble performances, and an interactive “Celebrate Your Ties to Interlochen” display.

As the audience took their seats at 8 p.m., President Kimpton and Campaign Co-Chairs Glynn Williams (Vice Chair, Interlochen Board of Trustees) and Nancy Hoagland (IAC 74) emerged to officially launch the public phase of CREATE AMAZING. The Instagram posts scrolling on Kresge's screens gave way to the playing of the CREATE AMAZING campaign video. The voice of narrator Josee Bourelly (IAC 11-16) resonated through Kresge Auditorium; as the video faded and the lights came up, Josee herself was revealed on stage, welcoming the audience to the 23rd annual performance of "Collage."

The next two hours were crammed full of captivating art. High school percussion students literally swept the stage, using regular household brooms as percussion instruments. Michael Thurber (IAA 03-05) returned to play a blues-fueled version of the Beatles' "Blackbird," inviting the audience to participate in a call-and-response vocal segment. Musical Theatre productions from all three age groups took the stage, wowing the audience with powerful vocals and tight choreography.

Not to be outdone, dance, creative writing, and motion picture arts also presented breathtaking performances while visual artists captured the scene from the wings. The World Youth Symphony Orchestra closed the concert with the finale from Beethoven's 5th Symphony, followed by the traditional performance of the Interlochen Theme. As the familiar melody wafted over an audience full of alumni, donors, friends and parents, many voices could be heard humming along with the strings, remembering their own time at Camp.

Everyone made their way back to their vehicles under a starry sky and a maze of twinkling Christmas lights. For days, Stage Services staff had artfully woven these lights into the shining web under which they walked, the perfect finale to a celebration of art. Just another example of the amazing things created at Interlochen.