Collaborators at The Boardman Review, Here: Say Storytelling, and The National Writers Series helped to curate a one-time-only gathering of writers and artists from across the Northern Michigan region.
Attendees from anywhere in the world can follow along on Zoom or Facebook Live as birding expert Nate Crane of Rare Bird Brewpub returns to host live bird watching and listening interludes from Michigan Legacy Art Park at Crystal Mountain, part of the Sleeping Bear Birding Trail. The park has recorded over 25 species of native and migratory birds within the 30-acre nature preserve and outdoor gallery.
Intercut with Crane’s search for the birds are guests who will shared words involving birds. The lineup includes Joyce Harrington Bahle, who will once again share poetry by her late friend and colleague, Jim Harrison — and new contributors Dan Wanschura from Interlochen Public Radio curating an audio segment, Chicago storyteller Jill Howe with a true, first-person narrative, and American poet Fleda Brown sharing selected or new work.
Also joining program producer Joe Beyer for return appearances are curator Karen Stein from Here:Say Storytelling, Beth Milligan of the Traverse City Ticker, musician Jack M. Senff, and Chris Loud from The Boardman Review.
Host and artist Ben Whiting returns as well to produce the show’s live feeds from his Traverse City studio while keeping it all chirping and humming along.
Voluntary donations will be given to the new Migizi Eagle Aviary and Rehabilitation Center, the first tribal project of it’s kind East of the Mississippi River, and a collaboration of Michigan’s Little Traverse Bay Bands (LTBB) of Odawa Indians and the nonprofit Wings of Wonder organization.
Nate is a Traverse City native son, born and raised right here. He spent his youth tromping around the area catching fish, chasing reptiles and watching birds. His infatuation with birds didn’t die down when he went off to school at Michigan State for his business degree. Nate returned home after college determined to make Northern Michigan his permanent home. His birding status grew and he became a force in the birding community, eventually becoming known as “Bird Man” to some. After a few years of working in the corporate world, he threw caution to the wind and began his quest to open his own brewery.
The nonprofit Michigan Legacy Art Park is totally unique among public art projects and spaces in our state. Created by a passionate group of artists and community volunteers in 1995, the Art Park now hosts tens of thousands of visitors and students each season to a 30-acre outdoor experience that celebrates our state’s history, culture and environment through the fascinating medium of sculpture. The park is open every day of the year from dawn to dusk.
The Boardman Review is a quarterly publication founded by brothers Nick and Chris Loud as a print & digital magazine including travelogues, lifestyle profiles, literature, music and documentaries that all showcase the young and established creatives whose work and lives form the greater community we call Northern Michigan. The magazine publishes several articles in each issue and includes multimedia elements with each piece. The collective they’ve started also hosts live-events throughout the year, including launch parties for their issues and collaborations with local arts and recreation partners.
Here:Say is a live, monthly storytelling event in Traverse City. Each month, performers take the stage to tell true, first-person stories from their own lives as they relate to the month’s theme. Karen Stein, founder and creative director of Here:Say,a community space where people are encouraged to perform their own stories and listen to each other’s work. She believes that our collective stories–be they sad or happy, inspirational or everyday–teach us life’s many truths and connect us to one another. She relishes in the glory of story and the people who tell them so well.
The National Writers Series is a nationally recognized nonprofit organization dedicated to engaging world-renowned authors in meaningful conversations in the Traverse City area. They create deeper understanding of issues and help the community express themselves, explore the world through reading, develop their imaginations, and think critically.
Since 2010, the National Writers Series has hosted nearly 200 authors — including Margaret Atwood, Jodie Picoult, and Alice Walker — and drawn ten of thousands of fans to year round events. Through their collaborations, they helped sell over 18,000 books through local stores.
Launched in 2013, this set of trails spans an exceptional migratory flyway and thousands of public acres along the Lake Michigan coastline. The Trail is home to the Piping Plover, an endangered shorebird that needs vast stretches of undisturbed beach.
Anchored by Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, a National Park and an Important Bird Area with 71,000 acres of public land and 35 miles of beaches. The length of the trail covers all 123 miles of Michigan Highway M-22 which runs from Manistee on the southern end to Traverse City at the north terminus. Michigan Audubon’s Lake Bluff Bird Sanctuary is the southern terminus. The diverse habitat, significant public access, and many miles of shoreline make the trail a birder’s paradise.
Birds Heard, Seen-In, or Flying-Over Michigan Legacy Art Park
Observed by Contributors John Prokes, Bear Lake Science Teacher and Keith Westphal, Art Park Volunteer
American Crow / American Robin / Baltimore Oriole / Black-billed Cuckoo / Black-capped Chickadee / Blue Jay / Canada Goose / Common Grackle / Common Raven / Downy Woodpecker / Eastern Wood Peewee / Hairy Woodpecker / Least Flycatcher / Mourning Dove / Ovenbird / Pileated Woodpecker / Red-bellied Woodpecker / Red-eyed Vireo / Rose-breasted Grosbeak / Scarlet Tanager / Turkey Vulture / White-breasted Nuthatch / Wild Turkey / Yellow-bellied Sapsucker / Yellow-throated Vireo