An icon for Downtown Petoskey, the Crooked Tree Arts Center houses two art galleries; a 235-seat thrust stage theatre; studios for dance, pottery, painting, and music lessons; offices and meeting rooms.
By 1981, just ten years after its beginnings, CTAC received enough contributions to formally create its own endowment fund. Now, some 20 years later, the fund approaches the two million dollar mark. The interest on the fund supports operations and programming that could only be dreamed of when the organization was just beginning.
Today the arts center is firmly established and in a position to begin dreaming on even higher levels. Its century-old building is undergoing long-needed renovation to reverse the impending structural disaster it faced a few years ago. With grants and private giving, it has begun to realize its potential of becoming an important historical site in northern Michigan and a cornerstone of Petoskey's architectural heritage.
Major annual support is provided by Michigan Center for Arts and Cultural Affairs, Charlevoix Community Foundation, Petoskey-Harbor Springs Community Foundation and Petoskey Plastics. As important as it is to have a center where the arts can inspire creative expression, the building is really just a means to achieve the mission.
More than one dozen visual arts exhibitions are mounted each year within the two galleries. An active docent program helps interpret these works for school children who visit and then participate in related hands-on activities. Plays, films, concerts, and recitals fill the auditorium with performing artists and their eager audiences who have supported an ever-growing calendar. Each session of the Community School of the Arts offers more than 350 hours of instruction in music, art and dance. Crooked Tree Youth Orchestra and the Beginning Strings Program are among the newer programs to have sprouted from the branches of Crooked Tree.
CTAC also takes its show on the road. More than 5,000 students in Charlevoix and Emmet County have been treated to in-school performances by the Jeff Haas Trio, River North Chicago Dance Company and the Lark String Quartet.