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The Mackinac Arts Council is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization designated as Mackinac Island's non-profit arts agency. Now in its 21th year, the Arts Council serves and works in partnership with Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs, Mackinac Island Community Foundation, Mackinac State Historic Parks, Richard and Jane Manoogian Mackinac Art Museum, the City of Mackinac Island, Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau, and other community groups to meet the arts and cultural needs of the Mackinac Island community through a diversity of initiatives and services and cultural programming. We hope you will join us in our endeavor to provide quality arts programming on beautiful Mackinac Island.

​The idea for Mackinac Arts Council began with Island artist Becki Barnwell in 2002. An artist and art enthusiast throughout her life, she felt the residents and visitors would benefit by having better access to the arts. In order to enhance the arts experience and create an even greater sense of culture within the community, she organized a group of residents, business owners, government and church representatives to discuss the idea of forming an arts council.

Everyone agreed and felt it necessary to encourage more arts and cultural events for the people living, summering, working and visiting on Mackinac Island. It was structured so that the arts council would provide an organizational backbone to help a multiple of non-profit entities achieve their outreach goals. It would also generate arts programming from its own extensive and talented local resources.

The founders created a volunteer board and offered three major arts events on the island the following summer 2003: Mackinac Island Public School Concert, Festival of the Arts Exhibition and Jammin’ for the Arts Fundraiser. These fun and well-attended events brought awareness and reconfirmation of the growing interest in cultural activities.

Today, the Mackinac Arts Council continues to grow and provide expanded arts and cultural programming to the community.


Mark Ware, President

Kathryn Rado, Vice President

Sam Barnwell, Treasurer


Jeri-Lynn Bailey

Becki Barnwell

John Jones

Ann Levy
Taylor Martin

Suze Oostendorp

Liz Ware

Jennifer Wohletz

Glen Young


Mayor Margaret Doud

Kate Levy

Ryan Macy

Jane Manoogian

Mary Bea McWatters

Phil Porter

Chris West

Fr. Jim Williams

Susan Wipperman

Candi Wynn


Laura S. Raisch, Executive Director

Marsha J. Orr, Development Director


The Mackinac Arts Council supports important arts programming for the students of Mackinac Island Public School each year. Arts in the schools increase test scores and lower dropout rates. The Arts Education Partnership’s publication Critical Links contains 62 academic research studies that taken together demonstrate that arts education helps close the achievement gap, improves academic skills essential for reading and language development, and advances students’ motivation to learn.


Engaging with the arts, especially under the guidance of trained teachers and specialists, provides the space for students to construct, push boundaries and expand venues for understanding.

Colorful Notebooks

Mackinac Arts Council works to meet the arts and cultural needs of Mackinac Island through a diversity of initiatives, services, and cultural programming. With your support, community theater, open mic nights, public access to music concerts, art education, and hundreds of other cultural programs are made possible.

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