Posted by John Ester on Aug 06, 2019
Mercedes Michalowski is the Executive Director of the Oliver Center for the Arts. The Center's mission is to "establish and maintain an educational program and facility for the advancement of the arts, and to promote and develop visual, culinary, and literary arts."
This has been a banner year for the Art Center, which was founded in 1948 as the Crystal Lake Art Center. According to Mercedes, art and culture destinations contribute more than $1.25 billon in state tourism revenues. Thanks to the Oliver Art Center, Benzie County is no longer underserved in terms of arts and culture.
The Art Center has turned its library into a new creative space that will serve as as a reading room and place for art projects. The Center's recent fundraiser featuring live artists was a huge success. Not only was the event sold out, it raised more than $50,000. The Center also sponspored a showing of "Loving Vincent" at the Garden Theater with around 250 viewers enjoying the free show.
In addition to participating in the State's MOSAIC program for the last 15 years, the Center has expanded its free programs for kids. It also sponsors classes for aspiring artists and for those interested in the culinary and literary arts.
In addition to its own programs the Center is available for outside events such as business meetings, wedding reeptions and the like. We are fortunate indeed to have the Art Center in our midst.