Just about every big-name national newspaper has written rave reviews about Ann Patchett’s newest novel, Tom Lake. That means that northern Michigan is in the national spotlight again, as the book takes place on a cherry farm in Traverse City. Patchett will visit Traverse City to present her new book at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 12 at the City Opera House (and livestreamed) in front of a live audience, hosted by the National Writers Series. Here is the Glen Arbor Sun’s Q&A with Patchett.

Mark your calendars. 5 Loaves 2 Fish will host its second annual “Big Change Equals Big Change” fundraiser on Tuesday, Aug. 22. The fun starts at 6 p.m. at Main Street Gallery’s magical spot along the Leland River, and attendees will be treated to music by Geno and the Big Change Band; hotdogs and brats (featuring authentic Detroit Coney Sauce) courtesy of Franklin’s Wiener Wagon; fresh and inventive salads; Janiecake’s cupcakes; complimentary beer and wine; and our signature Big Change cocktail for $5. 

What do hospitals and theaters have in common? More than one might think. At least, that’s the contention of Graham Powers, the general manager of the Bay Theatre in Suttons Bay. Powers came to his position after working on the hospitality side of healthcare with Parkview Health System in his hometown of Fort Wayne, Indiana. “My professional background is in healthcare management and hospitality. There are a lot of parallels in theater management,” Powers says. Such as the fact they are both community-facing, serve large segments of the populace, and in the case of the Bay and Parkview, both are not-for-profits.

Join Tusen Takk artist-in-residence Jeremiah Chamberlin and writer Natalie Bakopoulos for an evening of literary conversation hosted in collaboration with the National Writers Series tonight, Aug. 3 from 7-8 pm at The Alluvion at Commongrounds in Traverse City. Click here to register for the event. Based near Leland, the Tusen Takk Foundation nourishes artists by giving them a place to work, engagement opportunities to enrich the culture of northwest Michigan, and a platform to share their work internationally.

Join the festivities at the 43rd annual Suttons Bay Art Festival, Saturday, Aug. 5, and Sunday, Aug. 6; featuring artists young, new and friendly acquaintances from past years; always the first weekend in August with more than 100 artists.

Susan Yamasaki has been a Leelanau County resident for 18 years. Like many people here, she loves to walk in the woods. She lives on a hill up the road from Big Glen Lake and her home was in the line of devastation from straight line winds in the storm of 2015, when so many trees were downed. One of the trees was a very old birch tree. She began collecting bark from the fallen trees. Birch bark is naturally waterproof and does not rot easily. “They give and have given us so much in their lifetimes,” she says, “Their last stage is to decompose into the soil, providing nutrients and shelter for other living things. She decided she wanted to make something from that bark that honored the life of the tree. Come see Yamasaki’s birch bark assemblages at Lake Street Studios from Aug. 4-10. A reception for her will be held 6-8 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 4.

The 11th annual Port Oneida Run— an event held by the Park’s nonprofit partner Preserve Historic Sleeping Bear—will take place on Saturday, August 5. The run starts and ends at the big red barn and lawn area at the Olsen Farm/Port Oneida Farms Heritage Center, just four miles north of Glen Arbor. It is the only race that winds through the beautiful scenery of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore’s Port Oneida Rural Historic District. With its historic farms and barns, Port Oneida is hailed as one of the most prized historic landscapes in the country and should be on every runner’s bucket list.

Leelanau Christian Neighbors will host their annual fundraiser, “Buy the Runway Gala”, on Sunday, July 30, 5–7 pm. This year the event will be held in the beautiful barn at French Valley Vineyard, located at 3655 S French Rd near Cedar. 

The Glen Arbor Arts Center’s Coffee With the Authors is a live, conversational interview with local and regional authors about the writing craft and process. This series continues Sunday, July 30, at 1 p.m. with poet Holly Wren Spaulding in a conversation about keeping and banning words. Spaulding, a northern Michigan native now living in southern Maine, published her third book of poems, Familiars, in 2020, as a response to the 2015 deletion of words by the Oxford Junior Dictionary (OJD). The OJD’s deleted words list includes names of flora and fauna, in order to make room for newer words from the world of technology, such as “chatroom” and “bullet point.” Familiars is full of poems about “trees, flowers, magic, touch, memory, erasure, power, and [Spaulding’s] grief over the changing climate.” In her July 30 conversation, Spaulding will talk about the power of words, choosing them with care, and the ways in which she works to keep language vital through her writing. The Glen Arbor Sun interviewed Spaulding prior to her upcoming coffee date at the Arts Center.

The Glen Arbor Arts Center is keeping the lights on a little longer this summer. Late Night Fridays continues Friday, July 28 with an evening viewing of the Members Create exhibit, and demonstrations by Members Create exhibitors Michele Aucello, Mercedes Bowyer, Barbara Greenwood, Jessica Kovan, and Mark Mehaffey. Then painters from across Michigan and the Midwest will converge on Glen Arbor August 4 and 5 for the Glen Arbor Arts Center’s 14th Plein Air Weekend.