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The Dennos Museum Center
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Community Programs

The Dennos Museum Center presents a variety of programs for all ages, seeking to build community, spark conversation, and inspire change. Check out the listings here to find out what's happening.

Teresa Dunn giving a tour of her exhibition titled US in March of 2023.DROP-IN TOURS

Tuesday, September 5th - December 19th
12:00 PM

Come to the museum and join an informal tour of our current exhibitions with one of our docents. Tours are free with museum admission and will begin at 12:00 PM. Please meet by the front desk a few minutes before the tour begins.



Maggie Pavao introducing Ahavani Mullen in the Sculpture Court of the Dennos Museum.a separate shining tour

Sunday, October 8th
12:00 - 1:00 PM
Tickets: $0 - $10 | GET TICKETS

Maggie Pavao, Assistant Director of the Tusen Takk Foundation will lead an in-depth tour of A Separate Shining: Selections from the Tusen Takk Foundation Collection

Due to the size of the gallery, this event is limited to 20 people. Please limit groups to 4 people. 


Second Sunday Art Project: Zine-Making workshop with Jamie John

Sunday, October 8th
1:00 - 3:00 PM
Regular Admission | Register Online

Zines (pronounced like ZEEN) are small circulation self published works of texts and images made to be distributed via copy machine. Creating zines is a fun and easy way to express oneself, share skills or opinions, and share one’s art. Whether it’s your first time making a zine or you’re a seasoned zinester, come spend the day at the Dennos Museum to create and trade your very own zine works. Presented by Jamie John, a multi-disciplinary Anishinaabe and Korean-American artist from Traverse City, MI. Learn more about Jamie John. 

Recommended for grade 3 and up.

Please register in advance. Cost reflects the price of admission to the museum.  

Fancy Dance with Wren Gotts for Indigenous Peoples Day 2022.indigenous peoples' day - Free Day

Monday, October 9th
11:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Film Screening | 4:00 PM

Celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day with the Dennos Museum, Traverse Area District Library, and WCMU with stories, dancing, a film screening and indigenous foods. The Dennos will be hosting storytime, picture book giveaways, and crafts followed by a preview of the brand new PBS series, The American Buffalo, a biography of an improbable, shaggy beast that has found itself at the center of many of the country’s most mythic and heartbreaking tales.

The series takes viewers on a journey through more than 10,000 years of North American history and across some of the continent’s most iconic landscapes, tracing its evolution, significance to the Great Plains and, most importantly, its relationship to the Indigenous People of North America. 

In partnership with WCMU, we are thrilled to welcome Chef Sam Anglin, a Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Member, to the Dennos for the event.  Following the screening, Chef Sam will provide remarks and an introduction to the indigenous food he is preparing for the reception. Please register for the film in advance. 


Stephen Duren, Eucalyptus Grove. 2006, Oil on board, 12 x 18 in. Collection of Stephen Duren. Detail. An Evening with Stephen Duren

Wednesday, October 11th
5:00 - 6:30 PM
Tickets $0-$5 | Register Online

Join renowned artist Stephen Duren as he takes you on an immersive journey through six decades of his remarkable career. Through a captivating slide presentation, Duren will share insights into his artistic evolution, from the luminous landscapes of Northern California that ignited his passion to dynamic interplay between realism and abstraction in his works. Discover how his deep connection to nature has shaped his artistic approach. A reception and meet and greet with the artist will follow his lecture.  

Craig giving a behind the scenes tour of the do they do that? behind the scenes at the dennos

Wednesday, October 18th
10:00 - 11:00 AM

Register through Extended Education | $39

What does it take for a museum to create polished museum exhibitions? How does a museum install large structures, take care of taxidermied polar bears, light exhibitions, and position artwork for the best visitor experience? Join Craig Hadley, Executive Director at the Dennos Museum Center, for a guided tour that is guaranteed to leave you thinking about museums in an entirely new way! Bring your questions and some comfortable walking shoes.


Spooky Silent Disco

Thursday, October 26th
7:00 - 9:00 PM
Tickets: $0 - $10 | GET TICKETS

Get in the Halloween spirit, put on your best costume, and dance until you’re dead tired at this all ages hang before Halloween weekend. Parental Guidance recommended. 

🎶 Groove in Silence with 2Bays DJs!

  • Don your most spooktacular costumes and bring your dancing shoes because this is a night you won't forget.
  • Each guest will receive a pair of wireless headphones upon entry, allowing you to choose from multiple channels of bone-chilling beats.
  • Dance to your own rhythm or switch between channels to find the perfect spooky soundtrack for your moves.

🎃 Dress Code

  • Costumes are strongly encouraged! From witches and werewolves to zombies and superheroes, let your imagination run wild and be part of the eerie ensemble.

📢 Please Note

  • This event is suitable for all ages, but parental discretion is advised for younger attendees due to spooky decorations and costumes.
  • Headphones will be provided upon entry and must be returned at the end of the event.

Jack-O-Lantern with a witch's hat on.Halloween for All

Saturday, October 28th
10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
FREE | Register Online

Join the Dennos Museum and Arts for All for a sensory-friendly Halloween event!  We will have a variety of fun activities with an emphasis on sensory sensitivity and accommodations to create an inclusive environment where all are welcome!

Registration for this free event is not required, but recommended. 


Maia Hausler sells items at the art artist market

Friday & Saturday
November 3rd & 4th
9:30 AM - 4:00 PM

The Dennos welcomes visitors to the 24th annual Holiday Artist Market kicking off the 2023 holiday gift shopping season. Visitors will discover a unique variety of artful gifts in a lively and festive marketplace. Admission is free to all. Special programming will be offered to enhance the experience for visitors of all ages, and the raffle will return this year to support K-12 tours to the museum!

Participating artists and details at 

Second Sunday Art Project: weaving

Sunday, November 12th
1:00 - 3:00 PM

Drop in and get creative with a family-friendly art activity led by our docents in our sculpture court. This month’s project will be inspired by the Northland Weavers and Fiber Artist’s Guild exhibition.

Free with the price of admission to join in the fun!


Women shopping in the Museum Store.Museum Store Sunday

Sunday, November 26th
11:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Join us for the annual Museum Store Sunday event and enjoy special discounts all day!  Explore our curated collection of one-of-a-kind merchandise while supporting arts and culture at your local art museum.  Our museum store is more than just a place to buy souvenirs; it's a treasure trove of unique finds inspired by the captivating exhibits and artworks showcased in the Dennos Museum Center. From exquisite art prints and handcrafted jewelry to beautifully designed home décor and educational books, you're sure to discover something that sparks joy and ignites your passion for creativity.  

Extra special discounts are extended to all on Museum Store Sunday.  As always, members, NMC Staff, and Students receive 10% off in the store year-round.

Second Sunday Art Project

Sunday, December 10th
1:00 - 3:00 PM

Drop in and get creative with a family-friendly art activity led by our docents in our sculpture court. 

Free with the price of admission to join in the fun!



Bill Schwab, "Lamp Post / January Snowfall - Belle Isle, Detroit." 1991, Photograph. From the Collection of the Dennos Museum Center. Detail.Wild Winter Scavenger Hunt

Wednesday - Saturday
December 27th - 30th

From December 27th - 30th explore the museum using our wild winter scavenger hunt. Complete all the tasks and earn a special reward!


Children dancing to Miriam Pico at the Rainbow Storytime on June 3rd.rainbow storytime

Saturday, September 30th
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

This free community event is rooted in celebrating love for self, others and being who you are.  The event features music, a read aloud, and an art project. Held in partnership with Up North Pride.




Ron Gianola's studio.the art of: ron gianola

Thursday, September 28th
2:00 - 4:00 PM
Tickets: $0 - $10 | 

Join exhibiting artist Ron Gianola for a lively and inspiring conversation about the evolution of his art.

Limit of 40 people, please limit groups to 4 people.




Saturday, September 23rd 
Pre-concert Activities | 10:00 - 10:45 AM
Six Mile Strings Performance | 11:00 - 11:50 AM

Join Interlochen Public Radio for Kids Commute Live! in the Dennos Sculpture Court. Classical IPR host Kate Botello will lead this rhythm-themed matinee featuring Six Mile Strings.  

Pre-concert activities will feature a Percussion Petting Zoo in the Dutmers Theatre, a rhythm themed art activity in the Discovery Gallery, and a guided experience with the Sound Wall. A to-go snack will be available for attendees following the performance. 

Collider Physics Multiverse from the Tevatron to the LHC and Beyond

Sunday, September 24th
Planetarium Showings | 11:15 AM - 2:15 PM 
Lecture with Professor Harrison Prosper, Florida State University | 3:00 PM

Explore the state of particle physics through a planetarium show about dark matter followed by a presentation by Professor Harrison Prosper on the knowledge we have gained at the particle energy frontier, from the successful program at the Tevatron at Fermilab near Chicago to the LHC at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland, and future colliders under consideration. 

Planetarium shows run at 11:15 AM, 12:00 PM, 12:45 PM, 1:30 PM, and 2:15 PM. Limit of 25 people per planetarium show. Please register in


Harrison Prosper is the Kirby W. Kemper Endowed Professor from the Department of Physics, part of the College of Arts and Sciences. While Prosper teaches undergraduate- and graduate-level physics, much of his joy stems from his role in experimental particle physics discoveries. He earned his doctoral degree in experimental physics from the University of Manchester in 1980 and was elected as a Fellow of the American Physical Society in 2002 and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2014.

Learn more about Harrison Prosper.

Multi-colored disco ballsdmc dance party: pride edition

Thursday, September 21st
7:00 - 9:00 PM
Tickets: $0 - $5 

We are welcoming Hawk Owls back to campus with a joyful celebration of pride. Dance, enjoy snacks, and view art at this 18+ friendly event. Members, NMC Employees, and the public are welcome to attend. Enjoy 0 proof cocktails from Audacia Elixirs. One drink ticket provided with your reservation. Additional drink tickets available for $10 per drink at the bar.


Two women collage and have drinks in the Discovery Gallery during our Summer 2023 Opening Reception.Fall 2023 opening reception

Thursday, September 14th
7:00 - 9:00 PM
Tickets: $0 - $5 | 

Join us for the opening of Stephen Duren: A Life of Painting, Passages: The Art of Ron Gianola, and A Separate Shining: Selections from the Tuesen Takk Foundation Collection on Thursday, September 14th at 7:00 PM. 

Enjoy an evening with light refreshments, open bar (two drink limit), and music. Members can enjoy double discounts in the Museum Store the night of the event. Guests of members and the public are welcome to attend the event, but will pay a $5 cover fee per ticket. Limit of 350 people.

second sunday art project: Map-Making with artist Jerry Gretzinger

Sunday, September 10th 
1:00 - 3:00 PM

Join us for a collaborative mapping workshop with artist Jerry Gretzinger. Together we will explore lines, shapes, colors, land rivers, habitats and a plethora of art materials to create an imaginative map.

Free with the price of admission to join in the fun!


car trivia at the museum

Thursday, August 31st
5:00 - 7:00 PM

Rev up your engines and join us for a thrilling evening of car-themed trivia at the Dennos Museum Center as part of the mesmerizing Luster exhibition, showcasing awe-inspiring hyperrealistic paintings of cars and motorcycles. Calling all automotive aficionados and NMC students – test your knowledge, win prizes, and enjoy pizza and lemonade provided by DMC!

The evening will consist of three rounds of car-related trivia questions followed by a scavenger hunt round through the museum. Teams can have 1-8 people. Limit of 50 people.

Tour tuesdays

Tuesday, June 20th - Tuesday, August 29th
11:30 AM & 12:30 PM

Come to the museum and join an informal tour of our current exhibitions with one of our docents. Tours are free with museum admission and will begin at 11:30 AM & 12:30 PM. Please meet by the front desk a few minutes before the tour begins.



second sunday art project: landscapes

Sunday, August 13th
1:00 - 3:00 PM

Drop in and get creative with a family-friendly art activity led by our docents in our sculpture court. This month’s activity will be inspired by the exhibition A New Perspective: Landscapes from the Dennos Museum Center. Free with the price of admission to join in the fun!



Jerry Gretzinger with his Map Art Installation at Mass MoCAthe art of: jerry gretzinger

Thursday, July 20th — 5:00 PM
Register Online | Free Admission

Join our Director, Craig Hadley and featured artist Jerry Gretzinger in the sculpture court for a lively and inspiring conversation about Jerry’s decades-long map project. Get the inside scoop on how the artwork started, evolved, and how it lives on today.



second sunday art project: cars

Sunday, July 9th
1:00 - 3:00 PM

Drop in and get creative with a family-friendly art activity led by our docents in our sculpture court. This month’s activity will be inspired by the exhibition Luster: Realism and Hyperrealism in Contemporary Automobile and Motorcycle Painting. Free with the price of admission to join in the fun!