Navigation Menu
The Dennos Museum Center
Hero image

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, January 2nd - May 28th
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.

 

 

People dancing in the sculpture court of the museum.cancelled DMC Dance Party: Leap Day Edition

Thursday, February 29th
7:00 - 9:00 PM

This event has been cancelled due to low ticket sales. Please join us for our next upcoming dance on Thursday, April 25th at 7:00 PM. Details below.

 

 

Storypalooza for Read Across America Day - Free Day

Saturday, March 2nd
11:00 AM - 4:00 PM

An all-ages celebration of stories! From graphic novels to zines, classic literature to poetry, let's read, share, and listen to stories from around the community. 

SCHEDULE

ALL DAY - Discovery Gallery & C Gallery : Make your own comics and bookplates and 2024 Caldecott winner BIG activity sheets 

ALL DAY Promenade couches : Dictated stories with docents

Unlock the power of creativity and literacy with our 'Dictated Stories' activity! Express your imagination by drawing a picture of something you love, then watch as your image comes to life as you dictate a sentence or two about your creation.  Language development and literacy skills are bolstered as we connect sounds to letters and help you to create your very own picture book.

11-1p - Sculpture Court: Explore Zines! Chat and learn with local zinemakers about this enduring DIY format. We'll have locally made and classic zines to peruse, plus supplies and prompts so you can try out zine-making yourself. Learn how to fold a mini-zine, generate ideas for what to write about, try out fun formats like collage and erasure zines, and type on a real typewriter! 

Noon - Reading Corner: Brianne Farley - Is drawing doughnuts as fun as eating doughnuts? Find out with author/illustrator Brianne Farley! She'll read Dozens of Doughnuts--a picture book about a bear who makes batch after batch of sweet treats to prepare for winter--and teach you how to draw the main character with all of her favorite doughnuts.

1pm - Dutmers: Caldecott Film Fest – A selection of Caldecott award winning stories have been animated into short films by Weston Woods Studios. Come to see these beautiful stories come to life through moving pictures.  We will show the following films:

The Snowy Day (1963 winner) 6m27s 

Where the Wild Things Are (1964 winner) 7m 30s

Sick Day for Amos McGee (2011 winner) 9m 55s

We Are Water Protectors (2021 winner) 7m 32s

Watercress (2022 winner) 9m 12s

Total run time 40m 35s

1pm Reading Corner:  Reading with Lani and Rosie, the certified therapy dogs.  These trained Bernese Mountain Dogs would love to have you read a book to them while they lay around and listen to your stories. 

2pm: Janis Room or Reading Corner - Lynn Rae Perkins dioramas & Museum of Everything A museum is a place where we can look at little pieces of the world, one at a time and together. We will read “The Museum of Everything,” and learn how to make special ways to display our favorite things in our own homemade museums. Materials will be provided, but feel free to bring a small favorite object.

3pm: Reading Corner: 

Join Miss Amanda from TADL's Main Library for some storytime fun! Step into a world of rhyme and imagination with a variety of stories - from past Caldecott winners to silly stories about animals. With a special visit from Lani and Rosie, the therapy dogs.


Jerry DeCaire drawing superheroes..Second Sunday Art Project: Art of A Superhero

Sunday, March 10th

12:30 - 1:00 PM | TADL Caldecott Storytime 

Before the art project, join a librarian from the Traverse Area District Library for a story time featuring Caldecott books. This portion of the event is free to attend.


1:00 - 3:00 PM
GET TICKETS

Join us for a hands-on workshop with Marvel Comic illustrator Jerry DeCaire (artist for Thor, DeadPool, X-Men, etc.), and dive into the art of drawing superheroes. Limit of 40, please register online in advance. Cost reflects the price of admission to the museum.  


A person with art supplies around them painting on a canvas.Second Sunday Art Project: Earth Day

Sunday, April 14th

12:30 - 1:00 PM | TADL Caldecott Storytime 

Before the art project, join a librarian from the Traverse Area District Library for a story time featuring Caldecott books.


1:00 - 3:00 PM

Drop in and get creative with a family-friendly art activity led by our docents in our Sculpture Court. Join the fun for free with the price of admission!

 

People dancing in the sculpture court of the museum.DMC Dance Party: Spring Fling Silent Disco

Thursday, April 25th
7:00 - 9:00 PM
GET TICKETS

Dive into the energy of the season at our Spring Fling Silent Disco, where the dance floor is charged with the promise of warmer days and the beats are delivered straight to your headphones. This event is suitable for all ages. Please reserve your ticket in advance.

 

 

Hemingway the legend and the old man and the sea

Thursday, May 2nd
5:00 - 6:30 PM
GET TICKETS

This lecture by Dr. Robert Van Dellen will explore the turbulent life of Ernest Hemingway and examine more closely the last novel he finished before his death. "Grace under pressure" was his mantra, and The Old Man and The Sea dramatically demonstrates its meaning. Limit of 34, please register in advance. The ticket price reflects the cost of admission to the museum.

Second Sunday Art Project: Mother's Day

Sunday, May 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. Join the fun for free with the price of admission!



PAST PROGRAMS

A cartoon heart pressing its hands against its chest with the words, "Hearts for Art."Hearts for ARt

February 1st - 14th

Show some love to your favorite artwork at the museum and celebrate Hearts for Art with us! 

Pick up a heart at the front desk, leave it on the floor in front of the artwork (please don't place hearts in the frames or on pedestals), and share your favorites with us online.

You can find us on Facebook, and Instagram

We'll count up your votes at the end of each day and share the top three favorites on the 14th!

A person with art supplies around them painting on a canvas.Second Sunday Art Project: Embrace the dream

Sunday, February 11th
12:30 - 1:00 PM | TADL Caldecott Storytime 

Before the art project, join a librarian from the Traverse Area District Library for a story time featuring Caldecott books.

1:00 - 3:00 PM

Get inspired by the watercolor work of Caldecott honor recipient E.B. Lewis who thoughtfully illustrates narratives of the African American experience for children's books, and create your own watercolor work. Join the fun for free with the price of admission!

 

Four children looking at a painting.Winter 2024 Opening Reception

Saturday, February 3rd
3:00 - 5:00 PM

Join us for the opening of Hemingway in Comics and Young at Art: A Selection of Caldecott Book Illustrations.

Enjoy a family-friendly opening reception during the winter daylight! Free admission and double discounts in the store for museum members. Guests of members and the public are welcome to attend for a small fee.  Limit of 350 people. 

 

A single snowflake crystal on a red sweater. Second Sunday Art Project: museum Snow Day

RESCHEDULED Sunday, January 21st
1:00 - 3:00 PM

A celebration of snow in honor of Snowflake Bentley where we will observe and classify shapes of snow crystals, make paper snowflakes, and build snow sculptures in front of the museum, weather permitting. Join the fun for free with the price of admission!

 

 

The text "I Have a Dream" over an image of Martin Luther King Jr. Embrace the Dream Free Day

Monday, January 15th
11:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day with us and kick-off the Embrace the Dream programming with free admission to the museum. 

 

 

 

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!

 

 

 

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!

 

 

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: 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!

 

 

Maia Hausler sells items at the art market.holiday artist market

Friday & Saturday
November 3rd & 4th
9:00 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 shop.dennosmuseum.org. 

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

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

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. 

 

Spooky Silent Disco

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

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 to your pick of three music channels with headphones provided by 2Bays DJs and the sound mastery of 3 surprise 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.

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

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

Register through Extended Education 

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.

 

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 

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.  

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.

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 

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 

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.  

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.

 

 

IPR'S KIDS COMMUTE LIVE!  
WITH SPECIAL GUEST SIX MILE STRINGS

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

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

ABOUT HARRISON PROSPER

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!