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The Dennos Museum Center
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The Dennos Museum Center presents several films during the year, sourced from the Smithsonian Channel. Films are free of charge, but do require registration. Films are generally screened with captions. Milliken Auditorium features a T-coil loop for those with hearing impairments. Additional arrangements for a sign language interpreter can be made by contacting Liz Celeste at or by calling 231-995-1029.


Monday, June 19th — 1:00 PM

Register Online | Free Admission

Follow the National Portrait Gallery's Obama portraits as they travel to prominent art museums in five U.S. cities, offering education, representation and hope to millions of Americans.

This is the first episode in the two-part series. To attend both screenings, please register for both. Between the films, enjoy some light refreshments. Limit of 35 people per screening, please limit groups to 4 people. Register here



Monday, June 19th — 2:30 PM

Register Online | Free Admission

As the portraits continue their tour through Brooklyn, Atlanta and Houston, the artists detail the privilege of working with a president and first lady.

This is the second episode in the two-part series.To attend both screenings, please register for both. Between the films, enjoy some light refreshments. Limit of 35 people per screening, please limit groups to 4 people. Register here


America in Color: Titans of Industry

Thursday, June 29th
1:00 & 4:00 PM

Register Online | Free Admission

America is still a rural nation in 1910. Most homes don't have electricity, and less than one percent of the population owns a car. But that changes with the rise of Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone, and Thomas Edison, who help foster the economic and technological booms of the early 20th century. Through colorized archival footage and personal home movies, explore the business relationships that transformed America and glimpse into powerful friendships that lasted a lifetime.

Limit of 35 people per screening, please limit groups to 4 people. Register here.

aerial america: michigan

Sunday, July 16th
1:00 & 4:00 PM

Register Online | Free Admission

Take flight over Michigan, a Midwestern powerhouse, where one man's assembly lines brought the automobile to America and another man's "Hit Factory" brought the Motown sound to the world. Named after the Native American term for "big lake," Michigan is defined not only by the Great Lakes that shape it, but how its residents shaped America. We examine its diverse history and its visionaries who built empires, started unions, and helped win a World War, while witnessing its diverse beauty from thousands of feet in the air.


Limit of 35 people per screening, please limit groups to 4 people. Register here.


From environmental racism to police brutality to the school-to-prison pipeline, Soledad O'Brien explores inequalities Black communities face and the actions that need to be taken in order achieve lasting change in the U.S. 

Bad Axe Documentary Image

Bad Axe Free Screening

Monday, May 15th 
Reception | 6:00 PM
Pre-film Program | 6:45 PM
Screening | 7:00 PM

Register Online | Free Admission

Winner of the 2022 Critics' Choice Documentary Award for Best First Doc Feature & the TCFF Audience Award for Best Feature Film, BAD AXE captures a closely-knit Asian American family living in rural Michigan during the pandemic as they fight to keep their local restaurant and American dream alive. With rising racial tensions, the family uses their voice and must unite as they reckon with backlash from a divided community, white supremacists, and intergenerational trauma from Cambodia's "killing fields."

Before the film, enjoy some light refreshments provided by a local AAPI restaurant in the Dennos Sculpture Court. Then, join us in Milliken Auditorium for brief remarks with the film to follow.

Generous support for this project provided by Northwestern Michigan College, Northern Michigan E3, the Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation and Oryana. Additional program partners include the Traverse Area District Library, Dennos Museum Center, and the Traverse City Human Rights Commission


Wednesday, February 22nd
1:00 & 2:30 PM

Soledad O'Brien talks to Black moms and their advocates in Mississippi to find out how the government and healthcare system can address high maternal and infant mortality rates in the state.




Wednesday, February 15th
1:00 & 2:30 PM

Soledad O'Brien investigates a city redevelopment plan in Norfolk, VA, that would tear down public housing and displace low-income residents in an effort to "revitalize" the area.




Wednesday, February 8th
1:00 & 2:30 PM

Soledad O'Brien interviews Anjanette Young, Mayor Lori Lightfoot, State's Attorney Kim Foxx and others about the Chicago Police Department's history of brutality and the obstacles to reform.




Wednesday, January 18th
1:00 & 2:30 PM

Soledad O'Brien visits Dallas to find out how environmental racism is plaguing a predominantly Black community as it tries to fight against a hazardous dump site called Shingle Mountain. 




Wednesday, January 25th
1:00 & 2:30 PM

Soledad O'Brien discusses the impact of structural racism in Nashville, TN, and how nonprofits are stepping up to give students the support they need to escape the school-to-prison pipeline.




Wednesday, February 1st
1:00 & 2:30 PM

Soledad O'Brien examines the experiences of the Gullah people on Hilton Head Island, SC, where obscure legal loopholes and soaring property taxes have resulted in a loss of land and culture.




Disasters at Sea - The Arctic Rose Mystery

Wednesday, November 16th
1:00 & 2:30 PM

Witness the final moments of the Arctic Rose, and discover why the trawler sank so quickly into the Bering Sea.




into the wild tibet

Wednesday, October 12th
1:00 & 2:30 PM

North of the Himalayas and three miles above sea level stretches a land barely glimpsed by the outside world: the Tibetan Plateau. Here, packs of wolves, herds of chiru antelope, and small families of pika struggle to survive and raise their young in one of the harshest environments on Earth. Spend a year in this land of extremes and follow its creatures, from the top of the food chain to the bottom, as they embark on dangerous migrations, dodge diving predators, and adapt to the plateau's thin air, impossible terrain, and punishing weather.


color of care

Thursday, October 6th — 7:00 PM

Join us for a free screening of the Color of Care in Milliken Auditorium. Before the show, enjoy some light refreshments. A discussion will be held with a panel of local experts afterward featuring Dr. Cyrus Ghaemi, Chief Clinical Officer, Traverse Health Clinic, Toni Leaf-Odette, Senior Community Health Coordinator, Munson Healthcare, Tamella Livengood, Director of Nursing Programs, Northwestern Michigan College, and Dr. Joe Santangelo, Chief Quality and Safety Officer, Munson Healthcare. 

About the Film

The Color of Care chronicles how people of color suffer from systemically substandard healthcare. COVID-19 exposed what they have long understood and lived: they do not receive the same level of care. Produced by Ms. Winfrey’s Harpo Productions and directed by Oscar-nominated and Emmy-winning director Yance Ford, the film traces the origins of racial health disparities to practices that began during slavery and continue today. Using moving personal testimony, expert interviews, and disturbing data the film reveals the impact of racism on health, serving as an urgent warning of what must be done to save lives.

seriously amazing objects: survivors

Wednesday, September 21st
1:00 & 2:30 PM

Join host Xavier Carnegie as he gives select Smithsonian visitors a one-of-a-kind opportunity to interact with artifacts and animals that represent amazing stories of survival. One guest will learn how the idea of camouflage was developed. Another gets an up-close look at the kite that helped America win World War II. And finally, one guest enters the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, where scientists are racing to save cheetahs from the brink of extinction.