Nonprofit promotes Bay County arts and culture

What’s Next Bay City, previously known as, is a group of nonprofit organizations working together to promote arts and cultural events in Bay City. Created from a group of community organizations dedicated to providing quality arts and entertainment through educational and cultural activities in the Bay City area, this cohort is a way for nonprofits to stay connected and help promote each other’s events and work.

Members must be a non-profit, attend monthly meetings, participate in fundraising efforts and contribute to the What’s Next publication which outlines all upcoming events and participating organizations.

The organization is composed of Mike Bacigalupo (The State Theatre, Bay Arts Council, and Bay County Historical Society), Tara Welch (Studio 23/The Arts Center), Kathy Pawloski (Bay City Players), Mary Ruthko (Bay County Library System) and Mike Murray (Delta College Planetarium). The also recently added the Historic Masonic Temple as their newest member. T

A big draw to being part of What’s Next is the exposure gained from simply being a member. Kathy Pawloski, the secretary for the organization, is also the Operations Manager at Bay City Players. She says that the theatre benefits from this organization because “it gives us greater visibility in the community and has enabled us to collaborate with other nonprofit organizations”.

While there are many things to do, see and participate in the community, What’s Next is focused on bringing visibility to the rich art community right here in Bay City. “With so many opportunities for spending your entertainment dollars, it’s good to let everyone know that quality theatre, as well as quality art, amazing planetarium programs, our beautiful library and more are alive in Bay City”, Kathy says.

Some examples of events that What’s Next has hosted or been a part of include author readings at various Bay County Library System branches, concert series at the state theatre including performances by the Nelson Brothers, the Bijou Orchestra, and Ryan Vandenboom, as well as top of the line planetarium series and recent upgrades to the facilities.

Their website,, is a gateway to keeping up with who is part of this organization as well as a source for events calendars and a look at downtown events. It also has basic information about each participating business—who they are, what they do and where they do it. For questions about What's Next Bay City and other inquiries, there is a form to fill out on the website or they can be contacted at
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