Midland Center for the Arts winter programs

The Midland Center for the Arts has a full lineup of diverse programming throughout the entire year, and this winter, there are many ways to enjoy live performing arts. From comedy shows to Broadway performances, to community theater for young ones, and educational brunch series and adults-only nights, there is something for anyone and everyone. 

This winter’s lineup reflects the Center’s mission to provide global cultural perspectives, acting as a cultural hub for the Great Lakes Bay region. 

Alex Woody, Midland Center for the Arts communications and public relations manager, speaks about some of the winter programming highlights. “Our next big event is the kids and family show, “The Rainbow Fish,” presented by The Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia,” Woody says. “It is the classic children’s book author, Marcus Pfister’s work, which comes to life with dazzling puppetry.”

“The Rainbow Fish” is on Sunday, Feb. 4 at 2 pm, and is sponsored by The Grace A. Dow Memorial Library. Young crowds can also enjoy the Youth Theatre’s sold-out production of a “Disney’s Frozen Jr.” on Thurs, Feb. 22 through Sun, Feb. 25. 

"Mean Girls" @ the MCFTA, Feb. 9 & 10
“MEAN GIRLS” takes over the auditorium on Friday, Feb. 9 and Sat, Feb. 10 at 7:30 pm. This the first Broadway event of the year for the Center, an award-winning musical adaptation of the 2004 Tina Fey movie. 

“It was actually just recently adapted into the recent movie that’s in theaters currently too,” Woody says. “We’re really excited for that coming up next. Everyone’s been making a bunch of pink and fetch puns and jokes in the office.”

Later in the month, on Thurs, Feb. 22 at 7:30 p.m., the Jazz at Lincoln Center presents Sing and Swing with Bria Skonberg and Benny Benack III. Classic jazz songs from Judy Garland, Bing Crosby, Dean Martin, Gershwin, Ellington, and more will be performed. 

“This production features two really hot jazz artists in New York right now,” Woody says. “They’re both amazing trumpeters and they’re performing songs from the great ‘American Songbook.’”

On Sat, Feb. 24 at 7:30 pm, the Midland Symphony Orchestra is performing live alongside the film, ‘Wonders of Nature.’ The movie showcases images and videos of the Northern Lights, captured by astronomer Dr. Jose Francisco Salgado. 

A newer event series, which launched in 2022, continues this year with the Brunch History series, and STEM Brunch series. Brunch in the museum from the in-house chef accompanies a history or science-themed lecture. The Women in STEM Brunch takes place on Sat, Feb. 3 at 11 am. Pre-order brunch food orders are available. 

Other events are tailored for adults only, to encourage lifelong learning and exploration. On Thurs, Feb. 15 at 6 pm. is the Adult Night in the Museum. Adults can enjoy science and art and themed glowing cocktails or non-alcoholic beverages. 

“It’s important to provide programming that hits all ranges,” Woody says. “As adults, we still want to be able to engage in museums and be able to learn and discover. It’s important to have a variety that is fun for a variety of different folks.”

There are also educational science-based activities for all ages to enjoy on exhibition in the IFF & DuPont STEM Exhibit Space. “We also have some wonderful kids activities that are going to tie into our recent exhibition that just opened last weekend,” Woody says. ‘We also have a new exhibit, At the Speed of Light, playing with different light beams and inviting a bit of an older age range than our normal exhibits. You can learn about the power of lightwaves, build working circuits, and explore how rainbows are made.”

Although the upper floors of the Science & Art Museum remain closed due to flood damage, that likely won’t be for much longer. Congressman Dan Kildee and John Moolenaar announced earlier this week that the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) would provide $1,926,227 in funding to help the Midland Center for the Arts repair severe flood damage. 

“This is a really exciting development because it is something that our staff has been working on for four years,” Woody says. “We are very grateful for the support from our local legislature who have worked tirelessly to make sure we get the proper funding we need to make the repairs necessary for our upcoming renovation project.”

Enjoy this story? Sign up for free solutions-based reporting in your inbox each week.

Read more articles by Sarah Spohn.

Sarah Spohn is a Lansing native, but every day finds a new interesting person, place, or thing in towns all over Michigan, leaving her truly smitten with the mitten. She received her degrees in journalism and professional communications and provides coverage for various publications locally, regionally, and nationally — writing stories on small businesses, arts and culture, dining, community, and anything Michigan-made. You can find her in a record shop, a local concert, or eating one too many desserts at a bakery. If by chance, she’s not at any of those places, you can contact her at sarahspohn.news@gmail.com.