Past events 2020

TUESdaYS, 2019 - 2020
January 16, 2020
First & Third Saturdays, 2019 - 2020
Alcona Authors Writers Group
Enthusiastic and experienced leader MaryAnn Crawford, a former college English professor, hosted this program for adults who write or want to give writing a try. This class was interrupted in March by the covid 19 crisis. It resumed September 19, limited to nine students, when a suitable venue became available.
Fridays, 2020
February 28 - 29, 2020
School Fridays, 2019 - 2020
School Mondays, 2019 - 2020
School Mondays, 2019 - 2020

Past events 2019

October 10-13, 2019
Fourth Annual Lost Lake Writers Retreat
Poets Robert Fanning and Kelly Fordon, novelists Irina Reyn and Michael Zadoorian and storyteller Allison Downey led students through three days of learning and writing, all hosted by John D. Lamb of Springfed Arts, cosponsor of this retreat.
September 27 and 28, 2019
Child of the Holocaust
Irene Miller, who survived the Nazi attempt to exterminate European Jews during World War II, years in a Soviet labor camp and more years in orphanages, spoke at the Alcona County Library and at sessions with middle school and high school students at Alcona Community Schools.
September 5 -8, 2019
TUESdaYS all sUMMER, 2019
August 20, 2019
July 13, 2019
June 11 - July 10, 2019
After-school Fridays, 2018 - 2019
May 5, 2019
April 15, 2019
MARCH 16, 2019
February 9, 2019
February 6, 2019
Joni Mitchell tribute show
The Skylark band, featuring Kim Casey, performed a selection of folk-jazz-pop music from one of Canada's best songwriters, Joni Mitchell, at the Harrisville branch of the Alcona County Library, 312 W. Main St., Harrisville.
January 18-19, 2019
Alcona Small Farm Conference
Eighty-three people attended the conference, with 50 more at the reception the night before. Doug Paulus, shown above, was the morning keynote speaker.
January 17-18, 2019
Guy Louis at Alcona Elementary
Singer-entertainer Guy Louis visited Alcona County. On Thursday night, he did a public show that was just for fun. On Friday, he did two events emphasizing good citizenship for elementary students.
January 15, 2019
Farm to Fork Alcona Winter Photo Contest
Shelly Hoffmeyer, a paraprofessional worker at Alcona High School, won the 2019 Farm to Fork Alcona photo contest with this image of a barn enduring a wintry day in Alcona County.

Past events 2018

November 3, 2018
October 7, 2018
October 6, 2018
October 4 - 7, 2018
September 13 - 27, 2018
British Comedy Film Series
All were shown on the big screen at the Harrisville branch of the Alcona County Library. Free movie, free popcorn and free beverages.
SEPTEMber 5 - 8, 2018
August 17, 2018
Patsy Cline tribute
Kim Casey and the BobCat Band played from 6 to 8 p.m. at the pavilion at Harrisville State Park. Their repertoire consists of many Patsy Cline hits, some Joni Mitchell and a variety of country hits. Attendance was about 75 people at the outside venue.
July 14, 2018
Brunch at the Harbor
Inspiration Alcona sponsored its first brunch under the big tent above Harrisville Harbor, serving breakfast burritos in several combos. Response overwhelmed us; we sold out in less than an hour and a half in a planned three-hour event. We'll make more food next time.
June 19 - July 19, 2018
Summer Art for Youth
This annual summer event covered drawing, watercolor, pastels and sculpture in eight sessions.
April 28, 2018
March 29, 2018
February 10, 2018
Alcona Regional Farm Conference
More than 90 people came to this educational event about the finances, help available and success stories in growing food for profit in northeast Michigan. Breakfast and lunch each featured locally grown food.

Past events 2017

October 5-8, 2017
Second Annual Lost Lake Writers Retreat
Teachers Jack Ridl, Anne-Marie Oomen, Craig Holden, Maureen Dunphy and Whit Hill led this all-Michigan version of the writers retreat.
September 30, 2017
Fermentation Workshop and Dinner
David Klingenberger of Ann Arbor's The Brinery taught a crowd of almost 100 about natural fermentation. A dinner of certified local products was praised. After dinner, a mini farmers market sold local food to participants.
September 22-24, 2017
Thunder Bay Folk Festival
Inspiration Alcona was a gold sponsor of this annual weekend of folk music, dancing, food and friendship.
September 7 - October 12, 2017
Reeling with Laughter
Film historian John Blakemore, who summers in Black River, led a six-session class about movie comedies.  The films were "Duck Soup," "Roman Holiday," "The Thin Man," "Top Hat," "Dr. Strangelove" and "Blazing Saddles."
September 18, 2017
Spaghetti a la Alcona
This special dinner featured the traditional dish but made with all Michigan products. The meat and sauce were sourced locally and the pasta came from downstate. This event kicked off fundraising for the February 10, 2018, Alcona Regional Farm Conference, designed to promote the farm to fork movement in Alcona County.
September 9, 2017
An Evening of Acoustic Music with Neil Woodward and Suzanne and Jim
This event marked Inspiration Alcona's second benefit for the newly re-formed Alcona Schools band. More than $800 went into the band activity fund.
September 7 - 10, 2017
2017 Alcona Arts Retreat
Forty-seven students signed up for the sixth annual retreat at Lost Lake Woods Club. They explored art journaling, making jewelry with silver clay, watercolor and collage, and portrait painting.
June 21 - AUgust 29, 2017
Summer Art for Youth
Free weekly art lessons for elementary through high school students, taught by local professional artists, drew 20 young artists to the first class, drawing with Joe Jenney. (Some came late and missed the picture.)
May 27, 2017
Spruce Country Days
This event celebrated the completion of the Spruce Windows Project. There were art and craft booths, antique booths, kids games for all ages, antique tractors, and more. In the evening there was a pig roast followed by a country style dance.
April 29, 2017
Third Annual
Alcona GospelFest
First Baptist Church of Lincoln hosted this year. Our prized director, Jean Wilson of Saline, Michigan, was back again to lead the mass choir. The choir numbered 58 singers, plus musicians Susan Armstrong, Jeremy Smith and Terry Thomas, and assistant director Pam Barkel. The public event once again began with a dinner provided by and benefiting the church in late afternoon to early evening.
April 21 and 24, 2017
Three Billy Goats Gruff
Actors from Thunder Bay Theatre in Alpena performed a modernized version of the fairy tail "Three Billy Goats Gruff" for elementary students at Alcona Elementary School. The troll, an otherwise nice young woman in a pig nose and weird green glasses, wasn't quite as frightening in this rendition, largely because she wasn't interested in eating the billy goats. Resolving the problem about crossing the troll's bridge involved pizza.
March 25, 2017
Author visit: Tom Stanton
In this work, Tom Stanton revealed the secret society that used murder and terror to try to control Detroit during the years when all the city's sports teams — and boxer Joe Louis — were winning almost every title available. Tom has written four other nonfiction books, all about baseball.
March 5, 2017
Patsy Cline Tribute
This fundraiser for the Alcona Community Schools band program featuring vocalist Casey Makela and a live band drew more than 500 people to the Alcona Community Schools Auditorium. It raised more than $3,400 for the band.
January 20, 2017
Thunder Bay International Film Festival
Inspiration Alcona and the Alcona County Library co-hosted the first ever showing of the Thunder Bay International Film Festival away from its home base in Alpena. Attendance numbered 75 people. The two-hour show featured an intermission at which refreshments were served.

Past events 2016

December 3, 2016
Barn Dance
Inspiration Alcona helped the high school organization with this event, which drew 60 people who danced to live music. It raised money for the popular and academically valuable school program.
October 9, 2016
A Conversation
with Mardi Jo Link
A full house of about 75 listened as this Michigan author discussed her career in true crime fiction and memoirs.
October 8, 2016
Farm to Fork
Twenty-two people learned how to use local foods in daily menus during demonstrations by chef Ben Kline.
October 6-9, 2016
First Annual Lost Lake Writers Retreat
Six teachers and 37 students came to the 2016 retreat.
September 8-11, 2016
Fifth Annual
Alcona Arts Retreat
Four classes attracted 43 students to the fifth annual set of workshops for artists.
APRIL 30, 2016
Second Annual
Alcona GospelFest
An ecumenical choir of 41 local residents and 16 members of the One Voice Gospel Choir of Saline performed. The audience numbered 157, for a total attendance of 214 people. Director Jean Wilson returned to lead the ecumenical choir for the second year. St. Anne Catholic Church hosted.
APRIL 2, 2016
Michigan Songwriters Concert
Four talented Michigan songwriters entertained an audience of 29 despite a late, heavy snowfall that kept many people off the roads. Kitty Donohoe of Ann Arbor, Jim Bizer of Detroit, John D. Lamb of Royal Oak and Laura Frawley of Hubbard Lake played original songs.
March 24, 2016
Carl Behrend
in Concert
Singer-songwriter Carl Behrend of Munising drove through a blizzard to perform at his concert. His stories in prose and in song about the Great Lakes included Native American legends and recountings of shipwrecks in Lakes Superior and Huron. Local radio station WFTX rebroadcast the performance.
March 8, 2016
Historic Mackinac
on Tour
Two presenters from Historic Fort Mackinac came to the Alcona Elementary on March 8, 2016, to show students from third through sixth grades how people lived in northern Michigan from the early days of the Native Americans up through the War of 1812. The children tried on clothing of the era, danced in historic patterns, listened to music of the times, sold real pelts at the trading post and heard more about life when Michigan was still covered in forest.
February 13, 2016
In cooperation with First United Methodist Church of Harrisville, which provided the space, Inspiration Alcona sponsored a Valentines dance for the general public. A live four-piece band provided music from swing to classic ballroom to a polka for the crowd. Proceeds from the event went to My Brother's Hope, a local charity that helps with food, clothing and household items for people in need.

Past events 2015

December 22, 2015
Two presenters from Magical Rain Theaterworks came to the Alcona Elementary on December 22, 2015, to show students Latin American culture through storytelling, song and laughter. The children especially liked, of course, the dancing skeleton.
A Conversation with Judith Guest
October 15, 2015
Michigan author Judith Guest, best known for her novels "Ordinary People," later a hit movie of the same name, and "The Tarnished Eye," spoke during the 2015 Lake Huron Discovery Tour. Inspiration Alcona, Women to Women Michigan Magazine and the Harrisville Arts Council were the main sponsors. Then-Inspiration Alcona board member Mary Ellen Jones, now a leader at Mitten Women Productions, a film production group, did the interview.
Movie Premiere
October 11, 2015
Inspiration Alcona co-sponsored the first showing of an award-winning short film by Alcona County filmmaker Mary Ellen Jones. The movie explores a young mixed-race girl's journey from bullied teen to Broadway star with the help of an unexpected mentor.
September 3 - 6, 2015
Fourth Annual
Alcona Arts Retreat
Five classes attracted more than 40 students to the fifth annual set of workshops for artists and writers.
Live Art at the Harbor
July 16, 2015
Sixty kids, with a few grandparent-age ringers, played with art at the second year of this fun event, under the direction of local artists as teachers.
Alcona Writers Retreat
june 4 - 7, 2015
The first writers retreat Inspiration Alcona sponsored brought noted Michigan writers Phillip Sterling (right, above) and Anne-Marie Oomen to Alcona County to teach a dozen students.
APRIL 25,2015
First Annual
Alcona GospelFest
The 2015 Alcona GospelFest was blessed with an ecumenical choir of 37 local residents. The audience numbered 166, for a total attendance of 203 people. Director Jean Wilson of Saline, Michigan, led the ecumenical choir. She is also a founding director of the One Voice Gospel Choir based in Saline. First United Methodist Church of Harrisville hosted.

Past events 2014

Past events 2013

Past events 2012