Two northern Michigan art organizations to merge

artArt enthusiasts in northern lower Michigan will soon have a new destination.

A merger has been finalized between Artcenter of Traverse City and Crooked Tree Arts Council of Petoskey.

The new entity will be known as Crooked Tree Artcenter.

Paul LaPorte is a board member for the new Crooked Tree ArtCenter organization.

He said the driving force behind the merger was the desire for regional collaboration.

“We identified 23 community based art centers in a region from Manistee to Mackinac Island west of I-75. We brought them together to start talking about regional collaboration and that caught the ear and attention of Crooked Tree Art in Petoskey.”

LaPorte said it all started two years ago when ArtCenter of Traverse City launched an initiative to promote northwest lower Michigan as an arts destination.

The organization will have two campuses. One is Crooked Tree’s existing location in Petoskey.

LaPorte said now that the merge has been finalized, the first order of business will be to find a permanent home for the Traverse City campus.

While there are options on the board, LaPorte says, it has yet to be determined when a new facility will be acquired.