Miles Mykkanen and the Theatre North Board of Directors are pleased to announce the debut of the Emberlight Festival this summer in Ironwood, Michigan.
Mykkanen (Festival Director) and Cindy Franck (Festival Producer) have been developing these plans for nearly two years.
“Cindy and I were sitting downtown Ironwood after one of my performances of Crossroads at Theatre North in 2018 and began dreaming of making Ironwood a destination for artists and audiences alike. We hope the Emberlight Festival attracts local audiences, in addition to tourists from across the northern Midwest,” Mykkanen said.
More details regarding specific programming for the 2021 festival will be announced in the new year. The Emberlight Festival will highlight music, the visual arts, film, theatre, dance, and creative writing under the sponsorship of Theatre North.
Franck explains: “Theatre North is one of the oldest continually-running community theatres in the United States. We are proud to provide the Western Upper Peninsula with quality theatre for the past 56 years. The Emberlight Festival will give Theatre North the chance to offer even more types of artistic experiences to our audiences.”
“We plan to bring my friends from Broadway and Hollywood to Ironwood,” according to Mykkanen, “but we also have an incredibly deep community of artists right here in the U.P.”
The Emberlight Festival is already working with local organizations like the Historic Ironwood Theatre, Downtown Art Place, Miners Memorial Heritage Park, and Range Arts Association to find opportunities to showcase our region’s talent.
“I’ve always loved inviting friends from all over the country to my hometown so I can show off the untouched beauty of the Upper Peninsula. We have so much to offer the world! Now the Emberlight Festival is one way I can give back to my community by offering events to attract tourists and help make this area a true summertime destination.”
This year the entire 2021 Emberlight Festival will be outdoors and socially-distant. The Festival’s Board is already developing COVID-contingency plans.
Cindy Franck says, “We intend to keep the safety of our community at the forefront of all our planning. Depending on what the CDC and our local health departments recommend at the time of the Emberlight Festival, we will be able to adjust our plans to offer virtual events and art installations our audiences can enjoy outdoors from a distance if needed.”
“I am determined to make sure we don’t go through another summer without art in our lives. We need diverse storytelling. We need the shared experience of live performances. We need each other,” said Mykkanen.