The President and First Lady with Jeffrey Kimpton in the Oval Office

Representing 2006 National Medal of Arts recipient Interlochen Center for the Arts is the center's president Jeffrey Kimpton accepting the award from President and Mrs. Laura Bush in an Oval Office ceremony on November 9, 2006. The citation reads, "Since its founding, the Center has encouraged artistic expression, worked to bridge the barriers of language and culture, and helped promote international goodwill and understanding." White House photo by Paul Morse.

Interlochen Center for the Arts

School of fine arts, Museum


Interlochen Center for the Arts has made substantial contributions to American culture by educating generations of artists including musicians, dancers, actors, writers, and visual artists as well as providing young people with the skills and experiences for successful careers in entertainment, media, and business.

The Center encompasses a 2,000-student summer camp; a 475-student fine arts and college preparatory high school; and a 155- student, K-8 day school. Each year, Interlochen educates more than 2,500 high school students drawn from every state and more than 40 countries and provides scholarships and financial aid totaling $6 million to more than half of its students.

Founded in 1928 by Joseph E. Maddy as the National High School Orchestra Camp, Interlochen is the oldest and largest summer arts camp and fine arts boarding high school in the country. Located in the bucolic landscape of northern Michigan, the center occupies a 1,200-acre campus.

It is estimated that 10 percent of musicians in the nation's top orchestras attended Interlochen. Eight decades of alumni include Lorin Maazel, Gerard Schwartz, Peter Erskine, Felicity Huffman, Victoria Clark, Anthony Rapp, Michael Kaiser, Jessye Norman, George Crum, Linda Hunt, Norah Jones, Josh Groban, and television commentator Mike Wallace. More than 86,000 young people have participated in one of Interlochen's educational programs.

Interlochen also operates adult education programs, two public radio stations, and an arts festival. Each year it presents more than 700 concerts and exhibitions by students, faculty and distinguished guest artists drawing 265,000 visitors and audiences to northern Michigan.