Ludington Area Center for the Arts

Photos by Marion Riedl
Find Your Center. The Ludington Area Center for the Arts (LACA) is the gathering place for community expression through arts and cultural experiences. Since opening in September 2008, LACA has proven to be a valuable asset to the Ludington area.

Throughout the year, the Center hosts exhibitions, performances, and educational programs in music, the visual arts, literature, and more. Click here for a complete list of performances.

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West Shore Art Fair
The facility includes a 250-seat performance hall; the venue is handicap accessible with a stair climber lift. The gallery and exhibition space which doubles as a banquet hall are located on the main floor. Art studios and classrooms are found on the lower and upper levels of the facility.

The Main Gallery of the Ludington Area Center for the Arts is host to several exhibitions throughout the year. Two compelling art exhibitions are displayed for August-September."The Betty Knight Silander Retrospective" exhibit in the Main Gallery celebrates the life's work of this diverse and prolific, award-winning local artist. The alternative exhibit space, located in the Performance Hall lobby, features a Social Justice exhibit by Pentwater High School art students.

Betty Knight Silander has been painting and exhibiting in the Ludington area for many years as a professional artist. Trained in part at the Chicago Art Institute and by a number of artists in Chicago and Arizona. Betty's works are in watercolor, pastels, oil, pen and ink, and other media. Her works include portraits, landscapes, still life, and abstracts. Her exhibit will be displayed through September 23. An Artist Reception will be held Friday, August 12 from 5pm-7pm.


The Social Justice Issues: Art Objects and Installations Exhibit by Pentwater High School Students will be on display in the Art Center’s Performance Hall Lobby through September 17. Students were challenged to research a social justice issue that they felt strongly about, and then create visual metaphors for their related thoughts and feelings. Issues range from cosmetic animal testing, and gender equality, to teen suicide, and domestic abuse. Through images and artist statements, viewers can develop both a deeper understanding, and more critical questions regarding each topic.

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The center is home for writer's groups, visual artists critique group and community theater. Ludington Writers offer monthly writing and critique groups. The West Side Gang Writers Group meets the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays to discuss works in progress; Third Tuesdays are devoted to sharing work that is inspiring. The group also sponsors writing workshops. There is also a Shakespeare Reading Group meeting at 7pm the second Thursday of the month (on recess during the summer months). Lakeside Civic Players stage occasional productions during the year and West Shore Community College schedules some of their productions at LACA.
Pickin' in the Courtyard jam sessions are held during the summer months over the lunch hour (11am-1pm) in the courtyard behind the LACA. All musicians are welcome to join in and music lovers are invited to bring a blanket or lawn chair and a sack lunch. An Acoustic Jam is held Wednesday evenings (6pm-8:30pm), in the Gallery space and is open to all interested musicians.

For kids, Workshop Wednesdays is a series of fun arts and crafts classes for ages 9 and up offered during the school year. The free program is held after school; sponsors and donations are appreciated. Theatre Thursday was launched in the fall 2015 as a LACA partnership with the O.J. DeJonge Middle School Drama Club. Theatre Thursdays support educational opportunities and participation in the theatre arts by inviting guest presenters to the O.J. Drama Club sessions. Foodie Fridays is the most recent addition to the arts center’s afterschool and youth arts programming lineup. The Foodie Friday culinary classes were held four Fridays in Spring 2016 and covered a variety of topics. West Michigan Junior Strings also offers a beginning/intermediate program at LACA.

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Ludington Area performing Arts
Breakwall Arts is a group of youth from the Mason County Area who are striving to create opportunities and programs for youth in this area. The group meets Thursday afternoons to organize activities to give more places for kids/teens to express themselves.

The arts and crafts studio offers a bright and airy space in which to learn a new skill or improve on one and is the site for various workshops throughout the year. In addition, there are regular classes in Kindermusic and Feldenkrais, as well as occasional classes in yoga, exercise and various forms of dance. Several types of classes are offered through West Shore Community College's Business and Community Education Program including jewelry making and culinary.

art fair

The Ludington Area Center for the Arts manages the West Shore Art Fair held in Ludington's Rotary Park. The fair which is held annually on the first weekend in July, will be held Saturday, July 1 and Sunday, July 2 in 2017. The fair is a juried fine arts and crafts event...which means a more stringent criteria is used and only the highest-quality artists are admitted. Juried artists are chosen to display paintings, photography, jewelry, clay, glass, fiber and wood, and many other varieties of fine art. Each year, there are over 100 artists accepted to participate in the show. In addition to the artists, the fair features live musical performances, food stations and a children's area where children can purchase art donated by participating artists for just $5.

Two non-juried arts and crafts fair are also held annually. These indoor shows feature artist and crafter participants located on different levels of the arts center. The Maritime Magic Arts/Crafts Show is held the first Saturday of June (June 3, 2017). The Ludington Arts Center Holiday Crafts Show is held the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend (November 26, 2016) coordinating with downtown Ludington activities for Small Business Saturday and the annual Aglow on the Avenue Parade.

A new event for spring 2016 was "Live at the LACA: Girls Rock." Presented by Ludrock and sponsored by The Zonta Club of Ludington Area, the event celebrated women through musical performance and spoken word. Local female musicians, singers and artists of all ages performed live at the Ludington Area Center for the Arts performance hall. For more information on Girls Rock, visit our story here.

Every year around Halloween, the Ludrock group hosts its annual Night of Fright at the Ludington Area Center for the Arts, which is a frighteningly fun fundraising effort for the Center's Performance Hall. For more information on Night of Fright, visit our story here.

Organized and incorporated in February 2004, the Ludington Area Arts Council purchased the former United Methodist Church in downtown Ludington in September 2008. The Gothic-style structure built in 1894 has experienced significant upgrades since the Arts Center took possession and further improvements are planned. The five-phase renovation plan for the 116-year old building is an ambitious project, as the Arts Center wants to maintain the historic integrity of the structure.

For more information, contact:
Ludington Area Center for the Arts
107 S. Harrison
Ludington, MI 49431
(231) 845-2787

More on the West Michigan Art Scene...


For more activities & attractions, check out these additional links for Things to Do in West Michigan:

Ludington Activities & Things to Do -- Play on a beautiful beach, take a tour at Historic White Pine Village, or explore the barn quilt trail, murals or sculptures in the county--Ludington offers many fun things to do for the entire family!
Have Fun in Manistee, Michigan -- Explore Manistee's historic downtown district and riverwalk, hike the Manistee National Forest, canoe on the Manistee River, and more.
Hamlin Lake -- Just 4 miles north of Ludington, Hamlin Lake is a great destination for boating, fishing and climbing dunes! The Hamlin Lake shoreline is also part of the Ludington State Park.
Silver Lake Sand Dunes -- Visiting the Silver Lake Sand Dunes makes for a terrific vacation because you can take your off-road vehicle for a spin on the scenic sand dunes overlooking Lake Michigan and Silver Lake.
Things to Do in Pentwater, Michigan -- Nothing is quite like the quaint, artsy, harbortown village of Pentwater. Don't miss the popular Charles Mears State Park beach on Pentwater's Lake Michigan shoreline.
Lots of Activities in Scottville, Michigan -- Explore the Riverside Park along the National Scenic Pere Marquette River.
Canoeing or Fishing on the Pere Marquette River -- Many boat liveries offer canoe rentals.

Also, check out West Michigan Guides and our locally produced directory for our largest lists of Things to Do in West Michigan.

Last Updated: 10-19-2018 10:43 AM ID: 234