July 29, 2008

Dennos Museum Hosts New Festival Venue

By Margaret Parsons, The Record-Eagle, Traverse City, Mich.

Jul. 29--TRAVERSE CITY -- The Traverse City Film Festival has added a new venue at Milliken Auditorium in the Dennos Museum Center and the addition couldn't have been smoother, museum officials said.

"We are pleased to be able to accommodate the festival as one of the movie sites," said Eugene Jenneman, the museum's executive director. "The Film Festival certainly draws people to community and it provides another cultural opportunity for residents of Traverse City as well as the many visitors that come to the area."

The 367-seat auditorium on the campus of Northwestern Michigan College offers concerts of blues, jazz, chamber and world music and hosts the productions of numerous performing arts groups in the region. It will be the site of around 20 screenings during the Film Festival.

The Festival first approached Jenneman with the idea of adding Milliken as a venue two years ago. Because of Milliken's contract with local theater company Miracle Productions, which puts on summer musicals there, the parties had to work out a schedule to accommodate both events.

"We have the commitment to Miracle productions, so it really was a matter of working with Miracle to develop a schedule this year that would allow us to do both," Jenneman said. "And it's thanks to their cooperation that this could happen."

Festival Executive Director Deb Lake said unlike other venues, facilities at Milliken Auditorium made for a simple set up.

"The people at Milliken are very easy to work with," Lake said. "It's a beautiful venue and it was an easy venue to set up. We have a very big screen, the seats were already there, and they already had a projection booth so we didn't have to build one, which we had to do with most other venues."

Lake also said the location was ideal, as Milliken Auditorium is close to free parking in the NMC Cherry Lot and offers easy access to the Film Festival BATA Shuttle bus.

Jenneman said the Dennos Museum is also offering half-off the museum entrance fee to those who present their Film Festival ticket stubs. The museum offers rotating exhibits in three galleries and a sculpture court, and also features a "hands on" Discovery Gallery and a permanent display of Inuit art.

"We wanted to introduce Film Festival-goers that might not be familiar with the museum to what it has to offer other than just being a site for the Film Festival," he said. "And we thought this was a way to do that."


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