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Life at Interlochen

This is a place where people care about you—as a colleague, as an artist, and as a person. We are a community where diversity is not just welcomed, but celebrated and encouraged. We are a team that strives for sustainability, breathes collaboration, and instills resilience. Because at Interlochen, the magic isn’t just for our students. It’s for us, too. 

A man teaching a group of students

This is a vibrant, creative community—for both students and staff. It’s the perfect place to reignite your artistic passions and discover new creative interests.

Many of our faculty, staff, and administrators have backgrounds in the arts and maintain an artistic practice outside of their duties at Interlochen. Our employees can be found performing in local ensembles, exhibiting their work at local galleries, and teaching at local dance studios. Around every corner you will find a colleague who knows what it means to live a life in the arts.

That passion is present both on and off our campus: the Traverse City area was recently named one of the nation's top-ten arts-vibrant communities.

Who We Are

Purpose and Values

Everything we do at Interlochen is driven by our core purpose: To ignite a lifelong passion for the arts. Our core purpose is supported by five key values.

We hope that everyone—from our youngest junior camper to our oldest concert patron—leaves our campus renewed and energized by our world-class programming and vibrant creative atmosphere.

We seek to cultivate the unique creative talents of every student who sets foot on our campus and to prepare them to live lives of lasting confidence.

Every Interlochen experience—from adult classes to guest artist performances—is carefully curated to create a meaningful, lasting memory. Every student and patron should leave our campus not just inspired, but transformed.

Each day at Interlochen, dozens of “aha!” moments happen. We help students break down internalized boundaries, master techniques, and discover the path to a purposeful life in the arts and beyond.

Our most mature alumni still remember the lessons they learned at Interlochen; the feel of their corduroy knickers; the sounds of “Les Préludes.” We want everyone who encounters Interlochen to remember this experience for their lifetime.

Culture of Diversity

Diversity is the cornerstone of a healthy and strong community. We are committed not only to attracting diverse students, but to providing positive role models of every culture, color, and creed.

In 2007, Interlochen founded its first Diversity and Inclusion Task Force with the goal of increasing student, staff, and faculty diversity. A second task force was founded in 2017 to continue this important work.

As a result of these two efforts, we have established a number of goals and policies in regards to diversity on our campus. We recently hired an Associate Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to create and implement comprehensive diversity programming for all students, faculty, and staff.

Learn more about our Mission, Purpose, and Values

You Belong Here

Tour Our Campus

The moment you set foot on campus, the creative energy is palpable. It's that "nervous but excited" feeling in your stomach. It's people talking about art and progress as they walk past. It's people speaking different languages as they head to lunch. It's a student practicing their instrument on the lawn—or a fashion design student leaving their residence hall wearing a new piece.  

Our campus is situated on a narrow strip of land that separates two glacial lakes in northwest lower Michigan. Our 1,200-acre campus features native hardwood forests, placid beaches, and more than 400 buildings, all dedicated to the teaching, creation, and presentation of art.

Visit our campus and discover for yourself how special Interlochen is. Guided golf cart tours are available by appointment year-round. You can also explore our campus from the comfort of your own home via our virtual golf cart tour.

Campus Images

Several boats float on a gently rippling lake
An outdoor amphitheater ablaze with fall color
A group of small, snow-covered buildings
An open seating/gathering area with fall foliage
A woman in a red coat walks across a snowy, forested area
A quiet, tree-filled courtyard
A large stone building
Students walk past a small stone hut

Traverse City, our northern oasis

Interlochen is located just 15 miles from Traverse City, one of Michigan’s most popular vacation destinations. The area is steadily growing in popularity as a year-round residence due to its natural beauty, cultural vibrancy, excellent schools, and small-town atmosphere.

Traverse City is a nature lover's paradise. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, which was named Good Morning America's "Most Beautiful Place in America," is just 30 minutes away and offers ample opportunities for hiking, swimming, and canoeing.

Beyond the lakeshore, the region is traversed by dozens of popular hiking trails. The TART Trails network connects destinations in Traverse City to the nearby Leelanau Peninsula via a paved, multi-use trail popular with walkers, joggers, and cyclists. Cycling is a popular pastime in Traverse City, which is home to a variety of bicycle shops and both youth and adult cycling clubs.

Downtown Traverse City offers several miles of public freshwater beaches on Lake Michigan's Grand Traverse Bay. Other popular beaches can be found in Sleeping Bear Dunes, the Leelanau Peninsula, and the Old Mission Peninsula. Water and paddle sports are also popular; most lakes and rivers in the region, including Lake Michigan, have public access points.

Traverse City is renowned as a "foodie town" and has a thriving brewery scene. Restaurants in the area range from old-school diners to high-end bistros and offer a variety of global flavors including Italian, Mediterranean, Mexican, French, Thai, Japanese, and more. Locally owned bakeries, coffee shops, and ice cream parlors are also family favorites. More mature locals enjoy sampling craft beers at the city's many breweries.

In addition to food and beer, Traverse City is also a rising star in the wine world. The area's sandy soil and temperate weather yield grapes that rival the produce of Italy's finest wine regions, and wines from the Old Mission and Leelanau peninsulas are beginning to receive international acclaim.

Art lives here—at Interlochen, and in northern Michigan. The Traverse City area was recently named one of the nation's top-ten arts-vibrant communities.

In addition to Interlochen, northern Michigan boasts a wide variety of incredible arts organizations. Our music scene includes the Traverse Symphony Orchestra, instrumental and choral ensembles from Northern Michigan College, and many local bands and singer-songwriters. The Dennos Museum Center and City Opera House host dozens of local and national talents at their annual concert series, and the National Cherry Festival attracts a wide variety of big-name performers.

Traverse City is also home to the Traverse City Film Festival, an annual celebration of film founded by Oscar-winning director Michael Moore and New York Times best-selling author Doug Stanton. The festival is based in the city's historic State Theatre.

Other popular entertainment options include:

Traverse City is not only a terrific place for a vacation—it's also a great place to raise a family.

The area has an exceptional public school system which includes 11 elementary schools, two middle schools, and three high schools. You can also choose to enroll your child in one of the city's many private schools, such as The Children's House, The Pathfinder School, Traverse City Christian School, St. Francis Catholic High School, Trinity Lutheran School, or Grand Traverse Academy.

Athletic students will find a wide variety of opportunities to get involved in sports both in and out of school. Independent sports organizations include the Traverse City Junior Golf Organization, Traverse City Little League, the Grand Traverse Hockey Association, North Shore Volleyball, North Storm Soccer, and the YMCA. Norte provides cycling equipment, instruction, and events for local youth.

On your days off, there are plenty of kid-friendly activities to enjoy with your family. Go bowling at Lucky Jack's or Incredible Mo's; hit the slopes at Crystal Mountain Resort, Mt. Holiday, or Timberlee Hills; explore the Northwestern Michigan Fair; or get an ice cream cone at Moomers Ice Cream—which was named Good Morning America's Best Scoop.

Northern Michigan boasts a rich history. The region was first settled by the Ojibwe, Ottawa, and Potawatomi peoples, whose descendants still call the area home. Their history and culture is preserved by the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians. European colonists arrived in the early 1800s, with the first permanent settlement founded in 1839.

Discover more about Traverse City

Meet our People

Every employee has their own unique Interlochen story. Some were once students. Others came here looking for a job—and found their calling. Here are just a few moving stories of our incredible faculty and staff.

Our faculty and staff practice a vast array of art forms both personally and professionally. Whether you're a musician, an actor, or a dancer, there are countless ways to get involved creatively in our community—both on campus and off. Here are just a few of the artistic opportunities our staff enjoy:

On-campus:

  • Festival Choir (summer only)
  • Pit Orchestra (summer only)
  • Faculty recitals (summer/fall)
  • Staff recitals (summer only)
  • Chamber ensembles

Off-campus:

  • Traverse Symphony Orchestra
  • Benzie Area Symphony Orchestra
  • Grand Traverse Chorale
  • Northern Michigan College Jazz Band
  • Old Town Playhouse
  • Parallel 45 Theatre

Perks and Benefits

Our people are our greatest asset. That's why we offer a comprehensive benefits package, tuition discounts, and much more. Click on the buttons below to learn more:

  • 10 paid holidays
  • Competitive accrual of vacation time and sick time
  • Life insurance of $50,000, plus short-term and long-term disability coverage
  • Voluntary insurance options for long-term care and supplemental life insurance
  • Tuition reimbursement program
  • Pension plan through TIAA
  • 403b retirement plan with employee contribution option
  • Medical coverage through Priority Health
  • Flexible Spending Account (FSA) for medical expenses
  • Dental insurance through Delta Dental
  • Vision insurance through VSP
  • Wellness program
  • Access to Interlochen’s 23,000-square-foot recreation and wellness facility
  • Complimentary meals at our on-site cafeteria featuring local, organic, vegetarian, and vegan options.
  • Assist America - Medical services available 100+ miles from home
  • MedNow - 24/7 video hotline staffed by Spectrum Health doctors
  • YMCA partnership
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) co-op with Second Spring Farm, certified organic
  • Discounted tickets to all Interlochen Presents “featured events”
  • Up to two free tickets to all student performances
  • Discounts on adult classes through Interlochen College of Creative Arts
  • Discounts on snacks, gifts, and art supplies at the Interlochen Scholarshop
  • 11% discount on cell phone data and accessories from Verizon and AT&T
  • Employee referral program
  • Sam’s Club member discounts
  • Tickets At Work discounts
  • Yearly employee awards including: Golden Shovel Award, Oil Can Award, President’s Distinguished Service Award, Barbara Sandys Spirit Award, Employee of the Year
  • Employee appreciation events
  • Training options through BizLibrary or SafeSchools to further education or personal growth
  • Sabbatical periods for faculty members
  • Opportunities to attend conferences or take classes, as departmental budgets allow

Eligible Interlochen employees can receive discounts on their child’s Interlochen Arts Camp or Arts Academy tuition. Eligible employees include: year-round, benefits-eligible employees; year-round part-time employees working 20 hours or more per week; nine-month school year, benefits-eligible faculty; and faculty and staff with a signed employee contract. Discount rates vary depending on employee eligibility. All students must meet minimum age and grade requirements as outlined by their preferred program. The employee discount is offered in lieu of any other financial aid opportunities.