Interlochen Online's next session begins May 6—enroll in any course or certificate program now.

From the Desk of Trey Devey: Our values in action

President Devey reflects on the recently unveiled core values and shares how these four principles are already at work at Interlochen and beyond.

Arts Academy string students perform at Merkin Hall.

Interlochen Arts Academy string students perform during the Feb. 29, 2024 performance at Kaufman Music Center’s Merkin Hall.

Dear friends,

This January, we unveiled our new core values: Four guiding principles that define our identity as an organization and describe what it means to be a part of the Interlochen Center for the Arts family. These values were distilled from the feedback of more than 1,000 members of our diverse global community—including students, parents, faculty, staff, alumni, volunteers, supporters, and trustees—and I am extremely pleased with the outcome of this initiative.

With the process of identifying these values complete, we turn to the equally important task of putting them into practice—both as an institution and as individuals. As we reflect on how we can embody these principles, I want to share a few examples of these values already at work in our community.

Our first value, Just An Idea… challenges each of us to follow the legacy of ingenuity and tenacity established by our founder, Dr. Joseph Maddy. The Interlochen Cinema Collective exemplifies this value. First conceived by Director of Film & New Media Michael Mittelstaedt more than 15 years ago, the Collective is a groundbreaking multi-generational effort that unites Interlochen alumni, faculty, staff, current students, and guests to create professional-caliber films. The Collective’s inaugural project—a short film written by alumna Sara Nimeh (IAC 00-06, IAA 06-08)—recently made its world premiere at the SXSW Film & TV Festival in Austin, Texas, where it won the jury award in the Texas Shorts competition.

Drawn Here reflects the magnetic effect of our people and place. Although every member of our community plays a vital role in fostering our unique and vibrant culture, our artistic instructors are perhaps the most visible. Through our new endowed faculty positions, we are able to attract and honor acclaimed instructors who energize our community with fresh perspectives and enhance the student experience with their expertise. Two endowed chair holders who are already making a significant impression are Marjorie Wood Drackett Piano Chair Dr. Kara Huber and Linda VanSickle Smith French Horn Chair Dr. Lauren Hunt. I encourage you to learn more about how they are curating incredible experiences for their students, showcasing the works of underrepresented composers, and raising Interlochen’s profile beyond our campus.

The Artist’s Journey underscores our commitment to nurturing artists at every stage of their creative development. There are myriad examples of this value in action, but I’d like to highlight the ongoing evolution of Interlochen Online. Last year, Interlochen Online expanded its offerings to include programs for adult learners—reinforcing our conviction that artistic growth is a lifelong pursuit. This spring, Interlochen Online will add seven new courses and launch certificate programs. These three-course packages allow students in grades 7 through adulthood to deepen their knowledge while earning a formal credential from Interlochen that can be showcased on résumés, LinkedIn profiles, and college applications. With these changes, Interlochen Online will be able to provide more value to more students through meaningful and flexible training in music, theatre, creative writing, visual arts, and other artistic disciplines.

Our fourth value, Solo e Tutti, encapsulates our emphasis on both individuality and collaboration—a principle illustrated by our ongoing partnership with more than a dozen New York City-area youth arts education organizations. While each of these institutions are providing exceptional artistic training on their own, together, we are creating once-in-a-lifetime opportunities and amplifying our impact on the young artists we serve.

A few weeks ago, members of the Interlochen Arts Academy community returned to New York City for the second consecutive year. During the visit, several Arts Academy faculty served as guest artists, building relationships with individual students while deepening our connections to our partner organizations. Academy students also performed side-by-side with students from several of these institutions during the Feb. 29 event at Kaufman Music Center’s Merkin Hall. Students from our partner organizations will experience their own version of “Solo e Tutti” at Interlochen Arts Camp this summer as they pursue individual artistic growth through participation in collaborative groups such as orchestras, jazz ensembles, acting companies, and dance ensembles—and in turn, share what they have learned with their peers upon their return to New York.

As we move ever closer to our Centennial, our core values provide a compass that will guide us as we chart our second century of leadership in the arts and education. I am deeply grateful to everyone who helped shape these values by participating in our surveys and focus groups, and to the dedicated supporters who are already embracing these ideals. Together, we can realize bold ideas; convene an inspiring community between the lakes and around the world; and foster the creative spirit that will sustain the magic of Interlochen for years to come.

With appreciation,

Trey Devey signature
Trey Devey