Interlochen's Ripple Effect

Crescendo issue: January 2014
  • The effects of Interlochen are felt far beyond the campus and the students that inhabit this space.
“My parents could afford to send me to Interlochen,” Nancy says, “but there are a lot of creative kids out there whose parents can’t afford it.”

Nancy Hoagland (IAC/NMC 74) spent just one summer as a camper at Interlochen. Nearly 40 years later, the impact of that one summer still ripples through her life and, because of Nancy’s generous support, extends to young artists at Interlochen today.

The power of Interlochen, she explains, is being surrounded by other highly creative and talented people. As a donor, Nancy knows her support offers those kids the opportunity to experience what she did at Interlochen.

From an art-loving family in East Lansing, Michigan, Nancy was already hooked on dance and theater, but her summer at Interlochen pushed her to a different level. Being around other young artists who were interested in excelling changed her outlook about the possibilities of the arts and education. Her passion for the arts continued to develop at Mount Holyoke College and Michigan State University and found a home at Foothill Theatre Company in Nevada City, California, where she performed, managed the box office, served as education director, and was on the board at various times for many years.

As the ripple of Interlochen extended out to her family, her parents, John and Carolyn Hoagland, became Interlochen donors and regular visitors to campus. Carolyn was a visual artist herself, and the Hoaglands played a key role in funding the Herbert H. and Barbara C. Dow Center for Visual Arts. Both John and Carolyn passed away in 2013, but their generosity to Interlochen is remembered in the Carolyn Talbot Hoagland Drawing Studio and continues through gifts from the Mariel Foundation.

Nancy sees Interlochen’s ripple effect not only in her own life and family but beyond campus as well. When she attends a performance--whether in music or dance or theater--she’s keenly aware that at least some of the artists on stage and behind the scenes may have received training at Interlochen. Finally, the ripple extends out to the greater culture. “The arts teach creative problem-solving and critical thinking, both of which are needed in today’s world,” she explains.

The power of the Interlochen experience and the essential role of the arts in society inspire Nancy to support Interlochen, but her decision to give is based on a simple idea. “When you are blessed to have more than you need, you have a responsibility to give,” she says. Thanks to Nancy for recognizing the importance creativity plays in our society and for giving young people at Interlochen Center for the Arts the opportunity to discover the depth of their talent and experience the power of Interlochen.