New performing arts center in Curtis nearing completion

Eastern UP

CURTIS, Mich. (WJMN) – A new performing arts center is nearly completed in the eastern Upper Peninsula.

In Mackinac County, the small town of Curtis will soon bring people from all over to its new Erickson Performing Arts Center. The theater is nearing completion after 6 months of construction. The new facility will house a 160-seat theater with graduated permanent seating, a large stage and lobby, backstage dressing rooms, and state-of-the-art lighting and sound systems.

“We’re pretty enthused about it. It’s really turning out to be a beautiful, beautiful center,” said Wayne Hellerstedt, treasurer of Erickson Center of the Arts. “And again, I have to give credit to Dick and Nancy Erickson and actually Stu and Peggy Erickson who are the trustees of the Erickson Foundation. They provided us with the initial million dollar grant and then we’ve had local support pretty close to another million dollars, in terms of supporting our efforts here. So we’re very, very pleased with how this whole program is working out.”

Community members Dick and Nancy Erickson wanted to bring cultural and educational programs to the area. A multipurpose building was built several years ago but it wasn’t well-suited for theatrical performances.

“It’s been quite the progression over the last 18, 19 years.So, we’ve come a long way and we’re proud of it and we’re proud of our community. I mean, Curtis is a great place. Everyone around here is supportive. So we’re excited,” said Hellerstedt.

The Erickson Performing Arts Center is expected to have a grand opening sometime this summer.

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