2013 FESTIVAL ARCHIVE - Return to main > site.


August 23, 24 & 25, 2013

Press Releases


Friends of the Porkies Receive MCACA Grant for Music Festival

Submitted by Cheryl Olson

The Friends of the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park have been awarded a grant of $10,000 from the State of Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs (MCACA). The grant was awarded through the MCACA peer review process and was one of 393 applications to compete for MCACA fiscal year 2013 funding.

The grant funds will go towards the 9th Annual Porcupine Mountains Music Festival, presented by the Friends of the Porkies, which will be held August 23- 25.

Organizations receiving a MCACA grant award are required to match those funds with other public and private dollars. Local support of the project includes festival sponsors and program guide advertisers, along with private donations. The music festival also receives significant volunteer support from the community. A small core group of individuals volunteer year-round in the planning stages, and throughout the 3 day event–over one hundred volunteers are utilized.

The MCACA peer review process allows for each grant application to be competitively considered by a panel of in-state and out-of-state arts and culture professionals. This ensures the taxpayers, who support this project through legislative appropriations, and all other visitors or residents in Michigan will have access to the highest quality arts and cultural experiences.

A complete list of grant awards around the state is available by contacting MCACA at (517) 241-4011, or by visiting the MCACA website at www.michiganadvantage.org/arts.


Friends of the Porkies receive support from Arts Midwest Touring Fund

Shemekia Copeland will bring her powerhouse vocals to the Peace Hill Stage as the festival’s Saturday, August 24 headliner

The Friends of the Porkies, on behalf of the Porcupine Mountains Music Festival, have been selected to receive funding from Arts Midwest Touring Fund, a program of Arts Midwest, generously supported by the National Endowment for the Arts with additional contributions from the State of Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs

Arts Midwest Touring Fund is a program of Arts Midwest that engages people in meaningful experiences with the fine arts of dance, music, theater, and other performing arts forms. Inter-state touring and the engagement of professional artists is central to the work of Arts Midwest.

Arts Midwest Executive Director David J. Fraher says, “Arts Midwest is proud to support the Friends of the Porkies in their upcoming engagement of Shemekia Copeland at the 9th Annual Porcupine Mountains Music Festival. In these economically trying times, arts events like this not only provide uplifting experiences for audiences, they also create meaningful jobs for those employed in the arts industry – thus amplifying the effectiveness of our funding.”

Shemekia Copeland is a force to be reckoned with in the blues. While only in her early 30’s, she’s opened for the Rolling Stones, headlined at the Chicago Blues Festival, scored critics’ choice awards on both sides of the Atlantic (The New York Times and The Times of London), shared the stage with such luminaries as Buddy Guy, B.B. King, Mick Jagger, and Eric Clapton, and has performed at the White House for President and Mrs. Obama.  Heir to the rich tradition of soul-drenched divas like Ruth Brown, Etta James and Koko Taylor, the singer was presented with Taylor’s crown by her daughter, Cookie, on June 12, 2011 at the Chicago Blues Festival and given the honor of the new “Queen of the Blues” by official proclamation of the City of Chicago and the State of Illinois. Born in Harlem, New York, in 1979, Copeland came to her singing career slowly. Her father, the late Texas blues guitar legend Johnny Clyde Copeland, recognized his daughter’s talent early on. He always encouraged her to sing at home, and brought her on stage to sing at Harlem’s famed Cotton Club when she was just eight.  At 19, Shemekia stepped out of her father’s shadow with the Alligator release of 1998 debut recording, Turn the Heat Up!, and the critics raved.   Her second album, Wicked, scored three Handy Awards (Song of the Year, Blues Album of the Year, Contemporary Female Artist of the Year) and a Grammy nomination. New Orleans R&B legend Dr. John stepped in to produce her third recording, Talking To Strangers (2002).  In 2005 Copeland released The Soul Truth which was produced by legendary Stax guitarist Steve Cropper. Never Going Back, her 2009 debut on Telarc, a division of Concord Music Group, captured Copeland at a crossroads on that artistic path. While Copeland will always remain loyal to her blues roots, Never Going Back took a more forward view of the blues, and in so doing pointed her music and her career in a new direction. Produced by Oliver Wood, guest players included John Medeski, Marc Ribot and Chris Wood.  Copeland’s latest release 33 1/3, produced by Oliver Wood was honored as a 2013 Nominee for Best Blues Album.

About Arts Midwest: Based in Minneapolis, Arts Midwest is one of six nonprofit regional arts organizations in the United States. Its mission is to promote creativity, nurture cultural leadership, and engage people in meaningful arts experiences, bringing vitality to Midwest communities and enriching people’s lives. Since its establishment more than 25 years ago, Arts Midwest has been serving audiences, arts organizations, and artists throughout the nine states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and beyond.

About the National Endowment for the Arts: The National Endowment for the Arts is a public agency dedicated to supporting excellence in the arts, both new and established; bringing the arts to all Americans; and providing leadership in arts education. Established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government, the Endowment is the nation’s largest annual funder of the arts, bringing great art to all 50 states, including rural areas, inner cities, and military bases.

For more information:


Volunteer positions available for Porcupine Mountains Music Festival

Submitted by Cheryl Olson

Organizers for the Porcupine Mountains Music Festival, presented by the Friends of the Porkies, have announced that volunteer positions remain available as of press time.  The 9th Annual music festival takes place August 23 – 25 at the Porcupine Mountains Winter Recreation Area (Ski Hill).  The festival features a wide variety of musical styles:  Americana, Bluegrass, Folk, Blues, Country, Rock, World Music and more, performed by nationally and regionally touring acts.

The Porcupine Mountains Music Festival relies on a volunteer crew of over 100 individuals over the 3 day event.  The longest shift is 4 hours, and volunteers donating a total of 8 hours of time are rewarded with a 3 day pass and festival t-shirt. There are positions available to fit any personality…first aid, parking lot attendants, ticket sales at the main gate. There are also opportunities in merchandise sales…and as ‘artist liason’ responsible for the checking in performers and maintaining the green room area.  For those who like to get out in the spotlight, the Singing Hills Stage needs an emcee for a shift or two. 

Linda Kermeen, festival director, says, “Our volunteers are the heart of the festival, we would not be able to put on this show without their help.”

Many have discovered that volunteering makes their time at the festival affordable and rewarding.  “It’s a great way to be a part of the excitement, enjoy great music and meet some great people” said volunteer Sunshine Baillargeon, who has volunteered every year since the very first year of the festival.

There are a limited number of volunteer positions to be filled. Those interested in joining the volunteer team are encouraged to email volunteer@porkiesfestival.org  or call 906-884-7663.