A group of artists from diverse disciplines and communities have come together to use communication to serve the arts in the Tri-Cities and along the lakeshore. The Tri-ARTs.org board met for the first time in January 2018.

The goal is to provide a calendar of events so that community members can find out what’s going on. At the same time, the calendar can serve artists so they might be able to avoid some scheduling conflicts. The calendar, in a working prototype, is at Tri-ARTs.org.

“We wanted to find a way to begin serving our communities and this seemed best,” said board member David B. Schock, Ph.D. “We were urged by those with experience to start with one thing and do that well.”

The initial coverage area for the calendar is a triangle described by North Muskegon, south to Saugatuck, and east to Allendale. People with arts events they’d like posted on the calendar can contact Schock at schock@charter.net.

Members of the new Tri-ARTs.org board include:

Marlan Winter Cotner an award-winning artist from Grand Haven where she directs the artist-owned Gallery Uptown. She is represented in numerous solo shows in Michigan and Ohio. Her art won awards in the Michigan Fine Arts Competition in Birmingham/Bloomfield, the Mid-Michigan Competition in St. Joseph, the Western Michigan Competition in Holland, The Small Wonders Competition in Lansing, the Winter Festival in Grand Haven, and many others. Her most recent accomplishments include first place paintings in both juried and popular vote in ArtWalk. She has shown work in Muskegon Museum of Art’s invitational show, entitled Mirror, Mirror; Art Prize 2009, 2010, 2011; and ArtWalk through 2017. She also is a published artist with over 200 illustrations in books and magazines. Cotner holds a B.F.A. from Wittenberg University.

Bill Chrysler, owner of Third Coast Recording in Grand Haven. Bill is a nationally known location audio engineer for top-flight groups including superstars like Shakira, John Mayer, Rihanna, Maroon Five, and even Paul McCartney. He also has developed Grand Haven’s premier recording and music studio where he has helped to launch new and established talent as a producer/chief engineer. Some of that talent includes Four Finger Five, Jake Kershaw, Garrett Borns, Nick Wronski, Loren Janis, Andy Frisinger, Jessie Wolthuis, Carlos Seise, and Bill Ellingboe. He lives in Grand Haven.

Tracey O’Neal-McQueen, artistic director and owner of Spotlight Dance Academy of Grand Haven. She also is the choreographer for the SDA regional and national award-winning SDA Pre-Professional Program. She began her dance career at age 8.
She began teaching in 1985 and is a certified member of the Cecchetti Ballet Council of America, the Western Michigan Cecchetti Ballet Council and the Michigan Dance Council. Tracey also toured for several seasons with the organization “Dance Olympus” as a tour manager and competition staff member traveling the country. Tracey has worked extensively with Muskegon Civic Theater, Theater on Wheels, North Muskegon Show Choir as and choreographer and instructor. Spotlight Dance Academy is home to Dancing with Parkinson’s on the lakeshore, and several community theater organizations. She lives in Muskegon.

Rita McLary, director of theatre for Grand Haven Public Schools. She began with plays written and acted at elementary school recess. At Central Michigan University, she completed two degrees in four years (with theatre as one of her majors). After completing a few local and regional shows as a stage manager, she moved to New York and served an internship with Circle Repertory Company. She was hired at Circle Rep. before completing the internship to work on Fool for Love, by Sam Shepard Off-Broadway. She also worked other shows. From there, she led several bus-and-truck theatre tours throughout the U.S. and Canada. She came back to Michigan and settled in Holland, where she took additional directing classes at Hope College and worked at the Hope Summer Repertory Theatre for two seasons. Subsequently she decided to earn a teaching certificate at Grand Valley State University. She student-taught at a now-defunct arts magnet school in downtown Grand Rapids, then wound up in Hamilton before Grand Haven recruited her. This year marks her 21st year of teaching. In addition to drama, she teaches reading, film analysis, and humanities. In the ten years she has directed for GHHS, she has mounted 41 shows. She also runs the GHAPS Summer Theatre Camp, typically working with 80-90 students grades 1-7 with her high school students as mentors. She lives in West Olive.

David B. Schock, Ph.D., a musician, writer, and filmmaker. He is the producer of six feature-length films about long-unsolved homicides. Five of the cases have been solved. As well, he has made The Road to Andersonville: Michigan Native American Sharpshooters in the Civil War, and three films about contemporary American poets. He is the winner of five Historical Society of Michigan Awards; four for his various films and one for a book, Judicial Deceit: Tyranny and Unnecessary Secrecy at the Michigan Supreme Court (co-author the late Chief Justice Elizabeth Weaver). His most recent book is The Dragon and the Rose, a novel for ‘tweeners. He has taught both at Central Michigan University and Hope College. David earned his doctorate under the late Russell Amos Kirk. He plays trumpet with The River Rogues, a Dixieland group, and with Huyge/Beavan/Schock, a classic jazz trio. He lives in Grand Haven.