Grand Hotel Arts Weekend Guest Blogger Adam W. Brown

Today’s guest blogger is Adam W. Brown. Brown is an internationally recognized Intermedia artist and researcher and an Associate Professor at Michigan State University where he created a new area of study called Electronic Art & Intermedia. Brown directs the BRIDGE Artist in Residency, a program designed to immerse national and international artists within the creative space of scientific inquiry and research at MSU, connecting the arts, sciences and humanities. He is also a Research Fellow at the Institute for Digital Intermedia Arts at Ball State University, and serves as an Artist in Residence for the Michigan State University BEACON (Bio/Computational Evolution in Action Consortium) project, funded by the NSF. 

Adam W. BrownArt in the Laboratory: Working with Living Materials

My lecture for Michigan State University’s College of Arts & Letters Art Weekend at Grand Hotel will begin by discussing how contemporary artists are incorporating intense research into their creative practice, resulting in new forms of artistic expression. This “blurring” recently characterized as the “epistemological turn” is rooted in the history of Intermedia, a philosophy developed in the 1960’s that explored how the merging of art disciplines resulted in new forms of creative practice.

This framework will be used as a backdrop to talk about 2 projects where I blur the boundaries between art, socio/political activism, research and science. The first project titled The Great Work of the Metal Lover is a neo-alchemical artwork that solves the problem of transmuting base matter into 24K gold through the use of modern microbiological technology thus solving the ancient riddle of the Philosopher’s Stone. And secondly, I will share a new art work premiering Fall 2017 that examines “blood miracles” by analyzing history through the bio-political lens of “Non-human” invisible microbial agents.

Finally, I will showcase the newly created BRIDGE Artist in Residency Program. A program that brings prominent international artists to campus, where they conduct research in connection with departments of their choice, and produce work by taking advantage of the most diverse facilities and expertise. The mission of the BRIDGE Artist in Residency program is to immerse national and international artists within the creative space of scientific inquiry and research at MSU, connecting the arts, sciences and humanities.

I am truly looking forward to sharing my work and exchanging ideas with you at this year’s Arts Weekend.

Join us for Adam’s morning presentation on Saturday, June 24th as a feature of the 23rd annual Arts Weekend presented by the Michigan State University College of Arts & Letters.

2019 Grand Kid’s Photo Contest #GrandHotelKids

children 18 years and younger

Calling all children 18 years and younger to the #GrandHotelKids photo contest!

We had so much fun last year with our kid’s photo contest, we are doing it again! 

We want to see what makes your stay at Grand Hotel so Grand through the eyes of our youngest guests. Participate in the Grand Kid’s Photo Contest!  All you need to do is submit one of your favorite pictures that you capture during your stay at Grand Hotel. The winner will be featured in Grand Hotel’s 2019 calendar. You can stay tuned by following our Facebook page, blog, and Instagram for photo submission updates.

TO ENTER:  Send your photo, selfie, and a few words about yourself and your photo to, or you can submit via social media using #GrandHotelKids.  Please submit your information by December 1st, 2017.  (We ask the picture be taken by the child please.)

WINNERS: The winners will be announced in early 2018. All winners will featured as a month in the calendar. The picture chosen for the cover will win a 1 night stay for the child and parents in 2018!

Best of Luck to everyone and your picture endeavors!

CONGRATULATIONS  to our 2018 winners:

Cover: Nolan Ketola – 9 Years Old

Grand Hotel

Janna Lou Tasch – 9 Years Old
Helena Godellas – 13 Years Old

Madeline Poterek – 9 Years Old
Layla Swope – 10 Years Old

Maisie Mische – 14 Years Old
Justin Riddle – 12 Years Old

Nilshan Jayasundera – 6 -Years Old
Emmalina Zolper – 8 Years Old

Jamie Liebold-14 years Old
Libby Hagenbuch-12 Years Old

Joe Cooper- 9 Years Old
Nora Battersby – 18 Years Old

Bethanne Castiglione- 13 Years Old
Meagan Warren – 13 Years Old

Lucia Perez- 12 Years Old
Joshua Stepen – 8 Years Old

Sarah McCreedy- 9 Years Old
Izaak Ossege – 16 Years Old

Sarah Riddle- 10 Years Old
Izzy Nitzschke – 10 Years Old
Eileen Mary – 15 Years Old

McKenna Weliver – 9 Years Old
Gabriel Gonzales – 10 Years old

Lauren Dubravec – 17 Years Old
Dylan Martin – 6 Years Old 

January 2019: 
Anna Brindle – 10 Years Old
Kathryn McCreedy – 12 Years Old

Grand Hotel and Trinchero Family Estates Continue to Support #ChadTough

ChadTough Foundation

The Musser family of Grand Hotel and Trinchero Family Estates will partner together for a 3rd year to raise money for the ChadTough Foundation. Thank you to everyone who helped support the foundation last season! You can do it again during your stay this year by purchasing a bottle of Grand Hotel private label wine supplied by Trinchero Family Estates.  

wine bottleIn support of The ChadTough Foundation for every bottle of Grand Hotel private label wine served this season the Musser family of Grand Hotel and Trinchero Family Estates will make a donation to the ChadTough Foundation. Now that is a reason to Raise a glass to #ChadTough

The Story

In 2015 the ChadTough Foundation was started to raise awareness for pediatric brain tumors and has an emphasis on Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma or DIPG.  Because this disease is rare there is little research and funding generated. However, brain tumors are the leading cause of cancer related death among children and after accidents cancer is the leading cause of death for children in the United States. 4 year old Chad Carr was diagnosed with DIPG on September 23rd, 2014. 

Chad is the grandson of former University of Michigan football coach Lloyd Carr, son of Jason Carr, former University of Michigan Quarterback and Tammi Curtis Carr.  In Chad’s battle through cancer he underwent 30 rounds of radiation and participated in a clinical trial at a cancer center in New York.  large posterChad was fortunate to have so many people supporting him throughout his journey. Michael Sydlowski, a family friend, came up with the slogan ‘ChadTough’ so that people could show their support to Chad and his family.  Thousands of people followed the family’s emotional story shared by his mother, Tammi Curtis Carr on the Pray for Chad Carr Facebook page (now the ChadTough Foundation) and people helped spread the word of Chad’s fight through social media by using the hashtag #ChadTough. The color orange also became a favorite being it was Chad’s first choice after hearing it was his brother Tommy’s favorite color. The fundraising efforts and awareness continue with people joining together all over the country to raise money and show support for the foundation. 

Chad Carr

His story received national recognition through Huffington Post, TODAY show, ABC News,  University of Michigan athletics, as well as Ohio State University and Michigan State University collegiate athletes. A true testament to the strength of the disease and the power of bringing people together. Chad’s fight ended on November 23, 2015. His journey was an inspiration to so many and his legacy now lives on through the ChadTough Foundation setup by his parents Jason and Tammi Curtis Carr.

Carr Family
The Carr Family


Scott Stubbs from Trinchero Family Estates, Lloyd Carr, and Ken Hayward at the 2018 Chadtough Gala.
Scott Stubbs from Trinchero Family Estates, Lloyd Carr, former head football coach at the University of Michigan and Chad’s Carr’s grandfather, and Ken Hayward, Managing Director of Grand Hotel at the 2nd Annual Champions for Change Gala.

Scott Stubbs from Trinchero Family Estates and Managing Director of Grand Hotel, Ken Hayward on behalf of the Musser family, presented Lloyd Carr and the Carr family with the money raised from this past year. The donation was presented at the 2nd Annual Champions for Change Gala this past weekend at the Al Glick Field House in Ann Arbor. Thank you to all of our Grand Hotel guests the past few years who have helped make this happen! We look forward to raising another $30,000 this year for the ChadTough Foundation.

Help raise a glass to #ChadTough! 

The Chad Tough Foundation

MTM at 800 at Mackinac Island’s Iconic Grand Hotel

MTM at 800 at Mackinac Island's Iconic Grand Hotel
MTM at 800 at Mackinac Island’s Iconic Grand Hotel

Grand Hotel Arts Weekend Guest Blogger Deric McNish

Today’s guest blogger is Deric McNish, Assistant Professor of Acting, Voice, and Speech with the Michigan State University Department of Theatre. Friday night Deric will be part of the musical performance, See Rock City & Other Destinations.

Deric McNish

See Rock City & Other Destinations

For 57 years, Summer Circle Theatre has been taking residents of mid-Michigan on imaginative and heart-felt journeys. I’ve been part of the Michigan State University Theatre family for four years and every summer I’ve had the privilege of working with our talented students and faculty on what has become an incredibly gratifying tradition.

Summer Circle Theatre is provided by Michigan State University free of charge so that everyone can participate in these journeys. Every year, when I speak to our audience, I meet people that have been coming for years, some for decades, and some for longer than I’ve been alive. But the most exciting are those that happen to wander in by accident, attracted by the glitz and commotion of live theatre. Families out for a bike ride that had no idea MSU offered free theatre, who then decided to set aside their bikes and sit in our new amphitheater, watching one, two, or even three shows in a row. International students that never saw live theatre in America pull out their phones to text friends and tell them to join. Students emerging from their summer classes are drawn like flies to the bright lights we use once the sun goes down.

Our theme this year is, “Travel Across America… and Beyond.” I’ve lived in East Lansing for four years now and I’m finally making a trip to Mackinac Island this summer. So this will be a new and exciting journey for me, and one that lines up perfectly with the show we’re presenting on Friday, June 23rd. See Rock City & Other Destinations premiered off-Broadway in 2010. It’s a fresh, new musical with a score that includes rock, pop, and folk. It’s a funny, sweet, and relevant journey presented as a series of one-acts. 

This musical is about “connections missed and made at tourist destinations across America.” How exciting to present it at Grand Hotel, which was built in 1887 to be an irresistible tourist destination. Today it’s acclaimed as one of the “best places to stay in the world,” and it continues to be a landmark that would fit beautifully into this musical. Think about all the connections missed and made in Grand Hotel over the years. What fascinating personal struggles concerned Mark Twain, Thomas Edison, John F. Kennedy, or George H. W. Bush when they visited? Every room, every piece of furniture, every breezy corner of the world’s longest front porch must have been witness to tales worth telling.

Our production of See Rock City & Other Destinations is directed by Assistant Professor of Musical Theatre and Choreography, Brad Willcuts. The cast is made up entirely of undergraduate and graduate students in Michigan State University’s Department of Theatre. They are all honored by the opportunity to perform for you at Grand Hotel. Each of these students will also be performing in a play I’m directing for Summer Circle Theatre, Peter/Wendy, an energetic and physical adaptation of J. M. Barrie’s imaginative Peter Pan, which can be seen June 14-17 for free on the Summer Circle stage at Michigan State University. You may also see some of them at the Wharton Center for my upcoming production of another excellent adaptation, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, which runs October 19-27. It’s a faithful adaptation of the book that captures the splendor of the jazz age.

I’ll see you at the show!

Join us for See Rock City & Other Destinations on Friday, June 23rd as a feature of the 23rd annual Arts Weekend presented by the Michigan State University College of Arts & Letters.

Welcome to our 130th Anniversary Season at Grand Hotel

Today marks the opening of our 130th Anniversary Season and it seems just like yesterday I was writing about our 125th Anniversary in 2012. On July 10th, Grand Hotel will celebrate its 130th Birthday. It also makes for the 85th season that a member of my family has owned and operated Grand Hotel. In 1919 my great uncle, W. Stewart Woodfill, went to work at the front desk. In 1933, he was the sole bidder in an auction to take the hotel out of receivership during the depths of the Great Depression. My father, R.D. Musser, Jr. went to work at the hotel in 1951, became president in 1960, and purchased the hotel from my great uncle in 1979. Today, myself along with my sister Mimi Cunningham operate the hotel.

Mrs. Musser and Dan Musser, III looking at guest rooms
Mrs. Musser and Dan Musser, III looking at guest rooms before opening.

As a family owned hotel we take great pride and ownership in the details and are excited this year to bring more of our family heritage to the hotel in a new way. After focusing on other projects last winter we continued the Cupola Suite project, originally started in 2014 and added three new guest rooms and two parlors on the far east end, closest to The Jockey Club at the Grand Stand. Carleton Varney’s design inspiration for these new suites came from my parent’s home in St. Croix. From one island to another furniture and adornments in Crucian style will be found in both suites. We are excited to share our family’s heirlooms with our guests in a style never seen before around the hotel. It is our intention to complete the project next winter by adding an additional four bedrooms and two parlors, completing the Cupola Suites project.

Cupola Suites
Parlor in one of the new Cupola Suites.
Room 464
Room 464 on the far east end of the 4th floor. The guest room as 2 queen beds and connects to a parlor and second bedroom with a king bed.
Cupola Suite
New Cupola Suite includes a king bed and parlor.

Additionally this winter we finished the full renovation of the World’s Longest Porch. We started the project last season on the west end and finished the full 660 feet along the east end a few weeks ago. The old flooring was removed and taken down to the original foundation from when the hotel was built. The entire flooring of the porch is brand new with green waterproof flooring.

Front Porch
The Front Porch under construction this winter.
Front Porch
Front Porch is finished, all 660 feet. 

Our staff has been busy painting, planting, and paying attention to every detail. All of these improvements and additions are designed to make our 130th Anniversary Season as special as possible. The winter months also allowed the hotel time to restore furniture in approximately 100 of the hotel’s rooms, re-upholstering and painting the furniture, complete with the hotel’s trademark green trim.

 This year we will also have a continuation of renovations of our gardens, coordinated by my sister, Mimi. This year’s improvements include additions to the hill in front of the hotel, including Michigan wildflowers, and the start of a new lilac garden along the stairs that lead from the garden to the hotel. The garden will also include the addition of milkweed plants to attract monarch butterflies, who traditionally stop on the island as part of their migratory path every fall. Over the last few years there has been a noticeable drop-off in the population of monarch butterflies and we are committed to preserving the environment and the traditions on the island by bringing them back.


This summer the hillside will be ready for butterfly migration.

We continue to collaborate with many of our valuable partners every year including our friends at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan with the Live Healthy Live Grand partnership. You will see many new Live Healthy Live Grand menu items at all of our restaurants. You will also find planners in every guest room with new ideas for wellness around Mackinac Island and recipes from our Executive Chef Hans Burtscher. Activity cards for all of our young guests will be available so they can check off fun things they did around the hotel and Mackinac to earn a free scoop of Hudsonville Grand Hotel Summer Celebration at Sadie’s Ice Cream Parlor. This special flavor will also be found in retail stores around the State of Michigan beginning Memorial Day Weekend.

Inside the Grand Hotel

Earlier this year Detroit Public Television launched a documentary called Inside Grand Hotel which aired across the State of Michigan on PBS. We are very thankful for their partnership and appreciative of the staff who helped put this documentary together. We think it is a great way to celebrate and recognize this landmark year.

We are very excited about the upcoming anniversary season, and on behalf of my family and over 700 employees, we look forward to welcoming you to Mackinac Island and Grand Hotel this season.

grand hotel employees


Most sincerely,




Dan Musser, III