​Arts and Culture

Sculpture adorns the New Buffalo waterfront. Opera seen and heard primarily in the largest cities resounds in Three Oaks. Symphonies playing on July 4 add a note of culture to our fireworks celebrations. These things make living in Harbor Country® a special privilege. They are a necessary component that adds to quality of life and community vitality.  From support for the outdoor art program of the Harbor Country Public Arts Initiative to the funding of the Southhold Dance Theater’s production of the Nutcracker Ballet in Harbor Country, The Pokagon Fund is and intends to remain a benefactor to the rich and diverse cultural life of this area. The following are some of the major awards that support the Arts and Culture:


  • Acorn Theatre and Events in Three Oaks: From 2008 to 2015, awards totaling $209,000 were granted to the Acorn Theatre, Harbor Arts, Inc. and Harbor Country Opera to underwrite opera performances and the Three Oaks Theater Festival. 


  • Festivals in Pokagon Band Land: From 2008 to 2015, awards totaling $46,980 supported free concerts, the Dogwood Fine Arts Festival and other festivals in Dowagiac and Hartford.


  • Harbor Country Public Arts Initiative: From 2010 to 2015, awards totaling $45,670 were provided for a display of public art in Harbor Country and Three Oaks. 


  • New Buffalo Fine Arts Council: From 2010 through 2015, the Fine Art Season of performances was sponsored with awards totaling $105,475. The purpose of the Council is to educate and enrich the lives of children and adults through the arts. Sponsored programs included Black Ash Basket Weaving classes taught by members of the Pokagon Band.


  • Musical Events: In 2012, awards totaling $28,750 supported performances by Bixby’s Rainforest Rescue and provided a series of jazz performances at the Lakeside Inn as well as a Chamber Music Outreach Program in Harbor Country®.


  • New Buffalo Railroad Museum: In 2013, the museum was awarded $19,745 for The New Buffalo Story “2”. In 2014, the museum was awarded $4,327 for infrastructure needs. Another $5,000 was awarded for support augmentation in 2016.


  • NightBlue Performing Arts: From 2011 to 2015, awards totaling $96,000 funded bringing the NightBlue Children’s Theater to the children of Harbor Country® and supported youth immersions workshops, an evening concert series and a Theater Festival.


  • Region of Three Oaks Museum: In 2009, an award of $20,000 was provided for a needs assessment study. In 2011, the museum was awarded $15,000 to landscape the grounds of the new museum building. Three awards totaling $26,365 in 2013 funded interior and exterior Museum upgrades and improvements and technology updates. In 2015, two awards totaling $6,759 supported equipment purchases and a Black Ash Basket Making Event.


  • School of American Music: In 2013 and 2014, awards totaling $16,700 supported a musical partnership with the New Buffalo and River Valley School Districts. In 2015, an award of $10,000 supported the School of American Music’s Three Oaks Arts & Education Center.   


  • Southold Dance Theater: From 2009 to 2016, awards totaling $106,275 supported performances of The Nutcracker Ballet in Harbor Country®.


  • Southwest Michigan Symphony Opera: From 2009 to 2014, awards totaling $113,950 supported the annual Independence Day Concert and the Water’s Edge Summer Music Fest.


  • Three Oaks Flag Day Celebration: From 2008 to 2016, awards totaling $51,317 supported the World’s Largest Flag Day Parade and related events.


  • Dowagiac Chamber of Commerce:  Since inception, over $47,000 has been donated to the chamber to support local concerts, festivals, and pageants.  


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