Our Story

The Emberlight Festival is a branch of Theatre North (Ironwood, Michigan), one of the oldest continually-running community theatres in the United States, and also the hometown stage of Miles Mykkanen.

Miles grew up in front of Theatre North’s audiences before attending the Interlochen Arts Academy, earning three degrees in voice from The Juilliard School, and solidifying a place as one of the most promising young tenors with the world’s symphonies and opera houses.

In September 2019, Miles approached the Theatre North Board of Directors with the idea of starting an annual arts festival highlighting our best local talent alongside his colleagues from national and international arts organizations and stages.  The Emberlight Festival provides an unparalleled opportunity for audiences in the western Upper Peninsula and beyond to witness world-class talent in their own backyard.

Each summer the Emberlight Festival creates programs that celebrate artists, musicians, actors, filmmakers, creative writers and dancers.  Although each season’s events will depend on that year’s festival theme and resources, we are building four pillars of the Emberlight Festival that will be presented every season:

  • International Film Festival
  • Main Stage
  • Art in the Park
  • and the Ambassador Program


The Emberlight Festival produces world-class art within the natural beauty of Michigan’s western Upper Peninsula. We collaborate with local, regional and international artists to create affordable, life-enhancing experiences that spark imagination and ignite learning in our audiences and communities.


Audiences across the northern midwest can experience diverse and meaningful storytelling through every discipline of the Arts in their own backyard.


Our purpose is to provide affordable access to exemplary art that celebrates diversity, leaves a minimal environmental footprint, and enriches lives.