Letters

Letters 08-31-2015

Inalienable Rights This is a response to the “No More State Theatre” in your August 24th edition. I think I will not be the only response to this pathetic and narrow-minded letter that seems rather out of place in the northern Michigan that I know. To think we will not be getting your 25 cents for the movie you refused to see, but more importantly we will be without your “two cents” on your thoughts of a marriage at the State Theatre...

Enthusiastically Democratic Since I was one of the approximately 160 people present at when Senator Debbie Stabenow spoke on August 14 in Charlevoix, I was surprised to read in a letter to Northern Express that there was a “rather muted” response to Debbie’s announcement that she has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president...

Not Hurting I surely think the State Theatre will survive not having the homophobic presence of Colleen Smith and her family attend any matinees. I think “Ms.” Smith might also want to make sure that any medical personnel, bank staff, grocery store staff, waiters and/or waitress, etc. are not homosexual before accepting any service or product from them...

Stay Home I did not know whether to laugh or cry when I read the letter of the extremely homophobic, “disgusted” writer. She now refuses to patronize the State Theatre because she evidently feels that its confines have been poisoned by the gay wedding ceremony held there...

Keep Away In response to Colleen Smith of Cadillac who refused to bring her family to the State Theatre because there was a gay wedding there: Keep your 25 cents and your family out of Traverse City...

Celebrating Moore And A Theatre I was 10 years old when I had the privilege to see my first film at the State Theatre. I will never forget that experience. The screen was almost the size of my bedroom I shared with my older sister. The bursting sounds made me believe I was part of the film...

Outdated Thinking This letter is in response to Colleen Smith. She made public her choice to no longer go to the State Theater due to the fact that “some homosexuals” got married there. I’m not outraged by her choice; we don’t need any more hateful, self-righteous bigots in our town. She can keep her 25 cents...

Mackinac Pipeline Must Be Shut Down Crude oil flowing through Enbridge’s 60-yearold pipeline beneath the Mackinac Straits and the largest collection of fresh water on the planet should be a serious concern for every resident of the USA and Canada. Enbridge has a very “accident” prone track record...

Your Rights To Colleen, who wrote about the State Theatre: Let me thank you for sharing your views; I think most of us are well in support of the first amendment, because as you know- it gives everyone the opportunity to express their opinions. I also wanted to thank Northern Express for not shutting down these types of letters right at the source but rather giving the community a platform for education...

No Role Model [Fascinating Person from last week’s issue] Jada quoted: “I want to be a role model for girls who are interested in being in the outdoors.” I enjoy being in the outdoors, but I don’t want to kill animals for trophy...

Home · Articles · News · Features · Idea man Sam Porter
. . . .

Idea man Sam Porter

Rick Coates - October 12th, 2009
Idea Man Sam Porter
The dreams never stop for the visionary behind Porterhouse Productions

By Rick Coates 10/12/09

Sam Porter leans back in his chair at the Old Town Coffee & Eatery in Traverse City and sips his coffee. He pauses and smiles as he has just connected all the dots on his latest concept. At 33, Porter is still a kid at heart; and he loves to dream.
“I like to see how everything connects itself,” said Sam Porter of Porterhouse Productions. “My work is about connecting the dots which are connecting people, connecting relationships and connecting concepts. Typically, when you are connecting the dots, a dot is missing; that is what I like to do -- identify what is missing and put it into place so the dots are all connected.”
Porter grew up in Traverse City and attended Central High School, graduating in 1997. After graduation, he went to Northwestern Michigan College for a year before heading west to Bozeman, Montana to ski and attend Montana State University.
While at Montana State, he founded Porterhouse Productions and quickly started promoting concerts, film festivals, a beer festival and several other cultural events. His work out West, along with that of his wife Abby, led the two of them in 2006 to be awarded “Bozeman Heroes: Locals Creating Positive Change, Visionaries Helping to Make Bozeman, Montana, a Vibrant, Growing, and Sustainable Place to Live.”

HOMECOMING
Porter and his wife still maintain their operations in Montana but a few years ago moved to Traverse City.
“I returned for family (Porter’s mother-in-law owns Toy Harbor in downtown TC) and opportunity,” said Porter. “Traverse City and Northern Michigan have so much potential, there is a lot of good growth happening. I saw some things missing from this community and felt that I could help to facilitate some change.”
He is not coming from a perspective of arrogance, but rather from his own experience of growing up in the area and, like so many other young people, felt he had to leave to have opportunities.
“One of the concepts that we have at Porterhouse Productions is to create opportunities for young people in Northern Michigan from high school all the way to pre-school,” said Porter. “To involve them into their community at an early age so they feel a connection to it and become a promoter of it.”
This is where a big smile comes across Porter’s face as he connects the dots.
“Imagine kids from Northern Michigan heading off to college and telling their friends about all the cool things they got to do in Traverse City, from producing concerts to cultural events. Telling their friends that the region supports the arts, ideas and young people,” said Porter. “These friends who have never been to Northern Michigan are going to think, ‘wow you got to do all of that in your town. It must be cool up there. Maybe I ought to move up there after school.’ This is where the dot connecting comes in. These events and concepts are not just about the moment, they are about our future.
“I now have a production company that has high school kids from Central,” he adds. “I am always looking for other students, either high school or college who want to learn about the music business and how to produce a concert or an event.”

STARTING YOUNG
Okay, involving high school kids is one thing, but how do you start kids at the pre-school age in the process?
“Simple. Here is something I am working on now. I am bringing the Grammy-winning Ladysmith Black Mambazo group to Lars Hocksted Auditorium this winter,” said Porter. “I am having the pre-school kids create all of the art that will be on the stage for the performance. These kids will be sitting in the front row and will be connected to the show. They will be contributing to the performance. Regardless of their age kids can and should feel a connection to their community.”
Porter is fresh off some very successful events. His concert series at the Opera House in Traverse City has brought in several acts that have sold out, including Ani DiFranco last spring. He is preparing for Keller Williams this week, another show expected to pack the house.
He also was the mastermind behind the inaugural Traverse City Microbrew and Music Festival this past August. Porter had successfully created and produced a similar festival in Montana. Despite skeptics and dismal weather the festival exceeded expectations with a larger than anticipated crowd. Breweries sold out of beer and legions of music lovers stuck it out through the rain to dance the night away.

NEXT YEAR
“There is still a buzz about this event and the wine festival the weekend before. We are so excited about next year. The long-term vision is to create an anchor event with the Microbrew and Music Festival to support a community non-profit week-long annual Epicurean Harvest Festival celebrating food and craft beverage as well as arts and culture for all ages. We also aim to raise funds to support local youth empowerment programs through the Good Work Collective (GWC) and Little Artshram.
“What we accomplished with the wine festival and the beer festival is show the community what can happen when you produce an event the right way.”
Porter lights up with enthusiasm as he connects the dots of event management.
“We have so many great venues in the region for events. My concern is that if an event is not produced right, that jeopardizes future use of these venues. I think that has happened in the past. So one of our goals is to create the model for producing events in the region so all events succeed. A poorly run event has a negative impact on all events.”
For Porter it is not about competition, it is about collaboration.
“The wine festival and beer festival on back-to-back weekends being put on by different entities is a great example of collaboration and what we are all about. We all worked together, shared resources to put these two events on. Both events were a success and now we are looking to collaborate even more. At Porterhouse Productions we make our events happen by collaborating with several independent contractors and entrepreneurs.”

LOOKING AHEAD
So just how many concepts and ideas is Porter currently juggling?
“I don’t know at least 30, maybe more,” said Porter. “I am the type of person who needs to wake up and look forward to doing something different every day. I am working on a concept at the Barns at the Village at Grand Traverse Commons that will include an amphitheater and commercial kitchens. Also, I am working on a portable covered stage for the region. It is something we do not have, and so many events need a stage and everyone is renting one. Well, if I can find enough events to pitch in we could own one.
“I am also working a mobile convention center that would allow for large events up 10,000 people to take place anywhere. Plus, I am getting ready to put on the biggest Halloween event that Traverse City has ever seen by giving those under 21 a chance to dance with several national DJs coming in and also we are recreating the ‘Thriller’ video in tribute to Michael Jackson.”
He doesn’t stop there.
“I was down at Rothbury (the three-day music festival north of Muskegon) and there is so much energy and so many ideas coming from there. So I am looking at a post-Rothbury think-tank retreat in Northern Michigan,” said Porter. “Imagine hiking in the woods of the Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes with Ani DiFranco discussing sustainability concepts. Or being over at the Manitou Islands in a workshop with guys from the Grateful Dead talking about community based arts programs.”
It may not all make sense right now but at some point Sam Porter will figure out how to connect all the dots. He is currently taking applications, submissions and suggestions from anyone who is interested in working with him. To learn more about all the projects Sam Porter and Porterhouse Productions are working on, contact him directly go to porterhouseproductions.com or call 231.499.4968.


 
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 
 

 

 
 
 
Close
Close
Close