Matrix Midland Festival 2019

By: Mary Gajda

Back and Better than Ever

Some world-class musical artists, speakers and entertainers have graced the stages of the Midland Center for the Arts during the MATRIX:MIDLAND Festival. Musical greats like the silky-voiced Norah Jones and charming Michael Buble, country star Blake Shelton, the legendary Bonnie Raitt, and the big-voiced Idina Menzel have all performed.

Martha Stewart, Roger Ebert and Kurt Vonnegut Jr., just to name a few, have captivated past attendees with engaging discussions.

This year, the festival will add to the historic list of headliners as the event enters its 42nd year of celebrating the arts, science and humanities in Midland.

“The Great Lakes Bay region offers a veritable smorgasbord of cultural and intellectual opportunities. The annual MATRIX:MIDLAND Festival is a highlight among these. At MATRIX you can explore the unknown, enjoy world-class entertainment and see clear examples of thinkers, musicians and artists who will expand your mind and lift your spirits,” said Midland Mayor Maureen Donker, chair of the festival advisory council. “Midland welcomes you to be part of the fun and enjoy the adventure with others from throughout the region.”

This year’s event, June 3-15, brings big-city performances to the Great Lakes Bay region that will leave festival-goers wanting more and marking their calendars for 2020. This celebration is a great way to support the arts and bring communities together.

“The MATRIX:MIDLAND Festival has always been a time and place of convening and celebration of each other, bearing witness and engaging in conversation about the talents and intellect that exists in the world,” said Bryan Jao, Midland Center for the Arts vice president of programming. “This year’s festival seeks to be no different in its impact on our region and to each person who attends the multitude of events.”

It’s a great time to live in the Great Lakes Bay region! The opportunities available right outside our doorstep are amazing.  One of the highlights is certainly the annual MATRIX:Midland Festival in June at the Midland Center for the Arts.

I believe that life is enriched through the celebration of the arts, sciences and humanities, and no organization in our region combines these elements in such a creative way as MATRIX.

I appreciate music that moves me and fresh ideas that are thought provoking and inspiring. That’s why I am a long-standing member of the MATRIX:Midland Council and privileged to serve as the 2019 Council chair. MATRIX:Midland is the perfect embodiment of our region’s cultural diversity, and an eye-opening experience that teaches me something new every year.

And this, our 42nd season, is no different. Whether you’re coming to meet someone who has explored the stars above us or to see a television star from “Glee” and the Broadway stage; whether you are interested in learning about the science of happiness or you just want to experience it firsthand with your family, this year’s MATRIX:Midland Festival has something to offer you.

I invite you to mark your calendar for the fun, mysterious, outlandish and world-class performances and events that are part of this year’s MATRIX:Midland Festival. Let’s greet each other at the Midland Center for the Arts as we celebrate MATRIX together!


  • Mark Golden, CEO of Golden Artist Colors Inc, – FREE (June 3)
  • Author and retired U.S. Navy Capt. Scott Kelly “Year in Space” – All tickets $25 (June 4)
  • Drone Festival at Barstow Airport– FREE (June 8)
  • Matthew Morrison – Tony, Emmy and Golden Globe nominee – Tickets start at $39 (June 8)
  • Papa Kiszka and the Voortex Jazz and Blues Band featuring That Show with Those Guys (TSWTG)
  • All tickets $25 (June 10)
  • Michelle Gielan – “Broadcasting Happiness: The Science of Igniting and Sustaining Positive Change”
  • All tickets $25 (June 11)
  • Scott Silven –“At the Illusionist’s Table,” an intimate evening of fine dining, whiskey tasting and illusion!
  • Tickets starting at $197 (June 11-16)
  • Farewell Angelina – Nashville-based female country group – Tickets start at $16 (June 14)
  • Alan Metcalfe – Whiting Forrest’s canopy walk designer and artist – All tickets $25 (June 15)


Versatile actor Matthew Morrison is recognized for his work on stage and screen. He has been nominated for Tony, Emmy and Golden Globe Awards. Morrison’s most recent Broadway credit is starring as J.M Barrie in the musical “Finding Neverland.”



The bestselling author of “Broadcasting Happiness: The Science of Igniting and Sustaining Positive Change
Michelle Gielan has spent the past decade researching the link between happiness and success. She was also named one of the top 10 authors on resilience by the Harvard Business Review.


Named after a haunting Bob Dylan song, Farewell Angelina is an all-female country group with four powerhouse vocalists, dynamic songwriters and accomplished multi-instrumentalists. Their stellar blend of heart-stopping harmonies over blazing double violins and guitars has earned soaring praise across the board.