2017-09-28 / Life in Leelanau

STORY TIME

33-time Emmy winner produces show, an ode to Old Art Building
By Patti Brandt Burgess
Of The Enterprise staff


IN A TAKE-OFF on his “Story Next Door” radio show, Scott Craig will showcase his “The Story of the Old Art Building Next Door” to celebrate the Leland icon’s 95th birthday. The show will be at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Old Art Building. IN A TAKE-OFF on his “Story Next Door” radio show, Scott Craig will showcase his “The Story of the Old Art Building Next Door” to celebrate the Leland icon’s 95th birthday. The show will be at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Old Art Building. The walls of Scott Craig’s office are covered with pictures of people like Jason Robard, Judy Garland, Phyllis Diller and Charlton Heston, to name a few.

And the shelves groan with the 33 Emmys Craig earned in a career of producing and directing more than 700 made-for-television documentaries.

Craig’s talent will once again be on display at 7:30 p.m. Friday at a Leland landmark in his production, “The Story of the Old Art Building Next Door.”

Tickets are $20 and are available by calling 231-256-2131.

There will be singing and dancing, magic, juggling, comedy and even a temperance lecture in the show that tells the 95-year-old story of the Old Art Building.

“It ain’t gonna be boring,” said Craig, of Leland.

The show will also feature the stories of three very local people: Allen Northcutt, who won a distinguished flying cross as a Marine pilot; Mike Fisher, who has a warehouse full of classic autos; and Amy Chatfield, one of the founders of the Old Art Building.

“She has been just a marvelous resident of Leland for many years,” Craig said. “Lovable is how I would describe her.”

The audience will also be privy to things that are not widely known about the three highlighted people, as Craig has made a second career out of telling those unknown stories every person has.

“Their stories are surprising,” he said. “There will be a lot of people who don’t know this wrinkle about them.”

The show is directed by Susan Oliver and will include music by local favorites Patrick Niemesto, Tim Sparling and Norm Wheeler. Craig’s wife, Carol Bawden, will also do some dancing.

“We’ll tell the story of the Old Art Building, but we’ll also put on the sort of thing that took place there over the years,” Craig said.

After retiring at the age of 70, Craig created “The Story Next Door” radio series for Interlochen Public Radio, where he began telling the stories of everyday people in northern Michigan.

The show later moved to WTCM 580 AM, based in Traverse City, where it airs every Thursday morning at about 11:30 a.m.

“I’ve been doing it for 11 years,” said Craig, now 83. “I can’t believe it.”

Craig also turned those stories into a book of the same name, saying that writing a book was something that was on his bucket list.

“I cannot tell you how hard that book was to write,” Craig said. “On the radio you don’t have to have all the right spelling and punctuation. I’m proud of it. It sold well, but I don’t want to do another one.”

In his career in documentary film-making Craig produced a wide variety of shows for CBS, NBC, Turner, Fox, PBS and the Food Network. He also produced two series for the Home and Garden Network: “The Good Life” and “Extreme Homes.”

One show, “On the Waterways,” consisted of 13 hours of people traveling the waterways of North America on a yacht.

Craig won 32 Emmy awards from the Chicago Chapter of the Television Academy — more than any other individual in the history of Chicago television — as well as a National Emmy.

His 1983 PBS documentary, “Studebaker: Less than they Promised,” chronicled the story of the automaker and garnered Craig a prestigious Peabody Award.

Craig said the success of his films can be directly attributed to his philosophy that everyone has a story and that complex issues told through people rather than statistics are far more compelling.

As for “The Story Next Door,” Craig is not sure when he’ll stop.

“It’s great fun,” he said. “I can do it at my speed. It keeps me alive. I get to meet people I don’t know. I get to tell stories.”

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Wow! So impressive...now I

Wow! So impressive...now I know why your daughter is so talented, kind, and driven. Congrats! ❤️ A friend, fan, and former colleague of your daughter and her husband

Great story, thanks for

Great story, thanks for sharing! Blessings to you Craig! What a life.