Arts Alive Gallery & Events


Tibbits Opera House is fortunate to be home to a permanent Henry Clay Lewis art collection that is prominently displayed throughout the theatre.

Along with the permanent collection, the downstairs of Tibbits features a rotating themed art gallery with artwork submitted by local and regional artists.  Tibbits patrons and visitors have the opportunity to purchase that artwork or vote on their favorite pieces.  Several artists are also awarded cash prizes at the close of each show.

Arts Alive

The local arts organization that is responsible for exhibits displayed in the art gallery is also responsible for the downtown art walks, the Art of Holiday Food, Drink & Decor event, and other community art projects.

The Tibbits Art Gallery is located in the lower level of the Tibbits Opera House. Year-round exhibits feature the works of both aspiring and established artists. Art Gallery exhibits are coordinated by Arts Alive, an organization that hosts gallery exhibitions, organizes Art Walks and other art-related community events in Coldwater, MI.

Arts Alive’s goal is to provide an outlet to facilitate education, growth and an appreciation for arts and culture in all forms.

Arts Alive 2020 gallery show list


Local and regional artists have the opportunity to submit their artwork for the enjoyment of Tibbits patrons and the wide region from which Tibbits draws. There is a small entry fee for each piece.

Patrons have the opportunity to select their favorite piece during each exhibition. Several artists are awarded a people’s choice awards at the end of each show.  Patrons also have the opportunity to purchase work through the Tibbits box office or Tibbits administration office.


Artists can interpret each gallery theme in any way they see fit.  All ages are welcome to submit artwork.  Enter up to 3 pieces per show at $5 per piece.  Pieces must be ready to hang (PLEASE use a having wire (due to the nature of our new system with uses large hooks, small nail holes or little tooth hangers on the back of frames DO NOT WORK). Sculptures and all other mediums accepted.  

People’s Choice Award given to top 3 artists.  You can also sell your work if you want (on commission).  Please do not submit artwork that contains nudity.  Arts Alive has the right to refuse entries.

Visit the Arts Alive facebook page HERE for more information and event details.  


Kids’ Art Rocks! is a program of the Tibbits Foundation that mats and frames student artwork for lease by area businesses for a year. Prior to their lease, artwork hangs in the Tibbits gallery.  A call for work goes out early in the spring of each year.

Prior to 2018, teachers would submit their best work to this program. In 2018, Arts Alive took over the program and opened it up to allow for submission by anyone completing K-12 curriculum. This allowed for a broader scope of work (almost 60 pieces!) from homeschool groups or those attending schools outside of Branch County. All pieces were then judged by a panel of judges, and the top pieces were then matted and/or framed along with student bios. 

The 2019 winning pieces and sponsoring businesses can be found HERE.


Tibbits is looking for artists to create original poster art for their summer theatre productions, “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” “Annie,” “Man of LaMancha,” “Ken Ludwig’s Comedy of Tenors,” and “Love Letters,” which marks Tibbits’ 57th season of professional summer.

  • All finished pieces should be in a hi-resolution digital format, fit an 11 x 17 ratio, and be submitted to by February 1, 2020.
  • Original artwork will be used in the print and digital marketing campaign for the entire Tibbits Summer Theatre season.
  • Artists are encouraged to use any medium they choose, whether it’s hand-created paintings or digital art.
  • Each artist selected will receive two complimentary tickets to the show for which they supplied the art as well as a cash prize of $50.
  • Artists can create work for one or all of the summer shows, but only one piece will be selected per show.
  • Artwork should be inviting and convey the story or intent of the show (see show descriptions and previous winning poster designs below).



Ain’t Misbehavin’: Relive the intoxicating, swingin’ music of Fats Waller and the Golden Age of the Cotton Club. Winner of the 1978 Tony Award for Best Musical, this delightful and energetic musical revue provides great insight into a vibrant time in American history and music. The joint will be jumpin’ as the versatile cast struts, strums and sings the songs that Fats made famous in a career that ranged from uptown clubs to downtown Tin Pan Alley to Hollywood and concert stages in the U.S., Canada and Europe.

Annie: With equal measures of pluck and positivity, little orphan Annie charms everyone’s heart despite a next-to-nothing start in 1930s New York City. Set during The Great Depression, the feisty young Annie endures “a hard knock life” in the miserable orphanage run by the cruel Miss Hannigan. In adventure after fun-filled adventure, she spends a fairytale Christmas with billionaire Oliver Warbucks, befriends President FDR, searches for her parents, and foils Miss Hannigan’s evil plans to take advantage of Annie’s new life. 

Man of La Mancha: Based on Cervantes’ epic 17th-century novel, “Man of La Mancha” is a remarkable, poignant musical set in the context of the Spanish Inquisition. An imprisoned Miguel de Cervantes gets his fellow inmates to enact the story of his novel, “Don Quixote,” about an aged nobleman who declares himself a “knight errant” out to do battle for good and the love of a fair maiden. Through the story, all the prisoners – at least for a moment – are transformed. “Man of La Mancha” features such stirring songs as “Dulcinea” and “The Impossible Dream.”

Ken Ludwig’s A Comedy of Tenors: One hotel suite, four tenors, two wives, three girlfriends, and a soccer stadium filled with screaming fans are the perfect setup for this comedy. It’s 1930s Paris and the stage is set for the concert of the century – as long as producer Henry Saunders can keep Italian superstar Tito Merelli and his hot-blooded wife, Maria, from causing runaway chaos. Known as the master of farce, comedic genius Ken Ludwig—playwright of “The Fox on the Fairway,” “See How They Run,” “Moon Over Buffalo” and “Leading Ladies”— provides another play full of mistaken identities, bedroom hijinks, and madcap delight.

Love Letters: Letters exchanged over a lifetime create a unique and imaginative piece of theatre. Andrew and Melissa, grew up together and share a lifetime of confidences despite going their separate ways. The two, born to wealth and position, are childhood friends whose lifelong correspondence begins with birthday party thank-you notes and summer camp postcards. They move into letters through boarding school and college years, and even into their adult life while they each navigate their marriages, children, and daily struggles.  Andy’s last letter makes it eloquently clear how much they really meant and gave to each other over the years—physically apart, perhaps, but spiritually as close as only true lovers can be.