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EAST LANSING, Mich. — Despite the cancellation of the in-person 57th annual East Lansing Art Festival (ELAF) due to the COVID-19 crisis, ELAF staff have planned a Virtual ELAF, which will take place on Saturday, May 16 from 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. via the ELAF’s Facebook page.The Virtual ELAF will include a full day of online art offerings, including musical performances, artist demonstrations, demonstrations for at-home children’s activities, live artist awards announcements and more. Additional details are provided below:Performances and Poetry Readings
The first online performance of the Virtual ELAF will take place at 10:30 a.m. and will feature The Amazing Clark, whose performances include humor, puppetry and magical illusions. Community members will also enjoy an online music performance by The Swift Brothers at 1 p.m. Native to Lansing, this acoustic duo creates a unique and full sound that rivals many full-sized bands.The second musical performance of the Virtual ELAF will take place at 5 p.m. and features the Last Gasp Collective. Originating from Kalamazoo, this diverse group performs arrangements that include melodic cello, jazz harmony and soulful voices.In addition to these online musical performances, the Virtual ELAF will feature online poetry readings by Joseph Harris and some of the ELAF Poetry Journal Poets at noon and 4:30 p.m. respectively.Artist Demonstrations
The Virtual ELAF will also feature several artist demonstrations, including a fiber art demonstration by Woven Art Yarn Shop owner Meg Croft at 11:30 a.m. Festival participants will also enjoy a glass blowing demonstration by Lino Pretto at 3 p.m. and a metalworking demonstration by Manny Lopez at 3:45 p.m.Artist Awards Announcements
Throughout the Virtual ELAF, ELAF staff will be announcing artist awards in various categories. The East Lansing Excellence in Fiber Award will be announced at 2:30 p.m., the Best in Gallery Artist Award will be announced at 4:45 p.m. and the People’s Choice Award will be announced at 6 p.m.The finalists selected for this year’s People’s Choice Award include Sylvia Pixley (prints), Marie Rust (drawing) and Vinnie Sutherland (metal). Community members can vote for the People’s Choice Award starting tomorrow, May 9 on the ELAF’s Facebook page.Support ELAF Artists
Festival patrons also have the opportunity to support this year’s ELAF artists by shopping online. The ELAF website, www.elartfest.com/artists, has been updated to include links to the 2020 exhibiting artists’ websites. Festival patrons can also buy a 2020 ELAF t-shirt, produced by RetroDuck, at https://retroduck.com/social_order.php?jobid=OTU4MA==.Community members can learn more about the Virtual ELAF and sponsors of the event at http://www.elartfest.com/virtual-festival. Special thanks to the Virtual ELAF’s Paramount Sponsor, Jackson National.