EAST LANSING, Mich. — The 54th Annual East Lansing Art Festival (ELAF) will bring more than 170 artists and tens of thousands of visitors to downtown East Lansing on the weekend of May 20-21. The festival will take place from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on Saturday, May 20 and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sunday, May 21.
Juried fine art and craft exhibitors from across North America will make their way to East Lansing to showcase and sell various types of artwork during the festival. Visitors will find everything from ceramics to paintings, mixed-media, drawings, fiber art, glass, jewelry, leather, metal, sculpture, wood, photography and more. Of the 174 artists in attendance, there will be 19 invitational artists (who have received awards at one or more of the past three festivals), 100 additional returning artists, 47 new artists and eight emerging artists. View a list of all of the exhibiting artists at www.elartfest.com/artists. Emerging artists are up-and-coming talents who have never exhibited at a juried festival.
In addition to the art, there will be three outdoor music stages located in Ann Street Plaza (corner of Albert Avenue and M.A.C. Avenue), William B. Sharp Park (northeast corner of Abbot Road and Albert Avenue) and the Children’s Activities Area in the Albert Avenue Parking Lot, 230 Albert Ave. Two stages will feature a lineup of talented musicians and the Family Stage will feature music, workshops and storytelling. TELL Yo MAMA will kick things off at the ELAFter Dark Kick-off Concert on Friday, May 19 from 7-9 p.m. in Ann Street Plaza. During the festival, the headliners will include The Go Rounds on Saturday, May 20 from 1:30-2:30 p.m. and The Crane Wives on Sunday, May 21 from 2:30-3:30 p.m.
Other 2017 ELAF performers will include the East Lansing High School Jazz Band, Creole du Nord, Botala, Delilah DeWylde, The Hot Mess, Dragspel, Stan Budzynski & 3rd Degree, The Springtails, Debbie Hyams Walton, Cindy McElroy, The Catbird Seat, Doug Rees, Monday's Supper, Ryan Shadbolt, Mike Bass, Ben H, Jill Jack and John Patrick Peters.
Visit www.elartfest.com/performers to view the ELAF live music schedule.
Children’s Activities & Food
The Children’s Activities Area will feature fun activities for all ages, from toddlers to teens. Activities will be offered by Impression 5 Science Center, Reach Studio Art Center, WKAR, the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, The Lansing Art Gallery, Happendance and more. The Matt Epling Creative Arts Competition will return to the children’s activities area, featuring artwork by local middle school students. The food court will feature a variety of unique onsite food vendors, including Crepe Day-Twah, Foods for Living, Good Bites, Fire and Rice, Grand Grillin’, Melting Moments, Nuts Galore, Red Wood Grill, Swagath Indian Food and Woody’s Oasis.
Artist Demonstration Area
Festival goers are invited to visit the Artist Demonstration Area, located in the parking lot on the north side of East Lansing City Hall, 410 Abbot Road. Visitors can watch artists at work and ask questions. Featured artists will include members of the Greater Lansing Potters’ Guild, members of the East Lansing Parks, Recreation and Arts ceramics program and members of the Woven Art knitting circle as well as local artists Manny Lopez, Lino Pretto, Teresa Petersen, Steve Baibak, Mey de Hasbrook, Ana Holguin and Laura Gajewski.
Visit www.elartfest.com/performers to learn more about the Artist Demonstration Area and featured artists.
The ELAF welcomes theater back to the festival! Theater performances will take place in the Artist Demonstration Area located on the north side of East Lansing City Hall, 410 Abbot Road. Riverwalk Theatre will be performing a glimpse of “Catch Me If You Can” on Saturday, May 20 at 12:30 p.m. MSU Summer Circle Theatre will be presenting a teaser of its upcoming children’s show, “The Amazing America Road Trip,” on Sunday, May 21 at noon.
For the third year in a row, the festival will feature unique poetry events on Saturday, May 20. Beginning at 1:15 p.m., the Michigan State University Center for Poetry will be facilitating poetry chalking in front of East Lansing City Hall. Additionally, a poetry reading will take place at 2 p.m. in the Artist Demonstration Area. Featured poets will include Leonora Smith, Cindy Hunter Morgan, Joseph Harris, Laura Apol, the Evergreen Haiku Study Group and the newly appointed Lansing Poet Laureate Dennis Hinrichsen. A haiku-writing workshop conducted by Michele Root-Bernstein will take place immediately following the conclusion of the poetry reading in the same location. Also, the East Lansing Art Festival Poetry Press’ poetry journal, “A Festival Collected: All for Words, Words for All,” will be available at the festival merchandise booth, info booth and the Artist Demonstration Area. The second edition features local mid-Michigan poets as well as poets from the New England and Midwest regions. Featured poets include Anne Whitehouse, Bob Trezise, Thaddeus Simpson, Mary Fry Lowery, Colleen Boucher, Carolyn White, Jim Landwehr, Elise Jajuga, Joyce Benvenuto, Rashad Muhammad, Thomas Fucaloro, John W.L. Toivonen and the Evergreen Haiku Study Group.
Bike valet parking will be provided free of charge by the Mid-Michigan Environmental Action Council.
The CATA Art Festival Bus Route will also be available, with buses running approximately every 10-15 minutes all weekend long between MSU’s Parking Lot #91 and the MSU Union. On Saturday, May 20 buses will run from 9:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m. and on Sunday, May 21 buses will run from 9:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Parking is free at Lot #91, located at Service Road and Hagadorn Road. Ride for just 50 cents round trip (exact change only) or use your CATA fixed-route pass. Visit www.elartfest.com/map-1/#festival-map for more information.
A Call for Festival Friends and Volunteers
The ELAF is free to the public and is a non-profit event that relies on the support of local sponsors and community donations. Community members can become a Festival Friend by making a donation online at www.elartfest.com. Volunteers for the ELAF are also vital to the success of the festival each year. Community members interested in volunteering at the 54th Annual ELAF can sign up at www.elartfest.com/volunteers.
Visit www.elartfest.com for additional information.
Additional Media Information
For media inquiries about the music lineup, contact ELAF Music Coordinator Benjamin Hall at (517) 319-6980. Courtesy photos are available at https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B7UESSoqkO3sZVRaVlFvMHlkS0U?usp=sharing.
The 54th Annual East Lansing Art Festival is supported by grants from the East Lansing Arts Commission, the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the Ingham County Hotel/Motel Tax Funds for Arts and Tourism. Double Platinum Palette Sponsors include McLaren Greater Lansing, Jackson National Life and the East Lansing Marriott at University Place.