EAST LANSING, Mich. — The 55th Annual East Lansing Art Festival (ELAF) will bring 168 artists and tens of thousands of visitors to downtown East Lansing on the weekend of May 19-20. The festival will take place from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on Saturday, May 19 and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sunday, May 20.
There will also be two, free ELAFter Dark Concerts this year at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 18 and Saturday May 19 in Ann Street Plaza, located at the corner of Albert and M.A.C. avenues.
NEW - Festival Site Layout
Due to construction in the downtown, the ELAF site layout has changed this year. The festival will take place on M.A.C. Avenue, from Grand River Avenue to Albert Avenue, and Albert Avenue, from M.A.C. Avenue to Bailey Street. The festival site will also include Ann Street Plaza, Fountain Square, the plaza on the east side of the East Lansing Marriott at University Place and the Bailey Parking Lot (139 Bailey St.). A map of the festival site can be viewed here: http://map.elartfest.com/2018-ELAF-map.pdf.
NEW - $5 Flat Rate Parking Option
New this year, there will be $5 flat rate parking offered in the Charles Street Garage, 121 Charles St., and Division Street Garage, 181 Division St. These garages will only be accessible from Grand River Avenue. They are located adjacent to the festival site and parking ambassadors will be stationed at them, making entering and exiting quick and easy. All other downtown East Lansing parking options (with the exception of the Bailey Parking Lot) will also be open and accessible.
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 non-functional and functional ceramics to paintings, mixed-media, drawings, fiber art, glass, jewelry, leather, metal, sculpture, wood, photography and more. Of the 168 artists in attendance, there will be 20 invitational artists (who have received awards at one or more of the past three festivals), 105 additional returning artists, 34 new artists and nine 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 two outdoor music stages: the ELAF Main Stage and the Smokin’ Sleddog Records Stage. The ELAF Main Stage, located in the Bailey Parking Lot (139 Bailey Street), will feature performances by the East Lansing High School Jazz Band, Lac La Belle, Madcat Midnight Blues Journey (headliner), Cabildo, Delilah DeWylde, Olivia Manville, Mikey Austin, Jill Jack and Mark Lavengood (headliner). The Smokin’ Sleddog Records Stage, located on the northwest corner of Charles Street and Albert Avenue, will feature performances by Mike Bass, Tom and Mary, The Ukulele Kings, The Catbird Seat, Deacon Earl, John Latini, Jaime Marvin and Monday’s Supper.
The ELAFter Dark Concerts will take place in Ann Street Plaza, featuring Summer of Sol on Friday, May 18 from 7-9 p.m. and Avon Bomb on Saturday, May 19 from 7-9 p.m.
Visit www.elartfest.com/performers to view the ELAF live music schedule. Courtesy photos are available at https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1r9iOYY_5-IfFU6RZSOAI9iN9zoysvEU1.
Children’s Area & Food
The Children’s Area, located in Ann Street Plaza (corner of Albert and M.A.C. avenues) will feature fun activities for all ages, from toddlers to teens. There will be a Family Stage featuring The Amazing Clark magician, break dancing workshops, Bollywood dancers, performances by Sigh Studio of Music and more. There will also be a Move Your Art Parade both days of the festival and a number of hands-on art activities facilitated by REACH Studio Art Center, Impression 5 Science Center, Lansing Art Gallery & Education Center and Happendance. The Matt Epling Creative Arts Competition will also be located in the Children’s Area, featuring artwork by local middle school students, and the WKAR Curious Crew will be in attendance. The food court, located in the Bailey Parking Lot (126 Bailey St.), will feature a variety of unique onsite food vendors, including Crepe Day-Twah, Fire & Rice, Foods for Living, Good Bites Food Truck, Grand Grillin’, Melting Moments, Noodles & Company and Red Wood Grill.
Artist Demonstration Area
Festival goers are invited to visit the Artist Demonstration Area, located outside of the East Lansing Marriott in Fountain Square (northeast corner of the Albert-M.A.C. intersection). Visitors can watch artists at work and ask questions. Featured artists will include Jill Zelenski, Lino Pretto, Teresa Petersen, Steve Baubak, Ana Holguin, Laura Gajewski, Abby Deneau, Marissa Thaler, the Greater Lansing Potters’ Guild, the East Lansing Ceramics Studio and Woven Art. There will also be poetry readings, theater productions, a Fiction 440 reading and a Haiku-Writing Seminar led by Michele Root-Berstein.
Visit www.elartfest.com/performers to learn more about the Artist Demonstration Area.
NEW – Sensory Installation by the American Institute of Architects Mid-Michigan
New this year, there will be an installation set up at the Charles-Albert intersection that combines structure and scent to transform an ordinary street intersection into a creative experience. Learn more about the installation here: https://www.aiamidmi.org/.
NEW – MSU Broad Art Lab
The new MSU Broad Art Lab, located at 565 E. Grand River Ave., will celebrate its opening weekend, May 19-20, in conjunction with the ELAF. Festival goers are encouraged to stop by the space to experiment with art materials in a rotation of adult art-making workshops. Learn more about the Art Lab at https://broadmuseum.msu.edu/artlab.
Getting To the Festival
The festival can be accessed by vehicle, bike and foot. Community members interested in biking to the festival can take advantage of free bike valet parking offered by the Mid-Michigan Environmental Action Council. If traveling to the festival by vehicle, there will be $5 flat rate parking available in the Charles Street Garage, 121 Charles St., and Division Street Garage, 181 Division St. Both of these garages will only be accessible from Grand River Avenue. They are located adjacent to the festival site and parking ambassadors will be stationed at them, making entering and exiting quick and easy. Additional downtown parking locations can be viewed here: https://www.cityofeastlansing.com/335/Parking-Locations. Festival goers should note that, in addition to street and lot closures for the festival, Albert Avenue, between Abbot Road and Grove Street, will be closed due to construction. The Grove Street Garage, 330 Grove Street, can still be accessed by taking Abbot Road to Linden Street to Grove Street.
There will not be CATA shuttle service from the MSU commuter lots this year. CATA will be providing additional “tripper” buses on Route 1 during the hours of the festival. Route 1 travels between downtown Lansing and the Meridian Mall via Grand River Avenue and Michigan Avenue. For additional information on CATA’s regular routes/schedules, visit https://www.cata.org/.
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 55th Annual ELAF can sign up at www.elartfest.com/volunteers.
Visit www.elartfest.com for additional information about the festival.
The 55th 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. Paramount Sponsors include McLaren Greater Lansing and Jackson National Life.