EAST LANSING, Mich. — The 56th Annual East Lansing Art Festival (ELAF) will bring 178 artists and tens of thousands of visitors to downtown East Lansing on the weekend of May 18-19. The festival will take place from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on Saturday, May 18 and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sunday, May 19.
The event 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 and the Bailey Parking Lot (139 Bailey St.).
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. There will be 171 artists and seven emerging artists. Emerging artists are up-and-coming talents who have never exhibited at a juried festival.
In addition to the art, the ELAF Main Stage will feature live music performances in the Bailey Parking Lot, 139 Bailey St. Saturday performances will include the East Lansing High School Jazz Band (11-11:30 a.m.), Ozay Moore (noon-1 p.m.), May Erlewine and the Motivations (1:30-3 p.m.) and Musique Noire (4-6 p.m.). Sunday performances will include The Further Adventures of FatBoy and JiveTurkey (11 a.m.-noon), The Stringtown Trio (12:30-1:30 p.m.), Joshua Davis and Rachael Davis (2-3 p.m.) and The Pistil Whips (4-5 p.m.).
In addition to the live music, the ELAF Main Stage will feature a Fiction 440 reading event from 3-4 p.m. on Saturday and the 5th Annual ELAF Poetry Reading from 3-4 p.m. on Sunday.
Children’s Area & Food
The Children’s Area, located in Ann Street Plaza (corner of Albert and M.A.C. avenues), will feature a variety of fun, hands-on arts activities for all ages, from toddlers to teens. There will also be a Family Stage featuring The Amazing Clark magician, the MSU Community Music School’s Suzuki Program, Ozay Moore, an interactive children’s concert featuring Sigh Studio of Music, La’Ron, the Dream World Studios Dance Project, Move Your Art Parades and more. 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 Fire & Rice; Good Bites Food Truck; Melting Moments; Ms. K’s Kitchen, Peace, Love & Tacos; Genovese Italian Ice, Red Wood Grill and Swagath Indian Cuisine.
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 Manny Lopez, Lino Pretto, the Greater Lansing Potters’ Guild, Andrew Sandstedt, Peckham, Ana Holguin, Woven Art, Jill Zelenski, Abby Deneau, Teresa Petersen, Laura Gajewski and the East Lansing Hannah Community Center Ceramics Program.
NEW – Sensory 2.0 Installation by the American Institute of Architects Mid-Michigan Emerging Professionals
After a successful first year at the festival, the American Institute of Architects Mid-Michigan Emerging Professional will be back with another Project Architecture Installation: Sensory 2.0. This interactive installation will transform the Charles-Albert intersection into a creative experience for festival goers that will explore the power that texture has to enliven a structure. As visitors amble through the installation, unexpected vertical lawns will compel them to touch and feel the twirling structural cubes. Learn more about the installation here: https://www.aia.org/events/6099942-sensory-20-at-the-east-lansing-art-festiva.
Getting To the Festival
The festival can be accessed by vehicle, bus, bike and foot.
For those planning to travel to the festival by bike, free bike valet parking will be graciously provided by the Mid-Michigan Environmental Action Council adjacent to the Albert-Charles intersection.
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, the eastbound lane of 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.
For those interested in traveling to the festival by bus, Capital Area Transportation Authority (CATA) will be offering the ELAF Bus Route from 9:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 18 and 9:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 19. Festival goers can park at MSU’s Commuter Lot #89 on Farm Lane and Mount Hope Road and catch the shuttle. Buses will run approximately every 10-15 minutes between the parking lot and stops along Grand River Avenue (adjacent to the festival site). Round trip fare is 50 cents and children under 42 inches ride free with an adult. Transfers to other buses may be made at bus stops along the route. For those who would prefer to leave their vehicle at home, Routes 1, 20-26 travel to East Lansing during the festival for a convenient and affordable transportation option. Regular fares apply on these routes. Schedules are available at https://cata.org. All CATA buses have bike racks and wheelchair ramps/lifts for accessibility. Service animals are welcome. For more information, contact CATA at email@example.com or (517) 394-1000. CATA is a proud sponsor of the ELAF.
The ELAF is a free-to-the-public 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 http://www.elartfest.com/get-involved#volunteers. Volunteers for the ELAF are also vital to the success of the festival each year. Community members interested in volunteering at the 56th Annual ELAF can sign up at http://www.elartfest.com/get-involved#volunteers.
Visit www.elartfest.com for additional information about the festival. Courtesy photos from last year’s festival and performer press photos are available for download here: https://www.cityofeastlansing.com/gallery.aspx?AID=23.
The 56th 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.