The roots, the rhythms and the richness of music, dance, arts and culture from across America and around the world come to downtown East Lansing for the Michigan State University Museum’s annual Great Lakes Folk Festival, Aug. 13 – 15.
The festival encourages cross-cultural understanding of our diverse society through the presentation of musicians, dancers, cooks, storytellers and craftspeople whose traditions are rooted in their communities.
The festival includes nearly 100 musicians or dancers in groups, who perform at least twice and sometimes as many as four times over the weekend. Also featured are traditional and other food vendors, craft vendors and many other individual artists/demonstrators. There are five performance stages (including one with a 2,400 sq. ft. dance floor), a children’s hands-on activity area, crafts demonstrations, and crafts marketplace. In addition there are special programs every year, which feature some aspect of traditional culture.
Observes GLFF founding director Marsha MacDowell, “The folk festival is a unique celebration of the histories, traditions, and cultures of the many peoples of the world, and while we have a focus on Michigan and the Great Lakes, we also present artists from around the nation and world. This is one of the few venues in the country to regularly showcase award-winning state and national artists, including recipients of the Michigan Heritage Awards and the National Endowment for the Arts’ National Heritage Fellowship Awardees. ”
This award-winning event is one of the region’s premiere arts programs and a summer-time high note — and is expected to draw more than 90,000 visitors throughout the weekend to celebrate culture, tradition and community. GLFF was named the state’s top public humanities program by the Michigan Humanities Council and the event received an artistic excellence grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to help produce this year’s activities.
Festival hours are: Friday, Aug. 13, 6 – 10:30 p.m.; Saturday, Aug. 14, noon – 10:30 p.m.; and Sunday, Aug. 15, noon – 6 p.m. For more information, call the MSU Museum at (517) 432-GLFF (4533) or learn more at http://www.greatlakesfolkfest.net and on Facebook and Twitter.
Admission to the MSU Museum’s Great Lakes Folk Festival is free (donations are encouraged).