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East Lansing Kicks Off the Summer With the Art Festival

The East Lansing Art Festival was a kick off to the summer with a variety of food, art and music on Saturday.

This is the 48th year of the family-friendly event. “In the last 2 years, attendance has increased, and it has become a tradition in families within the community,” said Corinn VanWyck, the Arts Program Coordinator for the festival.

“This festival makes the arts accessible for the public to view. The art showcased is top notch. And this gives the participants the opportunity to meet the artist for a more in-depth look of what they created. This is overall a great event. There is something for everyone.”

On the Jackson and Main music stages, there starred bands from a multitude of genres.

Shelia Landis, vocalist for Shelia Landis and the Brazilian Love Affair, is a part of a band that focuses on Brazilian jazz, samba, and American jazz. She said that there is a focus when mixed them together and it brings a certain kind of flavor to the stage.

“I am glad to make music for those who will enjoy it,” said Landis. “There is a fair amount of interest in jazz in the area. I hope that the audience will love our music and buy our CDs.”

Another group that performed was The Tia Imani Hanna Project. Tia Imani Hanna is a vocalist and violinist for the group. Hanna said that she is excited to have the opportunity to perform in East Lansing.

“I hope that the audience was moved by my performance considering the improv involved,” said Hanna. “There is also a cross-cultural fusion in the jazz that is played. I hoped that it got in touch with the audience’s muse.”

There were hundreds of artist from Michigan and around the country that came to exhibit their arts and crafts.  These included ceramic, sculpture, glass, prints, woods and many others.

Ann Hupke, of northwest Illinois, has a specialty in 2D Mixed Media.

“I love it here,” she said. “East Lansing is a great place to showcase my art. Everything has been going well so far. I hope everyone appreciates what they see.”

Todd Richter, of Ann Arbor, showcased his metal art work. In some of his pieces, the subject matter was music.

“I am in a band,” he said. “I play guitar and I really like it. Since I have been particularly interested in music for some time, I started to put that into my art work.”

The festival isn’t just good for the attendees and the artist. It is also good for the city.

“It is really a strong driver of the local economy,” said VanWyck. “People that come to the festival shop, eat and get to know the area. East Lansing, itself, becomes a great showcase. It shows what the city has to offer.”

If you missed it on Saturday, don’t fret! The East Lansing Art Festival will being going on until Sunday, May 22 starting at 10 a.m. until 5p.m. So, come down to the festival and enjoy yourself!