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This unique fusion of art fair, music festival, county fair, multi-ethnic festival, hands-on activity workshops and celebration of cultural heritage will be held Aug 10-12, 2012 in downtown East Lansing.
The Great Lakes Folk Festival showcases the traditional cultural treasures of the nation's Upper Midwest and a sampling of the best of traditional artists from around the country and the world.
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 four performance stages (including one with a 2,400 sq. ft. dance floor), children's hands-on activities, crafts demonstrations, and Folk Festival marketplace- featuring unique handmade crafts. In addition, there are special programs every year, which feature some aspect of traditional culture. 2012 will focus on connections between Campus and Community.
Under the direction of the MSU Museum's Michigan Traditional Arts Program--a statewide partnership program with the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs (MCACA)--the festival also represents partnerships of civic, business, education and arts agencies. Collaborators for planning the Great Lakes Folk Festival include: The City of East Lansing, National Endowment for the Arts, University Outreach and Engagement at MSU, WKAR/Radio, MATRIX: The Center for Humane Arts, Letters and Social Sciences Online, The Ten Pound Fiddle, Smithsonian Institution's Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, Michigan Humanities Council, Center for Great Lakes Culture at Michigan State University, and provincial and state folk arts programs of the Great Lakes region.
The Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. is the world's largest museum and research complex, and the MSU Museum now works with the Smithsonian to develop new programs for the Great Lakes Folk Festival and other museum initiatives. Click here for more information!
In order to continue making this family-friendly festival an admission by donation event, the Great Lakes Folk Festival relies on cash and in-kind support from a variety of sources, including Michigan State University, Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, the National Endowment for the Arts and the City of East Lansing. Other major primary sponsorships are being sought from public and private sources. The festival suggests that visitors consider a donation of $10 per day. Go to Sponsors page Go to Friends of the Festival page Go to Make-a-Donation page
The festival showcases performers who learned their skills within distinct communities and remain rooted in those communities. Their exposure to performance skills is usually at an early age, learned firsthand (often within their own families) and what they perform is an integral part of their particular culture.
In this modern world, traditional musicians have easy access to other music styles beside their own and their music often incorporates new influences. They often perform for audiences outside their own community. But the core of what traditional musicians do continues to be the music that expresses the aesthetics and musicality of their community.
This festival presents artists who best maintain their allegiance to their traditional roots.
The Music Selection Committee is no longer accepting artist submissions for the 2012 Great Lakes Folk Festival. Please send information, for consideration for 2013, to:
For more information, contact:
Email at glffbooking [at] gmail [dot] com
Great Lakes Folk Festival
Michigan State University Museum
409 W. Circle Drive
East Lansing , MI 48824
Phone at 517-432-GLFF or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Festival organizers feel it is important to make this festival accessible to everyone, regardless of their financial status. Therefore, although there is no set admission price, all visitors are strongly urged to think about what this event means to them and to give what they can.
PS: Think about what you would pay for one concert by one of our performers--let alone all of the performances the festival offers--or what you would pay to have your children participate in all of the activities in the Children's Folk Arts Activity Area. Even a $5.00 donation per visitor per day is a bargain
To get online weather information, point your browser to: Sky Team 10 Weatherlab - WILX-TV www.wilx.com
The Michigan State University Museum is committed to understanding, interpreting, and respecting natural and cultural diversity. As Michigan's land grant university museum, this commitment to society is met through education, exhibitions, research and the building and stewardship of collections that focus on Michigan and its relationship to the Great Lakes and the world beyond.
The Michigan State University Museum was founded in 1857 and is Michigan's natural and cultural history museum. Its research, education, exhibition, and outreach programs serve the entire state.
Located on the MSU campus, on West Circle Drive and next to Beaumont Tower, the museum is open seven days a week, free of charge (donations are welcome).
The MSU Museum's Michigan Traditional Arts Program (MTAP) promotes cross-cultural understanding in a diverse society through the documentation, preservation and presentation of the state's folk arts and folklife. Prior to co-producing the National Folk Festival from 1999-2001, MTAP produced the Festival of Michigan Folklife for 12 years, and curators and specialists are active in developing exhibitions, publications, and a wide variety of public programs.
The Great Lakes Folk Festival is a founding member of the Greater Lansing Festival Alliance (GLFA). The mission of the organization is to facilitate, promote and support Greater Lansing, non-profit cultural and artistic festivals; and positively impact and enhance quality of life in the capitol region. GLFA is coordinated by the Arts Council of Greater Lansing.
For more information about plans for the Great Lakes Folk Festival, call the GLFF phone line at 517.432.GLFF (517.432.4533) or email email@example.com.
Lora Helou, Information & Museum Services, MSU Museum, (517) 432-3357 or firstname.lastname@example.org
See the reconstructed 2002 GLFF web page -- with Artist info only
See the 2003 GLFF web page -- with artist bios and photos.
See the 2004 GLFF web page -- with artist bios and photos.
See the 2005 GLFF web page -- with artist bios and photos
See the 2006 GLFF web page -- with artist bios and photos
See the 2007 GLFF web page -- with artist bios and photos
See the 2008 GLFF web page -- with artist bios and photos
See the 2009 GLFF web page -- with artist bios and photos
See the 2010 GLFF web page -- with artist bios and photos
See the 2011 GLFF web page -- with artist bios and photos