A blog sponsored by the Michigan State University Museum's Michigan Traditional Arts Program, a partnership with the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs. Sharing news and information about the Great Lakes Folk Festival, Quilt Index, the MSU Museum's traditional arts activities, Great Lakes traditional artists and arts resources, and much more. Development of content for this blog supported by funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Thursday, May 17, 2012


The Michigan State University Museum is seeking traditional arts and “green” artists and vendors of “green” lifeways products for its annual Great Lakes Folk Festival, Aug. 10-12 in downtown East Lansing.
Curated by the MSU Museum staff, the marketplace will be limited to 60 artists and vendors who meet the criteria for a traditional/folk or green artist. Folk or traditional art is generally learned by example from a family or community member, through imitation and repetition, rather than through formal instruction such as classes or workshops. Traditional art, as practiced by ethnic, regional, occupational, familial, and religious groups, refers to the traditional expressions through which these communities maintain and pass on their shared sense of beauty, identity, and values. Green artists take used or recycled materials and upcycle them to make art or functional objects. The products convey the artists' wisdom, skill and creativity for conserving the planet and using materials in a sometimes recognizable, and sometimes surprising way.
New this year: interested vendors should go to zapplication.org and search for MSU Museum's Great Lakes Folk Festival. ZAPP is an online application system that allows artists to upload high-resolution digital images of their artwork and apply to participate in juried art shows, festivals and fairs. The application deadline is June 15, 2012.
Photo by Pearl Yee Wong, MSU Museum
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, a children's hands-on activity area, demonstration area, and the folk arts marketplace. In addition there are special programs every year, which feature some aspect of traditional culture. This year's special program is Campus and Community.
Festival hours are:  Friday, Aug. 10, 6 - 10:30 p.m.; Saturday, Aug. 11, noon - 10:30 p.m.; and Sunday, Aug. 12, noon - 6 p.m. For more information, call the MSU Museum at (517) 432-GLFF (4533)  and on Facebook and Twitter  (twitter.com/GLFF).
The Great Lakes Folk Festival is presented by the Michigan State University Museum, Michigan's first Smithsonian affiliate. The MSU Museum's Michigan Traditional Arts Program researches, documents, preserves, and presents our shared heritage and cultural expressions.