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.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


Cultural expressions from across America and around the world converge at the MSU Museum’s Great Lakes Folk Festival in downtown East Lansing!

-Paulette Brockington | Swing Dance and the Lindy Hop | Highland Park, Mich. | 2012 Michigan Heritage Awardee
-Clear Fork Bluegrass Quartet / Boy = Girl | Bluegrass | Chardon, Ohio
-Dentdelion | Québécois | Sainte-Béatrix, Québec
-Mike Espy & Yakity Yak | Chicago and Memphis Blues | Fenton, Mich.
-Kaivama | Finnish-American | Minneapolis, Minn.
-Johnny Koenig | Slovenian Polka | Allison Park, Penn.
-Lanialoha and Aloha Lives! | Hawai'ian Ukulele/Hula | Chicago
-Les Bassettes | Cajun | Lafayette, La.
-Les Poules à Colin | Québécois | Sainte-Béatrix, Québec
-Joel Mabus / Top Drawer String Band | Old-Time Strings and Contra Dance | Portage and mid-Michigan
-Lee Murdock | Kaneville, Ill. | a special repertoire in honor of the 75th anniversary of folklorist Alan Lomax collecting songs of Northern Michigan (in partnership with the Library of Congress American Folklife Center)
-Red Tail Ring / Bowhunter | Old-Time String Band and Contra Dance | Kalamazoo, Mich.
-Cathie Ryan | Irish-American Celtic | Hartsdale, N.Y.
-Tumbao Bravo | Cuban/Caribbean | Ann Arbor, Mich.
-Svetla Vladeva and the Eastern European Ensemble | Balkan Music | Bloomington, Ind.
-Mai Zong Vue | Hmong Vocal Music | Madison, Wisc.

-Most groups play 2-4 times throughout the weekend, including sets at the Dance Stage with a 2,400-foot dance floor.
-Musicians from different groups take the stage in popular Traditions Showcases --  accordion, fiddle, bass -- to share and compare traditions and techniques of their instruments.
-Also, for festival-goers to participate: an old-time musicians' jam, community sing, and a new ukulele meet-up.

2013 Michigan Heritage Award honorees, recognizing the state's top tradition-bearers:  Wesley V. Cooper of Fremont, a bamboo fishing rod maker, and Carlson's of Fishtown in Leland, a Great Lakes commercial fishing and fish processing.
Taste of Traditions Foodways: with authentic regional and ethnic food, from Middle Eastern to Native American, Mexican, French, Polish, Thai and more.
GLFF Marketplace -- featuring green lifeways, recycled arts, creative “upcycled” materials, and folk wisdom to help restore, conserve and revitalize the planet.
Kidlore children’s folk activities include Scandinavian decorative rosemaling (painting), clogging and step dancing, metalsmithing sculptures, as well as the tradition of decorating graduation caps.
Campus and Community sessions and demonstrations present MSU researchers and students showing creative diversity, innovation, problem-solving and the many ways universities can turn education into action.

A special feature for 2013: GLFF plays host for the first time to the 13th traveling Midwest Folklife Festival, a free outdoor public festival that highlights the ethnic and folk arts, customs, and practices of the Midwestern states.  (See: www.midwestfolklifefestival.org.)

-James Anderson, Gladwin, Mich., Native American stone carving
-Capital Area Lace Makers, Lansing, Mich., bobbin lace-making
-Wesley Cooper, Fremont, Mich., bamboo fly rod building
-Bounxou Daoheuang, Brooklyn Park, Minn., Laotian master weaver
-Timothy Higgins, Elsie, Mich., metalsmith arts
-Carole Lanialoha “Lani” Lee-Sumberg, Chigago, Hawai’ian weaving
-Peter "Pekka" A. Olson, Chassell, Mich., Finnish American woodcarving and basketry
-Patricia Shackleton, Haslett, Mich., Anishnaabek birch bark cutouts
-Nancy Schmidt, Waukesha, Wisc., Scandinavian rosemaling (decorative painting)
-Anshu Varma, Okemos, Mich., meh'ndi (henna designs)
-Lula Williams, Detroit, African-American quiltmaking

Admission is by donation.

Festival hours:  Friday, Aug. 9, 6 - 10:30 p.m.; Saturday, Aug. 10, noon - 10:30 p.m.; and Sunday, Aug. 11, noon - 6 p.m.

For more information, call the MSU Museum at (517) 432-GLFF (4533) or learn more at www.greatlakesfolkfest.net  and on Facebook and Twitter (twitter.com/GLFF).