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, August 7, 2014

The 2014 Great Lakes Folk Festival: A Visit in Highlights

This year's Great Lakes Folk Festival is fast approaching. From August 8-10, the streets of downtown East Lansing, Michigan, will be flooded with music, people, food, art, and traditional cultural activities of all kinds. While donations are happily accepted and encouraged, this festival is free and open the the public!

The festival opens Friday at 6pm with recycled and traditional art vendors, music, food and more. Performances will take place on two stages, ranging from Klezmer to Celtic, Buck Dance to Blues.

Saturday starts early with an advanced fiddle workshop taught by Celtic/French Canadian fiddler Pierre Schryer. This will take place at 10:00am in the Marriott Hotel, and costs $25 for adults and $15 with a valid student ID. If fiddling isn't your forte, try out the Pete Seeger community sing led by Sally Potter, Seth Bernard, and May Erlewine. Looking to move your body? Try out swing dancing or waltzing, happening at the Dance Stage. Whatever your favorite traditional genre, we are sure to have something to catch your ears, with acts like Detour Bluegrass, Girsa, Thomas Maupin, and Ruby John.

Kicking things off with a second opportunity to learn the fiddle, Trae McMaken teaches an intermediate old time fiddling workshop at 10:00am Sunday in the Marriott Hotel for the same price as the workshop on Saturday. Not to be missed, the Michigan Heritage Awards (3:00pm, Campus and Community Stage) will honor the work of Karl Byarski, Danny Johnston, and Alan Lomax, individuals nominated by their communities due to their dedication to preserving and disseminating traditional culture. Many of the acts to see on Saturday will be performing again on Sunday, so don't fret if you missed something!

Unsure of when you'll be stopping by? There will be ongoing activities throughout the weekend for your enjoyment, including an International Games Tent, Tibetan monks creating sand mandalas, an artisan marketplace, and various activities for children centered around the traditional arts. One of our main themes this year is fiddling, specifically that which happens in Michigan. Regardless of when you arrive, be sure to listening for the lilting tones of the fiddle.

See you there!