A new festival celebrating Michigan’s rich cultural heritage—the music, art, crafts, food, and cultural traditions of our state and beyond—will take place Saturday, August 11th, from 10 AM to 8 PM at the Allen Neighborhood Center, 1611 East Kalamazoo Street, in Lansing’s Eastside Neighborhood.
Organized by a coalition of community arts activists and Michigan State University faculty and staff, the event showcases the music, dance, and arts of the 2018 recipients of the Michigan Heritage Awards and Traditional Arts Apprenticeships, and closes with a performance by the Tannahill Weavers, a renowned Scottish band on a 50th anniversary tour.
Festival attendees will be able to hear folk songs and Scottish bagpipes, learn swing dance moves and Irish ceili (partner dancing) steps, join in a community sing and uke strum, learn about beadwork embroidery and weaving from Anishinaabek artists, watch a Rwandan dance troupe or a Bharatanatyam (Indian classical dance) performance, and more!
The free festival will also feature the Teal Quilt Project, a community-engaged arts project to demonstrate care and concern for child and young adult survivors of sexual abuse, raise awareness of child abuse, and foster a safe and supportive community.
The Lansing Eastside Folklife Festival is hosted by MSU Outreach & Engagement, The Michigan Traditional Arts Program, and The Allen Neighborhood Center; sponsors and supporters include The Ten Pound Fiddle, MSU Native American Institute, The Teal Quilt Project, Small Talk, Music is the Foundation/Mighty Uke Day, The National Endowment for the Arts, The Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs, Happendance, Greater Lansing Convention and Visitors Bureau, The City of Lansing
Visit engage.msu.edu/LEFF for further details and regular programming updates.
For general information about the festival, call (517) 249-5208 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For general information about the Allen Neighborhood Center, contact Denise Paquette, Outreach and Development Director, (517) 999-3924, email@example.com
List of Participating Artists (subject to change)
The Tannahill Weavers, one of Scotland’s premier traditional bands, whose diverse repertoire spans the centuries and demonstrates to old and young alike the rich and varied musical heritage of the Celtic people.
Jahshua Smith, an emcee from Detroit, deliver conscious, sociopolitical lyrics about his experiences in Detroit that hit just as hard as his fly, cocksure rhymes.
The 2018 Michigan Heritage Awards Ceremony and performances by the 2018 Michigan Heritage Award recipients:
Mick Gavin (Redford) for Irish fiddling and melodeon playing
Neil Woodward (Howell) for Michigan folk songs, storytelling, and folklore
Performances and Demonstrations by 2018 Michigan Traditional Arts Apprenticeships recipients, including:
Paulette Brockington (Highland Park) and Brianna Benvenuti (Lansing), American vernacular and swing dance
Kelly Church (Allegan) and Holly Alberts (Kewadin), black ash basketry
Nihad Dukhan (Farmington Hills), classical Arabic and Islamic calligraphy
Andrew Duncan (Royal Oak) and Duncan Petersen-Jones (Okemos), Scottish bagpiping
Josh Homminga and Sarah Bedell (Brimley), black ash basketry
Christine Ingabire and Grace Johnson (Grand Rapids), Rwandan dance
Cindi and Ruby John (Northport), Odawa smoked fish preparation
Meghan McCartney Scott and Christine Russell (Williamston) and Anna Wright (Onondaga), Irish step dance
Bhuvna Murthy (Ann Arbor), Bharatanatyam (Indian classical dance)
Celeste Smith (Highland Park) and Peggy Brandon (Detroit), millinery
Anishinaabek artists affiliated with the Great Lakes Research Alliance for the Study of Aboriginal Arts and Culture Project/MSU Native American Institute:
Rosie DeLand (Lansing), beadwork
Renee Wasson Dillard (Harbor Springs), black ash baskets and finger weaving (2010 Michigan Heritage Award recipient)
Elizabeth Kimewon (Sault Ste. Marie), birch bark baskets and porcupine quill boxes
Eva Menefee (Lansing), beadwork
Judy Pierzynowski (Lansing), porcupine quill boxes and beadwork
[Each of the above will be accompanied by an apprentice]
Community Sing and Ukulele Strum, led by Sally Potter and Punch Drunk
The Teal Quilt Project: This is a community-engaged arts project to demonstrate care and concern for the children and young adults who are survivors of sexual abuse, to help raise awareness of child abuse, and to foster a safer and more supportive community. The Teal Quilt Project is coordinated by volunteers and works in partnership with SmallTalk, a state of the art center in Lansing, MI, founded “to address child abuse and to empower children to have the courage to heal.” See www.smalltalkcac.org
Food trucks as well as entrepreneurs associated with the Allen Neighborhood Center
Anishinabe Meejim – Native American food — Indian tacos, fry bread, blanket dogs, wild rice soup, buffalo chili, nachos, hot dogs, buffalo burgers, fries, soft drinks.
Sanctuary Pizza – Organic, sourdough pizza crusts topped with homemade sauces and locally sourced ingredients
Building Blocks of Michigan – weekday catering company, providing fresh, healthful food options for Greater Lansing
Fire and Rice – traditional paella for festive gatherings
Teff-Rific – Eritrean and Ethiopian cuisine