It's like this. The Summer of 2022 was shot out of a cannon. There's no other way of looking at it. We kinda crept back a little last year with the brief respite from the problems we all faced and, ya 2021's summer wasn't a total loss when it comes to growth, fun and new in Muskegon....but if you've set foot outside a door this year so far, you have seen first hand that all the years of blood, sweat and tears have come ROARING to life in this lil ole town we call home and if you can't find something to do...the problem lies within. Muskegon, is firing on all cylinders and the pedal is to the floor!
One of the grand daddy signature events is the Lakeshore Art Festival (LAF). Not only has the LAF been one of the longest enduring events in Muskegon, it's also been one of the fastest growing, adaptable and relevant events for years offering the artisans and crafters of Michigan a chance to show off their incredible talents, as well and make a couple of bucks while they are at it. The expansion of the LAF too has come from things in years past that would have maybe caused another group to think doom, but when artists and creatives are involved, doom can become a simple reimagine and rebirth. Has it ever.
All the staples are there. The fine art exhibits in Hackley Park along with the fine crafts! All artisan made, not resellers. Street performers, festival food...lots of festival food...the expanded social district giving those who wish the chance to stroll with the beverage of their choice from one of the great local distillers or breweries. Add in the Padnos Public Art Project, the Authors Alley, the incredible Children's Lane where they get the chance to Step in to Art AND a Scavenger Hunt going on that if you can accumulate 2000 points in your hunt, you're in the running for some serious prizes. One really fun event that's happening is an appearance from renound chalk artist David Zinn. To celebrate his work and give others a chance to try it out, small bags of FREE chalk for Chalk-the-Walk, provided by Scherdel Sales & Technology, will be available at the following locations: PADNOS, Blended Furniture Market, Arts Council of White Lake-Nuveen Center, Muskegon Museum of Art, Art Cats Gallery, Disability Network of West Michigan and Read Muskegon. The small bags of free chalk will also be available at the information booths throughout the festival. All chalk is available while supplies last and only ONE BAG per person. Event organizers also encourage the community to bring their own chalk as well. Lot's of fun for kids and families. That's the loud stuff.
Quietly, you might not know that the LAF carbon foot print is shrinking. Yes, recycling and composting is going on all over the place at the festival with the DTE Energy Foundation Keepin' it Green. Judging of artwork is happening and of course people's choice awards are being chosen in all kinds of categories. Quietly too, and what you might not see directly.... the impact you may have on just stopping by to see what an artisan or crafter is doing or selling. What inspires them? What pushes them to create? Where are then from? What brought them to Muskegon? Then, the ultimate approval...a purchase. The hours spent creating and hoping that what you've made will be of value to someone else, even if if's a hand knit dish rag....your purchase of that validates someone else's effort. That's an amazing gift.
Carla Flanders is at the front of the Lakeshore Art Festival through her company CMF Marketing and Events. She works in conjunction with the City of Muskegon to bring this rapidly growing and highly recognized event to life year after year for the enjoyment of us all, let's get the 4-1-1 in the 231 on the LAF 2022!
It's a busy Summer. Resolve yourself to that fact and get out there and live!! We've come SO far from the days when we got one stretch of concerts over the 4th of July and that was that. The work, drive and determination of so many people and the contributions of all, large and small have gotten us to the point we are and that heartbeat is getting louder. That heartbeat too....it's echoing further out and into communities that had been nothing but dismissive of us in the past and are now saying...."Hey, what do they have going on in Muskegon?" We have it all going on in Muskegon and we're only warming up. See you at the Lakeshore Art Festival on June 25th and 26th.