Great Lakes Folk Festival to kick off Friday
The MSU Museum's annual Great Lakes Folk Festival is coming to downtown East Lansing on Aug. 7-9 and will showcase a unique combination of music, art and culture from all over the nation and the world.
The event is currently scheduled to begin on Friday at 6 p.m. with the festival kick-off and will conclude at 5 p.m. Sunday afternoon, when the Tannahill Weavers, a band formed in 1968 in Paisley, Scotland, close things out.
"It's pretty much a year-round undertaking to plan the event," said MSU Museum Acting Director Lora Helou, who went on to compare the Great Lakes Folk Festival to essentially taking an entire museum and putting it out on the street.
Helou said the MSU Museum has been producing similar events since 1987, but began hosting the Great Lakes Folk Festival in 2002.
Helou said the layout for the festival is similar to that of the East Lansing Art Festival. Tents and stages will be set up at the corner of M.A.C and Albert Avenue, in addition to other parts of the festival taking place along Abbot Road.
Although the Great Lakes Folk Festival features artists and acts from all over the world, there are still local acts with MSU ties, such as Molly McBride.
McBride is an MSU alumna who will be leading two sessions at this year's folk festival — one titled "Into the Archives," a session about audio recording of music in the MSU Museum's collection, is currently scheduled for noon on Saturday, and another titled "Old Time Jam," scheduled for 5:30 - 7 p.m. on Saturday.
This year the Great Lakes Folk Festival will also feature a special arts and health program, co-curated by Clare Luz of the MSU College of Human Medicine and Marsha MacDowell, curator of Folk Arts at the MSU Museum and professor in the Department of Art and Art History.
MacDowell said there will be numerous parts of the festival that will bring art and health together. These include quilts made by a woman named Bobbie Slider for cancer patients at the MSU Breslin Cancer Center, candles made by the Lansing Area AIDS Network to memorialize those who have died of AIDS, as well as on-stage sessions given throughout the weekend which relate art and health.
"All of this is to show art is a powerful tool for coping with, advocating for and relating to health," MacDowell said.