Thousands gather for East Lansing Art Festival and MSU Craft Fair

Published: May. 20, 2023 at 9:16 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

EAST LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - From pottery to painting, theater to live music, downtown East Lansing has a little something for everyone on Saturday.

For six decades, the East Lansing Art Festival and Michigan State University Craft Fair have joined forces to host a weekend of arts, eats, and entertainment. Many artists said their work had a deeper meaning.

For Jenna Wood, it goes back several generations.

“All these techniques have been around since pre-contact,” said Wood.

As an indigenous woman, Wood understood the strong cultural ties between weaving and the Anishinaabe. The same can not be said for the people passing by her tent. She hopes to demonstrate and educate.

“Like being able to come here and talk a little bit more about my work, and the deep, deep-rooted history behind it is a privilege, and I’m glad I could be here,” said Wood.

Scattered amongst the tents full of handmade wares, there were a number of local food trucks and neighborhood organizations. With all of these artists, performers, and foodies coming together, the East Lansing Art Festival and MSU Craft Fair are bringing creativity and community. This included making these events accessible for people of all abilities.

For the first time, The East Lansing Art Festival welcomed sign language interpreters during live performances. They said it is an easy way to make every community member feel welcome.

“At the end of the day, making sure that everyone can be equal participants in what’s happening around them is vital,” said Elizabeth Andrews from Interpreting for the Community.

MSU and the City of East Lansing may seem worlds away, but it is more like a few hundred feet. Craft fair organizers said these events give people the chance to explore a new side of town.

“Maybe people, if they don’t know the campus, wouldn’t walk onto it, and maybe our students wouldn’t walk onto East Lansing that far, but it helps pull people into both communities,” said Craft Fair Director Sara Stratilatov.

It was the 60th year of the East Lansing Art Festival. Borth the Art Fest and the MSY Craft Fair will continue Sunday, May 21 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Subscribe to our News 10 newsletter and receive the latest local news and weather straight to your email every morning.