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The Festive Lens: Photos from the 2010 Great Lakes Folk Festival

MSU Museum in the community
The Festive Lens: Photos from the 2010 Great Lakes Folk Festival
Hannah Community Center: Jan. 2 - Feb. 1, 2011
[Also planned: MSU Museum Community Gallery: April 3 - June 30, 2011

The Public Art Gallery at the East Lansing Hannah Community Center presents the stirring sights from the popular folk festival in, "The Festive Lens: Photos from The 2010 Great Lakes Folk Festival Exhibition." The exhibit, developed by the Michigan State University Museum, will run from Jan. 2 - Feb. 1, 2011 -- with an opening public reception on Sunday, Jan. 2, from 1 - 2 p.m.

The Great Lakes Folk Festival, produced by the MSU Museum, showcases the traditional cultural treasures
of the nation's Upper Midwest and a sampling of the best of traditional artists from around the country and the world. (The 2010 festival was held on Aug. 13-15 in downtown East Lansing.)

"The festival encourages cross-cultural understanding of our diverse society through the presentation of musicians, dancers, cooks, storytellers and craftspeople whose traditions are rooted in their communities in Michigan, the United States, and around the world," explains GLFF Founding Director C. Kurt Dewhurst, MSU Museum curator of folklife and cultural heritage and director of Arts and Cultural Initiatives, University Outreach & Engagement.

The Great Lakes Folk Festival included nearly 100 musicians and dancers. Also featured were traditional and other food vendors, craft vendors and many other individual artists/demonstrators, along with a children's hands-on activity area, crafts demonstrations, a new "Grassroots Green" program that featured Folk Arts Marketplace goods and narrative presentations and the MSU Bookfest program, produced by MSU Press.

Every year since 1987, the MSU Museum has produced a folk festival - first on campus and now in downtown East Lansing -- that energizes and educates 90,000 annual visitors. Under the direction of the MSU Museum's Michigan Traditional Arts Program -- a statewide partnership program with the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs -- the festival also represents partnerships of civic, business, education and arts agencies. The selection of photos for this new exhibit comes from two MSU Museum photographers as well as two festival volunteer photographers and provides a glimpse into the sights and encounters of the 2010 Great Lakes Folk Festival.

"Each photographer was asked to select some of their favorite images to convey the living lessons of this annual major MSU Museum educational community engagement program," Dewhurst notes.

The four photographers are: David Cooper, director of MSU's Public Humanities Collaborative; Raymond Holt, owner of VideoGraph; Patrick T. Power, GLFF music coordinator; and Pearl Y. Wong, MSU Museum collections coordinator. These and other photographs become part of the Folklife Archives of the MSU Museumm and the festival will truly live on in these festive images.

Learn more about the MSU Museum's Great Lakes Folk Festival and plans for the 2011 event (Aug. 12-14): http://www.greatlakesfolkfest.net .

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Photo by Patrick T. Power.