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Festive Images

MSU MUSEUM EXHIBIT SHOWCASES PHOTOS FROM '09 GREAT LAKES FOLK FESTIVAL
Sept. 1 - Oct. 25, 2009
Community Gallery (Ground Floor)

The Michigan State University Museum presents the stirring sights from its popular folk festival in, "Festive Images: The 2009 Great Lakes Folk Festival Exhibition." The exhibit, running Sept. 1 - Oct. 25 in the ground floor Community Gallery, 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 2009 festival was held on Aug. 7-9 in downtown East Lansing.) Photo on the right is by by Patrick T. Power.

"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," explains GLFF Founding Director C. Kurt Dewhurst, MSU Museum curator of folklife and cultural heritage.

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, and crafts marketplace, and a Greater Lansing Arts and Cultural Showcase. In 2009 the special programs were a Fiesta program that featured living Latino cultural traditions and a Young Folk 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 2009 Great Lakes Folk Festival. Photo on the left is by Pearl Yee Wong.

"Each photographer was asked to select some of their favorite images to convey the living lessons of this annual major MSU Museum educational 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 Yee Wong, MSU Museum collections coordinator. These and other photographs become part of the Folklife Archives of the MSU Museum. The festival will truly live on in these festive images.

The MSU Museum's 2010 Great Lakes Folk Festival is planned for Aug. 13-15.