Festival Of The ArtsPO Box 68440, Grand Rapids, MI 49516
Back in 1969, when the Calder stabilethe big red steel artwork in front of City Hall in downtown Grand Rapidswas first installed, people started thinking, "hey, we need an art festival to celebrate Alexander Calder's work. More importantly, we need an arts festival to celebrate the arts in West Michigan. So, in 1970, Festival was born: A three-day arts celebration, then sponsored by the Arts Council of Greater Grand Rapids, and held the first full weekend in June in downtown Grand Rapids. That first Festival was held right on Calder Plazano streets were closed, because there were only two stages and a few food booths. From there, Festival has grown to be its own nonprofit organization, encompassing almost all of downtown Grand Rapids with six performance stages, lots and lots of food booths offering ethnic delights of all kinds, singers, dancers, thespians, visual artists, and performers from all over West Michigan, more than 20,000 hard-working volunteers, and over half a million people in attendance.