A celebration of innovation

Confluence Fest to return to Rosa Parks Circle in September
Students show off their robotic creations in a parade at Confluence 2023. Courtesy photo.

Confluence — the annual festival that celebrates innovation in art, music, science, and tech — will return to downtown Grand Rapids this fall. The free event is scheduled to take place during the second weekend of ArtPrize at Rosa Parks Circle on Sept 20–21, 2024.

Founded in 2021, with a mission to provides a fun and engaging gateway into the innovation that is shaping the ever-evolving world, Confluence hosts esports tournaments, a Robotics Expo, a makers expo and STEAM-based activities for kids of all ages.

Confluence hosts a yearly Esports competition. Courtesy photo.

“WGVU sees Confluence as a space where our community comes together to not only celebrate innovation, but to inspire our youngest to our most tech savvy to be a part of creating the West Michigan of tomorrow,” said James Rademaker, General Manager of WGVU Public Media. “This is a space WGVU wants to be in.” WGVU Public Media is the Early Childhood Sponsor of Confluence 2024. Additionally, Atomic Object, Ferris State University, Grand Rapids Art Museum, Grand Rapids Community College, Grand Valley State University, Meijer, Mission Design & Automation, Steelcase, and a slew of others are partnering with the innovative two-day event, now in its fourth year.

Confluence opening party 2023. Courtesy photo.

“The evolution and growth of Confluence has been extraordinary and we’re thankful for the community’s incredible support,” said Brian Cohen, Executive Director of the festival. “We’re excited to contribute to the cultural life of the region in ways that spark the imagination, foster a sense of curiosity, and demonstrate the possibility and potential of innovation in its many forms.”

A free party featuring AI-powered art activations, gallery-style fashion presentations with local designers, culinary creations, live musical performances and other surprises will kick off the festival on Friday, Sept. 20. For complete details on all areas of the festival, visit www.confluencefest.com.


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