54th Festival marks beginning of Summers

    Time honored event at Calder Plaza has new Executive Director
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    A band performs on the Calder Stage at Festival of the Arts. Courtesy photo.

    Art, music, dance, food and lots of fun await at the 2023 Festival of the Arts in Calder Plaza, which starts Friday, June 2.

    In 1969, Alexander Calder’s sculpture La Grande Vitesse was installed in front of City Hall in downtown Grand Rapids. A celebration a year later commemorating the installation of “The Calder” is said to have served as the inspiration for Festival of the Arts – a yearly event that, ever since, has marked the start of Grand Rapids’ summers.

    New executive director, Missy Summers, was appointed in January and now leads the Festival of the Arts in this, its 54th year.

    Festival of the Arts Executive Director Missy Summers.

    “I am excited to join the team at Festival of the Arts. I have deep passion and love for volunteering,” said Summers, who – along with hundreds of volunteers – will bring art, music, dance, food and other activities to Calder Plaza June 2, 3 and 4.

    The three-day family friendly event is free and features several performance stages, a juried arts exhibition and dozens of food booths. The festival also offers creative activities for children and adults to enjoy with opportunities to purchase art from many West Michigan artists.

    For more information visit festivalgr.org.

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    Lisa Enos is the editor of Grand Rapids Magazine. Email Lisa at lenos at hour-media dot com.
    Ever since Pasha Shipp could talk, she's been dreaming up colorful stories. Fantasy creatures, mysterious kingdoms, enchanted forests, you name it. As she reached adulthood, she decided to take the magic out of her head and put it down on paper. Pasha has been writing for Grand Rapids Magazine since November 2015, and has loved every minute of it. She has a master's degree in Communication and a bachelor's degree in Film Studies from Grand Valley State University and Western Michigan University respectively. When she isn't daydreaming and writing stories for the magazine, she's exploring the many hidden treasures of Grand Rapids with her fiancé.