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Community Roots: Selections from the Local Legacies Project
Collage of Local Legacies
Pacific Island Dancers perform on Calder Stage, 1999
Pacific Island Dancers perform on the Calder Stage, 1999. Photo: Kathy Kuhn

Festival of the Arts: The Nation's Largest All-Volunteer Arts Festival

A three-day celebration of the arts taking place during the first full weekend of June each year, it is the nation's largest all-volunteer arts festival. Held in downtown Grand Rapids, this free event attracts more than 500,000 people to the downtown area. Several thousand artists, dancers, musicians, poets, and other performers are showcased with the support of 20,000 volunteers. A wide variety of ethnic food booths are offered as well. The festival takes place in the City-County Plaza, the site of La Grande Vitesse, a gigantic red-orange stabile designed by renowned artist Alexander Calder. The event was first held in 1970 and has grown considerably since then. The project is documented with a 38 page report, photos, newspaper clippings, festival programs, a videotape, festival hats, water bottles, beanie babies, posters, pins, scratch pads, and tee-shirts.

Originally submitted by: Vernon J. Ehlers, Representative (3rd District).

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The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.

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