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East Lansing Women in the Arts Festival makes full scale comeback

Courtesy of WITA
An artist at the East Lansing Women in the Arts Festival showcases her wares. The annual event is making a full comeback Nov. 11-12 after scaling back because of the pandemic.

After the pandemic limited its scale and capacity, the East Lansing Women in the Arts Festival is making a full comeback this week. The annual event highlighting women artists runs Friday and Saturday.

Although the festival was never canceled, it was limited by the pandemic. In 2020, organizers held a virtual festival with musicians playing from home and last year, the event was scaled back.

This year marks the festival’s 37th year and organizer Julie Haan said artists are excited to have more participation and to see more people.

“It’s really exciting, it’s exciting to be able to, I think in all of our walks in life, it’s nice to be getting back to some kind of new normal,” she said.

The East Lansing Women in the Arts Festival started as a way to highlight female musicians in the Lansing area, feeling there wasn’t a venture for them, Haan said.

“This group got together and started the Women in the Arts Festival, then it began to involve an artist market so that women of all types of arts would have a place to showcase their wares and their talents,” she said.

With the event back to full capacity, Haan said this year is about reuniting the community including the artists.

“Bands [are coming] together that started in the Lansing area, the Midwest area, and are getting back together after they haven’t played in several years, it should be a really fun show Friday and Saturday night,” she said.

The artist market will feature a variety of vendors and a wide range of goods like herbal soaps, jewelry, artwork and coffee.

“You can find just about anything, it’s a great place to go Christmas shopping,” Haan said.

The event will have a Night Stage featuring Half Looking at 7 p.m. Friday and Nervous But Excited Saturday at 6:30 p.m.

The festival’s artist market opens Friday afternoon at 5 p.m. at Edgewood United Church.

Admission to the market is free, while tickets to evening Night State performances are sold on a sliding scale.

Melorie Begay is WKAR-FM's weekend host and a general assignment reporter.
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