Applications are being accepted for the 2015 Arts and Eats Tour
Arts and Eats returns to west Michigan for the fifth year, promoting local artists, farms and eateries!
For the fifth consecutive year, Michigan State University Extension will be participating in the planning of the Arts and Eats tour in Southwest Michigan. The tour takes place during the third weekend in October every year, which falls on Oct. 17 and 18 in 2015. While that may seem like a long way off planning is well under way and online applications are live on the website for participating sites to sign up.
The Arts and Eats tour has been promoting the amazing work of local artists, farmers, chefs and artisan food producers of the region for four years. The concept is built around the idea of providing an authentic rural Michigan experience for the urban populations that may not know about the existence of the talented craftsmen, producers, and makers in this area of the state. The planning committee which consists of representatives from the Barry Community Foundation, Thornapple Arts Council, Allegan County, MSU Extension, the Richland Area Community Center and other community volunteers, works to develop a detailed map and guide for the artists, eats and farm sites.
Each year over 50 sites participate in the weekend tour and we have over 1,000 participants from all around the state and region. Many of the sites along the tour are closed to the public during the remainder of the year so this truly is a unique and authentic Michigan experience. It provides an opportunity to enter the home studios of area potters and artists who are creating some of the amazing art that Southwest Michigan is known for. Visitors can stop at farms that are growing fresh produce, raising alpacas for wool, and even producing and processing hops for the area microbrews.
Arts and Eats is currently accepting application on the website for sites interested in participating again this year. The search is also on for new sites that are located in Allegan and Barry Counties that may be great additions to the tour for 2015. The planning committee will be holding an event on Thursday April 16 at Baker Allegan Studios in Allegan, Michigan from 5-7 p.m., for previous participants well as new sites to interact and learn more about what Arts and Eats is. There are others ways for local business or organizations to get involved with the tour as we have advertising and sponsorship options available that help fund the yearly printing of the Map and Guide.