Making the jump to a new location for Arts, Beats & Eats had some feeling a bit undecided. But as the plans for the upcoming festival unfold, there is much to be excited about.
Ford Arts, Beats & Eats presented by Citizens Bank is investing heavily in the quality of life in the community through partnerships with southeast Michigan charitable and cultural entities. Nearly 60 nonprofits will be affiliated with this year’s festival and there will be major new community initiatives related to arts advocacy, hunger relief, environment, health and wellness. There is also an economic development component, with Arts, Beats & Eats promoting Royal Oak shopping, dining and businesses to the hundreds of thousands of people expected to attend the festival.
When I first heard the news, I contacted festival director Jon Witz. Here’s what he had to say:
OCM: Congrats on all the new support. Is this support helping you with your vision of what you’ve wanted this event to be all along?
Jon: It is really tough out there and the way through it are collaborations. Since we adopted that policy last year with our move to Royal Oak, it’s leading to having so many more partners. The festival really focuses on ways to tie corporate sponsors into the festival’s community/non-profit partners. That has really paid a dividend for us.
OCM: Is the new support allowing you to be even more creative as to what you can do to expand the festival and the benefit to the community?
Jon: Yes. Sponsors are now not just a sponsor; they are able to do good in the community with their sponsorship. For example, let’s take a look at the Citizens Bank and Hunger Relief marriage. We brainstormed with Citizens Bank and came up with a great way to utilize the free admission passes we gave them. We put Citizens Bank together with Gleaners. Starting in late July, if you go to a Citizens Bank you can get tickets for free admission. This will benefit Gleaners Community Food Bank by encouraging the public to donate food in collection boxes placed in all 26 of Citizens Bank’s Oakland County locations during the month of August. Donors of at least three non-perishable food items will receive admission tickets to the festival.
Gleaners (and Forgotten Harvest) are not the only regional charities being assisted by the festival. Festival organizers project that more than $200,000 will be raised from combined gate proceeds. The two food banks and 11 other organizations will share those monies.
Stay tuned for more details about the festival as OCM reports on some of the specific family fun activities that will be offered at this year’s Arts, Beats & Eats.
The annual Arts, Beats & Eats, Oakland County’s Taste, Music & Arts Festival, is held over Labor Day weekend, September 3-6, 2010 in downtown Royal Oak, featuring an eclectic music lineup, a nationally recognized juried fine arts show and the finest restaurants in metro Detroit, all in a family friendly atmosphere. The four-day festival will be open from 11am. – 11 p.m. on Friday (with art fair opening at 4 p.m.), 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, and 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. on Labor Day Monday.
For additional information, visit www.artsbeatseats.com, or call 248-334-4600.
For more news and fun happenings in Oakland County, please visit www.OaklandCountyMoms.com.