Great Lakes Folk Festival Marketplace: Call for Vendors

The marketplace at the Great Lakes Folk Festival features hand-made goods with folk wisdom and functionality, Aug. 11 – 13 in downtown East Lansing.

Interested vendors should go to and search for Great Lakes Folk Festival 2017 or click here!   ZAPP is an online application system that allows artists to upload high-resolution digital images of their artwork and apply to participating art shows, festivals, and fairs.  The application deadline is July 15, 2017.

Juried by the MSU Museum staff, the marketplace showcases more than 25 vendors who specialize in traditional/folk or green arts.  Folk or traditional art is generally learned by example from a family or community member, through imitation and repetition, rather than through formal instruction such as classes or workshops. Traditional art, as practiced by ethnic, regional, occupational, familial, and religious groups, refers to the traditional expressions through which these communities maintain and pass on their shared sense of beauty, identity, and values.  Green artists take used or recycled materials and upcycle them to make art or functional objects. The products convey the artists’ wisdom, skill and creativity for conserving the planet and using materials in a sometimes recognizable, and sometimes surprising way.

The Great Lakes Folk Festival showcases the traditional cultural treasures of the nation’s Upper Midwest and a sampling of the best of traditional artists from around the country and the world.  The festival encourages cross-cultural understanding of our diverse society through the presentation of musicians, dancers, cooks, storytellers and craftspeople whose traditions are rooted in their communities. The festival includes nearly 100 musicians or dancers in groups, who perform at least twice and sometimes as many as four times over the weekend. Also featured are Michigan food vendors, craft vendors and many other individual artists/demonstrators. There are four performance stages, a children’s hands-on activity area, demonstration area, and the folk arts marketplace. In addition there are special programs every year, which feature some aspect of traditional culture.

GLFF runs Aug. 11-13 and marketplace hours are Friday, Aug. 11, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.; Saturday, Aug. 12, noon – 6:00 p.m.; and Sunday, Aug. 13, noon – 6 p.m. For more information please contact Lynne Swanson ( (517-355-3304).

The Great Lakes Folk Festival is presented by the Michigan State University Museum, Michigan’s first Smithsonian affiliate. The MSU Museum’s Michigan Traditional Arts Program researches, documents, preserves, and presents our shared heritage and cultural expressions.