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Muskegon’s Lakeshore Art Festival: National Recognition, Economic Impact and Sustainability Report

After the Lakeshore Art Festival cancellation in 2020 due to Covid-19, the fine art and craft show is happy to announce overall successful results from the 2021 event that took place June 26 and 27.

National Recognition: The Lakeshore Art Festival is being celebrated by Sunshine Artist magazine, www.sunshineartist.com, in their annual 200 Best shows in the country. This year’s issue celebrates the best shows of the past 10 years: 2010 to 2020.

The Lakeshore Art Festival ranked # 89 in the Classic and Contemporary Craft Category. The Sunshine Artist 200 Best is split into two categories: Fine Art and Design for events that focus on unique fine-art pieces, and Classic and Contemporary Craft for events that focus on traditional or modern craft and production work.

Artists and craftspeople are typically asked to cast their votes each spring for the 200 Best shows list. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic’s effect on the industry, Sunshine Artist decided to tabulate the best shows of the last decade. Sunshine Artist’s annual 200 Best focuses solely on artist show revenue, because that is the most objective indicator of a show’s future success.

Carla Flanders, Lakeshore Art Festival Director commented, “The festival has come a long way in the 9 years since its re-birth and launch into our revitalized downtown. The Sunshine Artist 200 Best recognition for the last decade is extra special since we were not able to hold the Lakeshore Art Festival in 2020 and the festival is less than 10 years old. That is quite an accomplishment! Plus, this award is voted on by the artists and craftspeople that attend our show, demonstrating that not only are the exhibitors happy, but that our guests are happily buying handmade goods!”

Economic Impact: Each year the Lakeshore Art Festival works with Visit Muskegon, the county’s convention and visitors bureau, to generate economic impact estimates for the event. These estimates are based on number of attendees, exhibitors, food booths, hotel stays, sales generated, etc. Data is gathered through surveys, heat maps, income feedback and industry indicators, then tabulated through a series of formulas. The 2021 economic impact generated by the Lakeshore Art Festival is estimated at $448,769, bringing the total economic impact since the festival’s inception in 2013 to $7.5 million dollars.*

“While these economic impact estimates tend to be conservative, the Lakeshore Art Festival continues to make a significant impact on the greater Muskegon area,” said Bob Lukens, director of Visit Muskegon. “Not only does the Lakeshore Art Festival boost local tourism, but it leaves a lasting impression on visitors who return to our community time and time again for this exceptional event.”

Sustainability Report: While the Lakeshore Art Festival is proud of its economic impact numbers, the event tends to look at more than just dollars when it looks at the success of the event. In collaboration with Schupan Recycling, the Lakeshore Art Festival has created a Sustainability Report that recognizes the building blocks for a stronger Muskegon, including benefits to community, environment and local economy. This year’s report was made possible through a grant from the DTE Foundation and can be found here.

Jessica Loding, Director of Events & Strategic Partnerships at Schupan stated, “The Lakeshore Art Festival does one of the best jobs in the State of Michigan at incorporating sustainability, in its entirety, [environmentally, socially and economically] – throughout its operation.”

More about the Lakeshore Art Festival: The 2022 dates are June 25 and 26. The annual art festival brings thousands of guests, hundreds of fine art and craft exhibitors, a multitude of food vendors, children’s activities, street performers and art installations to Downtown Muskegon. The festival ranks as one of the Top 200 Best in the Country by Sunshine Artist Magazine, has been recognized as People’s Choice Award: #1 Art Festival in West Michigan and as one of the Best Art Fairs in America by ArtFairCalendar.com. Since 2013, the Lakeshore Art Festival has brought in over $7.5 million dollars to the Muskegon Lakeshore area and supported a number of local non-profits.

Learn more about the Lakeshore Art Festival sponsorship or volunteer opportunities at: www.lakeshoreartfestival.org or director@lakeshoreartfestival.org. Follow us on Facebook for the latest updates.

*Economic impact multi-year total does not include 2020, when festival was canceled due to the pandemic.