Calder Stage

Ottawa Avenue during festival

The Mission of festival of the arts in Grand Rapids is to:

Showcase the arts in West Michigan. Build public appreciation for the quality of life provided by area cultural institutions . Retain the original concept of a nonprofit, , non-commercial, volunteer-run, free community event . Make the arts accessible to all, regardless of age, race, gender, or economic circumstance.

2016 will be the 47th Festival of the Arts, making it one of the longest-running festivals in the state. Festival always takes place the first full weekend in June in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan. The 2016 dates are June 3-4-5.

Festival of the Arts is a community celebration in downtown Grand Rapids, featuring arts, entertainment, food and fun activities for the entire family.

  • All Festival performances, exhibits and activities are free, thanks to generous donations by local organizations, companies and individuals.
  • Six indoor or outdoor stages with music of all types, plus dance, theatre, and more. Enjoy poetry, films, storytelling, and lots of art activities!


Come hungry!

  • Throughout Festival grounds, you’ll find dozens of food booths operated by local nonprofit organizations.
  • Ethnic specialties, desserts, “kid food”- you name it, we serve it.


Festival offers a world of artistic possibilities:

  • The Festival Regional Art Exhibition is a juried show, featuring the works of West Michigan’s finest artists.
  • Don’t miss the Youth Art Exhibit displaying artwork from students of all ages.
  • Interested in buying art? Choices abound at the Art Sales Tents on Calder Plaza.
  • Maybe you’d like to create your own art? We’ll provide you with the supplies – you bring the creativity!


For the kids, Festival offers lots of activities and performances geared for all ages.

We have something for everyone at Festival of the Arts.

Hope to see you June 3-4-5  in downtown Grand Rapids!

History of festival of the arts

Find out more about Festival’s history »