March 29 2010 12:00 AM

Wednesday concert will help raise funds for May 22-23 event

East Lansing’s popular annual
summer art festival is still two months away, but enthusiasts looking for an
early taste of the festival will get their chance this week.

The 47th annual East
Lansing Art Festival will be holding a benefit concert Wednesday, March 31 at
Dublin Square in East Lansing. The benefit will feature four local acts
performing live music and a percentage of restaurant’s sales earned during the
benefit will help underwrite the summer festival.

Wanda Degen, the festival’s main
stage performance coordinator, said the festival receives a lot of support from
the community but as economic times are tough, arts organizations suffer a lack
of sponsorship. That is why Degen organized the benefit and enlisted the help
of the local music community to support the festival.

The festival starts at 4 p.m. and
runs until 10 p.m. 

The Hank Williams Review will kick
the performances off at 5 p.m. The Review is the same band featured in the 2009
Lansing Community College play Hank Williams: Lost Highway. The band will also be featured on the festival’s
main stage this summer

Starting at 6:15 p.m., Degen along
with Doug Berch and Pooh Stevenson will treat benefit-goers to an
all-instrumental set featuring Celtic and Appalachian style music.

Following Degen and crew,
singer-songwriters Jen Sygit and Sam Corbin will perform at 7:30 p.m. The duo
will perform roots-based folk music together, representative of both of their
personal styles.

Wrapping up the benefit is the
nationally renowned band Steppin' In It featuring Rachael Davis. The
Lansing-based band will start at 9 p.m. and will entertain the crowd with their
own style of folk and blues. Steppin’ In It featuring Rachael Davis will also
perform on the festival’s main stage this summer.

Degen said the evening is based
around folk music but the festival itself has a wide range of artists
performing. Everyone playing the benefit will play at the festival or has
played in the past.

The East Lansing Art Festival is
one of Lansing’s oldest celebration of the arts, established in 1964. Each year
the festival attracts 70,000-80,000 attendees. This year’s festival takes place
May 22 and 23.

The benefit has no cover charge; however, donations to support the summer festival are welcome.

Dublin Square is located at 327
Abbott Road in East Lansing.