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Arts Night Out and Scrapfest make Old Town a livewire

Friday, July 13


It’s Old Town’s ultimate sampler on Friday:

Arts Night Out and Scrapfest.

With local artists showcased in 17 local businesses and an armada of freshly forged scrap metal sculptures, make room in your calendar and update your tetanus vaccinations for a Friday night that demonstrates Lansing’s community zeal.

Arts Night Out coordinator Taylor Rupp said the event is about putting power in the hands of Old Town’s businesses.

“We are really trying to give all of these businesses the ownership to bring in whoever they want and make it whatever type of event they want,” said Rupp. “We will promote it and they will share it out to all of their audiences. We really want it to be this cross marketing event.”

Rupp said that the event isn’t limited to traditional art forms. “We try to get more businesses that aren’t necessarily art related as well like Where The Wild Things Bloom, a florist shop,” said Rupp. “We really want all of those businesses to participate and become these nontraditional art venues to give people the opportunity to see these new businesses that they haven’t before.”

Exhibiting at the MICA Gallery, 1210 Turner St., during Arts Night Out is the photography of Leonard Freed, a photojournalist that sought to capture the experience of being black in America after seeing an African-American soldier guarding the Berlin Wall. It features 35 photos from Freed’s book, “Black in America.” Nicholas Mercuro, exhibit curator and professor of law and economics at MSU, said that these photos are an intimate portrait of the civil rights movement.

“Some are from New York and some are from the South and you can see the storyline if you look at them closely” said Mercuro. “I believe this started photojournalism. If he wasn’t the first, he certainly popularized the idea of adding words and a story to the pictures.”

Mercuro said that these pictures are still relevant to being black in America today. “You just don’t see the signs up anymore,” said Mercuro. As part of MSU’s Project 50/60 on the civil rights movement, Mercuro said, “This was very relevant to those times. He made you think about what was there, what he saw.”

Bringing the heavy metal to Old Town is this year’s 22 artistic teams for Scrapfest. Using scrap metal from Friedland Industries at the start of June, these artists have been hard at work welding, brazing, forgingand bolting their scrap for their chance to win the 2018 ScrapFest Sculpture People’s Choice Award. Take a look at the 2018 entries and be sure to stop in and get a “scrappy cocktail” featured at Old Town’s eateries.

Rupp said Arts Night Out is a concept that has potential to expand. “We’ve started partnering and giving other neighborhoods and cities the opportunity to franchise the event,” said Rupp. “We already franchised it out to St. Johns and Charlotte. For 2019, we are looking to franchise it further so be on the lookout for more events in the greater Lansing area, not just Old Town.”

Arts Night Out & Scrapfest

Arts Night Out: Friday, July 13 myartsnightout.com Old Town Lansing Starting at 5 p.m. Scrapfest: Friday 6-10 p.m. Saturday Noon-10 p.m.


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