The idea grew out of and gained momentum through workshops offered by the Barry County Tourism Council. The tour expanded to the Lakeshore, partnering with the Allegan County Tourism Council in year two. Arts and Eats is planned and launched by the energy, donated time, and generosity of partner organizations including Barry Community Foundation, Kalamazoo County, Michigan State University Extension, Mountain to Lake Creatives, Richland Area Community Center, and the Thornapple Arts Council. Art, food and farm sites on the tour contribute as partners as well.
We invite you to support the advertisers on the map and online--these are folks and organizations who support business connections and celebration of local and rural culture.
Arts and Eats is modeled after a number of successful tours nationwide including Blue Coast Artists and Harvest Tour (on Michigan’s western shore), the High Road Artist Tour in rural northern New Mexico, Toe River Studio Tour near Asheville, North Carolina, and the Fall Art Tour in Wisconsin. The intention is to connect Arts and Eats in 2016 to similar tours in the region to cross-promote events and build Michigan as a cultural arts and local food destination.
Blue Coast Artists: http://www.bluecoastartists.net/
High Road Artisan Tour: http://highroadnewmexico.com/
Toe River Studio Tour: http://www.toeriverarts.org/studio-tour/
Fall Art Tour in Wisconsin: http://fallarttour.com/
There are lots of ways to become involved in Arts and Eats. If you are an artist, apply to show (and sell) your art on the tour either in your studio or at one of the central “gallery” sites. If you own an eatery plan to showcase some menu items that use locally grown food and feature the producer, and apply for a spot on the map. If you farm and have specialty agricultural products and services (food, fiber, llamas, you name it), you can open your barn doors to educate people about rural life and your agricultural business. Arts and Eats supports Michigan artists, businesses, and growers and encourages connections between for a more thriving and vibrant local economy.
Like the idea? Consider being a sponsor or taking out an ad on the website or on the map/guide. Show your support of local culture and enterprise and we will post your name and logo. See the sponsor and ad section for more info.
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