Festival of Banners now taking submissions

The Mt. Pleasant-based arts organization Art Reach of Mid Michigan has once again opened up submissions for the annual Festival of Banners.

This is the twelfth year for the event, which invites the entire community to submit their designs for the more than 300 banners that will don the street poles of Mt. Pleasant and its surrounding communities.

This year’s theme is Art in Nature.

"The Festival of Banners is an amazing collaboration project. The goal is to beautify the area with an infusion of public art, and we rely on our partners," says Amy Powell, executive director for Art Reach.

"The Banners program truly allows us to keep the arts alive and accessible for everyone. By offering the opportunity at no cost to those under 18 and over 65, we’re giving access to an abundance of artists."

Artists professional, amateur, or otherwise have until Friday, Feb. 21, to submit their designs.

Adult artists pay $25 to paint their banners, which they then keep once the festival is over. Artists between the ages of 8 and 18 years old, and artists over 65 years old paint their banners for free.

Organizations and businesses may place their name and logo on a banner for $150, or for $125 if they design and paint the banner themselves.

The banners will fly throughout downtown Mt. Pleasant, the Emergency Department at McLaren Central Michigan, Pickard Street in Union Township, and in the Village of Shepherd from May through November.

"About 340 banners are painted annually, and many of the banners are designed and painted by multiple artists. So the reach to artists is well beyond 500," Powell says.

"Although we use MDOT traffic counts and ER visits to calculate the reach of the program, we are probably underestimating the actual number of people viewing the public art."

Visit Art Reach of Mid Michigan online for submission guidelines.

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