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Issue: 12  January 2016
Dear Friends,

I hope you all enjoyed your holiday season to the fullest and are getting back in the swing of things. The office has been busy with new business and marketing. Our Buyers' Guide and Calendar of Events Brochure are both in the making. We will be going to print soon for these publications and we cannot wait to showcase all of you! 
Looking forward to 2016.

Party On  ~ MI Friends!

Sue Bila, CFEE
Words of Wisdom

Larry Nielsen, Manager
Village of Paw Paw

Seven words of organizational doom:
"But we've always done it that way."

Featured Festival:
Noquemanan Ski Marathon
Marquette, January 22 - 24, 2016
Noquemanon 2015
Photo Credit: Andy Gregg,
Described by some as "the most beautiful trail I have ever skied on," by others as "never dull," and by a few as "deceptively tough." One thing, however, remains constant: the beautifully rugged U.P. wilderness that surrounds skiers throughout the course.

The 18th Annual Noquemanon Ski Marathon will be kicking off Friday, January 22 with the Junior Noque at the Forestville Trail head. All ski racing events will take place on Saturday, January 23 with awards beginning at 5pm. Then on Sunday, January 24 is the Wild Side of the Noque with skijor, snowhsoe, and snowbike races.

Although the early season weather has been poor for snow conditions the race committee is confident the course will be prepped and ready to go on race day. Course improvements have been the top priority. These are being done to enhance the race experience and improve course safety. The scope of the project will be spread out over a three year time frame, but racers can expect to see notable improvements this season.
The race committee is pleased to announce the support from three major sponsors this year. Title sponsor for this year's Noquemanon Ski Marathon is Upper Peninsula Health System, with mBank and Frei Chevrolet being major co-sponsors.
Learn more about the Noquemanon Ski Marathon

Apply for Funding: MCACA 
New Leaders Arts Council of Michigan
Deadline: February 26, 2016
Through the New Leaders Arts Council of Michigan advisory group, grants are offered to support projects or collaborations focusing on the retention and community engagement of young people, 14-35 years old, in Michigan through arts and culture. Funding is available for projects that involve the creative mentorship of young people, creative ideas or projects young people are already working on, ideas young people have about how to make their community a better place, and projects that use arts and culture to empower young people in Michigan; support an atmosphere of entrepreneurship and creativity; and encourage the retention of young people in their communities. Learn more about the New Leaders Arts Council of Michigan by visiting their Facebook page.  

Keys to writing a successful grant:
  • Read the guidelines in FULL
  • Follow page limit instructions
  • Answer each section to its fullest
  • Make the narrative easy to read with proper grammar, matching fonts, bullets, and comprehensive information
  • Match the budget to the narrative
  • Be 100% truthful in each section
  • USE the attachments - include photos, testimonials, impressive numbers from previous events
If you are applying for NLACM funding, view the FY15 New Leaders grant workshop presentation. For ANY and all questions, please do not hesitate to contact Chad Badgero of MCACA at or 517.373.8669. 


Who's Talking Now?
Sophia Freni, Director of Events
Sophia Freni, Greater Brighton Chamber of Commerce 
Sophia Freni is coming up on her 5th event season as the Director of Events at the Greater Brighton Area Chamber of Commerce. The mission of the Chamber is to promote opportunities for a prosperous business community. Sophia estimates that through the major Chamber civic events they see over 90,000 visitors annually. 

Sophia values the Chamber members and turns to MFEA resources to best serve her members and community. "If we can't locate what we need, my second line of resource is always the MFEA Buyers' Guide. I trust the members there as well and know I will get top quality service," says Sophia. She also references the Festivals-Fairs-Events brochure on a regular basis because it keeps her "up to date and current on all the happenings around the state. I look forward to the final edition each year and hand them out in our visitor bags."

As many MFEA members have expressed, Sophia also is seeking ways to specifically engage youth and young professionals in Chamber events. She states "our volunteer demographics show some weakness among twenty and thirty somethings. These are the future of our community, not just with events and volunteerism, but with long term economic growth and development. If we are able to reach them during this time of personal growth, by engaging and nurturing their talents, we are creating a lifelong commitment and passion for our community."

"Thanks for all you do!! I appreciate all your hard work and organization." -Sophia Freni to MFEA staff.

The Greater Brighton Area Chamber of Commerce serves three MFEA members,  Brighton Fine Arts & Acoustic Music Festival Brighton's Smokin' Jazz & Barbecue Blues Festival, and  Pinckney Art in the Park

Performance of the Week
January overview

These groups saw at least a 15% increase of views on our social media sites in just one week by simply sending us an email! The acts and entertainment below provided MFEA with a video, brief description, times and locations, contact information including booking information, website, and Facebook page, to be featured as the "Performance of the Week" on the MFEA social media sites.  Check your fellow acts and entertainment vendors featured in January! 

JDS Deluxe, North Branch, MI
Taylor Taylor, Lansing, MI
She-Bop and the Riff Raff, Ann Arbor, MI

Email Sabrina to be included in a future Performance of the Week!

Free Promotional Opportunity
MFEA social media program
We are looking to promote and showcase each of our members using social media. We will be hosting a program featuring the below. MFEA will be happy to share and assist with promoting any materials you may have. Please email your information or any other ideas to

Performance of the Week
Featuring our Acts and Entertainers
Please share a video, brief description, upcoming performance dates, times and locations, contact information including booking information, website, Facebook page and anything else you would like to include.

Vendor of the Week 
Please share any images, videos or posts you would MFEA to feature about your businesses, services, specials or offerings. Include your contact information.

Festival, Fair and Events Feature
Please share any pictures, videos, articles, news releases, stories that you would like posted. 

MI Main Attractions
We welcome any fun or exciting information regarding these destinations!

Featured Vendor:
Kari Holmes & the Modern Day Drifters
Kari Holmes
Photo Credit: Mark Nader
Just hit national country radio

Kari Holmes is a singer/songwriter from the Lansing area. In October, she went down to Nashville and signed with HMG Nashville and her first new single, "Something New," just hit national country radio! 


"I am just so blessed to be given this opportunity! I have been working so hard, playing over 120 performances a year, booking 95% of the shows myself, self promoting, and everything else that goes along with owning your own business, so I am beyond excited to see my hard work paying off!" says Kari.


She has just started her first radio tour where she has always wanted to visit, New York! She describes the beginning of her trip, "what a beautiful, snowy, dangerous drive it was getting there! We got stuck trying to drive up a hill! I've already learned so many new things, and had so much fun interviewing and performing! Next stop, Tenessee!"


Kari has one requests for all MFEA members, "If I could ask people to do one thing for me, please call your local radio stations and request my new single, 'Something New!' Let's get it to be #1 on the charts! I know for a fact that a lot of girls can relate to the song! I'd like to thank everyone who has been with me throughout my journey! your love and support is why I get to do what I love!"


Check out which radio stations are playing Something New!

Become a Member
Please SHARE!
Below are the groups who can become a member of the Michigan Festivals & Events Association. Each listing will take you to a list of benefits - Why should you join? We encourage you to share with your friends and colleagues who would be the perfect fit for MFEA!
MI Main Attractions by MFEA Invitation Only

Looking for Summer Help?
CMU Recreation Summer Job Fair: February 9, 2016 
Summer Job Fair
If you are looking for young, fresh energy on your festival team? Consider registering to represent your opportunities at the Central Michigan University recreation summer job fair! Many students are seeking an internship or work for the summer months to satisfy credits, degree requirements, or simply fill time during summer break.

The event will be held on Tuesday, February 9 from 11am to 3pm in the University Center Rotunda in Mount Pleasant. Complete the registration form to be included in the summer job fair. For questions, please contact the coordinator at CMU via email.

Intimidation of Social Media
Social media overload
Social Media Overload
Announcing our Social Media Articles
Social Media is an ever changing and growing marketing tool. We are all learning and MFEA is here to help! We want to encourage you to use social media as this is a FREE way to advertise. 

Social media can be a daunting and foreign world, so we are starting a social media column in our monthly newsletters to provide you with some basic and easy ways to utilize all of the social media tools at your disposal.

Look for an article each month to assist with promoting and marketing your business or upcoming event!

Our Mission

To Support and promote festivals, fairs, events, attractions, suppliers and tourism through education, marketing and networking for the success of our members.

Ideas Shared...Visions Formed...A New Level!