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Issue: 15 April 2016
Dear Friends,
This month we have been traveling with the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs (MCACA) attending their FREE Grant Writing Workshops. We will be in the Upper Peninsula this week and hope to see some of you there!

We also kicked off the 2016 MFEA Online Auction April 14th for our signature fundraiser. 
All of the proceeds will benefit member volunteer education at the MFEA Annual Convention. Visit the auction now at to see the full list of items. 
We hope you all picked up  The Detroit News and The Detroit Free Press special events tabloid featuring MFEA members Festivals, Fairs, Events, Main Attractions and more that was released April 21, 2016.
MLive Media Group will also be distributing a special events tabloid featuring MFEA members Festivals, Fairs, Events, Main Attractions and more being released May 1, 2016. MLive Media Group covers the eight booth newspapers including: The Ann Arbor News, The Bay City Times, The Flint Journal, The Grand Rapids Press, Jackson Citizen Patriot, Kalamazoo Gazette, Muskegon Chronicle and The Saginaw News.

Party On  ~ MI Friends!
Sue Bila, CFEE
Words of Wisdom

Larry Nielsen, Manager
Village of Paw Paw team

There's nothing like planning a festival to make you to want to punch everyone in the throat. Said the festival Board that didn't build their Board as a "team" first.

Advice Needed!
MFEA Members Helping Members

Do you have a suggestion, experience, or idea to share regarding the inquiry below? If so, please send us your thoughts.

Is there a guideline or formula to determine when a festival can support more than one of a kind vendor. For example, how many kettle corns - how many people to support one, and when to have a second so both are financially successful? Any info you can provide would be helpful. 

Website designed by Northern Michigan Digital

LOVE the web site.
Soooo easy to navigate to EVERYTHING! 
Especially other info on events and activities! 

Mike Smith of the Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival provided us with some positive feedback on the new MFEA webiste! Take a moment to check out the improved, user friendly, and sleek website. averages over 190,000 page views per month and is continuously rising! The website is updated every 24 hours to better serve our members and visitors. Please send any updates to We look forward to keeping your information up to date on our website and value YOUR feedback anytime!

April is National Volunteer Month!
As we know, our festivals and events could not be possible without the tremendous help of volunteers! According to Julia Kathan of Community FoodBank of New Jersey, more than 62 million Americans - 25% of the adult population - give nearly 8 billion hours a year to causes close to their hearts. Scientific evidence shows that volunteering is good for physical and mental health, including lower blood pressure, less stress, and longer lives. Read more about valuing our volunteers here

We would love to hear about a special volunteer or volunteer moment that helps make your festival or event successful! Share you story here.

Who's Talking Now?
Gary Munce
Gary Munce
Gary Munce, Chelsea Area Festivals & Events
In celebration of National Volunteer Month, Ashley Rop, MFEA Board of Directors Treasurer, interviewed Gary Munce to learn about his role an extraordinary volunteer and recent Board Member of Chelsea Area Festivals & Events (CAFE). See the questions and answers below! 

Ashley: What do you do for CAFE as a volunteer?
Gary: Well I started as Musical Entertainment Coordinator -meaning I make recommendations regarding musical entertainment for our three day Sounds and Sights and Festival and assist with audition and selecting musical performers for our summer long Sounds and Sights on Thursday Night series.  Along the way I have had opportunities to help out with operations and logistics, fundraising and public relations. 

Ashley: When did you start volunteering for CAFE? 
Gary: I have been a volunteer for 10 years.

Ashley: Why do you volunteer for CAFE?
Gary: Visual and performing arts have been a part of the human experience since the beginning of time.  I am very fortunate to be a part of a programs that enriches the lives in our community through extraordinary and diverse visual and performing arts experiences.  What could be better than to be a part of something that delights and entertains thousands of people

Ashley: From your perspective, what is the most important thing for you to receive from CAFE as a volunteer?
Gary: As a volunteer I think it is important to know the who, what, when, why, and how of your volunteer position.  When one is freely giving of their time,  it is important to know that your time is being used effectively.  Additionally, volunteering is a significant commitment that you choose to make and it is nice to know that your talents and skills are valued.

Ashley: How does volunteering impact your life?
Gary: Volunteering gives me the opportunity to be an active part of our community.  It is an opportunity to explore new capabilities, enjoy new challenges and to  learn from and work with talented and interesting people.

Ashley: Is there anything you would like to share with MFEA members specially about volunteers and volunteering? 
Each one of us has the ability to make a difference, a difference in the quality of life in our community and in our individual well-being.  It is so rewarding to reach out beyond ourselves and focus on helping, giving to and supporting others.

You're Invited!
May Board Meeting
We would like to invite all of our members to the upcoming Board of Directors Meeting to learn more about the MFEA governance structure and assist in the development of our strategic goals.

Board of Directors Meeting
Friday, May 13 at 3pm
6151 Portage Rd
Portage, MI 49002

Motion to Amend...
Roberts Rules
Robert's Rules of Order: Part 2
Motion to Amend
Motion to Adjourn
Motion to Lay on the Table

What do all of these motions mean and how do they rank, according to Robert's Rules of Order?  There are four types of motions: main motions, subsidiary motions, privileged motions, and incidental motions.

To learn more about motions and their rankings, check out our Robert's Rules of Order cheat sheet! For more information regarding board meetings and Robert's Rules of Order, please contact

Online Auction Open!
The 2016 Michigan Festivals & Events Association Party at MI Place Online Auction is now open.

Proceeds from the online auction will benefit our commitment to education for our members through our MFEA Seminars and Annual Convention. 
Auction items range from beautiful northern Michigan get-a-ways, golf packages, ski packages, unique experiences, made-in-Michigan items and more! So, tell your friends, family, community. Let the bidding begin!

MFEA is still accepting donations to add to the auction. Please contact for more information.

Bid now at

Grant Workshops in Process!
MCACA Program Managers
MFEA partners with MCACA
Sue Bila, President of MFEA, has been traveling across Michigan's lower peninsula with  Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs  (MCACA) Program Managers, Chad Badgero, Jeff Garrett, and Alison Watson  to educate non-profit organizations on completing the MCACA grant applications. 

The last three grant workshops will be held in the northern lower peninsula and upper peninsula:
Funding available for operations, projects, professional development, capital improvements, and mini-grants through your regional re-granting organization. Check out full schedule and details here.

Featured Vendor: 
Empty Canvas
Scott _ Mike McMath
Scott & Mike McMath
Empty Canvas is celebrating 10 years of performing and 5 years as a MFEA member in 2016! Many of you likely experienced Empty Canvas at the 2015 Annual Convention Trade Show, a unique combination of music and art. The lead singer is Mike McMath and is accompanied on guitar by his twin, Scott.  What makes them different from other bands is that Mike is also a professionally trained artist - and he creates an entire painting during the show!  When you book Empty Canvas to perform at your festival, benefit, or special event, YOU get to choose the image that Mike will paint in front of a live audience. At the end of the performance, the image is yours to keep, raffle, or auction -- and the proceeds generated are YOURS.  

Sue Genau, the booking agent for Empty Canvas, testifies that MFEA has had a huge impact on the success of Empty Canvas here in the State of Michigan. She explains that while exhibiting at their first MFEA Annual Convention, they had no idea how helpful MFEA was going to be, but their experience was incredible, everyone was so helpful and supportive, including other exhibitors.  Sue Bila and the rest of the board and staff gave us so many opportunities to perform in really visible ways at every conference we've come to since. Sue also speaks very highly of the friendships Empty Canvas made at that first convention, she says "even though we could view each other as 'competition'.  Instead, we choose to view each other as friends who have a passion for music, and we're all just trying to find a way to be heard."

When asked, is there anything else you would like to share with MFEA members, Sue states, "I think we are all very fortunate to belong to this organization -- it's unique, it's effective, and it's become a family of sorts. I love seeing familiar faces each year who greet us with hugs and smiles, and we'll keep coming back to MFEA Annual Conventions!"

Convention Rates

We always have a great time at the November conferences, and look forward to returning this fall!
- Sue Genau, Empty Canvas

Start booking your room for the 24th Annual Convention at the Radisson Plaza Hotel in Kalamazoo from November 3 through 6, 2016. Call the Radisson to book your room today 269.343.3333.

Reserve by 8/15/2016 to receive $109 single/double standard room rate.

Reserve by 10/11/2016 to receive $120 single/double standard room rate.

Organize Your Volunteers!
Do you organize your volunteers for your festival or event on paper or with microsoft excel and coordinate manual email reminders? Well you no longer need to work that hard to obtain volunteers and continue communicating with your volunteers! is a great online tool to make group organizing easy! You simply create your custom sign up, which can be across multiple days, times, and locations, then invite a group via email or post the sign up link on your website! Then your group can sign up anytime online and you receive a notification. Another feature of SignUpGenius is that you can customize automatic reminders to be sent your volunteers. 

Let us know if you use SignUpGenuis currently and how it has worked for your organization!

Featured Festival: Mackinac Island Lilac Festival
Mackinac Island, June 3 - 12, 2016
Mackinaw Island Lilac Festival
June 3-12, 2016
Alison Abraham, Assistant Director of Mackinac Island Tourism, gave us an inside look of the upcoming Mackinac Island Lilac Festival happening June 3 to June 12. The Mackinac Island Lilac Festival is a ten-day event including the coronation of the Lilac Festival Queen and Court, Lilac Festival 10k, numerous wine tastings and boat cruises, A Taste of Mackinac, the Mackinac Island Dog and Pony Show, the Lilac Festival Grand Parade and more! The Mackinac Island Lilac Festival was the first event on the island and continues to be the largest event, attracting over ten thousand visitors throughout the week!

As with all of our events, significant evaluation of the prior year is necessary to successfully plan an upcoming event. Alison shares that Mackinac Island Lilac Festival evaluates the parade line-up each year because the majority of the acts are horse drawn and the organizers want to make it as easy as possible for the horses and their drivers. The Mackinac Island Lilac Festival had such great success with the Farm Bureau Family Fun Area at Windermere Point, a free fun area for families, that they are adding a 15 foot long coloring board that is customized with Mackinac Island landmarks and wiped clean each night for the next day's guests to enjoy.

In honor of National Volunteer Month, we found out what Mackinac Island Lilac Festival does for the volunteers that help make their festival a success. They make sure all volunteers are in a Mackinac Island Lilac Festival t-shirt and are well fed!

Alison invites all MFEA members to the 2016 Mackinac Island Lilac Festival. They are now accepting parade applications for the 2016 Lilac Festival Grand Parade, June 12, 2016. For an application, email

How Critical is Marketing to Your Festival or Event?
LinkedIn, John Melleky

"Everyone knows our festival."

"We are a tradition - people know and expect it.  The press will cover us."

"We want to target millennials - so we should concentrate only on social media."

"We do not need to spend money on marketing."
We all have said it or heard it.  But, does it make it true?  How important is marketing your festival, event or even your organization and what it stands for?  The reasons are more far reaching than you might realize and impacts all aspects of the organization and festival.

Read more on LinkedIn.

New Members
Festivals and Events
Stars & Stripes Festival, Sterling Heights
Uncle Sam Jam, Woodhaven

Fun Spots

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

Party @ MI Place Podcast
Sue Bila, CFEE, President/CEO of the Michigan Festivals and Events Association reviews festivals and events from all around Michigan, looks ahead to events people should know about around the state, and then highlights people in the festivals and events industry who are making a difference in the economy of the state. Below is a list of the April features, click on the link to listen to the podcast:
You can listen to the podcast  12:00 PM  every  Wednesday
Replay: 6:00 PM12:00 AM and 6:00 AM.

Please email Cindy if you are interested in being featured on the Party @ MI Place Podcast.
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! 

Michigan Festivals and Events Association
P.O. Box 22
Chesaning, MI 48616
(989) 845-2080