Festival of the Arts Festival of the Arts is an annual three-day celebration of West Michigan arts and artists which takes place in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan, on the first full weekend in June.
In 1969, Alexander Calder’s La Grande Vitesse was installed in front of City Hall in downtown Grand Rapids in an area now called Calder Plaza. “La Grande Vitesse” is French for “the great swiftness” or “the grand rapids."
The Calder stabile inspired arts organizers in Grand Rapids to develop a FREE community celebration of the arts on the plaza on which the Calder was built. Alexander Calder – himself a big fan of community arts festivals – created the original sun logo as a gift for the event. This logo is still in use today.
Over the next 40+ years, the event grew to encompass nearly all of downtown Grand Rapids, with many more performance stages, exhibits, and activities attracting almost half a million people every year, and becoming one of the largest volunteer driven arts event in the nation.