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Heather Majano and Justin Drwencke, new City directors for the Art Festival and Jazz Festival, respectively.
City officials followed ELi’s reporting earlier this week by officially announcing dates and new directors for the 2020 East Lansing Art Festival and Summer Solstice Jazz Festival. We reported that a new draft ordinance is aimed at shifting primary control of the Art Festival from an independent foundation to the City, raising questions about the future of the major annual event.
Last year's Art Festival faced a major shake-up when the director was fired without public explanation.
“The City of East Lansing is committed to the arts and recognizes the tremendous value of these types of arts and cultural offerings for our community,” said City Manager George Lahanas stated in yesterday's news release. “We are looking forward to another great year of community events and festivals in the East Lansing community.”
The 57th annual Art Festival will take place May 16-17, 2020, and will be led by Heather Majano, former community events and environmental stewardship specialist. Majano, a City employee for nearly seven years, officially began her new role on Monday. Previously she coordinated the jazz festival and managed the City’s community events program.
The City also sent out a special press release stating that last year’s East Lansing Art Festival was ranked 64th in the country in Sunshine Artist Magazine’s Fine Art & Design Category.
The 24th annual Summer Solstice Jazz Festival is scheduled for June 19-20, 2020, and will be led by Justin Drwencke, the City’s newly hired community events and environmental stewardship specialist. Drwencke, who previously served on the volunteer advisory board for the SSJF for two years, is also the executive director of the Midwest Institute of Sexuality and Gender Diversity.
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