Started by three friends who shared a passion for music and the environment, the Grand River Watershed Arts and Music Council create arts and culture programming that fosters environmental stewardship and activates civic engagement in the Grand River Watershed.
For the last eleven years we have brought together artists, musicians, environmentalists and civic leaders at the Grand River Water Festival for a day of activities and education around our river. Our organization is building upon these successful relationships by developing year round arts and music programming for the watershed, by mentoring similar grassroots organizations in other Michigan communities, and in so doing we have transformed our annual Festival committee into a year‐round Arts and Music Council.
In the past 12 months, as well as organizing our annual Water Festival we have: become the community partner for the Breakaway Music Festival in Belknap Park; mentored the founders of the Chippewa River Water Festival in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan; acted as mentors, partners, and fiduciary sponsors of the Great Lakes Music Camp held at Camp Blodgett; and developed Watershed Artists and Mudpuppies programs. We also worked with many partners including the Lower Grand River Organization of Watersheds (LGROW), the Michigan League of Conservation Voters, Citizens for Climate Change, City of Grand Rapids, Plaster Creek Stewards, and the Native Plant Guild. We are proud to note that the 2017 Grand River Water Festival drew almost 3000 people, and was our most diverse ever.