October 08, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

ROYAL OAK, Mich. – Oct. 8, 2013 – Ford Arts, Beats & Eats presented by FirstMerit Bank today announced that it has raised a record-breaking $386,820.54 from gate admission, beverage proceeds, the FirstMerit Community Challenge, Arts Du Jour charity preview event and other festival sponsored community initiatives. More than 60 charitable and cultural organizations benefited from the total amount raised from this year’s festival, which took place in downtown Royal Oak.


This year, just over 350,000 people visited Ford Arts, Beats & Eats. Of those, 120,392 were paid admissions and the remainder consisted of festival patrons who donated non-perishable goods to FirstMerit Bank’s hunger initiative, those who took advantage of early admission on the opening day of the festival, and complimentary admissions to sponsors, stakeholders and participants in other community outreach including the Oakland County Parks-sponsored program to honor veterans, and the Zumbathon Celebration and 5k/10k runs sponsored by Priority Health.


“This was an incredible year for Ford Arts, Beats & Eats,” explained Jon Witz, event producer. “Thanks to our partners, new and old, we keep finding new and exciting ways to deliver metro Detroit-area residents and beyond fun-filled family entertainment.”


The major contributing factor for the record-setting results this year was the FirstMerit Foundation Community Challenge, a crowd-sourced online charity competition through the powerful platform  It empowered Ford Arts, Beats & Eats nonprofit partners and visitors alike to help extend the potential for raising funds and doing good things in the community, and it did just that.


FirstMerit Bank also hosted a food drive for the fourth consecutive year to benefit Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan.


Sandy Pierce, FirstMerit Bank’s CEO & President, said, “FirstMerit Bank is proud to announce that as a result of the generosity of hundreds of people throughout our community, more than 5,400 pounds of food have been donated to those in need this year.  Ford Arts, Beats & Eats continues to make a positive difference in metro Detroit, and we are thrilled to have been able to help the nonprofits raise additional funds through the Royal Oak-based web community”


The preliminary figures on the economic impact of the festival on the area indicate that it brought in approximately $34,573,500. The total bar, restaurant and retail revenues were estimated at $11,731,273. These figures are based on the Michigan tourism spending and economic impact model (MITEIM) developed for Travel Michigan and the tourism industry within the state to help estimate the economic impacts of tourism-related projects.


Mike O'Brien, Detroit Regional Sales Manager for Ford and Lincoln, stated, “Once again, Ford and the Southeast Michigan Ford Dealers are thrilled to sponsor Ford Arts, Beats & Eats due to the immense positive impact that the weekend has on the community and nonprofit organizations. It means a great deal to Ford and our dealers to be able to connect with so many people and provide them the opportunity to experience our newest innovations and features.”


Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson added, "Year after year, Ford Arts, Beats & Eats continues to demonstrate the financial impact that the four-day festival has on Oakland County and the surrounding area. It is a unique opportunity to see small businesses and large companies making a difference by creating this great celebration for families in the region.”


Monies awarded by the festival were divided among many entities:

Gate proceeds of $106,450 went to 17 participating organizations:

  • American Red Cross
  • Autism Alliance
  • Autism Speaks
  • Boys and Girls Club of South Oakland County
  • The Children's Center
  • Children's Miracle Network / Hope Center
  • Detroit Public Television
  • Detroit Rescue Mission
  • Forgotten Harvest
  • Gleaners Community Food Bank
  • JARC
  • Jewish Federation
  • Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
  • March of Dimes
  • Play-Place for Autistic Children
  • The Rainbow Connection
  • Volunteers of America Michigan

Proceeds from Beverage sales of $71,300 went to 25 participating charitable and cultural groups:

  • Aids Walk Detroit
  • Almost Home
  • Alpine Blind Skiers
  • Blessing In A Backpack
  • Breast Cancer 3 Day
  • Empower
  • Imprints of the Heart
  • Independent Opp of Michigan
  • Interact of Royal Oak High School
  • Ivy House
  • Live the Music
  • Milford Huron Valley Lions Club
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Planned Parenthood
  • Polish Women Alliance
  • Royal Oak Dance Team
  • Royal Oak Football Team, Inc.
  • Royal Oak Jaycees
  • Royal Oak Lion's Club
  • Royal Oak Women's Club
  • Shrine Catholic
  • South Oakland Shelter
  • St. Mary's Church
  • St. Paul’s Church
  • Starlites Parent Club

FirstMerit Foundation Community Challenge Proceeds of $118,778 will go to 10 charitable organizations:

  • Rainbow Connection
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of South Oakland County
  • Forgotten Harvest
  • Children’s Center
  • Autism Alliance
  • March of Dimes
  • Children’s Miracle Network
  • Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
  • Gleaners
  • American Red Cross

Ten charitable groups will receive a share of $32,935 from Arts Du Jour:

  • American Cancer Society
  • Blessings in a Backpack
  • Boys and Girls Clubs of South Oakland
  • Forgotten Harvest
  • Michigan Humane Society
  • Planned Parenthood
  • Rainbow Connection
  • Rose Hill Center
  • South Oakland Shelter
  • Arts, Beats & Eats Foundation

Three churches will share $11,050 from festival parking donations:

  • 1st Presbyterian Church of Royal Oak
  • Royal Oak First United Methodist
  • St. Mary's Church

Twelve groups shared an additional $30,178:

  • St. John Providence Health Systems Breast Care Program
  • Zumba-Karmanos
  • Zumba-Crowdrise–Karmanos
  • Royal Oak Restaurant Association
  • Royal Oak Association of Retailers
  • Royal Oak Historical Society
  • Stagecrafters
  • Take 6
  • St. Paul's Recycling Program
  • Water Works Theatre Company
  • Royal Oak Arts Commission
  • Roots Foundation


The City of Royal Oak paid $3,840 in donations to nonprofit organizations that supported parking operations. Additionally, area cultural groups shared $4,200 in donations. The Priority Health Arts in Motion 5K and 10K presented received $8,089 and a donation of $2,325 from the Zumbathon.


Local nonprofits and community organizations in Royal Oak also were big winners in this year’s festival.  Of all the donations, $141,528 was shared between community organizations and nonprofits that call Royal Oak home, which is the most amount raised in the four years that they festival has been in the city.


Royal Oak City Mayor Jim Ellison noted, “Ford Arts, Beats & Eats brings such an enormous amount of life and diversity to the streets of Royal Oak. The good times and positive economic impact on the local community will be felt for quite a long time.”


OUR GENEROUS SPONSORS: Ford Arts, Beats & Eats sponsors included Ford and its Detroit Region, in partnership with the Southeast Michigan Ford Dealers as Title Sponsor and FirstMerit Bank as the Presenting Sponsor. Other sponsors are City of Royal Oak DDA, Budweiser, Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort, Pepsi, Michigan Lottery, Priority Health, Metro PCS, Beaumont Hospital, Made in Detroit, Oakland County Parks, St. John Providence Health System, US Park, Meijer, Ace & Sons, American Laser, Atlas Home Improvement, Barefoot Winery, bd’s Mongolian Grill, Brown Forman, C&L Ward, Comcast, Constellation Wines, Dave & Busters, Detroit Red Wings, Detroit Pistons, DTE Energy, Great Expression Dental Centers, Hansons Windows, Hawthorne Suites, Huron-Clinton Metroparks, KIND Bars, Leaf Filter, M1 Studios, Magine Events, Majic Window, Matrix Basement Systems, Olga’s Kitchen, On the Avenue Marketing, Renewal by Andersen, Snappy Eats, Top Cat, Trenton Ice Cream, Weatherguard Windows and Westin Southfield.


The 16th annual Ford Arts, Beats & Eats, Oakland County's Taste, Music & Arts Festival, was held over Labor Day weekend in downtown Royal Oak, August 30 – September 2, 2013. Fan us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @artsbeatseats. For additional public information, visit or call 248-541-7550.


No comments posted.

January February March April May June July August September October November December (1)
January (474) February (742) March (738) April (493) May (897) June (824) July (297) August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July (33) August (11) September (9) October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December
January (3) February March April May June July August September October November December
January February March April May June July August September October November December