NEWS: 2017 Ford Arts Beats and Eats press release announcing new community initiatives

June 14, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

ROYAL OAK, Mich., June 14, 2017 – Ford Arts, Beats & Eats presented by Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort, returns to Royal Oak Sept. 1 – 4, celebrating its 20th anniversary as the premier destination for Labor Day weekend. Festival organizers today announced exciting new cultural offerings and public engagement components. During its milestone year, the festival also will feature a gaming competition, a unique twist on the festival’s health and wellness programs and diverse culinary experiences.


“Oakland County is truly honored to have hosted this wonderful festival for 20 years, as it is the perfect way to showcase our fantastic and diverse arts and cultural community, and array of health and wellness programs in an environment that provides entertainment and family fun,” said Michael Gingell, chair of the Oakland County Board of Commissioners. “This milestone year for Arts, Beats & Eats is certainly going to be a celebratory occasion, and not just for festival organizers, partners, participants and attendees, but for all the people, nonprofit organizations and community groups who call metro Detroit home. The positive economic impact this great event has on our county helps us continue to thrive and grow. We look forward to establishing meaningful new partnerships, fostering those that are ongoing and bringing new, innovative programming to the festival for the next 20 years."


TAKING IT TO THE STREET: EXPANDED ART AND CULTURAL FEATURES: Joining Ford Arts, Beats & Eats is new official bank sponsor Flagstar Bank. As part of its investment and participation, Flagstar Bank will debut Flagstar Culture on 4th, a new and vibrant feature that celebrates visual and performing arts including the diversity and unique culture found in southwest Detroit. A headline feature of the exhibit located on 4th street between Washington and Lafayette avenues will be produced by the iconic community arts education collective Garage Cultural, a 2017 finalist for ArtPlace America’s National Creative Placemaking Fund.


Garage Cultural is led by Ismael Duran, a renowned musician, who will perform with his band on the Flagstar International Music Stage, along with other favorite global musical entertainers and acts. Youth activities and workshops will take place each day of the festival. Additionally, an ongoing activity throughout the duration of Ford Arts, Beats & Eats will be one large, freestanding mural built by artists at Garage Cultural in Detroit and then assembled at the festival for children and adults to complete throughout the four days of the festival.


“We are proud to be a part of Ford Arts, Beats & Eats, which continues to be among the premier summer events in Michigan,” said Andrew Ottaway, Flagstar executive vice president and Michigan market president. “Flagstar Culture on the 4th is in keeping with our commitment to support arts and cultural activities in our community. We look for this new feature to raise awareness of the artistic diversity of our region in general, and of the southwest Detroit community in particular. That diversity is something we can all be proud of.”


More will be announced about this new exhibit, along with the national and local music line-up, in late July or early August.


THE HOTTEST GAMING ACTION IN ROYAL OAK: In its third year as presenting sponsor, Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort once again raises the stakes at Ford Arts, Beats & Eats with a gaming competition. The Soaring Eagle Casino on 6th will give festivalgoers the opportunity to hit the jackpot and walk away with exciting prizes.


Patrons can get their game on with a competition that’s free to enter and held all weekend on 6th and Center streets inside a comfortable air-conditioned tent with a Vegas style ambiance. No cash bankroll is necessary, as festivalgoers can place their “bets” at blackjack, craps, roulette and spin the wheel for free, competing in 30-minute intervals with the goal of obtaining the most chips. Prizes include lavish stays at the Soaring Eagle Resort, VIP concert tickets and more.


“Festivalgoers will have their favorite action-packed games close at hand courtesy of our new Soaring Eagle Casino on 6th,” said Raul Venegas, director of marketing and entertainment at Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort. “We want to bring the excitement and experience of Soaring Eagle to Ford Arts, Beats & Eats this year and festival patrons can participate without any actual cash investment. This new attraction is certain to make attendees feel as though they have been transported to our casino in Mt. Pleasant.”


In addition to the Flagstar Culture on 4th, the Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort will bring a taste of Native American culture to 7th Street at the festival with artists from the Ziibiwing Center for Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe. This is the first year art from the Ziibiwing Center will be featured at Ford Arts, Beats & Eats, marking another first for the festival in its milestone year. The artwork from the Ziibiwing Center offers attendees the chance to view unique pieces from tribes with a deep culture and heritage in Michigan.


STRIKE A POSE: Empowering everyone toward physical activity and mental wellness is the Priority Health Practice for a Purpose presented by Life Time Fitness calming and strengthening yoga classes at Ford Arts, Beats & Eats. Courtesy of Troy and Farmington Hills-based Thrive Hot Yoga (formerly Detroit Bikram) and Royal Oak’s own Citizen Yoga, two large groups classes will get yogis stretching into poses meant to find balance, peace and strength. Classes will be held Sunday, Sept. 3 at 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. and are $10 each or $15 for both with all fees supporting great community causes.


Thrive will present its Original Hot Yoga class beginning at 9 a.m. and will feature 26 postures and two breathing exercises. The all-inclusive class, recommended for all experience levels, will offer something for everyone, including individuals in wheelchairs and those with movement restrictions. Thrive will donate a portion of its proceeds to Spina Bifida Association of Michigan, an organization that provides resources and support for families of children suffering from this debilitating birth defect.


Citizen Yoga Royal Oak, the first yoga studio in metro Detroit to offer alignment-based Vinyasa, Blend and Slow Burn classes, will host its class at 10:30 a.m. A portion of the proceeds from the class will proudly benefit Humble Design, a Pontiac-based non-profit that creates inviting and comforting spaces in houses for those recently transitioning out of homeless or abuse shelters. Also receiving proceeds from both classes is Life Time Foundation, which works to develop sustainable approaches to accelerate healthy change in school food programs and provides grants to schools and meals to children.


“Priority Health is excited to present some new healthy fun at this year’s Ford Arts, Beats & Eats,” said Michael Jasperson, Vice President East Region, Priority Health. “Bringing yoga to the festival is a great opportunity to encourage attendees to practice a healthy and active lifestyle. With its numerous health benefits, we know our Practice for a Purpose yoga event will put participants in a more relaxed and healthy state as they enjoy the festival’s celebration.”


Priority Health Practice for a Purpose activity replaces the Move to the Beats 5k and 10k runs to breathe new life into Ford Arts, Beats & Eats.


OH SO GOOD NEW FOOD: The streets of Royal Oak once again will be lined with another tasty selection of restaurants and caterers to ignite the taste buds of festivalgoers and showcase the culinary arts. Rolling into this year’s Ford Arts, Beats & Eats to offer creative cuisine that is also good for you is the all-new ABE Veggie Café featuring the amazing vegan cuisine of GreenSpace Café restaurant and the vegetarian standout food truck, the Nosh Pit Detroit.


The café will include special and exclusive seating and greenery and will be located at 6th Street and Washington Avenue, right in the center of the festival. GreenSpace Café, a new staple of Ferndale’s restaurant scene, will be serving artisanal plant-based vegan cuisine out of its newly fitted food truck, while the Nosh Pit will deliver its innovative vegetarian soups and sandwiches. Both establishments will offer a menu with thoughtfully prepared, healthy vegan and vegetarian options.


The festival continues to advance the number of menu items designated Priority Health Healthy Options by adding these two amazing culinary participants with more to be announced in August.


Also on hand as new “eats” participants are Troy’s Sedona Taphouse, known for its hand-cut ‘certified angus’ choice steaks; Bonefish Grill, which offers fresh seafood; Carrabba’s, best known for its wood-burning grill and cuisine inspired by the many tastes of Italy; and Lazy Bones Smokehouse, located in Roseville, will be smoking southern-style barbeque over Michigan applewood for all the meat-lovers in the crowd.


20th ANNIVERSARY POSTER UNVEILED: Festival organizers and sponsors unveiled a new commemorative poster for the 20th Annual Ford Arts, Beats & Eats. Local firm FWD, a Royal Oak-based collaborative design company, designed this year’s poster, which combines past photography of the event with unique textures and colors in honor of the festival’s celebratory anniversary year.


RETURNING FESTIVAL FAVORITES: Presented by Flagstar Bank, the Meters Made Beautiful program returns to Ford Arts, Beats & Eats. Local artists beautified nearly 75 parking meters on Washington Avenue and 4th Street during the 2016 inaugural year, bringing diverse and unique works of art into the heart of the city for the public to enjoy. Meters Made Beautiful once again will showcase artists’ designs on parking meters inside the festival footprint.


The Royal Oak Commission for the Arts and Ford Arts, Beats & Eats is calling all artists, amateur and professional, 18 years of age and older, to submit their designs through the artist application on the Ford Arts, Beats & Eats website. Selected artists have the opportunity to win $4,000 of cash awards, including a first-place prize of $1,500. Award winners will be selected based on a jury vote through the Royal Oak Commission for the Arts and Ford Arts, Beats & Eats. Applications must be submitted before Thursday, July 27 at 11:59 p.m.: Selected artists will be finalized and notified on Friday, Aug. 4 with the Meters Made Beautiful painting kickoff at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 26.


“Royal Oak is proud to be the home for Ford Arts, Beats & Eats,” added Royal Oak Mayor Mike Fournier. “While a continued highlight for the city, we’re proud to engage residents and visitors everyday with our wonderful retail stores, restaurants, entertainment venues and arts and cultural offerings, such as the beautifully detailed and creative parking meters that have been on display since last year’s festival.”


On Saturday, Sept. 2, the Priority Health Zumbathon Celebration will transform the Michigan Lottery Stage into a dance fitness party from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. In conjunction with the metro Detroit fitness company, Vibe Fit, the class will feature other local Zumba instructors from across Michigan and offer participants a chance to experience serious fitness that is seriously fun. Pre-registration is $7 and day-of registration is $10. To register now, visit:


COMMUNITY INITIATIVE HIGHLIGHTS: As the new official bank sponsor, Flagstar Bank also will continue the festival’s tradition by hosting the 7th annual Food Drive benefiting Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan. Headquartered in Detroit, Gleaners operates five distribution centers in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Livingston and Monroe counties, which provide food to 510 partner soup kitchens, food pantries, shelters and other agencies.


Food Drive donors can receive one FREE admission to the festival by bringing three or more nonperishable food items to Flagstar Bank locations between Monday, Aug. 21 through Friday, Sept. 1. Visit soon for nearby Flagstar Bank locations accepting donations. Last year’s festival Food Drive collected nearly 4,000 pounds of nonperishable items, providing more than 3,000 meals for Gleaners to distribute.


Ford Arts, Beats & Eats once again is teaming with Autism Alliance of Michigan to provide select families a unique packaged experience as part of the 6th annual Family Days presented by Kroger. On Saturday, Sept. 2; Sunday, Sept. 3; and Monday, Sept. 4, hundreds of children on the autism spectrum and family members will enjoy a one-day access pass to the festival, which includes free parking as well as free admission, free carnival rides throughout the day and free lunch for the first 750 registrants per day. Additionally, the festival will open one hour early for participating families to give their children private access to the festival carnival.


SPONSORS FOR THE 2017 FORD ARTS, BEATS & EATS: The sponsors for the 2017 Ford Arts, Beats & Eats include: Ford, Southeast Michigan Ford Dealers, Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort, Barefoot Winery, Beaumont Health System, Budweiser, City of Royal Oak, Comcast, Detroit Shirt Company, Detroit Institute of Arts, DTE Energy, Flagstar Bank, Hansons Windows, Kroger, Leaf Filter, Lifetime Fitness, Made in Detroit, Majic Window, MetroPCS, Michigan Lottery, Motor City Hot Tubs, Oakland County, Pepsi, Priority Health, Pure Leaf Ice Tea, Renewal by Andersen, Sprint, Tito’s Vodka, US Park, WDIV-TV 4 and WindowPRO.


The 20th annual Ford Arts, Beats & Eats presented by Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort, is Oakland County's premier festival held September 1 – 4, 2017. The festival paints downtown Royal Oak with a variety of art, food and music for the community to enjoy. More than 415,000 visitors attended the 2016 Ford Arts, Beats & Eats. “LIKE” artsbeatseats on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @artsbeatseats. For additional public information, visit or call 248-541-7550.


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