Five years ago, I became involved in managing media relations for one of Detroit’s greatest Labor Day Weekend traditions – Arts, Beats & Eats. Now known as the Ford Arts, Beats & Eats Festival presented by Citizens Bank, the event is by all definitions a massive undertaking. It is an orchestrated effort, starting with the event producer and his immediate team to the restaurants, cultural and nonprofit organizations, throngs of musicians and companies with interactive displays. And, of course, there’s the public relations effort, coordination of advertising and more.
A behind-the-scenes look at the festival will reveal that in order to make the event the success it has been for the past 12 years, it takes volunteers – a lot. And not just 2 or 3 people. This year the festival is hoping 500 people step forward. They are the very backbone of the event.
These dedicated individuals often make themselves quietly available to help several events run smoothly, be it Detroit’s Winter Blast, Detroit River Days or Arts, Beats & Eats. They exhibit a true sense of community by working hard to ensure the festival appears to just “be,” springing up virtually overnight.
Historically, new volunteers have come to work at the festival by word-of-mouth. They had a friend who volunteered before and thought it sounded like an interesting experience. Today, for the first time ever, people potentially interested in volunteering their time for Arts, Beats & Eats on Labor Day Weekend (September 3-6, 2010) can come out to Art Van Furniture, 32301 Woodward Ave., south of 14 Mile Road to learn more about the opportunity.
Volunteers are being sought to welcome festival patrons at the gates, staff the information booth, assist with craft projects and general festival clean-up. If you can’t make it out today, please contact event producer Jon Witz or volunteer coordinator Mary Flynn at 248-334-4600 for further information.