The idea grew out of and gained momentum through workshops offered by the Barry County Tourism Council. The tour expanded to the Lakeshore, partnering with the Allegan County Tourism Council in year two. Calhoun County was added in 2018. ARTS and EATS is planned and launched by the energy, donated time, and generosity of partner organizations including Michigan State University Extension, Mountain to Lake Creatives, and the Thornapple Arts Council. Art, food/drinks and farm sites on the tour contribute as partners as well.
We invite you to support the advertisers on the map and online–these are folks and organizations that support business connections and celebration of local and rural culture.
ARTS and EATS is modeled after a number of successful tours nationwide including the ones below. The intention is to connect ARTS and EATS to similar tours in the region to cross-promote events and build Michigan as a cultural arts and local food destination.
Blue Coast Artists: http://www.bluecoastartists.net/
High Road Artisan Tour: http://highroadnewmexico.com/
Toe River Studio Tour: http://www.toeriverarts.org/studio-tour/
Fall Art Tour in Wisconsin: http://fallarttour.com/
There are lots of ways to become involved in ARTS and EATS.
Are an artist, apply to show, sell, and demonstrate your art on the tour either in your studio or at one of the central “gallery” sites.
Manage an eatery, brewery, winery, coffeehouse, etc., plan to showcase some menu items that use locally grown food and feature the producer, and apply for a spot on the map.
Own a farm or run a farmers market and have specialty agricultural products and services (food, fiber, llamas, you name it), you can open your barn doors to educate people about rural life and your agricultural business.
ARTS and EATS supports Michigan artists, businesses, and growers and encourages connections between for a more thriving and vibrant local economy.
Like the idea? Consider being a sponsor or taking out an ad on the website or on the map/guide. Show your support of local culture and enterprise and we will post your name and logo. See the sponsor and ad section for more info.