Scrapfest, Behind the Scenes

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When it comes to creativity, Lansing Old Town knows no bounds; and that includes finding creative ways to raise money for the Old Town Commercial Association.

In order to raise money for the OTCA’s budget, creative members of the community created a competition in which artists build pieces of art from scrap metal to be displayed and auctioned off at the Festival of the Moon and Sun.

David Such, partner of Such Video in Old Town, proposed the original idea of a scrap metal art competition.

“I lived in Los Angeles for some time with my brothers,” Such said.  “They are sculptors and were into these scrap metal art competitions in L.A.”

Such, who lived on a farm with friends in California, said he thought scrap metal artwork was really interesting.

“The guys really dug it,” Such said. “I thought it might be something that other people would be into.”

Therefore, when Such moved to Lansing Old Town and noticed Friedland Industries, Inc., a recycler of scrap metal, the idea for a scrap metal art competition for Old Town was born.

“When I saw Friedland, I was instantly reminded of my brothers,” Such said.  “I’m on the OTCA executive board, so I’m always looking for ways to raise money for our budget and thought this would be a cool, new idea for the community.”

OTCA Executive Director Louise Gradwohl said the organization’s budget is mostly based on income from annual festivals and events.

“At the start of each year, each of our five committees request money for projects they plan to execute for that year,” Gradwohl said. “The board approves their budget by the necessity of the project and on finances available.”

The OTCA decided to join Scrapfest and the Festival of the Moon and Sun because they already had such a great group associated with the two-day festival.

“Pieces of artwork are displayed in a squared off area outside of the tents during the Festival of the Moon and Sun,” Such said. “Then people bid on each piece and the proceeds go to the OTCA.”

Nearly 70 percent of the OTCA budget comes from the Festival of the Moon and Sun, which includes Scrapfest, according to festival director, Kelsey Maccombs.

People of the community can therefore feel justified about purchasing a piece of unique scrap metal artwork, knowing that all auction proceeds directly support public art, according to Old Town’s Web site.

A portion of the auction proceeds goes back to the artists and a portion goes to the community to support public art projects in Old Town





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