This Labor Day weekend, the Detroit suburb of Royal Oak will host the 18th annual Ford Arts, Beats & Eats festival, an event that—with the help of corporate supporters—has a multi-million dollar impact on the local economy.
Ford Motor Company has signed on to be the event’s title sponsor through 2018, and Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort is the presenting sponsor of the event. Other local businesses supporting the event include Priority Health, OUR Credit Union, and Vibe Credit Union, among others. The new sponsorships bring $1 million to the festival, which showcases artists, musicians, and food from the Metro Detroit area, reported C & G Newspapers.
L. Brooks Patterson, Oakland County Executive, told C&G Newspapers that the annual event brings about 350,000 people to downtown Royal Oak, has a $10 million impact on the city, and a $30 million impact on the region. Additionally, he stated that the festival has given $4.5 million to nonprofit and community organizations in the last 18 years – all with no cost to local taxpayers.
In addition to corporate support, the festival is made possible by organizations such as the Detroit Institute of Art, Deaf Arts Festival, and the Royal Oak Schools Performing Arts Committee. For example, C&G Newspapers reported that this year the Detroit Institute of Art (DIA) will bring its mobile interactive classroom and creative exploration space to the event to help people, “think like an artist.” DIA will present onstage art demonstrations each day of the festival.
Ford Arts, Beats, & Eats aims to bring a low cost cultural experience to families while simultaneously supporting the community. According to the event’s website, proceeds from admission fees are distributed 25 percent to Arts Advocacy, 25 percent to the City of Royal Oak, and 50 percent to 13 local charities. “Downtown Royal Oak provides the ideal background for Ford Arts, Beats, & Eats, and our residents love this event…it has a very positive impact on our downtown,” Mayor Jim Ellison told C&G Newspapers.