Each year, the Arts Council of White Lake-Nuveen Center (ACWL-Nuveen) applies for grant funding from the White Lake Community Fund, through the Community Foundation for Muskegon County. Typically, the WLCF is looking to support a new program or initiative but this year was a bit different. The ACWL-Nuveen Free Summer Concert Series has been a staple of the White Lake community for 34 years, but the COVID-19 pandemic put a stop to the 2020 series. With the summer of 2021 fast approaching and the pandemic still lingering, ACWL-Nuveen staff and board members knew they didn't want to approach local businesses to support the concerts like they typically do. "So many local businesses are still struggling," says ACWL-Nuveen Director, Erin Peyer. "Reaching out to them for a sizable sponsorship just didn't feel right." Instead, they decided to apply for a grant through the White Lake Community Fund to usher in the return of this crowd-pleasing summer staple.
Thankfully, the White Lake Community Fund was eager to help! They awarded the ACWL-Nuveen a $5,000 grant to help cover rental fees, marketing expenses, and payment to the featured musicians. The 2021 Free Summer Concert Series is also supported by other series sponsors - Catchmark Technologies, the Michael James Family, and the Viola Bray Charitable Trust - and individual concert sponsors Montague Foods, the City of Montague, the Montague-Whitehall Rotary Club, the West Michigan Wine & Jazz Festival, and Stan and Jan Gorecki.
"As one of the first community cultural programs initiated by the ACWL-Nuveen, and by far the most popular, the Free Summer Concert Series is a massive logistical undertaking. And due to the pandemic, 2021 is my first year as ACWL-Nuveen Director organizing and actually hosting this series!" explains Peyer. She continues, "Having the support of the White Lake Community Fund and our other sponsors is invaluable. There would not be a Free Summer Concert Series without them. We are all incredibly excited to get back to the Montague-Whitehall Rotary Band Shell on Tuesday nights and listen to some live music!"
ACWL-Nuveen Free Summer Concerts will kick off on Tuesday, June 15th at 7:00pm with Serita's Black Rose. For the full line up, visit www.artswhitelake.org/free-summer-concert-series. Magnets with the 2021 concert dates and featured musicians are also available at the ACWL-Nuveen during gallery hours: Tuesday-Friday, 11:00am - 5:30pm and Saturday, 11:00am - 3:00pm.