Art in Public Spaces
Art in Public Spaces / FestiFools
For the past seven years students in the Lloyd Hall Scholars Program’s Art in Public Spaces course have led the creation of FestiFools, a large-scale, exuberant, community art spectacle performed on Main Street in downtown Ann Arbor on April Fools weekend. FestiFools was designed to celebrate the collective imagination of University of Michigan students and Ann Arbor community members working together to advance the premise that embracing your ingenuity and exposing yourself to the collective art making process just might be good for you. The resulting kaleidoscope of large-scale, three-dimensional, kinetic puppet-esque creations takes over the city streets, overwhelms our senses, and reminds us that it is primarily our unique capacity for innovation that sets us apart as individuals, and our creative accomplishments that bring us together as a community.
Behind the Foolishness of FestiFools there is an important mission: To engage our greater community in educational, collaborative, (and entertaining) public art experiences while offering our students a dynamic platform for creative expression. In addition, FestiFools has become a very reliable and unique mechanism through which to teach students — both art and non-art majors — about the power and necessity of art to engage and help shape the communities in which they live.
Funding from the Third Century Initiative will help to support FestiFools while a non-profit is being developed to raise funds to cover the expenses of putting on this annual event. This funding will also assist FestiFools in becoming a local, regional and national model for experiential learning through the creation of unique campus-community public art events.
Mark Tucker, College of Literature, Science and the Arts