2005 Fact Sheet

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Ann Arbor’s Connections Festival:

Celebrates the city’s 2 arts enclaves – Lowertown and Kerrytown - and the Broadway Bridge that connects them, each on a different side of the Huron River. It also connects the city’s best performing and visual artists, and arts presenters with national acts and regional audiences.

Partners:
DTE Energy, the Attic Theatre, Artists’ Network, Lowertown Business Association, Kerrytown District Association, the Ark Coffe House, the Firefly Club, Performance Network, Wild Swan Theater, the Aut Bar, Michigan Theatre, the Gandy Dancer, Zingerman’s Deli, the Northside Grill –and more:

Target Audiences/Various Shows:
Families, young professionals, college/high school students, 5000 Northside families, residents of Ann Arbor, Washtenaw County and Southeast Michigan.

Artistic Genres:
Theater, Music (big band, folk, blues, jazz and classical), Dance and Visual Arts.

Dates/Times:
Fridays, 4 -10pm; Saturdays & Sundays, 11am -10pm; August 26 to September 11, as well as Monday, Labor Day, Sept. 5, 11am - 7pm – all dates are in 2005.

Show Styles & Schedules:

3 TGI Fridays: Big Bands and other dance bands, and dancing by the river side - European style.
3 Saturday Mornings: Free youth programming.
3 Saturday Afternoon/Evenings: 2 Market-rate Musical Acts
1 Major Performance/Music Act for FREE performance
2 Sunday Mornings: One Folk and One Classical Festival for Families.
2 Sunday Afternoons: One Folk and One Classical Festival for adults (Families welcome)
1 Sunday: Two performances of Celebrate Great Lakes (CGL), Sept 11, at 11am and 5 pm, with other free performers from 2 to 5pm.
1 Labor Day: Day Long Festival of Theatre and Music

Event Categories/ Free or Ticketed & Expected Attendance

- 6 will be Free; (3 Saturday AM youth shows, 2 CGL shows, 1 Saturday night headliner) 7,500
- 3 Thank Goodness It’s Friday dance parties will be a $5 Donation 3,000
- 2 early Sunday Family Concerts will be $5 2,000
- 2 later Sunday Folk/Classical Concerts will be $10 3,000
- 3: 2 Saturday Evenings and 1 Labor Day show will be market-rate, based on the acts 6,500

Attendees:
22,000; 20% under 16; 20/college-age; 30/“boomers”; 30/out-of-town; 10/seniors.

Budget:
$130,000 for 3 weekends; the 2004 Budget was $35,000 for 1 weekend.

Advertising, Promotion & Reach:
Articles/ads in Ann Arbor Observer, Current & News, Detroit Free Press/News/Metro Times & others & WUOM, WEMU, WDET, Comcast & Public Access TV.

Currently Scheduled Performances
(9 of 16 events over 10 days have been scheduled as of 3/1/05):

Celebrate Great Lakes - 2005, a musical on the history of the Great Lakes in storytelling, song and dance, touring the state this summer: Sunday, Sept 11, 11am & 5pm.
Sunday Folk Festival, 2-10 pm; National Act (To-Be-Named) and local performers: Whit Hill & the Postcards, Dick Siegel, Annie Capps & Trio, Chris Buhalis, Cheryl Dawdy & David Menefee.
Kids Folk Festival, 11a-2pm with Gemini, Mosaic Youth Theatre and storyteller LaRon Williams.
3 Saturday Kids Shows: Wild Swan Theatre, Mosaic Youth Theatre, The Chenille Sisters Kid’s Show.
3 TGI Fridays: Chenille Sisters w/Jazz Band, Susie Chastain’s Firefly All-Stars, II V I Orchestra.

The Site:
The festival tucks seating for 2,000 people under a beautiful grove of cypress and oak trees, in the northwest corner of Riverside Park, right on the Huron River and its Greenway, which goes 1/10th of a mile north to the Broadway Bridge, and a half-mile south to University Hospital and Fuller Park. The stage is set up under a canopy (more later), and while the audience sits in the trees or open skies, the back of the audience area is defined by a series of tents. One holds the food and beverage concessions; one is for visual artists and arts projects; and another for show, artist and Festival merchandising. A smaller tent houses the sound and light booth, and two other tents sit at the back of the audience, to be used for Sponsor Tents, additional art and local demonstrators and, of course, to offer the audience protection from possible rain. The Festival serves beer, wine, “coolers”, soft beverages and juices, and grills “’burgers, ‘dogs, chicken and bocas”. There will also be food, snacks and desserts from several food sponsors. There a fully equipped playground for the kids, everything is handicap accessible and there is plenty of parking within 1000 feet.

Sponsorship Opportunities:

A. Sponsoring the Ann Arbor Connections Festival:

1. Sponsor Tents create a unique opportunity to take part in the festival and make direct contact with clients and customers. The tents, also be used as cover for passing rains, can have demonstrations or information about services/products, or to present visual artists. Connections will only include demonstrations that are compatible with its goals, but there will be a good deal of latitude. Sponsors may also use a tent for a special employee/customer day, with food or beverage for its guests.

2. The shows will be televised live and rebroadcast on Ann Arbor’s Community Access TV, very well watched by Ann Arbor television audiences. Sponsors will be included in the show, based on level.

3. Connections regional marketing campaign will include advertising in Newspapers, Radio, Local and Regional TV (especially cable), interviews on leading radio stations, local and regional newspaper stories, and posters and brochures. Major sponsors can be identified in all these outlets.

4. Connections will have a very heavily used website. It will be featured in ALL promotion as the place to go for updated schedules and other information. This, of course, creates a great number of sponsorship opportunities for update-able advertising, click-on offers, and other web based promotion. Connections will be open to most sponsor promotion and customer contact opportunities.

5. Traditional opportunities such as banners, individual city promotions and program inserts also exist.

6. The Festival wants to restore the Graceful Arch, the soft sculpture band shell designed by the UM School of Music that is in disrepair. It was used for a decade for Art Festival stages and Connections would like to restore it as its stage canopy - $20,000 needed to repair it can buy the naming rights.

B. To Sponsor/Co-Sponsor Connection Festivals in other Michigan or Great Lakes Cities:

1. The performers in the Connections Festival in Ann Arbor, as well as other Artists in several other Michigan and Great Lakes cities, are planning Connections Festivals on different spring, summer and fall weekends; including Eaton Rapids, Port Huron, St. Clair Shores, Saginaw and Traverse City.

2. In future years, this event can be duplicated in other Great Lakes Cities. It is meant to piggy-back on the success of Celebrate Great Lakes - a state sponsored touring show, traveling to Michigan Port Cities - which will bring 2,000-10,000 people to these various cities each summer weekend.

3. Potential Presenting and Lead Sponsors can help establish a regional Connections Festival in several or many different cities. The producers of the Connections Festival are open to ideas for 2005-2006.

Sponsorship Levels:

A) Up to 3 Presenting Sponsors (Your Company Presents Connections): $25,000 in all regional promo;
B) Up to 5 Lead Sponsors: $15,000;
C) Supporting Sponsors: $5,000-15,000;
D) Regional/Developing Sponsors: $3,000-5,000 for development and future sponsors to get to know the event
E) Local Business Sponsors: $1,000-3,000.

Each above level includes different sized acknowledgements and program advertising, will be promoted across the entire Southeast Michigan, and will have the opportunity for involvement in the Sponsor Tent.

Connections will also be recruiting:

F) Family Sponsors: $100 and,
G) Individual Sponsors:
$50.

   
   
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