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Holt Community Arts Council  | PO Box 231, Holt, Michigan 48842 | holtarts@holtarts.org

Music in the Garden

The Holt Community Arts Council's largest project is the annual 'Music in the Garden' (MIG) concert series. The concerts are free and family friendly. Held in the amphitheater in the beautiful Veterans Memorial Gardens, right behind the Delhi Township Hall, 2074 Aurelius Road in Holt, MIG has become one of Holt's most anticipated summer traditions.

2014 'Music in the Garden'

Winter has just loosened its grip, but the Holt Community Arts Council is already focused on the coming summer. That’s when the local nonprofit will present its seventh consecutive season of free concerts in Holt.

“This summer is going to be huge for us,” said Kara Hope, the Holt Community Arts Council’s founding president. “Between the great talent that is coming to Music in the Garden this summer and the improvements to our venue, we expect our audience to grow considerably.”

Since Music in the Garden’s start back in 2008, the concerts have taken place in Veterans Memorial Gardens amphitheater. Delhi Township recently accepted a $36,000 capital improvement grant from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs. These funds will funds to help pay for the construction of a shade system for the amphitheater.

“The park is already a gem,” Hope said. “These capital improvements will just make it that much better – more comfortable for our audiences and other park users.”

One of the arts council’s goals every summer is to bring something new to the audience, and this year is no exception.

“We’ve made it our goal since the start to bring in musicians that represent something out of the ordinary – a genre that you don’t hear everywhere, original songs, or some unique take on the familiar – while keeping it fun for everyone,” Hope said. “When it comes to attracting a diverse lineup of talented musicians and entertainers, I feel like we outdo ourselves every year.”

The series begins on July 10 with Zydecrunch, a Lansing-based group that specializes in zydeco, Cajun two steps, and rhythm and blues.

 “Zydeco music is unique to the United States. It’s peppy, fun – it’s basically dance music from Louisiana’s Cajun country,” Hope said.

On July 17, local favorites Starfarm will hit the stage.

 “They’re kind of a 1980’s tribute band. But they’re not just paying tribute to a particular artist but to a whole decade of pop music,” Hope explained. “This is an act that we hope kids and their parents will enjoy together,” she added.

The July 24 show will feature The String Doctors, who have played on WKAR’s “Backstage Pass” and for audiences around the world.

“We’re really thrilled to have musicians of this caliber play our series,” Hope said. The band features Michigan legends Ray Kamalay and Joel Mabus. The String Doctors play American roots music, particularly favoring country swing.  

The series concludes on July 31 with a group that is guaranteed to end the series with a bang.

Three Men and a Tenor played the inaugural season of Music in the Garden, and Holt will be happy to have them return, Hope said. “This group has ties right here in Holt, so they really are the hometown favorites,” Hope said. They combine comedy and popular music.

All shows take place at 7 p.m. in the Veterans Memorial Gardens amphitheater, located behind Delhi Township Hall, located at 2074 Aurelius Road, in Holt.

The Holt Community Arts Council is benefitting from a $4,000 minigrant from the Arts Council of Greater Lansing and the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs to help offset the costs of the shows.

“We are absolutely committed to keeping the shows free to the audience,” Hope said. “But to do that, we need the community’s continued support.”

Local businesses and individuals provide approximately one-quarter to one-third of the cost of producing the series, Hope said. One season of Music in the Garden costs between $10,000 and $12,000. The rest of the funding comes from grants and underwriting from the Delhi Township Downtown Development Authority.

“Some local businesses have been supportive right from the start, but we’re still getting our name out there and letting people know that every cent of what we raise goes into supporting local projects, the biggest of which is Music in the Garden,” Hope said. “And even though we benefit from the DDA’s and the Parks Department’s support, the arts council isn’t part of local government.”

As an independent nonprofit with no paid employees, fundraising can be a challenge. “Unlike most service clubs, we don’t have an umbrella organization that can help us with the cost of fundraising or that has a big name,” Hope said. “We’re just volunteers who have started this group and this project from scratch. We can keep going only as long as there are folks who are willing to volunteer their time or contribute financially.”

Music in the Garden is made possible by a grants from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, the Arts Council of Greater Lansing, Delhi Charter Township and contributions from our sponsors.


The Red Sea Pedestrians performing at the 2011 MIG.

See more videos of MIG on our YouTube page.


To create one's own world in any of the arts takes courage. - Georgia O’Keefe                                                                 Art is not made for anybody and is, at the same time, for everybody. - Piet Mondrian                                                                 What art offers is space — a certain breathing room for the spirit. - John Updike                                                                 Without art, the crudeness of reality would make the world unbearable.  - George Bernard Shaw

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©2008-09 | Holt Community Arts Council  | PO Box 231, Holt, Michigan 48842 | holtarts@holtarts.org