Electric Forest invests $27,000 into local arts and music

June 10, 2024

Photo by Editor-in-Chief Rob Alway

ROTHBURY — The Electric Forest Festival has been an Oceana County summer staple since 2011, bringing people across the country together to celebrate art, music and nature.

“While the festival’s grandeur is known cross-country, few know about its philanthropic footprint in west Michigan,” states a press release from the Oceana Community Foundation. “This summer, the festival’s Electric Forest Charitable Fund celebrates the sixth anniversary of its Music in Schools Programs with a $10,000 grant. Its generosity continues with additional grants totaling $17,000 to the Oceana Conservation District, the Hart Project “putting the art in Hart”, and the Oceana Community Foundation.

“Electric Forest began collaborating with the Oceana Community Foundation in 2019, creating the Electric Forest Charitable Fund to support music programs in public schools. The festival expanded the Music in Schools Program to better support all that the forest values – community, arts, music and preservation or EF Michigan CAMP Project.

“The Electric Forest Charitable Fund’s $10,000 grant to Music in Schools marks its continued investment in making music accessible for area students. The festival’s program inspired matching grants from nine other Oceana Community Foundation funders to triple the collective support to $29,500 for local musicians. This program will provide instruments, equipment and supplies for under-resourced music and choir programs in Hart, Hesperia, Montague, Shelby, Pentwater and Walkerville schools. New this year is the addition of Walkerville Public Schools as they begin to re-launch their tabled music program across K-12 grades, including the band program.

“The festival’s $7,000 support to the Oceana Conservation District will help facilitate a master plan for developing and preserving the Stony Creek Nature Preserve. The Morse family donated the nature preserve in 2022 to OCD, providing Oceana County with a beautiful slice of the Stony Creek shoreline. Through the generous support of donors like the Electric Forest Charitable Fund, the 40-acre nature preserve will open soon with newly created trails and infrastructure for local nature enthusiasts and out-of-town visitors. A crucial part of the Stony Lake Nature Preserve will be its ADA-accessible parking and trails for visitors with different abilities, which is a special interest area for Electric Forest.” The nature preserve could become a popular destination for anglers, schoolchildren on field trip, hikers and outdoors enthusiasts throughout the seasons.

“The Hart Project strives to transform Hart into an artistic enclave in west Michigan, establishing its 25 by 2025 mission to build 25 art installations across the city in the next two years. The festival is a continued supporter of this initiative and recently granted $5,000 to the City of Hart to purchase a new sculpture. The installation will be a large bridge troll made from natural materials like mud and tree branches, nestled near the fishing bridge by Hart Lake. In 2023, the Electric Forest Charitable Fund contributed to the Hart Project’s installation of the 24-foot Tin Man in downtown area through a $5,000 grant.

Electric Forest Charitable Fund’s final summer grant of $5,000 supports the Oceana Community Foundation’s operational growth. “As a smaller, but growing rapidly, community foundation, we are proud to build an organization that continues to build community capital and create lasting resources for generations to come,” Foundation CEO Tammy Carey said. “Electric Forest’s investment in our growth is essential to expanding our impact. Operations are often overlooked despite being an essential part of our work. It funds our staff, office, and administration so that we can continue to help Oceana families, businesses, and organizations achieve their charitable goals.”

“By supporting CFOC’s administration, the Electric Forest Charitable Fund is supporting the community’s philanthropic goals,” states the press release.

The Oceana Community Foundation was established in 1989 by community leaders who envisioned a bright future for Oceana County. The foundation serves as a bridge to connect philanthropy with community needs or opportunities and envisions an Oceana where everyone has access to resources to thrive. You can support the Electric Forest Charitable Fund or one of the foundation’s 200+ funds or learn more about starting your own named fund at www.oceanafoundation.org/give/ or reach out to CEO Tammy Carey at 231-869-3377.

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