The 21st Annual Ford Arts, Beats & Eats in Royal Oak has announced a number of new features for the festival, which will take place Aug. 31-Sept. 3. They include a spotlight on the culinary, theatre, and visual arts talents of local college students, as well as enhanced health and wellness programming. The event will continue to showcase art, music, and restaurant participants.
“Ford Arts, Beats & Eats was thrilled to announce key corporate partnerships today, including collaboration with Kroger on its ‘Zero Hunger Zero Waste’ campaign and Forgotten Harvest, as well as new initiatives with Flagstar Bank featuring student art exhibits, Life Time with new fitness-related events, and Priority Health with nutrition and Yoga class programs,” says Jon Witz, event producer.
“We … also announced a new partnership with OCC that will showcase students in culinary, visual, and performing arts. This is just the beginning of some many great events and performances that will be part of the festival with more announcements coming in late July.”
Kroger will debut its “Zero Hunger Zero Waste” program to fight hunger and reduce food waste. The program will feature a collaboration with Forgotten Harvest, The Royal Oak Restaurant Association, and participating Arts, Beats & Eats restaurants.
More than 75 restaurants have committed to providing a minimum of two large pans of food for local organizations that provide food for those in need. Participating nonprofits include Capuchin Soup Kitchen, Detroit Rescue Mission, and Detroit Boxing Club. Donations will be picked up throughout the festival each night and delivered to a Forgotten Harvest refrigerated truck.
Oakland Community College has joined the festival for the first time to bring visual and performing arts elements to life throughout the festival weekend. Students will participate in live performances, art exhibitions and demonstrations, and cooking demonstrations.
Life Time will return to Arts, Beats & Eats with new classes for festivalgoers. All fitness classes will be located at Main Street and Fourth Street and will require a $10 minimum donation to participate. Proceeds will benefit the festival and Life Time Foundation, which is committed to removing the seven most harmful ingredients that is fed to children, most commonly found in food provided by school systems.
Dance Jam fitness class will be offered from 8-9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 31. Life Time will continue with a Warrior Sculpt class at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 1. A Gluteus Maxout class will take place at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 2. A Strike Class, which is a combination of kickboxing and mixed martial arts, will take place at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 3. Life Time will also provide 20-minute Fun Fit Kids classes that will occur every day following the adult classes.
Priority Health Practice for a Purpose will also be presented by Life Time and offer yoga classes, courtesy of Troy and Farmington Hills’ Thrive Hot Yoga, as well as Royal Oak’s Citizen Yoga. Classes will be held Sunday, Sept. 2 at 9 and 10:30 a.m. and are $10 each or $15 for both.
Flagstar, the festival’s bank sponsor, will bring art work of the 15 student winners of the Oakland County Financial Literacy Art Contest, which provides scholarships to high school students in the county. Flagstar will also provide complimentary exhibit spaces to metro Detroit nonprofits that support the arts. The spaces will be announced in July and are a new addition to the festival.
Flagstar will also present the Meters Made Beautiful program. Local artists have painted nearly 150 parking meters in downtown Royal Oak since 2016. This year, the program will complete art work on all meters inside the festival footprint.