#F2HGratitude: Farmington area’s vibrant arts community

Grateful Farmington

This week, we’re publishing a series of posts expressing gratitude for some of the things in Farmington and Farmington Hills that bring us together. With help from our supporters, we’ve chosen six, but there are many, many more. Join the #F2HGratitude conversation FacebookTwitter, or Instagram. Make sure you catch all of our posts by signing up for our daily (except Sunday) emails

From a wildly popular fine art show in the spring to concerts and exhibits all year ’round, the Farmington area cultural arts scene is alive and well.

Farmington Hills resident Kelli Carpenter-Crawford puts local arts on her gratitude list, with special thanks to the City of Farmington Hills Cultural Arts Division.

“I think many in our communities are not aware of all the series, events, programs, classes that the small but mighty team led by Rachel Timlin adds to our community,” she said. “They are also a great example of collaborators and coalition builders in our community.”

Established in 1999 and supported through a parks and recreation millage, the Cultural Arts Division offers a host of art, music and theater classes and productions, summer camps, concert series, and visual arts exhibits. Its signature event, the Art on the Grand juried fine art show, draws thousands of visitors to downtown Farmington during the first weekend in June.

Art on the Grand
Crowds browse artists’ booths during Art on the Grand in June.

A Public Art Program launched its fourth exhibition in January 2017, brings together works from more than 90 local and regional artists at Farmington Hills City Hall. The Division also maintains rotating exhibits at City Gallery inside the Costick Activities Center on 11 Mile Road.

The community’s dedication to arts goes back much farther than the Cultural Arts Division, with the establishment in the 1960s of the Farmington Community Arts Council, and the Farmington Area Arts Commission (FAAC) in 1976. Both organizations support and sponsor activities like the Artist in Residence and the High School Student Art Awards, Festival of the Arts, and Farmington Area Arts Awards.

Farmington Players Barn
Farmington Players Barn

Long-time arts organizations include the Farmington Players, a community theater group established in 1953 as an off-shoot of the American Association of University Women. Among the newer arts scene additions is KickstART Farmington and its Greater Farmington Film Festival. Planning is underway for the festival’s fifth year of bringing good films for a better world to the Farmington Civic Theater and other venues in early spring.

Alexander Hamilton
This statue of Alexander Hamilton stands at the 47th District Court building in Farmington Hills.

You’ll find opportunities to enjoy the arts all around Farmington and Farmington Hills, and there’s more to come.

The Farmington Downtown Development Authority has established a Public Art Blueprint with the hope of installing more artworks in the central business district. Timlin and her team are evaluating results of a Creative Census, designed to create a better picture of Farmington area artists and their needs.

You have an opportunity next week to interact with local artists during an Artist Talk on Tuesday, Nov. 28, 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m., at Farmington Hills City Hall, 31555 W. 11 Mile Rd. Meet Robbie Best, Priscilla Phifer, and Ozie Norman, whose works will be on display for six weeks in the building’s Rotating Exhibits Gallery. And don’t miss Farmington Hills Youth Theatre’s production of “Guys and Dolls,” which opens November 30 at the Costick Center, 28600 W. 11 Mile Rd.

Next in our #F2H Gratitude series: The home of Farmington history