“Art is too important not to share.” – Romero Britto
Creativity takes center stage at every Artist’s Umbrella event, and Volume III was no exception. For a collective of poets, rappers, dancers, hula-hoopers and comedians, this event is a celebration. It’s a gathering to commemorate and share in the struggles, trials and triumphs of the year, and to share their stories and skills with their community. It’s a chance to share your passions with your neighbors and support the arts in the purest way possible.
The Artist’s Umbrella is a vaudeville-esque variety show which seeks to provide a safe space for artists to express themselves. It’s a grassroots collective that brings the greater Lansing arts community together and includes art, performances, and people from all walks of life. They also provide a space for local vendors of handcrafted items at each of their shows.
Founders Brandon Navin and Jeremy Hurt say the idea for the Artist’s Umbrella came to life after Navin attended a live poetry performance by his friend, Neil Hilborn. He was so moved by the performance and the people there that he called up the venue, later on, to ask if there were other shows like it that he could get involved in. The venue’s owner said they had little to no experience working with shows like it before. The discussion spiraled into a conversation about supporting other creatives from the Lansing community, and thus the Artist’s Umbrella was born. Since then, the group has grown to include both local neighbors and higher profile contributors, like MSU Professor Cheryl Caesar, as well as the young up-and-coming rap group Fresh Class.
When asked about hard goals, co-founder Jeremy Hurt said “We would love to make The Artist’s Umbrella a permanent staple of entertainment in Lansing. To continue to grow and give artists an opportunity to share their talent with Lansing. We also hope to show the city of Lansing how much talent is in this city by showcasing as many artists as we can.” Their aim is to “become whatever the community wants and will allow, as our success depends on their support.” They also wished to give “a [special] shout out to The Poetry Room, for helping to pave the road for shows like ours.”
If you’d like to learn more about The Artist’s Umbrella or get involved, you can find them on Facebook here. Their next show is September 25th @ 6 pm at The Loft in downtown Lansing, as well as another performance at Reo Town Readings at The Blue Owl in Reo town on September 26th @ 7:30.