September 17, 2016


BENTON HARBOR, Mich. — A full-day of fall fun is on tap Sept. 17 during the New Territory Arts Association’s (NTAA) 10th Annual Artoberfest in downtown Benton Harbor, Mich., This rain-or-shine family festival runs from noon to 9 p.m. at the corner of 5th and Park Streets near the Livery Microbrewery.“This is our tenth year of celebrating regional arts, music and the craftsmanship of area winemakers and brew masters,” said Ken Ankli, president of the New Territory Arts Association. “Artoberfest is our association’s principal fundraiser to support arts programs, scholarships and projects in the Benton Harbor Arts District. Enjoying this fall fun makes a year-round impact on our grassroots arts community.”

Admission to the festival grounds is free from noon to 4 p.m. (a donation of $5 is suggested.) After 4 p.m., adult admission is $5 and those under 21 years old are free. This year’s Artoberfest sponsors are United Federal Credit Union, The Schalon Foundation, Silver Beach Pizza, Four Winds Casino Resort and Holt Bosse.

Festival activities include:

Noon-7 p.m.: Art seekers can explore up to 20 tents showcasing regional artists’ glasswork, paintings, sculpture, photography, jewelry, fiber and repurposed art. Visitors are encouraged to also see the newly installed bench in the district’s Art’s Park featuring a mosaic of 2”x2” fused glass tiles created by hundreds of people of all ages and walks of life.

1 p.m.-9 p.m.: The Artoberfest Main Stage will offer a variety of musical entertainment. The shows kick off with local vocalist Meredith George and singer/songwriter and guitarist Dan Maxon. The duo’s intimate acoustic style contains influences from rock, folk and jazz.

2:30 p.m.: The Concussions, a quirky quartet of instrumentalists from Grand Rapids, Mich., riff like Link Wray with hints of Ennio Morricone, Joe Meek and Herb Alpert. But this foursome also diddles with Beatlesque melodies. Concert-goers can expect to hear arrangements from their most adventurous album to date, “Newago Sound Machine” recently released by Double Crown Recording.

4 p.m.: The Sypian Family Band will come up from Berrien Springs, Mich., to play its blues, jazz and rock-and-roll infused music. Popular with locals, the band members are best known for getting audiences moving with their soul- stirring performances.

Two headliner bands will close the evening.

5:30 p.m.: Mike Struwin & the Roots Down Band from St. Joseph, Mich., will bring its unique style to the stage. A prolific songwriter, Struwin creates his story-based tunes from a myriad of music genres including country, Americana, roots, rock, Memphis soul and even reggae. The band’s audiences rarely sit still.

7:30 p.m.: BYJR (Bill Yank and Johnny Reb) from Kalamazoo, Mich., will help bring down the sun with their funk/soul music. Influenced by Dr. John, The Meters, Booker T. & the M.G.’s, Buddy Miles and Black Keys, this regional favorite has created a following with its addictive sound.

Ankli said throughout the event, festival-goers can enjoy a wide selection of craft beers, local wines and family-friendly fare from area food vendors. For an updated Artoberfest schedule and list of participants, volunteer opportunities or other Benton Harbor Arts District events, contact or visit the New Territory Arts Association on Facebook.