Local Events and Opportunities
Community activities and events are listed below. All items listed have been approved by the district office for posting. In most cases, paper copies of these postings can be found in the designated school building's office. By clicking on the headings below, more information regarding the events can be viewed.
City of East Lansing
58th Annual East Lansing Art Festival to Take Place Aug. 7-8 in Downtown East Lansing
The 58th Annual East Lansing Art Festival (ELAF) will bring more than 80 artists and thousands of visitors to downtown East Lansing on the weekend of August 7-8, 2021. The festival will take place from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on Saturday, August 7 and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sunday, August 8.
The event will take place on M.A.C. Avenue, from Grand River Avenue to Albert Avenue, and Albert Avenue, from the entrance/exit to the Albert Avenue Garage (the garage will remain accessible to eastbound Albert Avenue traffic) to Bailey Street. The festival site will also include Ann Street Plaza, Fountain Square and the new Albert EL Fresco pedestrian space.
Offerings for this year’s festival will be on a smaller scale due to the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic during the festival planning and the priority placed on spacing booths and activities to allow for physical distancing. There will also be some virtual offerings on the ELAF Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/ELArtFest, for those who do not feel comfortable attending the in-person event, and an ELAF Green Team will be circulating during the festival to disinfect surfaces.
“While this year’s festival may look a little different than previous festivals, we are excited to be able to bring back an in-person event this year that will offer up much of what festival patrons have enjoyed during previous festivals on a slightly smaller scale,” said East Lansing Art Festival Coordinator Heather Majano.
City of East Lansing Seeks Applicants for Upcoming Vacancy on the East Lansing City Council
The City of East Lansing is currently accepting applications for an upcoming vacancy on the East Lansing City Council.
The appointed individual will serve temporarily for approximately two months, from the time of appointment to when the newly elected East Lansing City Councilmembers are sworn-in after the November 2, 2021 City Election.
To be eligible for consideration, applicants must be a resident of East Lansing and registered to vote in East Lansing.
An application is available for interested applicants at https://www.cityofeastlansing.com/councilapplication. Applications will be accepted through Friday, Aug. 6 and a special meeting of the East Lansing City Council will take place on Thursday, Aug. 19 at 7 p.m. at the East Lansing Hannah Community Center, 819 Abbot Road, to deliberate and select the new Councilmember.
Upcoming Vacancy Background Information
At this past Tuesday’s East Lansing City Council meeting, East Lansing Mayor Aaron Stephens announced that he will be resigning as East Lansing’s mayor, effective Aug. 11, to pursue a Master in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School. He will be attending in-person classes this fall, which means that he will be unable to attend the final four regular and two discussion-only Council meetings of his four-year term.
“We want to thank Mayor Stephens for his dedicated leadership to the City of East Lansing, especially over the past year as we navigated the COVID-19 pandemic,” said East Lansing City Manager George Lahanas. “We wish him all the best in this next chapter of his life.”
“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve this City,” said Mayor Stephens during his announcement at this past Tuesday’s meeting. “Over the past four years, I have been blessed and lucky to work with some of the best people I have ever met and the best community a mayor could ask for. I know East Lansing will continue to move forward and I hope folks are as proud of this City as I am.”
Mayor Pro Tem Jessy Gregg will be sworn-in as mayor following the resignation of Mayor Stephens in August.
City of East Lansing Special Meetings Scheduled to be Held Electronically This Week (7-26-2021)
The majority of the City of East Lansing’s regularly scheduled, in-person public meetings are currently either being canceled or converted to electronic meetings due to the COVID-19 crisis.
Currently, there are five electronic meetings scheduled to take place this week:
- East Lansing Planning Commission*
Wednesday, July 28 at 7 p.m.
*A public hearing will take place during this meeting
These meetings will be held electronically pursuant to the Open Meetings Act, Act 267 of 1976, and the capacity restrictions and social distancing requirements set forth in the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director's Emergency Orders. The public meeting notices, which include details on how to view the meetings and participate in public comment during the meetings, and agendas may be added to the City’s Electronic Meetings webpage, www.cityofeastlansing.com/electronicmeetings, or amended up to 18 hours prior to the meeting. The webpage will continue to be updated as new, electronic meetings are scheduled and public meeting notices are finalized
City of East Lansing Seeks Applicants for Independent Police Oversight Commission
This past Tuesday, East Lansing City Council unanimously approved the adoption of Ordinance No. 1503* to establish an 11-member Independent Police Oversight Commission for the City of East Lansing.
The City of East Lansing is now seeking community applicants to serve on the Commission and will be accepting applications through Sunday, Aug. 1. The application can be found at https://www.cityofeastlansing.com/IndependentPoliceOversightCommissionApplication.
The purpose of the Commission is to increase accountability of the East Lansing Police Department and strengthen conditions leading to trust in the police department by the community that it is pledged to serve. Because the East Lansing City Council is committed to the goal of racial equity, the Commission will give priority to addressing racial inequities as well as use of force in policing. The Commission will enable members of the community to participate in reviewing and making recommendations about police department policies, practices and procedures, and it will provide means for prompt, impartial and fair review of complaints brought by individuals against police officers or the police department.
The City Council is seeking to appoint individuals to the Commission who reflect the City’s diverse population and particularly segments of the community that are protected by the City’s civil rights ordinance (view Chapter 22 of the City Code), two of which can be non-residents. Additionally, the City Council is seeking to appoint two members who are licensed social workers or psychologists professionally engaged in helping people experiencing crisis, homelessness, mental illness, substance use disorders or domestic abuse. Commission members will serve three-year terms. For additional information about the desired background for Commission members, view
Sec. 2-474 of Ordinance No. 1503*.
City Council’s adoption of the ordinance to establish an Independent Police Oversight Commission was preceded by seven months of discussion, research and community outreach by the East Lansing Study Committee on an Independent Police Oversight Commission (Study Committee), which led to the development of the Study Committee’s “Report on East Lansing Policing and National Models of Community Police Oversight” and “Recommendations for an Ordinance to Create an Independent Police Oversight Commission.” These documents, which can be viewed at https://www.cityofeastlansing.com/2126/Police-Review-Study-Committee, were discussed at previous Council meetings and were used as the basis for the ordinance approved by Council at this past Tuesday’s meeting.
*Please note that the approved ordinance has not been fully executed yet. The fully executed ordinance will be posted on the City’s website soon.
ELPD Chief Kim Johnson to Kick Off Coffee with the Chief Series this Summer
In an effort to enhance the East Lansing Police Department’s (ELPD) community outreach efforts, East Lansing Police Chief Kim Johnson is kicking off a Coffee with the Chief series this summer.
The Coffee with the Chief series will provide community members with an opportunity to have informal conversations with Chief Johnson at rotating locations throughout the East Lansing community. The coffee chats will kick off with quick updates on ELPD’s current events followed by an opportunity for community members to ask questions and discuss topics related to ELPD.
“The basic foundation of community-oriented policing is establishing positive relationships with community members,” said Chief Johnson. “My hope is that these coffee chats will help to enhance our ongoing community outreach efforts and establish mutually beneficial relationships between the police department and the community members we serve.”
Dates, times and locations for the Coffee with the Chief series are provided below:
- Thursday, July 15; 9:30-10:30 a.m. – Grand Traverse Pie Company
(located in the Brookfield Plaza), 1403 E. Grand River Ave.
- Thursday, Aug. 12; 9:30-10:30 a.m. – Foster Coffee Company (located
in downtown East Lansing), 196 Albert Ave.
- Thursday, Sept. 16; 9-10 a.m. – East Lansing Hannah Community
Center, 819 Abbot Road
Community members will be notified once additional coffees are scheduled, with plans for the series to continue through the fall.
East Lansing Educational Foundation Events
East Lansing Educational Foundation Membership & Donation Opportunities
Dear Valued Supporter of the East Lansing Public Schools,
As the East Lansing Educational Foundation Board Members meet and explore how to navigate a world where we live with COVID-19 in our midst, we continue to focus on our goal of supporting the needs of ELPS students and teachers. This is only possible through the generous financial gifts from our community. We are currently working with ELPS administrators as they carefully consider how to best educate students while also addressing the health and social wellness of all our students.
It is clear to us there are two main areas where the support of the East Lansing Educational Foundation and its donors can be of greatest help; (1) enhancing the technology infrastructure to ensure that all students have the necessary equipment to learn remotely, and (2) supporting our teachers and administrators as education evolves to include best practices for remote learning and equity for all students.
In these critical times, the ELEF has set a goal of raising $30,000 this summer, what we would have typically raised during our annual Awards Dinner event. Your donation will allow the swift adaptation of new education models, directly supporting ELPS students and teachers for the changing technology and equitable approaches that will be required to continue the excellent standards to which we are accustomed.
As many of you are aware, COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on people across the globe, including locally in East Lansing. The illness and resulting deaths of loved ones has changed families forever. Unfortunately, that is not where the impact ends. The East Lansing school district depends on the State of Michigan to fund its operational needs. Due to COVID-19 and the resulting economic challenges, it may be necessary to make reductions to the overall school district budget.
Possible budget reductions will have an impact on all students; however, those from traditionally minoritized families (e.g., socioeconomic, racial, ethnic, differently abled) will be disproportionally affected by these reductions. This is where your help is needed. Now more than ever, the ELEF is committed to stepping forward to support educational equity for our schools and our students. We need your financial support to help ensure this happens. The ELEF depends on donations from the East Lansing public school community for its support. Please consider matching or exceeding your previous donations to the ELEF for these important changes. We graciously welcome all new donors!
Despite the challenges in our world at this moment we remain hopeful because of the students in our district, the dedication of the teachers in our district, and the support from parents, graduates, businesses, and community members. With your generous donation, we will continue the important work of the East Lansing Educational Foundation in supporting excellence in education for all our students.
Thank you in advance for your generosity. We look forward to being able to say thank you in person soon.
On behalf of the East Lansing Educational Foundation Board of Directors
East Lansing Junior Trojans Youth Football
YOUTH FOOTBALL IS BACK! The East Lansing Junior Trojans are planning for a 2021 return to the football field. Registration is now open, grades 4th–8th. Discounts are available, visit juniortrojans.org for online registration and updates about the season. If you have questions about the program or participation, send emails to email@example.com.
EveryoneOn is a national nonprofit working to eliminate the digital divide by making high-speed, low-cost Internet service and computers, and free digital literacy courses accessible to all unconnected Americans. Through partnerships with local Internet service providers, EveryoneOn is able to offer free or $9.95 home Internet service in 48 states and the District of Columbia. We work with device refurbishers, so individuals and their families can purchase discounted devices, including $150 tablets and $199 laptops.
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services: Power Up by Getting Caught Up