ANN ARBOR – The Ann Arbor Summer Festival (A2SF) announces plans to modify its 2020 programming to meet the moment. In the wake of the cancellation of its traditional offerings, the Festival staff has mapped Top of the Park programming onto various platforms, including digital and live alternatives. The following programs will roll out over the late spring and early summer with more events to follow.
- TINY TOPS: A special mini-concert series audience members can purchase a performance from an artist for themselves or as a gift for friends and family. The initial roster of artists, which will grow in the coming weeks, include Chris DuPont, Rochelle Clark, Hanna Rumora & Josh DeVries, and San and Emily Slomovits.
- VIRTUAL PROGRAMS: KidZone, Retreat, Annex, and Festival Footprint Learning Center are all integral non-music programming at Top of the Park, and A2SF will stream these classes, activities, and discussions on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. In hopes to reach as many audiences as possible, some of these offerings will also appear for free on CTN public access television. These programs will run nightly June 12 – June 28, dark Mondays. KidZone presented with support from C.S. Mott. Children’s Hospital.
- PODCAST: A2SF has launched Stories from the Top, a podcast featuring people you know and people you should know. Artists, educators, and entrepreneurs linked to Southeast Michigan share stories about how they connect with others, cultivate inspiration, map out processes, or rise from failure. Each episode explores an individual at the top of their game chatting with a friend or colleague on a video call which will become the audio podcast. The first two episodes feature Joan Belgrave and Swaroop Bhojani. Presented with generous support from Retirement Income Solutions.
- MUSIC HIKES & STORY WALKS: The Festival has also created Top Music Hikes & Story Walks that geo-tag music and audio stories to specific trails and routes in and around Ann Arbor. The music hikes focus on trails and spotlight music artists originally scheduled to appear on Top of the Park music stages. In late June, audiences will be able to access a fictionalized story set in downtown Ann Arbor and featuring landmarks and shops. Additional stories and hikes will follow later this summer.. This program is presented in partnership with the Ann Arbor District Library as part of its Summer Game. Presented with generous support from O&W, Inc.
- SIDEWALK CHALK DAY: Finally, on Sunday, June 14, A2SF brings the entire county together for Sidewalk Chalk Day, an outdoor explosion of imagination set close to home. Sidewalk chalk art abounds at the Festival. Whether it be children expressing themselves near KidZone or professionals treating the community to delightful works of art on a concrete canvas, chalk art is part of what makes Top of the Park memorable. You can express your creativity or passions reflecting our world at this moment and time. Festival regular David Zinn will be joining in the fun, creating works on Ingalls Mall as he does every year. Take photos of your work, share it to social with the #a2chalkday hashtag, and the Ann Arbor District Library will select winners as part of its Summer Game.
Already announced are the community-driven art projects, including Kooky Kreatures and Quarantine Confessions. Visit a2sf.org to participate in these projects or to learn more about upcoming programming.
The Ann Arbor Summer Festival is an exhilarating celebration of performing arts, outdoor entertainment, and community spirit. An annual international arts gathering in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the three-week festival offers two parallel programs—one indoor and one outdoor—at various venues and spaces across the University of Michigan campus and in downtown Ann Arbor. Each season features a progressive mix of over 200 events showcasing local, national, and international artists and a diverse audience of more than 80,000 people.
The indoor ticketed series includes performances of world-class music, contemporary circus, dance, family entertainment, public radio shows, and comedy. The outdoor program, Top of the Park, is held along a beautiful campus green and offers admission-free concerts, Movies by Moonlight, open-air street spectacle, culinary treats, and unique family attractions.
Top of the Park was originally scheduled to run nightly from June 12-July 5, 2020 (dark on Mondays). Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the ticketed series was canceled on March 27 and the traditional, free outdoor Top of the Park was canceled on May 1.
The Ann Arbor Summer Festival, which was originally formed as a partnership between the University of Michigan and City of Ann Arbor, produced its first, full season in 1984. This is the first cancelation of Top of the Park. Top of the Park takes place on Ingalls Mall and Washington Street in downtown Ann Arbor. It has been relocated twice in its history due to construction (2006 it moved from the Fletcher Street Parking Deck to Ingalls Mall, and in 2015 it temporarily relocated to North University Avenue for one-year).
For more information on all festival events, please visit the festival website: