9/18/23 - Confluence Festival Comes To Grand Rapids This Weekend

facebook image / confluencefest.com

Rosa Parks Circle will host an innovation festival that connects the worlds of art, music, science, and technology.

Grand Rapids, MI -- Press Release: Confluence, a free festival that showcases the connections between art, music, science, and technology.                             Along with its traditional program areas – including the Robotics Expo, Innovation Showcase, Music Summit, Maker Expo, and Art@ – this year’s festival also includes a new focus on aviation. The Future Innovators Zone, which features programming that engages the next generation of curious thinkers, is expanding to include regional and local leaders in aeronautics. Program partners include Air Zoo, FLITE, Plainfield Aviation & STEM Academy, and West Michigan Aviation Academy. Kids of all ages will be able to explore aircraft construction, flight simulators, remote-controlled drones, and build models of fixed-wing planes. Gerald R. Ford International Airport is the underwriting partner. "Aviation is a perfect example of the crossover innovation we celebrate at Confluence," said Brian Cohen, Executive Director of the festival. "It is literally design meets science meets tech, so it makes sense for us to have a program area dedicated to various aspects of flight." "We’re excited to support the new aviation initiative at Confluence," said Alex Peric, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Ford International Airport. "Our FLITE program facilitates the design and development of next generation aviation technologies. The opportunity to share the work we’re doing, along with the work of others across the region, will hopefully inspire students and introduce them to the high-growth employment fields that exist in the aviation industry." Music returns to Confluence with a lineup of regional and national touring bands. On Saturday, September 23 at 7:30PM.  All shows are free to attend. Complete details on this year’s festival can be found at www.confluencefest.com. Event sponsors include Ferris State University, Grand Valley State University, Steelcase, JR Automation, City of Grand Rapids, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Consumers Energy, Xfinity, Technology Council of West Michigan, Spartan Innovations, Atomic Object, Warner Norcross + Judd, Gentex, Gerald R. Ford International Airport, and New Belgium Brewing. Media partners include Wood TV8, Grand Rapids Magazine and WGVU Public Media. About Confluence Founded in 2021, Confluence is a free, multi-dimensional ideas festival that connects art, music, science, and technology through shared experiences. Its mission is to support and celebrate the region's ecosystem of innovation and creative thinkers. Confluence presents a range of experiential programming throughout the spring and fall. About FLITE With support from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and Southwest Airlines, the Gerald R. Ford International Airport Authority introduced the Ford Launchpad for Innovative Technologies and Entrepreneurship (FLITE). The program provides grants and pilot-testing opportunities to companies focused on bringing emerging air travel technology solutions to market. As one of the first airport-based initiatives in the nation, the program provides funding to encourage the design and development of new products and services in a live airport environment.

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