Obviously, an undertaking of this size and scope requires the coordinated efforts of many people, including a lot of dedicated volunteers and generous sponsors, including the Betten family who have stepped up to give real, long-term financial support to ArtWalk.
Although I am not an ArtWalk volunteer, or a member of the skilled and committed ArtWalk committee, I have closely observed ArtWalk in operation, and believe the public should be aware of a handful of key people who, from my vantage point, really make ArtWalk what it is.
Those largely unsung heroes of ArtWalk, in no special order, are: Steve Loftis, originator of ArtWalk, whose Harbor Restaurant backs ArtWalk in so many different ways; Randy Smith, Michigan Rag, who is at every ArtWalk event and seems to be the guy everyone turns to in order to solve problems, which he does with a calmness that is to be admired; Dana Kollewehr, Main Street Downtown Development Authority, who does an amazing job juggling her MSDDA work with the incredible time requirements of ArtWalk; Kelly Gates, who apparently works on ArtWalk 24/7, who is never without a great smile, and who is an excellent spokesperson for ArtWalk; Bob Warren, the classic strong, silent type who simply does everything asked of him, which, believe me, is a lot; and Barb Legatz (please note Barb is the writer’s wife), volunteer coordinator, who cares not one wit for titles, but who does believe in ArtWalk, and who will do anything to keep it running smoothly, from recruiting and working with volunteers to cleaning bathrooms at ArtWalk headquarters.
All of us who live in and around Grand Haven can be proud of ArtWalk, and we should recognize the extent to which it has enriched all of our lives by putting the spotlight on the arts. If you pass one of the people I have mentioned on the street, give that person a pat on the back and “a job well done.” They deserve it.
— Joe Legatz, Grand Haven