[1]A tumbleweed slowly makes its way across Grand River Avenue. The bells of Beaumont Tower ring through campus without being drowned out by shouts of students making their way from class to class. Outside Espresso Royale someone kicks a hacky-sack to a friend who isn’t there. A look down M.A.C. warrants not people standing in line at the Riv, but eerily empty sidewalks.
Summertime in East Lansing sees students leaving to live at home for the summer, take internship positions, travel or move away after graduation. But just because there are less people around does not mean that the town shuts its doors completely. There is still a city and a community here that should not be forgotten.
“I’m really looking forward to summer,” Elizabeth Wilson, hospitality sophomore, said. In May, Wilson will be moving out of her dorm room in Abbot hall into an apartment at The Pines with friends. This will be her first summer in East Lansing.
“I’ll have friends around, so we will be able to hang out and find things to do,” Wilson said.
Others will be doing more than just hanging out. Micho Rutare, for example, will be using this summer to film a movie in East Lansing. Sourdough and the Seven Saints will be the second feature film by Rutare, a graduating political theory student. The film is about a group of friends who invent a religion of their own.
“The only thing I know for sure is this- I’m going to shoot this movie,” Rutare said about his post-graduation plans. “While he has some other options after receiving his degree from MSU, nothing is concrete, he said.
With many students leaving for the summer, Rutare said he’ll have “a limited pool of experience that can be relied on” for the movie. “That’s one of the trade-offs,” Rutare said, “you get people for free but it’s more difficult to find dedication.”
For the most part Rutare said he is relying on the talent of local actors. People who are involved in local theater as well as those involved with MSU theater will be enlisted to help him. “There are a lot of people with interesting ideas in East Lansing,” Rutare said.
[2]In another genre across town, the folks at (Scene) Metrospace gallery, 410 Abbot Rd., are not slowing down for the summer months. Emma Kruch from (SCENE) Metrospace said the place will be opening its Urban Show on May 19. “The show includes artists whose work incorporates \’urban\’ themes,” Kruch said, “particularly those that capture the inner city and/or metropolitan style and way of life.”
The show will feature art such as graffiti, photography, graphic design and installation pieces. The opening of the event will feature live DJs as well.
Kruch expects a large turnout for the event in May despite the absence of many students. “Our opening usually draws around 200 people and [has] been growing immensely with each new show,” Kruch said. “During the summers (SCENE) sees less students, but just as many young people, local artists and permanent residents.” Kruch said that from May to August the gallery does not cease communication with the university, but works to strengthen ties through volunteer work and extended open hours.[one]
There are plenty of other events happening throughout the summer.
The East Lansing Art Festival (May 20-21), Summer Solstice Jazz Festival (June 16-17) and the Great Lakes Folk Festival (August 11-13) will all take place this summer, drawing people statewide to East Lansing.
The Fountain Square concert series takes place every Friday night of the summer from 7:30-9 p.m. next to the Marriot hotel, as well as the Live! At Ann Street Plaza concert series every summer Saturday evening. Live! At Ann Street will be showcasing mid-Michigan Musicians.
Kruch said (SCENE) is planning a full calendar of diverse events throughout the summer. These will include “poetry open mics, music events, as well as theater events,” Kruch said.
The summer months will not be desolate around East Lansing this year. Although there may be slightly fewer rushes at Big Ten at 1:50 a.m., and more open space at the library while studying, the students here will not be able to complain of nothing to do.

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