Riverside Art Festival


The YWCA Riverside Art Festival is YWCA Great Lakes Bay Region's largest fundraiser of the year and all proceeds support programs to eliminate racism and empower women in the Great Lakes Bay Region.

The YWCA Riverside Art Festival draws over 10,000 people from around the Great Lakes Bay Region with beautiful artistry and entertainment. Having the venue on the streets of downtown Bay City and along the riverfront of the Saginaw River has allowed the festival to grow each year.

The anonymous jury committee for the festival will convene twice - once in February and again in April. Acceptance letters will be sent within two weeks of jury meetings based on when applications are received. All jury decisions are based on originality/level of difficulty and are final. The jury committee reserves the right to limit the number of artists accepted for the show and the number of artists represented in each media category.

Applications will be reviewed in the order they are received. Any application that does not have the required photos and description of process submitted will not be considered for the festival.

Accepted Mediums

  • Ceramics
  • Crafts
  • Drawing
  • Garden Art
  • Glass
  • Jewelry
  • Metal
  • Mixed Media
  • Novelty
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Sculpture
  • Stone
  • Textiles
  • Watercolor
  • Weaving
  • Wood
  • Other

Jury Information

• Jury meets twice: once in February for applications received by February 1, 2018 and once in April for applications received after February 1, 2018. Checks are cashed upon acceptance into the festival.

• All applications must include 5 excellent photos - 1 of 5 must be a work in progress and 1 of 5 must show your booth display. The jury will not consider applications that do not have the appropriate photos submitted.

• All applications must include a short paragraph describing your work and the process used.

Please note: Jewelry as a medium has become very competitive. Please submit your application on time and provide the appropriate photos for consideration of your artistic ability. Buy-sell jewelry is not acceptable. Please be sure to include a summary of your process for jury consideration. YWCA only allows 20% jewelry for artistic variety.

Media & Prize Money

YWCA markets the YWCA Riverside Art Festival through the following local newspapers: The Bay City Times, The Saginaw News, and The Midland Daily News. The Bay City Times also presents a feature artist in the weekend events insert along with detailed information about the festival. Other marketing includes flyers, postcards, banners, radio, and road side signs. Awards will be presented for Best of Show ($240 and ribbon) and second place ($140 and ribbon).


The YWCA Riverside Art Festival is located in downtown Bay City, Michigan which is part of the Great Lakes Bay Region and includes Bay, Saginaw, and Midland counties. The population of the three counties respectively is 391,000 combined, with an average family income of $56,000. For 45 years, the YWCA Riverside Art Festival has drawn people from throughout the state of Michigan.


The YWCA Riverside Art Festival accepts only handmade-original work/design. Commercial kits, premade patterns and pieces are not accepted. All jewelry must be made by the jeweler, prefabricated jewelry is not allowed. All artists must submit a process summary.

Food Vendors

Food vendors will be a part of the festival and really draw crowds. They will be back again in 2018 with the participation of local eateries in the area giving you a chance to refuel and keep shopping.


We know how hard it is to lug your treasures far and wide. Having the venue on the street allows all artists to drive right up to their booth to unload and pack-up. Booth spaces are 12' wide by 12-16' deep.

Special Requests

Booth assignments are not finalized until the day before the festival. YWCA cannot guarantee specific space requests, however we will do our best to accommodate.

Booth Sitters

Have to go to the restroom? Get a drink? Grab some more art? YWCA will have several booth sitters to assist our hard-working artists. Be assured that someone will always be available to lend a hand. We will also have a designated artist relations tent to answer those pressing questions. As always the YWCA Riverside Art Festival has an exceptional reputation as a well-organized event.
March 31 Application Deadline
March 31 Last Day for Refunds
June 8 Registration 6pm-8pm
June 9 Registration 7am-9am
June 9 Festival 10am-5pm
June 10 Festival 11am-4pm

Non-Profit Booth Request

Non-Profit Booth Request Form


Food Vendor Application

If you are interested in participating as a Food Vendor or are a Non-Profit and would like to have a booth at the Riverside Art Festival please download and complete your application form. Please mail it to the address below:

YWCA Riverside Art Festival
723 Washington Avenue
Bay City, MI 48708

Food Vendor Application


Other Questions

If you have any questions regarding the YWCA Riverside Art Festival please contact us at:

Brandon Strong, Festival Coordinator