Student wins $1,000 Scholarship

Student wins $1,000 Scholarship through Van Andel Arena,

Kendall College of Art & Design Elton John design contest


Grand Rapids — SMG-managed Van Andel Arena teamed up with the Pamella Roland DeVos School of Fashion Studies of Kendall College of Art & Design of Ferris State University (KCAD Fashion Studies) to design something special for Elton John’s upcoming visit to Grand Rapids, a garment for Elton himself inspired by the many looks he has flaunted throughout his career.


Ten KCAD Fashion Studies students submitted a collection of three different outfits, and each collection was displayed and voted on by the public on Van Andel Arena’s Facebook page. Student #2, Danielle Cavinder, received the most fan votes for her Elton John Collection inspired by his Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour. Cavinder will receive a $1,000 scholarship for her work, and one of her winning garments will be displayed backstage near Elton John’s dressing room next Monday, October 15th at Van Andel Arena.


“It’s a really awesome opportunity to be exposed through this contest as a designer. To be a winner is a great opportunity and solidifies that this is what I’m supposed to be doing and that my work is appreciated,” said Cavinder. “To be able to present my work to Elton, as a legend and as someone whose aesthetic I identify with, is amazing. I want to thank Lori Faulkner, Kelly Muschiana, Stephanie Wood and everyone at Van Andel Arena.”


In addition to Cavinder’s winning garment all ten KCAD student’s design sketches will be on display backstage at Van Andel Arena for Elton John’s Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour on October 15.


“Collaborative thinking makes great things happen and partnering KCAD Fashion Studies and Van Andel Arena/SMG is no exception,” said Lori Faulkner, Fashion Studies Chair of the Pamella Roland DeVos School of Fashion at Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University. “This collaboration is a fantastic opportunity for student designers to use Elton John as their muse and let their creativity run wild.”


About SMG

Van Andel Arena is managed by SMG. SMG provides management services to more than 230 public assembly facilities including convention and exhibition centers, arenas, stadiums, theaters, performing arts centers, amphitheaters, equestrian facilities, science centers and a variety of other venues. With facilities across the globe, SMG manages more than 15 million square feet of exhibition space and more than 1.5 million sports and entertainment seats. As the recognized global industry leader, SMG provides venue management, sales, marketing, event booking and programming; construction and design consulting; and pre-opening services for such landmark facilities as McCormick Place & Soldier Field in Chicago, Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, Houston’s NRG Park and the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. SMG also offers food and beverage operations through its concessions and catering companies, currently serving more than 140 accounts worldwide. For more information visit