The Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair is one of the four official fairs that make up the larger Ann Arbor Art Fair.

It all began in the spring of 1970, about ten years after the premiere of the original Ann Arbor Street Fair. A group of young artists from Ann Arbor began working on a separate art fair which would give emerging artists, craftspeople and art students a chance to “take to the streets.” Calling it the Free Arts Festival, they set up this “free fair” on the University of Michigan’s “Diag” on Central Campus. Funding and management for this new fair was provided by the participating artists themselves. As these young artists matured so did the Free Arts Festival, which became a recognized component of the official Ann Arbor Art Fairs and in the mid-70s was renamed the Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair.

The Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair is produced by the Guild of Artists & Artisans, formerly the Michigan Guild of Artists & Artisans.