The Rapidian

Festival of the Arts cancels 2020 event due to growing COVID-19 pandemic

Grand Rapids' Festival of the Arts has been cancelled this year due to the "rapidly developing COVID-19 situation." This year's event was scheduled to take place June 5-7, 2020.
Festival of the Arts 2014 crowd

Festival of the Arts 2014 crowd /Ann-Marie Jurek

Festival of the Arts, Grand Rapids' annual celebration of art, music, and culture every first weekend of June, has been cancelled this year due to the "rapidly developing COVID-19 situation." This year's event was scheduled to take place June 5-7, 2020.

The decision, made by Festival of the Arts leadership, was guided by county, state, and federal health officials.

“Cancelling Festival for the first time in 50 years was a very difficult decision, but we need to keep the community’s best interests in mind,” said David Abbott, executive director for Festival of the Arts. “Festival leadership and our amazing team of volunteers remains committed to Art for All and looks forward to bringing the event back strong in 2021.”

Festival of the Arts relies on over 1,500 volunteers to create the annual three-day celebration of art, music, and performances that happens throughout downtown Grand Rapids. In past years, estimated attendance for the weekend-long event has been more than 300,000.

Abbott shared that, "with guidelines in place limiting gatherings, Festival's Board of Directors and I felt it prudent to advise a halt of committee activity for the health and well being of all of our volunteers.” All of Festival of the Arts' volunteer committees would normally have been hard at work over the next few weeks panning this year's event.

To learn more about Festival of the Arts' 2020 cancellation, their website will continue to offer updates.

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