GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — ArtPrize is joining the expanding list of festivals canceling due to COVID-19.
The board of directors made the announcement Wednesday that the exhibition, set to take place between Sept. 16 and Oct. 4 in downtown Grand Rapids, would need to be canceled due to uncertainties surrounding the pandemic.
“We initially shifted plans to focus on outdoor spaces and large indoor venues. However, after analyzing the situation further and considering the unknowns, we realized that hosting such an event was not the best course forward. Although very disappointing, we believe it is the best decision to ensure the well-being of our constituents,” said ArtPrize board member Marc Schwartz, in a press release.
Organizers say the pandemic has created many obstacles for hosting a safe event, including travel safety of artists and tourists, uncertainty regarding venues and restrictions on gatherings by the state in addition to the general health and safety of guests.
“The ArtPrize community is talented and innovative, and we appreciate each and every one of you," says ArtPrize Founder Rick DeVos. "While we won’t come together to experience art as we have in prior years, I hope that all of us can find our own unique way to connect with Grand Rapids in the months ahead. Our community is known as one that comes together in challenging times and we all need each other now more than ever.”
ArtPrize plans to pause their operations and take the time to evaluate the possibility of future events. They will refund artists and venues for their registration fees and sponsors will be contacted soon to arrange the cancelation of their agreements.
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