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Ann Arbor Art Fair 2020 canceled due to COVID-19 pandemic

Credit: Ann Arbor Art Fair
Credit: Ann Arbor Art Fair

ANN ARBOR – The 2020 Ann Arbor Art Fair has been canceled due to safety concerns over the COVID-19 crisis.

In a joint statement on Thursday, the directors of the four individual fairs released the following statement:

This was an extremely difficult decision, as we know how deeply this impacts the participating artists, local businesses and the broader Ann Arbor community. However, the Covid-19 virus has changed the world as we know it and the safety of our visitors, artists, and area residents is the top priority. We are deeply saddened, but we have consulted with City officials and determined that we are just not able to produce the Art Fair in a manner that will adhere to the mandated social distancing requirements that lie ahead.

We are confident that the 2021 Ann Arbor Art Fair will bring renewed enthusiasm for this wellloved event that has brought world-class art to the streets of Ann Arbor for the last 60 years. We invite you to join us once again as downtown Ann Arbor transforms into an art lovers paradise the third week of July 2021!

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This is the first time in its 61 year history that the fair has been canceled. The event, which runs Thursday through Sunday, was slated for July 16-19. New dates for 2021 are July 15 to July 18.

Executive director of the Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair, Karen Delhey, said the directors had been monitoring the coronavirus situation for some time.

“We were hopeful that something would change and we would be able to have this event because it means so much to so many," said Delhey. “As this has progressed, we feel like it’s the best decision for everyone.”

Delhey said that while the directors and attendees alike are saddened by the news, the artists and local businesses will be hit hardest by the absence of the event.

“For the local Ann Arbor businesses, this is a very big week for them, and they’ve been shut down already for a long time,” said Delhey. “When they reopen, we really encourage people to support them the best they can. Also, buy art because artists are really struggling.”

Artists’ websites are listed on the main Ann Arbor Art Fair site and many sell their work online.

Comprised of the Summer Art Fair, the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair, The Original, the South University Art Fair and State Street Art Fair, the Ann Arbor Art Fair is the largest juried art fair in the nation, featuring 1,000 artists from around the country across 30 city blocks and draws nearly half a million attendees each year.

For more information, visit www.theannarborartfair.com.

About the Author:

Meredith has worked for WDIV since August 2017 and was voted one of Washtenaw County's best journalists in 2019 by eCurrent's readers. She covers the community of Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in International Broadcast Journalism from City University London, UK.