Ann Arbor Art Fair Cancelled Second Year In A Row Due To Pandemic

May 12, 2021

Artists setting up in downtown Ann Arbor for the 58th Art Fair
Credit Lisa Barry / 89.1 WEMU

Just a few weeks ago, Ann Arbor Art Fair organizers were "cautiously optimistic" they may be able to hold the art fair this coming July. But they have now decided it will not be taking place for the second year in a row, due to the pandemic.

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with the the executive director of the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair, The Original, Maureen Riley, about the decision and community impact.

  

The directors of the Ann Arbor Original Fair, the State Street Fair, and the Summer Art Fair--the three fairs that comprise the Ann Arbor Art Fair--jointly announce the decision to cancel the 2021 Ann Arbor Art Fair. The three fair directors worked very hard to find a way to make this event happen under the State of Michigan’s pandemic restrictions and have realized that, as the nation’s largest art fair, it would be impossible to move forward with this year’s event.

“We can truthfully say that we tried everything we could to make it work with COVID protocols, but the bottom line is that outdoor gathering restrictions would need to be totally lifted before we could proceed. We hung on to hope that restrictions might change, but we have now run out of time. We all think it is likely that capacity limits will be lifted by July, but there are no guarantees. It would be unfair to ask artists to take that risk.”, said Mo Riley, director of Ann Arbor Street Art Fair, the Original. "This was an extremely difficult decision, as we know how deeply this impacts the participating artists, local businesses and the broader Ann Arbor community."

They are asking audiences to continue supporting area artists and small businesses during these difficult times. They are looking forward to returning the third week in July 2022!

Non-commercial, fact based reporting is made possible by your financial support.  Make your donation to WEMU today to keep your community NPR station thriving.

Like 89.1 WEMU on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

— Lisa Barry is the host of All Things Considered on WEMU. You can contact Lisa at 734.487.3363, on Twitter @LisaWEMU, or email her at lbarryma@emich.edu