Ann Arbor Art Fair canceled amid COVID-19 safety concerns

Thursday, May 7, 2020 - 3:18pm

Pedestrians at the Ann Arbor Art Fair in 2019.

Pedestrians at the Ann Arbor Art Fair in 2019. Buy this photo
Alec Cohen/Daily

The 2020 Ann Arbor Art Fair, set to happen July 16-19, has been cancelled due to safety concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. In March, the Ann Arbor Art Fair directors originally announced plans to continue holding the fair, but made the decision to completely cancel the event on Thursday.

A local tradition for over 60 years, the Ann Arbor Art Fair attracts thousands of people every year from across the country. The event consists of four art fairs: Street Art Fair, Summer Art Fair, State Street Art Fair and South University Art Fair. Thousands of artists from Ann Arbor and across the country hold a booth at the art fair. Local businesses also contribute to the art fair, leaving food samples and stands for the attendees to enjoy. 

A statement was released from the four Ann Arbor Art Fairs Directors to confirm the cancellation. 

“It is with heavy hearts that the Directors of the four individual Ann Arbor Art Fairs come together to announce the decision to cancel the 2020 Ann Arbor Art Fair,” the press release stated. “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.”

Plans for the 2021 Ann Arbor Art Fair, however, are now available on their website. While the directors are disappointed about the cancellation, they hope the prospect of next year’s fair will lift spirits.

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

Summer Managing News Editor Jasmin Lee can be reached at itsshlee@umich.edu