FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 11, 2021
Contact: Jami Goldstein
COLUMBUS, Ohio—The Greater Columbus Arts Council (Arts Council) has canceled the 2021 Columbus Arts Festival.
After much deliberation, the Arts Council Board of Trustees voted to cancel the 2021 Arts Festival amid continued public health concerns due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It is a heartbreaking decision to make; however, there is simply too much uncertainty surrounding the pandemic to responsibly host an event of this magnitude in early June,” said Tom Katzenmeyer, president and CEO of the Arts Council. “We explored every option we could think of and in the end we had to accept that there was no feasible way to make the Columbus Arts Festival happen this year.”
COVID numbers that, while decreasing, are still dangerously high; new, more contagious virus variants; and the slow rate of vaccine distribution all factored into the board’s decision as they voted this week.
“As much as we desperately want to celebrate a return to gatherings this year, we recognize that we must put the health and safety of our patrons, artists, performers, vendors and sponsors first,” said Katzenmeyer.
The Arts Council is excited to look to 2022 and shared the plans that are already in motion.
“With vaccinations underway we feel very confident that 2022 will happen,” said Sean Kessler, Festival director. “We have chosen dates, June 10-12, and a new location. In 2022 we will be hosting the Columbus Arts Festival in the Arena District!”
The Festival has occupied three different spaces in its 60-year history, and the move to the Arena District will allow the Festival to serve artists, patrons and the community at the level they have come to expect while the Scioto Peninsula undergoes the new development west of COSI.
“As our city grows and changes, the Columbus Arts Festival has to be responsive,” said Kessler. “We’re grateful to a city with wonderful neighborhoods that grow and adapt with us and we’re looking forward to still being connected to the downtown riverfront, as well as ample parking, easy access from any direction and proximity to other city amenities.”
The 2021 Columbus Arts Festival is grateful for support from presenting sponsor American Electric Power Foundation. Additional sponsors and partners include Battelle, G&J Pepsi Cola, Graeter’s, IGS Energy, L Brands Foundation, The Ohio State University, OSA Technology Partners, Vintage Wine Distributors and Whole World Lemonade. Media sponsors include ABC6/Fox28, CD92.9, Dispatch Media Group, Lamar Outdoor Advertising, Ohio Magazine, Orange Barrel Media, RBX, Sunny 95, WCBE 90.5 and WOSU Public Media.
The Greater Columbus Arts Council receives major financial support from the City of Columbus, Franklin County Commissioners and the Ohio Arts Council. None of these funds are used for the production of the Columbus Arts Festival.
Mission of the Greater Columbus Arts Council: To support and advance the arts and cultural fabric of Columbus. www.gcac.org
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