Art on the Prairie moves 11th annual festival to online only

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The 11th annual Art on the Prairie festival will be a virtual event in 2020, the committee announced Tuesday.

After months of discussions, feedback from artists and gaming countless scenarios, the Art on the Prairie Committee has decided to cancel this year’s annual in-person art festival and shift to a virtual event instead, the committee announced Tuesday.

“It was a difficult decision,” said Mary Rose Nichols, vice president and co-treasurer of the Art on the Prairie Committee. “The health and safety of our beloved artists, volunteers and shoppers were the key factors in canceling the festival, but we felt it was important to still facilitate an alternative to support the artists who make Art on the Prairie so special.”

The festival, which for 10 years has brought more than 100 Iowa artists, musicians, poets and authors together with thousands of shoppers to Perry’s downtown Cultural and Historic District during the second full weekend in November, will be completely online this year, providing new opportunities for artists and shoppers to safely participate from any location.

Nichols said the virtual event will take place on Eventeny.com and will not only run Nov. 14-15, which would have been the in-person weekend, but it will be extended through the end of November to include Small Business Saturday, Artist Sunday and Cyber Monday.

Additional details will be added as they become available, but a preview and countdown is available for viewing now at the Art on the Prairie website.

The 2020 Art on the Prairie ONLINE will include three main components:

• Artist Marketplace: individual artist shop pages for shoppers to purchase artwork online, directly from participating artists.
• CSA (Community Supported Art) Packages: limited quantities of curated groupings of artwork by multiple artists, available for purchase from Art on the Prairie.
• Artist Spotlights: live streamed and pre-recorded videos scheduled throughout the virtual event, including interviews, demonstrations and musical performances.

“This year has not panned out as anyone would have expected,” said Art on the Prairie Committee Board of Directors President Jenny Eklund. “We’re hoping that people will stick with us for what feels more like the 10.5 year of Art on the Prairie, and we’ll look forward to coming back stronger than ever in 2021 for the 11th annual festival.”

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