The following article was edited by Columbia Missourian assistant city editor Cianna Morales. Click on the link to reach the original article.
The Columbia Art League announced the cancellation of the 2021 Art in the Park event due to COVID-19 concerns in posts made to Facebook and Instagram on Thursday.
"This was a very difficult decision," the post stated, "but as the vaccination numbers and Covid cases fluctuate, and health and safety requirements for large events in Boone County remain, it has become evident that there are too many unstable variables at play for us to continue preparations."
Kelsey Hammond, executive director of the Columbia Art League, went into more detail regarding the deliberations.
“I think that we felt really prepared to be able to put on a safe event because it’s outdoors, we can wear masks,” Hammond said.
But the extensive amount of planning, coupled with the large number of pandemic-related constraints, made it next to impossible to prepare.
“It just got to a point where we weren’t going to be able to financially pull it off,” Hammond said.
The organization reaffirmed its commitment to its various creators, vendors and volunteers. In place of a physical gathering, Columbia Art League will host all accepted artists virtually.
“We’ll be linking to their websites so that people who normally go to Art in the Park can actually support them directly by shopping on their websites,” Hammond said.
Columbia Art League said Art in the Park will return June 4 and June 5, 2022.
Because the event typically functions as a prime source of fundraising, Columbia Art League encouraged supporters to donate directly to its website columbiaartleague.org.