Usually, summers are filled with a wide range of festivals every weekend. These events provide jobs to local and regional artists, crafters, musicians, food purveyors, and a wide range of support staff. All of the festivals in the region canceled their spring festivals and as summer starts festivals are continuing to be canceled or postponed while elected officials watch COVID-19 stats to determine if and when outdoor music festivals, wine festivals, and art markets can reopen. The popular local First Sunday Arts Festival for June is converting to a Virtual Arts Festival. They are trying to create some opportunities for over 200 people that rely on these monthly arts festivals for income and the attendees that have faithfully supported shopping at this open-air art market now in its 18th year. "We know it's not summer without the chance to shop your favorite local artists, listen to local musicians, and to dine out. We wanted to bring that experience to everyone this summer," says Erik Evans who manages the First Sunday Arts Festival. So after the urging from several festival patrons, and after receiving a generous grant from the Chaney Enterprises Foundation Fund, the First Sunday Arts Festival has converted its June festival into a Virtual Arts Festival that you can enjoy from your home. The festival has included all of the artists that participated in First Sunday Arts Festivals last year or were scheduled for this year that have an online presence. The virtual festival will also include live local virtual concerts and they hope to have some live artists events as well. There are even links for getting food, visiting nearby galleries, artist studios, public art, and more. See the virtual festival at https://www.firstsundayarts.com/virtualfestival When asked about when the monthly First Sunday Arts Festivals will return for in-person shopping, the response was "We are always planning for next month, however, it is up to local elected officials who are monitoring COVID-19 to determine the proper timeline for reopening," says Erik Evans. Follow the First Sunday Arts Festivals on Facebook or their website for updates on future events.
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