Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals
I know, i wait listed, and was hoping there would be an opening, well, now there is an entire art fair's worth of openings, but it will have to wait till next year.
Glencoe's Festival of Art (Glencoe, IL - Amdur show) has been rescheduled to the weekend of October 17th. I received the email - and then, I was called off the waitlist for the Port Clinton show (also Amdur, Highland Park, IL), scheduled for the final weekend of August.
Feeling conflicted. Does anyone think there will BE shows in August? They told me I have to accept within 3 days, with at least 50% of the (high end of the cost range) booth fee. Additionally, I have to confirm I'm okay with an outdoor show in the Chicago area in October...there are never any outdoor shows in October in Chicago (that I know of), I think because the weather is VERY chaotic, and usually can be cold/stormy.
Amdur has said they will guarantee a 100% refund of booth fees if the show cancels. My issue is, it's really up in the air if anyone will come IF there can even be a show; and how safe will it be?
Illinois by the way is estimating we will hit peak infections in mid-June. So, mid-September to October will be the time we will be decreasing to maybe equal levels as March/April? And then, maybe a fall upswing?
Ugh. Feeling a bit stuck here.
IMHO, I think that making a financial commitment to a show now, it's too soon. Too soon to know if the virus will be increasing, what the effects of the economy will be, and so on. I am not committing funds to a show until June, so in about 3-4 weeks, and have written the shows I have been accepted to telling them that. Of the 14 leading shows I have been accepted to this year, 10 have cancelled.
Will anyone come? Probably. Everyone is desperate for something to do.
Buying energy? My guess it will increase at the high end, and the medium and low end will be slow.
Safety? My guess, we will probably be seeing waves of virus for a while; it isn't going to disappear by October.
I have two Colorado shows (Golden, and Breckenridge) in August that are the next shows that haven't cancelled. I suspect that both of them will cancel. Breckenridge, a ski town, was hit hard by the Virus. The Golden art fest, sponsored by the Golden Chamber of Commerce, and literally down the street from the Colorado School of Mines, has enough available scientific expertise to make a rational public health decision.
Today I got accepted to a show in October; what is the likelihood that the show will be held? I give it a 35% chance.
So, you can accept within 3 days, but I would hold off on paying. Tough right now for everyone, promoters included - since they are booking expenses, in a very uncertain business environment, and they need to know if there will be enough artists for a show.
Chances are, no more shows through Sept or October.
I am merely guessing reading between the 'tea leaves' based on press reports, all of which we all have access to. So please take this as one guy's opinion
I'm pretty much figuring if something doesn't change I'm out for 2020. I'm reading about an ice cream store and a bakery shutting down because people were so rude about having to wait. A person got shot because he told someone they had to wear a mask. 95% of art fair goers are decent, appreciative people and 5% are assholes in a good year. Just ask a photographer with a "no pictures please" sign in their booth how that works for them. I see all these great ideas, one person in the booth at a time, everyone wears masks and I think about that 5% with their entitled attitudes and it just isn't going to work. And now it isn't a chance that a picture will be reproduced and sold in China, it is life or death. At least it is for me with asthma. There will need to be a security guard for every couple booths. I'm holding out until June to make decisions to see if there are any changes but I don't think there will be.
I am an optimist and have been mostly "wait and see." But I am on the board of a neighborhood association that hosts a popular Historic Home Tour every September (second weekend). When we had a meeting last month (via Zoom) I voted to "wait and see" when others wanted to cancel. Yesterday I voted to cancel. No one wants people in their homes, but we did discuss hosting our arts fest outdoors and expanding it with a garden walk. Not total cancel, but hedging our bets. Interestingly, other board members mentioned "starving artists" and how eager artists would be to join in ... right.
I think it’s safe to assume that all of us in this industry are battling the same issues you have expressed. Should we apply to a show scheduled to take place in the Fall? Would we do a show in the upcoming months? Will anyone come to a show? Although even under “normal” circumstance we take risks, we attempt to mitigate our mistakes through past experiences or confirmed information. However, the decisions we are currently faced with are mired in much uncertainty and no prior experience to guide us which makes our decisions even more difficult.
What I see as the bigger problem during these times is attempting to predict the future; either with researched data or gut intuition. Ask two people the same question and you will probably get two different answers that include their supporting information. No one knows with absolute certainty what will be the actual situation in the upcoming months.
To that end, only YOU know your tolerance for risk. Only you can assess your willingness to take a chance that a show will be held and you would do the show regardless of what MIGHT occur. Only you can determine whether you can afford to sideline your business until YOU have determined it is safe to resume. Once you have assessed YOUR situation, make your decision and live with it. At that point you will have a plan that will ease your conflict and allow you to proceed as you have deemed right for YOU.
Good luck with your soul searching.
The Golden, CO fine arts festival is still on (August), Received a message from the show management on Monday I think, saying the show is still on, although they are watching developments. Jury deadline extended until 6/5/20. This is a high caliber show, with a somewhat smaller crowd (25,-30,000 my guess, over 2 days), might be a good thing right now. Also Breckenridge (Labor day) is also still on.
Of course everything subject to change. I am fully expecting my remaining shows for this year to cancel, at least through Nov or December.
sure. what shows have you done, what medium do you work in?
Congrats on your acceptances, this is a rough first year. try Golden, also you may want to check out shows in November - March, which means Arizona/California/Florida. You probably already know this, but you can check out the calendar on ZAPP, see which show are still accepting applications. Or, maybe this year is toast, try a few, and understand that your first year may well be 2021