Art Fair Insiders

Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals


I would like to post my experiences on this topic and asked the community of what you think of them.

This year, we applied for several arts shows and most of them were cancelled or postponed due to COVID-19.  However, at least half of the organizers refunded our non-refundable application fees because the events were not juried or no artists had been selected to participate.

However, another half of the organizers refused to refund these non-refundable application fees. There were no juried or selections were made.

When I contacted whether the paid application fees could be rolled over to next year, all of them said no and insisted that they were non-refundable in any reasons. So, if I would like to apply to these events again next year, I will have to submit new application fees.

I felt that these were very unfair to the artists who applied to these events because I understood that the fees would be used for jurying whether that artists would be selected or rejected. When the events were cancelled and no juries were made, I believe that the applicants should be entitled for the refunds. At least half of the events that I applied sent me back with the checks, which were very fair and correct.

Even though, each event might cost from $25 - $45, but they will add up pretty quick into several hundred dollars, which I lost without any recovery on this issue.

There is a story that I would like to share. When one event that I applied was cancelled, I immediately looked for some other events that were still opened and I did not have to travel too far. Yes, there were some events still opened. So, I did apply and paid for application fees. Then, a week later, the organizer cancelled the event. When I asked about the application fees, the organizer told me that it was non-refundable, period. I felt like I wasted the money in applying to them. The strange thing was that, the event was opened almost a week before the actual start date. But it happened to me 2-3 times like this.

Again, I had positive experiences as well because many of the organizers informed me that, to refund the fees would be very fair because they did not select anyone to participate and the events were cancelled.

I would like to share my experiences on this topic. All comments are welcome.  Thank you.

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I'm not applying for anything that starts prior to next March. No point in throwing money away.

I'm not applying to anything until May 2021, and maybe not even then unless there is a proven vaccine.


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