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I've been checking this and other platforms for any indication as to what people's thoughts might be on this topic.  So far, no one has even mentioned the subject which, will have an enormous impact on us all.

So, here's the question.  How many of you are going to wait until the last minute to decide, and how many have already made up their minds?  Seeing as how there is a lot of time, energy, effort, and money involved, I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on this matter.

As for me, I'm still deciding if the risk is worth the reward.

March 16

I'd like to take a moment to thank all of the artists that responded, as well as the ones who read my question.  Since I initially wrote my query, the very point of it has become mute.  We are no longer facing a decision as to whether we wait or not.  States, in many cases, have made that decision for us.  They have initiated bans on large gatherings, ordered that bars be closed, restaurants will be required to offer only takeout service. We are far from being alone in this.  In the next few months, this decease will affect virtually every walk of life.  The question now seems to be one of, not for how long, but for how much!

There are a considerable number of shows who still feel that because their shows are later in the season, that they will hold their shows regardless, that this pandemic will have played itself out. This may be true, though the fear that has arisen will still be there. Combine this with the effects of a catastrophic downturn in the stock market, which, economists are now saying, may bring about a recession.   I have a show in upstate New York scheduled for the beginning of June that has stated that they will proceed as planned. Other shows have chosen to postpone their event. While this might work out well for them, it does little for the artists who have assembled their schedule. Changes in time, dates, distance, and logistics can bring about a less than stellar result.

As we stand now, we are in artistic limbo, a limbo where no one can give us workable answers as to when it will end.  Hopefully, we will all come through this.  One can only imagine on a creative level, how this will affect not only the type, style, and depth of our work but our reasons for doing it.

Raoul

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Replying to my post from Thursday, what a difference a day makes! On March 13th, the President declared a National State of Emergency so I'm going to have to reevaluate our situation. We can deal with several weeks of shutdowns but if it continues way past that, we're in serious trouble. Let's see what kind of relief, if any, we can get from the Small Business Association. I think it is still too early to apply for anything because the funding has to be approved by Congress, we'll see . . . 

In California, the Indian Wells Art Festival was just postponed by the promoter. This is a BIG show and a big loss to us artists, but I think it's for the best. I don't care about the booth fee (if lost). It costs me more in gasoline plus hotel costs compared to the booth fee. I am scheduled for the Circle of Art show in Borrego Springs - this weekend - and I just sent the promoter an email asking her if they will cancel the show because of California Department of Public Health guidelines for gatherings (greater than 250 people gathering). I'm caught in a pickle because if the show goes on, should I go? Will anyone come to the show? And with the stock market crashing, will anyone buy art? This is a tough post to write. Gathering Info: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/CDPH%20Document%20Library...

The eight shows I signed up for in Florida this winter have been underwhelming, to say the least. And now, the virus to top it off. My wife and I are in our 70s, in the age bracket that is most likely to suffer from the virus. Last night I packed my bags for Vero Beach and loaded up my van. Then, I watched the news. Social distancing was touted as the biggest preventative. Then there was global pandemic, cancellation of NBA games, no spectators at March madness, cancellation of the ACC show in Atlanta... the list goes on. My wife and I talked it over. We cancelled Vero Beach and as things get worse in the coming weeks, we may cancel Naples Downtown and Gainsville as well. I keep thinking of all those hands flipping through my print bins leaving virus on the slick plastic bags covering each print. 

Yes, right now the chance of infection by the virus is slight, but all indications are that it will increase. The economic impact for us is pretty big, as it is for most of us in this business, but I just don't want to take a chance.

To compensate for the loss of income, I'm working on updating my email list, preparing a "sale" to publish to my list and on Facebook, creating a Kickstarter campaign for an illustrated book I've been working on for over a year, and creating new artwork to sell when things settle down. We also own a gallery in Douglas, Michigan and sales from that gallery continue to tricklle in, even though it is in the off season. We will survive this, but it won't be easy. Better to be healthy than rich.

Hey John, you did the right thing. i too am over seventy and also have type ii diabetes.  its just an art show. your health is worth much more. I canceled also . I didn't expect a refund.(Did not get one) I thought it it was pretty callous of Vero Beach Art Club to put notice in email that there would be no refunds. We all know that

Notification date 3/12/20- Paradise City Art Festival Marlborough Mass event just sent out a rescheduling email to their lists. They are now re-scheduling the event for June. So there’s some data

I did two craft shows last weekend approx 3-5000 total attendance between the two.

People shopped blissfully unaware. No masks or gloves. Most vendors weren’t aware of the potentials. I don’t have any additional shows until late April. So if I contacted anything, i won’t be sharing it with the public. 10 days and counting on potential development of symptoms.

I did a big Sugarloaf show in Edison, NJ over the weekend. It was too late to cancel. Disaster. Didn't even make the booth fee, which I usually do {first time doing this show, however}. Sparse attendance, but due to the virus? 

Yes, I did it last spring and it was good.

The Circle of Art in Borrego Springs, CA just cancelled their show this weekend because of health guidlines re the virus going around. I don't blame them. This show is a major fundraiser for their student scholarship program BASIC. I am donating my booth fees to their cause. This is a real bummer because it is always such a beautifull show and so many people come for the show in the desert - yet this year I think many will be staying home and not spending because of the stock market killing us all.

I'll be interested in learning what will happen this weekend.  We have shows scheduled the next 2 weekends.  We are planning on being on hand if they happen.  Will let you know how it turns out.

I previously posted about choosing not to exhibit at Vero Beach this weekend (March 14-15), my 6th out of eight art fairs I had scheduled for Florida this winter. My 7th show was to be Naples Downtown, but I just got an email that they cancelled the show for health reasons. They also said to "stay tuned" because they were putting together some kind of online art fair thing so that we could stay in touch with our customers (sic). I suspect that this online thing means we will not be getting a refund. Still waiting to hear if the Gainsville show (my 8th scheduled show in Florida) will be cancelled or not.

Just saw from their website that the Winter Park Festival has been cancelled.  I haven’t yet heard from them directly.

As of last week, I was praying my March and April shows don't get canceled. As of today I have changed my tune and am no longer poo-pooing this crisis. Not so much worried about getting the virus, well I am a little, but I think it would be irresponsible for shows NOT to cancel based on what the experts are recommending in regards to crowds. The fact is when the Government tells people not to go to events and when major sporting events cancel that a big deal. A lot of money is involved and they don't take canceling sporting events lightly. Even if shows don't cancel I have to think about the 12-hour drive, fees etc and my time at the show and getting ready for the shows, just to hope I make my booth fee back.  To hope a show doesn't cancel doesn't make sense to me, the fact is people are just not going to come. Many don't come when its raining and rain isn't a health issue and the ones that do I wonder how much they will spend. Were not only dealing with the virus but the economy as well. My apologies if I sound pessimistic, its just my opinion and Im sure this will pass but not attending a few shows while this settles down might not be the worse thing especially if we are going to nip this virus in the bud. I just hope for all of us the promoters who are compassionate to artist who support their shows year after year return or credit our fees. Most of us live on this income and personally, this will be a major burden on my finances but it is out of my control. Im just working on a budget that will get me through the next few months like working with my creditors to see what options I have for deferring loans etc. Even downgraded my dogs food to a cheaper brand. My hope is that the virus will go away sooner if everyone follows the guidelines and that includes canceling events like craft shows. This is a good time to work on Arts/Crafts for the Fall Shows as well.  Stay safe everyone. We will all get through this and better times are ahead!

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