Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals
I have been lobbying Naples Downtown to get a refund on my booth fee after they cancelled the show. Here is a very arrogant email that I received today. Aimee Schlehr, the chairman wrote this extremely unprofessional letter to the artists who have been requesting a refund. Apparently they will refund my booth fee when funds become available, but they are black-balling me from ever participating in one of their art fairs because of my "breach" of contract. Here is her email:
Good Afternoon Artists:
I want to first say thank you for your patience. This virus has not only affected your income immediately but also the art centers revenue. We had to cancel our major fundraiser, classes and workshops, and the downtown show, all funding sources we needed to survive the summer. I have spent the last two weeks laying off staff, working with creditors, vendors and our board of directors to stabilize the organization for the time being. We are not funded by a city, county, state or national government or a chamber of commerce. The outdoor shows fund the operations of the art center so I, like you, have been combing funding opportunities and grants opportunities. I am happy to see there are a generous amount of grant opportunities for artists to apply for help, far more than there are for arts organizations. I hope all of you are taking advantage of these grants and funding sources.
I also want to take this time to let you know how awful I think it is that artists would spew such hatred at an employee who was simply doing her job within her parameters, she is not the decision maker for the organization. Maureen works tirelessly to ensure every artists has the opportunity to be successful in our shows and to take out anger on her is unprofessional and childlike.
That being said, Naples Art is a respected non-profit organization and small business dedicated to treating artists as professional business people. Each small business needs to make decisions that best fit their needs. We always put our reputation first and honor all contracts we have with vendors, artists and service providers. We expect the same in return. By applying to the Naples Downtown Art Show, it was assumed that you read the terms listed in the prospectus, including the cancelation policy. When you submitted your application it was with the understanding that you agreed to the terms and would abide by the policies outlined. Our cancelation policy clearly stated “ In the event that the “Show” is interrupted or prevented without contributory fault or negligence of either party because of war, act of God, fire, national or local calamity, riot or civil disorder, any act or regulation of public authorities, or any unforeseen occurrence or labor dispute, including strike or lockout of employees, then obligations of the parties shall be suspended to the extent made necessary, but no refund shall be due or payable to the artist from the Naples Art for any fees paid. Neither the Artist nor the “Show” shall be liable to the other for any damages caused thereby.
The COVID-19 virus would fall under a national calamity (as defined in the dictionary- an event causing great and often sudden damage or distress), the CDC and WHO was recommending cancelling events with attendance of over 50 people.
Therefore, requesting a refund of your booth fee is a breach of contract. Naples Art chooses only to work with those who honor their word so in the future we will not be doing business with you. We know there are promoters out there who will fill a show with whoever pays so I am sure you will have plenty of show opportunities in the future.
Your refund check is being processed, as funds become available to us we will be sending out checks.
We wish you the best and good luck,