The 57th Street Art Fair has cancelled plans for a scaled-down in-person event next month, citing health and safety concerns.
Organizers did apply for a city permit to hold the 74th-annual edition of the fair but have not received a reply. Neither have they received permission yet from Ray School and Chicago Public Schools to use the footprint as a staging area.
State guidelines for outdoor events would also lead to logistical issues and financial expenses for the organizers.
“In the end, time and cost to implement a safely modified in-person event became insurmountable factors,” the organizing committee said in a statement. “While remaining optimistic, it has been an overwhelming challenge to plan for a physical event with all the uncertainties and unknowns that still remain due to the ongoing pandemic.”
Organizers are thus planning on holding the 2021 fair virtually through May 2022 at 57thstreetartfair.org/virtual-fair, and they ask artists invited to this year's event to consider returning next year. The application period opens on Nov. 1.
“The committee and the neighborhood will miss everyone again this year, and are looking ahead to next year, when we hope to see everyone in-person to help us celebrate our 75th Anniversary!”