After careful consideration, the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (MMoCA) has cancelled the 62nd annual Art Fair on the Square. The event was scheduled for July 11 and 12.
MMoCA made this decision after weeks of careful deliberation about the challenging and evolving impacts of COVID-19. Our decision relied on the guidance offered by federal, state, and local public health policies regarding the coronavirus.
The event is MMoCA’s largest annual fundraiser, and typically draws nearly 200,000 visitors and some 500 artists to Capitol Square each summer, and more than 400 volunteers support the event. Due to the expectation of such large crowds and close quarters, MMoCA’s board and senior staff members decided that holding the fair would be counter to the interests of public health and safety.
“It is especially hard to deliver this news during such a difficult time. Unfortunately, with the Dane County state of emergency declaration being in place until at least July 15, we determined that we cannot move forward. As much as we want to help artists, and to offer our city a celebration of the arts while raising funds for the museum, we want to do our part to encourage health and safety first," said Annik Dupaty, MMoCA’s director of events and volunteers. “We look forward to the Art Fair on the Square returning on July 10 and 11, 2021.”
Art Fair on the Square is a beloved summer tradition in Madison, and one of the Midwest’s most popular and highly regarded outdoor celebrations of the arts. It features a mix of music, entertainment, and outdoor dining, as well as nearly 500 artists exhibiting paintings, prints, photographs, sculpture, jewelry, handmade clothing and accessories, and fine craft.
The funds raised by the event are crucial to helping MMoCA, which is a private nonprofit organization, continue to offer free and transformative contemporary and modern art exhibitions, education programming, and events to the community. The museum suggests that anyone with the ability to donate may do so online at mmoca.org/support.
The artists that were scheduled to be included in the 2020 event will still be highlighted and celebrated online at mmoca.org and on the Art Fair on the Square Facebook page this summer. Artists juried into the 2020 Art Fair will be automatically invited to the 2021 Art Fair. Artists’ booths fees that have already been paid will be returned in full.