It is with very heavy hearts, and much frustration, that we must announce the cancellation of the Ketchikan Area Arts and Humanities Council’s 32nd Annual Winter Arts Faire planned for November 26th, 27th, and 28th, 2021 at the Saxman Community Center.
The Ketchikan Area Arts and Humanities Council staff and board are administrators, practitioners, and participants of the arts and humanities – we are not medical or epidemiological experts. With the dissolution of the local EOC, this organization has been unable to lean on any one entity to help make decisions regarding the safety of our large events. Instead, we consult and rely on the guidance of local medical and epidemiological experts in determining whether our events are safe and that we are deploying adequate mitigation strategies.
Forced with determining today, November 19th, whether to proceed with the annual Winter Arts Faire, we have been exhaustive in gathering information as to the safety of holding the event during the current spike in cases and hospital admittances. We do not take these decisions lightly.
Our planned mitigation included:
· Masks required for everyone at all times
· No food or drink within the venue
· Reduction of vendors by almost 50% to allow 10-foot aisles between vendor rows
· Expanded booths for vendors to allow them to move away from anyone invading the artist’s personal safety zone
· Directional traffic flow to keep attendees from clogging the walkways
· All vendors, volunteers, and attendees sign in each day, enabling us to track any outbreaks and conduct contact tracing if necessary
In consulting with both the Ketchikan Public Health Center experts and the Chief Medical Officer at the hospital, we were advised even with our extensive, multi-layered mitigation, that holding the Winter Arts Faire at this time, under the current infection rate conditions, would be imprudent, and they strongly urged cancellation of the large, indoor event.
While we must follow expert advice and cancel the Winter Arts Faire, the Ketchikan Area Arts and Humanities Council will continue with the Online Winter Arts Market featuring the Winter Arts Faire vendors online, showcasing their online stores in a variety of platforms. Please visit ketchikanarts.org to shop at the Online Winter Arts Market and support the amazing artists of Ketchikan. Many of the artists are participating in the Greater Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce’s Merry Merchant and Munch incentive campaign so you can still benefit yourself while you shop with them AND get really awesome artwork and crafts. Please support the local artists in any way you can!!!!
Lastly, the Ketchikan Area Arts and Humanities Council would like to express our gratitude to First Bank for sponsoring the Winter Arts Faire. First Bank has been our partners in the Winter Arts Faire since 2009 and have helped to keep it vibrant and exciting for both the artists and the attendees. Additionally, we would like to express our gratitude to the City of Saxman for their flexibility and enthusiasm to provide space for the Winter Arts Faire in the beautiful Saxman Community Center.