Kimball Cancels Arts Festival

Jun 19, 2020

Street scene from the 2019 Kimball Arts Festival locals' night.
Credit KPCW

With too many details to work out and too little time, the Kimball Art Center cancelled this year’s Arts Festival.

Event organizers met with the Park City Council last week to see if there was a way that the festival could be held on a smaller scale and would keep artists and the public safe. While council members expressed concern, they seemed willing to move forward with the idea if it could be done safely.

Kimball Art Center Marketing Director Amy Roberts says in the last week they realized there were just too many details to be worked out in too short of a time.   “There were a lot of issues that still need to be resolved and a lot of details that still need to be worked out,” Roberts said. “And as we try to tackle those, we began to realize that we were not going to be able to present the council and get back on the agenda this week and that was truly the deadline to make an announcement. We still had to face the idea that the situation is evolving and changing, and it could certainly be that our community goes to a different phase of recovery and there are stricter regulations. It's just really hard to adapt a short turn around with no notice when you're dealing with a large-scale event.”

The Kimball knew they would have to scale back the festival dramatically and they still had a number of artists willing to participate. She says they are committed to finding some ways to support them.  “We are looking at a variety of ways to still celebrate a 51-year history of an art festival and support our artists at the same time and we’re finalizing some plans for that and details will be available soon.”

After a 50-year run, making the announcement was not easy – but she says they know they did their best. “It was not cancelled for lack of effort I will tell you that - we left absolutely everything we had on the field and we came up with a variety of different ideas to try to make this work. While at the in-person physical event on Main Street is cancelled - I will tell you this - creativity is not cancelled and we will still be marking the occasion in some fashion. We will still be celebrating our artists. We will still look to our community and to engage and inspire them through art.”

The Kimball Arts Festival is the Arts Center’s biggest fundraiser of the year. It’s traditionally held the first weekend in August on Park City’s Main Street and draws some 50,00 attendees and more than 200 artists.