2020, what a year. Already. Normally I would be in our booth in downtown Pittsburgh right now at the Three Rivers Arts Festival. Unsurpisingly many art festivals and fairs had to cancel this year due to the coronavirus pandemic and social distancing. The wonderful and huge 10 day long Three Rivers Arts Festival is clearly among them. Typically drawing in up to 500,000 visitors over the course of the Festival, TRAF transformed into a virtual Festival this year from June 5-14, 2020. Why? As the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust Says: “Because art matters, and that’s really the heart of our iconic, one-of-a-kind Festival. We wouldn’t miss it for the world. Read our full statement here and follow us @CulturalTrust for updates.”
This time is challenging all around, and art festival artists like us are especially hard hit. For us personally, art fairs and festivals make up about 60% – 75% of our annual business and sales. Meaning that we expect to lose 60% – 75% of our studio’s income this year. So the financial loss is massive to full time working artists. Additionally we are truly missing the lively and fun in-person interactions with thousands of people talking about everything from art, to movies, to dogs, to yes…the rain! The best part about this Virtual Arts Fest? Rain won’t be an issue!
Three Rivers Arts Fest built a really beautiful website with lots of ways to find and share your favorite parts of the Three Rivers experience, click around and explore! All of the artists would be immensely grateful for any support. One benefit to the Virtual TRAF? We ship! Anywhere and everywhere. So you don’t even have to find parking, or wade through crowds. Our website shop is here, and our Etsy Shop with our new line of Petite Prints is here. You can explore the Virtual Artists Market here and visit the artists social media accounts to see how we make our work, or visit our websites (like ours here) and web shops too to buy original art from hard working, and now hard hit artists from around the country.
We know this time has been and will continue to be very hard for so many. We have been making substantial donations to organizations that are dedicated to doing the most good like the Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and more. And we will continue our weekly donations of all online sales to direct action organizations throughout these times for as long as we can. So each purchase from us also helps many in our community. For real.
Below are some of the other ways to explore the 2020 Virtual Three Rivers Arts Festival. Click on the images to go and check them out.
And finally, we hope that you stay safe and well during the pandemic and this time.