Reston, VA

Organizers had hoped the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival would take place at a rescheduled date this year.

But today, the Greater Reston Arts Center announced that the festival will be canceled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic this year. Organizers hope that the next festival will take place on its typical weekend — the third weekend in May. This year’s festival was rescheduled to September 11-13.

“This was a hard decision, knowing how deeply this impacts our artists (who we know value this opportunity, especially now), our audience (who may have appreciated the sense of normalcy the festival could provide), and ourselves (as a small arts non-profit with the festival accounting for over a third of our annual net income),” said Jaynelle Hazard, GRACE’s Executive Director and Curator.

GRACE noted that implementing phase three requirements — including 10 feet of distancing, a 1,000-person cap, and one-way flow of pedestrian traffic — seemed “impossible challenging for an open-air street festival of our magnitude.”

Volunteer numbers are likely to decline (and our volunteers are essential to a well-run festival in the best of times), and artists who remained committed to the event had dropped in recent weeks. We carefully surveyed all options and held on as long as we could; however, we have reached the point where we cannot, confidently, safely or practically proceed. The safety of everyone involved is our top priority,” wrote Erica Harrison, Associate Curator and Festival Director.

Gov. Ralph Northam is expected to make an announcement on the status of phase three in Virginia during a press conference tomorrow.

Photo by Charlotte Geary

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