After weeks of deliberation and planning with the city and community members, Arts Council Oklahoma City (ACOKC) has decided to move Festival of the Arts from its usual time in April to new June dates: June 22nd - 27th. “Moving Festival of the Arts to June this year is the right decision for the event and the community,” says Peter Dolese, ACOKC Executive Director. “It gives more time for vaccine distribution and protection allowing us to design an outdoor event that implements CDC guidelines and creates an enjoyable, safe experience.”
Traditionally, Festival of the Arts takes place outdoors the last full week of April each year at Bicentennial Park. However, the event was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 outbreak. “Knowing what we are up against this year and with the advancement of vaccine distribution, we are confident in providing an in-person outdoor event, with some changes, to make a safe experience for all,” says Gilbert Magdaleno, Festival of the Arts Director. Changes include expansion of festival grounds to the east lawn of City Hall and Patience Latting Drive. “Festival of the Arts is a major cultural event in our city and its return will, certainly I think, bring with it a return to normalcy in our community that is very welcome and very much missed," says OKC Mayor David Holt.
The decision was made in a joint effort amongst city officials, ACOKC board, staff, and Festival of the Arts volunteer Co-Chairs Kaycee Nolting and Randy Cassimus. “We are so thankful for the hard work put in by the City of Oklahoma City and Arts Council OKC, which has resulted in a safe, workable plan for us to host Festival of the Arts in 2021,” says Cassimus. “We missed the event in so many ways last year. To say we’re excited to hold an in-person Festival this summer – with our artists, performers, wonderful volunteers and festival-goers - is an understatement.”
All accepted visual artists from the canceled 2020 festival have been invited to participate in Festival of the Arts 2021. Additional event changes will be announced throughout the spring and will be posted on artscouncilokc.com