ArtPrize adjusts plans after SXSW cancellation


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — ArtPrize will have to adjust plans for awarding a grant at South by Southwest (SXSW) after organizers announced the festival would need to cancel amid COVID-19 concerns.

The cancellation comes as Austin, Texas Mayor Steve Adler declared a local emergency.

ArtPrize has participated in the world-famous festival in previous years. This year, ArtPrize planned to award a $15,000 grant.

ArtPrize Artistic Director Kevin Buist discussed the cancellation on News 8 at 7 p.m. and sent the following statement:

“This afternoon SXSW announced they are canceling this year’s conference and festival on the recommendation of public health officials due to the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19). ArtPrize was planning to hold an event at SXSW, the $15k ArtPrize Artist Challenge, in partnership with Studio C and hosted by Michigan House. This event will not happen in Austin as planned.

The event was slated to include five artists from around the country presenting short slide presentations about installations they’d like to create on the piazza at Studio Park for ArtPrize this fall. A panel of judges would then decide which artist would receive a $15,000 grant to complete the project. While we’re disappointed that this live exchange of ideas will not take place, the grant program will proceed. We will ask the five finalist artists to prepare proposal materials and make them available to the judges in a digital form. The judges will consider all the proposals and confer remotely about which artist will receive the grant to bring their work to Studio Park during ArtPrize this fall. We will announce the recipient of the grant on our blog and social media channels.

ArtPrize 2020 will take place September 16 to October 4. The safety of our visitors, artists and venues is a top priority for us. In the coming months we’ll work closely with the city of Grand Rapids to ensure that the event is safe for all participants.”

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