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Rockford Art Fair Ready To Splash Near The River Once Again


A northern Illinois museum is accepting artists' applications for its annual fundraising fair. 

The pandemic forced last year’s Greenwich Village Art Fair into cyberspace.

Carrie Johnson is the executive director and curator of the Rockford Art Museum.  She said the 2021 in-person event will be reduced to one day because of pandemic-induced staff changes at the institution.  

“Typically, when we've got a two-day fair, we usually have around 100 to 120 artists,” Johnson explained, “but because of COVID restrictions, we know that artists coming from all over the country are still a little concerned about safety protocols.” 

Johnson said they are shooting for about 50 to 75 artists this year.  Johnson added that about 8,000 people usually show up for the two-day fair.

This year’s event will include an online component.

“So, if you are attending and you're setting up a tent and you're going to be selling in our parking lot," Johnson explained, "you also have the capability of being on our virtual platform as well."

The fair will be also spread out more than usual because of COVID-19.

“And we're really going to utilize the Riverwalk," she said. "We are so fortunate to be located on the Rock River. And we've got this gorgeous bridge that we've never really utilized for Greenwich.” 

Musical performances will take place at the amphitheater located behind the Burpee Museum of National History.

Artists who are interested in being juried for this show must submit their application by May 24. Those accepted will be notified May 29. The non-refundable application fee is $30 for the in-person experience. A $165 booth fee is also required for accepted artists. Creators who choose to participate online only are required to pay $30. Some categories include mixed media, photography, jewelry and fibers.

The 73rd annual art fair takes place from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Saturday, September 18, at Rockford’s Riverfront Museum Park. Musical performances will take place throughout the day with a headlining musical guest performing from 6:30 p.m. until 9 p.m.

Proceeds from the fundraiser will support RAM’s exhibitions and educational programming.

  • Yvonne Boose is a current corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project. It's a national service program that places talented journalists in local newsrooms like WNIJ. You can learn more about Report for America at wnij.org.

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