The colorful open air scene of the Bayou City Art Festival Downtown in October 2019 will not be repeated in 2020 due to COVID-19. It's all going virtual. (Photo by Katya Horner)
Mayor Sylvester Turner, pictured here with a Bayou City Art Festival contributor from previous years, joins in support of the 'Save Our Art — One Passion. One Purpose.' campaign. (Photo by Katya Horner)
The virtual Bayou City Art Festival will include art programs for children much like last year's outdoor event. (Photo by Katya Horner)
The Bayou City Art Festival showcases artists from across the country. That will continue with the virtual event this October. (Photo by Katya Horner)
The Bayou City Art Festival Downtown 2019 (Photo by Katya Horner)
When the spring Bayou City Art Festival, traditionally held in Memorial Park, was cancelled due to COVID-19 only weeks before its March 29 scheduled opening, (its sponsor) the Art Colony Association (ACA) began planning for the fall festival which typically takes place in downtown. But this year that will be a virtual fête.
We hate to say it, but many of the virtual substitutes for in-person experiences struggle to make sense. But this team has developed an early start to the three-day online program that not only offers something for everyone, but also has a charitable component.
In partnership with the City of Houston and KPRC Channel 2, ACA has launched “Save Our Art — One Passion. One Purpose. One Community.” On Monday, Mayor Sylvester Turner joined the effort, noting in a statement, “The Bayou City Art Festival, artists and art organizations are important for our city’s identity, and they need our support. It is up to us to preserve our art as it is a platform that tells our story.”
The fundraising effort for local artists programs and nonprofit arts groups launches on August 20 with the first in a series of virtual happy hours that will feature a different artist sharing his/her process and inspiration in a storytelling format. Several of the artists are planning to provide a live demonstration and auction a donated piece of art during the happy hour. Added entertainment: A moderator will host an art trivia contest with chances to win prizes and take questions from the audience during the Q&A segment.
Preceding the Bayou City Art Virtual Experience, Art Colony Association will host a four-day online art auction in which patrons can bid on their favorite art pieces without leaving their homes.
During the virtual festival, October 9, 10 and 11, Bayou City Art Festival artists will be highlighted. On the program are art projects for kids and adults, online performances and creative activities with festival sponsors, which include Frost Bank and Stella Artois.
The 49th season of the festival is clearly different from those of previous years, with the ACA planning on a 50th anniversary celebration in 2021 that includes mega events at both Memorial Park and Downtown.