Events that combined art and live music to become two of Minneapolis’ most popular weekend festivals, both Art-A-Whirl and the Stone Arch Bridge Fest have called off their regularly scheduled activities in 2020 due to the coronavirus — but each has a different back-up plan.
The great northeast Minneapolis hang that is Art-A-Whirl — which was to mark its 25th year May 14-16 — is still going to happen, but only as a virtual event. Organizers at the Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association announced Monday they will launch a new “Art-A-Whirl Online” venture in the coming weeks to fill the great hole via their website, nemaa.org.
“[It] will be an online promotion of the arts community in northeast Minneapolis coupled with resources and training for members to develop, or further develop, their online presence,” NEMAA’s Bryan Burke said in the announcement.
Of course, this backup plan likely won’t include the sprawling array of live music offerings that happen concurrently with Art-A-Whirl at local bars, breweries and restaurants such as Grumpy’s, Bauhaus and the 331 Club. Here’s hoping something can be done to recreate that popular sideshow later in the year.
As for the Stone Arch Fest, the multi-stage marathon along the Minneapolis riverfront and the St. Anthony Main district is being moved to Sept. 25-27 from its usual dates on Father’s Day weekend in June. It will boast the same general schedule and format, though, with a kickoff concert on Friday night, the Art of the Car show on Saturday and Sunday and various art and family activities through the weekend.
The deadline for Stone Arch Fest’s juried artist competition has been extended to July 25. The music lineup and more updates will be announced in the coming months via stonearchbridgefestival.com.