Community members have raised nearly $13,000 for the Umpqua Valley Arts Association in what is being called the “Save the Summer Arts Festival” fundraiser.
“Our goal was $5,200 to honor the 52nd annual Summer Arts Festival,” said Sarah Holborow, UVA director of community outreach.
The festival would have been held this past weekend, usually drawing more than 100 vendors from across the country and more than 10,000 guests to Fir Grove Park. UVA canceled this year’s festival due to health concerns and state regulations surrounding large events during the coronavirus pandemic.
“We wanted to honor the tradition of the weekend. We knew the community was missing the event and this was the perfect way to reconnect with the community,” Holborow said.
According to the press release, the festival is UVA’s main fundraiser each year, netting over $40,000. These funds cover the costs of every day operations and various programs, including Arts in Education, which provides art lessons in schools across the county.
“Arts and culture organizations are really struggling right now because of COVID-19. We rely on gathering people and things become really fragile without that,” interim Executive Director Sandee McGee said. “But we are still going strong. We have a very active staff and board who are dedicated to continuing the traditions of the festival and all programs here at UVA.”
The fundraiser offered five levels of donations, ranging from the $5 admission charge guests would have paid for entrance to the $500 “Festival Legacy Friend” donations, which promises free entrance to 50 random people at next year’s festival.
“Connecting art and community has been at the heart of Summer Arts Festival for 52 years now. Honoring this local summer tradition and capturing the spirit of the event was an essential aspect of the campaign,” Holborow said.
While the fundraiser has officially closed, donations are always welcome. Donations can be made at uvarts.com/donate-now, mailed to the Umpqua Valley Arts, 1624 W. Harvard Ave., Roseburg OR 97471 or by calling 541-672-2532.
The 2021 Summer Arts Festival is scheduled for June 25-27.