The Southwest School of Art in downtown San Antonio has just announced that it will postpone its annual Fiesta Arts Fair until 2022. The decision was made shortly after San Antonio’s Fiesta Commission announced that the 2021 edition of the citywide party — a major annual event that was postponed, then canceled last year— would be tentatively postponed from April to June due to ongoing concerns about the spread of Covid-19.
“The annual Fiesta Arts Fair Is an event that meets our mission and contributes to our ability to provide quality arts education for students of all ages at Southwest School of Art,” SSA president Paula Owen said in a statement released by the school. “With arts funding already limited due to COVID, this will be a significant loss for our school. We looked at every possibility to hold our event in June , but it is just not feasible for us this year.”
SSA, a degree-granting institution that also offers a wide range of community classes and programs, was already facing financial difficulties like regular budget deficits before the onset of the pandemic. Covid-19 safety measures have necessitated major changes, including the suspension of most in-person classes and key annual revenue-generating events like the Fiesta Arts Fair. Owen is one of more than 40 signatories to CAUSA, a coalition of San Antonio arts institutions seeking collaborative and communitarian ways to address the damage that the pandemic has wrought on the city’s arts industry.
In normal times, the Fiesta Arts Fair attracts more than one hundred exhibiting artists from across Texas and the rest of the country, and they exhibit in front of an annual audience of around 12,000 people over a two-day period.
“We hope everyone will join us next year for the 2022 Fiesta Arts Fair, when we can celebrate again,” Owen said in the recently released statement. In the mean time, the Southwest School of Art is currently offering online adult community classes for Spring 2021, and a number of giving options for those wishing to donate.