Published to Via Colori Facebook on 7/10/2020
Good evening Via Colori followers. As you know, we are under most unusual and tragic circumstances around the world right now. Our hearts go out to everyone effected right now. The team at Via Colori has spent the last several months looking at every angle possible to try and ensure the safety of our festival staff, volunteers and attendees in light of Covid-19. It may be difficult to fathom the gravity of the decision that we have made. Know that it was not taken lightly. It is with great sadness that we are announcing that the 13th annual Via Colori Street Painting Festival will be cancelled for 2020.
We would have been celebrating our 13th year in Kentucky this year. However, our festival is entirely built on community donations from local businesses, over 100 artists, 50 plus vendors, dozens of musicians and cosplayers and over 500 volunteers. We struggled with the logistics of making sure we could keep people safe.
Here is the reality. In order to comfortably keep people safe, our expenses and overhead would have tripled. We are a non-profit event that benefits foster children in the state of Kentucky. We also partner with several charities to help them. Louisville Youth Group, Hope’s Closet, Roo’s Wish, Basset Rescue of Kentuckiana, Bun Bun Brigade and several more take part in our festival in some way. Tripled overhead is not even close to possible. We also had to account for our partners and the safety of their volunteers.
As the Event Coordinator, this decision is heart breaking. There were few alternatives and safety is always our largest concern. We had to account for every possible outcome and frankly, we struggle with asking our local donors, who give so generously to help us, for support this year when many of them are helping their employees or just trying to keep their lights on and food on their tables. Unfortunately, some of our partners and sponsors were not able to sustain in this uncertain time and are no longer in business.
We also struggled with the logistical cost of extra sanitation, less artists, less partners, less sponsors, less vendors, less everything to maintain adequate measures of safety.
Via Colori strives to be a light in the community that embraces art to help anyone we can. We are a festival with a lot of heart. The Via team truly cares. We laugh, cry, hope and wish just like everyone else. We also can’t fathom ever putting anyone at risk on our watch. We love our community and will continue to try and help in any way we can.
Moving forward, you will start to see highlights of our partners, sponsors, artists, vendors and friends on our page. Please take the time to show them some love!
Additionally, all of our vendors who have paid will be reimbursed in full by the end of July. Refunds will be issued in the coming weeks. We don’t feel it is right to apply it to next year as so many of our vendors are struggling as well with the lack of shows this season
We want to thank you Via followers for always helping us help kids.
We simply couldn’t do this without you! You are in our thoughts. Know that we will be back and when we are able to come back safely, it will be the most creative festival in the history of festivals.
In the meantime, keep chalking. Keep helping others. Most of all, stay safe!
Much love and lots of creativity,
Dusty June Siravo