The coronavirus outbreak means big changes for Kalamazoo's monthly Art Hop. Starting Friday, April 3, it goes virtual.
Kristen Chesak is the executive director of the Greater Kalamazoo Arts Council. Chesak says she hopes people will still experience the work of local artists even if they must do that from home.
"You can go to our Facebook page and we will be uploading art as it's sent to us. And hopefully we can create some conversation around some of the great things that our artists in Kalamazoo are still working on inspite of the fact that they're at home."
Chesak says the Arts Council also hopes many area artists will participate.
"If you have art to share, whether it's art photography, or video of dance, theater, or a musical concert, whatever you want to share, we are willing to put on our Facebook page to shared with the rest of Kalamazoo."
Artists should check in at the Art Council's website to get their work featured during the virtual Art Hop, which will run from 5 to 8 p.m.
Artists and art organizations have taken a major hit because of the pandemic. They've been forced to cancel shows and performances, and it's much harder to sell their creations. Chesak says she realizes that it's hard for people who've lost jobs and income to help local artists, "But if you have the means, giving to the arts organizations that you love and support, continue to support them. Just because they're not able to produce work right now doesn't mean they don't need help."
Chesak says the outbreak will probably also mean a delay for the annual Bronson Park Art Fair usually held in June.
"It's like every business, it's a moving target for us as well. But we're trying to stay on top of it and trying to make sure that we're poised for when we all can get back together that there are some fun things to do."