Art on the Prairie cancels in-person festival, shifts to virtual event

Submitted by Art on the Prairie Committee
Shoppers make their way around Perry during the 2019 Art on the Prairie.

PERRY - After months of discussions, feedback from artist surveys and countless scenarios worked and reworked, it has been decided by the Art on the Prairie Committee to cancel the in-person event that would have been the 11th Annual Art on the Prairie Festival on Nov. 14-15, and instead shift to a virtual event.

“It was a difficult decision,” said Mary Rose Nichols of the Art on the Prairie Committee.

“The health and safety of our beloved artists, volunteers, and shoppers were the key factors in canceling the festival, but we felt it was important to still facilitate an alternative to support the artists that make Art on the Prairie so special.”

The festival - which typically brings 100+ Iowa artists, musicians, poets and authors together with thousands of shoppers in Perry’s downtown Cultural and Historic District during the second full weekend in November - will be completely online this year, providing new opportunities for artists and shoppers to safely participate from any location.

The virtual event will take place on and will not only run through the typical Art on the Prairie weekend, but will be extended through the end of November to include Small Business Saturday, Artist Sunday and Cyber Monday. Additional details will be added as they become available, but a preview and countdown is available for viewing now at

The 2020 Art on the Prairie ONLINE will include three main components:

  • Artist Marketplace: individual artist shop pages for shoppers to purchase artwork online, directly from participating artists.
  • CSA (Community Supported Art) Packages: limited quantities of curated groupings of artwork by multiple artists, available for purchase from Art on the Prairie.
  • Artist Spotlights: live streamed and pre-recorded videos scheduled throughout the virtual event, including interviews, demonstrations, and musical performances.

“This year has not panned out as anyone would have expected,” said Jenny Eklund of the Art on the Prairie Committee, reflecting on the many adjustments made in 2020. “We’re hoping that people will stick with us for what feels more like the 10 1⁄2 year of Art on the Prairie and we’ll look forward to coming back stronger than ever in 2021 for the 11th Annual Festival.”