Easthampton puts Art Walk relaunch on hold

  • Lyell Castonguay, center, of Easthampton, talks about his woodcut prints during his show at Easthampton City Arts + Gallery during Art Walk in 2016. gazette File photo

For the Gazette
Published: 8/5/2021 12:21:48 PM

EASTHAMPTON — As concerns grow over rising COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts, the city and Easthampton City Arts decided this week to postpone a Sept. 3 relaunch of a popular monthly Art Walk. A new date has yet to be scheduled.

The event has been postponed “with the health and safety of our artists and greater public in mind,” according to Easthampton City Arts.

The last Art Walk was held in March of 2020. Pre-pandemic, attendees would walk through the downtown’s storefronts, restaurants and local galleries, which would feature exhibits from local artists. The walks were free and open to the public.

According to Pasqualina Azzarello, City Arts coordinator, the Art Walk is a great way to bring the community together and support local creative people and businesses.

“We really see art and cultural activities as a great economic driver in Easthampton,” she said. “Easthampton has become a destination for people in surrounding areas to visit, and our thriving art community has been a big part of that.”

The decision to postpone the event was made with guidance from the Easthampton mayor’s office and the city health director. The ECA will continue monitoring COVID-19 cases in the area and restart the Art Walks when it feels safe.

‘We’re looking forward to relaunching this beloved city event,” said Azzarello.

In the meantime, ECA plans to continue focusing on other programming. That includes the Spot Lot Fall Series, a set of outdoor concerts that aim to support artists during COVID-19, and a Youth Art Initiative, a partnership with Easthampton High School that promotes creativity in the classroom.

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