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Pandemic cancels North Hall Arts Fest, Porter-Phelps music series

  • Fusion Nomads play at the Porter Phelps Museum in Hadley last June as part of the museum’s longrunning summer music series. The museum has canceled all its programming this year. Gazette file photo

  • Old Country Road, one of the groups scheduled to play at Huntington’s North Hall Arts Festival this summer, will not be performing, as the venue has canceled its 2020 season because of the pandemic. Gazette file photo

Staff Writer
Published: 5/16/2020 12:57:54 PM

Two weeks after the Green River Festival was canceled for 2020, two longstanding summer arts series have also fallen victim to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Organizers of the North Hall Arts Festival in Huntington, and of the summer concert series at the Porter-Phelps-Huntington Museum in Hadley, have canceled their 2020 seasons because of the pandemic.

The Huntington festival had planned on offering 11 events, ranging from jazz, country and baroque music to theater, at the town’s historic North Hall between May 23 and Sept. 20. But in a statement, organizers said given safety concerns and the uncertainty of the pandemic’s duration, “we believe that cancellation is the safest course of action.”

And at the Porter Phelps Museum, home since the 1980s to the summer music series Wednesday Folk Traditions, organizers say their research into pandemics of the 19th and 20th centuries has convinced them that “the impact of COVID-19 will be with us for a long time.”

Until an effective vaccine is developed, museum Director Susan Lisk said in statement, the Hadley museum will be closed not just for Wednesday Folk Traditions (seven concerts) but for a smaller summer music series, A Perfect Spot of Tea, as well as all other public programs and events.

However, a trail system that begins at the museum and crosses farm fields along the Connecticut River and connects to an old buggy path to the top of nearby Mount Warner remains open.

Both North Hall and the Porter Phelps Museum are providing links through their websites to music by a number of the musicians who had been scheduled to play this summer, including some previous live performances by the artists. Both arts series are also encouraging would-be concertgoers to make a contribution to the performers. 

More information is available at northhallhuntington.org and pphmuseum.org/news.

Steve Pfarrer can be reached at spfarrer@gazettenet.com.




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