The Penrod Arts Fair returns to Newfields in Indianapolis this weekend after the pandemic forced it to be canceled in 2020. The Penrod Society says the 54th annual fair will showcase artists from all over the U.S. During its run, the nonprofit has distributed more than $5 million to arts-related groups.
In an interview on Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick, Penrod Society President Tim Haley explained how organizers quickly shifted gears last year to help musicians.
“As the quarantine hit and had to pivot and do a lot of things differently. And it was really on the fly, coming up with a way to benefit musicians here in Indy who’d lost their jobs. And they [lost] rent money and grocery money and survival money,” said Haley. “It was not just to keep the arts alive, but to keep the artists available for when things opened up again.”
The Penrod Society says artists, musicians and arts-related non-profits of Indiana have been among the hardest hit by the pandemic and related impacts. The artists often rely on mass gatherings of people to show and promote their work that educates and entertains.
After cancelling last year’s fair, Penrod, in partnership with the Indianapolis Jazz Foundation, promoted a series of virtual concerts to help struggling musicians.
“What I really appreciate about the Penrod Society, and actually Tim, is how quickly that we were able to move on, organizing a relief fund,” said Indianapolis Jazz Foundation Director Rob Dixon. “Things like that usually take maybe a month or six weeks. I mean, we did it in a matter of days.”
Dixon says the organizations were quickly able to raise $50,000 last year but ultimately raised twice that amount. As the in-person fair returns this year, Haley says artists will be able to showcase their skills and wares.
“We have, of course, our artists show up and they get to sell their work. But we also have musicians to highlight some of the music,” said Haley, who adds nonprofits and arts groups that support the industry will also take part in the fair.
The arts fair is being held at the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields Saturday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Click here to learn more.