Hardly a day goes by without someone asking what events will or will not happen in 2021 in the era of COVID-19, and the International Folk Art Market takes a stance of extreme optimism. . The organization announced today that it is preparing for a potential in-person event in July.
“We plan to do this in two locations if we are allowed to do so,” said CEO Stuart Ashman. “We’re assuming we can have gatherings of 100 people or less, which is pretty ambitious, but it does, we could do 15 performers at each location, timed tickets for 90 minutes, then we would start Wednesday and move on. until Sunday, repeating the process the following week. “
Ashman estimates that this would allow IFAM to host 60 artists in total, less than half the usual number, but still better than nothing. IFAM has already set up an online auction version of the Marketplace in 2020 and a retail space in its IFAM center (620 Cerrillos Road, 992-7600), which Ashman says has performed well at approaching Christmas. However, things have slowed down in recent months, but it is a problem for all retail businesses.
As for the idea of the market this year, Ashman says the decision to plan an in-person event comes down to two things: health orders and weather.
“We accepted 162 artists this year and sent them a survey asking them if they would come to a small market if they could,” he told SFR. “Seventy-five responded and said they would, if visas were available, if everything was in place with the COVID restrictions; and of those 162, 23 live in the United States, so maybe they could even drive if conditions permit. We are optimistic. “
Ideally, Ashman continues, half of the market would be on Museum Hill as in a normal year, the other half in the parking lot of the IFAM Center, which would be large enough for a tent that would allow 7.5 feet between vendors. cabins. Ashman also says the system staff are working on would allow 65 visitors per 90-minute window with a 15-minute break in between to sanitize the booths. Ashman estimates that the market could welcome up to 6,000 visitors over the two-week period with this plan – again, another blow in terms of numbers, but good news for artists who rely on sales of the Marlet.
“We’re working with the Museum Hill board to get approval there, and obviously that will be based on health orders,” Ashman said. “The deal they would sign literally says ‘health ordinances allow it.’ We plan. We go over everything we would do, and we would stop at some point if that just isn’t possible, but the market requires a lot of preparation – we probably have to get everything in place by April 1. “
It’s a few months away, but better to be ready than to miss an opportunity.
“The market is expected to take place in July,” adds Ashman. “This is what we are planning.”
Currently, Santa Fe County’s COVID activity places it in the state’s most restrictive level of public health orders – red. The state’s least restrictive green level currently imposes a mass assembly limit of 20 people. To go green, the county is expected to achieve new incident rates of COVID-19 cases of eight cases per 100,000 or less and test positivity rates of 5% or less.
Since the last assessment update five days ago, Santa Fe County has 46.30 new cases per 100,000 and a test positivity rate of 9.04%. Two weeks earlier, the county’s case rate was 34 per 100,000 and its positivity rate was 7.16%.