Aspen Art Museum cancels ArtCrush events due to coronavirus pandemic |

Aspen Art Museum cancels ArtCrush events due to coronavirus pandemic

The Aspen Art Museum has canceled its summer ArtCrush gala and four days of ArtCrush events for 2020, the museum announced Thursday citing the public health threat posed by the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The fundraising events – including the main ArtCrush auction and dinner, WineCrush, AfterpartyCrush and PreviewCrush – had been scheduled to run Aug. 4 to 7.

“During the unpredictable circumstances that continue to define this global pandemic, it is our principal responsibility to safeguard the health, safety, and wellbeing of our community members, artists, and museum staff,” reads a statement from museum board chairman John Phelan and co-presidents Paul Pariser and Amnon Rodan. “We remain hopeful for the swiftest conclusion of this crisis and look forward to welcoming the public back to our museum at the soonest and safest possible moment.”

This marks the first major Aspen-area event cancellation for August 2020 since the COVID-19 pandemic took hold. It follows a string of spring and early summer cancelations including Aspen Skiing Co.’s Spring Jam, the Food & Wine Classic and Aspen Ideas Festival.

Other major arts organizations have delayed the starts of their summer seasons – Theatre Aspen to July 6 and the Aspen Music Festival and School to July 16.

The ArtCrush gala has raised between $2 million and $3 million annually for the museum in recent years, and provides a significant portion of funding for the curatorial and educational programming at the museum. Running annually since 2005, ArtCrush has become a destination fundraising and social event with an international profile, drawing high-profile artists and the elite from the contemporary art, fashion and celebrity worlds.

The main ArtCrush event, hosted at Buttermilk Ski Area, has included an auction of donated artworks and the presentation of the Aspen Award for Art, which was to be accepted at the 2020 event by Mary Weatherford. The museum will still honor Weatherford at the earliest opportunity, a museum spokesperson said. Along with the big-ticket live auction, the event was also to include a silent auction and online auction, which have been cancelled.

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