Akron – The Akron Art Museum will postpone its annual Art & Ale and Auction events due to ongoing health and safety concerns with mass gatherings. The highly anticipated Art & Ale fundraiser features over 50 craft brewers and food purveyors every March welcoming people to the Museum as we begin seeing signs of spring return. The Auction fundraiser raises over $200,000 annually supporting the Museum’s public programs including special exhibitions and educational programs for families. In collaboration with federal, state, and local guidance, the Museum looks forward to rescheduling these events later in 2021 allowing for vaccinations to increase, hospitalizations to decrease, and the public’s comfort with mass gatherings to improve.
Akron Art Museum Interim Executive Director Jon Fiume said, “The Museum remains committed to the health and safety of our visitors and staff. Our Art & Ale and Auction patrons are important to us, and we appreciate their enduring commitment to these events later in the year when we anticipate gathering will feel better.”
Last March, Art & Ale was canceled due to the governmental closure just 10 days before the event was scheduled. As a result, the Museum presented its first virtual Art & Ale this past October featuring conversations with local craft brewers, John Najeway of Thirsty Dog Brewing Company and Ron Shea of R. Shea Brewing, plus regional artists including Micah Kraus, Liz Maugans, Bill Shearrow, and Jordan Wong. In addition, the virtual event featured at-home delivery thanks to Robert J. Events & Catering which included high-end bar favorites and 2020’s initial tapping of 12 Dogs of Christmas courtesy of Thirsty Dog Brewing Company. The Museum is also taking into consideration the impact of COVID-19 on the craft brewer community and will reach out to them as 2021 unfolds, understanding how to best partner with them as things begin to open up and business improves. Art & Ale remains unscheduled at this time.
“It will be great to see Art & Ale come back to life celebrating our craft brewer community later in the year,” said Director of Advancement Bryan de Boer. “We want this event to bring everyone together with the same level of entertainment and energy that Art & Ale has brought to the Museum in the past. To do this in the best way possible, postponing it for a later date is the most appropriate option.”
The 25th annual Auction to benefit the Museum was scheduled for June 12, 2020, before being canceled due to COVID-19 restrictions with the anticipation to hold the annual event again this coming June. Consultation with the Museum’s Board of Directors and local medical experts recommended waiting until later in 2021 to host such an event. The rescheduled date is set for Saturday, August 28, 2021. The fundraiser is chaired by Sandra Kornick and Lyn Bober, both residents of Akron. This year’s event will be reimagined considering safe COVID environments and experiences and feature spectacular wine, elegant food, and special one-of-a-kind auction items on the grounds of the Akron Art Museum.