BALTIMORE (WJZ) — From AFRAM to Artscape to Fourth of July fireworks, any permitted events with 250 or more people have been cancelled in Baltimore City. Mayor Jack Young made the announcement Wednesday.
It includes all major events through August 31, 2020. You can read more from the Mayor’s Office by clicking right here.
— Mike Hellgren (@HellgrenWJZ) May 20, 2020
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“It’s always possible to take a second look at something. I am open to that. I will be guided by our health professionals,” Mayor Young said.
Artscape, which brings in $28.5 million every year to the local economy, plans to go virtual according to Donna Sawyer, the CEO of the Baltimore Office of Promotion and The Arts. The organization runs the iconic event.
“It should not go on as planned,” Sawyer told WJZ investigator Mike Hellgren. “We cannot gather as a community, which is what Artscape is all about. But we can do it virtually.”
She was optimistic that an online platform would allow artists to showcase their work and provide a worldwide voice for Baltimore.
“An individual’s safety is more important than anything,” Sawyer said.
She promised an expanded announcement about an online Artscape in the coming weeks.
The office said Artscape will return “stronger and healthier” to celebrate its 40th anniversary in 2021.
per Mayor's office this does not include any potential sporting events. These are events handled by the Baltimore Office of Promotion and Arts (BOPA)
— Mitch Friedmann (@mafriedtv) May 20, 2020
Another large event, the Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize, will be held virtually, the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts said.
In addition, all events, including those with fewer than 250 people, have been canceled through May 31. That list includes any events with park permits and all Baltimore City Recreation and Parks department events.
The mayor urged people to continue to stay home unless necessary. While parts of Maryland have begun the reopening process, Baltimore remains under a city-wide stay at home order.
Young said the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the city has reached 4,152.