Reuniting over art

Megan Cherry

In one of Moscow’s largest events since the beginning of the pandemic, Artwalk 2021 will take place next Thursday at businesses throughout the city.

The event is returning in a modified version after being canceled last year. Instead of the traditional downtown street fair with demonstrations, music and beer gardens, activities will take place at participating businesses and galleries.

“I think artwalk is an example of how people are excited to get back into the community and restart some of these traditions,” said Megan Cherry, arts program manager for the city of Moscow.

“When we were looking at it early in the year, we weren’t certain we’d be able to pull off the street fair. At the same time, we knew that businesses were used to the protocol for dealing with the pandemic — distancing, managing crowd size and hand-sanitizing. A year ago, they were not. Now that they have that worked out, we can do it safely.”

Another change to this year’s event is a broader view of what constitutes art. In the past, the focus was on the visual arts, but that’s grown to include the literary, culinary and performing arts.

Moscow has strong communities in each of these fields, Cherry said. “We wanted to make sure we were providing space for those.”

Growing opportunities for artists, businesses and audiences is the goal of a new angle on artwalk planned to launch this fall, when businesses and artists will come together for receptions on the third Thursday of each month from October-June.

“It just seems like something Moscow is ready for,” Cherry said. “There are so many artists in this region it blows me away.”

The season would culminate with June’s annual artwalk. Organizers set a goal to return to a full-scale event with the street fair next year, she said.

Listings of this year’s host locations and participating artists will be available Saturday at the Moscow Farmers’ Market, where the Moscow Arts Commission will have a table at Friendship Square. The information also will be included in the Moscow-Pullman Daily News newspaper the day of the event, for Latah County subscribers, and will be available at participating venues. !

IF YOU GO

WHAT: Moscow Artwalk.

WHEN: 4-8 p.m. next Thursday.

WHERE: Businesses throughout Moscow.

COST: Free.