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For second year in a row, the Uptown Art Fair has been canceled

The annual event won't go ahead for the second year in a row.
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For the second year running, the Uptown Art Fair has been canceled.

After the 2020 event was scrapped due to the COVID-19 pandemic, organizers announced that the 2021 event – initially planned for Aug. 6-8 – will also not go ahead.

It comes after a turbulent few months for Uptown, which was the scene of the killing of Winston Smith by law enforcement officers on June 3 and subsequent protests outside the scene of his death at West Lake Street and Girard, during which protester Deona Marie Knajdek was killed by a man who drove into the crowd.

There remains a memorial space at Lake and Girard, which is close to where the Uptown Art Fair is usually held, running along Hennepin Avenue between 28th and 31st Streets, as well as on The Mall Park. 

In its statement, the Uptown Association referenced the recent trauma in the neighborhood, saying the cancelation was the result of being "unable to overcome several unanticipated challenges and events that are beyond our control."

It acknowledged that it was considered moving the fair a few blocks away from its usual location, while Uptown Association executive director Jill Osiecki cited "additional devastation" in the area that has followed the killings of Smith and Knajdek.

"Considerable time and work was put in to navigating the challenges our city is facing to ensure a safe and welcoming space for our artists, vendors, sponsors and guests," the statement said. "Multiple options were considered and planned, including moving the event to an alternate location a few blocks away to showcase the greater Uptown community.

"However, despite our collective best effort, we were unable to reach a consensus among the many stakeholders it takes to successfully put on an event of this size and scope. Because of multiple evolving issues and the logistics of a large-scale event, it was not executable."

It added: "We recognize and are saddened by recent events that have had a painful impact on Minneapolis and the Uptown community and are steadfast in helping our diverse community thrive. We look forward to bringing back one of the premier events in Minnesota and showcasing the Uptown community on August 5, 6, and 7th, 2022."

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