Eagle ARTWalk event grows during COVID-19 pandemic, hosts Sept. event Friday | VailDaily.com

Eagle ARTWalk event grows during COVID-19 pandemic, hosts September event Friday

The monthly Eagle ARTWalks have been taking over Broadway in full force, and September’s iteration is poised to continue bringing the event’s collaborative and community-oriented nature to the community.

“We have music, restaurants can put their tables out,” said Tara Novak, the event’s primary organizer and owner of ARTSpace on Broadway. “It’s been really nice to have that ability to expand. People are really digging it.”

The Eagle ARTWalks bring together local businesses and artists for an open-air market with specials and plenty of chances to enjoy Eagle’s character.
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This Friday, Sept. 11, artists and businesses on Broadway in Eagle will be open from 5 to 8 p.m. Artists will be able to talk to visitors about their work, and businesses will offer specials like happy hours and discounts. Three blocks of the street will be closed to vehicle traffic, so guests will be free to roam the streets, creating plenty of room for social distancing.

When in-person events reemerged in June, Novak decided to host a scaled-down version of the ARTWalk, to gauge interest and figure out how to run the event during the pandemic.

“It was quite nice, people were into it,” Novak said.

Since the first ARTWalk in November 2018, Novak has been committed to combining community support for local artists and local businesses. Her ultimate goal is to designate Broadway as an arts district, though it might take five or so years to accomplish.

Luckily, art shows and fairs have been one of the most popular events in Eagle County this summer. There are a few factors that have made this the case: one, they are primarily outdoor events, which makes guests and organizers feel safer. Two, since bigger events are canceled, art fairs can attract more visitors than they typically would. Three, though the event can allow up to 175 people to shop at once, customers enter and exit at their leisure, rather than for a specified period of time. The result is more fluid and less of a gathering in the traditional sense.

“Most people are really respectful about giving space. It doesn’t mean people can’t sell their art, or play their music. Just give each other more space, and it works out fine,” Novak said. “I feel like we are really giving back to the local community by providing opportunities to expand their working abilities and get out to the community.”

Eagle ARTS, the nonprofit organization that stages the event, was able to host the July event as the 2nd annual ARTWalk Festival. Novak said it was a resounding success. Organizers were able to work with the town of Eagle to close off three blocks of Broadway in July.

“The town of Eagle liked it so much that they agreed to close the street for all of them. They really support having something to do in Eagle,” Novak said.

With Broadway closed to vehicle traffic, the ARTWalks have been able to allow more than enough room for social distancing.
Special to the Daily

ARTWalks are scheduled for the second Friday of each month through December, Novak said. The Vail Valley Art Guild’s second Friday gallery shows at the Eagle gallery will resume this Friday, too. This month, ARTWalks is also collaborating with the Eagle Chamber of Commerce to combine their annual business roundup event, usually hosted indoors. They will add more booths to the event to support Eagle businesses.

And the ARTWalks success, even during the pandemic, has been a pleasant surprise for Novak. At a time when most other events have been forced to cancel, limit their offerings or go virtual, the ARTWalks have been able to grow.

“We’re excited to keep bringing it if people are enthusiastic about it,” Novak said.

For a full list of specials offered by the businesses, find the “2ND Friday ARTwalk on Broadway – Sept 11th” event on Facebook and view the event’s description. For more information, contact Artspace and Novak at 970-376-4772 or visit artspaceworkshop.com.

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