Laguna Beach Pageant of the Masters, Art Show canceled due to coronavirus pandemic

Laguna Beach’s Festival of Arts announced Monday its 2020 summertime Fine Art Show and Pageant of the Masters have been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

Laguna Beach’s Festival of Arts announced its Pageant of the Masters and Fine Art Show — summertime programs that draw 225,000 art lovers and spectators who come to see live cast members posing in recreations of famous artworks — have been canceled.

Organizers with the nonprofit arts group said in a release Monday the decision to cancel the popular events was difficult but necessary given California’s stay-at-home orders in place throughout the coronavirus pandemic. This would have marked the 86th show for the Pageant of the Masters.

“We are hopeful and tried our best to open our doors this summer but, sadly, our shows have become another victim of COVID-19,” Festival of Arts Board President David Perry said in a statement. “The decision to cancel our shows was not taken lightly. But given these unprecedented times, we believe it is the right thing to do.”

Board members had decided at an annual meeting in the fall “Made in America” would be the theme for this summer’s planned production of living pictures. The show, which would have been the pageant’s 86th and run from July 6 through Sept. 3, was to spotlight artistic works documenting America’s history, back to its revolutionary days.

The last time the show didn’t go on was during World War II, from 1942-45.

 2017 Festival of Arts in Laguna Beach
Laguna Beach’s Festival of Arts’ summertime programs draw 225,000 art lovers and spectators every summer.
(File Photo)

Organizers said Monday the theme would return in the summer of 2021. Artists juried into this year’s Fine Art Show will be guaranteed a spot in next year’s exhibit, according to the release.

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“The Festival of Arts team is exploring the possibility of a virtual art exhibit that could be available later this summer, as well as other art initiatives,” the release stated, indicating updates will be announced online and on social media.

Pageant ticket holders will be contacted by email regarding ticket cancellation options. Those who choose to donate their tickets back to the organization will be entered into a Sept. 4 drawing, where 10 winners will be selected for a walk-on role in the 2021 Pageant.

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