As outdoor events all across the country have closed, one Tulsa festival decided to carry on virtually.

The Kendall Whittier Arts Festival was slated for April 18-19, but organizers still wanted an opportunity to showcase local talent and create a sense of community.

“While we postponed the in-person festival until the fall in the interest of public safety, the Kendall Whittier Main Street Board felt like it was important to press on in a safe and limited capacity,” said Jessica Jackson, Kendall Whittier Main Street executive director.

Vendors who had signed up to participate in the festival prior to its postponement have been featured on the festival’s website,  complete with three photos of their work and links to their contact information, social media pages and websites. There’s also a Facebook album, photos on Instagram and two featured daily artists on the Facebook event page and Instagram stories.

“We have really talented local artists here in Tulsa, and we wanted them to still have additional platforms to promote and sell their work,” Jackson said. “Plus, we’re doing a fun giveaway to encourage individuals to buy from the artists directly.”

Anyone who purchases from one of the artists between now and April 30 can post a photo of that item on Facebook or Instagram tagging @visitKendallWhittier and the artist, using the hashtag #KWArtsFest. Doing so will automatically enter them in the giveaway to win a $50 gift card to the Kendall Whittier business of their choice. Profiles or posts must be made public to qualify.

“I don’t know about you, but I’ve been looking at the same four walls in quarantine for weeks now, and I’m ready for some new art,” Jackson said. “On top of that, I want to keep my dollars as local as possible right now, so this is a win-win.”

Purchases should be made directly with the artist. Artists are adhering to social distancing and health-conscious guidelines and most are allowing shipping or in-town delivery.

As restrictions on special events begin to lift, Kendall Whittier Main Street will announce plans for the fall version of the festival, which will include live music, interactive art, a kids zone and food trucks in addition to about 30 art vendors.

The Kendall Whittier Arts Festival is sponsored by Fowler Automotive, presenting sponsor, and Tulsa People, media sponsor.

Kendall Whittier Main Street is a nonprofit organization that inspires the ongoing revitalization and growth of a historic and cultural neighborhood in Tulsa, striving to transform it back to a thriving, walkable commercial district. Kendall Whittier is a Certified Cultural District.

For more information about the Kendall Whittier Main Street, please call or text 918-633-1934 or email info@visitkendallwhittier.com.

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