Press Release

March 16, 2020

MEDIA CONTACT: Brian Passey | [email protected] | 480-874-4626

Scottsdale Arts Festival and
Select Scottsdale Arts Events Canceled

To our Scottsdale community, our culture lovers, and arts patrons,

It is with great sadness and reluctance that I must inform you that we decided to cancel this weekend’s performances at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts and our 50th Scottsdale Arts Festival. We will reassess the situation daily and send further notifications about upcoming events. 

This was not an easy decision, and we came to it after much deliberation and with input from our colleagues, peer organizations, and global arts leaders. We considered standing advisories from federal and state health authorities, and we carefully weighed a whole slew of responsibilities.

Unprecedented cancellations across the nation in the areas of sports, culture, entertainment, and education have filled our newsfeeds in the last 24 hours. At this time, we feel compelled to act decisively and out of an abundance of caution to do our part in quelling this pandemic before it is allowed to take hold in our communities.

We have carefully weighed a whole range of responsibilities: to our artists, who have traveled from across the country at their own expense to share their gift with us; to our staff and volunteers, who are on the front lines every day, producing arts experiences that delight and inspire us; and to our community, whose safety and well-being are our primary concern.

It is with people’s well-being in mind that I had to make this difficult decision. Make no mistake: artists will suffer from the loss of income. Arts organizations will be seriously impacted, and our spirits will be poorer for it. Please consider supporting your local artists, community arts organizations, and nonprofits. Instead of asking for refunds for tickets and admissions fees, consider donating the amount, or convert your tickets into memberships or ticket vouchers. We really are all in this together!

Scottsdale Arts is my family, our staff and volunteers are in my care, and right now my primary responsibility is for their well-being. At this critical moment, we must sacrifice a little to do our part in taking control of the spread of this virus. I firmly believe that we will stand together as a people and defeat COVID-19. We will be here in the future to celebrate that moment with great arts experiences.

We will continue to monitor federal, state, and local health authorities for direction on the remaining events in Scottsdale Arts’ season of presented artists, exhibitions, and performances across our many branches. For the latest and most complete news on Scottsdale Arts’ response to COVID-19, please visit us online at:


Dr. Gerd Wuestemann
President & CEO
Scottsdale Arts


Through its dynamic partnership with the city of Scottsdale, the nonprofit Scottsdale Arts (formerly known as Scottsdale Cultural Council) creates diverse, inspired arts experiences and educational and outreach opportunities for the community, while fostering active engagement of individuals, businesses, education and government with the arts. Since its founding in 1987, Scottsdale Arts has grown into a regionally and nationally significant, multi-disciplinary arts organization offering an exceptional variety of programs through four acclaimed branches — Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA), Scottsdale Public Art and Scottsdale Arts Learning & Innovation — serving more than 600,000 participants annually. In conjunction with the city of Scottsdale, we also host more than 200,000 people annually on our campus through a robust rentals program.

MEDIA: For interviews, digital photographs or additional information please contact:

Brian Passey
Senior Communications Specialist
Scottsdale Arts
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 480-874-4626