The La Quinta Arts Foundation announced they will not be staging the popular and nationally recognized Arts Festival in 2020.
In a news release, the LQAF cited numerous reasons for the decision, including the festival outgrowing the La Quinta Civic Center Campus, their venue since 2005. The foundation also noted the $13.6 million Complete Streets construction project scheduled to go from June 2019 through October 2020, as well as other development projects on the horizon in the village area, "bring additional challenges to festival access."
But La Quinta councilmember, Kathleen Fitzpatrick says the city planned construction around the festival.
"We amended the schedule of construction for a $13 million project so that they could hold the festival, so I'm not quite sure I feel comfortable saying, ‘yeah, I buy that'," Fitzpatrick said.
The festival has been named the top fine arts show in the nation several times this decade and attracts approximately 20,000 attendees each year. Over $60,000,000 of art has been sold since the first festival in 1983, those proceeds have gone on to fund more than $1.3 million in Visual Art Scholarships to students pursuing an education in the visual arts.
The city had suggested moving the festival to the SilverRock Resort, however, the foundation "does not believe the venue offers the necessary infrastructure, facilities, and amenities," to host the festival.
The LQAF said they are not planning on moving the festival outside of La Quinta. No word on any plans by the city to hold an event to replace the festival. The foundation wrote that they are "looking forward to working with the City on this and other prospective arts and culture initiatives."
Local businesses say they're sad to see the festival go and will ultimately be losing out on business.
"It brought even more people and it brought business here, so I think it's going to affect us a bit," said Juan Martin, a manager at Infusions, in down town La Quinta.
And people who go to the festival every year say they're disappointed.
"It really breaks my heart actually, because it was a big part of me growing up and doing art now too," said Mark Padilla of Indio.
"It's one of the things my mom and I come to do on a regular basis, and it's charming and fun and beautiful. If they have it in 2021, I will come back," said Dawn Skaggs, visiting from Texas.
Stay with News Channel 3 for any updates.
More: I-Team investigations
Find us on Facebook: KESQ News Channel 3
Follow us on Twitter for breaking news updates: @KESQ
We’re on Instagram! @KESQ_News_Channel_3
Noticias en español: Telemundo 15