Nicolaysen cancels 2020 NIC Fest due to COVID concerns - Casper, WY Oil City News
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Nicolaysen cancels 2020 NIC Fest due to COVID concerns

Crews install the artist tents in preparation for the 2019 NIC Fest on Thursday morning. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City File)

CASPER, Wyo. – The 2020 NIC Fest has been canceled, according to a statement posted on social media on Friday afternoon by the Nicolaysen Art Museum.

The museum had postponed this year’s festival and had hoped to proceed in late July.

“However, under the current guidelines from the CDC and the recent announcements of the Governor’s office, we have no choice but to cancel,” said the post.

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“We cannot both protect our staff and visitors and produce a great family event this year.”

NIC Fest is the museum’s largest annual event and second-largest for raising the museum’s operation funds.

In an Oil City interview earlier this month, museum executive director Ann Ruble discussed some of the challenges the museum is facing this year.

“Right now we’re focused on how to get through the end of June,” she said. “but there are so many question marks on what the future looks like.”

The announcement said staff is planning on reopening the museum under CDC safety guidelines on June 11.

Museums and arts organizations have been hit hard world wide by the COVID pandemic. The loss of key fundraising events and donations as small businesses struggle will add to the institution’s financial pressure.

“I don’t know what the future is going to look like,” said Ruble earlier this month, “but I do know we’re going to have to change and adapt.”