Portland Literary Arts announced that they will be canceling the remainder of the in-person events planned for the entire 2020 calendar year.
“Due to the ongoing public health crisis, Literary Arts has made the decision that we will not host any in-person events or classes through the end of 2020,” reads the email.
In continued attempts to maintain quality and meaningful content to their fans and subscribers, Literary Arts are expanding on their digital events that were adapted shortly after the economic pause was put in place.
“Please know, we are as eager as you to throw open our doors and welcome you into our space,” Andrew Proctor, executive director at Literary Arts, said in a YouTube video.
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Alongside the cancellation, Proctor announced that the delayed in-person event featuring two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author Colston Whitehead will instead be shifted to a digital talk. This new event will take place on September 24.
“I want to reassure you that this presentation will be a high-quality production,” says Proctor, about the new digital-only Whitehead event. “And we will deliver a unique evening with one of the greatest writers at work today.”
Other events, like the Evening with Helen MacDonald, will simply shift to a virtual format, as rescheduling author events has proved to be difficult.
Understanding that virtual events are not what subscribers to the Literary Arts season pass were expecting, Proctor says that any and all requests for a refund on the pass purchases will be honored, as many are experiencing extra strain on their finances.
“This decision does not mean that any of our programs will stop serving you,” continues Proctor. “We are determined to be here for the community in this moment because we believe passionately that books, reading, storytelling, and literature in all forms play a vital role, always, but especially right now, as sources of comfort and solace, of information and connection, and important ways we process and understand the world around us.”