While tonight’s rainy forecast is causing many Baton Rouge events to get cancelled or postponed, local artists who rely on Hot Art, Cool Nights to boost sales and introduce them to new customers are making last-minute adjustments for the annual Mid City event, which is going on as scheduled from 6 to 10 p.m.
From an organizational perspective, that’s mostly because, like a festival, it’s too complicated to reschedule, says Tasha Michelle Daigle of Mid City Merchants, which helps organize the event.
“It’s impossible to reschedule with this many vendors,” Daigle says. “It would turn into the event not happening at all this year, and then we’d have to wait until White Light Night in November.”
But another point of consideration is the fact that most local artists view events like Hot Art, Cool Nights as ways to gain more exposure. Recognizing this need, Daigle says Mid City Merchants is encouraging artists to move their artwork to one of the available indoor locations so their work isn’t destroyed.
“We’re trying to see if we can squeeze in other artists to help them out,” says Kristen Downing, owner of the almost one-year-old KAWD Art Gallery on Government Street, one of the 25 businesses still participating. Downing hopes to attract “different faces since many people haven’t heard about the gallery yet.”
It’s Downing’s first time participating in the event. Though she was originally supposed to have three live painters, 11 musicians and one poet performing in the small courtyard area outside her building, she says they’re moving all festivities inside her second-story gallery to accommodate potentially heavy rainfall.
Meanwhile, the Mid City Makers will not set up as planned, says member and Mimosa Handcrafted co-owner Madeline Ellis. After taking a poll of its members, the group decided to reschedule their outdoor market to next Saturday from 4 to 8 p.m.
“By rescheduling, we’re giving our members the option to still sell next weekend,” Ellis says, adding they’re helping some artist members find locations to also showcase their work tonight. “A lot of them depend on these events happening monthly.”
Stay up-to-date with Hot Art, Cool Nights by following the Mid City Merchants’ Facebook page.