Festival of the Arts is always a summer staple to look forward to in Grand Rapids, but like everything else, COVID-19 has unfortunately derailed those plans. For the first time in 50 years the event will not take place.

However, organizers have decided to make the event virtual for residents to still enjoy. In a press release, they state that the special event will be streamed live on Friday, June 5 and replayed on Saturday, June 6.

You can expect the same things you would normally get to see at the festival, but virtually.

This virtual event will highlight the Grand Rapids’ area local talent, including performing, visual, and culinary arts, along with performances from the Grand Rapids Symphony, Ebony Road Players, Grand Rapids Ballet, Opera Grand Rapids, the Grand Rapids Public Museum’s Mighty Wurlitzer Organ, and more.

Sure, it may not be the same but it's still something to enjoy on a weekend. Now more than ever is a time to appreciate art, music, and culture from around the world.

If you're a musician/performer and you'd like to be showcased during the festival you can submit a video, up to 10 minutes, of your performance. Submissions must be in by May 15.

Artists can submit a photo of their visual pieces. Your artwork will also be displayed on Festival of the Arts website and in the online Regional Arts Exhibition. Submissions must be in by midnight May 14.

Virtual Arts Festival will stream on WOODTV.com and air 10a-9p both days.