Albany Museum of Art ChalkFest Will Go Virtual This Fall

Staff Report

Monday, August 24th, 2020

The 3rd annual AMA ChalkFest will move from downtown Albany to the virtual world this fall. 

“We are looking at a new, innovative way to bring ChalkFest to the public,” ChalkFest Chair Mallory Black said. “Because of the uncertainty of COVID-19 this fall and the time it takes to put together a physical festival, we had to make a determination on whether a downtown event would be viable.

“We decided that we will have to conduct ChalkFest online. We don’t want to lose the momentum that we have created with ChalkFest, but we also cannot allow this great event to place anyone’s health at risk.” 

The goal is to bring the art and craft festival back to downtown Albany next year. “We plan to be back downtown in fall of 2021, bigger and better!” Black said.

Meanwhile, plans for how to present the festival in an online format are being developed. AMA Executive Director Andrew James Wulf, Ph.D., said he is confident that the transformation will be successful. 

“Our staff was able to reimagine and recreate our summer art camps, children’s programs and book club as virtual experiences that were well received,” Wulf noted. “While we cannot physically conduct ChalkFest this year, we will present it in spirit in an engaging way that will position us to return to a live, downtown festival next year.” 

Updates on this year’s virtual ChalkFest will be shared in the coming weeks on the AMA and ChalkFest websites, AMA social media platforms, and in press releases to news media. The AMA ChalkFestwebsite is The AMA website is

The first AMA ChalkFest in 2018 drew about 3,000 people to the 100 block of Pine Avenue for a street art festival that included professional chalk artists; amateur, student and child chalk artists; craft beers from around the state; live music; food trucks, and specialty vendors. The 2019 event was bigger, drawing more than 4,000 guests. Festival partners are the city of Albany and Pretoria Fields, with the latter hosting the ChalkFest VIP lounge both years. 

While the downtown festival is conducted on a single Saturday, Black noted this year’s virtual version likely will take place over multiple days or weeks. 

“We will make this exciting, entertaining and fun,” Black said. “As a virtual event, it is an opportunity to expose Albany’s ChalkFest to other cities, states and countries. In fact, I expect that some of the innovations we come up this year will be incorporated into the festival when we return to downtown in fall 2021, making the live return even better!” 


JUAN LOGAN: creating & collecting is in the Haley Gallery July 9-Oct 24, 2020.

Works by Brian Willmont is in the East Gallery July 9-Oct 24, 2020.

Viberations from Pasaquan is in the West Gallery July 9-Oct 24, 2020.