Wed. Feb 21st, 2024

Following the announcement by California Governor Gavin Newsom proscribing non-essential large gatherings to prevent the spread of COVID-19, arts & culture organizations and venues statewide–including Orange County–scrambled to postpone and cancel performances, exhibitions, classes, and galas. “Arts Orange County, which operates the arts calendar website, immediately posted an advisory for patrons to check with their event venues for changes and began to collect information to update their listings on the site,” commented ArtsOC President & CEO Rick Stein. “We have also been fielding questions from arts leaders about what other organizations are doing and what resources might be available to assist them in recovering from the inevitable financial fallout from such mass cancellations. We are including the information we have so far in this newsletter. Our own organization has been affected as well.”

Arts Orange County has cancelled its spring events: the 35th Annual IMAGINATION CELEBRATION, originally scheduled for April 18-May 31, 2020, its 9th Annual Día del Niño festival, originally slated for April 18-19, 2020, and its May 9th free public reading by its VOICES: Veterans Storytelling Project, in response to health concerns related to the COVID-19 outbreak. At the present time, it has not been determined whether these events can be re-scheduled in 2020. (No decision has been made yet about the “1,000 Pieces of Art” Exhibition, a flagship activity of the IMAGINATION CELEBRATION that takes place at South Coast Plaza from April 30-May 17, 2020, displaying the works of Pre-K to High School students from throughout Orange County.)

The 2020 IMAGINATION CELEBRATION, presented in collaboration with the Orange County Department of Education (OCDE), was to consist of 77 events in 18 Orange County cities. Many of the individual events, which are independently produced by local organizations, schools and cities, have already been postponed or cancelled, and OCDE has cancelled through at least April 3 all non-essential large gatherings.

The Día del Niño festival, presented in collaboration with Media Arts Santa Ana (MASA), is a two-day festival of arts and hands-on arts engagement experiences commemorating the Latin-American holiday that honors the role of the child in family and society. It was to take place at OC Fair & Event Center (OCFEC) during its Imaginology festival that same weekend. OCFEC has announced the cancellation of Imaginology, as well as many other events scheduled at its facilities this spring.

The VOICES: Veterans Storytelling Project, presented in collaboration with Heroes Hall Veterans Museum at OCFEC, is a free “virtual” writing workshop for military veterans. The spring session, which has already begun, will continue to take place, but the free public reading scheduled for May 9, 2020, is now cancelled.

Venues that we know have cancelled some or all events in the coming weeks so far are included in the list below, followed by a list of those that have not yet announced changes. Updates are being made on our as quickly as possible. Please advise us of any errors or new information.


  • Bowers Museum – Events on 3/21 and 4/4 cancelled. Museum open (see below)
  • California State University, Fullerton – College of the Arts events
  • CSUF Grand Central Art Center, Santa Ana
  • Casa Romantica: (as of 3-13-20) art gallery & gardens open normal hours, but cultural events cancelled or postponed through 3/31.
  • Chance Theater: (as of 3-13-20) Canceling this weekend’s Chance-a-thon fundraiser; Canceling our upcoming productions of The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity and Actually
  • OC Fair & Event Center – (as of 3-13-20)
  • Orange County Market Place – weekends, canceled for March
  • VOLTA by Cirque du Soleil – March 18-April 19, suspended; possibly postponed
  • Crossroads of the West Gun Show – March 21-22, canceled
  • OC Science and Engineering Fair – March 24-26, canceled
  • AAOC Trade Show and Conference – March 26, postponed; date TBD
  • Mom Made Market – March 28-29, postponed; date TBD
  • Flying Miz Daisy Vintage Market – March 28-29, canceled
  • Car Lab – March 28-29, canceled
  • California Bridal & Wedding Expo – March 29, canceled
  • First Robotics Competition – April 2-4, canceled
  • Autism Fragile X Foundation Autism Parade – April 11, canceled
  • Imaginology – April 17-19, canceled
  • SoCal Sanitary Supply Show – May 6, canceled
  • Goat Yoga Experience – May 9, canceled
  • Voices: Veterans Storytelling Project – May 9, canceled
  • OC PolyFest – May 9-10, canceled
  • FamFest – June 20-21, canceled
  • Heritage Museum of Orange County: public programs cancelled but remains open to visitors
  • Huntington Beach Art Center: opening & closing receptions for Creative Visions exhibition cancelled, exhibition remains on view through end of month
  • Irvine Barclay Theatre: (as of 3-13-20) canceled all performances through Sunday, April 12, 2020.
  • Laguna Art Museum: (as of 3-13-20) closed through April 2 “at least.”
  • Laguna Playhouse: (as of 3-13-20) all performances cancelled until further notice.
  • Mission San Juan Capistrano: St. Joseph’s Day event cancelled, but Mission and gardens remain open to visitors
  • The Muckenthaler Cultural Center: (as of 3-13-20) 3/29 festival cancelled, but remains open to visitors
  • Musco Center for the Arts: (as of 3-13-20) canceled all performances through early May 2020.
  • Orange County Women’s Chorus: (as of 3-13-20) canceled March 2020 concerts.
  • Pacific Chorale: (as of 3-13-20) canceled the Songs of the Soul concert at Our Lady Queen of Angels Catholic Church on Saturday, March 21, 2020.
  • Pacific Symphony: (as of 3-13-20) canceled all performances through March 31, 2020.
  • Philharmonic Society of Orange County: (as of 3-13-20) canceled performances through March 31, 2020.
  • Pretend City: School Readiness Fair cancelled
  • Segerstrom Center for the Arts: (as of 3-13-20) canceled performances through March 31, 2020.
  • Soka Performing Arts Center & University: (as of 3-13-20) all remaining Soka Performing Arts Center performances this season have been canceled as well as Soka University’s International Festival on May 2, 2020.
  • South Coast Repertory: (as of 3-13-20) all performances of “Outside Mullingar” are canceled; the 2020-21 Season Announcement event scheduled for Monday, March 16 has been canceled; the NewSCRipts reading scheduled for Monday, March 16 at 7:30 p.m. is postponed until further notice; and spring session classes in the SCR Theatre Conservatory will continue as scheduled.
  • UCI Claire Trevor School of the Arts events
  • UC Irvine’s Institute and Museum of California Art: (as of 3-13-20) public programs (docent tours, school visits and guided group visits) canceled through March 31, 2020; new requests for public programs will not be accepted through April 30, 2020; IMCA is currently open.

These organizations have currently have not yet announced a change to their schedule:

  • Bowers Museum
  • Hilbert Museum
  • Muzeo
  • Newport Beach Film Festival
  • Orange County Center for Contemporary Art

By Editor

The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

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