After reviewing our options for Royston Arts Society’s planned 2021 Autumn Exhibition, the Committee have decided to cancel the physical exhibition that was due to take place in Royston Town Hall at the end of September. Instead, we shall hold the 2021 Autumn Exhibition as an online-only event.

The Committee have taken this decision with great regret as we know how popular our Town Hall exhibitions have been in the past. However, there is clearly still a worrying uncertainty as to how the Covid pandemic will affect society over the next few months, and we have concluded that the benefits of holding the exhibition are outweighed by a number of risks that we will face if we try to go ahead as planned. Three factors in particular influenced our decision:
• As things stand the number of people who have volunteered to help run the Town Hall exhibition is well short of what we will need, and this situation is unlikely to improve while RAS members and supporters are exercising understandable caution about attending social events.
• We think it likely that the Government may reimpose some compulsory restrictions such as mask-wearing, social distancing, and sanitizing in response to further surges of Covid cases. If this happened in late September we will not be able to hold the Town Hall exhibition because some major activities – notably the check-in and check-out procedures – will be impossible to manage safely.
• The Town Hall exhibition depends very heavily on a core team of key individuals whose presence is crucial to the smooth running of the event. If one or more of these people is required to self-isolate (as happened to one of us last week) over the exhibition weekend we will not be able to provide adequate cover for them.

Following the decision to cancel, we are making as few adjustments as possible to the arrangements for the online exhibition so as to keep things as simple as possible.

• The online exhibition will now run from Friday 24 September to Wednesday 1 December.
• The deadline for entries is still Tuesday 31 August.
• The number of framed and unframed paintings you may enter remains unchanged.
• There is no change in the fees and commission rates being charged.
• We are aiming to exhibit 200-250 paintings. If we receive more than this, we may need to refuse further entries.

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