We prize the health of our community-our participants, volunteers, adjudicators, and employees. To play our part in the fight to contain the spread of COVID-19, we have been closely following state and city leaders and health officials’ expert guidance. We are awed by the dedicated medical professionals and essential workers working tirelessly on the front lines.
Today WGI Sports of the Arts is announcing the cancellation of in-person events for the 2021 season. We had hoped to use this upcoming season as a beacon of healing after the abrupt and challenging end to the 2020 season. Still, after numerous discussions with local and state health officials, our top priority remains to ensure the health and well-being of all our participants and patrons.
Despite this disappointment, our role as a global leader in the marching arts has never been more critical. WGI will offer a robust schedule of virtual competitive and non-competitive events to keep students and educators motivated and engaged. New classes for Junior groups, Regional A Percussion & Winds, and Concert Winds have been added to our regular competition classes. The E-Showcase celebrates the offbeat and innovative concepts always found in WGI but now has no standard rules…the sky’s the limit!
While WGI will be going virtual this season, some of our Circuit Partners may be offering in-person events as local circumstances warrant. As a community, we encourage all to patronize these efforts as another way to support performers and these vital organizations that keep our activity alive.
The coronavirus pandemic has had a devastating effect on WGI, our Circuit Partners, and fellow marching arts organizations Drum Corps International and Music For All. Since our events have gone dark in March, hundreds of marching arts events continue to be altered or canceled. WGI is facing a financial impact of more than $1.5 million for the current fiscal year ended June 30, and many of our employees temporarily furloughed.
In the coming days, ticket patrons and groups will be receiving instructions and options on refunds due. As we did in March, we ask for your patience to navigate this considerable task with our reduced office staff. As we continue down the road to recovery this year, please consider extending your support with a donation.
While much remains uncertain right now, one thing is for sure: this crisis will pass. Our community will recover, and we will return in 2022 by providing powerful and meaningful experiences for young people as WGI has for over four decades. We are convinced more than ever of the redeeming qualities of the arts in all our lives.
Thank you for your loyalty and love for WGI, which has been a ray of hope during these dark times. We’ve all had to temporarily say goodbye to many aspects of our everyday life. Still, we look forward with great excitement to the time when we can all be together again at our events for entertaining performances and enriching arts experiences that lift the human spirit.
Even apart, we’re in this together.