Photo courtesy of the American Visionary Art Museum.

The American Visionary Art Museum has canceled this year’s Flicks From the Hill movie series and will hold its July 4th Visionary Pets on Parade virtually.

Museum officials on Thursday said that they decided to change those two annual events due to concerns for staff and community members’ health and well-being during the coronavirus pandemic.

“We are truly sorry to disappoint Flicks fans and Pet Parade devotees,” Rebecca Hoffberger, the museum’s founder and director, said in a statement. “The gathered crowds themselves always looked so much to me like art—many dressed in costumes, gathered as one community, all to watch movies or share their love of four-legged best friends.”

Hoffberger said the museum decided to move the pet parade online to maintain the joy the event brings to many people.

The museum is encouraging people to take photos and videos of their pets in patriotic outfits and other costumers and submit them to by July 1.

The museum will then publish the images and clips on its YouTube channel and social media accounts.

“Let your imagination and fun go wild! We can’t wait to see your pics!” Hoffberger said.

The pet parade is held annually in memory of former museum volunteer Ellis Rosen, museum officials said.

Last week, Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young moved Baltimore into phase two of the state’s coronavirus recovery plan, which allows museums and certain other places to reopen at 50 percent capacity

But the American Visionary Art Museum said it remains temporarily closed while it implements “enhanced best health precautions” for visitors and staff, and it will reopen to the public in the “near future.”

The museum plans to resume its pet parade and summer movie series in 2021.

Marcus Dieterle is the managing editor of Baltimore Fishbowl. He returned to Baltimore in 2020 after working as the deputy editor of the Cecil Whig newspaper in Elkton, Md. He can be reached at