Arts Festival to feature more kid fun
July 26, 2006
The Park City Arts Festival is gearing up. In preparation of the event held the first weekend in August, the Kimball Art Center is arranging innovative activities for the Kid’s Corner.
"I think art is really important for kids in their creative development and their development in general as critical thinkers and well-rounded individuals," said Annie Kennedy, the education director for the Kimball Art Center.
This has been the first year the Kimball Art Center has had a full-time education director. In that time, they have seen the demand for classes rise dramatically. In response, they are also expanding the Kids Corner to accommodate the growing interest.
"One of my missions and the most important thing here is the education program. It’s growing tremendously and kids are a big part of the community," said Pam Crowe-Weisberg, the executive director. "We’ve grown the Kid’s Corner every year in the three years I’ve been here."
The Kid’s Corner will have instructors teach various methods of art. Children will be able to participate up close and work on their own projects.
"The parents and the kids are so excited about it; the kids go away with a piece of art and an appreciation the art," Crowe-Weisberg said.
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Crowe-Weisberg is focused on education because she believes there aren’t many opportunities for young people to explore the world of art.
"We don’t have formal art in the schools here, this is another venue where kids can appreciate the work of art, value it and take it away with them," Crowe-Weisberg said.
Art education at the center has "just been growing and we see the need for it. People are excited and it’s a very important part of the arts festival. It’s education and giving them the opportunity to participate," Crowe-Weisberg said.
There will still be face painting within the expanded venue.
"Teachers in our art education programs and volunteers will be working in the kid’s area. There will be experts in face painting. Face painting is an art form, it’s not easy," Kennedy said.
The planning of the events is still underway but Kennedy is coordinating more activities that haven’t been seen before.
"This year, as far as expanding it, we will be able to offer more activities," Kennedy said. "We are also going to try to exhibit artwork by Andrew Smith to advertise the show, sculpture of a man made out of metal pieces. We are looking into things like having people come and make balloon animals, making your own sketch book, pennant flags they can decorate, sandpaper drawings possibly. I think we can accommodate about 40 50 kids at once and I wouldn’t’ be surprised if it was like that all day. There will be a great staff in the kid’s area."
In her first year at the art center, Kennedy has been impressed by the interest in learning about art and the Kid’s Corner at the festival.
"Last year was my first year," said Kennedy. "We did really well and it was really popular and we had a steady stream of people. This community is starting to really become a family community. We are starting to see a lot of families interested and helping with the festival, we want the kids to come to the festival. I plan to make it more and more popular every year. I think this will be better than last year."
Crow-Weisberg has seen a vast improvement since Kennedy has been on board.
"First of all, we never had a full-time education person here," Crowe-Weisberg said. "Someone who is focused totally on that has been tremendous, she’s an artist herself, she’s educated in art education. I can’t begin to tell you what she’s done. It’s invaluable and she’s been tremendous in building this area."
In the last year, Kennedy has seen kid’s interest in the arts grow through last year’s festival and the classes she has produced.
"I hope that the popularity of the classes is indicative of the great kids’ programs that we have here. We’ve been doing great things and we are having a good time," Kennedy said. "It gets people excited about the arts and it’s just as important to get the kids excited. There are only a few programs that get them excited about that. Kids love it and art really benefits kids too."
The Kimball Art Center has a goal to enlarge the minds of children.
"Art allows people to expand their minds," Crowe-Weisberg said. "We want to be the venue for the children to learn to appreciate the arts. It’s not in the curriculum of schools and it’s shocking. It helps kids think critically and it’s just a very important part of one’s development that’s been proven time and time again. Everybody should try to come by. We have a lot of volunteers helping us and lots of art teachers and artists; I encourage everybody to bring their kids."
The Park City Arts Festival will start Aug. 3 with a gala and art auction at the Kimball Art Center. On Aug. 4 from 6 to 9 p.m. there will be a gallery stroll at the Kimball Art Center and locals’ sneak peak of the festival. For more information on the Kimball Art Center or the Park City Arts Festival, call 649-8882.