Children's art fest is Saturday
A child's mind is a wonderful gift, and to see the manifestation of conceptual thought brings joy to the heart. Their ability to express themselves through the arts provides us an opportunity in which we can share in their feelings and thoughts.
Through art, children can learn to think creatively beginning at a young age. Children are already highly creative, but art can help them push their boundaries and continue thinking outside the box as they grow into adulthood. Plus, many children enjoy art and feel a sense of accomplishment from creating something on their own.
The city of Yuma Parks and Recreation Department and the Yuma Art Center are proud to present the 19th annual Children's Festival of the Arts from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, along the 200 to 300 block of Yuma's historic Main Street. “Dive into the Arts” is the theme for this year's event. Debbie Wendt, city of Yuma recreation superintendent says, “This is a free event, open to the public, and a terrific opportunity to enjoy a great day of art, music, dance, exhibits, food and fun.”
Over 30 booths will be set up along Main Street. The city of Yuma Parks and Recreation Department and the Yuma Art Center are providing booths as well as longtime Children's Festival of the Arts participating organizations: Bajo el Sol, Arizona Public Service, Yuma Area Art Educators, Arizona Western College Upward Bound program and the Rotary Club of Yuma North End, just to name a few. Wendt says, “Participating organizations and the over 100 volunteers are vital to the success of Children's Festival of the Arts, and if anyone is interested in volunteering for this year's event, give us a call at the city of Yuma Parks and Recreation office at 373-5243.”
Rex Ijams, manager of the Yuma Art Center says, “Children naturally love art; painting, drawing, making music, the theater, unfortunately, when schools must cut back on budgets, the arts are usually the first to go and so this is a fantastic way for families and especially children to come down to historic downtown Yuma and engage in hands-on art activities.”
The Yuma Art Center is also hosting a student art exhibit, with over 1,000 pieces of artwork from Yuma-area schools. Students from elementary, middle and high schools from all over Yuma have displays of art inside the Yuma Art Center gallery. “All of the displays of art are incredible. It is completely amazing to see their expressions through these vivid pieces of art.” says Ijams. The Yuma Rotary Club will be judging the classroom artwork and providing cash awards for teachers that have inspired the most creative work in their students. These awards allow teachers to purchase more supplies for their art classrooms. This annual support from the Yuma Rotary Club is instrumental in developing the top notch student art exhibit.
Cibola High School art department has a very real depiction of a flock of birds flying together, completely done in ceramics. San Luis High School has an incredible exhibit of pencil-drawn portraits. Desert Mesa Elementary School is also displaying a very colorful collage of abstract paintings. These three schools are just a glimpse of what is displayed, so to see the many other pieces of art from numerous other schools, make sure you stop in and experience the whole exhibit before Nov. 9 as the exhibit comes down to make way for more art! Ijams says, “The student art exhibit is truly an inspiration, and demonstrates that the value of art is alive and well in Yuma Arizona!”
The Yuma historic downtown area will be thriving with people at the 19th annual Children's Festival of the Arts, as over 4,000 people on average attend the event each year. “Dive into the Arts” is sure to make a splash! Call your family and friends and plan on a delightful day of art. For more information, go to www.YumaAZ.Gov or call us at 373-5243.
Oscar Chavez is the recreation program supervisor at the city of Yuma Parks and Recreation Department. He can be reached at Oscar.Chavez@yumaaz.gov.