Yuma, Arizona - Postponed from its usual November date in 2020, the safely redesigned Children’s Festival of the Arts takes place three ways beginning Saturday, April 10.
This year’s event consists of three components: a drive-through event distributing 500 art supply kits 10 a.m. to noon April 10 at Gateway Park; a virtual celebration at 2 p.m. April 10 on the Yuma Art Center’s Facebook page; and a youth and teacher art exhibit on display in the Art Center galleries April 13 through May 28.
“We are honored to keep this longstanding community event thriving through times of uncertainty,” said Arts and Culture Program Manager Lindsay Benacka. “This school year has undoubtedly been challenging for area art teachers and students alike, but artists of all ages have been busy thinking outside the box and processing the past year’s events through creative outlets.”
The drive-through event, in the Gateway Park parking lot, will hand out the kits on a first-come, first-served basis to children in grades K through 9 who are present inside vehicles. The kits include a variety of supplies including paint, sketchbooks, canvas, model magic clay, markers, pencils, scissors, paper, glue, and more, encouraging youth to create their own personal masterpieces at home. A limited amount of kits will be available for high school students. Attendees will be asked to enter Gateway Park from westbound Giss Parkway, exercise patience and take care not to block downtown traffic.
The virtual celebration, viewable online at Facebook.com/yumaartcenter, features Cibola High School ceramic students, Freedom Performing Arts Company, Ballet Yuma, Yuma Shorin Ryu Karate, a proclamation by Mayor Douglas Nicholls, and art tutorials by Yuma Art Center staff.
The Youth and Teacher art exhibit features artwork created by area youth and local teachers. It will be on display in the Yuma Art Center galleries April 13 through May 28. The galleries, 254 S. Main St., are open noon to 7 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays. Admission is free.
Children’s Festival of the Arts is presented annually by the City of Yuma. “Thanks to many generous sponsors we are able to provide 500 art supplies kits to area youth with the goal of providing tools for kids to create whatever they can imagine,” Benacka said.
Sponsors and volunteers include Yuma Rotary Club, AEA Federal Credit Union, LG Paint, Yuma Regional Medical Center, APS, Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona, Wealthcare Financial, and CASA of Yuma County.
Benacka cited information from Americans for the Arts when pointing out the benefits of bringing back this particular festival.
“By providing a healthy outlet to process emotions and cope with stress, youth with access to visual and performing arts inside and outside their classrooms are four times more likely to be recognized for an academic achievement and three times more likely to graduate from college, regardless of their major,” she said.
For more information contact the Yuma Art Center at 928-373-5202.