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Kids at Play

The First Children's Arts Festival

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The idea for the Children’s Arts Festival began five years ago. A leadership grant awarded by the Idaho Commission on the Arts made it possible for the WRAA to hire Keith Moore as a part-time executive director. Having an executive director to help coordinate the ideas from the 23 members of the WRAA has allowed the idea of a festival to come to fruition. This is no hastily-put-together event. The WRAA has been tirelessly working for more than a year to make sure the Children’s Arts Festival is successful. The community has also been enthusiastic about it.

Many organizations have lent their support and become sponsors. “The Wood River Arts Alliance partners with the Blaine County School District throughout the year and this event will be no exception,” says Neely. Rowsey adds that theFestival “is a perfect public display of partnerships that go on all the time behind the scenes in our cultural and arts community.”

The Children’s Arts Festival is a way to celebrate the opportunities that are available in the arts right here in our community, stresses Neely. Rowsey concurs: “There are classes, workshops, and performances to fit most every family’s schedule.” He further notes, “I think the festival will also offer a great opportunity for our local artists and arts organizations to listen to the children, to their families.” The Wood River Valley, world-renowned for its natural beauty and outdoor recreation, has also become a haven for artists, and the festival will give people a chance to fully appreciate this lively part of our local culture.

All children, ages five to 12, are encouraged to participate in the free workshops on Saturday, January 26. The doors will open at 9 a.m. for children to sign up for the activities that interest them. The classes and demonstrations will begin at 10 a.m., but youngsters are encouraged to come throughout the day. There is no need to pre-register as it is strictly a drop-in and have-fun event. As an added bonus, participants will also have the opportunity to win prizes. Although the festival on Saturday focuses on a younger crowd, teenagers are not left out of the fun. They get to express their own creativity at the Community Campus on Friday night.

The Jurovich sisters—Izabella, seven, and Lidija, eight—love art and are eagerly anticipating the upcoming festival. Izabella, who wants to be a rock-and-roll star when she grows up, is looking forward to watching the dance performances. A dancer herself, Izabella takes ballet and hip-hop lessons. Lidija is a dancer, like her sister, but she also likes to draw. “Mainly people,” she says, “people I invent.” Although she loves to ski, Lidija makes it clear that she would gladly skip a day on the slopes for a day of art. “I will definitely go,” she says. Their mother, Pam Jurovich, is also excited about the Children’s Art Festival. She is always looking for new cultural and artistic events to attend with her daughters. “Art is a great way for kids to express themselves,” she says.

The WRAA hopes that enthusiastic participants make this first-ever festival a resounding success that will lead to its becoming an annual event.

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