By Beverly Perkins
South Florida in January couldn’t be a more perfect time for outdoor events, especially the County’s inaugural chalk art festival. The unique art of street painting is an experience not to be missed as the black pavement transforms into a colorful panorama of hand drawn art with chalk by artists of all ages.
The Chalk Lit Festival, presented by Broward County Main Library and Cultural Division, will feature 2D and 3D chalk artists creating murals on Saturday, January 13th, 2018 on the north plaza of the library in downtown Fort Lauderdale from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
The free, family-friendly day will take over the block with live music, food trucks, murals created live and on-site by more than 20 street artists, 3D printing stations, face painting, museum-curated workshops, hands-on crafting with Blick Art Materials, an area for kids to create their own chalk masterpieces and a People’s Choice Award presented by Jerry’s Artarama.
Leading the County’s first chalk festival is renowned artist and arts educator Carrie Bennett of Lighthouse Point, who specializes in creating local and international large-scale chalk murals and directs public art collaborations in communities to awaken creative growth in young artists.
The local arts agency along with the libraries will host the event to coincide with the “National Endowment for the Arts’ (NEA) Big Read” in partnership with Arts Midwest. The initiative wants to showcase a diverse range of contemporary titles which reflect many different voices and perspectives to inspire conversation and discovery.
Studies have shown that reading reduces stress, heightens empathy, improves students’ test scores, slows the onset of dementia, and makes more active and aware citizens. For over a decade the NEA has funded more than 1,400 Big Read programs, providing more than $19 million in grants to organizations nationwide.
The community-wide reading project will feature the book, “In the Time of the Butterflies” by award-winning author Julia Alvarez.
The literary-themed festival will take place on the north plaza of the Main Library in downtown Fort Lauderdale on Saturday, January 13, 2018, 10AM-5PM -Broward County Main Library North Plaza – 100 S. Andrews Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, 33301. For more information, please visit www.broward.org.