The library, along with the Papillion Arts Council, Papillion Community Foundation, Papillion La Vista Arts Network, Papillion La Vista IDEAL School, Mayor’s Youth Council, Papillion Junior Women’s Club and the Friends of the Library, is hosting the first annual free Downtown Kids Art Fest. It will be a family friendly event on October 6 from 9-12 on the library lawn.
Fifteen tables with hands-on art experiences for children will be staffed with volunteers from the Mayor’s Youth Council, IDEAL School and teen volunteers from the library teen activity board. Funding for supplies is being provided by a grant from the Friends of the Library. The Papillion Community Foundation provided funding for a bounce house. The Papillion Junior Women’s Club will sponsor a refreshment table. The Papillion La Vista Arts Network is supplying the performance stage and several performers. The Papillion Arts Council, an advisory board to the city of Papillion, has given their approval of this event. There will be pottery, paper making and pumpkin carving demonstrations. Face painting will also be available. Performing on the Main Stage:
- Theresa’s TaeKwondo at 9 am
- Heartland Youth Ballet at 9:30 am
- Michael Fitzsimmons’ “Drums of the World” at 10 am
- Papillion LaVista Arts Network performers from 11-noon
Robin Clark, library director, said that after the success of the library’s 90th birthday party for children last year with over four hundred people in attendance the library staff decided to host an annual downtown event for children that celebrates the creative arts in Papillion. This year’s event will get the ball rolling; hopes are at some point in the future to grow the Kids’ Art Fest all the way down to the new First Street Plaza.
Richard Kessler, executive director of the Center for Arts Education in New York City says “…research shows that children who spend time … doing visual art, performing music or dance, or even acting in a play gain a whole set of creative and analytical skills.” The National Guild for Community Arts Education states that “When these types of programs are sustained and respond to community needs, they encourage cognitive development, increase creativity, improve self-esteem, and promote better health. Community arts education programs also build social capital, foster democratic decision making, advance economic growth, and generate a sense of shared culture and community belonging. They can add to or enrich K-12 education and serve as catalyst, convener, a conduit for innovative and collaborative community-wide and cross-sector alliances.” The ultimate goal of the Kids’ Art Fest is to continue to develop a community with a strong commitment to art.