'I like all of the fun'
Fusing hands-on art with music performances, theater and locally sponsored activities like balloon making and face painting, Kids Get Creative fostered an aura of fun for youth of all ages during the Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts this past weekend.
Kids Get Creative is an initiative with Lake Oswego Parks and Recreation to involve children in the Festival of the Arts.
"I like all the fun," said five-year-old Flynn Fultz. Unicorn enthusiast and lover of all things sparkly, pretty and magical, Fultz enjoyed painting at the art bus hosted by Tumblewheel Studios.
Jenna Reineking, executive director of Tumblewheel with her husband Nick Patton, said she thinks everybody really enjoys the diversity of art they bring to children. Painting, printmaking and molding clay were the art mediums explored by children at the art bus.
"We want kids to be able to explore projects they may otherwise be unable to," said Reineking.
Along with exposure to tangible art, children were able to be immersed in a Youth Art Exploratorium in Lower George Rogers Park. Comedians and musicians performed between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. each day and local vendors lined the glee-filled plaza with activities such as balloon making, drumming and hula hooping.
This hub for child play doubled as a support network for local businesses including Sugarlump, Skyhawks and RMC Studios.
"I think everybody appreciates that we have created a way to involve kids with the arts festival," said Jamie Inglis, event supervisor with Lake Oswego Parks and Rec.
Inglis said performances by Angel, a comedian for children, brought light and laughter to many and that the children cheered in a way that rivaled the excitement over the invention of sliced bread.
Tastier than sliced bread were the daily cupcake walks hosted at the Lakewood Center for the Arts where children and families were encouraged to try for treats.
Theater was also an important component of the involvement of children at the arts festival. Children ages 6-17 performed two showings of "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" through the traveling Missoula Children's Theater. There was a free show at 4 p.m. Friday and a ticketed show Saturday at 10 a.m.
Cydney Fletcher, teen and youth coordinator for LO Parks and Rec said she loved seeing the children collaborating to share a performance for the community in five days.
"The cutest thing in the world is seeing kids with makeup that transforms them into bats and frogs and other creatures," Fletcher said.
Exuberant smiles wrinkled face paint and dancing dusted a few elbows as art inspired play for children who got creative in a community that values art for all.
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