Family Art Day — the 2020 Way

Due to COVID-19 restrictions and concerns, River Arts Alliance (RAA) was compelled to cancel this year’s Family Art Day. The event, usually held the first Saturday in September, was first held in 2008 and has 500-600 participants (depending on weather).

Believing that ‘Art Never Stops,’ the board of directors at River Arts Alliance chose to bring art directly to those in need. Using funds dedicated for the 2020 Family Art Day Program, as well as reserve funds from River Arts Alliance operations fund, RAA assembled 100 reusable bags with a variety of art supplies.

Rebranded as “Family Art Day — the 2020 Way,” the bags included items like paint and brushes, sketchpads, clay, colored pencils, and more. Julia Crozier and Anne Plummer provided information about and techniques for drawing, watercolor, collage, and clay exploration. Linda Klabo assisted with purchasing of supplies and offered her Mississippi Mornings studio as a gathering location for collecting and assembling the bags. Dan Munson coordinated the project and facilitated distribution. Heidi Bryant worked on the graphics and print pieces.

RAA contacted Carol Marchant, coordinator for the Kids First program which operates at the Maplewood Townhomes development in Winona. The Kids First program sees as many as 75 kids a day, making it a perfect venue to offer art-making opportunities.

The bags were assembled by Julia, Anne, Linda, and Heidi and delivered to the Kids First office where Marchant and volunteers have been distributing them to kids and their families.

This project was sponsored, in part, by donations from Merchants Bank, WNB Financial, RTP, Dick Blick Art Materials, and individual RAA members and supporters.

Curtis Johnson is the happy recipient of one of the Family Art Day bags. Photo used with permission.