Ryley Capra and Maisie Skibola had a great time last year participating in Verona Arts’ first Chalk Fest. The girls, who will be fifth graders at H.B. Whitehorne Middle School in September, were worried that it would be cancelled this year because of the pandemic, so they decided to create a chalk art festival just for their neighborhood. On Sunday, August 23, they held the Franklin Street Chalk Fest.
The girls invited all their neighbors to draw in the street in front of their homes, and they arranged for music, chalk prizes and a vote for neighborhood favorites. All for free.
The Franklin Street Chalk Fest was the work of several weeks of planning, and Capra and Skibola handled everything on their own, from promotion to registration, set up and break down. The girls even made sure the event was socially distanced to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
For the girls, the event was a lesson in the importance of community during a time that can be so isolating. “We were so proud after seeing how many of our neighbors participated,” says Capra, “how happy they were and that we were able to run an event like this on our own!”
Skibola echoes that sentiment. “We were happy we could bring our block together in a socially distant way during this challenging time,” she says.
Skibola and Capra want to offer their congratulations to the winners of the Franklin Street Chalk Fest: 1st place, Nora Crevoiserat; 2nd place, Dylan Behlen; and 3rd place, Sarah and Erin Tevlin.
As they completed their preparations for Sunday’s event, the girls were thrilled to learn that Verona Arts will hold Chalk Fest again, even though it has been revamped to take place from artists’ homes and not the center of town. They are already registered to participate.