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Spanish Fork Youth Arts Festival goes online in wake of pandemic

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Ready to get creative? Ready for a challenge? The Spanish Fork Youth Arts Festival is going online this summer, and everyone can participate. 

Each day between June 1-5 and June 8-12, we will be posting an art challenge on the Spanish Fork City Facebook event page. Kids can post a picture or video of their artwork on the Facebook event page to be entered into a drawing for a $10 voucher toward next year’s Youth Arts Festival. 

There will be two winners chosen at random per day. Kids can share and check out each other’s art on the challenge page. Join the Facebook event page today at https://bit.ly/yaCHALLENGE. 

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If you don’t have Facebook, you can still follow the event for the daily challenges and then email your pictures or videos to sfevents@spanishfork.org by 8 p.m. each day to be entered in the daily drawing. 

Creating an Online Challenge, Charla Anderson, co-director of the Youth Arts Festival explained how they came up with the online challenge. 

“When we found out that it wasn’t looking good for us to have the art festival, we thought we could do a challenge and the teachers were super excited about it. It was fun to figure out what kids could do at home and what can go across age groups.” 

When creating the challenges, Anderson said, “The goal is to get art still happening in the home.” 

One difficulty was replicating the in-person interactions and synergy that exists at the festival. 

“A big part of the art festival is the camaraderie and feeding off of each other’s creativity. We are missing that with not being able to be together. Instead of sending out a list of things to do, we wanted to say, ‘Do this and share it with us so we can see what you’re doing.’ Even though we can’t be together that way they can still see each other’s art,” Anderson said. 

The decision to cancel the Youth Arts Festival was difficult to make, especially with the changes going on with COVID-19. 

 “We are heartbroken that this is cancelled,” said Whitney Hancock, co-director of the Youth Arts Festival. “The difficulty was that the state health guidelines were changing so rapidly, it was almost impossible to plan. There are a lot of restrictions so the school couldn’t have large groups until after July 1. So, we couldn’t use the school unless we moved the festival to July. We were trying to figure out what we could do so that everyone could be involved.” 

Multiple options were discussed, including the possibility of having packets with supplies and online Zoom classes. They even toyed with the idea of holding the festival outside behind the library but that would be difficult. 

Hancock said, “We really held out to the very last minute on cancelling. This year was going to be so cool. We got grants. We had over 110 classes planned with over 1,500 slots available,” Hancock said.

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