Idyllwild Arts students at last year’s Chalkfest.
Photo courtesy Idyllwild Arts Foundation

Cinco de Mayo event benefits Idyllwild School’s smARTS project

Cinco de Mayo comes to Idyllwild with a free Sidewalk Chalkfest to benefit Idyllwild School’s PTA smARTS project on Sunday, May 5, from noon to 3 p.m.

The entire town is invited to Idypark to celebrate an event that will bring together generations.  

The co-sponsors, from Idyllwild Arts Academy — Arts Enterprise Laboratory and Art in Society — and also from town — the Art Alliance of Idyllwild — will put together competing artistic teams made up of children from Idyllwild School, adults from town and IAA students.

Funds to benefit the PTA smARTS Project will come from local businesses that have made generous offers to sponsor the competition, as well as from spectators. Each team will set out a tip bucket and each dollar will count as a vote.

But the suggestion that “competing” artistic teams will create Cinco de Mayo-themed art on the sidewalk should be taken lightly. 

Although some of the IAA student volunteers represent the academy’s Visual Arts Department, the Film and Digital Media, Theatre, and Dance departments also will send volunteers. So the real competition will be to see who can have the most fun.

Volunteering artists who break their chalk or scrape a knuckle on the sidewalk — disasters in the safe, family-friendly world of chalkfests — will be more than amply compensated by catered food and musical entertainment.

Of course, the bigger compensation will be knowing that the cause is a good one. Idyllwild School’s PTA smARTS project offers about 300 classes to Idyllwild School children every year. The classes engage K-8 students in visual arts, theater, movement, creative writing and music, including songwriting. 

The project’s value was recognized last year, when it received the 2017 Community Partnership Award from the Arts Schools Network, the nation’s largest professional membership organization of specialized arts schools.

You’ll want your tacos, guacamole and nachos on Cinco de Mayo. But the sidewalk chalkfest will leave plenty of time for that by ending at 3 p.m.