Children’s Art and Literacy Festival slated for June

On June 14-17, 2012, Abilene will host Artfully Abilene's "Children's Art & Literacy Festival" (CALF) featuring Dr. Seuss. This idea emanated from the The National Center for Children's Illustrated Literature (NCCIL) planned exhibition of the original illustrations from "The Lorax" on June 1 - August 31, 2011. To enhance this Seussian experience we have also secured funding for "The Art of Dr. Seuss Retrospective", as well as the Seuss Sculpture Touring Garden. The "Retrospective" offers a rare glimpse into the artistic life of a celebrated American icon. Included are 32 historical panels featuring over 200 images and rare items, such as photographs, advertising artwork and original materials-telling the story of Geisel's art and life chronologically. Through the medium of large scale bronze sculpture, the Touring Sculpture Garden allows kids at heart from 2 to 92 to experience an in-depth look at six of the most beloved books and characters created over Theodore Seuss Geisel's 70 year career. This larger than life educational art experience explores the stories behind the Cat in the Hat, the Grinch Who Stole Christmas, Green Eggs and Ham's "Sam I Am", Yertle the Turtle, Horton the Elephant and Seuss's groundbreaking environmental character, The Lorax.The CALF committee is committed to incorporating a strong literacy component into this citywide festival. Readings from seven of his most beloved books by narrators, accompanied by the costumed character, will occur three times a day at seven locations. Children will receive buttons for each book reading they attend and will be eligible to win prizes. Every effort is being made to involve children from all backgrounds. "We are particularly pleased that Melissa Richardson, Autism specialist with Region 14 will be designing activities specifically for children with special needs and recruiting volunteers to oversee their involvement," said event coordinators. "We believe this may be the only children's art and literacy festival in Texas, and perhaps the Southwest that offers this dimension."Elizabeth McVey, the marketing director of the Abilene Cultural Affairs Council, stated, "We would like to inform Sweetwater residents that they can register for the CALF featuring Dr. Seuss on our website ("The first 250 people to register will receive a $10 gift card either to Famous Daves or Buffalo Wild Wings.