We were thrilled to receive a grant from NSG to help support a community art project at the Davis Bay/Selma Park/Wilson Creek Fall Fair, held on Sept. 23. The project was called “Reading Helps Your Mind Bloom” and was hosted by the volunteer librarians of the Davis Bay library.
To us, two special things stand out about this project: One, we purchased as many of the art supplies as possible from the Sunshine Coast Community Services Society, ensuring that the money stays within the community and goes toward helping local families. Two, children were able to “donate” their art (if they wished) to decorate the library, allowing anyone to visit and see it.
The event was a fantastic success. Even though the weather was poor, many children came and had fun participating in the art project. As well, although lots of children opted to take their art home, we received plenty of “donations” as lovely decorations for the library. We were also able to promote the library and the resources and opportunities that it offers.
The main challenge was weather. The forecast suggested that it would not start raining until after the event, but it actually started raining almost as soon as we finished setting up outside. Our tent was not enough to stop our supplies from blowing around and getting wet. In the end, we moved the project inside, which was less visible but ultimately a better choice. Next time we will try to get tent flaps if we are outside, or we will plan to be inside from the beginning.
We also learned that we (the library volunteers) did not need to spend as much time prepping the art supplies. We had envisioned the children making garden-related art to go with the theme of blooming, so we pre-cut a number of leaves, petals, and other shapes for kids who could not use scissors. Some of these did get used; however, a lot of the kids preferred to paint, draw, or otherwise make art in their own creative way. Next time we will still do some pre-cutting, but not as much.
Lastly, next time we will try to have a volunteer specifically in charge of taking photos. Sometimes the arts and crafts area was too busy to take any photos, or it was difficult to find the parents and ask if they were comfortable with photos showing the children’s faces. For privacy reasons, in this report we have tried to obscure the children — but next time we would love to show you their smiling faces!
Overall, the event was a lot of fun and we are very grateful for the support of NSG!