Project Jericho, Clark State College’s youth outreach program, will present the sixth annual ChalkFest chalk-art festival and contest on Saturday, October 7 at the National Road Commons Park in partnership with National Trail Parks and Recreation District.
“Blue – a Dayton-based artist – will return as the featured chalk artist, along with a handful of other local and regional professional chalk artists,” said Lo Houser, director of Project Jericho.
Adelee & Gentry will also return and perform live music, while local food trucks, including Chido's Tacos, New Orleans Grill Bourbon Chicken, Kerry’s Café, and Momma T’s will be available. The Springfield Museum of Art will lead a children’s art activity under the big tent.
“Chalkfest has quickly become a highlight of the fall for not only the Project Jericho family, but for our community as well,” said Houser. “Each year, the festival grows in its energy and vibrance which is a direct reflection of the talent and beauty found here in Springfield.”
Houser said in 2022, the largest number of participants for the chalk art competition showed up to compete and this year, spots are already almost full.
ChalkFest will also include the annual Project Scare-A-Crow exhibit. This year the theme is “Thirty Years of Incredible Entertainment.” The scarecrow installation will be displayed through October 20.
Project Jericho and National Trail Parks and Recreation District invite the community to create a scarecrow honoring a performance that has taken place on the stage of the Clark State Performing Arts Center (PAC) over the last 30 years or will be coming to the stage this season.
Six Project Jericho families will work collaboratively with local artists to create scarecrows for the display. This program empowers families to dream big while learning to use new and repurposed art materials.
"During Project Scare-A-Crow programming, I witness families finding their personal strengths and learning to overcome challenges associated with large-scale art that needs to withstand adverse weather conditions,” said Kristi Limes, Project Jericho success coordinator. “Families work together to encourage one another, sharing materials, advice, and skills so that everyone's scarecrow is successfully installed.”
Limes said this contest is less about individual success and more about celebrating the community.
“In one corner, you hear the sewing machine; just outside the doors, you see children and parents stuffing scarecrow bodies; at one table, you see sisters making papier mache, and at another table, a young boy is learning to use a hack saw for the first time,” she said.
ChalkFest will begin at 11:30 a.m., Saturday, October 7, at the National Road Commons Park, 21 Fisher Street (located between West Main Street and West Columbia Street, two blocks west of St. Rt. 72), near the Madonna of the Trail in downtown Springfield. Admission is free. The event is presented by Project Jericho and National Trail Parks and Recreation.
“We enjoy bringing this festival to life each year with our friends at National Trail Parks and Recreation District,” said Houser. “This event is a true definition of collaboration, and we couldn't do it without the generosity of the event sponsors. This day is a really great testament to the power of the performing and visual arts to add connection and joy to our lives.”
Project Jericho provides in-depth performing and visual arts experiences with a goal to make art accessible to all youth and families in the Clark County community.
Project Jericho is a program of Clark State College supported through funding from the Clark County Department of Job and Family Services, Clark County Juvenile Court, Ohio Arts Council, The Turner Foundation, Community Health Foundation and private contributions.
Chalkfest is additionally supported by Ohio Valley Surgical Hospital, Partners for the Parks, Park National Bank, Clark County Springfield TCC, Greater Springfield Partnership, and The Turner Foundation.