Chalk it up

Once summer hits, it’s time to take art off of the refrigerator and onto the streets. This summer sidewalk chalk can do more than decorate your driveway; it can help provide art therapy to at-risk children in Chicago Public Schools.

Art Therapy Connections, a non-profit organization, will host its fourth annual chalk festival fundraiser at Oz Park June 7. Jam out with a DJ, listen to a performance by the Chicago Children’s Choir or just sit back with refreshments and watch as the park is turned into a community mural.

If you would rather get your hands dirty, then buy a square to decorate on your own or with your family. Prices to decorate the squares range from $500 to $5,000, but kids’ can draw on their own foot by foot long square on the Children’s Avenue for just $10. If sidewalk chalk isn’t for you or your kids, face painting, balloon making, games and other craft activities are available. All of the money raised sponsors ATC.

“Our mission is to integrate art with therapy,” says Carolyn Collins, the executive director of business development for ATC and an art therapist."The Chalk Festival is a creation of art expressions. It generates a sense of belonging and community, and that’s what we like to do with our students and our groups.”

Oz Park is located at 2021 N. Burling St., Chicago. The Chalk Festival is 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Saturday, June 7. Visit for more information.

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