On Friday, June 21st, I helped organize a booth for Downtown Salisbury’s Friday Night’s Out event themed “Arts Night Out”. We facilitated art activities for children and provided information on air quality to adults. The event allowed Center for the Environment interns to collaborate in planning and hosting this event, giving us the chance to take part in the education and outreach mission of the Center in fun way that also builds relationships in the community.
Our main concept for the event was to involve children in painting a “green and clean environment” while we also connected with parents about air quality issues. We provided examples of pictures on the topic and were assisted in instruction by local artist, Mike Wigal. As can be seen from a sample of the paintings (pictured above), there was a variety of subjects represented in the paintings– but also some very articulate depictions of “green and clean environment[s]”. It’s rewarding to get to see children create a healthy place to live, even if it is just on paper.
Along with painting on paper, we brought several small clay balls that we offered to be painted as models of Earth. However, painting was not the only activity at our booth; a spinning wheel, featuring environmental questions and prizes, was also present. The spinning wheel was a great way to interact with the kids and get them excited about answering environmental questions like “how can we improve air quality”. I would ask follow up questions and provide explanations until they were confident with their answer. I had a good time asking questions as well. In the picture below, you can see me modeling the “Born to Recycle” tattoo that was among the spinning wheel prizes.
We estimate that there were 80 kids involved in one activity or another at our booth. Student interns for the Center have hosted booths for Salisbury’s Friday Night’s Out events with success before, and I think these events will continue to offer a great venue for the Center to maintain a positive presence in the area.