Originally Published: May 2, 2014 6 a.m.
When it comes to the annual Chalk It Up! Prescott event, everything but the weather is provided.
Chalk It Up! will be held in the National Bank of Arizona parking lot, located at 201 N. Montezuma St. near downtown Prescott, this weekend, May 3-4, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Chalk will be provided to all who attend the two-day, family-friendly event. Not only will chalk be provided, but expect live entertainment as well. A registration table will be located on site. No advance registration is necessary and all ages are welcome to participate.
"Everyone who comes to register will get a free 12-piece box of chalk. They get a space to chalk in. The spaces to chalk in are of varying sizes," Chalk It Up! board member Susan Crutcher said. Standard chalk spaces measure two feet by three feet.
"We have a little bit smaller spaces and we have larger spaces too, and then we have the large spaces, which are reserved in advance. They're for the feature artists and the guest artists," Crutcher said. "The featured artists who come to our events say one of the things they really like about it is they get to interact with the kids and the kids get to interact with them."
Expect four featured artists for the 2014 Chalk It Up! event: Anat Ronen, Stan Tang, Jeff Daverman and Bridget Lyons. Six guests artists will also be on hand, Crutcher added.
While the event is typically held on the third week in April, this month that day was reserved for Easter Sunday. The Whiskey Off-Road biked into town the following weekend, which led Chalk It Up! organizers to schedule their event for the first weekend in May.
The Whiskey Row Marathon will be filling the streets of Prescott in the morning hours, which Chalk It Up! board member Chris Adams thinks will help draw people to the downtown area.
The entire event is organized and operated by a volunteer staff, Adams said.
"The chalk, the venue, the incidentals, the insurance we have to carry; It's all sponsored by local businesses for the most part and some individuals," Adams said.
This year, the event also received grant dollars from the Arizona Commission on the Arts, who awarded organizers $2,000 for Chalk It Up! The Prescott Arts and Humanities Council awarded organizers a separate grant for about $1,300 as well, Adams said.
During the first year, organizers weren't sure if they would see enough interest in the event. Approximately 500 turned out, Adams said. Sharon Nordyke started the first event in 2009.
"Every year since then it's gown and last year we had about 1,100 people register to draw. We figure had about 3,000 people come as spectators and just wander through. It's become quite an event," Adams said.
Those planning on attending this year's Chalk It Up event, Adams said, should remember to bring a hat, sunscreen and water before getting creative with chalk.
Chalk It Up's major sponsors include the Arizona Commission on the Arts, Art Escape, The Art Store, National Bank of Arizona, the City of Prescott and the Prescott Arts and Humanities Council.
Both Adams and Crutcher have volunteered for Chalk It Up! since the first year of the event. Other board members include Marta Samuelson-Bair and Deb Spirito. Honorary board member Kathy Branick also helped organize fundraising efforts this year.
"I really appreciate and like to be involved in things in the community that make our community a place that I and other people want to be in. I'm willing to do things to make that happen," Crutcher said. "I really love the intergenerational quality of the event and the fact that everybody has fun."
"It's been a lot of work, but it's really enjoyable and rewarding. From the beginning we've had a great board that have been so easy in organizing the whole thing. It's worked out really well," Adams said.
Those interested in learning more about volunteering or serving on the board are encouraged to contact the organization at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit them online at www.prescottchalkart.com.