COME HELP US CELEBRATE 19 YEARS ON SEPT. 21!
ENTERTAINMENT, FOOD AND FUN!
Contact us at:
The City of Morrison
p. 815.772.7657
Email us with registration questions.

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Email us with general questions or to volunteer

Email us with questions about sponsoring Paint the Town

Email us with Public Relations or Media questions


 

ABOUT PAINT THE TOWN

For one Saturday, each September, Morrison’s downtown is transformed into an outdoor canvas for hundreds of amateur artists of all ages who gather to Paint the Town. The Children’s Art Preservation Association created this unique family art event as a way for the community to participate in the arts together, as families and individuals. The focus of the event is the painting of five- foot squares on and around Morrison’s Main Street. The number of squares painted has grown steadily since the event’s debut in 1994, when 250 squares were painted, to 1,710 squares by more than 2,000 children, families and individuals during Paint the Town 2012. More than 6,000 attend the event annually to enjoy the painting, variety of entertainment, and great food. To celebrate its 19th season, the 2013 event will offer 1,800 squares for painting; each a frame and canvas ready to receive the original work of these artists.

HOW IT WORKS

Participants can register to paint a masterpiece alone or with a friend. For a modest registration fee (local and regional sponsors help keep the cost affordable for all), participants receive an assigned 5 foot by 5 foot square on the street, and an event bag containing all the supplies needed to paint: a primary color water based tempera paint set plus black and white, one narrow brush for lining and one wide brush for filling, chalk for sketching, cups, stirrers and instructions for mixing colors, a logo T-shirt (a new logo is developed each year), and giveaway goodies from sponsors. Pre-registration is advised with a deadline approximately one day before the event. Registrations at a slightly higher fee are accepted the day of the event and during the event as “walk-ons”. All registrations are taken on a first-come, first-served basis.

Painting begins at Noon and continues until the artists finish their work, usually by 7 PM. It is not unusual, however, to find a few still working into the evening. These artists paint their squares with an enthusiasm and intensity that can be seen in their faces and the art that they create.

Three music venues and food courts provide the perfect accompaniment to the painting. Entertainment spans the day from 12 Noon into the evening with music chosen to support the visual arts activities. Both professional and amateur musicians perform and a wide variety of music styles and rhythms are featured to encourage an appreciation for the diversity of the arts. In addition, street performers ensure that no matter where the painters are, they are within eye and earshot of music, a magician, balloon artist or mime. When the painting is finished the music continues under the stars and provides the backdrop for dancing and strolling the street to admire the artwork.

The next day the streets are again blocked to vehicular traffic to allow art lovers to safely stroll the street and view the finished art.

Paint the Town attracts an audience in excess of 6,000 visitors annually who come to paint and view the art. Community, friends, family and visitors enjoy this unique outdoor gallery for months as they stroll the street until the art fades leaving the canvas ready for next year.

MISSION AND HISTORY

Founded in 1993, the Children’s Art Preservation Association (CAPA) exists to serve both young artists and the community. The board is made up of local educators and citizens who believe that children deserve recognition and encouragement for their creative work in the visual arts.

To provide this recognition CAPA, as a not for profit organization, devotes it's resources to preserving and displaying the art of Children in the Morrison community, sponsors activities that promote and encourage participation in the visual arts, supports the work of local artists and partners with local schools to create programs that expand opportunities for instruction and appreciation of the visual arts. All of CAPA’s goals, events and programs are designed to add new artistic dimension and enrich the life of the community. All proceeds from events are directed back into the community in support of this mission.

CAPA has been recognized by the Illinois Alliance for Art Education for it's development of Paint the Town and supported by grants from the Illinois Arts Council. Paint the Town has also been featured in the National Main Street Program’s publication on notable festivals and events, and Quad City Public Television Station, WQPT’s weekly journal, Living in Iowa.

For more information on CAPA or Paint the Town, you may contact:
• Barbara Bees, 815. 772.2670,

• CAPA
   P.O. Box 45, Morrison, IL 61270,

• The City of Morrison, 815.772.7657

• or visit CAPA and the event on the web at www.morrisoncapa.org

WHAT IS CAPA?

The Children’s Art Preservation Association (CAPA) exists to serve both our young artists and our community. Local educators and citizens who believed that children deserve recognition and encouragement for their creative work in the visual arts founded CAPA in the fall of 1993. To provide this recognition and to support the visual arts, CAPA as a not–for-profit organization, devotes its resources to preserving and displaying the art of Children in the Morrison Community, sponsors activities that promote and encourage participation in the visual arts, supports the work of local artists and partners with local schools to create programs/curriculum that expand instruction and appreciation of the visual arts in our schools.

ABOUT CAPA’S GOALS

CAPA exists to serve both our young artists and our community. By exhibiting their work and offering opportunities to participate in the process we hope to reward our children for their effort, instill in them an appreciation for the expressive variety of the visual arts and illustrate the role the visual arts play in our lives. Practically every consumer product, every package, every CD and its case, every book, every brochure, and every “anything” has been graced by the artist’s touch. Art appears in our museums, but also parks in our garages, and sits on our countertops and coffee tables.

By making art available to the community we believe we are providing the feedback needed to complete the artistic process. Art needs to be looked at, pondered and appreciated and the feedback is all the more immediate and gratifying when provided by those you know. CAPA values the work of children and their accomplishments and heralds that value to the community and others.

All of CAPA’s goals, events and programs are designed to provide appreciation and encouragement to our children, add new artistic dimension and enrich the life of the community.

WHAT ARE CAPA’S PROJECTS?

CAPA’s ongoing support includes preserving, framing and exhibiting our young artists work in local schools and public buildings. Currently, this collection contains some 200 pieces that span over 25 years of award winning, and notable student art. By exhibiting their art we hope to reward our children for their efforts, instill in them an appreciation for the expressive variety of the visual arts and illustrate the role the visual arts play in our lives. By making their work available to the community we provide the feedback needed to complete the artistic process: to be looked at, pondered and appreciated – all the more supportive and immediate when provided by the community in which they live.

CAPA’s first project was an art auction, A Night for Art, a gala evening bringing together artists, patrons and the community to provide a financial basis for the organization. Over $14,000 (a considerable sum for a rural community of 4,500) was raised and used for framing student art, and for the purchase of video equipment for the school district’s three art departments enabling art history to be incorporated into the curriculum on a regular basis.

In 1994, CAPA created an event called Paint the Town to provide an opportunity for the community to participate in the arts together, as families and individuals. The focus of the event is the painting of five-foot squares on Morrison’s Main Street. In 2003, Paint the Town celebrated its 10th anniversary with 968 squares were painted by over 1,500 children, families and individuals covering five blocks of Morrison’s Main Street business district.

Late in 2003, CAPA lost several board members due to job and life commitments. Lacking enough board members to adequately plan the event, remaining board members took a year to restructure. Community volunteers responded to CAPA’s request to help keep the event going and plan for 2005. As a result, CAPA Board members and community volunteer members created a new, and much larger, Paint the Town board. The refreshed 2005 event was so successful and registrations grew so far over the expected 1000 squares that another 100 were added during the week before the event. A total of 1060 squares were painted. Going into it's 15th year, this festival continues to grow in size and has become the most popular local event of the year, with attendance in excess of 6,000. With the participation of regional television and media sponsors it has gained popularity as a regional event. In 2008, 1,375 squares were painted. Paint the Town will provide 1,500 squares for the 2009 event to be held on Saturday and Sunday, September 19 and 20th.

As a not-for-profit organization, all proceeds from Paint the Town are used to support CAPA’s programs and events.

In 1997, CAPA received and award from the Illinois Alliance for Arts Education for Paint the Town and in 2000 CAPA received a Special Assistance Grant from the Illinois Arts Council in support of the event. Citing the originality of the event, in 2001 the Illinois Municipal League invited the City of Morrison to display information about Paint the Town at the League’s yearly convention in Chicago. Members of CAPA and City staff put together a display booth to showcase Paint the Town for the Convention’s Innovations Showcase Area. Of 12 communities invited to present, Morrison was the only small, rural community represented.

Additionally, Paint the Town has been listed in the National Main Street Program’s national listing of festivals and events publication.

In 1995, the organization created an annual art scholarship for a high school senior planning to major in the visual arts. Initially a $300 award, in 2002-2003 the scholarship amount increased to $500, with an option to award two scholarships if enough students applied. With the success of Paint the Town, scholarship funding has increased greatly. As a result, two qualified applicants in the 2008 graduating class were each awarded $1,000 scholarships. This year, through a generous bequest from the Frank Kelly Memorial, CAPA / Paint the Town was able to award 3 - $1,000 scholarships to graduating Morrison High School Students

In 1996 CAPA, in conjunction with the elementary school art instructor, School Administration, Parent Teacher Organization, and the Morrison Education Foundation created an artist in residency program. Funding has been provided by these organizations and through grants from the Illinois Arts Council.

Artists come from the Illinois Arts Council artist’s roster and have provided instruction in diverse disciplines from visual arts (drawing, clay tile art) to story-telling and artistic movement and dance.

CAPA seeks to feature the work of local artists in an annual series of art shows. Since 1996, these events have showcased the work of more than 10 artists in mediums such as oils, acrylics, calligraphy, charcoal, pen and ink and watercolors. Since 2002, these shows have been enhanced with the addition of student art from all Morrison schools, K-12. Now called the Spring Art Show, the event features hundreds of pieces of student art as well as artwork of a local artist or an artist that has produced work featuring Morrison. Structuring the shows to feature student and professional art greatly increases the audience that attends shows and also exposes our students and young artists to the work of professionals in the visual arts. Attendance has grown to over 700 at these shows and students look forward to the shows as a way to show their family and peers their work.

In 2000 CAPA co-sponsored The Muse; the first student produced arts magazine featuring the written and visual work of our high school students. This publication was published for four years before ceasing with a reduction in the high school budget and art staff.

Most recently, CAPA has partnered with the City of Morrison’s recreation program to create a series of summer art classes. Both local and regional artists have been used to teach a one-day class on clay art and a four-day series on paper maché masks. The success of these classes was the catalyst for more community art programs in 2003. An artist and teacher from the Davenport, Iowa taught a weeklong exploration of medieval art and culture for children in the elementary to Jr. high grades. The culmination of the class was a medieval festival complete with shields that had been made by each student. Due to a reduction in board size and concentration on Paint the Town the recreation programs were not organized in 2004 and 2005 and remain on hiatus until new board members are added.

Since its organization in 1993 and the initial Night for Art event, CAPA has provided funds for the purchase of art equipment and supplies in addition to yearly school district curriculum spending. This supplemented school funding has allowed for curriculum expansion and greater display of student art in the schools. Most recently, three electric pottery wheels were added to the high school and drying racks purchased for the elementary and high school programs as well as several eight-foot display board for the junior high program. Current projects in progress are funding the construction of 2 Raku kilns for the High School program, purchase of drawing boards and prisma color pencils and additional large display boards for the Jr. High Program, and several large display boards for the Elementary School program. In addition, a collaborative purchase of 5 sets of display boards on casters will aide each department in increasing visibility to students, parents and the community by making displays of student art more portable.

Partial support for student art field trips and art a workshop is also provided by a yearly grant from CAPA / Paint the Town. Funding for these purchases and programs was provided by Paint the Town profits.

CAPA is committed to continuing its work to promote the visual arts and, in collaboration with other organizations, to promote all of the arts. Existing programs will be maintained, evaluated and improved to meet the organization’s goals while incorporating new ideas and venues. In addition, several new programs are being explored. These include expanding assistance to the arts curriculum in the schools, increasing financial support to the Scholarship Program, additional framing and placement of student art in public buildings and businesses, and continuing development / expansion of Paint the Town.

For more information about CAPA – please visit our website at: www.morrisoncapa.org

 

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