Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Weekend Event Coverage.

  Those who are experienced summertime weekenders know that there is nothing better than a good art festival. This past weekend's annual Chalk Art Festival was no different. The good news is, as a journalism student, I got to cover it! 

  If you went, you got to see some amazing local artists in the midst of their work. If you didn't, I did you a favor. That's right, I arrived prepared to capture some chalk manipulation goodness. Enjoy...

  The Chalk Art Festival is hosted by the Utah Foster Care Foundation. Its purpose is to create awareness of the need for more foster parents in Utah. During the family friendly, 2-day event you can find many information tables along side the seemingly never ending stretch of chalk art.  This is designed to give visitors more information about how this foundation funds, trains and supports foster families who open their homes to children in need. 

  "I think that there is no better way that you can learn empathy and be able to help preserve a family", says Heidi Naylor, Foster parent of 5 years and Utah Foster Care Volunteer. "If I do nothing else in my life but this, I know that I have made a difference."

As children with painted faces run around us, the sounds of Harry Potter music play in the background and art lovers from all over Utah surround us, Naylor, form behind a volunteer booth, shared with me her need to give back to the children:

"My life has been so blessed by the opportunity to have these children in my home," she said.

"I get blessings form those experiences everyday and I feel like I need to do something more to help them."
In response to those who may be considering becoming foster parents, Liz Rivera, the Salt Lake Regional Trainer, says, "Just do it. People always worry that they aren't ready, that they don't have the skills but in fact, to those who have the desire, we just recommend to go ahead and jump in."

Fortunately, the goal of the awareness campaign proved successful. Deborah Lindner, the Event Organizer said in a follow up interview on Monday, "Yes, I think that we were definitely successful. With an attendance of over a 20,000 people we were able to pass out a lot of information and find more people who are thinking about joining the program."

If you want to learn more about The Utah Foster Foundation visit: