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The Canvas Celebrates National Poetry Month With Block Party
Published: 05/05/2011 17:50:00
April was National Poetry Month, and The Canvas art studio threw a block party last Saturday to celebrate.

Christy NaMee Eriksen is the Art Studio Program Assistant at The Canvas, she explained the idea behind the event: "We wanted to think about how do we make poetry not just about books or just writing or who's published or who's not published, and you know stuffy poetry readings, whatever. How do we take it from that and make it something that's fun, that's exciting, that's something that people play with. And so, true to canvas style, we thought we would have some sort of event that would invite everybody in to play with poetry from every level; whether you are a published writer or you are a two year old with some sidewalk chalk."

Business up and down the street participated in the event. Others including the library and Hearthside Books also had activities to match the theme.

"Wells Fargo was here doing coin-toss poetry. They had words written on either side of these fake coins that they'd made, and you toss the coin. And then based on those words is the type of poem that you write about. That kinds of thing" said Eriksen.

In addition to a "Poetry in The Street" open-mic, there were many other activities including street-chalk art, performances by local artists, and a poetry scavenger hunt.

Kate Laster and other members of the UAS Media Club helped with the activities "We are helping with the scavenger hunt, we're selling local comics and we're just basking in the energy of it all" said Laster.

Temple Joanna of the Juneau Hoop Coalition told us about their part: "
We have hoping, and we have the henna. And we're just dancing and having a good time; you know, kind of like it was a music festival, but it's a poetry festival."

The Canvas hosts a Poetry Slam and Open Mic the 3rd Friday of every month starting at 6pm at the studio. This was their first block party; but organizers are already looking to the future.

"Now that we know how to block off the street man, I think you can expect more street parties from the canvas for sure. But yeah, it was a lot of fun, a lot of people. I'd say it was a pretty big success and I'd be game to do it again next year" says Eriksen.

http://www.canvasarts.org/

By: Mikko Wilson - mikko@kath.tv