Each year, Artpace Chalk It Up transforms downtown Houston Street into a canvas for professional artists – and aspiring artists – of all ages. Artpace Chalk It Up raises awareness and support through sponsorship and outreach for Artpace’s educational programs, which provide access to and cultivate a lifelong passion for contemporary art through a festival of art activities for the whole family.
On October 10, 2015, more than 25,000 people of all ages converged on downtown for a celebration of contemporary art. This year’s showcase artist Cruz Ortiz, created chalk murals in his famous Tex-Mex style, reflective of his work on exhibition at Artpace. Several local artists, curated by Nina Hassele, created unique works in chalk, and the San Antonio Museum of Art designed an enormous mural referencing its 28 Chinese exhibition.
New additions this year included the Vacancy Via Artpace project at 150 E. Houston Street presenting works by Artpace alumni artists, the Majestic Members’ Lounge, and food trucks along Main Avenue on Houston Street.
Several fan favorites returned, including Mobile Om, Guerrilla Haiku Movement, Make Zones for kids of all ages, and Team Works, which are students and teachers representing San Antonio schools and creating their own murals. Mayor Ivy Taylor presented awards to the best elementary, middle, high school and university teams, then danced with the Spurs Coyote, who showed up to join the fun.
As always, this year’s Chalk It Up was a free event, and sponsorships provided support for the event as well as for Artpace’s year-round educational programs that put art back into the classroom of over 9,000 students, 75% of which do not have an art teacher on staff. Presenting sponsor Argo along with lead sponsors HEB, Valero Energy, the 80/20 Foundation, Frost, Tejas Premier Building Contractor, Inc., Subway, Herweck’s and others helped Artpace Chalk It Up highlight the importance of art and art education in San Antonio.
The event is just one local example of connecting the community to quality arts experiences and Artpace’s educational programs provide these experiences for many. Research shows that arts education leads to better grades and higher test scores, higher rates of college enrollment, and even that students who have access to arts in high school are three times more likely to earn a bachelor’s degree. Additionally, young adults with in-depth arts involvement are also more likely to volunteer and vote at a higher rate than their peers with low arts involvement. The impact of arts education can result in huge gains for a community; something to think about as we continue to work in our #CityOnTheRise.