By the end of the week, Abby Jester’s palms will be blistered and bandaged.
Vibrating mallets may be rubbing her hands raw now, but she’s too busy pounding out booming tones from the huge wooden xylophone to notice the pain.
The 12-year-old Coeur d’Alene girl is one of 350 children participating in Art Shop this week at Fernan Elementary School. The weeklong visual and performing arts workshops are a joint project between Coeur d’Alene’s Citizens Council for the Arts and the Coeur d’Alene School District.
Art Shop participants ages 8 to 12 will display their new talents Friday at 1 p.m. to kick off Coeur d’Alene’s Art on the Green craft festival this weekend.
For $40 each, children spend the weekdays with 24 professional visual and performing artists taking classes such as African dance, advanced yo-yo tricks, clowning, Art of the Indians or stained glass.
“It’s primarily to promote visual and performing arts with children so they learn to love the arts,” said Sara Phillips, Art Shop volunteer since 1981. “We’ve had people from Boise call us and say, how did you get this started?”
Some artisans make special appearances from as far away as Albuquerque, N.M. Others, such as Cheryl-Ann Rossi, who operates the Theater for Youth performing arts school in Coeur d’Alene, have been teaching for several years.
“This really enables me to touch some kids who would probably wouldn’t normally come take an art class,” said Rossi, who is teaching mime this week.
Art on the Green’s 120 art booths, musical performers and craft classes are expected to draw nearly 50,000 people, according to Anne Porter-Brown, one of the event organizers.
The festival begins at noon Friday. The evening performance is the Big Sky Mudflaps, a Missoula jazz group. Saturday, the fair is open 10 a.m. through 9:30 p.m., with evening performances of Kagura, a Hiroshima performing arts group at 6:45, followed by the Trail Band at 8:30 p.m.
Art on the Green continues Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Color photo
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