Pictured is Curtis Johnson

RAA delivers bags of art supplies to Kids First program


Revised Family Art Day brings art supplies directly to at-need families


River Arts Alliance (RAA) canceled this year’s Family Art Day due to COVID-19 restrictions and concerns. The Family Art Day event, usually held on the first Saturday in September, was first held in 2008 and has 500-600 participants (depending on weather).

Believing that “Art never stops,” the board of directors at River Arts Alliance chose to bring art directly to those in need.  Using funds dedicated for the 2020 Family Art Day Program, as well as reserve funds from River Arts Alliance operations fund, RAA assembled 100 reusable bags with a variety of art supplies.

“There was really no question about whether or not we would use our funds to do this,” said Vicki Englich, chair for River Arts Alliance. “The question we had was how do we get these supplies to people who will make use of them.” 

RAA contacted Carol Marchant, coordinator for the Kids First program which operates at the Maplewood Townhomes development in Winona. The Kids First program sees as many as 75 kids a day, making it a perfect venue to offer art-making opportunities.

The bags were assembled by members of the RAA board and delivered to the Kids First office where Marchant and volunteers have been handing them out to any who ask for one. 

“We’re calling this ‘Family Art Day the 2020 Way,’” said Englich. “As much as we’re glad to be able to help 100 people be creative and give them an opportunity to create art, we’re also looking forward to 2021 when we’re hopefully able to serve even more people.”

This event was sponsored, in part, by donations from Merchants Bank, WNB Financial, RTP, and Dick Blick Art Materials.


About River Arts Alliance

River Arts Alliance supports and celebrates regional arts and culture by organizing educational programs, community events, and public art projects while promoting opportunities for artists and facilitating collaborations between organizations in the Winona region.. To learn more visit www.riverartsalliance.org


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