New Outreach Project, My Crayon Gallery, Brings Artful Fun to the Community

By: Jenny Carattini-Wright
| Published 06/18/2020

James Stilwell, TWAC, Vice President & Board Director delivering 1000 coloring books and crayons to CISD Coordinator of Fine Arts Dr. Robert Horton
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THE WOODLANDS, TX - What do you get when you combine 10,000 donated crayons, a coloring book featuring the art of featured artists and creative project pages from The Woodlands Waterway Arts Festival, a group of dedicated volunteers, and kids who are bored staying home? The answer is: a great idea from Because Art Matters, the educational and cultural outreach arm of The Woodlands Arts Council (TWAC). Named “My Crayon Gallery,” the project was the brainchild of the Because Art Matters Committee, chaired by TWAC Board Member James Stilwell.

The committee discovered the Crayon Collective, a non-profit organization in California that donates recycled crayons to schools and other non-profits. After a generous donation of 10,000 crayons in a variety of colors was received, the committee enlisted volunteers to package the crayons in bags of 10. They were delivered with the coloring books to two Title 1 Conroe ISD schools for distribution to 3 rd and 4th graders enrolled in the schools’ free lunch program.

“Our initial motivation was to bring art opportunities to kids during the COVID-19 pandemic, but it has grown to encompass the entire community,” Stilwell said. “The Coloring Book can be downloaded off The Council’s website, www.thewoodlandsartscouncil.org/p/programs/my-crayon-coloring-book-project, for kids of all ages to print out and color. Crayon artists can upload their coloring pages to Instagram using the hashtags: #mycrayongallery, #wwaf2020, #becauseartmatters.”

The My Crayon Gallery coloring book, custom-designed by local graphic artist Maureen Donelan, features the work of five past Featured Artists from The Woodlands Waterway Arts Festival, including Amos Amit (2012), Rick Loudermilk (2013), Terrell Powell (2018), Nolan Prohaska (2019) and Christina Smith (2020) and five creative project pages. And a bonus page included from 2020 Festival Sponsor CHI St. Luke’s The Woodlands Hospital #ShowUsYourBigHoustonHeart project.

The 2020 Woodlands Waterway Arts Festival has been rescheduled from its original dates in April to Saturday, October 17 and Sunday, October 18, 2020, in Town Green Park and along The Woodlands Waterway. The Festival will feature hundreds of juried artists displaying their original works along with live music, food, and beverages. The popular VIP Art Dash Party is set for Friday, October 16 at The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion Event Center. Tickets are available online NOW for both events at www.thewoodlandsartscouncil.org/events/2020/the-woodlands-waterway-arts-festival.

All safety and social distancing protocols mandated by the state of Texas will be in force during the festival events.

Like all non-profits during this challenging time, donations and sponsorships are needed to continue The Arts Council’s events and community programs. To join Friends of the Arts Council and to join the hundreds of volunteers needed during the Festival, visit the website at www.thewoodlandsartscouncil.org.

The Woodlands Arts Council provides regional, cultural and educational enrichment opportunities that encourage, support, and promote the performing and visual arts in our community. From the award-winning Woodlands Waterway Arts Festival to public art installations and the year-round community and educational outreach programs of Because Art Matters, the council has one primary goal.. Making our community better, Because Art Matters! www.thewoodlandsartscouncil.org.

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