Roane State seeks sidewalk artists

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Artists of all ages will create art with chalk on sidewalk squares after community supporters “buy” squares by writing checks.

In these ways, the Oak Ridge Street Painting Festival can be a big fund-raising success, organizers say.

In addition, participants in this event can help improve East Tennessee’s economy by giving students the chance to learn valuable technical skills that companies require.

Artists and sponsors are needed for the 14th annual Oak Ridge Street Painting Festival. It will be held Saturday, Oct. 5 (the rain day is on Sunday, Oct. 6), at the Oak Ridge Branch Campus of Roane State Community College, 701 Briarcliff Ave.

The purpose of the festival, organized and sponsored by the Rotary Club of Oak Ridge, is to raise funds for scholarships for Roane State students. The festival is also a competition for the artists; first-prize winners in a variety of categories and the People’s Choice award winner will get $50 cash awards.

So far the Street Painting Festival has raised $7,000 from the Materials and Chemistry Laboratory, Inc.; the Y-12 Federal Credit Union and Akins Public Strategies.

“In the past 13 years the Street Painting Festival raised more than $210,000 for scholarships for students who might not have been able to go to Roane State otherwise,” said Melinda Hillman, chair of the Rotary club’s Street Painting Festival committee, former executive director of the Roane State Foundation and vice president of RSCC’s Oak Ridge and satellite campuses.

 “These scholarships are important because they make it possible to train more skilled workers for our region. A highly skilled workforce attracts new companies to the area, promoting economic growth.”  
Each amateur or professional artist will draw a picture in chalk on a sidewalk square paid for by a sponsor—an individual, organization, or company.

Corporate levels of support are Platinum Sponsor, $10,000; Gold Sponsor, $5,000; Silver Sponsor, $2,500; Bronze Sponsor, $1,000; Small Business Sponsor, $200 and up; and Individual Sponsor, $100 and up. Sponsors will be recognized publicly.

Write your check to Roane State Foundation and designate it “Street Painting Festival.”

Mail or deliver your check to the Roane State Community College, Oak Ridge Campus, Administrative Office, 701 Briarcliff Ave., Oak Ridge, TN 37830.

For more information, including artist and sponsor registration forms to print out, and a slide show of past winning chalk paintings, please visit the Rotary Club of Oak Ridge’s www.rotaryor.org/streetpainting festival website.

If you have questions, please call Melinda Hillman at 865-481-2001, Ext. 2301, or email her at hillmanmk@roanestate.edu.