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The inaugural Chalk Art Walk in Columbia Heights is currently open for registration. Artwork will be displayed in Huset Park from Oct. 24-31.

A new way for community connection through art will make its debut Oct. 24, as the Columbia Heights Recreation Department hosts its inaugural Chalk Art Walk in Huset Park.

“We have been trying to bring the community together through programming, even more so now, in new and interactive ways,” Columbia Heights recreation coordinator Katie Holznagel said. “We have been working towards adding recreation programs that reach a wider age range or create community togetherness.”

The event is intended for everyone, no matter the skill level. All that participants need is a piece of chalk and a desire to get involved.

“This is definitely a no-pressure kind of event,” Holznagel said. “Spaces will be marked around the Huset Park West walking paths and participants can create their chalk drawings on their own time with the expectation that they are done on or by Oct. 24. We can provide pastel chalks and sidewalk chalk for participants and we encourage wetting the chalk or drawing space before creating as it helps the chalk last longer. This is open for anybody, whether artists or not!”

Participants are asked to register beforehand, either online at chreconline.org (activity #1800-F20), by phone at 763-706-3730 or by emailing kholznagel@columbiaheightsmn.gov.

Many people are already eager to take part, with the goal to create similar community art opportunities again next year.

“The Recreation Department is hopeful to continue more events like this in the spring and going forward as there is a desire to see more artwork within the city,” Holznagel said. “We’ve received great responses for those that are registering and on Facebook. They seem excited to be a part of the community and add their flair to the walking paths here! A local teacher is also encouraging her art students to create some designs for this event as a way to inspire community involvement, creativity and confidence.”

The artwork will remain in place for eight days, weather permitting, giving people plenty of time to come enjoy the art whenever they are able.

“People just need an outlet for creativity and stress relief right now and we hope we are providing that through all of our recreation programming, especially with this Chalk Art Walk,” Holznagel said. “Anyone can come out and look at the creativity of the Chalk Art Walk participants at Huset Park West from Oct. 24 through Oct. 31, if the weather allows for it to stay that long! Come as you are and enjoy the walk on your own time.

“An activity like this allows for people to plan to attend as their schedule allows, while keeping safe distances from others. It brings back some feelings of normalcy. It has felt so great seeing familiar and new faces back at all of our programs. We do our work here for others, not ourselves; we just love seeing people smiling and having a great time.”

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