Nearly 200 artists will transform downtown El Paso into their canvas when the 10th annual Chalk the Block kicks off at 6 p.m. on Friday, October 6.
The free festival will continue into the weekend and close on Sunday at 3 p.m., see daily hours below. This years event will feature the usual sidewalk chalk art competition where professional artists will spend the night drawing, as well as temporary art installations, street performances, live music, and local art and food vendors. The El Paso Museums of Art and History will also have free art activities, and of course, the public is invited to bring their own chalk and draw on the sidewalks around the event.
Chalk the Block is the largest arts festival in the region, drawing more than 40,000 El Pasoans and visitors to downtown each year. The festival creates a significant economic impact, with a projected $1 million pumped into the local economy over the CTB weekend, according to the city of El Paso.
Main attractions this year include Wish Tree by New York-based Tokyo Artist. The interactive project invites people to tie their wishes onto trees. After the festival, all wishes will be sent to the Imagine Peace Tower on Viðey Island in Reykjavík, Iceland.
Also participating is Spheres of Influence by Curime Batliner and Jake Newsum, which incorporates an installation and a live performance contextualizing the condition between the city of El Paso and Ciudad Juarez at the border between Mexico and the United States.
From New York, Artist Scott Cohen will bring his interactive ephemeral installation called Life Cube. The project encourages participants to look at their past, engage in the present and set goals for the future.
Cycle Sonic by Composer Jackie Dempsey and artist Steve O’Hearn from Pittsburgh is a giant, animated bikes that circle the audience, with backdrops of undulating flags and 20-foot legs pumping with the rhythm of sustainable power.
And finally, the project Art on the Move will return. It incorporates a fully functional Sun Metro bus which will be transformed into a moving art piece when it is completed and then added to the company’s regular rotating schedule for a period. The project will be curated by Kalavera Culture Shop.
The event is coordinated by the City of El Paso Museums and Cultural Affairs Department (MCAD), along with the El Paso Community Foundation.
List of events:
- Friday, October 6, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., Showcase Chalk Artists get a head start on their masterpieces and preview of some of the large installations. The Food Truck Garden will be open on Friday night.
- Saturday, October 7, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., GECU Kids Zone, live music and activities. (The Downtown Art and Farmer’s Market will be closed during Chalk the Block, but residents may visit some of the selected Market Vendors on Franklin and Main)
- Sunday, October 8, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Kidical Mass with Velopaso, GECU Kids Zone, free yoga workshop, music and art activities.
Fort Bliss MWR will be providing a free shuttle service for military families on Saturday between Fort Bliss and the festival.
Additional information as well as a complete list of activities is posted online at www.chalktheblock.com or can be found on the Visit El Paso app.
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