Kid Power

Loy Merck of the Meadowlark observed the open-air street festivals of Mexico and had an idea: What if he threw a fest in the same spirit, where kids could participate and sell their work? Nice idea. Now in its third year, Merck’s Larimer Sidewalk Arts Festival provides just such a marketplace, along with opportunities for youth to mingle with local artists, creating art right on the spot. Today from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. along 27th Street between Larimer and Walnut streets, more than 100 young artists, ages 13 to 24, will display and sell work in a variety of media; the festival also includes food vendors, live painting, poetry readings and hands-on fun.

“We worked with every school in the metro area to encourage art teachers to participate and bring their students down,” says spokesman Jonathan Bitz, a talent buyer for the Meadowlark. For that single act of bravery on any participating kid’s part, there will be payback, he adds, in the form of established artists Mike Graves, Christopher Owen Nelson, Josh Holland and Brandon Roth. “They’ll be walking around constructively working with the kids on their works, showing by demonstration that you really can be a local artist in Denver.” And on the musical front, several up-and-coming high-school bands will perform, including Purple Fluid, led by the sons of Ricki Kulwicki, guitarist of Denver’s own the Fluid, and nine-and-a-half-year-old Boulder guitar phenom Jaden Carlson.

The festival is free; get more details at www.larimersidewalkartsfestival.com.
Sat., Oct. 9, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., 2010

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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd