As new members of our Chatham County community, Chatham Park is powering our Go See This series this year because art is an integral part of Chatham County’s identity. They join us in inviting you to Go See This . . .
While many annual community events have been cancelled due to COVID-19, some organizations are re-imagining the structure of their events so that people can still attend safely. The Chatham County Partnership for Children got especially creative with their popular Day of the Books festival this year and re-designed it as a drive-in event, to be held on Saturday, July 25. Families can choose to attend either the morning or afternoon session, and will watch all of the performances from the safety of their parked cars. All children who attend will receive free books.
The annual festival, which promotes literacy, the arts, early childhood education, and multiculturalism, was originally created many years ago by a bilingual librarian in California, who decided to bring the tradition of Day of the Children to the U.S. but changed it into the Day of the Books. Many libraries across the country took hold of it, especially as a way to engage the Latino communities that they serve.
The festival has always been popular in Chatham County, notes Erin Suwattana, Program Director for Chatham County Partnership for Children. “We typically have great attendance from the Latino community because of the historical connection with the Day of the Children, but also because of how the event is bilingual. Over the years, we’ve really focused on bringing together diverse families.”
This year, Chatham County Partnership for Children had a unique challenge to keep the festival alive amidst the restrictions on public gatherings due to COVID-19. “The festival was originally scheduled for April, as always, with live performances and many ways to interact with the artists. Unfortunately, that structure was definitely out of the question in April. We’re excited about the idea of doing a drive-in this year at Central Carolina Community College in Siler City. The logistics are quite different, but we can’t wait to see how it goes.”
While some of their usual artists were unable to perform this year, the current group of performers is robust, diverse, and designed to entertain kids of all ages. This year’s artists, who will all incorporate Spanish and English into their performance, include:
Sheila performs and teaches in schools, colleges, and community settings. She uses mime and drama to teach communication, creativity, conflict resolution, and collaboration.
Based out of Durham, Katie runs workshops and performances in aerial silks, rope ladder, trapeze, stilt dancing, and character, among other skills.
Ballet Folklorico Mexican Tradition of Julio Ruiz is a traditional Mexican Folk Dance Troupe whose mission is to build greater awareness and understanding of Latino culture through the arts, and to bring unity to diverse communities through the beauty and fun of traditional Mexican music and dance.
Kathie Guild, Puppet Show Incorporated
Kathie will not be live at the festival, but instead will be doing a puppet show video as a pre-show on Facebook. Puppet Show Inc. is a mobile puppet theatre traveling to schools, libraries, museums, hospitals, and community events.
Come join the drive-in fun on July 25!
- What: Drive-In Day of the Books / El Día de los Libros en Carro
- When: Saturday, July 25; first session is 10:30-11:30am, second session is 1:30-2:30pm
- Where: Central Carolina Community College, 400 Progress Boulevard, Siler City
- Cost: Free!
- For more information: visit their website at http://chathamkids.org/events/day-of-the-books/ or their Facebook page
The Chatham Arts Council is delighted to have chosen the Chatham County Partnership for Children’s Day of the Books / El Día de los Libros as a recipient of a Grassroots Arts Grant. Grassroots Arts Grants are made possible through funding from the North Carolina Arts Council.