“These artists use the pavement as their canvas and chalk as their medium to create oversized masterpieces that will be washed away after the event is over. It is truly an incredible production,” said Sally Macaulay, executive director of the museum.
Macaulay pursued the idea of Marietta ChalkFest after hearing about the Sarasota Chalk Festival.
“I researched this festival and discovered that the Sarasota Chalk Festival brings in 300,000 people to the city of Sarasota each year. The economic impact is approximately 1.2 million dollars,” she said.
Macaulay called the organizer of the Sarasota Chalk Festival, Denise Kowal, and requested her assistance in helping the museum start a Marietta Chalk Festival. The museum had 3,800 visitors during the test run for ChalkFest last year. That does not include the countless people who saw the art on the street.
“I was delighted at how well run their event was. The numbers of people seeing the art and the hotel rooms were all full,” said Macaulay, who traveled to Sarasota for their chalk festival.
Macaulay said the museum and other non-profits benefit from the city of Marietta’s Hotel/Motel tax. Tourists in Marietta at ChalkFest also benefit other merchants like restaurants.
“I felt like (Marietta ChalkFest) would be a win/win situation,” she said.
A non-professional and youth art competition will also be a part of Marietta Chalk Festival. For a small fee, non-professional adults may make chalk art and have the opportunity to win cash prizes. The youth division will be judged and winners will be awarded gift cards.
Chalk is provided to anyone who is young or young at heart at the Marietta Chalk Festival. Those who would like to support the festival can visit www.marietta
chalkfest.com or call (770) 528-1444.
Though chalk festivals are often themed, the subject matter at Marietta ChalkFest is left to the artist as long as it is family friendly.
“I did tell them, however, that it was the 150th anniversary of the Civil War and several of the artists have chosen Civil War pieces,” Macaulay said.
ChalkFest is free. Admission to the museum is also free over Labor Day weekend with a suggested donation of $5 to benefit MCMA. Visit www.marietta
chalkfest.com or www.marietta
cobbartmuseum.org for more information.