As budgets tighten and schools, both public and private, determine it necessary to cut programs such as arts education, an event like the Peterborough Children and the Arts Festival highlights the importance and enjoyment of all types of arts in the life of a child.
This year's festival is Saturday, May 21st. The fun begins as early as 7:30AM with a pancake breakfast at the Unitarian Church and continues as late as 5PM with the conclusion of the Teen Band Stage at Club Canon. Music, art displays, artistic opportunities, dancing, and more surrounding the theme of "Under the Big Top" is open to the public and most events are free.
Started in 1994 as a way to exhibit the film created by Peterborough Elementary School (PES) students with their "Artist in Residence" June Anderson Casey, the festival has grown to an all day Saturday event that sometimes flows into Sunday. Grant support from the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts it has grown from a PES event to a celebration including artists, teachers, and arts enthusiasts from throughout the Monadnock region.
All activities surround and support arts education for children. Downtown Peterborough is blocked off the streets open to foot traffic. The art events are located both outside on the streets and sidewalks and in the park, as well as indoors as local businesses and community buildings open their doors to a variety of performances both for and by children. Highlights include the Giant Puppet Parade (created and carried by children), the Art Walk, chalk art, food, and both recitals and short concerts performed by local groups.