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- Establish a date for the Art Fair in October. This is done in conjunction with the Scholastic Book Fair since both events complement each other. Find out when the book fair will most likely be and then choose Monday of that week as the date for the Art Fair. Communicate this with PTO & Principal.
- About a month before the Art Fair (Sept) - Inform the school secretary, that you will need to book the All Purpose Room for the Art Fair (use the Bldg Use form found on the PTO website or from the school secretary). The room is booked from Sunday & all day Monday to accommodate class visits. Indicate on the form how many tables to set up. Usually three tables per grade, three tables for activities and demos, and one table for organizing is enough, so about 22 tables.
- Three weeks before the Art Fair - Send out the Art Fair information and entry forms via room parent distribution. These forms are forwarded to PTO president and Principal first for approval and then PTO president will send them to room parents. An example of the info/entry form is attached. Also copy the PTO webmaster & PTO Vice President with all attachments so that they can be uploaded to the art fair webpage along with submitted to the Newsletter. Also ask for volunteers to help work during the day and evening of the event.
- Periodically check the wooden PTO box in the school lobby & the PTO Mailbox in the mailroom for completed forms. Sometimes teachers turn in forms at the last minute. Entry deadlines are always flexible (this is just to give you a general idea of how many exhibits there will be) and we will take exhibits right up until the day of the fair!
- If entries seem a little light two weeks/ten days before the fair, send out another email via room parent distribution summarizing the event and indicate that entries will still be accepted with no deadline specified. Mention that all entry info can be accessed through the webpage and give the link. In this email, communicate the particulars of set up (see below).
- As entries come in, start making individual name cards which have the child’s name, grade and description of entry (“Starry Night” painting, “Untitled” clay sculpture, etc.). Usually you can get perforated small notecards at Staples. Keep all receipts for reimbursement.
- The week before…
Art room para about the status of
fair and request easels for
display purposes. She will also have the Art Fair banner. Contact the school
librarian, and ask
her to send an email to the
teachers about the fair date and opportunity for class visits.
They are free to visit whenever it is convenient.
- Start making an Art Fair program using the existing entries which are confirmed. Copies of the program are made at UPS store in the Hamilton Plaza - use the PTO account for payment and reference the fair.
- The night before… The fair set up is on Sunday evening so that mostly everything is in place for class visits during the day on Monday. Arrange with the principal to have the door open at your specified time (5pm-7pm usually works). The tables will already be stacked in the gym and will need to be set up and configured in six rows of three tables each. Get help with the tables because this at least a two person job. Identify rows by a sign indicating grade. As exhibits come in, direct parents to the appropriate location. Hopefully easels have been delivered to the AP room if they are needed. Place a name card by the exhibit and secure with tape or they blow away. Make sure exhibits are CLEARLY marked with a name and class number or teacher! If there is a special container for the exhibit, place on the floor directly under the table so you can match them up at the end of the fair.
- Some exhibits will come in through drop-offs to teachers. These are placed in the office or the art room until set up. Find a cart and move everything to the AP room, place in the appropriate row and identify with a secured name card.
- Not everyone will make the set up time. Before you leave Sunday night, place remaining name cards on the appropriate tables. Parents will drop off exhibits early Monday morning and this gives them a location of where to put things.
- Day of the fair…Arrive early before school and display banner if it is not already up. Assist parents who are making last minute drop offs. Remain at the APR to supervise all visits. Discourage touching! There have been some exhibits which were broken in the past. Use volunteers to help throughout the day and evening, in shifts.
- Night of the fair…Arrive early and set out programs in a box on the desk in front of the gym. People can help themselves. Assist participants who are just now dropping off exhibits (there will be some!)
- In the past we have done interactive stations such as a graffiti wall, create your own masterpiece using recyclables, origami demonstration, make a comic book, face painting, etc… These stations are at the remaining tables and have been arranged prior to set up. The graffiti wall goes up during the day of the class visits and you can use markers from the art room. The “masterpiece” table uses clean recyclables which have been donated and dropped off. Demos are usually parents who have a skill and have identified their interest in participating in the fair on the entry form. Face painting is great - usually the fifth grade girls get together and organize this.
- As the fair winds down and people leave, encourage participants to take their exhibits with them! Promptly at the conclusion of the fair, start breaking down tables and move them to the walls of the gym where you found them. Remaining exhibits are placed on the red table outside the gym in neatly stacked piles according to grade. Use the grade signs to identify where these are so the kids/teachers can retrieve the work.
- Make sure the gym is in good shape before you leave. The custodians will sweep but the floor should be completely clear of tables, trash, spills, etc. Don't forget to take down the graffiti wall.
And there you have it! Art Fair is a great event that the kids really enjoy. Have fun and contact me with any questions.
Anne Kerber (814 883-0158)