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Bookmark Design Contest

The Library Encourages local artists of all ages across the BLRL Library District with a bookmark design contest. The winning bookmark designs were professionally printed and you can grab one of these patron-designed bookmarks at your local BLRL Branch. The contest winners were chosen from age groups 5-8, 9-15, and 16+ at each Branch (with most branches participating) The collectible art bookmarks are available while supplies last. Our goal is to inspire our library patrons to enrich their lives at the Library through learning and participation in our amazing programs like the Summer Reading Challenge, which this contest was a part of. We thank everyone that participated in the design contest.

Art painting and drawing are wonderful activities that can benefit people of all ages, especially for kids. Painting and drawing can help you express your creativity, improve your mental and physical health, and connect with your family and community. Here are some of the benefits of painting and drawing that you can include in your blog post:

  • Painting and drawing stimulate both hemispheres of the brain, the left and the right (1) The left side involves the logical side while the right side exploits our creativity and emotions. (1) This can enhance your cognitive abilities, such as memory, problem-solving, and decision-making. (2)

  • Painting and drawing can prevent memory loss, sharpen fine motor skills, improve communication skills, and release inner thoughts and emotions. (3) They can also help you relax, focus, and appreciate the beauty of life. (3) Painting and drawing are especially helpful for people who are dealing with trauma, emotional challenges, or mental health issues. (4)

  • Painting and drawing can boost your self-esteem and confidence. They can help you overcome shyness and express yourself without words. (2) They can also help you create a positive identity and a sense of accomplishment. (3)

  • Painting and drawing can strengthen your social bonds and foster a sense of belonging. They can help you spend quality time with your family and friends, share your feelings and experiences, and learn from each other. (3) They can also help you connect with your community and culture by participating in local art events, classes, or groups. (5)

  • Painting and drawing can inspire you to explore new ideas, perspectives, and possibilities. They can help you discover new talents, interests, and passions. (2) They can also help you appreciate the diversity and beauty of the world around you. (4)

According to the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), more than half of U.S. adults (54.3 percent) attended artistic, creative, or cultural activities in 2017. (5) The most popular activities were live music performances (32.7 percent), art museums or galleries (23.7 percent), plays or musicals (17.6 percent), craft or visual arts festivals (16.9 percent), and dance performances (8.3 percent). (5)

The NEA also found that Missouri ranked 25th among the states in terms of arts participation rates in 2017. (6) The state had a higher percentage of adults who attended craft or visual arts festivals (19.4 percent) than the national average (16.9 percent) (6) However, it had a lower percentage of adults who attended art museums or galleries (18.9 percent), plays or musicals (14.8 percent), or dance performances (6.2 percent) than the national average (23.7 percent, 17.6 percent, and 8.3 percent respectively). (6)

These statistics suggest that there is room for improvement in promoting and supporting arts participation in Missouri, especially in southwest Missouri where there are fewer opportunities and resources for arts education and engagement . (7) Some of the challenges that face the region include geographic isolation, lack of funding, low awareness, limited access, and cultural barriers. (7)

However, there are also some promising initiatives and programs that aim to increase arts participation in southwest Missouri. For example, the Missouri Arts Council provides grants, technical assistance, and strategic planning to support arts organizations and artists in the region. (7) The Springfield Regional Arts Council offers various services and events to promote arts education and appreciation among the public. (7) The Creamery Arts Center is a hub for local artists and arts lovers to showcase their work, network, learn, and collaborate. (7)

As you can see, painting and drawing have many benefits for your well-being, happiness, and fulfillment. They are also fun and enjoyable activities that you can do with your kids or grandkids at home or in your community.


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