In the heart of downtown Hendersonville, North Carolina, a vibrant tradition paints the streets with creativity and community spirit. "Chalk It Up!", an annual event that began modestly with three children drawing in front of their mother's store, has now blossomed into one of Hendersonville's most cherished traditions, attracting artists of all ages and skill levels.

A Family-Friendly Festival of Art

Every summer, "Chalk It Up!" transforms the sidewalks of Main Street into a sprawling canvas where more than 150 artists gather to compete, create, and celebrate. The event is a testament to Hendersonville's dedication to the arts, proudly promoting the city as "a city with a heart for art". 

A Panorama of Talent and Creativity

Spanning from toddlers to artist in their 80's, the range of participants is a vivid illustration of the event's inclusive nature. Barbara Hughes, the event organizer and owner of Narnia Studios, marvels at the escalating quality and creativity each year. It's not just about professional artists; young, aspiring artists also showcase their talents, bringing fresh enthusiasm and perspectives.

Celebrating Community and Heritage

The event is more than an art competition; it's a community festival that attracts thousands of visitors, enhancing the vibrancy and appeal of downtown Hendersonville.

Recognition and Support

The event also serves as a platform for recognizing and supporting local talents. With categories spanning various age groups and skill levels, everyone has a chance to shine. Local merchants contribute by donating prizes, fostering a strong sense of community support.

Beyond Art: A Catalyst for Downtown Revitalization

"Chalk It Up!" is part of a broader effort to revitalize downtown Hendersonville. It aligns with the city's economic development strategies, emphasizing public and private partnerships. Barbara Hughes, recognized as a Main Street Champion by the N.C. Department of Commerce, exemplifies this commitment through her various community initiatives, making downtown Hendersonville a vibrant hub for both locals and tourists.

Conclusion: A Legacy of Joy and Art

As "Chalk It Up!" continues to grow, it cements its place in the history and culture of Hendersonville. It's more than an art contest; it's a celebration of community, creativity, and the enduring spirit of a city devoted to the arts. Every summer, the streets of Hendersonville are reborn, displaying a kaleidoscope of colors and stories, reminding us of the power of art to bring people together and create lasting memories.

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About the Author Michael Sundburg