2020 CALF festival moved online due to pandemic

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ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC)- Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual Children’s Art and Literacy Festival (CALF) looks a little different this year.

“We still want to celebrate art and reading this summer even though we can’t be together,” said Marketing Director for the Abilene Cultural Affairs Council, Sidney Levesque.

Since 2012 the CALF festival has shined a spotlight on the importance of children’s literature. In order to keep the tradition going during the pandemic, this year the festival is being held online.

“We decided to have a virtual CALF this weekend because its been such a long tradition for downtown Abilene to have a CALF festival the second weekend in June. We just didn’t want this weekend to go by without marking that important time,” said Levesque.

Using the CALF Festival Facebook page families can revisit festivals from the past, post pictures of themselves standing in front of storybook statues from around the Key City, and participate in drawing contests to win prizes.

“Typically at the CALF festival we bring the artists books to life, and we create a very immersive experience, and so that is one thing we’re missing this year, at the virtual CALF, is having you in that environment,” said Levesque.

Every year the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature (NCCIL) recognizes an artist, and the events at the CALF festival are based off of that artists work.

“We create an exhibition of fine art within our gallery space, but they’re creating parades and costume characters and plays and musicals and all kinds of things,” said Executive Director of the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature, Trish Dressen.

The NCCIL and the CALF festival have played a major roll in Abilene being called, the “Storybook Capital of America.”

“The NCCIL and the CALF festival hand and hand to create an experience that truly nobody else in the entire world does, we do it right here in Abilene, Texas.”

You can find more information about the CALF festival here.


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