Two Decades of Free Art Fun!

"Fairytales and Fantasy" theme set for 20th annual Roaring Youth Jam

Published in the June 2022 Issue Published online: Jun 10, 2022 Education And Arts, Family Fun Guide, Social, Articles, Discover Idaho Falls: Parks and Recreation Georgina Goodlander, Idaho Falls Arts Council
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KIDS IN EAST IDAHO have been making art along the river as part of the Roaring Youth Jam for 20 years now. Youth Jam is a free, 3-day art festival for families held by the Idaho Falls Arts Council on the second weekend in August. Intended for kids ages 0 to 12, the event includes a wide variety of fun and messy art projects, live performances by local youth groups, collaborative art activities and vendor booths.

While the specifics of the event have evolved over the last two decades, the core premise remains the same: to provide opportunities for kids in east Idaho to have meaningful and fun art experiences.

Youth Jam was also the catalyst for ARTitorium on Broadway, which opened 8 years ago as a way to provide the same kind of arts experiences for kids year round. Now, the team at ARTitorium is the creative force behind all of the projects and activities on the river every August and they do an amazing job!

For me, planning and implementing Youth Jam every year is at once the most stressful and most rewarding parts of my job. It’s a huge undertaking that begins with choosing the annual theme and talking to sponsors in early spring and ends with sending a giant stack of thank-you cards at the end of August. With 10 Art Booths, 14 performances, dozens of family-friendly vendors, hundreds of volunteers, and thousands of participants, Youth Jam is really an incredible event for the local community.

This year, our theme will be “Fairytales and Fantasy” and projects will include dragon eggs, fairy houses, wizard hats, potion bottles, and soot sprites. There will also be a giant cardboard castle to build and decorate, whimsical surprises in the trees, princesses and superheroes from Storybook Parties Idaho and free face painting.

We are particularly excited about the theme this year, since it should really inspire kids to push the limits of their imaginations–something that we always hope to do with art. Youth Jam will be held 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. each day on August 11, 12 and 13.

Performances will take place on the Greenbelt Stage from 11 a.m. and the Storybook Princesses can be found between noon and 2 p.m. each day. As always, every part of Youth Jam is completely free! Be sure to stop by the Information Tent when you arrive to say hi to the team and to grab a bag to carry all of your amazing art projects.

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