Thousands of smiling faces enjoyed a slight breeze and plenty of sunshine on Sunday, March 14 at the the 82nd annual Zilker Kite Festival, which was delayed a week due to rainy weather. Austinites gathered in the park wearing shorts, sunglasses, sandals and with children and dogs in tow giving proof that spring had arrived. The festival goers created a sort of living rainbow with their kites, which ranged from ladybugs to the Little Mermaid.
After dodging kite strings and family picnics I found the Theatre Action Project tent where puppet shows were held and face painting offered nearby. Theatre Action Project uses the art of storytelling to teach children about social issues such as self-esteem , loyalty, and bullying. “We take those stories and that art and start to relate it to what they are going through,” said Freddy Carnes, who is an artistic associate and camp counselor for Theatre Action Project.
Just as Carnes was telling me about how the festival provided an opportunity to engage the Austin community he was approached by a mother and her daughter who wanted to say hi and inform him that Rebecca, the daughter, planned on signing up for another camp session. Talk about perfect timing (^_^).
Carnes said the secret to Summer Camp success is allowing the children to express themselves creatively through the arts. “We’re not trying to train kids for Broadway,” Carnes joked. He said he just wanted the kids to have a good time and maybe gain a love for theatre.