Kate Langlais-McGrogan, teaching artist, welcomed children and adults Thursday in Central Park to learn some art techniques and express themselves creatively.

“It’s fun to be creative how you want to be,” said 10 year old Rarity Hughes, one of the creatives at Art in the Park.

She was with 11-yea- old Linnae Qualle who said “you can come up with your own creativity.”

Art in the Park is an event through Faribault’s Parks and Recreation Department that invites children to join in the festivities of Heritage Days.

The program is made possible through grant from the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council. While participants have to register for the lesson, the grant, along with donations and contributions from over 15 businesses, allows people to sign up for free.

Though she’s given art lessons for 11 years, this is Langlais-McGrogan’s first year in Faribault and she’s excited to be a teaching artist through the Parks and Recreation Department as well as the Paradise Center for the Arts. A teaching artist is different from an art teacher in that they don’t grade the students.

“Kids should be able to do art in a way they can express themselves without grades and explore their own creativity,” Langlais-McGrogan said.

Brad Phenow, communications coordinator with Faribault’s Parks and Recreation, said Art in the Park is a way to include kids in Heritage Days by not only growing their interest in art but also their appreciation for quality music from the concerts in the Band Shell. He also said art is not necessarily for artists alone, but rather art is everywhere and that anyone can be a creative.

Nine-year-old Maia Valentyn was there with her 12-year-old sister Naomi Valentyn. Both said they were learning a lot and Naomi said “we like doing art.”

Maia agreed saying “you can just be creative about it.”

Another Art in the Park session will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. July 18 in Central Park, north of the Band Shell. Register at faribault.org/parks.

Reporter Renata Erickson can be reached at 507-333-3129. Follow her on Twitter @FDNrenata.

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