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You Gotta Do This: Chalk It Up!

15 April 2012  
It's all about chalk and art.

"You Gotta Do this", is a compilation of the weekly radio program, hosted by Barry Barbe on KJZA – 90.1. 11:00 am Sat, 12:30am Sundays or streaming at KJZA.org. "Each week, we go on a different High Country adventure, as we explore our little corner of the world, and the people and businesses that make it all happen."

The "Nordyke Vortex," as friend and neighbor Chris Adams puts it, is the cause and catalyst behind not only Pandemonium Steel Drum Band, but also the success of "Chalk It Up Prescott."

Adams, treasurer of the organization, and Sharon Nordyke sat down with me for a bit this week to talk about the 4th annual Chalk event that takes place April 21 & 22 in the parking lot of the Summit Plaza building in downtown Prescott.


Inspired by a video from the Art Institute of Cleveland, Nordyke and Adams set out to bring this unique tradition to Prescott. The reasoning behind this endeavor? "Prescott has a great Arts Community, and we simply had to have one," responded Sharon.

Completely free to the public and paid for by sponsors, Chalk It Up Prescott had over 900 participants last year and over 1,000 works of temporary art created on the blacktop at Summit Plaza. Simply amazing. And more amazing is the atmosphere and community that is created by this event.


With professional street artists from Colorado, California and beyond, the event mixes local children, adults and Prescott's own Mural Mice side by side to create visions of whimsy, fantasy and culture. As you meander through the plethora of pastel you'll view a Sea Turtle swimming below you, creatures from Where the Wild Things Are crawling out of the pavement, and Sail Boats reflected in a chalk pond among the pavement.

It truly is one of my favorite events of the season, and one that You Gotta Do!

From a tradition started over 500 years ago, on the steps of Italian Cathedrals, where beggars would sketch drawing s of the Madonna on the sidewalks, sidewalk Chalk Festivals have found a rebirth not just in Prescott, but Denver, Salt Lake City and Berkeley.

Prescott's fourth Annual Chalk Up event promises to be the biggest and best one yet. Anticipated attendance is over 1,000, with over 2,500 attendees and spectators.


Don't feel like kneeling on the hot pavement to draw? Well, come on down and enjoy the visual feast as well as the sounds and talents of several dance troupes and musicians. Each afternoon there is a variety of music planned for the event.

Participating artists need simply show up and register, receive a box of chalk (free), and pick out your space – then let your imagination run wild!

And hey – once you're done viewing the artwork – walk on down to the Courthouse Plaza and take in the Earth Day Celebrations. It's a full weekend of activities the whole family can enjoy – and at no cost.

So… get up, get out there, have a great time… 'cuz, "You Gotta Do This!"

What: Chalk It Up Prescott

Where: 201 N. Sheldon (the corner of Sheldon & Montezuma) Summit Plaza Parking Lot

Why: ‘cuz it’s just cool and fun

Cost: Free!!!!

Ages: All

What to bring: Knee board, rug or knee pads, Water, Hat, Sun Screen

More Info: www.Prescottchalkart.com

For Earth Day info go to: www.yavapaiosa.org


Photo Gallery

Here are Chalk It Up photos from past years. Click on a thumbnail to see a larger photo.