Mask decorating contest open for kids

PIQUA — Piqua Arts Council, Mainstreet Piqua and the Piqua Area Chamber of Commerce are partnering together for a mask decorating contest for local children.

According to the Piqua Arts Council, the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation has recently delivered masks to small businesses across the state, and with many of these businesses having fewer associates than the number of masks provided, Piqua Arts Council, Mainstreet Piqua and the Piqua Chamber of Commerce wanted to do something to help the businesses downtown and to provide an art activity for the kids in the community.

“I kept looking at the masks and thinking that there had to be a way to turn them into an art project,” said Piqua Arts Council executive director Jordan Knepper. “They just seemed like a blank canvas to me.”

Piqua Arts Council, Mainstreet Piqua and the Piqua Area Chamber of Commerce will be collecting the masks from businesses that don’t need them or have extras and will make them available for pick up at Susie’s Big Dipper, the circulation desk in the Children’s Department at the Piqua Public Library, the Piqua Area Chamber of Commerce and at the Piqua Farmer’s Market. Anyone with children who wish to participate may pick up one free mask per child.

Along with assisting businesses in furthering the distribution of extra masks, Knepper said he felt this may be a good opportunity to familiarize young kids with the idea of mask-wearing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, while also providing them with a fun activity during a time of social distancing.

“My bestfriend has a 5-year-old and I kept thinking if she made her own mask, maybe she’d be more likely to wear it,” Knepper said. “We don’t want to limit the creativity of the children either, so they are welcome to use any medium to create their mask.”

Knepper also gave some mask-decorating tips.

“We recommend having the child work on a piece of paper to come up with their design and then transfer it back to the mask,” Knepper said. “That will allow them to work out mistakes before they go straight to the mask.”

Knepper said the total number of masks that will be available for the competition is unknown as of now, but the starting number is around 100.

Participants will need to complete their design by 4 p.m. Friday, Aug. 21 and submit an image of them wearing their mask to the Piqua Arts Council through their website, www.PiquaArtsCouncil.org.

Winners for the competition will be announced on Aug. 28. There will be three age groups — 6 and under, 7 through 12, and 13 to 18 — with a boy and a girl winner chosen for each age group.

Each winner will get a $50 Mainstreet Piqua Gift Certificate that can be used at downtown businesses like This n That Candy on Main, Winans Chocolates and Coffee, Susie’s Big Dipper and more.

For more information, visit the Piqua Arts Council website, www.PiquaArtsCouncil.org, or call the Piqua Arts Council at (937) 773-9630.