Let's Chalk About Foster Care!

Utah Foster Care is proud to announce the state’s largest chalk art festival will once again take center stage at The Gateway June 18-19th, 2021.

Our unique community of artists is bursting with energy and creativity, and ready to give you the experience of seeing art spring from the streets and into your imagination. As per health recommendations, art squares will be placed farther apart than in previous years, and we are requesting artists and festival-goers continue to follow local mask guidelines.

The pandemic has not reduced the need for foster parents in our great state – so make a special effort to join us to support these great families who are so willing to open their hearts and homes to children who need safety and love.

We are excited to announce that on the afternoon of June 19th we will be joined by Utah’s First Lady, Abby Cox, Nathan Osmond, Cups and Cakes food truck, and Princesses from Wish Upon a Party.

Applications for adult artists are CLOSED.  Please note: due to social distancing, we will be accommodating fewer artists this year. We will also offer a virtual experience for artists who prefer to create their murals from their own driveways and patios. Join us @utahfostercare and #UtahChalkArtFestival.

Artists Chalking
Artists Chalking
11:30 – 1:30: Cups and Cakes Food Truck
12pm – 2pm: Nathan Osmond and First Lady Abby Cox
12pm – 4pm: Princesses from Wish Upon a Party
6pm: Chalk Artist Awards
Chalk art murals remain for your viewing pleasure!

Let’s Socialize!

Raise awareness by updating your social media with images and foster facts, wear purple, have fun, and tag

@utahfostercare and #ColorUtahPurple!

A box set of artist’s chalks.

Photo by Alex Gallivan.


Be a Part of the Magic

Utah Foster Care’s annual Chalk Art Festival would not be possible without a team of energetic volunteers. We welcome corporate volunteers, as well as individuals who want to show their support for Utah’s foster families.

We count on our volunteers to layout art squares, staff our information booths, provide tender loving care to our chalk artists and even experience the performance art of big bubbles!

Thank you for those who are joining us this year! We are no longer taking volunteer submissions for this year, but we’d love to have you next year!

If you have a large group wanting to volunteer, contact Katie Rothe. Individual volunteer registration starts each May.

Volunteer Frequently Asked Questions:

Volunteer check-in is at the Utah Foster Care hospitality room, in a store front on the East side of Rio Grande, just south of 100 South (former Buckle store), as marked on the map below.  Please note the parking structures where we can provide validations; you can pick up a parking validation back in the hospitality room when your shift is over.  Plan to arrive 15-20 minutes early, so our volunteer coordinators can orient you to the what’s and where’s of the festival and get you to your assigned place.

It’s going to be HOT this year!  The festival is entirely outdoors, so bring a hat, sunscreen, and lots of water!  We will also have sunscreen available in the hospitality room, and water and shade in the Break Room near the fountains.

We will have food and snacks in the hospitality room, along with a variety of drinks to keep you hydrated.  We just ask that you be mindful that as a non-profit we have limited resources.  We certainly don’t want you to go hungry or thirsty, but we won’t be able to feed your family and friends too.

Based on what you signed up for, you’ll be helping with one of the following:

  • Information Booth:  We will have staff and/or foster parents at each booth to answer questions about foster care.  Volunteers will be handing out prizes from the activity at the table, encouraging attendees to find out more about children in foster care and how they can help.
  • Kid’s Korner:  At the Kid’s Korner, children can try their hand at creating their own artwork.  Volunteers will distribute and collect chalk, supervise the children to make sure they aren’t chalking where they shouldn’t or creating…um…inappropriate artwork, supervising other activities, helping with the activity at the table, and encouraging families to speak with one of our staff or foster parents to find out more about how they can help.
  • Artist Support/Chalk Swap: Chalk Swap tables are where artists can get more supplies, fill a water bottle, or drop off supplies that they no longer need but another artist might.

In addition to helping at your assigned shifts, talk to those who have come to see the artwork, remind them that this is being done to bring awareness to the needs of children in foster care, and ask them to consider how they might help.  And for many children in foster care, the biggest need might just be the right family to care for them!

What if people ask you questions about foster care or details about the festival which you don’t know?

Keep reading!!The Chalk Art Festival is sponsored by Utah Foster Care to bring attention to the thousands of children in foster care in Utah who need a safe and caring place to stay.  It is also to honor over a thousand foster parents in Utah who need the support of the community to continue this great work they are doing.

Perhaps not everyone can be a foster parent.  But there is something everyone can do to help support children in foster care and the families that care for them.

How do I vote for my favorite artist?

Attendees can vote for the People’s Choice award in both the Adult and Youth categories.  Voting is done by text – beginning on Saturday – there will be signs throughout the festival and at the information tables on Saturday explaining how to vote.

How long will the artwork last?

Rio Grande Street will remain closed through Sunday.  Sunday night the artwork is cleaned off in preparation for the street opening to traffic Monday.

Where are the restrooms? Drinking fountains?

This is a question you are sure to hear – so you’ll want to take a look around when you get to your assigned area and familiarize yourself with the nearest facilities.

I’m an artist and I need supplies/water/food!

Artists can get supplies and re-fill a water bottle at one of the chalk swap tables (marked by an umbrella) or in the Hospitality room.  They can also get supplies or a drink from one of the roving golf carts. There are no meals provided for artists on Friday.  There will be light breakfast food available at the hospitality room Saturday morning.  Artists should have received a coupon for Saturday’s lunch when they check in at the hospitality room. Please direct artists to the hospitality room if there are any additional questions.

Thank you again for your willingness to join us as we  let people know how they can support children in foster care.  It is the help of volunteers like you that make this event such a success!

Adult Artist Application

Adult artist applications are now CLOSED!

Make sure to follow Utah Foster Care on Facebook to keep up with the latest artist info!

Our Gracious Host

By Deborah Lindner, Festival Organizer

The Gateway has been both the venue and a valuable partner ever since Utah Foster Care’s first Chalk Art Festival took to the streets, back in 2003.

Back then, we did everything we could to attract artists to our new event. Now, street painters of every age flock to this annual community art festival.

The Gateway has proven itself as a premier event destination, closing its main artery, Rio Grande Street, to provide the canvas on which artists toil away to create the vibrant works of art that visitors can enjoy – for free!

We thank the management and marketing team at The Gateway, as well as its parent company Vestar, for years of support for Utah’s foster care community and public arts.

Our Generous Sponsors

Get Your Message Out

Utah Foster Care welcomes the chance to link our well-respected brand with your company. Thousands of families attend the Chalk Art Festival every year, giving your brand maximum exposure. Each year we look for individuals to sponsor chalk art murals to show support for Utah children in foster care. For details on sponsorships, contact deborah.lindner@utahfostercare.org.

Take a peek at years of chalk art fun!