Celebrating the Life and Art of Dr. Seuss

If you’re a Dr. Seuss fan, young or old, Abilene, Texas is the place for you. Abilene, Texas is pulling out the red carpet and will celebrate all things Dr. Seuss during its Children’s Art and Literacy Festival (CALF). The CALF events will begin on Thursday, June 14th, 2012 and continue on into the weekend with the last CALF events scheduled for June 17th, 2012. Abilene, Texas is not stopping its celebration there in true Dr. Seuss fashion, “Oh, no its not, the fun, the fun, it will not stop.”

Original art from the book, The Lorax, that premieres as a movie March 2nd 2012, on the birthday of Theodor Seuss Geisel, byline Dr. Seuss, will be on loan from the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum from June 7th, 2012-September 1st , 2012 at the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature located at 102 Cedar Street in downtown Abilene. Starting on May 4th, 2012, The Center for Contemporary Arts located at 220 Cypress Street will feature ” The Art of Dr. Seuss Retrospective Exhibition” organized by Chase Art Companies and curator, William W. Dreyer. In addition to the Dr. Seuss Retrospective exhibit, The Center for Contemporary Arts will also feature art from local artists whose works have been inspired by the works of Dr. Seuss.

The CALF Festival will kick off with a downtown parade on June 14th, starting at 5:00 p.m. during Abilene’s free monthly Artwalk. Museums all over downtown Abilene are free to the public during Artwalk. Most Dr. Seuss exhibits will be open and free during the hours of 5:00 p.m. -8:00 p.m. During the CALF weekend Festival, the Touring Dr. Seuss Sculpture Garden organized by Chase Art Companies and curator, William W. Dreyer will be strategically placed around downtown for viewing and great photo opportunities. The sculptures featured include characters from How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Lorax, The Cat in the Hat, and Horton Hears a Who!.

There are many featured activities during the CALF event weekend. You may pre-register for events at www.abilenecac.org/calf and receive perks for early registration or open registration begins on June 14th, from 12:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. Registration fees vary based on when you register and if you register for special dining events. Events you register for include eight different “dramatic” readings of Dr. Seuss books, free entrance to exhibits and art activities held after the readings, and a myriad of fun activities at Frontier Texas, including jumping castles. Two of the dramatic readings include a Green Eggs and Ham reading and brunch at Cypress Street Station on Saturday, June 16th, and also a picnic at Abilene Zoo featuring Hop on Pop on Father’s Day, June 17th. The dramatic readings are including in the registration fee with the brunch and lunch separate.

With the registration for CALF, you also receive half price admission to the Grace Museum, Frontier Texas, and to the Abilene Zoo. There is a CALF Festival map that features times and places of scheduled events on CALF’s website. If you live around Abilene or are staying for more than the weekend, there will be various summer art camps featuring themes derived from the underlying meanings in Dr. Seuss books. One of the camps will focus on the theme of recycling from The Lorax. The activities will be many as the marketing director of Abilene Cultural Affairs Council Elizabeth McVey stated, “The whole downtown (Abilene) is coming together as a unit to promote children’s art and literacy.” If you have not been to Abilene, Texas to experience the art and fun, as Dr. Seuss once said, “If you never did you should. These things are fun and fun is good.”

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