Anti-Graffiti Squad Erases Kids Fun

2007 – May 5th – Ottawa Citizen – An article about the kids whose chalk hop-scotch game got erased by the city’s excessive anti-graffiti zeal.


One response to “Anti-Graffiti Squad Erases Kids Fun

  1. Hey everyone! Here is a press release to share with you all:

    Ottawa “Chalk” Full of Public Art After Sunday Event
    Concerned citizens bring hop-scotch conversation to City Hall

    Ottawa –

    Sunday night, Ottawa residents literally brought their concerns to the street. A loose collection of citizens, ranging in age fifteen to fifty, reclaimed Lisgar Street for art and games. The citizens were responding to the removal of a children’s hop-scotch game chalked out on 3rd Avenue in the Glebe. Working their way down Lisgar from Bank Street to City Hall, the citizens spread their message in favour of public art.

    “Since when did chalk ever hurt somebody?” A female student participant said, “It’s colourful, joyful and community-building. Public art starts people talking to each other again in the streets.”

    The recent hop-scotch incident highlights the city-wide discussion regarding graffiti that has occurred over the past few days. Promoting the use of public art for public expression, the citizens wrote slogans, poetry, and drew pictures with non-toxic, water-soluble sidewalk chalk. Using phrases such as “Art Is Not A Crime” and “Beautify Your City”, the group grew in numbers as passers-by joined in the event.

    One passer-by-turned-participant commented, “I think this hop-scotch removal incident is indicative of bigger problems in the city right now. It is a shame that street art and graffiti are being negatively portrayed by city council. Street art makes a city dynamic and unique.”

    The citizens hope their actions will result in City Hall apologizing to the young chalk artists in the Glebe. They call for a public discussion regarding art and expression in city streets. And are the chalk-artists concerned that their work will be washed away? As one teen artist remarked: “It’s forecasted to rain on Tuesday anyway”.

    – 30-

    Ottawa Community Chalk Network

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