Chalk One Up To Art: 13th Annual Italian Street Painting Festival, San Rafael, CA

In my bucolic town of 50,000 people, we ain’t country hicks. We got culture… and it raises its artistic head each year in the Italian Street Painting Festival –– a two-day community celebration of art, music and cuisine featuring the 16th-century Italian performance art of street painting.

The Festival benefits San Rafael-based Youth in Arts, a nonprofit group that hosts art programs for over 30,000 children in Marin County and surrounding areas.

Just before this weekend-long bash each year, the city paves the streets downtown to give the artists a so-called fresh canvas. Over June 10 and 11, more than 200 pieces of original chalk art come to life with animals, cityscapes, abstract images, ships, logos and much more. Sadly, it concludes at 5pm, so shed a tear or two as all the art fades slowly away.

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