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Issue Date: September 2009


Chalk by Numbers

Sidewalk chalk isn’t just a kids’ pastime
Nick Castele
1,325 Average number of chalkers per festival
7 Number of featured chalk artists, who will use the newly opened East Wing as inspiration
712 Average number of boxes of chalk sold
559 Pounds of chalk used
High 80s Hottest temperature in festival history.
High 30s Coldest temperature in festival history
$16 Price of a 24-color box of chalk
$8 Price of a 12-color box of chalk
9 Number of rainy days during the festival’s history
$0 Price to watch the sidewalk artists work
The Cleveland Museum of Art's Chalk Festival brings together expert and amateur chalkers for a two-day sidewalk-painting spree Sept. 12 and 13. "You'll see some pieces that are scribbles — lots of [colors] that are smeared into the pavement by 3-year-olds' hands," says Robin VanLear, the chalk festival's artistic director. "And then you'll see the pieces by the featured artists that are unbelievably impressive."

In celebration of the festival's 20th year, we break down what it takes to put together the second-oldest chalk festival in the country.

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