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Hands in the Sand, Flags in the Air

Hamilton, Ohio – The streets were alive with the sound of music.

No, not an Austrian family chorus. Rather, a set of enormous speakers blaring “Sweet Caroline” and other familiar tunes up and down High Street during the first Alive After 5 event of the 2022 season on June 2.

The Fitton Center outreach team set up its 20-foot tent in front of Made to Love and loved to make some ‘90s-era sand art with more than 60 people who visited.

“The kids absolutely loved the sand art,” said Caroline Digiovenale, Fitton Center Education and Community Experience Coordinator. “In one family, the kids had never seen sand art before, but the parents had; they were super excited. The parents joined in on the craft; mom even picked up a twig off the ground to use like a toothpick to make patterns in the sand in her bottle.”

And that’s just the people.

Kiwi – an eight-week-old kitten – ran up and down the table while his human made her sand-art bottle the evening before her birthday. That same artist also had her dog on a leach running alongside her bicycle.

The outreach team went out again two days later for Hamilton Pride June 4 in Marcum Park.

More than 500 people visited the Fitton booth and created crafts – both mini Pride flags and rainbow bracelet twirlers – necessitating a couple of runs back to the Fitton Center to replenish supplies.

“We had 10 volunteers that day; they were super helpful because we were swamped,” Digiovenale said. “We had a ton of kids, but parents, too, and adults who didn’t have kids. The adults especially loved the ribbon bracelet craft.”

So much so the team ran out of bracelets about 90 minutes before closing time. No matter. They just wove the ribbons together without the bracelet to secure them.

“It’s always great to be out in the community,” Digiovenale said. “People enjoy making their crafts, comparing and sharing them with their friends and family. We love getting to talk with them and giving them a little souvenir to help remember their day.”

Building Community Excellence through the Arts and Culture

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