You are here

Beginning Street Art

December 8, 2017
Older Adults / Seniors
Young Adult
Popular Topics
Books and Authors
Coloring, Crafts & Hands-on
Advance Planning

When creating passive and active programs to coincide with Banksy Booked @KHPCL, I decided to contact YA author Shannon Lee Alexander. I write YA novels in free verse and know her through the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI). That’s how I knew her work-in-progress is about street art.

I asked her to share with patrons the information she’d collected during her research. She jumped at the chance. I had her sign a performance agreement. She created a list of supplies she would need, and then I purchased everything. 


Just having a Banksy piece helped draw a lot of attention to KHCPL and, therefore, I received a lot of word-of-mouth marketing for Beginning Street Art and all the programs associated with the exhibit.

I emailed the flier to all the art teachers at the five high schools in the county. I met with the Visitor’s Bureau to market Banksy Booked @KHCPL and the passive and active programs associated with it to cities in Indiana and beyond. That marketing led to a listing in the Visit Indiana’s August Festivals & Events newsletter and, with an audience of at least 50,000. The Visitor’s Bureau also paid for social marketing ads.

I also created paid social media ads. I pay for monthly radio advertising and included information about Beginning Street Art in the month leading up to Banksy Booked @KHCPL. I sent out press releases to all three local newspapers, which published stories about it. Since the Banksy Booked @KHCPL story was picked up by the Associated Press, it further marketed Beginning Street Art.

I worked with graphics to get a sign up near the Banksy that provided the history of the "Haight Street Rat" and explained the various companion active and passive programs, including Beginning Street Art. I included information about Beginning Street Art in our newsletter that is mailed to 40,000 homes in our taxing district. I wrote about it in our enewsletter, which goes out to about 5,000 subscribers. I asked the graphic artist to create fliers for all three locations and our two bookmobiles. 

Budget Details

Banksy Booked @KHCPL was added to our programming and events mid-year, so I didn’t have a lot of money to work with; however, I purchased plywood, poster board, tarps, yarn, string, Sharpies, various paint brushes, craft knives, cutting boards, fish net and masking tape for $286. I already had on hand pencils, scissors, copy paper and discarded magazines and books.

Shannon created stencils and wheat paste and brought paint. I also paid Shannon $300 as a performer.

Day-of-event Activity

I had the custodians set up rows of tables and chairs, along with tables to hold the supplies. They also prepared the laptop and projector. I set out the supplies in stations.

We have a moveable, dry erase arrow sign. It noted that the program was that day, what time, and that it was on our lower level. I also gave the custodians and staff a heads-up that we would be yarn-bombing and leaving street art to dry over the weekend, so it wouldn’t be removed or damaged while it dried.

Program Execution

I greeted patrons and introduced Shannon. She talked to them about her books. Then she talked about her work-in-progress and how it led to her research of, and then passion for, street art.

Shannon used a PowerPoint slide show to highlight the various types of street art, the noteworthy artists and mediums used. Then she explained street art using yarn-bombing like OutdoorKnitters, masking tape like Buff Diss, stencils like Banksy, pasting posters like Shepard Fairey, and pinwheels like The MEVA Architectural Collective. She answered patrons’ questions, such as the difference between graffiti and street art, the legalities of street art, and copyright.

Then she let patrons explore the various stations and create street art. One art teacher came to learn the techniques to pass on to her students. At first, one teen boy’s expression clearly showed displeasure that adults were allowed. But when one lady asked questions and started creating art, he smiled and worked right alongside her. Favorite. Moment. Ever.


Work your connections, and never be afraid to mix teens and adults. They each have a lot to learn from one another.

Short Title
Beginning Street Art

Beginning Street Art was an active companion program to Banksy Booked @KHPCL, the theme for a number of active and passive programs to coincide with a six-week exhibit of Banksy’s "Haight Street Rat" street art.

YA author Shannon Lee Alexander’s work-in-progress is about a character from an abusive home in a stagnant, some would even say dying, Appalachian town. She’s done a lot of research about street art for the novel, and it’s now become one of her passions. I asked her if she would lead teens in a workshop to explain graffiti and give participants an opportunity to try the various types of street art.

I assumed only teens would be interested, but quickly realized that adults wanted to know more and try it, too. So I opened up the program to both audiences. The program was informational and skill-building. It also brought generations together. I worked with Shannon to make it a two-fer by asking her to talk about her two published books, and sell and sign them at the event as well.

Job Functions
Resources and Program Starters
Program Date
August 19, 2017
Slideshow Images
  • Drawing designs
  • Creating street art using stencils and paint
  • Inter-generational art making
  • Teens and adults creating street art

Kids and adults made art together at this combined street-art discussion and author talk.

Programming Librarian Forum