Get ready for the inaugural Southeast chalk competition

I’m a horrible artist. Like, a capped-out-at-stick-figures, everything-I-paint-looks-like-a-Tim-Burton-landscape, good-thing-you-have-other-talents artist. 

Even here, on these pages, it shows. For every good photo that I take, there are about 100 throwaways, and for every just-OK image, there are 50 still on my memory card. There’s a reason my photojournalism professor suggested I stick with writing. 

I love art, but I surely can’t make it. 

But that doesn’t stop me from coloring myself excited about the Southeast Express’ inaugural Chalk It Up! Sidewalk Chalk competition. (See what I did there? … Yeah … sorry.)

Bad jokes aside, I am really looking forward to this this upcoming event. Scheduled for June 26 through July 3, the contest is designed to get you designing, and to give you an excuse — if you need one, that is — to show your Southeast Colorado Springs pride.

Here’s how it works: During the contest dates, get yourself some chalk; get yourself a stretch of pavement, whether that be sidewalk, driveway, sponsor’s parking lot or, if it’s safe, a quiet urban roadway; and get creating. We’re looking for original works of art that really capture the spirit of all the amazing things that make Southeast COS so special — its pride, its culture, its diversity, its strength, its love … you get the idea. 

Feel free to work alone or with a group (just please adhere to CDC social-distancing and masking best practices, we don’t want anyone getting sick) to share your message and vision. Then, once your masterpiece is complete, post an image on your favorite social media outlet, and tag us (we’re on Facebook at @southeastexpressnews, Twitter at @SEExpressNews and Instagram at @southeastexpressnews). Don’t forget to use the hashtag #Southeastsidewalks so we know it’s your contender. 

Oh, and please remember to tell us the artist’s name, age and where the work is located, and we’ll take it from there. 

This is going to be a juried contest, judged by some of the neighborhood’s artistic pros. To make sure our jurors are comparing apples to apples, we will divide the entries according to creator’s age and into professional/emerging artist categories. 

In addition to bragging rights, winning entries will be compiled into a large-scale design that will — get this — be immortalized in a mural at Mission Trace Shopping Center. To be clear, that’s your artwork, re-created by a pro, in the heart and at the hub of Southeast Colorado Springs. How cool is that? 

So get those ideas, and the chalk, ready, everybody. The sun is out, the blank slates surround us; let’s celebrate the beauty of our community with the beauty of creativity! 

To get more details on the Express’ Chalk It Up! Sidewalk Chalk competition, visit southeastexpress.org/chalkitup.

•  • •

Last month, we told you a bit about a Pikes Peak Library District initiative to gather images and stories about life in a time of global quarantine. Well this month, we’re asking for you to reach out and share your stories with us. 

Your Southeast Express is testing the waters of podcasting. 

In May we were humbled to be named one of eight newsrooms and two social service agencies accepted into the Colorado Media Project’s 2020 COVID-19 Informed Communities Grant cohort. The media project is powered by the Gates Family Foundation and the Democracy Fund, among others, and our participation in this prestitious program comes with a $5,000 grant that will allow us to tell new and different stories about the pandemic and its impact on Southeast Colorado Springs. 

We launched this newspaper in 2019 to serve you. This is the publication of, for and by Southeast Colorado Springs. So with our print edition established and our new-and-improved website up and running, we’re excited to take this next step. 

We know that every great story is human, and if you have a tale you want to tell, by all means, speak up! Please shoot us an email at newsroom@southeastexpress.org or contact me directly at the information below. 

What better way to make your voice heard than to literally let your voice be heard?

Contact Southeast Express Editor and

General Manager Regan Foster at (719) 578-2802 or regan.foster@southeastexpress.org.

 

Editor

Founding Editor and General Manager Regan Foster holds dual bachelor's degrees in journalism and Spanish and a master's degree in journalism with specialization in political reporting and media management.