The creative mind behind the popular Sacer and Savive tee-shirt line, Maria Haycraft’s deep connection to art and its ability to change lives and provide healing, promote creativity, and even build confidence that led her to join with a few like-minded friends who recognized the need to have a community arts program in Clarksville and found ArtLink in 2012. They’ve been bringing the city into living color ever since. A non-profit offering creative arts environments where the youth of Clarksville may explore their talents and try out new things, ArtLink also provides ways for the community as a whole—both young and old—to be creative; and they’re seeing a response that proves that art and the freedom of expression are a powerful way to connect to the world around us.
Now in its second year, ArtLink is proud to host the second annual ChalkWalk Art Festival in September, a fun event where artists may purchase a “chalk block” downtown to participate in the chalk contest and create amazing displays of 3D chalk art. More free fun includes live music and performances from local bands and musicians as well as the opportunity to eat some tasty food from artisan food vendors. “Last year, we saw such a great response that we knew we had to do it again,” says Haycraft, “and that’s really the purpose of these big events-- to create community engagement with the arts and to offer something that’s creative, fun, and different and a great way to engage the entire family.”
In addition to ChalkWalk, ArtLink also has an ongoing weekly presence at the Downtown Market, offering a wide variety of art activities for all ages. The organization also provides music classes and is currently working on beginning a skateboard program. In support of furthering the opportunities of budding artists to thrive, the ArtLink Live fashion and art show in November is a signature event featuring a marketplace for local artisans to showcase and sell their work in addition to the opportunity of winning scholarships to be awarded in four categories of visual art, performance art, music, or fashion. The top four artists in each category will be featured at ArtLink Live with selection of the overall winners who will each receive a scholarship of $1000.