North Gulfport Youth Council And Ohr-O'Keefe Museum Hold Family Day Art Festival

The Peoples Missionary Baptist Church in Gulfport was filled with play-doh, pinch pot and meticulously painted works of art. As kids created original works of art, they were also re-creating pieces of community history.

"This is a wonderful, fabulous community, and the folk art is very engrained in this community," says Sara Miller, Ohr-O'Keefe Museum.

In the past, clay dug from local creeks was used to make pinch pots and pottery.  Not only did kids learn how to make pottery, they also learned the history behind it.

"Back in the early 1900's, they made their own belts.  The children of the community used yarn and twine and made these beautiful woven belts," says Miller.

Members of the youth council say it's important for kids to learn while enjoying themselves.

"I just want the children to have fun and do what they do best," says Tina Johnson, North Gulfport Community Landtrust Youth Council.

Sybil Prater brought her 2-year-old granddaughter Maddie to help her develop her creative talents at an early age.

"This is a safe environment for the kids, and they're having fun," says Sybil Prater of DeLisle.

While the youth council and the Ohr-O'Keefe musuem hoped to create a lot of hands-on fun at the festival, they also wanted the kids to take away an important lesson.

"We really want the kids to take away a sense of community.  There's a whole lot of history here," says Miller.

Both the council and museum say they hope this festival is the first of many collaborative, community projects.  Americorp volunteers were also on hand to help with the festival.