The Big Draw LA at the Glendale Public Library

by Cathy Billings, Glendale Public Library

Last year (2013) was Glendale Library, Arts & Culture’s first year participating in The Big Draw LA. We had so much fun planning events and seeing our library users enjoy them that this year we are doing even more! One of the most exciting things for us was that Big Draw is for people of all ages and abilities and that allowed us to plan system-wide events and activities. So often library programs are geared toward a specific audience—kids only, or seniors only—but with Big Draw we had the opportunity to collaborate across all parts of the library. Our planning team included administrative staff, children’s librarians, teen librarians and art librarians working together, which was both fun and inspiring!


The events we planned were a mix of informal and more directed experiences. We had a Chalk the Walk event in front of the Central Library, where people of all ages just stopped by to “make their mark”. It was so easy to plan and put on, and fun for chalk drawers and non-drawers who just enjoyed the art. We also had a program geared towards families with illustrator Kristin Donner who facilitated the making of a huge community mural. Kristin shared examples of how buildings and people are portrayed in fine art and cartoon art and then we worked together to recreate our own Glendale community in drawings. We displayed the mural in the Library for several months as a reminder that together we can do amazing things! Our mini-comic workshop led by animation artist Kyle Neswald was also a big success. We expected the program would appeal to teens, but tweens and grownups showed up, too! It really shows how all kinds of people are looking for opportunities to learn and express themselves artistically.


Our experience with The Big Draw LA and Ryman Arts was nothing but positive. The help and support from Ryman Arts made it so easy for us to participate and bring joy and creativity to the Glendale community. Evaluation comments like Fantastic! Ah-mazing! Totally awesome day! Really fun! let us know that we were making a difference, which was rewarding for all the staff involved. We are already looking forward to next year!