By AUDREY BLACKWELL

Our Town Assistant Editor

Mary Moscatelli continues to inspire children in the arts while strengthening family ties.

And Moscatelli, executive director of Venice Art Center, is not alone. VAC board members, volunteers, representatives of HarborChase and Gulf Coast Community Foundation, parents and caregivers all want to see kids enjoy themselves creatively.

That is the impetus for the free Family Fun Day planned for Saturday, July 27, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. The Venice Art Center has hosted this free family event annually for over a decade.

“Gulf Coast Community Foundation is once again a sponsor of this year’s Family Fun Day at Venice Art Center,” said Greg Luberecki, director of communications. “Gulf Coast awarded the Art Center a grant to help make this wonderful event — which is free for the community — possible.

“It’s a great way to bring together children, parents, grandparents and friends for some free, creative arts and crafts, all while showcasing what a gem we have in the Venice Art Center. We applaud the Art Center for opening its doors to our entire community.”

According to Melinda Haney, “HarborChase enjoys supporting the Venice Art Center and has continually supported the Family Fun Day.”

HarborChase provides the food — hot dogs and buns — and Lueanne Wood of Gulf Shores Realty donated chips. Free beverages will be available.

Moscatelli looks forward to seeing the smiles on all the kids’ faces at this event.

“This is a time of year when VAC can give back to the community and visitors,” she said. “Over 700 people attended last year’s event.”

Art projects will focus on summer fun, and include jewelry making; working with colorful items — think bedazzling visors; rock painting; and creating decorative skim boards, pottery and pinwheels; and hand art painting (all in air-conditioned comfort).

And guests will enjoy making their own chalk art creations on the sidewalk outside the art center, as well as various other projects.

“We want kids and families to spend quality time together and be creative,” Moscatelli said. “It is so fun for our staff, board and the over 45 volunteers.”

Besides creating art following the beat of their own drum, attendees will be able to enjoy the summer fun music of Joe Fiorentino and his steel drum.

Four local artists — Frances Smith, Gary Maria, Julie Buckler and Norma Winter — will help with face painting.

So come beat the heat and enjoy a fun-filled free day of creativity at the Venice Art Center, 390 S. Nokomis Ave., Venice.

For more information, call 941-485-7136.

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