Artpace Chalk It Up to Champion Sustainability on October 12

Scott Williams |

16th annual Artpace fundraiser will challenge over 80 school groups to create original murals based on the theme of sustainability.

Press Conference: Wednesday, October 9, 10:30am, Artpace, 445 N Main Ave

Artpace Chalk It Up: Saturday, October 12, 10:00am–4:00pm, Main Ave & Houston St

SAN ANTONIO, TX (September 24, 2019) – On Saturday, October 12th from 10:00am–4:00pm, Artpace Chalk It Up will once again liven up downtown San Antonio with the city’s largest single-day visual art festival. The free event showcases artists and school teams and raises funds for arts programming while promoting downtown San Antonio as a thriving arts and culture destination. Artpace anticipates tens of thousands of people will attend this year’s festival, which is the largest in the event’s decade-and-a-half history. Beginning at Artpace (445 N Main Ave) and extending down Main Ave and Historic Houston Street, attendees will enjoy seven total blocks of original artwork, live music, great food, and engaging activities.

Over eighty schools from more than a dozen districts in the San Antonio area will participate in the TeamWorks mural competition, which challenges groups of up to ten students to collaborate on a 10’ x 8’ street mural entirely out of chalk. The students play an integral role in the festival, creating original works of art that are on view throughout the event. Murals are judged in secret and winners are awarded in each grade level category by District 1 Councilman Roberto Treviño at the awards ceremony at 2:30pm on the Argo Group Main Stage.

Second-year SAISD arts educator Eliana Rodriguez-Iturbe will be bringing a team this year to compete. On the importance of an event like Chalk It Up, she said, “Chalk It Up teaches students how to work as a team—how to accomplish something bigger than yourself. A student can’t do something like this by themselves. Having a team and being able to accomplish a design in four hours is mind-blowing for a young person. I think it might even be life-changing for them.”

The theme for this year’s festival is sustainability, which directs school teams and artists in their mural design. The theme is also descriptive of the festival as a whole. Certified Platinum by San Antonio’s Office of Sustainability, Artpace Chalk It Up strives to be as green an event as possible by reducing single-use plastics and paper and utilizing renewable resources.

Information tables will be powered by solar panels provided by Solar Electric Texas, and San Antonio Water Systems will be on hand to refill attendees’ refillable water bottles. Festival-goers can ride to Chalk It Up for free on Via Centro Route 301, which stops in the middle of the event footprint. For those planning to drive, Chalk It Up organizers at Artpace advise people to carpool when possible to reduce the event’s carbon footprint. At the event, ClearStream recycling bins will be available for mixed recycling and students from Arnold Elementary School will bring their own recycling bins as part of their partnership with PepsiCo’s Recycle Rally.  

Chalk It Up Chair Katie Pace Halleran, who worked for years with area schools at United Way of San Antonio, recognizes the pivotal role the event plays in providing art education opportunities for young people. “Artpace Chalk It Up fills a service gap by giving students a public, creative outlet for making art collaboratively," said Pace Halleran. "Students are given a blank canvas and an enormous audience to showcase their talent, collaboration, and hard work. That signals to them that what they’re doing has value and has a lasting impact on their community."

Artpace Chalk It Up will feature the Argo Group Main Stage and three H-E-B Freestyle Zones, where anyone can become an artist for a day. Additional support for Artpace Chalk It Up is provided by Valero Energy Foundation, Centro San Antonio, Raising Canes, San Antonio Startup Week, and Official Transportation Partner VIA. The fundraiser supports free, year-round contemporary art programming at Artpace. Funds from the festival also support the Artpace Teen Council, an intensive afterschool leadership program serving area high school students.


Artpace San Antonio is a nonprofit residency program which supports regional, national, and international artists in the creation of new art. As a catalyst for artistic expression, we engage local communities with global art practices and experiences.

Since 1995, Artpace has welcomed more than 270 artists and curators through its renowned International Artist-in-Residence program. Annually, Artpace hosts three residencies, which each feature one Texas-based artist, one national artist, and one international artist, who are selected by a notable guest curator. Each eight-week residency culminates in a two-month exhibition on site. The mission of this program is to provide artists with unparalleled resources that allow them to experiment with new ideas and take provocative risks.


For more information, please visit and follow Artpace on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Prospective sponsors can contact Artpace’s Director of Development Lisa Halff at for details about how to become involved with Chalk It Up.