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Three weeks from today, Portland families will have the opportunity to attend a summer festival unlike amy other!

The Portland Children’s Festival will feature storytelling, eurythmy performances, puppet shows, crafts and parent lectures. Put on by Portland Eurythmy, a performing group made of up of Waldorf educators, the Festival promises to be a creative and artful alternative to the usual roster of street fairs and carnivals. I had the opportunity recently to chat with Reg Down, author of the beloved Tiptoes Lightly books and one of the primary organizer’s of the Festival, about the impetus behind the day and what we can look forward to on June 28th.

Lisa: What is the Portland Children’s Festival?
Reg: The Portland Children’s Festival is a celebration of the arts as they relate to children. There won’t just be arts FOR children, but also arts BY children—or for them to take workshops in.

Lisa: What inspired you to create the festival?
Reg: We [the members of Portland Eurythmy] thought it would be a good idea to bring all the arts (or as many as possible) together into a children’s festival.

Lisa: What types of offerings will there be at the Festival?
Reg: We’ll have storytelling—including the internationally recognized storyteller, Susan Strauss. eurythmy (we’re doing a Russian tale), puppetry by the Wool Horse Puppet Theater and Karen Petty, theater by the Youthful Players, music in a number of forms – singing, playing instruments or listening to stories about a composer. We’ll also have magic performed by teens, a children’s author (myself), three lectures on children and childhood, various crafts—and more!

Lisa: What are some of the things you are most looking forward to at the Festival?
Reg: Personally I’ll be up to my neck! I’d have a hard time choosing what I’d want to do most—the festival is fairly full and [attendees will] have to make choices between doing one thing or the other. The storytelling ability of Susan Strauss is really quite magical. She will be doing two shows called The Great Fools, about those apparent fools and trickster characters that live in every culture’s folklore.

Lisa: Tell us a little about yourself
Reg: I’m currently the artistic director and program speaker for Portland Eurythmy. I studied architecture for a couple of years before doing the eurthmy training in England and Germany. Then I taught in various Waldorf schools before joining the faculty at Rudolf Steiner College, in Sacramento, CA. About ten years ago I wrote my first children’s book, The Tales of Tiptoes Lightly, and since then writing has become a large part of my activity as an artist. After the festival—when I’d had a chance to catch my breath—I’ll be illustrating my 19th and 20th children’s books.

Thank you, Reg, for taking the time to give us a peek inside The Portland Children’s Festival!

I am presenting on the topics of Simplifying your Child’s Room (at 11am) and The Power of Rhythm (at 1pm) and will be enjoying the other offerings throughout the day (you can find the full schedule here).

I hope to see you there!