Call for kids to help Ya La’ford with Muralopia

Artist Ya La'ford invites local students to create art for her story.

Artist Ya La’ford wrote Muralopia, a story about five families who use art to create a stronger community. 

In a nifty life-imitates-art move, La'ford invites kids to contribute to the story.

Here's how it works: Anyone between 7 and 14 can create and draw a character for the story, or they can design a mural that spotlights the themes of "interconnectivity, love, peace and a drive to create community," according to a statement from the Morean Arts Center. 

Students ages 7-19 not interested in creating a character may be a part of the Youth Selection Committee. This committee will decide which submissions (one character and one mural) will make the final cut and get in the book. To be considered, students should submit an essay in which they explain why they want to sit on the committee. They should also include a letter of recommendation from an adult to whom they are not related.

Applicants must choose between creating a character or mural and sitting on the committee. 

The nitty gritty details:

Creative submissions must include the applicant's name, age, school and phone number or email address. Please submit a scanned version of the art to [email protected] by Oct. 31; alternately, the Morean Arts Center and the Morean Center for Clay will both accept submissions in person between Oct. 23 and Oct. 31 (please visit for locations and hours).

Applications (letters and essays) for the Youth Selection Committee due by Oct 17.

Participating students and schools will get recognition and an invite to the book release party later in the year.

For more information, call the St. Pete James Weldon Johnson Community Library at 727-893-7113.

About The Author

Cathy Salustri

Cathy's portfolio includes pieces for Visit Florida, USA Today and regional and local press. In 2016, UPF published Backroads of Paradise, her travel narrative about retracing the WPA-era Florida driving tours that was featured in The New York Times. Cathy speaks about Florida history for the Osher Lifelong Learning...
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