JOHNS CREEK, Ga. — The Johns Creek Arts Center held another swag bag art to-go drive-up event on May 15 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to commemorate Eid al-Fitr. Residents and families were welcome to drive up to the entrance and receive giftbags of child-friendly art items themed after the Muslim holiday. Eid al-Fitr means the “festival of breaking the fast” and was celebrated between the evenings of May 12 and 13.
“This marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan in which Muslims fast for a whole month during daylight hours and reflect on those who are less fortunate and are encouraged to be generously active in charities,” said Arts Center Executive Director Stephanie Donaldson. “The diverse groups we have focused on have been very happy that we are reaching out to their communities fostering a sense of good will, inclusion and community.”
This is one of a number of the organization’s drive-up events focused on an important cultural landmark or holiday. A giveaway was held for Earth Day last month. The initial idea for these swag bag events came as a response to COVID and the organization’s willingness to continue bringing the arts to the community.
“Our commitment to outreach and community service is an integral part of our programming… as a way to continue our community service we decided to celebrate the holiday traditions important to the members of our community.” Donaldson said. “Our city is recognized as one of the most diverse in the nation, and we felt it important and exciting to celebrate along with our neighbors and learn along the way.”
The Arts Center has plans to continue providing elementary-aged children with educational art activities centered on cultural celebration and representation. Despite the struggles of the pandemic, Donaldson said she loves the idea of allowing a child to complete an artistic activity independently at home.
“With each swag bag family drive up day we learn about cultural traditions that are not our own. We feel it is important in a community such as ours to understand the relevance of and respect traditions which we may be unfamiliar with,” Donaldson said. “The diversity of our board of directors reflects our community, and it is important that our programming does the same. We want everyone in the community to feel welcome and embraced by the Johns Creek Arts Center.”
Upcoming family drive-up swag bag days:
- June 26 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for Independence Day
- Sept. 18 from 11a.m. to 1 p.m. for the Johns Creek Arts Center’s 25th Birthday celebration
- Oct. 30 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for the Autumn Spooktacular and Dia des los Muertos
- Nov. 6 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for Diwali
- Dec. 11 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for Winter Holidays Around the World