Sean Emery: Funny Guy, Jugglin' Stuff
Sean Emery is a highly recognizable Minnesotan performance artist. This year he kicked off our Summer Reading Program with his program "Funny Guy, Jugglin' Stuff." His program was both entertaining and educational, with a special emphasis on all that is available to kids through libraries. He made sure to emphasize that there is so much you can teach yourself to do by reading at the library, whether it be juggling or something else, and inspired the kids to follow their dreams.
We really wanted an exciting kick-off to our Summer Reading Program- something that would be appealing to kids of all ages and drive up participation in our program. Sean is a very respected Minnesotan artist, so we wanted also to provide an example of someone pursuing a career in the arts, who is so successful at it. We hoped that this program would increase interest in performance art and/or circus arts. We distributed evaluation forms to audience members following the end of the program, gauging their interest in the aforementioned topics, to find out whether or not they were likely to participate in our Summer Reading Program, to find out why they enjoyed the program, and to collect public comments.
92% of respondents said that after watching the program, they were excited about Summer Reading at their library. 44% said that they enjoyed the program because it helped them to increase knowledge and better understand a topic. 64% said that they enjoyed the program because they were able to spend quality time with family and friends in their community. 37% said that they enjoyed the program because it helped them to learn a new skill. 82% reported that the program increased their interest in circus arts and/or performance arts. Public comments included, "what fun to hear about how to have a career doing what he does", and "keep the summer programs coming, great for the kids", and "I've never seen my youngest smile so much." We had a very successful Summer Reading Program this year, with more participants than average, and we think these programs which provided our communities with exciting arts programs, and which emphasized the importance of libraries and reading, played a large role. This caliber of program is typically only seen in much larger cities.
In Greenbush the Friends of the Library provided cookies and lemonade, and they also helped to set up and tear down the event. At the Karlstad LINK Site, volunteers helped to clean up after the event. In Hallock, volunteers helped to set up and clean up the event.