Scrapbooking, blogging and improv troupes are not commonly associated with carnivals but they will be a big part of MightyFest when it comes to Aviation Park this Saturday, Sept. 28.
The writing carnival includes over a dozen national and local authors ready to share their experiences, wisdom and creative knowledge with thousands of budding young writers. Two of the local artists that will be featured are Kyle Terrell Stokes and Vel Images of Urbantoons.
The two met while working in the beverage field but bonded over their love of music and writing. They formed Urbantoons after not seeing children’s books featuring kids like themselves or the other young people in their lives. Stokes said he and Images were inspired by what they didn’t see.
“The lack of diversity in the market, made me want to get into children’s books. I went into Barnes and Noble one day looking and when I went into the children’s book section, what I saw didn’t represent people of diverse backgrounds, so I made it my objective to change that and create characters that diverse children could relate to, look up to and be inspired by,” Stokes said.
Urbantoons’ commitment to the next generation was the driving force behind them joining MightyFest.
“MightyFest gives young people a platform that they can use to write. When I was younger, we didn’t have programs like this or maybe we did but not on this type of level. This is very very important because young people will feel comfortable and confident and be able to write. They can express themselves if they have a platform encouraging them that they can do it,” he said.
Events like MightyFest provide young writers not only with an opportunity to express themselves but also a chance to be exposed to a variety of different voices.
Urbantoons’ Images says that’s also one of the driving forces behind the work that they do at Urbantoons.
“No child left behind, we’re trying to include everyone. Everybody deals with something. There’s no room to not feel accepted. I don’t feel there is anything out there that someone has not gone through. If we can be more compassionate and less judgemental to really make a difference,” Images said.