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Holladay Journal

Children’s exhibit, ‘Everyone’s Story Matters’ opens at Holladay City Hall

Aug 10, 2020 11:34AM ● By Sona Schmidt-Harris

“Everyone’s Story Matters” includes stories and art that were written and illustrated by students from Oakwood, Howard R Driggs, Crestview and Lincoln elementary schools. (Photo courtesy Emily White)

By Sona Schmidt-Harris | [email protected]

An exhibit of multicultural children’s art and stories will open July 27 at Holladay City Hall, 4580 S. 2300 East. The exhibition, “Everyone’s Story Matters,” has been one step ahead of our current civil unrest crisis; it includes stories from children of Middle Eastern, Black, White and other ethnicities.

The brainchild of Emily White, “Everyone’s Story Matters” was inspired in part by Nobel Peace Prize Recipient Malala Yousafzai’s children’s book, “Malala’s Magic Pencil.”  Yousafzai emphasizes that someone can change the world with just one pencil.

“The exhibit ties together diverse portraits that were written and illustrated by students from Oakwood, Howard R Driggs, Crestview and Lincoln elementary schools. The display features empowering stories that celebrate the courage of parents, grandparents, neighbors, friends and heroes,” White said.

Originally scheduled to open at the Holladay Library in April, “Everyone’s Story Matters” was suspended due to COVID-19. However, the Holladay librarians displayed some of the children’s art in the windows to demonstrate the power of every story.

“The most prevalent problem that students illustrated and tried to solve was bullying,” White said. This was the outcome of the 2017-2018 Malala project, and “Everyone’s Story Matters” was the antidote to promote empathy and connection.

One boy, whose father is Iranian, says this in his story, “…When my dad was in battle with the enimy (sic) a person came on my dads (sic) side but instead of killing the young guy he spared his life.”

There are wonderful portraits by the children including an intriguing picture of Harriet Tubman by Celeste Pratt.

“Storytelling is intuitive for children. Their big letters fill the page and spill into the margins. They thoughtfully observe and draw eyes, hair, wrinkles and glasses to show every detail about the people who matter to them,” White said.

The exhibit is funded by the Holladay Arts Council and is in collaboration with Nick Sokoloff Photography, the Humanitarium, Salt Lake County Library and Granite School District.  It will be on display through the end of August.