On Sunday, March 19, warm up with friends, family and community members during an afternoon of music, stories and craft-making to create a public art installation in downtown Evanston.

Listen to the stories and music and draw or write as you feel inspired. The sketches will be combined with a decorative garland and installed in trees throughout downtown Evanston.

There are two opportunities on March 19 to participate in the “Talking Trees” project. The Evanston Public Library will host a family-friendly event from 2 to 4 p.m. featuring inspirational stories about overcoming obstacles. Participants are invited to create ornaments inspired by the stories read and garland to be installed on the trees. Children of all ages are welcome to attend the free event which will take place in the Children’s Library on the first floor.

From 4 to 7 p.m., guests are invited to The Celtic Knot Public House to sketch images or write down thoughts while they listen to music, songs and stories. Evanston singer-songwriter Monica Laytham will play, sing and tell stories in The Snug Room from 5 to 6 p.m..

Downtown Evanston will provide all materials and complimentary appetizers; attendees are invited to purchase beverages of their choice. Following the event, Winter HeARTh organizer and local artist, Jason Brown, will string together the sketches with a decorative garland and install the strands onto a selection of trees in downtown Evanston.

“The trees are our company through all the seasons, even when they sleep. This year I wanted to imagine: how can they encourage us to come out of our hibernation, too?”

Downtown Evanston is thrilled to partner with the Arts Council and work with Jason on this project. Annie Coakley, Executive Director: “The Winter HeARTh project inspires new ideas for public art and community collaboration in downtown Evanston and the City of Evanston as a whole. We are excited to bring together music, stories and craft-making and work with the local business community.”

Now in the fourth year, Winter HeARTh is an annual series of events promoted by the Arts Council to help keep public art alive, thriving, and fun even when the public square is frozen over.

The goal is to create spaces where the community can come out and create public works of art together and warm up as they congregate and create with strangers and neighbors alike. Downtown Evanston was established in 1987 to provide marketing and management services to the downtown Evanston business district.