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Drawing for soldiers

The Young Rembrandts will be coming to Central Park on Feb. 8 at 2 p.m. for a very special event, the Armed Forces Drawing Spectacular, where children ages four to 12 will come together to create gifts for soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"We thought it would be a great thing to do to get the community involved,," regional program director for the Young Rembrandts, Patty Murphy, said. "In addition to having something to give to the people that are over there."

The Young Rembrandts is an academic art foundation program which allows creativity to be expressed through the visual arts. The program is based on a step-by-step drawing method and aims to dispel the myth that art is a talent that a child either has or they don't.

During the event children, and an adult, will come together to learn four different "Americana" style drawings from four Young Rembrandts teachers, and then those drawing will be sent to soldiers from Woodbury and the surrounding areas.

I think they'll be so thankful for that connection back home," Ann Ringgold, from the Woodbury Parks and Recreation department, said. "It's a perfect stranger saying thank you for doing what you do."

Murphy agrees with Ringgold, even though the soldiers may feel a bit home sick from the drawings, they will brighten their spirits more than anything else.

"They're doing a very dangerous and hard job," she said. "And this just shows that there is someone in Woodbury who is thinking about them and hoping that this will encourage them in some way."

The drawings will delivered through a contact in the National Guard that the Young Rembrandt's have.

So far there have already been 12 children, 24 people total, registered and they will be accepting up to 50 registrations.

"There was obviously an interest right away," Ringgold said. "It' just a nice way to bring awareness to the troops."

To register for the Armed Forces Drawing Spectacular, visit the Parks and Recreation registration page at

Amber Kispert-Smith

Amber Kispert-Smith has been the schools and Afton reporter at the Woodbury Bulletin since 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked as a reporter for Press Publications in White Bear Lake.

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