Seven years ago, Las Vegas-based advertising creative Dana Satterwhite wrote a children’s story about a confident 7-year-old on a world tour of her wildest dreams.
He approached artist Joseph Watson, and the two teamed up to produce Go Go Greta, a beautifully illustrated book set on the premise, “You can accomplish anything you set out to do”—whether visiting monks in Nepal, swimming with the sharks in the ocean or going airborne with a jetpack.
Then came the downloadable coloring pages, Greta-themed buttons, classroom readings, book-fest appearances, other community events and eventually a second book (the first was also turned into an app narrated by singer Lisa Loeb).
During all of this the two put together a children’s Love for Literacy Festival at Downtown’s Emergency Arts, bringing together Black History Month and Nevada Reading Week as a way to further inspire literacy through imagination and wonderment.
Now in year three, the Love For Literacy Festival, hosted by Metro Arts Council, takes place at the West Las Vegas Arts Center with workshops, music, art demonstrations, readings and food vendors.
Writers this year include Kip Noschese, author and illustrator of Otto & the Grand Prix Bees; Carl Weber, a New York Times best-selling author who’ll be signing his new book, Family Business 3; poet Walter B. Hammond and author/ illustrator Grady O Williams III.
Greta will be there, too, as Watson and Satterwhite conduct a behind-the-scenes Go, Go Greta workshop. And Watson, who also owns Joseph P. Watson Gallery in the Arts Factory, will do a live children’s book illustration.
It’s part of making a difference, Watson says. “I like to see the results of exposing kids to the power of reading and where they can take their imagination.”
And, as Satterwhite added, literacy expands into being “fluent in whatever it is you love. Engaging kids and getting them to tap into creativity of all forms, pursuing excellence is the bigger picture.”
Love for Literacy Festival February 21, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., West Las Vegas Arts Center, 947 W. Lake Mead Blvd.