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Learn How to Get Started with Street Art


If seeing Banksy at the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library made you want to try  your hand at street art but you don’t know where to begin, then call 626.0807 today to sign up for Beginning Street Art. It’s free, but registration is required.


Even Banksy had to start somewhere, right? Young adult author Shannon Lee Alexander will explain the basic terminology and techniques for getting started with street art. You’ll make some portable street art to display at the library and to take home. She’ll also have her two novels, Love and Other Unknown Variables and Life After Juliet, for sale and to autograph after the program.


The focus is for teens, but adults are welcome. 


Beginning Street Art will be from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 19, at KHCPL Main, 220 N. Union St.


Alexander is a former middle school language arts teacher and mother of two who lives in Indianapolis. She was inspired to write her first novel based on the death of a dear friend. Oh, and she’s a book addict and a Harry Potter fangirl. Her work-in-progress features a street artist.








Love and Other Unknown Variables

Charlie Hanson has a clear vision of his future. A senior at Brighton School of Mathematics and Science, he knows he’ll graduate, go to MIT, and inevitably discover the solutions to the universe’s greatest unanswerable problems. He’s that smart. But Charlie’s future blurs the moment he reaches out to touch the tattoo on a beautiful girl’s neck. The future has never seemed very kind to Charlotte Finch, so she’s counting on the present. She’s not impressed by the strange boy pawing at her until she learns he’s a student at Brighton, where her sister has just taken a job as the English teacher. With her encouragement, Charlie orchestrates the most effective prank campaign in Brighton history. And in doing so, he puts his own future in jeopardy. By the time he learns Charlotte is ill—and that the pranks were a way to distract Ms. Finch from Charlotte’s illness—Charlotte’s gravitational pull on Charlie is too great to overcome. Soon he must choose between the familiar formulas he’s always relied on, or the girl he’s falling for (at far more than 32 feet per second).



Life After Juliet

Becca Hanson was never able to make sense of the real world. When her best friend Charlotte died, she gave up on it altogether. Fortunately, Becca can count on her books to escape—to other times, other places, other people ... until she meets Max Herrera. He’s experienced loss, too, and his gorgeous, dark eyes see Becca the way no one else in school can. As it turns out, kissing is a lot better in real life than on a page. But love and life are a lot more complicated in the real world...and happy endings aren't always guaranteed. The companion novel to Love and Other Unknown Variables is an exploration of loss and regret, of kissing and love, and most importantly, a celebration of hope and discovering a life worth living again.


Artist Sam Prifogle's Work to be Showcased at KHCPL 



The work of Sam Prifogle, an artist originally from Kokomo, will be showcased in August in the Art Gallery at the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library.


“Many people still don’t know KHCPL has an Art Gallery on the lower level of KHCPL Main downtown,” said Lisa Fipps, Director of Marketing and Community Engagement. “We own a number of valuable pieces, including The Tiger by Misch Kohn. We display work from our own collection regularly, but we love to feature local artists. Sam’s work is amazing. We’re excited that he’ll have a show the month of August – especially since we’ll have a Banksy on exhibit starting August 4. We think that those who come to see Sam’s work will appreciate the Banksy and vice versa.”






At the age of 12, Sam began drawing comics and superheroes. He continued exploring different forms of art into his teens, never quite knowing what direction to take. It wasn't until tragedy struck when he lost his younger brother that Sam began to get serious about his art, exploring the surreal and abstract to alleviate his pain and express emotion. 


Sam drew, painted, and sculpted throughout his teens and 20s, even attending Purdue University to pursue a liberal arts degree with a major in photography, an interest he developed in high school. 


By the age of 25, Sam had all but abandoned his craft as he worked on his other career. Fast forward 10 years when Sam decided he wanted to paint some abstract pieces to supplement his income. His work slowly began to create a following. Sam expanded his work to the surreal, then to comic-style art, and finally to the surreal portraits that his fans enjoy today. 


Sam has been a featured artist with the RAWartists organization, often showcasing at the Old National Center in Indianapolis. 


Sam can be reached and followed on Facebook, on Instagram @doodlesofamadman, and by email at


Banksy Booked @ KHCPL


The Kokomo-Howard County Public Library will be the first library in the world to host a Banksy: the Haight Street Rat.


Banksy is a legendary, stealth street artist from England. Since the early 1990s, he’s created political and social commentary street art on streets, walls, and bridges in cities around the world. When he was in San Francisco in 2010 for the release of the Exit Through the Gift Shop documentary, he stenciled the Haight Street Rat on the side of a bed-and-breakfast. For the art, Banksy stenciled a rat sporting a Che Guevara-like cap. The rat holds a paint pen in his hand and the start of a long, red line. At the other end of the line were the words “This is Where I Draw the Line.”


“If sold, it would likely bring in more than $1 million,” said Lisa Fipps, Director of Marketing and Community Engagement at the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library. “Each piece he creates is titled, but people regularly refer to any of his work simply as ‘a Banksy.’ Whenever people hear of Banksy being in a location, they flock to the area and watch for a Banksy to pop up. When it does, there’s a media and social media frenzy, and people try to remove pieces of the Banksy to keep – even if it means removing walls bit by bit. His street art is THAT in demand. Some people want a piece of a Banksy because of their love of street art; however, others remove pieces to sell for profit.”


Kokomo-Howard County Public Library downtown will host the 12-foot tall, 420-pound Haight (pronounced like eight with an h) Street Rat starting with the unveiling at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 4, during Kokomo’s Downtown First Friday. 


How can a piece of street art from San Francisco go on exhibit at the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library? Art collector Brian Greif paid more than $40,000 to the bed-and-breakfast’s management to cover repairs to the structure in order to take down the wall. Art-restoration specialists mounted the wall slats on corrugated aluminum.


Grief then put the Haight Street Rat on tour, providing the host site be free to the public and promote the value of street art.


“One of our employees, Trina Evans, Branch Assistant, learned all about it by watching the documentary Saving Banksy,” Fipps said. “Library leaders talked about it and loved the idea. There was only one concern: Would the city fear a rash of graffiti? We talked with Mayor Greg Goodnight and Deputy Mayor David Tharp and they showed nothing but excitement about the idea of the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library hosting a Banksy. The city welcomes more street art mural projects on various building and along trails.”


Contact Tharp to get approval for a street art building mural project: or 765.456.7447.


The Kokomo-Howard County Public Library expects people to come to Kokomo from surrounding cities and states to see the Banksy, and is partnering with the Greater Kokomo Visitors’ Bureau to help get the word out through various tourism channels to street art and Banksy fans.


The Kokomo-Howard County Public Library has several events planned for Banksy booked@KHCPL: 


Banksy Booked @ KHCPL Unveiling

5:30 to 9 p.m., Friday, Aug. 4 * KHCPL Main

See the Haight Street Rat on the second floor of KHCPL Main, 220 N. Union St. Those who sign the guest book will receive a commemorative pin while supplies last. Children will practice street art by stenciling on the library’s windows, and street art in chalk on the sidewalks. There will be a station where everyone is invited to work on a community street art project. Enter the “What Would the Rat Say?” contest for a chance to win a basket of Banksy-related items. Roam the library to find posters and prints of other Banksys.


Beginning Street Art

2 to 4 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 19 * KHCPL Main

Even Banksy had to start somewhere. Young adult author Shannon Lee Alexander will explain the basic terminology and techniques for getting started with street art. You’ll make some portable street art to display at the library and to take home. She’ll also have her two novels, Love and Other Unknown Variables, and Life After Juliet, for sale and to autograph after the program. For teens and young adults.



Graffiti Art Lettering

6:00 to 7:00 p.m. * Monday, Sept. 18 * KHCPL South

Transform your name into graffiti art. Join us for an evening of DIY fun! All supplies provided. Space limited. Call 453.4150 or visit to register. For teens and young adults.


“The more people learn of Banksy booked@KHCPL, the more ideas to promote street art during the time of the exhibit surface,” Fipps said. “So there could be additional events or programs announced at a later date. To stay abreast of what’s going on with Banksy booked@KHCPL, note that all social media posts will include the #Banksybooked@KHCPL hashtag.” 


KHCPL First Library in Indiana to Create a Nature Explore Outdoor Classroom

Community has its first Outdoor Classroom thanks to

memorial gifts, grants, donations, and volunteers



The Nature Explore Outdoor Classroom’s grand opening was on May 23, 2017, at KHCPL Russiaville, 315 Mesa Drive.

It’s made possible because of our generous donors:


Gene and Wilma Parks Endowment

In memory of Roberta Lineback

Howard County Commissioners

Duke Energy

Friends of the Kokomo-Howard County Library

Integrity EDM

Howard County Master Gardeners

Lowe’s Heroes

Kohl’s Cares

GM Cares

In 2016, after receiving a gift of nearly $13,000 from the Gene and Wilma Parks Endowment, with a stipulation the money be used for a project at KHCPL Russiaville, the library turned to crowd sourcing to get not only additional funding, but also support for the Nature Explore Outdoor Classroom.

What's an Outdoor Classroom?

So what is an outdoor classroom? Just what its name suggests: an outdoor place where children can learn. Outdoor is the key word.

Child development research shows that children need and benefit from more time outdoors.

“The retention rate for learning by doing is 75 percent compared with just 5 percent for lecture-based learning,” according to a Bethel Learning Institute study. “When students are learning outdoors, they are using all of their senses and their abilities to absorb and take in information. They are also learning an appreciation for nature and developing active stewardship for the natural areas in their communities.”

“We want every child to succeed in school and at life,” said Faith Brautigam, Director of KHCPL. “In children, play creates the foundation for future learning. Our Nature Explore Outdoor Classroom encourages exploration and imaginative play in a natural environment that helps to develop physical abilities and cognitive skills. As a destination for families, school groups, early childhood students, and the conservation-minded, it’s an added attraction for Russiaville and Howard County.”


More and more parents are realizing that kids today don’t play enough, get enough exercise, or spend time outdoors.

“Play isn’t a waste of time,” said Susan Bednarz, a KHCPL employee with more than 16 years of experience in early childhood education who helped get the Nature Explore Outdoor Classroom up and running.

Just a few of the various benefits of play, according to the National Association for the Education of Young Children, include the following:

• cognitive skills – like math and problem-solving in a pretend grocery store

• physical abilities – like balancing blocks and running on the playground

• new vocabulary – like the words they need to play with toy dinosaurs

• social skills – like playing together in a pretend car wash

• literacy skills – like creating a menu for a pretend restaurant

Think about all the skills you learned with outdoor play: problem-solving when building a fort, understanding the importance of preserving natural habitats when studying shells at the beach, and social skills when interacting with other kids in the neighborhood.

“Kids have to have calendars these days to keep track of all they’re involved in — all in an effort to learn more, do more,” said Lisa Fipps, Director of Marketing and Community Engagement at KHCPL. “We’ve forgotten how much they learn and grow through play. Plus play helps reduce stress and anxiety.”

“We were grateful for the Gene and Wilma Parks Endowment donation, and the patrons’ vision for the gift ties in with our long-term strategy of making each of our locations a destination spot and providing more outdoor programming,” Brautigam said.

Duke Energy Foundation Grant




As soon as the Howard County Master Gardener Association heard about the Nature Explore Outdoor Classroom, the organization made a $500 donate and its members volunteered labor.

And then KHCPL received a nearly $10,000 grant from the Duke Energy Foundation.

“Duke Energy is committed to sustainability in all its operations,” said Kevin Johnston, government and community relations manager for Howard County. “Young children who learn important lessons about environmental responsibility and stewardship are more likely to carry those positive messages into adulthood to help maintain and improve the quality of life for the entire community.”

“Because of KHCPL Russiaville’s location being so close to Clinton, Tipton, and Carroll counties, we foresee it drawing in and benefitting not only those from Kokomo and Howard County, but also those communities,” Brautigam said. “With its focus on outdoor education, we believe it will offer new opportunities to partner with others and will be enjoyed by groups from schools and early childhood centers as well as families. It will also allow us to host more library events on-site at KHCPL Russiaville rather than using other Russiaville locations, as we’ve done in the past.”

“We know that the Duke Energy Foundation receives an overwhelming number of funding requests each year and are thrilled that they recognized this project’s potential.”

The momentum kept building.

KHCPL received another major gift for the project: a $15,000 anonymous gift in memory of Roberta Lineback.


In Memory of a Teaching Legend


Roberta passed away on Nov. 17, 2016, after an extended illness. She was a long-time resident of Russiaville. She graduated from Northwestern High School in 1949 and received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in 1970 and 1975 from Indiana University Kokomo. She began teaching kindergarten privately in 1962 and continued until kindergarten classes were added at Western School Corp. She taught at Western Primary School from 1971 to 2000. Roberta was also a member of Bible Baptist Church for over 60 years.

 “I was contacted by a person who wanted Roberta’s legacy to live on, and what a legacy it was, teaching kindergarten for 38 years,” said Fipps. “The donor wanted to help KHCPL Russiaville, but wasn’t quite sure how. The more I listened to the donor talk about Roberta, the more I knew just what to suggest. I told the donor about the Nature Explore Outdoor Classroom at KHCPL Russiaville. The donor loved the idea.”

Roberta touched the lives of people from the library long before the donation. She was KHCPL Board of Trustees President Mary Baker’s kindergarten teacher. “I have fond memories of her,” Baker said. “She was always smiling! Mrs. Lineback was kind, patient, and expected the most from her students.”

“My son had her as a teacher,” Kim Johnson, a clerk in KHCPL’s Outreach Department said. “We loved her. She was a very caring and loving person.”



Karen Foster, a first-grade teacher at Western Primary School, has Roberta to thank for her 22-year teaching career. “She had both of my girls for kindergarten. She let me volunteer in her room every Friday. I did crafts and helped with lessons. I loved how she talked to the children. She didn’t talk down to them. She met them at their level. They knew what she expected of them. They behaved. They learned. I hadn’t gone back to school yet, but before volunteering I thought I’d be a nurse. After watching her with the children, I decided to be a teacher. She was amazing.”

One of Karen’s daughters, Tricia Harlow, also went on to be a teacher at Western. “I remember Mrs. Lineback teaching with a little doll name Astro. We had the best toys. She had a rice table in her room that was amazing. I either played with that or the stilts that she had made out of large cans and ropes. I always liked the assignment we had each week: to go through magazines and find words that started with the same letter of the week. That was always my favorite because I loved to cut and paste. She made learning fun. Sadly, she retired before I got to teach with her. The funny thing is when I smell white rice, I always think of kindergarten. That smell takes me back to that memory every time.”

“What I love about this donation is that the Nature Explore Outdoor Classroom is an early childhood educational installation,” said Brautigam. “Just as she made school and learning fun, this whole project is about allowing young kids to learn in exciting ways. Outdoor classroom learning isn’t about standardized tests and the all the anxiety associated with it. It’s about curiosity, discovering things for yourself, and making learning fun. It sounds as if that’s exactly what kind of teacher Roberta was. There could be no better match in making this possible than with money that is linked to someone whose whole life was dedicated to teaching and helping children learn.”

Howard County Commissioners Give



During the grand opening celebration for the Nature Explore Outdoor Classroom at KHCPL Russiaville, the Howard County Commissioners presented the Kokomo-Howard County Public Library with a $10,000 check.

 “We are excited about this opportunity for our community,” said Paul Wyman, Howard County commissioner. “These projects add to our quality of life and educational opportunities for our children. This type of grant shows how government working in conjunction with other groups and organizations can make great things happen.”

“We are impressed with how the library continually works to be a leader in our community with these types of innovative programs,” said Howard County Commissioner Tyler Moore. “The library is an incredible resource, and this classroom will strengthen their positive impact on our children.” 

“With this project, once again we show how strong partnerships continue to keep Howard County at the forefront,” said Brad Bray, Howard County commissioner. “Howard County continues to be a great place to live and raise your family.”   

 For more information about Nature Explore Outdoor Classrooms, click here.