Kids Make Their Own Blues Instruments with betterArts

Elyna Grapstein, far left, Kevin Carr, center, and Matt Smith, right, help local children create harmonicas and tambourines at Blues in the Bay Festival on Saturday in Alexandria Bay, N.Y.
betterArts on Saturday offered a free arts and crafts station for children to make blues instruments on the front lawn of Bay House Artisans in Alexandria Bay, N.Y.

The local non-profit, based out of Better Farm in Redwood, received funding from Watertown Evening Rotary to provide children with free arts supplies and instruction to create tambourines and harmonicas out of popsicle sticks, rubber bands, paper plates, and bells.

Children also had the opportunity to decorate the musical instruments with paint and crayons. The event was put on in conjunction with Alexandria Bay's Blues in the Bay music festival.  Here are some photographs from the afternoon:

BetterArts is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to increasing access to the arts throughout the North Country through the provision of free and low-cost workshops, residencies, private instruction, studio and gallery space, performances, and events. For more information, visit or call (315) 482-2536.

Nicole Caldwell

Nicole Caldwell is a self-taught environmentalist, green-living savant and sustainability educator with more than a decade of professional writing experience. She is also the co-founder of Better Farm and president of betterArts. Nicole’s work has been featured in Mother Earth News, Reader’s Digest, Time Out New York, and many other publications. Her first book, Better: The Everyday Art of Sustainable Living, is due out this July through New Society Publishers.