PIQUA — Piqua Arts Council, Mainstreet Piqua and the Piqua Area Chamber of Commerce are partnering together on a mask decorating contest.

The Bureau of Workers Compensation has delivered masks to small businesses across the state and many of these businesses have fewer associates than the number of masks provided. Piqua Arts Council, Mainstreet Piqua and the Piqua Chamber of Commerce wanted to do something to help the businesses downtown and to provide an art activity for the kids in the community.

“I kept looking at the masks and thinking that there had to be a way to turn them into an art project,” Piqua Arts Council Executive Director Jordan Knepper said. “They just seemed like a blank canvas to me. My best friend also has a 5 year old, and I kept thinking if she made her own mask, maybe she’d be more likely to wear it. We don’t want to limit the creativity of the children either, so they are welcome to use any medium to create their mask.”

Piqua Arts Council, Mainstreet Piqua and the Piqua Area Chamber of Commerce will collect the masks from businesses that don’t need them or have extras and will make them available for pick up at Susie’s Big Dipper, the circulation desk in the Children’s Department at the Piqua Public Library, the Piqua Area Chamber of Commerce and at the Piqua Farmer’s Market. Anyone wanting to participate should feel free to pick up one free mask per child.

“We recommend having the child work on a piece of paper to come up with their design and then transfer it back to the mask,” Knepper said. “That will allow them to work our mistakes before they go straight to the mask. We’re unsure of the number of masks we’ll have, but we know we are starting with about 100 just between Piqua Arts Council, Mainstreet Piqua and the Piqua Area Chamber of Commerce.”

Participants will need to complete their design by 4 p.m. Aug. 21 and submit an image of them wearing their mask to the Piqua Arts Council through its website, www.PiquaArtsCouncil.org. Winners for the competition will be announced on Aug. 28.

There will be three age groups with a boy and a girl being chosen for each age group: 6 and younger, 7 through 12 and 13 to 18. Each winner will get a $50 Mainstreet Piqua Gift Certificate that can be used at downtown businesses like This n That Candy on Main, Winans Chocolates and Coffee, Susie’s Big Dipper and more.

For more information, visit the Piqua Arts Council website, www.PiquaArtsCouncil.org, or call the Piqua Arts Council at 937-773-9630.