The Abilene Cultural Affairs Council, along with other community leaders, realized that Abilene needed an event that would emphasize the importance our city places on families, art and literacy, as well as involve many of the great art and community organizations located in beautiful downtown Abilene.

The idea of a family friendly festival finally came to life in 2012. The National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature (NCCIL) was sponsoring an exhibition of the original illustrations from “The Lorax.” This exhibit, along with “The Art of Dr. Seuss – A Retrospective” at the Center for Contemporary Arts and the Dr. Seuss Traveling Sculpture Garden, created a unique platform for a downtown festival.

With the help of local artists, cultural organizations, businesses and volunteers, the festival was a great success and has become an annual event each June.

Our festival has a mascot, Mini Moo the Zebu (a miniature cow), who helps spread the word about the festival by visiting local schools. Each year, the CALF will host a new children’s book illustrator in conjunction with the NCCIL’s summer exhibition.

A portion of the proceeds from CALF benefit the HeARTS for the ARTS program.

2017 Events

The Junior League of Abilene partners with the Abilene Cultural Affairs Council to sponsor an event or a reading and craft session at the Children’s Art & Literacy Festival. This year, the Junior League of Abilene will be sponsoring a craft event and sharing the joys of and reading by hosting a reading of “Charlotte’s Web.” We are so proud of our membership for consistently contributing to such a fantastic national festival that celebrates those we love and serve here in our own community.


2018 honoree: Oliver Jeffers
2017 honoree: Garth Williams
2016 honoree: Mark Teague
2015 honoree: David Shannon
2014 honoree: William Joyce
2013 honoree: Walter Wick
2012 honoree: Dr. Seuss