Poetry, music and art offer healing at Uvalde’s El Progreso Public Library

“Shhh” is not a sound you’ll hear at the El Progreso Memorial Library in Uvalde. After the tragic massacre at Robb Elementary School on May 24, the public library was filled with the boisterous voices of children playing in the children’s book area, the yelps and yelps of rescue dogs at a recent event, and superhero-themed fans bouncing houses in the 30- foot rotunda during a mid-June festival.

On Saturday, the sounds of San Antonio musician Rudy Hearst could be heard singing and playing guitar as wife Zet Baer and her colleague Joan Frederick, both visual artists, gently guided youngsters, applied watercolors and layers of colored duct tape to sheets blank paper, creating playful collages.

Hearst wandered among the tables and improvised texts about what he observed. “There sits Seth with a big brush! One day in the library no one says “shut up”.

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