PART OF GROWING UP is learning to communicate effectively – not only through accepted social behaviors but as an expression of creative ideas and imagination. Bridge to Skate recognizes the importance of creativity in our lives. We feel that skateboarding itself represents a creative form of free-flowing expression. But we also see potential and, often, the great untapped talent in our kids for representing their world artistically. In fact, “art” can manifest itself in many different ways, from painting skateboards to handcrafting to dramatic performance. At BTS we aim to tap these reservoirs of creativity so kids have a way to share, and to experience for themselves, what they are thinking. It can be magical!
Around Central America, it’s not typical for schools to offer an art program. We’re trying to change this. We think every child should have the opportunity to paint a picture or learn about their local crafts. We also think it’s crucial to have these options for children that may not be as talented in sports. BTS brings art to schools that would not otherwise have access. In addition to helping students with common art practices, the Art Program features guest artists who teach the authentic and historically rich indigenous art forms of the local region. This is a free after-school program that is open to all neighborhood children (and adults!).
Skateboard Art Clinics
Bridge to Skate hosts Skateboard Art Clinics using the old, broken or unusable skateboards that are donated or traded in to our program. Not only does this give youth an opportunity to learn about recycling, but it also gives them a chance to take complete ownership of their new template. Our art clinics give kids an opportunity to paint their skateboard however they choose, along with the materials to execute their project. Some of the boards end up being small installations of art themselves! Once ownership like this is established, care is taken with the possession – a key lesson that can be applied to all aspects of life, from other material goods to friends and family. Ownership builds pride and adds value. Artistic expression provides a critical means.
Deck for Dreams
This is an outgrowth of our Skateboard Discovery programming, but relates directly to creating art. Through Decks for Dreams, kids have an opportunity to paint a skateboard deck. Their artwork is then sold for the amount of money it would take to purchase their “dream.” Contact Bridge to Skate for more information.
Bridge to Skate hosts a number of events all year long, often with the intent of raising funds for our many community-related projects. A key connector (“Bridge”) between participants and those attending are the products our youth create, which they can then sell through the program. Attaching a value to their creativity builds self confidence, demonstrating they represent something of value to others. They also learn the basic principles of commerce, as well as marketing, which serves them well beyond BTS and when navigating the real world.