Saturday, May 18, 2024

Botany Town Centre hosts Skate Out East

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Kids have been able to show their artistic sides and customise their skateboards.

Art is at the heart of community, and a recently held event, Skate Out East, was a collaboration between organisations that encourage kids to connect with one another, their artistic side and the outdoors.

Arts Out East, Botany Town Centre, Lucie Blaze and Boardertown all came together with the support of Te Tuhi and the Howick Local Board to develop a workshop that ran over two days and provided kids with mentorship and resources to customise their boards and get them skating.

Centre manager Kerrie Hughes says, “As the heart of our community, we enjoy connecting and making sure that the interests and needs of all the community are met through a variety of events, especially after the last few years. It’s great to see families and kids out enjoying themselves once more.”

Lucie Blaze, a graphic designer, artist, and student of Arts Therapy at Whitecliffe, ran the first day of Skate Out East, on November 12 at Botany Library where children were guided by her expertise to paint skateboards.

“This was a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate to youth that there are different outlets for creative energy and that in a hyper-digital world, it can be a cathartic experience to get involved in physically making art,” says Blaze.

“I find creativity essential to our lives and I’m passionate about sharing this outlook with the world through workshops and everything I do. Skateboard designing workshops are unique in the way they celebrate the board as a tool for self-expression and visual storytelling.

“I strive to inspire kids to create artworks that tell a message about things they like or dislike, things they would like to change or to make artwork that will remind them why they’re awesome.”

As arts brokers who support creatives and community groups in east Auckland, Arts Out East extended Blaze’s idea by connecting with skate and snow retailer, Boardertown. A second day of Skate Out East was held on Sunday, November 13 at Barry Curtis Skatepark.

Boardertown, which has a retail store in Botany Town Centre, kept the momentum going by helping with skateboard parts, building and sharing skating tips and tricks with the children. Dylan Govender and Iggy Mushonga from Boardertown, who gave their time and energy in the Sunday session, are also locals and were enthused to share their passion for skating.

Tim Guy of Boardertown says, “We recognise the importance of growing and engaging community, and particularly opening doors for youth to participate in skateboarding. When Arts Out East approached us to be involved with this project, we jumped at the opportunity.

“Art has always been an integral part of skateboarding, helping to define the culture and sub-cultures that make up the skate community. It was amazing to see the creativity and individuality expressed by the youth involved and we are stoked to be a small part of it.”

Hosting events for kids to come together outdoors, outside of a school environment, feels particularly important after lockdowns and disrupted socialisation. This is a chance for youths to meet and interact constructively and to bond with others who share similar interests.

Boardertown, which has a retail store in Botany Town Centre, kept the momentum going by helping with skateboard parts, building and sharing skating tips and tricks with the children. Dylan Govender and Iggy Mushonga from Boardertown, who gave their time and energy in the Sunday session, are also locals and were enthused to share their passion for skating.

“As arts brokers, it’s our job to support creatives and cultural groups in the area, to produce and promote arts, cultural events and projects in East Auckland. In this process, connecting with local venues and business associations also happens. We were thrilled to organically make further local connections between Lucie, Boardertown, Botany Library and Botany Town Centre. It was a real pleasure to see youth inspired in their local area and all of those who contributed to the project. Young people could see their potential through these creatives and local talent like Dylan and Iggy.”

Events like Skate Out East are one of the ways Botany Town Centre supports the local community, check upcoming events here 

To see other local projects funded by Arts Out East visit https://www.instagram.com/artsouteast/

 

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