new haven

Skate Park in New Haven Aims to Bring Community Together

NBC Universal, Inc.

A new skateboarding facility has made its way to New Haven and it's going to be much more than a place for local skaters to show off their skills.

The bowl was originally built in Washington, D.C. six years ago for a festival at the Kennedy Center. Now, with the help of Finding A Line New Haven, Artspace New Haven and Yale's Schwarzman Center, it is making its home on George Street. Organizers say they want to use the space to bring the community together, while also serving as a community-sourced public art project.

"Artists, they think radically about public space. And I knew that most of the artists I knew were skateboarding," said Artspace New Haven's Executive Director Lisa Dent.

"It's also a place where skateboarding is movement," said Dr. Neftalie Williams, Yale Schwarzman Center's visiting fellow in race, culture and community. "It is also the structure itself, being sculpture. So it is art that people are living and breathing and creating at that moment. I think people are really going to see both their community and themselves reflected in all of it."

"Finding A Line New Haven is nonprofit initiative conceived of an ongoing community-sourced public art project that uses skateboarding and the arts to activate unused public space and bring together creative ecosystems," said community organizer J. Joseph. "That's groups of folks who work on projects for and with their communities."

"There's a core group of young kids that skate at Scantlebury constantly that are always interested in what we're doing so just to see their faces when they came across the bowl was dope," said community organizer Steve Roberts. "We kind of keep those guys out of trouble and we just want to give them opportunities to have unique experiences and really know what goes on and I think this bowl will be another one of those opportunities."

The unveiling of this skate park coincides with the city's Open Source Festival. Visitors will be able to learn how to skate and enjoy this new structure in their community.

"Right now it's really great to be able to unite the history of New Haven with the skaters that have been here before, the skaters that will come in the future and allow them to see that New Have has been a home and a hub for so long," said Williams.

"Skateboarders to me are artists and we wanted to bring other kinds of activities and other kinds of objects into the public space so that they could be interacted with," said Dent.

The skate park will be in New Haven for the next 10 months.

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