Finding A Line: Skateboarding, Music, and Media opened Friday night at the Kennedy Center. Curated in partnership between the Kennedy Center's Director of Jazz, Jason Moran, and artist/sculptor/skater Ben Ashworth, the ten day festival is an amazing mash-up of skate park, art shows, panel discussions, and music, all taking place in or in front of the Kennedy Center itself.
The skate bowl and ramps were two years in the making (and constructed by Ashworth + team, at George Mason University), and – not to take away from the excellent skate-centric art (including a deck show curated by Cuba Skate) and music elements (Loud Boyz opened the festival, btw, and the local DJ/band lineup to follow is equally 1 0 0 ) – for our money, the open skate sessions are the most incredible part of the whole thing. It's not a rarity for a cultural F O R T R E S S to extend an invite (beyond its usual programming) that reaches + engages an audience who may otherwise not partake (and while we're on the topic, we'd like to state for the record that we don't think BYT gets enough credit for their last 5-7 years of holding hands with/opening doors to institutions like the Hirshhorn, National Geographic, the National Archives, and yes, even the Kennedy Center), but it's almost unheard of for that invitation be so inclusive, and so hyperlocal, that it essentially functions as a gift to the city in which it resides. All events surrounding Finding A Line are free, all ages, and geared towards servicing the underground. Southern California we are not, but skate culture runs incredibly deep in Washington, DC, and we can only imagine that there were more than a few skaters there who'd been chased off Freedom Plaza/monument steps/the DOWNTOWN area at large (and that they were indulging in a little bit of righteous gratification while dropping in adjacent to golden columns + a sheer expanse of marble).
While much of the press surrounding Finding A Line has focused on its millennial appeal, on Friday night that golden millennial bracket was, well, heavily bracketed with #coolyouth, #coolerparents, and a not insignificant number of aspirationally fit skateboard legends. It was also (and also unsurprisingly) heavily male, and we were jazzed to see that tomorrow's open skate session is sponsored by DC's sPACYcLOUD + Skate GIrls Tribe. GET IT, LADIES.