The Kennedy Center is bringing skateboarding, music and media together during the Finding a Line festival, a 10-day outdoor skate park featuring live music and open skate sessions. The festival started on Friday, Sept. 4 and will continue until Sept. 13.
The center is hosting musical guests daily, who perform alongside the skating bowl and ramps to promote a sense of improvisation, Garth Ross, the vice president for community engagement at the Kennedy Center, said.
Jason Moran, the Kennedy Center’s artistic director for jazz and skateboarder Ben Ashworth collaborated with George Mason University students, local skateboarders and D.C. skate shops to build the skate park located in the Front Plaza of the Kennedy Center.
Loud Boyz, a local punk band, opened the festival Friday night. The band performed a set at the rim of the skate bowl while skaters took turns showing off their moves in front of a live audience.
Ross said that by combining different disciplines of art and culture together, the heart of the festival “is about the Kennedy Center participating in that culture.”
Ross said he hopes D.C. skaters will help to spread the word about the festival throughout their local networks. He added that because so much of the event is based on collaboration and improvisation, one of the curators’ main goals was to make the festival about the community.
“In terms of the process of building, that by the time the festival came, there would be no question of, ‘Would the skate community come?’ because they’ve been part of it all along,” he said.
Guests can also visit three art exhibits inside the Kennedy Center’s Hall of Nations, which include several dozen painted skateboard decks, skateboarding photography, and a display by skateboarding company Element’s Johnny Schillereff.