Tony Hawk and top skaters team up with award-winning recording artists to benefit at-risk youth.
Tony Hawk and Ben Harper presented the Boards + Bands exhibit to the media at a special Press Conference on Friday at The GRAMMY Museum in Los Angeles, where the boards are on display. Photo: Jody Morris
December 10, 2012 – LOS ANGELES – What do pro skaters do with the boards they skate and destroy? They turn them into skateparks. Legendary skateboarder Tony Hawk and renowned singer-songwriter and musician Ben Harper came together today for a press conference at the GRAMMY Museum in Los Angeles on Friday to discuss a very special project, Boards + Bands (www.BoardsAndBands.org).
A member of the nonprofit Tony Hawk Foundation Board Of Directors, Harper conceived the idea to use pro skaters’ old decks to write song lyrics on and raise funds to build positive recreational outlets for at-risk youth. “I’ve always felt that skateboards are one of the best canvases for art, and noticed that wear and tear only made them look cooler,” said Harper. “I was at Tony’s place and saw a note that a friend of Tony’s had written on a board that had been skated. And being a musician and a skater, it just seemed obvious.”
The Boards + Bands fundraising initiative merges the worlds of skateboarding and music to benefit the work of the Tony Hawk Foundation. Hawk invited a select group of professional skateboarders to donate their personally ridden skateboards and submit the name of their favorite songs. Harper then sent those boards on to the appropriate artists with one simple message: “Please write the lyrics to this skater’s favorite song on his skateboard, and we’ll use it to create more skateparks for kids.”
The chosen recording artists have hand-written the lyrics on these one-of-a-kind skateboards, which are being auctioned at www.BoardsAndBands.org. The skaters and artists who have collaborated include Bucky Lasek and Adam Yauch, Rodney Mullen and Ben Harper, Jamie Thomas and Bob Dylan, Mike Vallely and Tom Petty, Steve Caballero and Metallica, Bob Burnquist and Ben Harper, Lance Mountain and Jimmy Cliff, and Tony Hawk and Paul McCartney.
X Games Champion Bucky Lasek and the Beastie Boys' Adam Yauch teamed up early this year to create this set of boards. Yauch Passed away shortly after completing them, and proceeds from the boards will benefit a skatepark in his hometown of New York City. Photo: Jody Morris
“This is literally a dream come true,” said Hawk. “When Ben Harper first approached me with the idea, I was skeptical because the list of musicians requested was legendary. But they came through, proving that skateboarding’s reach is even broader than we imagined.”
Funds raised through this effort will benefit the Tony Hawk Foundation, which supports at-risk youth through the creation of public skateparks in low-income communities across the U.S. Proceeds from the Bucky Lasek/Adam Yauch collaboration boards will specifically benefit a skatepark project in New York City. These skateparks are safe, sanctioned places for youth to come together, form communities, and practice the sport they love in a healthy environment. Since 2002, the Foundation has helped to fund 512 public skateparks in 50 states.
The Boards + Bands auction will close Thursday, December 13 at 7 PM (PST).
All of the skateboards included in the Boards + Bands program are on display during this special auction at The GRAMMY Museum at LA Live: 800 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90015 (corner of Olympic and Figueroa). Museum hours, admission, and other information can be found at www.grammymuseum.org, or by calling (213) 765-6800.
ABOUT THE TONY HAWK FOUNDATION
A charitable, non-profit organization, the Tony Hawk Foundation was established in 2002 by its namesake, professional skateboarder Tony Hawk, to promote and provide funds for high-quality public skateparks in low-income areas throughout the United States—with an emphasis on the word “quality.” Since then, the Foundation has awarded over $4-million to 512 communities in all 50 States. The Foundation focuses on working with local officials and grassroots, community-based organizations that plan to hire designers and contractors with strong experience designing and building skateparks.
The Tony Hawk Foundation was established by a gift from Tony Hawk. Its directors raise additional funds through events, donations, and continuing contributions from Tony and other entities. In addition to skateparks, the Foundation also makes donations to other children-related charities, as chosen by its Board Of Directors. For more information or to make a donation, visit the Foundation’s Web site at www.tonyhawkfoundation.org. You can also visit THF on facebook at www.facebook.com/tonyhawkfoundation, on Twitter @THawkFoundation, on Pinterest @THawkFoundation, and on Instagram @tonyhawkfoundation.
ABOUT THE GRAMMY MUSEUM
Paying tribute to music’s rich cultural history, this one-of-a-kind, 21st-century Museum explores and celebrates the enduring legacies of all forms of music, the creative process, the art and technology of the recording process, and the history of the premier recognition of excellence in recorded music—the GRAMMY Award. The GRAMMY Museum features 30,000 square feet of interactive and multimedia exhibits located within L.A. LIVE, the downtown Los Angeles sports, entertainment and residential district. Through thought-provoking and dynamic public and educational programs and exhibits, guests can experience music from a never-before-seen insider perspective that only The GRAMMY Museum can deliver. For more information, visit the GRAMMY Museum’s Web site at www.grammymuseum.org.