On the third Monday in June, around 45 high school students arrived at The Light Box at Goldman Warehouse, an art studio in Wynwood, for the first day of their summer internship. By Tuesday, they had a big project to finish. The teens—part of ArtWorks, a paid internship program run by Miami nonprofit Arts for Learning—rolled in to see tables stacked with acrylic paint, brushes and plain black helmets. Lyft, a transportation network, was hoping the interns could jazz up the safety gear.

In April, Lyft launched in Greater Miami, allowing locals and tourists alike to enjoy downtown, Brickell and Coconut Grove neighborhoods on two wheels. The company hosted an event on the first day of summer, June 21st, where they gave away helmets and promoted safe scooting techniques. While looking for a local nonprofit to partner with, Lyft’s marketing team turned to The Miami Foundation’s Nonprofit Central, a database listing hundreds of local nonprofits that’s easily searchable by name and category. They discovered Arts for Learning (A4L), which runs arts programs for more than 5,000 kids and teens in Miami-Dade and Broward counties. Impressed, Lyft reached out and asked if the organization had students or volunteers who could paint the helmets. Leaders at A4L tapped the ArtWorks teens for the job. The ArtWorks program is supported by a grant from the Jorge M. Pérez Family Foundation at The Miami Foundation.

Video: Watch how local nonprofit, Arts For Learning, and Lyft collaborated to creatively promote safe scooting.

“We want interns to understand how art, visual or performative, can have an effect on world issues,” said Carolina Candelaria, A4L director of communications. Throughout their internship, the teens, ages 14 to 18, talked about how art can impact everything from global crises to local initiatives and, in this case, street and sidewalk safety.

Before getting started on the helmets, Teaching Artist Yanira Collado gave a painting demonstration. Then, the ArtWorks interns, alongside interns from another of A4L’s community-based programs Wall (In), got creative. They clustered around tables and painted the helmets with flowers, letters, stripes, polka dots and bright, abstract swirls.

For ArtWorks intern Elany the day was a success. “I’ve never painted on helmets before,” she said. “I felt it was a good outlet for creativity. And it was great to see big organizations do good things, especially as this was a free public service to the community.”

That Friday, the first day of summer, about 300 people showed up to Bayfront Park for the event. Lyft employees unlocked scooters, gave tutorials and let riders practice on a course lined with cones. Attendees walked away with free helmets decorated by the ArtWorks teens.

“It was amazing to see students given the opportunity to not only make art but also share it with the community,” Carolina said. “There’s a chance that students could see someone riding a scooter, wearing their artwork.”

For Lyft Scooters Miami market manager, Diego Perelmuter, scooter safety is a top priority. “We’re thrilled to have Lyft Scooters in Miami, which provide affordable, sustainable mobility options in partnership with the city,” he said. “Thanks to Arts for Learning, Lyft was able to distribute unique Miami helmets to help make our community safer on the street.”

Marissa Conrad is a journalist covering culture, tech and science.

You may also like:

Pérez Family Foundation Grants Inspire Miami’s Next-Gen Artists

No Comments

Post A Comment