Together, we can bring Play Everywhere to Oakland
We were lucky enough to be selected as one of 200 finalists in the KaBOOM Play Everywhere Challenge, a $1 million, national competition to award out-of-the-box ways to make play easy, available, and fun for kids and families—especially for those who lack access to safe, stimulating places today. We’ve got big ideas to spark kids’ imaginations and get their bodies moving here in Oakland, and we’re working hard to win the funds to make them happen. But we can dream ever bigger with your help.
What does it mean to bring Play Everywhere to Oakland?
Science and common sense agree: kids need play to grow up healthy, resilient and ready for life. Evidence shows missing out on the chance to play puts kids at risk for challenges ranging from obesity to anxiety to trouble adjusting in school. Here in Oakland, like the rest of the country, not all kids have the same access to places where they can engage in safe, creative activity. That status quo isn’t the right answer for Oakland. Play is just too important to our kids’ healthy development for anyone to be left out.
Earlier this spring, Family Friendly Oakland got together with Keep Oakland Beautiful and local artists to dream up fun and artistic ways to bring play into the lives of Oakland’s children—especially for those who need it most—because we know that’s key to making our community a great place to grow up. We want to overcome boredom and blight by installing ten playful and engaging mosaics on city trash cans at busy bus stops and intersections in Oakland where low-income children and caregivers often wait…and wait. Our trash cans are everywhere, but are mundane, ugly and easy targets for graffiti. By adding color, art & whimsy we’ll encourage engagement, conversation and wonder, and provide fun “PLAYces” for kids and adults.
Our PlayEverywhere Trashcan Mosaic project was selected as a finalist out of over 1,000 applications nationwide; if we’re named as one of the 50 winners this fall, we’ll start our project in September!
How can you get involved?
We know more places to play builds better bonds—among kids, neighbors, and communities—and those relationships are the foundation for communities that thrive. Our proposal to create more playful public art on trashcans around town is a modest but mighty boost to make our city more welcoming. If we’re selected as a winner, we hope it will be just the beginning of a larger effort to make play a way of life in everyday and unexpected places – sidewalks, vacant lots, bus stops, open streets.
With more local investment and support, we can make this vision a reality—and take it to new heights. Contact us to learn more about our idea to turn everyday spaces in PLAYces here in Oakland.