Finding a Line

Finding a Line is something we do, not just something we see.  It’s not just a performance, it’s a process.  And while we can seek it on our own, we can only find it together.
Finding a Line at the Ford is part of an ongoing, community-sourced public art project at the intersection of music, art, photography, filmmaking and whatever else is inspired by the creative act of skateboarding.
What does it look like when an artist in one discipline inspires an artist in another? What about when adventurous improvisers speak to each other through different mediums? Does that happen? What’s THAT like? Wouldn’t that be incredible to experience?  
That’s what the creative minds behind Finding a Line hope happens.
Artists in different disciplines inspire each other’s work every day, and perhaps none more visibly or skillfully than jazz musicians and skateboarders. Both of these communities create in “sessions” – loosely structured gatherings where new ideas are explored and boundaries are tested. While loose sessions are usually only for insiders of a creative community, tightly rehearsed performances are what’s shared with the public. Jazz sessions might be held in an apartment or a studio and skateboard sessions play out on a downtown plaza or a backyard ramp. But on September 29, it will happening on stage. 
With Finding a Line, sessions are a process for artists to bring ideas into form with each other and with the public. This involves an element of risk but art is risky and we embrace that. We embrace risk by sharing it and we share risk by learning to trust each other. Any good band or skateboarding crew knows this.  
As a result, Finding a Line is informed by something deeper than aesthetic trends. This creative process of trusting each other and taking risks together empowers us to accomplish together what we can’t achieve alone, revealing exciting possibilities for our shared future.
One Finding a Line participant in Washington, D.C. summed it up beautifully. “For me, Finding a Line means finding my own line in life. It means getting out into the city, discovering other people and discovering myself.” We welcome you to the Ford Theatres and hope you enjoy Finding a Line.

- by Garth Ross and Ben Ashworth

Ben Ashworth is a  well-known force in the local DC skating community and faculty member at George Mason University’s School of Art; Garth Ross is the former VP of Community Engagement at The Kennedy Center, where Finding a Line took place in 2015, and currently serves as Executive Director of the Schwarzman Center at Yale University.

Ben Ashworth and Garth Ross


September 25, 2018

5:30 - 9:30PM - The Nation Skate X CSEF Exhibition

6:30PM - Panel Discussion:  Exploring Issues of Race & Diversity in Skateboarding Culture, moderated by Neftalie Williams

7:45PM - Trick Flicks: A Night of Shorts, curated by music video director/former pro skateboarder Laban and Diana Wyenn

September 29, 2018

8:00PM - Jason Moran and The Bandwagon Finding a Line: Skateboarding, Music and Media