How We Made Waves in 2018
December 17, 2018

As 2018 comes to a close, the Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Programs crew would like to thank our community for your support, participation, collaboration, and inspiration this year.

Please join us in celebrating our many shared accomplishments:

  • At the beginning of the year, we launched our redesigned website! While we think it’s all awesome (we’re biased), we particularly love the interactive student gallery, which showcases not only the skills of individual artists, but also the power of their collective voices. It celebrates artistic expression, unites a global community of youth passionate about conservation, and inspires visitors to engage with and share the works of art far and wide.
  • We raised awareness of issues both close to home in Massachusetts and of worldwide concern through our art programs. In partnership with Conservation Law Foundation, we launched the Healthy Whale, Healthy Ocean Challenge to drive action for the protection of the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale. Our annual Ocean Awareness Contest invited teens to explore climate change, one of the biggest concerns of our lifetimes. (Keep an eye out for the winners announcement in the new year!)
  • We completed our second year of the NOAA-sponsored Marine Debris Creative Advocacy Competition. 92 students from across the country tackled the marine debris problem through creative campaigns that featured interactive presentations, art shows, upcycling projects, and much more. We are thrilled to see our program participants reporting that the Competition increased their knowledge of environmental issues and inspired ocean-friendly behavior change.

Some of our 2018 Marine Debris Creative Advocacy Competition student winners.

  • Our scholarship programs engaged almost 3,000 students from 58 countries and 48 U.S. states. Our team of judges spent around 2,000 hours reading, watching, and reviewing student work, and Bow Seat awarded over $160,000 to teens and educators to help support their creative talents and amplify their passion for the ocean.

Map of participants in Bow Seat’s 2018 programs.

  • Our students’ artwork helped enhance other organizations’ events on issues ranging from microplastics to climate change. Through these pop-up art shows and events, we helped to bring environmental issues to life, personally connect viewers to ideas, and inspire them to take action.

We partnered with Greenpeace for a special pop-up exhibition aboard the Arctic Sunrise in Long Beach, CA.

  • We welcomed alumni to our crew! Past program participants joined us as interns and Contest judges, at events, and even took over our Instagram feed. Stay tuned in 2019 as we continue to connect, empower, and activate our alumni! Have ideas or want to get involved? We want to hear from you!
  • Our programming, leadership, and students were recognized for their contributions to environmental conservation by the John Muir Association, Project Green Schools, Massachusetts Nonprofit Network, and New England International Donors.
  • We added a new team member and promoted our own young leader! Ren Bettencourt joined us as Project Coordinator, bringing her filmmaking and teaching experience, as well as her love of nature and the arts, to the position. Alyssa Irizarry was promoted to Executive Director and will be responsible for leading Bow Seat to even greater depths in 2019!
  • We also worked with our web team to produce a short video that brings our story to life, and we’re excited to finally share it with you:

Thanks again for your support; we are so grateful to be on this journey with you. Although the threats facing our ocean are daunting, we look ahead to 2019 with hope and energy—to continue inspiring creative dialogue, empathy, and action for our blue planet, to forge new partnerships and deepen existing ones, and to amplify student voices farther and wider through exhibitions, events, and more. We look forward to creating amazing things together next year!

Warm wishes,
Linda, Alyssa, Anne, and Ren

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How We Made Waves in 2018