RAF Case Study | The Snake Run

The Snake Run Project was a large scale community arts project delivered in partnership with the Perth International Arts Festival 2016 Great Southern Program. The project celebrated the 40th anniversary of one of the oldest skate parks in the world.

The project delivered multiple streams of activity:

  • Recording of oral histories of the Snake Run’s first skaters and creators.
  • Stencil art project that created 164 individual stencils that ‘inked the skin’ of a giant Snake painted by local urban arts Chad Marwick.
  • The final editing and presentation of a 25minute documentary by the Matt and Tim Zafir that investigated the international significance of the Snake Run and the role of the community in its creation.
  • Contemporary performance creation with local skateboarders and professional performers that included the creation of a sound design by composer James Gentle.
  • The delivery of a day-long event of bands, skate competitions and art activity.

The project received extensive national and international media exposure and is considered to be one of the highlights of the PIAF 2016 Festival. The project also received massive social media exposure and the highlights reel from the event had over 24,000 views.

Cultural and Economic Impacts:

  • The employment of a core team of ten professional artists in the delivery of the project and paid employment for a total of 27 artists of which 17 were regionally based
  • Artistic excellence achieved through partnership with PIAF.
  • Direct further employment for artistic team as a result of the project, including invitations to work on international projects and new collaborations
  • Established a collaborative partnership between the City of Albany and PIAF
  • Reach into a broader section of the Albany community.
  • Stimulation of the local economy through the influx of visitors for the 40th anniversary event

Social Impacts:

  • The presence of US Skateboarding legend Russ Howell at the event had a huge impact on people’s understanding of the international significance of The Snake Run and amplified the sense of community pride created by the project
  • Reduced the perceived social isolation of skaters from the broader community and revealed skating as an art and physical form to celebrate
  • Cross-generational engagement
  • Empowering boys and men to perform and celebrate their culture in a supported and professional way
  • Increased social cohesion through the celebration of what community can achieve.

For more information: a video of The Snake Run performance highlights.

Image of the Snake Run. Rita Bush skating with Michelle Backhouse in the background

Image of the Snake Run. Rita Bush skating with Michelle Backhouse in the background

Regional Arts Australia acknowledges the traditional owners of Country throughout Australia and pays its respect to their Elders past and present.