Parade organizers seek out homegrown talent to join elephant artist ranks
By Andrea Papagianis
Organizers of the Elephant Parade, which makes its first United States appearance early this fall in Dana Point, are calling on locals to get involved in the design process.
The Dana Point Tourism Business Improvement District, the group responsible for bringing the international showcase of decorated Asian Elephant sculptures to the Southern California shore, have opened a design contest to Dana Point and Capistrano Beach residents. One local’s design will be applied to a large elephant sculpture and featured alongside the designs of celebrity artists like Tommy Hilfiger, Katy Perry and Khloe Kardashian, to name a few.
Locals of all ages are eligible to enter. Entries must be turned in by Thursday, June 27. To enter, visit www.paradetothepoint.com and download the Artist Application form, also attached.
“Local support is critical to the success of the event and these outreach programs provide a tremendous platform to help educate and engage the Dana Point community,” said Rob Koscelnik, general manager of the DoubleTree Suites and chairman of TBID.
Earlier this summer, fourth- and fifth-grade students from across Capistrano Unified School District were a part of a similar community outreach program. More than 2,000 students from Southern California participated in a two-week curriculum and used their experiences to design miniature elephant statues.
One student’s design will be placed on a 6-foot sculpture, displayed in Dana Point and auctioned off. Proceeds from auctioned sculptures will help benefit conservation efforts of The Asian Elephant Foundation. An opening showcase in late August at Doheny State Beach will welcome the sculptures, which will be placed throughout Dana Point–both indoors and out.
Since its beginning in 2006, Elephant Parade has raised more than $5 million for Asian elephant conservation and an estimated 8 million people worldwide have experienced the showcases.
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