Perhaps you’ve seen two brand-new, strangely quiet, colorfully decorated Capital Metro buses rolling through your neighborhood recently?
The electric, zero-emission buses are part of Capital Metro’s recently launched Project Connect campaign, an initiative designed to decrease traffic congestion and increase sustainability for Austin’s growing population. As part of the campaign, Capital Metro teamed up with Creative Action to launch a design contest for the students at our Spark School, Lee Lewis Campbell Elementary Media and Performing Arts Institute.
The Electric Bus Art Contest
Students of all ages were tasked with designing art that reflected their idea of a healthy planet. The winning designs were then used to create vinyl wraps for the interior and exteriors of the electric buses, the first of their kind in Central Texas.
The art contest perfectly aligned with our own recently launched sustainability project, Dream Green. Dream Green’s mission is to give youth an informed voice to raise awareness about sustainability, waste reduction, and resource conservation! Throughout the school year, Teaching Artists have worked with students to create art that encapsulates those themes.
Campbell students’ wrap designs were unveiled in early January at a special ceremony at Campbell Elementary. The colorful buses were decorated with self portraits, green trees, and scenes from our city, like bats flying over the capital. Campbell Art Specialist Kevin Abeyta described the art as “vibrant, alive, colorful, handmade.”
“These are the most beautiful of our buses that I’ve seen,” said Ryan Popple, the president of Proterra, the company that manufacturedthe electric buses. At the unveiling, Popple stressed that his company’s buses were the end result of innovation, a skill that the arts help develop.
“You’re all innovators. I guarantee there will be plenty of problems and things you’ll have to solve when you grow up.”
Electric Buses at Community Art Sunday
Attendees of Creative Action’s Community Art Sunday this past weekend were the first to ride the electric buses. Attendees were picked up at Givens Recreation Center and shuttled to the Creative Action office at Springdale General where they were able to participate in art activities centered around sustainability and community. Capital Metro Board Member and Council Member Ann Kitchen also spoke at the event to help launch the new buses and to emphasize the importance of Project Connect in creating a healthier, more sustainable city.
Now, as the buses hit the streets of Austin, the public at large will have the opportunity to take in the colorful creations of our Campbell students.
Learn more about our Dream Green Initiative here.
Check out coverage of the partnership on our News page.