Please note, this FAQ Page will be updated shortly to detail plans for the 2021 season

Q. Is the Sandcastle Classic still on for this year?

A. Yes! To ensure the safety of our community and participants, the 2020 Sandcastle Classic season as well as October’s main event will all take place VIRTUALLY. Now more than ever, the Sandcastle Classic serves as a way for students and families, companies and industries, volunteers and community members to come together. Learn more about what’s in store for this season below.

Q: What is Leap’s Sandcastle Classic?

A. The Sandcastle Classic is Northern California’s largest sandcastle competition. Teams typically comprised of architects, engineers, contractors, designers, corporations, and elementary school students work together to create giant sand sculptures. Although the building process will look a little different this year (details below), the funds raised by participants and sponsors will continue to make it possible for Leap to provide high-quality arts learning experiences to 8,500 Bay Area students across 30 schools each year.

Q. Why is the Sandcastle Classic essential?

A. This iconic SF event raises 40% of the costs required to deliver Leap’s arts education programs. Our 2020 Sandcastle Classic goal is to raise $300,000 to help Leap bring the arts where they are needed most. We rely on the Sandcastle Classic fundraising season to power Leap’s operations – which is even more necessary in 2020, due to the increased costs and lost revenue created by the large-scale shift to “distance learning” educational models.

Q. Are Leap’s arts education programs still provided while students are learning remotely? 

A. Yes! Leap and the incredible community of teaching artists we work with pivoted quickly this Spring to “distance learning” formats, meaning all programs were delivered online. This quick evolution enabled Leap to continue to deliver programs virtually while students were learning from home. With families and schools in need of quality distance learning supports, Leap continues to provide critical educational services. We know the arts are essential to healing and rebuilding a wounded world, and offer a safe, creative learning space for students.

Q. What is the updated 2020 Sandcastle Classic theme?

A. This year’s theme is “Rebuilding Together.” Now more important than ever, the Sandcastle Classic serves as a way for students and families, companies and industries, volunteers and community members to connect. It is a time for us to commit to rebuilding our community together!

Q. What will the Sandcastle Classic season look like this year?

A. To ensure the safety of our community and participants, the 2020 Sandcastle Classic season as well as October’s main event will all take place VIRTUALLY. We’ve worked hard to develop plans for a fully-virtual season that still maintains key ingredients that make the Sandcastle Classic experience so special: connecting with students, building business development opportunities, and ways for meaningful participation in our communities.

Check out the Events page for the calendar of events, trainings, and festivities that will take place this season. In short, here’s what’s new:

  • Mini-Challenges Replace Build Day: The biggest change this year is we’re shifting from a single day of building at Ocean Beach, to smaller, virtual design thinking and building challenges that will take place during the month of October, and culminate with a virtual Sandcastle Classic on Saturday, October 24th. 
  • New Competition Structure: Without an in-person building competition this year, we’re providing a new way for teams to engage and compete this season, through a point-based participation system. Teams will earn points in a variety of ways, ranging from meeting fundraising milestones and completing virtual classroom visits, to attending training sessions and acknowledgement for creativity, like “Best Socially Distant Fundraiser.” In the spirit of friendly competition, points will be awarded throughout the season and winners will be announced during the Sandcastle Classic on October 24th. 
  • Broader Participation: The benefit of an all-virtual season means we can open participation up beyond the usual team-based participation structure, and we’re offering three different participation tracks for involvement this year: Sandcastle Teams, Community Builders, and Sand Spectators. Read more about these different participation tracks below and on the registration page. 
  • Adjusted Student Involvement: Since team members will not be able to meet with each other or students from their partner school in person, we’re adjusting the way teams will work with students this year. Teams will still select a partner school, and conduct virtual “classroom visits” that lead students through design thinking exercises.
  • If you’re wondering how to make the shift to virtual fundraising and classroom sessions, not to worry! Leap will host trainings and offer resources providing skill-building opportunities around fundraising and working with students at your partner school. All trainings and materials will be geared towards helping teams succeed in the new virtual Sandcastle season.

Q. What about in person events?

A. Unless circumstances change greatly, there will be no in person events, trainings, classroom visits or competitions during the 2020 Sandcastle Classic season. All components have been shifted to virtual formats.

Q. When is the Sandcastle Classic?

A. The overall event season has been condensed down largely to July – October, 2020. Leap’s 38th Annual Sandcastle Classic will take place online on Saturday, October 24th, 2020, time TBA. Additional events will take place over the summer and weekly during the month of October leading up to the main event. More details about the season calendar and program schedule for the October 24th event will be posted to the Main Event Schedule and Events pages.

Q. Who can participate in the Sandcastle Classic and how can I get involved?

A. With a virtual event model in place, we’re excited to be able to lift age requirements and offer new ways to participate in the Sandcastle season this year. There are three different ways to get involved with the Sandcastle Classic this year: Sandcastle Teams, Community Builders and Sand Spectators. Read more about the different ways to get involved on the registration page.

Q. Can I still register to participate?

A. Yes! The deadline to register as a Sandcastle Team is August 15th, 2020. Registration is open for Community Builders through September 30th, 2020. Sand Spectators can drop in on open events at any time, and do not need to formally register other than to RSVP.

Q: How can I get my child’s school involved?

A: To get a specific school involved, please contact Leap at sandcastle@leaparts.org

Q: How do I volunteer?

A: Learn more about volunteering at the Sandcastle Classic.

Q: What is the event hashtag?

A: #LeapArts


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