About Leap Arts in Education:

leap-logo-sqLeap was established in 1979 in response to severe budget cuts in arts programs in California schools. These cuts continue to affect arts education in our schools today, and the need for high-quality arts programs is now greater than ever. Leap’s programs place professional teaching artists in classrooms to work with grades K-5. Every year, these educational programs—in music, dance, theatre, creative writing, visual arts, and architecture—serve over 8,000 students in more than 30 elementary schools throughout the Bay Area.

Leap’s goal is to raise $300,000 from this year’s Sandcastle Classic to help provide high-quality arts education programs.
Your participation will make a meaningful difference
in the lives of Bay Area students! Join us by becoming a Sandcastle Classic team or Event Sponsor today!

Through Leap’s extended arts residencies, children build skills that are conducive to success in 21st-century skills:

  • Creativity, entrepreneurialism and inventiveness
  • Critical thinking and cognitive skills
  • Ability to set goals, experiment, solve problems and learn from mistakes
  • Acceptance of diversity and differing viewpoints
  • Ability to work collaboratively

Learn more about Leap at www.leaparts.org.


About the Sandcastle Classic:

scc_logotype2024 marks the 42nd annual Sandcastle Classic, the biggest sandcastle competition in Northern California.

Teams typically comprised of architects, engineers, contractors, designers, corporations, and local elementary school students work together to build giant sand sculptures. The funds raised by teams and sponsors make it possible for Leap to continue to provide arts programs to Bay Area students.

  • Thousands of people come out to Ocean Beach for Leap’s annual Sandcastle Classic, which is free to the public to attend.
  • The event is covered by regional print and online media, and celebrity judges evaluate the final sand sculptures.
  • More than 25 local schools and 500 donating companies and advertisers participate.
  • The highest grossing team in the event’s history raised $60,000.
  • This year, we’re accepting a maximum of 30 teams. Sign up early to reserve your spot!


Past Sandcastle Classic Themes:


2023 – Halloween Haunts

2022 – Sandcastle: Remix

2021 – Onward and Upward!

2020– Rebuilding Together (Virtual)

2019– Let’s Play!

2018 – Building Bridges

2017 – Castles, Castles, Castles!

2016 – Makers & Movers

2015 – Sand Cinema

2014 – Food, Glorious Food

2013 – Masterpieces in Sand

2012 – Leap Year (Things That Jump!)

2011 – Sandblast

2010 – ‘Sand’ Francisco

2009 – Stories in the Sand: Classic Children’s Books

2008 – Freestyle

2007 – Nature Rocks

2006 – Leap Around the World

2005 – Comic Book Adventures

2004 – A Race to the Finish

2003 – Extreme Sandsculptures

2002 – Westward Ho!

2001 – A Sand Odyssey

2000 – Sandcastles from the 1st to the 21st Century

1999 – Animals

1998 – Bridges

1997 – Education

1984 – 1996 – Leap Sandcastle Classic

1983 – The FIRST Leap Sandcastle Classic!

Take a look at photos from past Sandcastle Classics here.

Leap Sandcastle Committee 2024:

Andy Pippin, LPA Design Studios

Andy is an Educational Facilities Planner with LPA Design Studios. She was first introduced to Leap and the Sandcastle Classic in 2015. By 2016, she co-founded the team led by LPA and Novo Construction now known as Jefferson Pirateship. Andy’s favorite aspect of the Sandcastle Classic is engaging with the students in the classroom before build-day and setting the foundation of the team castle. Andy was thrilled to have been invited to sit on the Sandcastle Classic Planning Committee. She looks forward to digging in deeper to all-things Sandcastle, and to help strengthen the event to ensure everyone has a great day at the beach and to continue to build support for Leap.

Christina Rosenberger, Rider Levett Bucknall

Jacqueline Haudek Marquez, Operations Manager, Leap

Jacqueline Jimenez – Owner of Truly Loved Events

Jill Dineen, Executive Director, Leap

Julie Hagelshaw, IMEG Corp.

Kenta Kamei, Smithgroup

Natalie Raya, Garland Co.

Natalie Raya is a Bay Area native and San Francisco resident working as an Architectural Sales Manager for The Garland Company. Garland is a full service manufacturer, delivering high performance roofing and building envelope waterproofing solutions to our clients across the US, Canada and the UK. Natalie’s daughter was raised attending Bay Area public schools, and she realizes the positive impact that programs like Leap Arts In Education have on our children’s academic achievements. She is honored to be a member of the 2024 Leap Sandcastle committee.


Ryan Lee, Woods Bagot

Ryan’s first introduction to Leap came in 1997 as a 5th grader attending Claire Lilienthal Elementary in San Francisco and participating in Leap’s annual Sandcastle Classic, where his team constructed a giant brain linked to a computer – the theme being “Education!” He’s since participated multiple times in Sandcastles and considers the classroom workshops the highlight of the multifaceted event season. Ryan received his Bachelor of Architecture from California College of the Arts and is currently employed at Woods Bagot – a global design and consulting studio. As someone who was interested early on in design, Ryan’s path to his career in architecture not only included participation with Leap but with the Architectural Foundation of San Francisco as well, another local educational nonprofit serving students of multiple backgrounds. As a board member with both organizations, he relishes in the ability to come full circle and serve students in the same creative community that he was raised in, hoping to inspire others to pursue their passions.

Thaddaeus Allen, Whiting Turner