The Hippo


May 25, 2020








Beauty Beyond Borders Art Olympics

Where: Starting line located at 42 Walnut St., Nashua 
When: Saturday, Sept. 16, 1 p.m.
Cost: $25 per person. Register online or at the event until 2 p.m. 
More info:

Ready, set, create
Arts-based obstacle course race comes to Nashua

By Angie Sykeny

 No running or physical agility is required at the first-ever Beauty Beyond Borders Art Olympics, happening Saturday, Sept 16, in downtown Nashua. Instead, the obstacle course-style race invites participants to create and perform their way through a series of art challenges. 

“The arts community in Nashua is growing so much right now,” Beauty Beyond Borders founder and president Alicia Chouinard said. “So we thought having something like a Spartan Race for artistic people would be the perfect way for people to come see what the arts community is all about, have fun and learn about our organization.” 
Beauty Beyond Borders is a New Hampshire-based nonprofit organization that brings arts-related educational and social events to struggling communities, local and abroad, and encourages people to capture and share moments of beauty, especially nontraditional beauty, through artistic expression. 
“We want people to use that concept as inspiration for the art they create at each obstacle,” Chouinard said.
The race is open to individuals and teams of up to six people. There will be six main obstacles, all located within a two-mile radius, which include painting and drawing, karaoke singing, sculpture making, lip synching acting performance, interpretive dance and playing musical instruments. Additionally, teams must complete two projects by the end of the race: an original poem and an original photograph based on the theme “I see beauty in ….” 
“The idea is, we’re often so distracted with negative things or other things that we miss all of the beauty and positive things and little things that can make you smile,” Chouinard said. “Beauty is everywhere; you just need to look.” 
Teams will be timed at each obstacle and judged by experts from Nashua arts and community organizations such as The Actorsingers, Positive Street Art and Great American Downtown. Judges will look at the quality, execution and artistic style of the artwork and performances. 
Teams will have the option to complete a family feud challenge and a charades challenge in which they may earn extra points toward their final score. If they fail, however, they may lose points, so it’s up to the teams to decide whether they want to take that risk. 
Just for fun, participants are also invited to come dressed in artistic attire or costumes. 
“Unique outfits are encouraged,” Chouinard said. “Have fun with it and go a little crazy, as long as it’s something you’re comfortable moving around in and don’t mind getting a little dirty.” 
The three teams with the highest scores, determined by a combination of the teams’ judges’ scores and times taken to complete the obstacles, will be awarded bronze, silver and gold medals and will each receive a bucket filled with swag and gift cards donated by local organizations and businesses. Winners will be announced at the awards ceremony after the race, which will take place at The Flight Center on Main Street. All participants age 21 and older can also get a free beer or hard cider courtesy of Able Ebenezer Brewing Co. 
Though the event concludes at a beer cafe, it’s open to people of all ages, and families are encouraged to participate. 
“It would be a great thing for a family to do,” Chouinard said. “Even toddlers can have fun making playdough sculptures and finger painting and dancing around.” 

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