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Meet Dan Peterson of Project Backboard in Orange County

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dan Peterson.

Dan, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Project Backboard is a non-profit who mission is to ensure that all communities have a safe and inviting place to play outdoor basketball. In order to achieve that we renovate public outdoor basketball courts and collaborate with local artists to create a unique work of art for the court surface. I started Project Backboard in Memphis just painting basketball game line on outdoor courts without them but quickly realized the power of including art in parks and now run a public arts non-profit!

Has it been a smooth road?
Because I am interested in inter-generational play and truly public spaces we rely on permission from Parks Departments to do our work and the biggest challenge we have faced along the way is getting officials to recognize the power in doing something different with outdoor basketball courts and allowing us to work there.

Please tell us about Project Backboard.
We are known for large scale murals on public outdoor basketball courts. While it is a highly specialized field we were one of the originators and I feel comfortable saying we have completed more courts in this style that any other organization, including large ones such as Nike. At the same time, we are still very grassroots and try to assist and encourage everyone to learn from our example and begin investing in their own public parks in one way or another!

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
I started Project Backboard in Memphis but really grew in Southern California and I think this region is very supportive of new ideas in general.

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