Over the last 50 years, the US Open has served as a canvas for racquet-wielding artists at the highest level of tennis. In the build-up to this year’s tournament, five professional artists will try their hands on court, trading racquets for paint brushes, as they help to restore five public facilities across the country.
The USTA's “Art Courts” initiative will support community tennis programming, with help from long-time partner Chase and their “Return the Serve” community outreach program, by refurbishing and repainting courts in Miami, Los Angeles, Chicago, Cincinnati and New York.
From Arthur Ashe to Venus and Serena Williams, public courts have nurtured and built US Open champions. Art Courts is an extension of the USTA and Chase's Return the Serve program, which supports the USTA Foundation and its youth tennis and education programs across the country through the National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL) network. Through Return the Serve, Chase has donated over $500,000 to local NJTL chapters.
“We aim to change lives through our NJTL network. The goal of the Art Court campaign is to ignite a national conversation around the importance of delivering tennis and street art to underserved communities,” said Katrina Adams, USTA Chairman of the Board and President.
“Our NJTLs are amplifying the importance of public courts and their ability to provide youth with rich opportunities for growth, personal development and culture.”
The NJTL network includes more than 350 tennis and education chapters nationwide, supported by the USTA Foundation through grants, scholarships and technical assistance. These chapters reach more than 200,000 under-resourced youth on an annual basis.
“We’re proud of our continued support of the USTA Foundation’s work to bring tennis to underserved communities,” said Frank Nakano, head of Sports and Entertainment for JPMorgan Chase. “Art Courts uniquely brings together two art forms while offering quality public facilities for kids, and we’re looking forward to seeing the results.”
“Tennis is an art form, and we’re excited to merge the two disciplines as we celebrate the history of the US Open while laying the foundation for our future,” added Amy Choyne, USTA Chief Marketing Officer.
The artists have free rein to re-imagine what a tennis court can look like. In Miami, the first market, the USTA is working with noted artist collaborative KiiK Create to artistically paint two courts at the Norman and Jean Reach Park. The bold and striking design presented by KiiK Create will make these two courts unlike any other tennis courts in the world.
The painting of the courts in the five markets will be streamed live on US Open social media channels. Tennis enthusiasts and followers can take part in the excitement of Art Courts by utilizing the hashtag #USOpenArtCourtsxChase.
Continuing the US Open’s history of innovation, this latest endeavor will inspire the next generation to unleash their creativity on the court.