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Posted on: January 25, 2023

New Fitness Court Opens at Pastor Willie James Ford Sr. Linear Park

On February 3, 2023, the City of Deerfield Beach will unveil its newest quality of life upgrade at Pastor Willie James Ford Sr. Linear Park, a sleek and modern outdoor National Campaign Fitness Court® with a supporting mobile app featuring the artwork of Jean-Michel Basquiat. This capital project is a part of the National Fitness Campaign (NFC) – a nationwide consulting organization that partners with cities and schools to plan, build and fund healthy infrastructure – and the City of Deerfield Beach Public Art initiative.

 

 This unique initiative is designed to activate iconic public spaces by uniting the inspiration of world-class art and the life-changing benefits of access to healthy infrastructure. The Campaign’s consulting teams work with mayors, park directors, and city planners to design a built environment to bring people outdoors, engage in active pedestrian movement, and exercise for more time and in more ways each day through the creation of wellness-hubs centered around Fitness Courts®. Mitch Menaged, Founder of NFC, commented, “National Fitness Campaign is proud to welcome Deerfield Beach to the campaign as a leader in America.” 


Deerfield Beach Public Art Liaison Terry Rynard, Director of Parks and Recreation, described the partnership, “This unique and fantastic opportunity with the National Fitness Campaign provides the City of Deerfield Beach with a distinguished project encompassing public art and outdoor fitness. Being only the second project by this artist in the country, the City’s commitment to health and wellness with the bonus of a world-renowned artist demonstrates the positive impact public spaces can have in the community.”

The Jean-Michel Basquiat Fitness Court initiative was born in 2020 as part of NFC’s Arts and Culture Series, which supports the NFC Grant Fund nationwide. This unique program features world-renown artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, one of the most influential modern artists in American history, with the world’s best outdoor gym, the Fitness Court. The partnership was made possible by Artestar, a global licensing agency and creative consultancy representing high-profile artists, photographers, designers, and creatives.


The new Fitness Court® at Pastor Willie James Ford Sr. Linear Park is an open-air wellness center that allows users to leverage their own body weight to get a complete workout. Created with adults of all ages in mind, the Fitness Court is adaptable for all fitness levels. As a kinetic work of art, the Fitness Court® is a destination for walkers, joggers, and bikers. New users can download the free Fitness Court App — a coach-in-your-pocket style platform — that transforms the outdoor gym into a digitally supported wellness ecosystem. The Fitness Court App, entitled “Fitness Court”, is available for iOS and Android. 


National Fitness Campaign developed the trademarked seven-station system in 2012, hoping to inspire municipalities to transform public spaces into community fitness hubs. NFC’s award-winning initiative is now planning its 500th Healthy Community in America and is poised to deliver important outdoor wellness programs in a time of great need across the country.


“Deerfield Beach is thrilled to have such an impressive art piece in the community. Not only did it become one of the most expensive pieces of art of all time when it sold for over $100 million in 2020, it was painted by an artist of Haitian and Puerto Rican heritage who was interested in depicting black men in his neighborhood in a regal light. I think that speaks to a lot of people in the Deerfield Beach community. It will bring visitors to our City and be a shining example of public art’s ability to be a community and economic development engine.” Said Kris Mory, Director of Economic Development. 


Residents are invited to attend an Opening Day Launch Event on February 3, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. to try the Fitness Court® and learn about upcoming community wellness events and programming. For more information, contact Special Events at 954-480-4429. 


ABOUT Jean-Michel Basquiat:

Jean-Michel Basquiat is one of the best-known artists of his generation and is widely considered one of the most important artists of the 20th century. His career in art spanned the late 1970s through the 1980s until his death in 1988 at the age of 27. Basquiat’s works are edgy and raw, and through a bold sense of color and composition, he maintains a fine balance between seemingly contradictory forces such as control and spontaneity, menace and wit, urban imagery, and primitivism. The Basquiat brand embodies the values and aspirations of young, international urban culture.

Basquiat often incorporated words into his paintings. Before his career, as a painter began, he produced punk-inspired postcards for sale on the street and became known for the political–poetical graffiti under the name of SAMO. The conjunction of various media is an integral element of Basquiat’s art. His paintings are typically covered with text and codes of all kinds: words, letters, numerals, pictograms, logos, map symbols, diagrams, and more, and featured multi-panel paintings and individual canvases with exposed stretcher bars, the surface dense with writing, collage, and imagery.

ABOUT National Fitness Campaign

Founded in San Francisco in 1979, National Fitness Campaign (NFC) is a wellness consulting firm that provides programs and services to cities, schools, and sponsors with the mission to build healthy communities. NFC delivers an integrated wellness initiative centered on the world’s best outdoor gym: The Fitness Court®. The Campaign is planning its 500th Healthy Community, uniting the country’s largest public-private partnership in support of wellness with the goal of building a Fitness Court within a 10-minute bike ride of every American. Follow us on social media @NatFitCampaign and Fitness court.


ABOUT the City of Deerfield Beach, Florida:

The City of Deerfield Beach (DFB) is located on the beautiful east coast of southern Florida in Broward County and has a population of 90,000 residents. Within Deerfield Beach’s 15 square miles of land lies a unique mix of urban and suburban living, complete with a well-balanced industrial and commercial population. This City is home to People’s Trust Insurance, JM Family Enterprises, an Amazon distribution center, The Learning Center headquarters, a major Publix distribution center, and other national and international businesses. The City is named for the deer that once roamed the area and its pristine beach. DFB is a well-known surf community with ample waterways and an abundance of fishing at the world-famous International Fishing Pier. There are acres of city parks and a calendar packed with festivals and concerts all year long. Deerfield Beach…more than just a pretty beach! For more information, visit www.dfb.city. #LoveDFB #DeerfieldBeach #MoreThanJustAPrettyBeach 

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