Call for Participants for Virtual Sculpture Racing

Videotaped, Time-Based, Creative Events

People’s Sculpture Racing seeks to contribute, during the pandemic, to the creation of common space through the spirit of sculpture racing. The call is designed to enable creative people of all ages to participate—in any medium; with any materials; while alone, with people in your safe space, or digitally networked. 

The Proposition

You are invited to create a movement-based event, in the spirit of sculpture racing, in any medium, and video it in action. Send us raw video footage so that, through editing, we may weave together your event with other’s into common events, creative documentary style. All work should be original, created for this project, and human-powered—no motors or canned sound. And no decorated bicycles, please.

The Venue

Work will be presented by People’s Sculpture Racing (PSR) as part of the Cambridge Arts Stream Festival (CASF). The Festival runs from May through Saturday, June 6, and includes recorded presence on the PSR and CASF websites, and broadcasts by Cambridge Community TV (CCTV). Live and recorded events and interviews will be broadcast on June 6.

Judging & Trophies

Real (3-D) Trophies by Alamo Artworks will be presented for Spectacle; Ingenuity; and Speed-Dynamism, both for the Youngster Category and in the Youth/Adult/Family Category. Additional values included in judging are originality, capturing the imagination, and a sense of the ridiculous and the sublime. Please see our website for more about the spirit of sculpture racing.

“Dynamism” is a complement to “speed”. Speed suggests the fastest crossing of a distance. Dynamism, defined as vigor, great energy, force, or power; variation in loudness, suggests that the event may take place in a cramped area or even in-place, as well, of course, as speeding traversing of points. To be judged for speed/dynamism, you should begin your event with a countdown from 10 to zero.

​Judges: Lajos Héder of the public arts Harries/Héder Collaborative; Cambridge Arts Public Administrator Lillian Hsu; and Ed Andrews, artist and Interim Chair of Northeastern University’s College’s Department of Arts, Media and Design.

Submission Details

  • WHO: Any creative person of any age or location may enter. Families encouraged. Entry is not juried.​
  • WHEN: Submissions will be accepted through May 30.
  • WHAT: Five minutes of original, more or less unedited video of your Virtual Sculpture Racing-specific event (10 minutes max) in MP4 or MOV format.
  • WHERE: Email your submissions to*, along with a Submissions Agreement (in progress), which grants editing and remix rights to PSR, and display rights to you and the three broadcasting organizations (PSR, Cambridge, and CCTV)
  • FREE: There is no charge to participate. This is not a commercial project: we will not sell your work or add commercials beyond introductory PSR/CASF event branding.

Collaborate Digitally!

  • Join our new project Discussion Group. You may find it at and subscribe by emailing
  • Ask Sculptureracing@gmail for collaborators or suggestions about how to collaborate digitally.
  • Zoom meetings by request.

Video Tips

  1. Record for 15 seconds before and after your event.
  2. Keep the background simple and quiet, so that the focus is on your event—unless, of course, the background is part of your event.
  3. Include footage of your event from different angles. Stage it multiple times if needed.
  4. If using a phone, shoot landscape view!
  5. If using a video camera, set for HD quality (1080p), at 30 or 29.7 FPS (frames per second), and make sure the mic is on. Use the stereo setting.

About People’s Sculpture Racing

People’s Sculpture Racing, a Cambridge-based voluntary group under the fiscal umbrella of Cambridge Arts, produces two annual, human-powered, outdoors races of artists’ and community-built sculptures, and organizes STEAM racing-sculpture courses. Please see our website for more.

Please forward to lists and others who might be interested.

Please be sensible and follow isolation rules.
Stay at home; do minimal in-person shopping.
If you stage your race outdoors, don’t attract clumped spectators.

Donations accepted via Cambridge Arts.

*new submissions address (

Call for Participants for Virtual Sculpture Racing – SUPERSEDED

People’s Sculpture Racing at the Cambridge Arts Stream Festival

Please note, this version of the call has been superseded.
Please see the above version.

People’s Sculpture Racing invites you to participate in a stay-at-home project to be broadcast by the Cambridge Arts Council as part of its Stream Festival from late April through June 6. Everyone may join, of any age, in any location, and it’s free.

Create and perform any or all of the four events below, and email us the video, which we will edit. If it follows our guidelines, it will appear on our website and the Arts Council website, and likely be broadcast on Cambridge Community TV. We anticipate there will also be live and recorded interviews with many participants via Zoom. Stay tuned! This is a project in progress!

  1. The Traditional People’s Sculpture Race

Build a sculpture and race it 300 meters outdoors. It must be human-powered. Bikes not allowed. Measure the distance, set up a start and finish line, countdown from ten and say Go! Or Start! or some such, and race, measuring the time. Please include a video long-shot of the whole race, and also close-ups shots, by re-running the race as necessary. See traditional race guidelines here.

  1. Stage a Race

Be creative and interpret this as you see fit. It can be indoors or outdoors, and in any medium. You can follow the traditional definition of a race, as a competition of speed moving from one place to another as quickly as possible. Or you can perform a creative project quickly, or at whatever speed you like. As above, count down from 10.

Here are a few suggestions to create a race, even if you are on your own.

  • Hold a simultaneous group event by using Zoom or other platforms.
  • Race a measured distance (3’ or 30’) as if you are racing someone else. Our video editors will combine your and others’ submissions.
  • Video yourself/yourselves wearing different costumes, racing different sculptures We will edit them together.
  1. Draw/schematize a racing sculpture or build a prototype

Include video demonstration and explanation along with a still. Create and video a whole gallery if you like. Can be a 3-D CAD.

  1. Write/compose/choreograph and perform

Create and perform an original song, poem, or manifesto. Must be performed live. We recommend un-copyrighted melodies to put your lyrics to (look up free music sites, e.g. Lyrics may follow themes of our lives during the pandemic or of sculpture racing themes, if you like.


Send work anytime from now until the deadline of Sunday, May 31. The Festival’s grand finale is Saturday, June 6. We need to edit it before it goes live. The earlier you send work, the longer it will be shown. We’ll do our best to include all submissions, but that may depend on the number of submissions and how early we receive them.

Are There Prizes?

We will bestow virtual prizes or certificates to the best three of each category (1st, 2nd, 3rd place), in both the youngster and the teen/adult/family categories. Additionally, we will endeavor to interview you live (in different locations, of course) and give you pride of place. Here are the categories by which your work will be judged:

  1. The overarching aesthetic is spectacle (visually striking performance or display) and capturing the imagination.
  2. Originality, creativity, sense of humor, whimsy, significance
  3. We encourage projects that are total art events, including performance, sound art, costumes, kinetic objects, and an extraordinary background.
  4. All works must be human-powered, no motors or canned music allowed!

Video Tips

  1. Keep the background simple and quiet, so the focus is on your event (the event vs. the background may be complex and loud by design).
  2. Include extra footage of your event from different angles; stage the event multiple times if needed.
  3. Record for 10-15 seconds before and after your event.
  4. If using a phone, shoot landscape view!
  5. If using a video camera, set for highest quality, at 30 (or 29.7) frames per second (FPS), and make sure the mic is on. Use the stereo setting.

The Submissions Agreement

Although the events are videotaped, the project in general is not envisioned to be about art videos. A Submissions Agreement allows us to remix and edit your contributions, so that we can broadcast videos focusing on events as well as individual teams/artists. For this reason, we are primarily looking for unedited or slightly edited footage.

If you want your video to be considered as a stand-alone, finished work–as long as it is clearly made for this project, we will host it, though you will have to add a video bumper and we may use excerpts as above. Aim for five minutes. We expect work to be made for this event and to not include any commercial elements, other than your own branding. We will not sell your works.

How to Submit Your Work

  1. Please send about five minutes of original video (10 minutes max) per event, created for this project, in an MP4 or MOV format.
  2. All videos must be accompanied by a Submissions Agreement
  3. Email video and Agreement to In the subject line first put: “Festival – [Your name/team name]”.
  4. This is the first time we’ve done anything like this, so we may need to change parts of this. It’s a good idea to let us know you’re planning to submit, so we can tell you about any changes or opportunities. Also keep an eye on our website.

About People’s Sculpture Racing

People’s Sculpture Racing, a Cambridge-based voluntary group under the fiscal umbrella of The Cambridge Arts Council, produces two annual outdoors races of artists’ and community-built sculptures, and organizes STEAM racing-sculpture courses. Please see our website for more about us.

Please be sensible and follow isolation rules.
Stay at home; do minimal shopping
If you stage your event outdoors, don’t attract spectators.

Sculpture Racing & the Preservation of Public Space

Dear Racers and Fans,

The Cambridge Science Festival has been cancelled, and the Cambridge Arts River Festival will likely be cancelled as well.

Prospective Racers who send their proposals in accordance with the call for this year’s race will still have them reviewed by jurors with comments, and the proposals will be posted on-line.

We would love to collaborate with other artists to preserve the public space of performance. We are looking into the possibility of holding an online race with multi-cam live-streaming, or other projects.

Please write us at if you are interested in this approach to preserving public space in this uncertain and fragmented time.

Good health to all!

2019 People’s Sculpture Race Winners

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Reid Drum, one of this year’s jurors, generously created our remarkable trophies–for Spectacle, Speed, and Ingenuity. The Spectacle trophy is above. Ingenuity, not shown, features an aluminum wheel, which required a special forge, as it melts at a higher temperature than copper wheels, as above.  Drum, a MassArt faculty member, runs the school’s industrial-scale, 11,000 S.F. foundry. He is a kinetic artist, and teaches classes in kinetic art and sculpture-making.

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Steve Hahn won the award for Spectacle with his all-new work Lady Liberty Kickin’ Down the Wall.  The Lady’s foot rises to kick against the wall, which falls, then rises again. The crowds of the great People’s Republic of Cambridge lining the streets cheered the Lady as she passed!

 The Schainker-Frehywot Family won the award for Ingenuity, for Whale for using an ingenious kinetic control wheel. The mechanism was inspired by Rueben Margolin ( 6:24 – 6:53). The rotational movement generated by the “control wheel” generates the wave like motion of the whale. They also happened to be the fastest in the race, so the speed award this year went to….

The Speed trophy went to Mac Peirce, for Including the Kitchen Sink! This is the second year in a row Sink! won the Speed trophy. This fabulous work includes very interesting kinetic aspects: As the sculpture is pushed forward, the teapot turns between clockwise and counterclockwise positions, operating as “a Boolean variable container (0 or 1). Over the course of the Peoples Sculpture Race’s path the kettle displays 96 Boolean positions, enabling it to articulate a 12 byte character sequence, like HELLO WORLD!” One day soon, he’ll get the ingenuity trophy!

The muses love all sculpture racers, regardless of whether PSR awards them!

Behind the Scenes

Great thanks to the behind-the-scenes crew!


The day before the race was very busy for the team! We picked up two works from the Andres Institute of Art–a magic mountain of sculpture and a sculpture teaching center just across the border in New Hampshire. The Institute is directed by John Weidman, one of this year’s jurors, who lent the race one of his sculptures and a work by one of his students.

Next, we picked up Bill Wainwright’s Wheel #1 in Allston, kindness of Clara Wainwright. Our use of it was made possible by Clara, and also Ross Miller and Stuart Cody, who brought the work up from storage, and by Lew Weitzman, who made transporting the work from Allston to Central Square possible. Douglas Hayden made his garage and garage driveway available just a few blocks from the race site. Doug has contributed his space before: we were able to all give an affectionate pat to BiblioBurro, who is spending his retirement from sculpture racing in Doug’s garage.

Later in the day, PSR Chief Engineer Jeff Del Papa arrived with Race Day supplies and Dizzy the Cat, which he assembled in Doug’s driveway.


Saturday, the Race Day Team Arrived–PSR Team Member Daniel Rosenberg, David Eggers, Peggy Kutcher, and David Dunne.

Daniel assembles Bill Wainwright’s Wheel #1, while David Dunne and Peggy look on.

David Eggers rolls Dizzy the Cat up River Road towards the starting line at Carl F. Barron Plaza.

Shortly thereafter, Emily Bridgham and Nicholas Herold arrived to be take on their role as Race Managers (starting, timing, and ending the race), followed by Nat Herold and others who volunteered as flaggers/race marshalls.

Just before the start of the race, Reid Drum arrived with the trophies. Drum is a MassArt Faculty member, who manages the school’s foundry. He was also one of the jurors, along with John Weidman and Mags Harries.

We thank all of the above, and also those who joined the race as designated sculpture racers, including PSR Team Member Drew Wallace, and Joy Wallace and son (racing Dizzy); Ron Newman (racing Wheel #1); and two great anonymous volunteers who raced The Grand Dame of Andres, and The Winged Commuter.

Julie and Jeff: site visit

Last but not least, we thank all of the racers, the spectators, and the fabulous folks at the Cambridge Arts Council, and especially Public Programs Director Julie Barry, for inviting us again this year, and making everything possible.

Join us at the Community Sculpture Race!RAIN OR SHINE!

Saturday, April 20, 2019 – 11:00 AM – LEAVE PLENTY OF TIME TO FIND US!

Rain or shine, but the post-race exhibition may be canceled

This is a Cambridge Science Festival Event, a 4/10 mile race of wheeled arts and crafts on the loopy sidewalks around the Olympic soccer field at Danehy Park in northwest Cambridge (near Alewife), followed by an exhibition of works until 2 PM. The race is followed by an exhibition of works lasting until 2 PM. There will be an artist/engineer design table at the exhibition where fans of all ages can contribute a conceptual design for a racing sculpture.

Here’s a link to more information about entering.

Here are images of 2017’s race.

Here are images of the first, 2016, race.


New Picture (28)

Racecourse at Danehy Park. Green marker in the earthview view above is the location of starting (and ending) line. The exhibition area in on the hill to immediately to the northwest of the marker (on the course).

Where is Danehy Park?

Where is Danehy Park

Danehy Park is at the top left. It is an easy lope from Alewife T Station (16 minutes). We suggest parking in the Field Street lot to the S.W. of the park. (Parking is available from New Street to the west of the park, but that lot fills up fast on Saturdays.) Fresh Pond Mall’s parking lot is also close. (The green marker in the map view above doesn’t mean anything.)

Walking Distances
Alewife T: 16 minutes
Porter Square: 22 minutes
Davis Square: 24 minutes

NEW DEADLINE for 2019 race: March 24

2019 River Festival Call


  • NEW Application/Design due date: Sunday, March 24, midnight.
  • Jurors’ announcement: Within a week of the design deadline
  • Raceday: Saturday, June 1, 2019

The Event

This is a ¾ mile juried race of pushed, pulled, or pedaled sculpture with a following daylong exhibition at the Cambridge Arts River Festival. The festival is an annual celebration with 150,000–200,000 festival-goers. Participants have the opportunity to join in a spectacular, well-attended event, and exhibit their work publicly on Race Day and on the PSR site, and become part of the sculpture racing community.

The Exhibition site will be at Carl F. Barron Plaza in Central Square, and the racecourse will run for most of its length along Massachusetts Ave.

How to Enter

Email proposals, title, images of proposed and past work, short bio, contact info by March 24 to Jurying takes place early the following week. The three jurors–Reid Drum, kinetic artist in the 3D Department at Mass Art and two other jurors TBA–will judge work on the basis of quality, originality, fidelity to guidelines, practicality, & entrants’ demonstrated capacity to complete the project.  Notifications within a week. Works need not be completed until RACEDAY.

More information….

About the 2019 Jurors

Introducing the jurors for the June 1 2019 River Festival race: John Weidman, Mags Harries, and Reid Drum.

John Weidman in the Andres Institute’s workshop.

John Weidman is one of the original members of the World Sculpture Racing Society, a working sculptor, and the co-founder and director of the Andres Institute of Art and Sculpture Garden in Brookline, NH. The sculpture garden, which magically covers a small mountain, is the largest in New England. John’s website.

Water Sports (1980s). John has created and raced metal and stone sculptures, including possibly the heaviest piece ever raced. Some of the best works finish last! (G. Koetsch image)

Mags Harries was a juror in the inaugural 2015 race. Here she is (leftmost) with Laura Knott and Nick Capasso reviewing entries.

Mags Harries’ public art projects have received national recognition and won many awards. Her early projects Asaroton and Glove Cycle have become icons of the Boston area. Many of her temporary projects involve community participation and social action, including: Winding Down the Charles, Speed of Light, and One Legged Table. She is an active member of the Boston Sculpture Gallery and teaches at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. Mags was a juror for our premiere River Festival race in June 2015 Mags’ website.

Reid Drum is a faculty member of MassArt, and runs its industrial-scale, 11,000 s.f. foundry. He is a kinetic artist, and teaches classes in kinetic art, the design and construction of metal sculpture, and general 3D art.