“We only have one Earth, and it is our job to take good care of it.”

These are the words of twelve-year-old Elizabeth Goodrich of Maine, a participant in Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Programs. Bow Seat is a Boston-based nonprofit that creates opportunities for teens to connect, create, and communicate on behalf of our ocean. While Elizabeth may seem wise beyond her years, the reality is that Bow Seat is inspiring thousands of students just like Elizabeth all around the world to explore our oceans and share their findings in creative ways.

In Part One of our “Game Changers” series, we asked Bow Seat Program Director Alyssa Irizarry to share how a strong branding strategy helps Bow Seat accomplish its mission to inspire and mobilize students to become “ARTivists” for oceanic conservation.   

ARTivism is Changing the Game in Conservation Awareness

Bow Seat was founded on the deeply held conviction that artistic expression helps students discover and embrace their responsibility in caring for our earth in ways that articles, textbooks, and lectures alone do not. By using contests and educational programming, Bow Seat harnesses the power of the arts to educate, inspire, and activate younger generations, creating space for them to spread a global message of care.

The Ocean Awareness Contest is Bow Seat’s largest initiative. Students ages 11-18 are invited to submit creative entries on issues impacting the health of our ocean in the forms of poetry, prose, film, music, and visual arts. Contestants compete for scholarships and receive exposure on a global stage as showcased in a gallery on Bow Seat’s website. Last year 3,000 submissions were received from 58 countries and 48 U.S. states. With this kind of reach, Bow Seat needed a website that could handle the traffic and present the content clearly and effectively.

Partners in Possibilities

Irizarry and her team chose us to lead them through a significant rebrand including web redesign, film production, and search engine optimization. As a small nonprofit whose online reach was expanding more and more each year, Bow Seat needed a full-service agency who could strategically support and amplify this growth and we were more than excited to help them accomplish this mission.

When we begin the discovery stage with a new client, we do everything we can to integrate into their culture and workflow. We value relationships and prefer to function as partners so their experience feels as “in-house” and personal as possible. As we spent time getting to know Bow Seat and discovering the depth of their impact, it became clear their website is the cornerstone of their work and needed a specific place for students’ creations to shine.

We designed the student gallery to be a place that not only looks great, but makes it easy for users to explore, engage with, and share the artwork. Irizarry said,

“We appreciate the way that our website invites visitors to explore, dive in, and spend time learning about ocean conservation. We’ve received numerous comments about how compelling this page is; it really illustrates both the skill of individuals and the power of their collective voices. Ultimately, the design and functionality of our website helps us share our mission and vision in a way that excites people to get involved and join our community of artists, activists, and educators that are passionate about preserving this blue planet.”

After successful work on their website, Bow Seat commissioned us to further amplify their message through brand video production and search engine optimization. This has equipped them to reach even more people, inspire more students, and improve the health of our oceans.

Passionate People Making a Difference

We thrive on helping passionate people make a difference in the world and believe that every organization we partner with can be a game changer in whatever they set out to accomplish. It is our privilege to come alongside groups like Bow Seat and help them be game changers though good design and thoughtful story-telling. When you bring together a group of creatives with big ideas, the sky is the limit on what you can accomplish to raise awareness and change the game.

We look forward to introducing more of our game-changing clients to you in the coming weeks. Thanks for being on this journey with us to make a difference and change the world!

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