York Global Cardboard Challenge spread joy of creating


In the YouTube video "Caine's Arcade," an entrepreneurial 9-year-old boy builds arcade games out of cardboard and other materials at his father's auto parts shop in Los Angeles. The video inspired a huge response, and the Imagination Foundation, an organization that aims to help foster children's creativity and entrepreneurship, was launched from it.

The foundation aims to spread the joy of creating with cardboard with the Global Cardboard Challenge, a series of events at which people of all ages are invited to build anything they want out of cardboard and recycled materials.

York's Global Cardboard Challenge event will take place 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. Saturday at York Academy Regional Charter School, 32 W. North St., York.

Kelley Gibson, director of communications and engagement at the Cultural Alliance of York County, organized the event. She said she is looking forward to seeing "big people connecting with little people" at the Cardboard Challenge.

Gibson said she has two daughters, ages 6 and 7. She's excited to see her own daughters and other participants working on their creations.

"You kind of see that in them: Kids just let go and create," she said. "And they work together so well."

Anyone can take part in the Global Cardboard Challenge, which according to the Imagination Foundation's website, has participants in 45 countries. "You can do it in your living room," Gibson said.

Last year, she said, Roundtown Elementary School in Central York School District hosted a Cardboard Challenge.

"I wanted to kickstart York with a bigger one," Gibson said. "Eventually, we hope to have events all over York."

The Cardboard Challenge is part of the Cultural Alliance's celebration of October as National Arts and Humanities Month, the point of which, Gibson said, is "to make arts and culture accessible in people's everyday lives."

Stuff to bring: The organization has gotten donations of recycled cardboard from the York Container Co. and Keep York Beautiful.

"We're not looking for community donations of cardboard, but supplies are welcome," Gibson said.

The Cultural Alliance will supply recycled cardboard, and participants, she said, should bring standard art supplies such as clear packaging tape, duct tape, box cutters, scissors and yarn. Shoeboxes might also be good to bring, she said.

Donated art supplies will be available, but participants should bring extra supplies just in case they are needed.

Participants should also come with a plan and maybe even a drawing of their idea so they know what tools and materials they'll need.

"We're really excited to see what people come up with," Gibson said.

As for Gibson's daughters, they want to make a cardboard replica of the Millennium Falcon, Han Solo's spacecraft from "Star Wars."

"I'm like, OK, we'll have to figure out how to do that," she said, laughing.

Find out more about the event at www.york

If you want to donate supplies for the event, contact Gibson at (717) 812-9255 or

— Reach Julia Scheib at