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Sparking young people to realize their creative power through immersive learning experiences.

Our Founder

The N M BODECKER CREATIVE FOUNDATION (“The Foundation”) was established in 2017 by Sandy Bodecker, Nike’s legendary VP of Special Projects, and interdisciplinary artist and survived partner Tanya Cerda as a tribute to Sandy’s father, the award-winning author and illustrator N.M. Bodecker, who instilled a love and appreciation of the arts in Sandy and his two brothers. Sandy’s chosen career path and significant professional accomplishments were directly impacted by his father’s support, encouragement, and artistic influence. Inspired by this profound legacy, the Foundation’s workshop, mentoring, and scholarship programs are designed to spark young people to realize their creative power through immersive learning experiences.

Our Spark

Sandy Bodecker’s father was the award-winning illustrator, author, and poet N.M. Bodecker (the “N.M.” stands for Niels Mogens, though when asked he would say it stood for “Nothing Much” or “Never Mind.”) Born in Copenhagen, N.M. emigrated to the United States after World War II. His work was widely published,  ranging from Edward Eager’s Tales of Magic to the writings of Charles Dickens, as well as Harper’s Magazine, The Saturday Evening Post, Esquire, and The New York Times. His extensive portfolio is housed at the Kerlan Collection. N.M. Bodecker’s creative legacy served as a profound inspiration for Sandy and his brothers, instilling in them a passion for creativity and artistic expression. N.M.’s influence acted as a central driving force in Sandy’s career. In honor of this legacy, Co-founder/Trustee Tanya Cerda and The Foundation aims to spark young people’s creative power, mirroring the profound impact N.M. had on Sandy’s own creative journey.



We want all students to find out what creativity is to them. So, we partner with professional artists, writers, musicians, and educators to lead 1-to-5-day immersive experiences for high school students. Threaded throughout is an interdisciplinary practice that encourages collaboration and inclusivity.


Practice makes (nearly) perfect. Our Skill building cohorts offer students long-term mentorship in visual arts, creative writing, and audio engineering. Over the course of 8 months, students meet bi-monthly to build confidence, foster “cross-school” connections, and provide students with a sense of belonging to a broader creative community. 


Education Promotes Growth and Opportunity and has the power to change lives. The Bodecker Foundation offers scholarships to Oregon high school seniors who are pursuing an undergraduate degree in art, design, music, or other creative disciplines at an accredited post-secondary college or university in the United States. 

Our Mission

to spark young people to realize their creative power through immersive learning experiences.

A community of young creatives empowered and unleashed.


I. C. R. E. A. T. E.

I     –   Innovation
C   –   Curiosity
R   –   Respect
E    –   Exploration
A   –   Access
T   –   Trust
E    –   Equity


Education Promotes Growth & Opportunity


Culture Empowers Creativity


Practice Makes (Nearly) Perfect


Communication Is Key to Success


Representation Matters


Collaboration Keeps It Fun



01 Always Be Learning & Learn by Doing
A great way to progress in your creative development is to learn something that deepens or shifts your perspective. And the quickest way to learn is by actually trying something. Experience beats theory almost every time.
02 Develop Your Voice
One of the great things about creativity is that it can’t be measured, it can only be discovered through its expression. Which means that finding what you want to say and how you want to say it are perhaps the two most important factors in your creative success. You speak true when you speak you.
03 Challenge Your Ideas
Conviction is a wonderful thing and can help you persevere in the face of obstacles. But stopping to ask yourself if there might be another approach that you hadn’t considered before not only keeps you honest, it can lead to new and interesting places.
04 Speak Your Truth, Kindly
Self-expression and creativity go hand in hand. Relating your experience and point of view is essential to keeping the conversation real and genuine, so long as we remember that others may have different experiences and perspective that are just as real and just as true.
05 Aim For Good
The pursuit of excellence is a noble thing, but holding yourself to an unreasonable standard can actually stunt creativity. By seeking to improve rather than demanding perfection, you’ll not only find more interesting destinations, you’ll better enjoy the journey along the way.
06 Pursue Your Dreams & Have A Plan
There’s a common misconception that truly creative people can’t be practical as well. But having a dream is not the same thing as spending your life daydreaming. A plan is like a map, it won’t guarantee you’ll reach your destination, but it will point you in the right direction. 
07 Never Stop Creating
If you are drawn to create—visually or musically, through words or through movement—you know that the act of creating is its own reward. If you can make a career of it, so much the better. But even if it never becomes something you do for a living, it can always be something you do for life.
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Shoot from the Hip (Pocket). iPhone Filmmaking with Mark Palansky.


Shoot from the Hip (Pocket). iPhone Filmmaking with Mark Palansky.


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Equity Statement

Representation Matters. BODECKER FOUNDATION believes in the dignity and intrinsic worth of every human being. We welcome and prioritize the participation of Black, Brown, Indigenous and people with disabilities and all intersections therein. No matter where you are from, Bodecker Foundation is dedicated to creating a place where all people can be sparked to realize their creative power.