Meet Nik Ridley, Thunderbird Manager & NFT Bootcamp Teaching Artist

By Marketing Department

April 23, 2022

Nik Ridley portrait, wearing a black suit sitting on a cream couch

Nik Ridley, educator, artist and new Manager of Thunderbird Arts Center, will be teaching a bootcamp this summer at the Center about all things related to non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Ridley has been a part of the Thunderbird team, teaching classes since 2018 as the Youth Department Head. Over the years, he has expanded his involvement with the Center as a Resident Artist in schools around the Valley, bringing arts education programs to youth of all ages. Nik brings more than 20 years in the arts industry to his new role at Thunderbird Arts Center.

“It is an honor and a privilege to work with such a dynamic, committed team,” commented Nik on his work at Thunderbird. Looking into the future, stepping into this new role, he continued, “The last three years have been crucial to my artistic and professional development, and in this new role, I am truly excited to build on the ways we can connect art and artists with the community.”

One of the things Nik is most excited about is bringing new kinds of art classes to Thunderbird and Phoenix Center for the Arts as a whole. For example, before accepting the Thunderbird Manager position, Ridley had already been working on ways to expand art classes at Thunderbird by offering to teach two new digital art classes. One is a Youth Digital Art Class, and the second, a current hot topic in the art world, NFT Bootcamp.

Marketing & Communications Intern, Gianna Agostinelli recently had a chance to speak with Nik about this exciting new NFT Bootcamp class, to learn more about what to expect in this class.

Discover the five Ws of NFTs – who, what, when, where and why – in this summers NFT Bootcamp classes with Nik Ridley
By Gianna Agostinelli, Marketing & Communications Intern

Graphic with text reading NFT BOOTCAMP above an image of two hands holding up a can with flowers in it

Everyone has to start somewhere, and this course is designed to make students feel confident in how to break into the marketplace and be set up for success. Cryptocurrencies are a new landscape for many people, especially artists. NTFs utilize artists’ work as currency in a digital landscape. “Cryptocurrencies are the great equalizer and are one of the few mediums for artists to receive royalties and proper credit and valuation for their work. It creates a non-fungible ledger that is huge in justifying pricing and exporting analytics that are crucial in navigating one’s business strategy,” Ridley said. 

In his background, art and education have consistently been at the center of Ridley’s professional projects. He has experience in teaching art, theater, poetry, music production and visual arts to youth and adults throughout his career. 

Design has been making its way into the digital space throughout the years, and “NFT’s have been a major buzzword. It’s important to stay abreast of the latest trends to stay competitive and relevant and NFT’s are definitely a new and valuable attachment to art sales,” Ridley said. 

The course offered by the Phoenix Center for the Arts at the Thunderbird Arts Center with Ridley will include all of the basics of NFTs. Including, but not limited to, the definition of wallets, the “how” of the money and facilitation, the marketplaces, the “where,” and minting, the “what” of the things that go into NFT creation. The course will also include exactly how to enter this creative space successfully. 

“My greatest reward has been the opportunity to practice and share my art with my community (and the world), and to be Blessed to be able to make a living with my talents,” said Ridley. 

The NFT bootcamp will be held online and in-person simultaneously for the duration of the summer. Lasting from June to August, artists can choose to sign up for one of three 4-week courses, each only $100, and offered to those 16 years of age and above. 

For more information and to get your NFT journey started, visit