If you’re reading this right now, you know (at least a little) about DaytonMostMetro.com. And if you drive down Wayne Ave by the railroad overpass, chances are you’ve seen some cool street art popping up. What you may not know is that these ideas came from participants at the 2009 Young Creatives Summit. The 2010 Summit breakouts will challenge you to devise ideas and put them into action. Do you have the next big idea?
You’ve heard that at the Summit you can put your ideas into action… Are you wondering what we mean by that?!? What is the Summit? How does it work? What does it mean to you? I talked to Adam Coatney, co-chair of the Wayne Avenue Corridor Committee, and asked him about his experience with Summit breakouts. With a nod to Lisa Grigsby’s 10?s , here’s Adam Coatney.
Q: Where did the idea for the Wayne Avenue Corridor come from?
Many times after going out to dinner in the Oregon District, we would walk to the Cannery to go to Therapy or the Wine Bar and I realized that the two areas are so close, but were separated by a poorly lit, uninviting stretch of Wayne Ave. With the arrival of Garden Station, it seemed a natural extension to create an appealing place for people to walk and relax between 5th and 3rd.
Q: People have the opportunity to join the action teams before they leave the Summit. Was it hard to get other people on board with your project idea?
Fortunately, this was a popular idea and we have had many people on board for the first projects and, as new projects arise, more people come along, each with unique insight and resources to help!
Q: At the 2009 Summit, this idea received enough votes to be designated as part of the updayton action plan. What happened after the Summit to turn it from an idea into action?
We had a meeting with the group and realized early on that we had to have some immediate, hands-on projects. We planned clean up days to go through the summer and fall and started within a few months to write a grant proposal for the Dayton mini-grant program.
Q: This project spans two blocks on one street – did you ever think about going for something with a bigger impact?
We started with this area because it is between 2 popular entertainment and arts areas and it was more practical with our volunteer base to stay focused. However, many groups around Dayton have contacted us about ways to beautify their area, get contacts for the muralists that submitted to our contest for further projects, etc. We are still focused on our area, but are always looking to help where we can in other parts of Dayton.
Q: Were you able to find partners who were interested in being a part of this idea?
Garden Station and the Circus have, far and away, been the most involved in cooperating with us, thanks in large part to our co-chair, Lisa Helm, who is very involved with the Garden. The Garden has been in invaluable resource for donated items, volunteer hours and the like. The Downtown Dayton Partnership’s Kristen Wicker was an integral part of the grant writing success for the mural project, as well. We have been very fortunate to have dedicated people from various groups step in to help.
Q: It’s been almost a year since the Wayne Avenue Corridor Committee got its start at the Summit – what have been some of your successes?
We have had the most success with winning a grant for 10 murals to be painted under the train overpass near Garden Station. We held a contest and got a tremendous response from area artists. We chose 10 artists who each got an area on the East or West wall. We used the grant money to get supplies and award the winning artists.
We also set up regular clean up days on a monthly basis and are starting up this year with a bang on May 17th.
Q: Do you have future plans for the Wayne Avenue Corridor?
Lighting, lighting lighting! Our big plan is to work with DP&L and the city to get some bright lights under the overpass to show off the new murals and create an inviting walkthrough. We have an urban garden in the works, and we’ll be approaching local businesses about projects to beautify the chainlink fencing in the area.
Q: Will you be there again on April 16?
Undoubtedly! We will have a booth at the Resource Fair to show off last year’s work and our plans for this year. We will have a sign up sheet for volunteers to rally more man- and woman-power to help out!
Q: Any last thoughts or recommendations for people wondering if they can make a difference?
Any little bit helps! We have folks coming in and out of our group as their lives allow it, and they have been invaluable. Sometimes you are too busy to help, that’s fine! But get on a mailing list, read the emails and if you have the time or a group is asking for something you are really good at…help out! It doesn’t mean that you have to become volunteer of the year and give up everything else.
Well – there you have it. The excitement, accessibility, and fun of a project developed from the 2009 Young Creatives Summit. This shows how a simple idea and a few people can make a big impact on the region. Join us on at the 2010 Young Creatives Summit on Friday, April 16 and bring your big ideas to make the Dayton region a better place to live, work and play. More info here.