I'm an architecture major student with a minor in art. My goal is to create a walking tour in Fargo that can combine art and architecture into something for the entire community to enjoy.
As a 2020 Civic Innovation Force Fellow with the Nice Center, I'm working on a project to design a walking tour for Downtown Fargo. My hope is that this tour will bring together the community, allowing them to explore the city and appreciate it's rich history and uniqueness.
The Leap Kit Field Guide outlines our project and makes it easy to stay on task with the development of our project. A "Leap" is a "specific, time-bound project, designed to help you leave your comfort zone and learn something new." The Leap Kit outlines four phases of a Leap: Discover, Prepare, Act, and Share. To document my Leap, I intend to write weekly updates about the progress made in that week. I will also include insights to different aspects like mistakes and failed prototypes that are not usually shared with a completed project.
Weekly project updates in chronological order!
Introduction to the Idea - 5/15/20
By DeAnna Hurley
This is the introduction to my plan for the summer, and the importance behind it for me.
Saturday, February 29th I attended the Civic Innovation Force to join with other students and community members with the goal of bettering our community through communications, arts & culture, architecture, landscape architecture, and climate change. Many ideas were shared on how we could improve the community and make a difference in one of these areas. After the workshop, the North Dakota State University Students were offered the opportunity to apply for an internship to have their idea become reality. I applied and was offered the chance to become a Civic Innovation Force Fellow for the Summer of 2020. Once I was accepted, it was time to start the project that I proposed.
Summer 2020 I would like to implement a Downtown Fargo Art Walk with interactive elements for the public to enjoy and learn about. For the Art Walk, I would like to include photo opportunities, learning experiences, and interactive options for all ages. I plan on starting on collecting all possible locations to include and information about those locations. Then I will start to assemble the information into a paper map format. If those steps go as planned, I would like to reach out to local businesses to collaborate on possible incentives or rewards for the people who complete the art walk, and to see if a business would like to contribute a space outside their business for a piece of art to be included in the Art Walk. Ideally, people that live in the Fargo-Moorhead area and visitors to the area will both be able to enjoy this new feature as they can learn about the community, and possibly bring more business to the Downtown Fargo businesses.
I believe this Art Walk could benefit the community in many ways such as bringing families together, getting people outside and moving, bringing people to Downtown Fargo, and by letting artists share their work with the public. The Downtown Fargo Art Walk should be a free and easy to access experience for people of all ages to enjoy which is a less common thing in today’s world.
Throughout this project, I hope to improve my connections to the community and my abilities to reach out to people to collaborate with them in an experience to benefit everyone involved.
I want to bring a new experience to Downtown Fargo for everyone to enjoy, and if the people that do it learn just one thing or enjoy one piece of art on the Art Walk, I will consider it success of a project.
Discover the Leap - 5/22/20
By DeAnna Hurley
The Leap Kit Field Guide is a booklet designed to help us succeed with our goals for this project. Divided into four sections, discover, prepare, act, and share, the booklet is a good way to get yourself organized.
Week one, we worked on filling out the discover portion of the booklet. It started with us asking ourselves questions on what inspires us. I went along the route of who and what inspires me to create since I plan on creating a new experience Downtown Fargo for everyone to do. The next step involved us interviewing someone about ourselves. It was an interesting experience, but when asked what they thought inspired me, their answers were not surprising to me at all because so many people know what I am passionate about. There was also a section asking us what we wanted in our future such as what we would be doing and what new things would we have learned. It's hard to know where I will be in the future without knowing how this project will go, but I hoped for the best.
The last main step in my personal discovery was to interview someone about their life and journey about how they got to where they are now. I chose a person who seemed to be able to do it all. He is the mayor of my hometown, a father, a business owner, and so much more. He cares about making a difference in the community. It was a real eye opener to hear about his journey about how went through rough patches to get where he is now, but he is still striving to do what is best for everyone. He really inspired me to do my best with this project for the greater good of the community.
Once we discovered ourselves, we were ready to work together. We discussed many ideas and possible solutions. We ended up using a program called Invision to create a spread of our inspiration to look at while we decide our goals. From there, we created out leap statement: By the end of Summer 2020, we are going to research and design an interactive digital tool that allows people to go on an art/history walking tour in the heart of Fargo. We want to involve the community in the development process to locate existing features and propose new elements. We each had our own unique reasons for wanting to work on this project together, but as a whole, both of us want to make a difference in the community.
Digital Progress - 5/29/20
By DeAnna Hurley
Week two was spent creating ways to share information about our project progress with others and creating ways to allow others to reach out to us.
Emily made significant progress on setting up this website for us to use. She created the surveys, so we could start to reach out to people in the community. If you haven't filled it out yet, and have any thoughts or suggestions, we would love your input. There are now different ways for anyone who would like to stay up to date, or contact us.
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/fargowalkingtours/
I worked on creating a new Instagram for Fargo Walking Tours, so people that prefer social media can also be kept up to date. We will be trying to post many micro-updates as things progress with the project!
Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
We have a new email set up as well for reaching out to the community for help, and for the public to reach out to us. It will be a good way to keep everything in one place.
Logo and Prototype - 6/5/20
By DeAnna Hurley
A lot of progress was made this week from starting development on the logo and beginning the creation of the first prototype. Continuing research and making connections is also a must!
We started to come up with themes that we could move forward with for the logo such as brick walls, foot prints, and different fonts. I had the idea of reaching out to a fellow student, who has done work for me before. She sent us the sketches in the pictures above to help us get started. While we were thinking of footprints, she took it another route and did a shoe print. We loved that idea and have been working with that to design our logo. We especially liked the "F" in the heel and plan on using it in our logo. Our hope is to soon release the logo for all to see!
Going along with our research. We decided it was time to start our first prototype. Although you can not see it on our website yet, we hope to have a rough draft preview up soon!
Emily and I connected with the director of the Otter Tail County Historical Society Museum, Chris Schulke. He gave us a lot of advice about starting walking tours and what people like to see when he gives them. He also pointed us in the direction of a few other helpful leads.
Meetings and Media - 6/12/20
By DeAnna Hurley
We had a very full week and made a lot of progress. Emily and I had 3 meetings with new groups, updated the website, created a Facebook Page, and created a map for the tour page.
This week we had zoom calls with three very helpful groups: Folkways, Fargo Park District, and Downtown Fargo Community Partnership. We are hoping that we will be able to work with these groups as well as continue to make more connections with other groups. As of now, they gave us a lot of information that will help continue our endeavor and some leads of new sites to put on the tour! We are planning on partnering with Fargo Parks District on an upcoming event called 7.01.
Updates to Website
During our meeting with Folkways, they suggested using an application called Airtable to organize our tour information. We tested it out and have loved the results so far. Emily utilized it to create a new survey for our website, so we can keep the responses with our tour sites log.
The Prototype Page was also rearranged using a different format that we hope will make it more organized and easy to read while connecting it with the map better which we created using a program through Google. It is easy to update and alter to fit our needs, so we are hoping to get it to work for all the tours.
We have now created a Facebook Page, so it will be easier to partner with Fargo Parks District, and we can use it as another platform to get the word out about our work! We plan on posting daily updates or prompts to get feedback from the community and to involve everyone as much as they want to be involved. We are also about to reach 100 followers on our Instagram Page!
The next major step we want to take is reaching out to artists, historians, and the public to get audio clips to make our walking tour more personal with stories and experiences.
Artist Audio Clips - 6/19/20
By DeAnna Hurley
The main goal of this week was to start connecting to artists while continuing to fine-tune our website. We had quite a few success that we are celebrating this week as well!
Reaching out to Artists
This week, I spent the majority of my time researching the artists of the artworks in downtown Fargo with the goal of reaching out to them. We are hoping the artists will be willing to contribute to our tour with an audio clip on their piece to create a more personal tour. Utilizing Airtable again, I put together a spreadsheet with all the contact information I could find. Instagram ended up being the easiest to find the artists on. By the end of the day, we already had a couple responses which was a surprise that they were so quick to answer. The artists that answered were very interested in helping with our project!
The Nice Center has offered to let Emily and I use their recording equipment to meet with the artists in order to record an audio aspect of the tour. We are hoping we can start meeting with artists to record soon!
Updates to the Website
New domain: Fargowalkingtours.com!
I added an introduction paragraph to the Art Walking Tour page that gives a better description of what people can expect from the tour. I also reformatted the information about the art works. Refining everything is where I am at now until I get more information from the artists to add to the tour.
This week we started posting buildings that we want to include on the history tour in hopes that people will reach out with stories about the building or downtown in general, so we can start to put together the tour. In relation to this, Emily has been working on a Share Your Story form for people to fill out.
We also hit 100 Followers on Instagram!!!
Audio Clips Collected - 6/26/20
By DeAnna Hurley
The main goal this week was to meet with the artists that were willing to meet to gather audio clips and to begin developing the website to contain the audio clips for when they are edited.
I met with two different artist groups this Thursday to gather an audio clip for the website! Emily has plans to meet with another artist next week as well! To me, this is a turning point in how much process we are making with this Leap!
Cory from Upper Hand Signs was very helpful and willing to talk about the piece, "Welcome to Roberts Alley", he did with Jared, the other member of Upper Hand Signs. He came prepared with typed answers for the questions we went him in advance. He also did a free answer section of the interview, so we for sure have a good selection of audio clips to use for the "Welcome to Roberts Alley" mural and information on their business.
Lauren (Icky Hiccup / Starling Hero) and John (Dark Elvis), co-artists of the well known "Mario Wall" was the second group I met with. They both gave interesting insights on the piece that I'm sure will be an interesting addition to the "Mario Wall" mural page! Lauren also gave us some inside information about some future projects she will be working on, so we might add an extra audio clip for her story!
We decided to post pictures of buildings with prompts for the public to tell us stories about their experiences with that building. So far, we haven't had much luck getting people to answer prompts about the buildings in Fargo. We will probably be looking into other ways to communicate with the public to gather stories for the historic tour.
Since everyone has a different idea of what a good logo would be, we decided to make a few different logos with different ideas we would be willing to run with. We have two different logos so far along with some others that are in progress which we will be posting to have the public vote on what they would like to see around Fargo. We hope to start voting on these soon!
After the audio clips were collected from the two interviews I did, I was able to start creating sub pages that allow people to learn more about the artists and other works they might have.
I have no major updates for the 7/3/20 Update
as I was gone for the 4th of July.
Progress on Art Tours - 7/10/20
By DeAnna Hurley
I had my focus set on updating and improving the website this week. It involved adding new pages and doing research on how we can continue add to what we have to offer on our tours.
Updates to Website
The main thing I focused on this week was creating individual artist pages for each of the artists. I wanted to do this to let people experiencing the tour have a way to see all of their work, be able to access their public sites, and to place the quotes and pictures we received from the artists. Some artists have multiple pieces, so having a main artist page will allow the user to see all their pieces in one place instead of sifting through the tour pages trying to find if the artist has completed other works or not.
One of the things we have been looking into for our website is to embed the Instagram photos that have our art tags in them. There seems to be many ways to connect an Instagram account to a website, but not a certain hashtag such as #fargowalkingtours. We will continue to look into ways to do this because we would like the website handle it's own upkeep. We would love to have the public share their photos with the art work, but to have someone having to manually putting the pictures in there every time there is a new photo would add a lot of upkeep that could possibly be simplified.
Speaking of hashtags, it has been a bit of a task to decide what to make the hashtags as for some of the pieces. Luckily, some artists had already declared a hashtag for their piece. For others, I want to make sure it isn't too general to get mixed up with other things, but also not so long that no one wants to use it.
One more big update for this week on the website! We ended up adding/finding so many new pieces that we have now split the Art Tour into a North Art Tour and a South Art Tour! We made it so these tours can be taken separately at different times, or can be looped together for a one and done tour!
We mainly took a break from media this week to catch up on our work and prepare for the next week's posts. Hopefully we can pick back up with the daily posts next week!
FWT Event Launch - 7/17/20
By DeAnna Hurley
One of the main tasks for this week was to create a printable PDF map for the site. Although our site is meant to be mobile friendly, if someone is unable to use a mobile device without wifi, they would be able to print our map with the sites out ahead of time. In creating these maps, I colored coded them to match each tour. Now, the Northern Art Tour has a purple theme and the Southern Art Tour has a blue theme. The signs we are creating to place along the map routes will also be match colors to make them easier to identify.
One of the things that hasn't been my favorite part of this project, but is a very necessary part is follow ups. Emily started an airtable form for us to keep track of all of our contacts. In that form, I inserted all of the artist's contact information. I use that form to know which artists need to be followed up with about their pieces. Sometimes it can make you feel like you are bothering them, but in reality, the artists are busy and sometimes they don't get around to checking their email.
This week Emily and I picked a date for our Event Launch! August 15th from 1-4pm. Emily made the event flyer (pictured above) so we could make the official announcement. For our event, we plan on inviting the artists we have been in contact with to talk about their pieces. We also plan on having a main Fargo Walking Tours booth where we can answer questions for the public and we can pass out flyers and maps along with the stickers we are planning on ordering! We created an Eventbrite Event that lets us keep track of people that are planning on attending our event.
Eventbrite Link ---> https://www.eventbrite.com/e/fargo-walking-tours-launch-tickets-113149842224
7/24/20 Update Coming Soon
By DeAnna Hurley
Since we just released the event, we have been trying to advertise for it everywhere we can think of! Our goal is to post daily on Instagram and Facebook and every few days on LinkedIn. We have been discussing different ways to reach different groups of people too. Some of the different ideas we have had are putting up flyers up in the businesses downtown that will let us. Also advertising on NDSU campus, possibly through posters or a tv ad.
Sweet and Sips Stops
Kind of a last minute addition to the site, but I decided to make a tour of all the places to get a snack or a drink while taking one of our other tours!
I spent quite a bit of time reaching out to all the businesses in the area to let them know about our event!