November 14, 2010

Thrive Workshop Experience

Taking part in the Thrive. Workshop was a really great learning experience. Terrance Clark (KCAI Design 05') and Will Staley (KCAI Design 04') are very dedicated to the work they're doing in Helena, AR designing to end rural poverty. They along with Tyler Galloway had a great deal of good advice for all of us throughout the project. 

After going over the situation in Helena and discussing key elements in the city the nine of us consisting of sophomores, juniors, and seniors sectioned off into three groups of three. We were then assigned to create an event to help better the city by creating jobs, drawing in tourism, and improving the overall life of the citizens of Helena through design or in this case event design and promotion. 

Our group and the other two groups all basically devised the same plan in varying degrees of music, arts, film, cuisine, and history. We created in the matter of two meetings one friday and one saturday an event statement, an audience, a promotional plan, clear objectives, and a five year plan to renew a since of culture in Helena. Our project was called "The Delta Crawl" A first friday like event but on the first Saturday of every month because a primary part of our audience were young teachers (TFA Teachers for America) who worked friday's. The Delta Crawl spanned the five main blocks of downtown Helena. Basically it was a more locally benefiting culture based blues festival like the one they have once a year which brought in most of the cities revenue. Sadly this main festival is run primarily by out of town groups which is limiting the real benefit Helena could be receiving from their own rich delta blues cultural heritage. 

We're hoping through all three group projects that the best points can be taken, revised, and prepared for the local board back in Helena and possibly our event in one form or another can come to fruition. 

Overall the workshop was a nice taste of things to come and I feel like I will be able to better prepare myself for the next few years because of it. I am seriously considering the summer trip to Helena. 

Here is the statement Luke, Patrick, and I formulated:


The Delta Crawl, a monthly reoccurring celebration of historic downtown Helena-West Helena. Focusing on the 5 blocks of Historic Cherry Street. Stretching from Rightor Street to Missouri Street with live music, visual and performing arts, restaurants and food booths all celebrating the culture of Helena-West Helena. The results of This event will not only be urban renewal through increased revenue and community pride but as well as invigorating individuals to take up their own entrepreneurial potential and change the future of Helena-West Helena.


The Delta Crawl is primarily aimed at the Teach for America (TFA) Teachers in the region. This will help give the teachers an event to look forward to monthly. The Crawl should also captivate the regional 18-24 year old demographic and the local based Philips County Community College, and High Schools. Connecting with the under 25 demographic will help foster community pride and help Helena and other near by localities keep students from moving away as fast. Through our marketing and branding we will be able to captivate the younger and older communities.


The initial promotion of The Delta Crawl will consist of mailers, guerilla posters, gallery flyers, radio announcements, billboards, street banners, bulletin boards, community murals, and window signage.

Branding of The Delta Crawl will be present on all promotional materials as well as a map of locations, schedules, and street banners; to include environmental elements such as way-finding, lighting of the streets, and storefronts.

The Delta Crawl event is founded on the utilizing the local cultures of the Delta. Consisting of food & dining, arts & crafts, music, film, and history of the Delta.


The objectives of The Delta Crawl are to foster community pride and unity, support local businesses, promote safety, inspire entrepreneurship, and involve surrounding communities through an organic event based on loose guidelines for participation with a level of standards set by the participants and the community.

Expanding locally, a renewed since of culture in Helena, and transplanting to other delta communities.