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Our Gem In Process



A continuation of #DaytonInspires

The Premise of Project Gem City:

The inspiration for the project came from a number of places, but mostly started when exploring the revitalization efforts of the city of Chattanooga, Tennessee. The members of CreateHere, which is a parallel to The Collaboratory, used urban art as a way to explore the public opinions on a number of questions. They achieved this by creating an interactive chalkboard installment in the city. The CreateHere team constructed a large cube that was placed in a number of different areas around the city where different community members were able to see and interact with the installment.

We would like to do something similar through the creation of a large three dimensional gem. The gem would be close to seven feet tall and nearly five feet wide at its largest point. The installation would be constructed of 2×4’s and finished plywood sheets. The gem would be painted with black chalkboard paint allowing community members to write freely on any of the eight lower sides. The top sections of the gem would be reserved for the prompts we develop, our project logo and the logos of The Collaboratory as well as UpDayton. The structure would be completely freestanding and would monitored by one of the project member during the initial installation and for a number of days after. We have the ability to store the installation at night but would hope to leave it in a set location for a number of days at a time.

We would like to have the first installment displayed in Courthouse Square on Friday the 26th of June. We are willing to work with you on where to display the gem but we would ideally set up on the east side of the fountain, towards the stage.

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Who We Are
The Collaboration Accelerators consist of twelve students from the University of Dayton with diverse backgrounds and different fields of study.  Collaboration Accelerators discover and define the challenges and opportunities within the Dayton community.   Accelerators promote change by directly engaging in civic activities, and by experiencing the regional assets.  Most importantly, they seek to solve connectivity gaps within the Dayton area, and by doing so, they hope to promote a perpetual change that instills long lasting passion and pride for residents as well as visitors. By pairing individuals with different missions and niches, the potential for unbelievable outcomes skyrockets.  This credo outlines the actions and mentality of the group.  This credo IS The Collaboratory.

The Real Deal

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Project Gem City’s Future

We would like to expand on this idea and create a number of different gems throughout the city. We would also like to connect with local artists and inspire them to create a gem in their own vision. One of the reasons the gem shape was chosen for this instalment is unique structure, color and shape of gems. No one gem is the same as any other, and the same is true for the people of Dayton, as they all bring unique talents to the table. Allowing these unique talents and traits to be expressed publically would allow artists to own their work and express themselves freely on a public forum, and reach a larger audience in a new way. Other cities have similar urban art programs but they lack a bond with the city and fail to reach their full potential. Applying the tag line of “Gem City” and pushing the gem shape, Dayton could create an urban art following that would rival any city.

Along with the boost in the urban art scene, local businesses could benefit as well. The city is full of assets that are underutilized and often overlooked. These “Gems” could be more openly advertised with a rendition of this project. When traveling to a new city, I don’t go to the visitors bureau to see what I should check out, I ask around on the streets or on the internet or through some phone app. These sources are entirely crowdsourced and often lead to the best discoveries. The Dayton version of this system would use the visual of gems as our tourist platform. Invision small gems outside of restaurants, shops and other attractions that serve as “The Dayton Stamp of Approval” for tourists and visitors. Seeing a gem outside of a shop would signal that this shop can offer more information about the city and be able to point visitors in the right direction. This system would dismantle the typical tourist visit to a city, and allow visitors to feel more apart of the community as opposed to an intruder into it.


Sample Prompts

  1. If you could have a new restaurant in Dayton, what would it be?
  2. If you had a day to do anything in Dayton, where would you go?
  3. If Dayton could be world famous for one thing, what would you want it to be?
  4. If you had unlimited funding, what would you develop/change in the city?
  5. What do you miss in Dayton?
  6. What is the best restaurant in Dayton?

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