Wednesday, June 27, 2012

from wichita with [love]

back in april some friends and i attended a workshop put on by the wichita downtown development corporation called "for the love of wichita" hosted by peter kageyama.  to make a very brief summary, the workshop focused on recognizing different aspects certain cities posses making them "lovable".  being grouped by table, which just so happened to be my friends and i, we ran through several exercises, identifying the reasons we loved wichita as well as looking at our city through the eyes of different demographics, taking note of why other groups may like or dislike wichita.

at the end of the workshop each table was challenged to come up with a project or activity they could put on to help spread love in and around wichita.  every table would present their ideas and then all would be voted on by the attendees, with the winning idea receiving $500 to actually fund it.  our group discussed several ideas all focusing on ways to get the most "love" for the buck.  in the end our idea was to use the money to print as many postcards as we could and spread them through out the city, giving as many people the chance to send some wichita love.  the message on the card would be "wichita, wish you were here".  this would allow people to send it to friends and family living elsewhere, or to stores, companies, businesses, or bands who may have never considered coming to wichita.  hashing these rough details out in 20 minutes, we presented our idea.  as fate would have it our idea, as well as two others, was chosen.

that's when the real work began.

we started out with a very simple, romantic idea. living in this digital age, we wanted people to receive something tangible, something that when held, shows time and thought were put into it.  something valuable to send to those you really care about.  as personal, touching, and old fashioned as that idea is, the digital side of us kicked in and we wanted the ability to show the community where all this "love" was ending up.  this led to the idea of creating a website where those who had received cards could upload pictures of themselves holding the card showing everyone where this little tangible piece of wichita love had found them.  the site would be the central place for senders, receivers and other in the community to watch the love spread.  also, as a way to make this project more ingrained within the community and spread the love even further, we wanted the postcards to be available at local businesses.  if by some small chance, people head to a local shop to find the cards, and they happen to stay and purchase something as well, in a very small way, the project would be helping out the local economy as well.

we quickly enlisted the help of some of our highly creative and wonderful friends.  with a graphic designer, web developer, and several others talented people, we set to work.  after hours of volunteered time, talent, creativity, opinions, and leg work, we were able to design, print, and distribute 20,000 postcards as well as develop a webpage for $507.  last week our idea came to fruition, and i'm extremely happy to share it with you all.

so please visit the site fromwichitawithlove and watch all the wonderful places these cards end up.

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