Funded by an Our Town grant from the National Endowment for the arts, Wayne County Cultural Atlas is a collaborative, community-driven planning project. A team of community leaders is working with the public to identify and highlight cultural points of pride and potential. These select locations and personal stories gathered with them will later be used for a mapping and public art project that helps residents and visitors better enjoy and appreciate the rich culture — past, present, and future — of Wayne County.

While the grant and other support funds the planning process, the partnership of the City of Richmond, IU East, and the Richmond Art Museum is gathering input from the community to help identify key locations for a second project phase, currently seeking funding, that will highlight locations in digital and print maps with sculptural art markers. With Richmond’s strong history with music, the partnership is exploring, especially, ways people will be able to interact with sound.

The Cultural Atlas partnership — which also includes Earlham College and the Richmond/Wayne County Convention and Tourism Bureau — is also working with the community and Richmond native Greg Hull in a process to prototype a sculptural marker for highlighting atlas points. In the future, these markers may be found along Richmond’s downtown cultural trail and at a community-identified locations around Wayne County.

Throughout the summer and early fall, the Cultural Atlas team is gathering favorite points by reaching out at community events and connecting with people through an online survey. A marker prototype and plan for the key points to highlight on the atlas will both be created before the end of 2015.

How did we get here?

2009: Mayor’s Council on Economic Vitality
Started the direction of the conversation
2010: Positive Place initiative
Focus: Changing the culture through changing the conversation
2011: Story Mining Project
Identify “points of positive potential” – organically and authentically strengthen feelings of attachment to the community
2012: One Book
Listening is an Act of Love – David Isay
Theme: The importance of story in creating connection
2013: Boost 1
Theme: Building on our Strengths Together
Title: Creating Vibrant Places (through BOOST)
2013: Memories with Momentum
“Meaningful memories that can positively influence future practice and provide a source of energy for positive action.”
2013: Chew on This
“there are many points of positive potential in the region, as we identify and connect these we have what we need to build on our strengths together”
2013: One Book
Wine to Water – Doc Hendley
Theme: One person can make a big difference by “starting something”
2014: Boost 2
Act on your passion – Get something started today
2014: One Book
Love of Cities – Peter Kageyama
People who act on their love for their cities (sometimes in very small personal ways) can make a big difference in the vitality of the community

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