Cultural Atlas: Richmond/Wayne County, Ind.

Wayne County Cultural Atlas is a pre-design planning and cultural program project happening in Richmond, Indiana — a midsize city located an hour east of Indianapolis. The engagement-based project gathers ideas and input from the community for cultural highlights to plot on a crowd-sourced map that will be used as a virtual and print “cultural trail” in Richmond and greater Wayne County. The outcome of the planning and public interaction will be simple digital and print cultural maps and location signs. The maps will allow people to plot and share their own favorite cultural, historical, and social spots. We’ll celebrate the project with a community tour in the physical world.

While we’re still working on finding the best the digital platform for the map, we know we’d like to prototype something that connects with existing platforms like Instagram, Vine, Twitter, Yelp, Google Maps, etc. We have also developed a Tumblr website. And creative director Andy Fry has developed an identity and information-gathering materials for the project. View a PDF of them here.

This work is funded through an NEA Our Town planning grant given to the City of Richmond, Indiana University East, and the Richmond Art Museum — all partners with Big Car Collaborative (hired as a consultant) on the project. Other partners include the local library and visitor’s bureau. A next phase of funding could come to Richmond to pay for a more dynamic platform specific to this idea. Richmond has a very strong history with music, so we’re especially interested in ways people can interact with sound through the mapping project. And a physical cultural trail of sorts is being built in downtown Richmond, so this is an idea to activate it and help guide residents and visitors around the county to points of interest and potential.

This work came out of two earlier visits to Richmond by Jim Walker (one with philanthropist and artist Jeremy Efroymson) to share ideas. For that project, Walker teamed up with Fry to create a printed card deck of creative placemaking an arts-based community building approaches. All attendees received a deck.

Here are shots from Jim Walker’s visit to Richmond and images he’s taken during walks in Richmond.

  • Client: The City of Richmond
  • Date: November, 2014
  • Services: planning, organizing, design