Imagine a dinner table the length of the Third Street Bridge. Envision it packed with Daytonians from every pocket of the city. At this table, UpDayton and other interested parties can help serve a meal and challenge participants to re-think their assumptions about other parts of town and the people who live there. Volunteers will figure out how to bring this huge meal to life, how to inspire impactful dialogue, and how to fill the table with people who believe in a more open, connected Dayton.
“What’s better than having folks come together to break bread with strangers and talk about the future of Dayton?” says Bryan Stewart, The Longest Table Project organizer.
Stewart says he came up with the idea when a colleague reached out to him and showed him a similar event that happened last fall in Tallahassee, Fla. Stewart talked with organizers in Florida to learn how they planned the event.
Stewart pitched the idea, based on a similar event that took place in Tallahassee last fall, at the UpDayton Summit, an annual conference in which attendees vote on which community-based projects will receive $1,000 and assistance from UpDayton. Stewart was one of three winners at this year’s conference in April. Of course, $1000 doesn’t cover the cost of this project, so donations are welcome and the team will also be guest bartending tonight at Fifth Street Brewpub starting at 6pm.
A team of volunteers has been working for months to work on the logistics, the food donations, and getting a diverse group of Miami Valley residents to the table.
Volunteer Julio Mateo decided to join the Longest Table after attending the UpDayton summit. Mateo is on the dialogue committee, which develops ways for people to start conversation. For example, the table will be lined with placemats with questions on them. One question may be, “What’s your favorite part about your neighborhood? How can you make it even better?”
“We’re trying to create questions that can help people initiate conversations or that can lead people from just meeting a brand new person to working together on ways Dayton can be more forward,” says Mateo.
Of course to pull this off, hundreds of volunteers will be needed, for set up, helping with parking, table hosts, and of course clean up. Sign up to volunteer here.
If you’d like a seat at the table on Sat, Oct 15th you can register online. The meal is free, with most of it being provided by the House of Bread. It will be a very simple meal, because the conversation in the centerpiece of this event. Attendees are encouraged to bring their favorite dessert to share. Due to the nature of this event those with food allergies and other dietary restrictions will need to make their own decisions about whether to attend or not, as no special meal concessions will be available.
The Chicago Bean. The New York LOVE sign. Giant lawn birdies in Kansas City. UpDayton and the K12 Gallery for Young People & TEJAS invite artists to submit proposals for a new Dayton icon. This is a 2016 UpDayton Summit winning project. We are seeking creative thinkers to submit designs for an Instagram-worthy public sculpture that will attract locals and visitors alike. UpDayton and K12 will work with the selected artist(s) to assemble a team to construct the winning design(s).
- Eligibility: Open to both amateur and professional artists who reside in or have strong ties to the Greater Dayton region. Artwork may be created by a solo artist or in collaboration with a team.
- Design Requirements:
- The final structure will be a sculpture spelling out “DAYTON.” Artists should submit original designs for individual letters. Artists may submit up to six designs for consideration.
- Designs should embrace Dayton’s culture and innovative spirit.
- The completed structure should be self-supporting and free-standing. The structure should not be taller than 10 feet and should be able to be rescaled depending on the structure’s final location. It should be able to withstand extreme weather.
- Artists’ designs should aim for a budget of $1,000 per letter.
- Designs should be submitted in PDF format and may contain original sketches, original images, and other graphics.
- Artists should also submit a one-paragraph description of the design that includes suggested materials, special requirements (electricity, etc.), and the location envisioned for the final piece.
SELECTION PROCESS: All entries will be judged by a community panel, selected by the New Dayton Icon project team. Entries will be evaluated on creativity, design feasibility, sustainability, and ease of execution. The winning designs will be unveiled at a community reception. Artists/teams will receive a $100 prize for each winning design.
- Submission deadline: September 14, 2016 at 6pm
- Design Unveiling & Community Reception: TBA (likely mid-October)
- Art Installation: Spring/Summer 2017
RULES: All submitted designs must be the original work of the entrant and must not include, be based on, or derived from any pre-existing or third party designs, trademarks, or copyrighted images. The selection panel reserves the right to ask for revisions on submitted designs or to not select a winner if no suitable entries are received. An entrant may be asked to translate his/her design to a different letter.
UpDayton is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization powered by volunteers. We are not membership-based; rather, the organization relies on income from valuable mission-driven programs and the generous support of organizations, businesses and individuals who share our vision for a thriving Dayton region. The Dayton Icon project was one of three projects selected for implementation at the 2016 UpDayton Summit.
“FOMO – Anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on a social media website” – OxfordDictionaries.com
To avoid UpDayton Summit FOMO, we’d like to invite you to register as soon as possible for this year’s UpDayton Summit! You’ll find the registration form here.
What is the UpDayton Summit?
In its eighth year, the UpDayton Summit will return to the Dayton Art Institute on Thursday, April 28th at 5:30pm. At the Summit you’ll vote to decide which three creative young leaders will receive $1,000 budgets and the support of UpDayton volunteers to bring their ideas to action in the coming year. Past projects have included murals that transform urban places, the installation of more than 70 new bike racks in Dayton business districts, an ongoing community positivity campaign asserting that “Dayton Inspires,” and more!
What’s different about this year’s Summit?
If you’ve been to past UpDayton Summits, you’re in for some surprises!
New time – We’ve moved the event from a Friday afternoon to a Thursday evening. We received feedback that many young professionals had a hard time getting out of work without using their vacation time.
New format – In past years there were typically three simultaneous breakout sessions where groups would assess a particular category of ideas and discuss the pros and cons of each. Then each breakout would choose a winner from their group. This year, only 10 ideas will be pitched to the entire Summit audience. Each audience member will receive a ballot and select their three favorite project ideas. The top three vote recipients will then receive the usual $1,000 budgets and support of UpDayton volunteers. Even for the project ideas that aren’t selected, the event serves as a powerful launchpad for those leaders to move forward with the idea on their own.
New vibe – Now that we’re competing with your Thursday evening social plans, we knew we had to change our offering a little. There will be food, a cash bar, time to mingle, and some in-your-face performances from local artists!
See you there!
Register here: Registration Page
“In 2015 we encountered hundreds of young Daytonians excited and ready to make their mark on
Dayton’s transformation. They sense a new era beginning in Dayton and know it needs their energy and ideas,” said AJ Ferguson, the organization’s director. UpDayton wants incoming volunteers to discover a variety of opportunities in both what UpDayton organizes and what others are doing to make a difference in Dayton. Ferguson adds, “UpDayton fuels a movement far bigger than itself. If Dayton wants to attract the next generation of talent, then the people and approaches of the next generation have to
permeate everything our community is doing.”
community leaders together to discuss the region’s talent needs.
The UpDayton Board of Directors has named the keynote speakers for the UpDayton Summit on April 10. This year’s event will feature two keynote speakers, both affiliates of the Detroit Future City nonprofit group tasked with re-imagining Detroit’s urban planning and civic engagement programs. Together, they will present case studies from Detroit demonstrating how volunteers and civic engagement (plus a well-developed community plan) made an impact in the Motor City, providing tips and insight to help volunteers polish the Gem City.
Charles Cross, ASLA, is the senior landscape designer at the Detroit Collaborative Design Center, as well as an adjunct professor at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Architecture. He holds degrees in agriculture and urban landscape architecture as well as a master’s in urban design.
Allandra Bulger is a Detroit revitalization fellow serving as a program manager for the Detroit Future City implementation office and convenes the civic capacity working group. Allandra has held a number of leadership positions in human service organizations including managing a Title IV-E funding program of the Wayne County Juvenile Assessment Center, and working at DEXDesign Associates Inc, where she specialized in developing and delivering technical assistance to community based nonprofit organizations.
This year’s UpDayton summit will be held on Friday, April 10, 2015 from 2 – 6 p.m. at the Dayton Art Institute. Registration is now open at updayton.city.
UpDayton is a volunteer-organized, nonprofit organization dedicated to attracting and retaining young talent in the greater Dayton area. Its action plan committees meet regularly to formulate and execute ideas to make Dayton a better place to live, work and play. Additionally, UpDayton’s Catalyst Program offers services to help area colleges and businesses better connect their students and young professionals to the region through personal interaction.
AJ Ferguson started his new role as Updyaton Executive Director this week. His role is to ignite and lead this young professional organization on their mission of spurring economic growth in the Dayton region by attracting and retaining young talent. The group’s signature event is the annual UpDayton Summit, which gathers over 300 hundred Dayton area residents to share and vote on ideas to make Dayton a better place to live, work and play.
“When I attended my first UpDayton Summit in 2012, I was overwhelmingly inspired by the enthusiasm and creativity in the room. It was this experience at the Summit that pulled me into an UpDayton project, into moving downtown, and ultimately into applying for the director position” – says AJ.
AJ grew up in the Dayton area and has a strong background of involvement and leadership in the region. He graduated from the University of Dayton with a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering (2012) and a Master’s in Renewable and Clean Energy (2013). His passion for improving the region stems from his experiences in the University of Dayton’s Rivers Institute and Fitz Center for Leadership in Community.
“The story of Dayton’s revival is getting exciting and I, like all those involved with UpDayton, want to be part of it. I cannot wait to get started,” said Ferguson.
Ferguson’s previous professional experience includes internships with the UD Rivers Institute, Sustainable Pittsburgh, and the Dayton Regional Green initiative. He most recently worked as the chief operating officer at a local start-up company called Dropoly.
We asked AJ to answer some questions for us:
Describe the Dayton region with 3 words:
Inspiring untapped potential
If you were showing prospective newcomers to Dayton – what 3 places would you take them to?
2nd Street Market, any local brewery, kayaking on the Mad River into downtown
I’d never have to leave Dayton if it had ….
all my friends who live in other cities and states
The thing the “powers that be” don’t realize about young professionals is…
We want places and employers that share our values, especially our desire for work-life balance.
What I hope to accomplish during my time at Updayton….
I think the watershed moment for young Daytonians is still ahead. We want young adults to be engaged and thriving in the Dayton region to the point that young people everywhere are curious about what’s happening in Dayton, Ohio. When Dayton is making lists of millennial-friendly cities and regions, we’ll know we’re getting there.
I still have much to learn from the board and past leaders of the organization before championing a particular direction, but some themes have emerged so far:
– The UpDayton board and core volunteers are incredibly committed and put tons of time into UpDayton’s mission. We accomplish more than a typical organization of our size because of them. So, goal one is to keep such a good thing going and growing.
– We’d like to get the organization to the next level in order to grow our impact and become a more powerful force for attracting and retaining young talent. For this purpose, we hope to grow our organization’s capacity and resources. We’ll do this through increased fundraising as well as creative programs that generate revenue for the organization while simultaneously advancing our mission.
– Last year UpDayton launched its Catalyst Program with the support of Montgomery County. The programs three focus areas are creating leadership opportunities for young people, connecting with college campuses and engaging new hires at local employers. A major goal for the organization will be refining and growing this program in the coming years. Human Resources teams at area employers are on the front lines of the talent retention and attraction conversation. I’m particularly interested in how we can continue to support them with our expertise in demonstrating why young adults love this region.
Anything else you’d like to share?
I’d like to express my gratitude for Laura Estandia’s work while in the position and her continued support through the transition. She did an incredible job advancing the organization in her time as director and will continue to be a leader for the organization.
And I’d like to invite everyone to join us for our Summit:
Pitch your ideas to make Dayton more vibrant at the annual UpDayton Summit, 2-6 pm Friday, April 10, at the Dayton Art Institute. Meet young professionals, government officials, community leaders, and other people invested in brightening the shine on the Gem City! You can register online now.
Olivia Barrow came to Dayton two years ago to work for the Dayton Business Journal. And she quickly saw through the inferiority complex that our town seems to have and is excited about helping others see that, too. Olivia says, “I saw a lot of untapped potential in the Dayton region. Dayton’s outdoor adventure possibilities, especially the rivers, really capture my imagination and inspire me to be active. The opportunities for young people to become influential in the community and in business also inspires my desire to make a difference.”
As a way to give back to her town, Olivia became involved with UpDayton, a non profit group focused on the attraction and retention of young talent in Dayton. When their annual UpDayton Summit came around last April, she knew it was her time to ignite others with the passion she felt for the region. At the Summit, attended by hundreds of area young professional, the challenge posed was: How can we IGNITE change to make Dayton an even better place to live, work and play? How can we improve the quality of life for young professionals?
The group agreed to create three new projects to tackle these questions. Olivia stepped forward as a Project Leader and shared her idea – pictured to the right.
Attendees of the summit heard many pitches, and voted to narrow down the ideas. The three projects ideas selected for for 2014: 1) Disc Golf Course Along the River 2) Welcome Day for WPAFB in Downtown Dayton and 3) “I Love Dayton” Campaign.
After the summit, Matthew Sliver, one of the co-founders of Catapult Creative, says, “I saw an update about which projects had been chosen, and who pitched them. “I Love Dayton: was one of the chosen projects, which Olivia had pitched. I sent her a text with a screen grab asking her if she needed help naming the project, her response, ” I’ve already conscripted you to come up with it :).”
Matthew and his creative team got to work. At the May Project Launch “I Love Dayton” morphed into Dayton Pride.
In June the Dayton Pride group met at Warped Wing Brewing Company to start to plot out a campaign to create a media buzz for the region. What they ended up sharing was their vision for Dayton Inspires.
According to the recently launched website:
We have created a new positive interactive brand for Dayton that is reflected in our Web and social media presence. We’re giving everyone access to our designs so they can take our campaign and run with it. We will succeed by inspiring Daytonians to use our branding to promote themselves and their pride in the city in any form they choose.
With your help, we will cover the city with our logo by distributing it through posters, stickers, murals and other physical images at businesses and community gathering spaces in downtown Dayton and in the suburbs. When we finish, it will be almost impossible to go to downtown Dayton without encountering our logo, and the positive vibes it inspires.”
According to Updayton Executive Director Laura Estandia, a young professional who came to Dayton to attend UD and has stayed, explains, “I like this campaign because it encourages the user to be interactive. It’s open source creative. No trademarks, just free space. I am excited to see how people interact with it. It could be messy at times, but overall this is going to be a very colorful, diverse celebration.”
Barrow is excited to see how the community will embrace Dayton Inspires. She shared, “I hope it will inspire the region to take pride in itself and truly see Dayton for the wonderful place to live that it is. And while many people who live here recognize that it’s a great place to live, they still talk down about it as if it’s something to apologize for. When people take pride in where they live, they’re more invested in the community and willing to spend money locally, and they look for ways to take advantage of the city’s amenities instead of always going out of town. If the 850,000 people who live in the region began to celebrate all of the great businesses and parks and unique shops and restaurants that make Dayton awesome, downtown and the region would be bustling with activity all the time. ”
Sliver hopes “to see a chain reaction. It will start with several businesses and people, then as others see what Dayton has inspired them to do, they will inturn show what inspires them. Ultimately, I just want people to start seeing the amazing things that Dayton has to offer, instead of focusing on the bad.” As for measuring success, he shares, ” This is a social based campaign, so the more posts I see, or the more that #Daytoninspires is used, that will measure the short-term. I will know we are successful when we are approached by another group of like-minded individuals wanting to take the voice of Dayton Inspires over and grow it even further.”
The Dayton Inspires crew will be on hand tonight at Urban Nights with their photo booth at the UpDayton Splatter Zone, located at 125 N Wilkinson St in the parking lot near the Westminster Presbyterian Church .
Share what you love about Dayton! Bring a T-shirt (or other clothing item) and get “tagged” with the Dayton Inspires logo at the spray painting station.
Keep up with Dayton Inspires by liking their Facebook Page.
Activated Spaces, an initiative to fill downtown storefronts, is accepting applications for temporary retail, service, and office businesses to open downtown this fall as part of the seventh phase of its Pop-up Project. The project matches business owners and entrepreneurs with downtown property owners who have first-floor storefront space available for occupancy.
Interested retailers or office space seekers should fill out an application, which can be downloaded here:Pop-up-Project-RFP-Fall-2014, and email it to Jen Cadieux at [email protected]The application deadline is 5 p.m. Friday, August 8. Tenants will be selected the week of August 18.
Lease lengths will range from three to six months. The spaces will have varying lease rates, but will be leased below market value. Activated Spaces volunteers will connect retailers and office businesses with commercial property owners, help make the space move-in ready, and promote the business during such events as First Friday and Urban Nights. Selected businesses will negotiate leasing terms directly with the selected property owner, but flexibility for the tenant is a priority.
Activated Spaces volunteers hope to build on the success of the Pop-Up Project’s first five phases. Ten of the businesses that have opened as part of the Pop-Up Project are still open: Beaute Box, 116 W. Fifth St.;Peace on Fifth, 234 Dutoit St.; American Pi, 41 S. St. Clair St.; Vintage Barbershop, 110 W. Fifth St.; Sew Dayton, 261 Wayne Ave..; Green Baby, 2nd Street Market; Spice Paradise, 16 Brown St.; Hicks’ Barber Shop, 16 Brown St.; Catapult Creative, 133 N. Ludlow St.; Studio Meco, 46 W. 5th St.; and Confetti, 42 W. 5th St. Since the inception of the project in 2011, more than 13,000 square feet of vacant space has been filled and 29 new jobs have been created.
Commercial property owners interested in offering space to Pop-Up Shop owners should contact Jen Cadieux at 937-224-1518. Participating property owners are on the Activated Spaces website. Once a match is made, a limited amount of money is available to be distributed at the discretion of the Activated Spaces team for such purposes as offsetting utility costs, making cosmetic improvements to the space or other necessities for making the space operational.
The Pop-Up Project is driven by volunteers from the young professional organizations Generation Dayton and UpDayton with support from the Downtown Dayton Partnership, the City of Dayton, the City of Dayton Neighborhood Mini-Grant program and community volunteers. Activated Spaces is part of the Greater Downtown Dayton Plan, a strategic blueprint for the future of downtown.
Those interested in volunteering with Activated Spaces should e-mail [email protected].
UpDayton is calling on all residents of the Miami Valley to take a short four minute survey to measure their embeddedness to the region. Connect937 is a survey platform and community connectivity tool that measures a person’s attachment through the Embeddedness Quotient (EQ) developed by Dr. Brookes Holtom of Georgetown University. In a quick, four-minute survey, a participant is able to see his/her results and utilize tools to help improve their connectedness in the office and in the community. Results will be anonymized and UpDayton along with MCOFuture and BusinessFirst! for A Greater Dayton Region regional business retention and expansion program, will present the results to the region in a talent symposium slated to occur this summer.
“In order to understand the gaps in attachment in our community, we need a large data set. We are encouraging companies and individuals to take the survey and then share it with their networks,” says executive director Laura Estandia. “We’re looking to determine these gaps so we can develop regional strategies with community partners around our retention efforts.”
Launched at the 2014 UpDayton Summit on Friday, April 11, results for Connect937 will be gathered until July 4, before being analyzed and presented to the public this summer. Anyone living or working in the Miami Valley is encouraged to take the survey. The survey will remain open for years to come to continuously gather information, but the first round of results are being gathered over a three month period. Participants in the first two months will be entered to win an iPad Mini. Take the Connect937 survey now.
The technology platform is powered by award-winning HR Technology firm BlackbookHR based in Cincinnati. Their Sense product is recognized as the #1 Employee Engagement platform, is used by organizations large and small including P&G, Macy’s, The City of San Jose, and it was named Human Resource Executive’s Top Product for 2013.
“Engaging, attracting and retaining young talent is a key part of the County’s Strategic Initiatives and workforce talent is necessary for our region to compete nationally and globally,” says Dan Foley.
For more information about Connect937, click here. If your company would like to send information to your employees, please reach out to UpDayton Executive Director Laura Estandia at [email protected].