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.