Ashkenaz: Community Pin Board
As a result of Ashkenaz’s drive for cultural variation and a sense of community, the venue has become popular with people from many different backgrounds, ethnicities and ages. In order to further their efforts in community development and education, a large pin board wall inside the venue would give space for the visitors to express their insight, memories and stories of their time at Ashkenaz with each other and the staff.
Behind the main stage there is a hallway lined with old newspaper articles and maps, a space which could also incorporate an interactive installation in the form of a community memory pin board. Large panels of thick corkboard would create an area for visitors to respond to a weekly question or prompt pinned to the top of the board to initiate discussion. Each week would provide guests the opportunity to share a new piece of information about a range of topics posed; for example, positive changes at Ashkenaz, favorite memories of events, interesting information about the guest’s culture, or what they appreciate about the community that the venue has established. A table with note cards, pens and thumbtacks placed near the couch already situated towards the back wall will allow people an opportunity to sit and be creative about their responses. By the end of each week, the community would have created a wall together filled with stories and feedback from regular and new customers, hoping that the next week’s topic may interest them enough to come back to discover what else they can contribute or read from others.
This feature may appeal especially to long time visitors who can reminisce about their memories at Ashkenaz. The power of remembering special occasions cultivates a feeling of happiness for those who have been veteran visitors. Because Ashkenaz is particularly family friendly, this pin board will also give children an expressive project to even further enhance the family atmosphere.
The wall would also serve the managers of Ashkenaz as they would have an additional way for customers to provide feedback and maybe even obtain some new ideas for how the patrons envision Ashkenaz going forward. Staff would have an opportunity to elicit feedback from their visitors on any specific topics that seem pertinent to them.
Although this installation mainly engages the visual sense, there is also a sense of touch within the active writing and drawing process, connecting visitors to their expressive sides. The project can enhance the sustainability of Ashkenaz by attracting returning customers who now have the chance to feel more involved in the location, and with this renewed sense of belonging they will be able to feel more connected to its history by learning about old memories. This perception of social inclusion would aid in bringing patrons together within the community Ashkenaz is attempting to create. The information can enable changes that would increase the number of return visitors by further catering to their interests.
Take a look at our other proposed interpretive projects: