Ames Play flyer

With hopes to increase engagement with underrepresented communities City of Ames and Iowa State University will host Ames Play on Sept. 25 from noon to 5 p.m.

Play Ames is a collaboration between the City of Ames and Iowa State University to host their first community engagement festival with a focus on marginalized and underrepresented groups on Saturday.

The objective of the festival is to develop, implement, test and evaluate community engagement methods. It will take place from noon to 5 p.m.

There will be four locations around the City of Ames with unique games and activities, as well as a chance to speak to urban planners and city officials. There will be two city council members at each location to support the activities to talk with constituents. 

“Sidewalks can potentially be more than just sidewalks; they can turn into a place to enjoy, play, walk and socialize. Places that may promote life between buildings,” according to the Ames Play Implementation Document.

The implementation document also outlined targeted locations for the event which include low income, African American neighborhoods and low education level communities in the hopes of improving their involvement in the city of Ames. This event will serve as an opportunity for these communities to voice their opinions and issues on a public platform to community leaders.

“It is to get the community out and engage in conversation with community leaders,” said Natalie Jacobson, a senior in community and regional management at Iowa State.

Jacobson is the team leader of the Fifth and Burnett Street activities. She said the event will bring people together, while making a more happy and supportive community.

This festival will accomplish this by using engagement strategies to bring fun to its residents through creative and playful public participation.

Events will be available at all locations include:

  • Smart city talks: opportunity to speak with urban planners and city officials

  • Sidewalks of dreams: information boards to express ideas, feeling and concerns

  • Interviews with participants

  • Photovoice: students will educate the public about the possibilities of using Photovoice

Ames Play will take place at four different locations with various activities:

  • Reliable Street: Guerrilla gardening, origami of dreams, Playing board games

  • East Seventh Street: digital mapping, mapping of places, pop-up van with virtual reality

  • Franklin Park: Breathing game, Sensory path

  • Fifth & Burnett streets: Mural painting, live music

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