October and November have been busy months for the Destination Frankford team. We received 100 responses for our Womrath Park Gateway Sculpture RFQ via Call for Entry. Over milk and cookies—thanks Insomnia cookies—our Jury was able to select five finalists to submit detailed proposals for an interactive sculpture to be installed in Womrath Park. The finalists are: Jake Beckman, Pete Beeman, Jim Gallucci, Robert Roesch, and Christine Rojek.
Our team also made the strategic decision to limit the number of firms submitting proposals for our Place Branding and Wayfinding Signage project to highly experienced, professional firms. These firms will get a stipend to produce detailed proposals for presentation to our Jury and the Frankford Community. These highly capable firms, together with the five Womrath Park Gateway Sculpture finalists, represent a level of artistic quality and professionalism that we weren’t sure we could attract to Frankford. The quality of artists and design firms we attracted to the project speaks volumes about Frankford’s growing reputation as a destination for artists and creative businesses. We are excited to see all of their proposals.
The decision to have a strong web and social media presence is paying off. Our website has gotten rave reviews and its design and CMS have allowed us to independently update the content. We are beginning to produce professional quality artist / artisan profiles on our blog. In fact, we are starting to see our project not just as a placemaking project, but also as a marketing campaign. Through our blog and social media accounts, we are starting to shift people’s perceptions of Frankford and what it has to offer the City.
Since going live on October 7, our website has gotten over 1,500 total visits. Between Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, we have over 275 social media followers. In the coming months, as we get designs for our art projects, we anticipate gaining an even larger following.
Two of the three design firms we chose to compete for the Place Branding and Wayfinding Signage project and two of the five finalists for the Womrath Park Gateway Sculpture are based in the City of Philadelphia. However, other than our web design firm, we have not been able to engage many of the local Frankford artists outside of featuring them on our website. We are exploring more ways to work with local artists and artisans, and we see the Globe Dye Store pop-up shop (we hope to open our shop in the spring and/or summer of 2014) as our avenue for doing just that.