By Susan Volbrecht—
MUNCIE, Ind.– The Muncie Action Plan (MAP) spent much of 2021 in partnership with representatives from Delaware-Muncie Metropolitan Plan Commission and NEXT Muncie surveying Muncie’s citizens and working with the urban planning firm czb in the development of the new Strategic Investment Plan for the City of Muncie
The last large-scale MAP planning took place in 2009 and although two updates have been completed since, we are excited to put into place the newest large-scale engagement effort where Muncie’s residents helped create a new vision for Muncie’s growth and investment.
As we close out this year, we would like to share MAP’s successes as we approach our Annual Community Meeting on January 26th that will be both open for the public to join online (click here to register) and streamed on Facebook Live. Each of our five task forces will share the work completed during 2021. This is the third of five reports from our task force leaders.
Muncie Action Plan’s Task Force 3: Strengthening Pride and Image
This year, Task Force 3 was able to extend our reach, and continue our work to improve the public image of Muncie–literally, through photo contests.
In years past, the focal point of our work has included large scale gatherings, namely the Muncie Bridge Dinner. However, with the quick shifts in COVID guidelines, we decided to cancel both dinners this year, in the interest of safety for our citizens and vendors. We are hoping that as breakthroughs continue to change the landscape of public health, we will be able to reunite in person soon.
Through the agility of our collaborators, we engaged the community by implementing photo contests on social media. This achieved several goals: increasing the positive online presence of Munsonians and local amenities, generating conversation amongst users, creating digital artifacts (searchable through hashtags) for later reflection, and keeping momentum in a challenging time.
The themes for the photo contests were SpringZing, Happy Little Pictures (inspired by Bob Ross), and It’s Tradition, which concludes on February 15th. For each, guest judges and committee members awarded prizes in 3 categories: Best Loved (most likes and shares), Storyteller or Most Creative, and Judge’s Choice. Prizes were donated by local organizations, including Minnestrista, Aspect 6 Creative, George Insurance Co, Muncie Map Co, among others.
We don’t know what 2022 will bring, but we are ready to adapt to the circumstances, and continue to lift our community in partnership with Munsonians. We do anticipate continuing the photo contests, and building our digital assembly on the Muncie Proud Page, which currently has 699 followers. We hope that you will join us, and submit your feedback and ideas, so that we can show Muncie for all that we are.
Related article—Sample photo contest article