The Cultural Assembly’s app-based augmented reality art trail, which merges previously existing murals with freshly commissioned artwork, has improved Fort Worth’s South Main Village community. The city has been transformed into a treasure hunt for the area’s creative gems. Neighbourhood Leap, an app-based reality art trail that encourages art enthusiasts to rediscover a neighbourhood they thought they knew, was launched in 2022.
Amphibian Stage had produced some outdoor performances at the height of the pandemic. The theatre company sought to try something new in 2021 after realising the pandemic’s continuing effects on the neighbourhood. Neighbourhood Leap was inspired by a project called Up My Street – for Without Walls created by The Cultural Assembly in the UK.
Kathleen Culebro, Director of Amphibian Stage approached The Cultural Assembly to develop and design the experience, “We wanted to do something to help and felt like a really good fit,” said Culebro, “We wanted to find a different way to gather outside.”
Neighbourhood Leap not only leads visitors along a varied canvas along the streets in the area, but also draws attention to the unique, independently owned boutiques and restaurants in South Main Village. The project highlights existing public art, combining newly commissioned art with existing art to create an immersive experience.
“When we saw this happen, we thought what a great way to get people into the neighbourhood to experience the art that is already there, but to also add our own touch to it as well as get people aware of businesses that are here, that are such an important part of our community,” Culebro said.
Creating the augmented reality experience required the theatre company to work outside of its comfort zone. “It’s not easy and there’s a lot of different ways to approach placing these artworks in the right location. as well as translating the language of art to the language of what we need, and this is what you need to code and this where it needs to show up, all of those little details was a really big learning curve,” Culebro said.
The Neighbourhood Leap project inspires the community to appreciate their surroundings in a new way, which can evolve and change every week or month, driving visitors to the area and the theatre, as well as improve customer insights and data.