A two-year effort to create access from local downtown businesses and cultural interests to ASU’s downtown Phoenix campus achieved its first positive step on Wednesday, August 13. A team of volunteers and business owners spent three hours at Roosevelt Commons at a “stuffing party” to make over 1,500 “Welcome Bags” of information and special savings for faculty, staff, and incoming ASU downtown campus dorm residents and commuting students.
The effort was a culmination of a meeting with ASU Downtown’s Associate Dean of the College of Public Programs Deb Gullett; Local First Arizona Executive Director Kimber Lanning; Grand Avenue business owner Anna Marie Gutierrez; and Downtown Voices Coalition Steering Committee Chair Steve Weiss. The discussion focused on the limited ability for local business to interact with the ASU Downtown Phoenix campus. The traditional “flier rack” information kiosks and bulletin boards normally found on college campuses have for two years been left out of the downtown campus, and the meeting was held to discuss options.
It was Ms. Gullett who suggested the info bag giveaway, and the three local participants rallied downtown troops to create the overflowing Welcome Bag with Artlink First Friday, Local First Arizona’s Small Wonders brochure, and Roosevelt Row maps as well as fliers for downtown and midtown restaurants, service providers, and entertainments. Also included among others were cultural centers such as Phoenix Art Museum and Heard Museum and Urban Affairs publication, “You Are Here.” Bags were obtained by Eric Gudiño, ASU Downtown’s Director of Community Relations/Office of Public Affairs, from both the ASU Bookstore and Downtown Phoenix Partnership. DPP donated their soon-to-be-replaced “Copper Square” branded bags, and extra packages were filled using Devious Wig’s tote-bags.
The promise from ASU Downtown’s representatives is that this is the first of many coming innovations, including access to the electronic “bulletin boards” of the Taylor Place dorms and a flier rack for printed materials in the Administrative Building and other locations. Upcoming meetings with ASU Downtown Dean Debra Friedman and Community Engagement Liaison Malissa Geer will focus on these and other efforts for the campus and the downtown to commingle. Stay tuned.