Sarah’s Snippets – 4/5/2016
“Who is crazy? Am I crazy because I see the world as it could become? Or is the world crazy because it only sees itself as it is?” Don Quixote
“Virtual reality,” “augmented reality,” “touring by app,” “virtual visioning.” Upon first hearing these phrases I felt behind the times, as if these were sci-fi terms not based in reality, and therefore not within the traditional realm of SALT based operations. A Virtual Arts project seemed far-fetched, or at least outside of our common experience. But others thought differently.
Dr. Lillian Spina-Caza, a local resident and professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), developed this idea in order to help Schoharie County move toward continued renewal following Irene’s devastation. Lillian’s family and home were significantly affected by the flooding. This drove Lillian’s burning passion to find a way to help her hometown and county find revitalization not just recovery. Utilizing her background in communications and her connections with RPI staff she birthed the Geo to Go idea.
Lillian partnered with SALT and the NY Folklore Society to acquire grant funding. Together with SUNY Cobleskill, Schoharie County Tourism and numerous other local partners, the project took its first big step forward with a kick-off breakfast at the college last week. The project is garnering momentum along with curiosity and enthusiasm.
This gathering was an opportunity for stakeholders to directly learn about the project and share their important feedback. The goal of the project is to produce an innovative, cutting-edge, highly responsive website that incorporates the county’s artistic, cultural, historic and recreational points of interest. The interactive project will bolster community revitalization, economic development, and tourism in Schoharie County while affording educational opportunities about our area’s riches. While this is a lofty goal, the collaborative work of many will help the first steps to become reality. Building from there, the website and app will continue to grow allowing residents, prospective businesses, and tourists access to the county’s numerous assets. It will allow users to become knowledgeable about the numerous hidden gems in the area and to readily utilize these resources.
It seems that Don Quixote’s question rings true…who are really the crazy ones? Those who see the world as it could be or those who only see the world as it is? SALT will continue to see the local area for what it can be because that is the only way to move into renewal – with vision, collaboration and a can do attitude of success and determination. History, combined with creativity and determination will prove the virtual project a profound reality.