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Neighborhood Leap: Local Art on the Go

Lifestyle

The app is free to download. | Image by Neighborhood Leap

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Make your next walk around your neighborhood an adventure with art on the go. Residents in Fort Worth will be able to download an app and experience art in an innovative way.

“Neighborhood Leap” by Amphibian Stage is an app-based augmented reality art walking trail that explores the creativity, energy, and possibilities of the South Main Village neighborhood “in the next dimension” through newly commissioned works of visual art, music, movement, and storytelling, as well as a celebration of the public art that was already there.

The South Main Village neighborhood is south of downtown and is connected to the Central Business District, the Medical District, the Trinity Railway Express, and other business and entertainment areas. The Neighborhood Leap Art Walk honors South Main’s past, present, and future.

Users with Apple iOS10 or Android 8 and up can download the app to see works from artists and collaborators that have been curated specifically for the walking trail. Currently, the app will not work on the Android A12 and A13.

To experience the art, you follow arrows found throughout the walking trail. You’ll see the real-life murals, but the app adds an extra element. Markers will tell you where to stop, and when you line up the shot using the app on your smartphone, existing artworks come to life or entirely virtual artworks appear.

Fifty artists are featured throughout the walk: muralists, non-profit collaborations, photographs, musicians, and art educators.

“Just in the 30-minute walk that you take here, which is a tiny little portion of the Near Southside, you’re going to see 20 different things,” said Kathleen Culebro, artistic director of Amphibian Stage.

“It’s something you wouldn’t expect to stumble upon,” artist Fernando Rojas told CBS DFW. “I’ve never seen anything done like this here in Fort Worth, so I think we’re being pioneers in a way about virtual reality.”

Rojas designed one of the virtual pieces on the trail.

“Having something open for the community, open for everyone to experience, is a great way to start a new art movement,” he added.

The goal is for the art walk to be ever-evolving, with new artists and pieces added over time. The app will launch with a celebration on July 30 at 120 South Main Street from 5 p.m. until 10 p.m.

Neighborhood Leap was created by Amphibian Stage, a non-profit theater company started in 2000 by three graduates of TCU’s Department of Theatre. They aspire to make new and exciting theater that promotes new ideas, opens new doors, and helps audiences understand the world around them.

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