Fabulous Contraptions, a community created pop-up cardboard arcade, is about building the creative confidence of the community— uniting kids and adults in the pleasure of making things and the act of joyful play. The event is inspired directly by Caine's Arcade, the short documentary about a 9 year-old boy whose imagination fueled the creation of an entire arcade built from cardboard at his dad’s auto shop. Fabulous Contraptions is a collaborative community project that celebrates (and exercises) individual and collective creativity.
This spring, it will pop up at the FLY Creativity Lab in downtown Ypsilanti. We have interest from the Wurst Bar about hosting the arcade as well. The portable arcade may appear at other community sites as well— we will seek other opportunities to display the work.
How will it be built? FLY will reach out to kids in the community. We will offer hands-on workshops where kids will learn about simple machines, and spend time exploring the challenge of making their visions happen. Creating complex contraptions that work requires time and space to explore, as well as knowledge and exposure to inspiration and information. FLY is prepared to provide these resources! These free workshops will be open to the entire community.
At the same time, we will invite local creatives to participate. We live in a community that is rich in talent and inspiration. This is an opportunity to make connections, across generations and genres!
This project is about process as much as the end result. Kids will learn to build something that works, and present it to the public. Kids learn to make their own fun, to design, to experiment, to meet a challenge, and to collaborate with others. We'll connect artists with youth, and bring our neighbors together for some fun. This project helps FLY address creative confidence and community directly and in a highly visible way. The project has extensive impact: it will benefit kids, the community, and FLY.
Funded by Ann Arbor, MI (January 2014)