project leader
Yen A
235 Spencer Ln
(Willow Run, Ypsilanti)
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the project

In 2019, a social art movement called Y-Fi (short for Ypsi Fidelity) comprised of a group of Ypsilanti Community High School students, produced a series of performance interruptions in public spaces and documented these moments through photography. The student artists took "loud" imagery in the quiet second floor stacks of Ypsilanti District Library, played a new version of Red Rover, Red Rover, and invited the public to mimic each other at Ann Arbor Summer Festival. During the course of a year, Y-Fi connected with the public through outward-facing acts, but more importantly, the students created an unexpected family within the invisible confines of collaboration and performance. You can see Y-Fi projects at

In 2020, Y-Fi will plan the concept for and build ADMIN, a micro museum filled with multi-sensory art experiences in the former administrative wing of Willow Run High School in Ypsilanti, Michigan. A series of classrooms will be transformed into galleries where students and families can touch, hear, and see exciting and unexpected forms of art built completely by the students with the guidance of professional museum preparators, artists, and builders. There will also be an office, storage room, accessible restrooms, and a workroom for producing these works. The attendance to the museum is free. 

Imagine turning the doorknob to a classroom door and stepping in. Inside you find yourself in a black-lit cave full of neon stalactites hanging from the ceiling and stalagmites jutting up from the ground. The neon quality of the light highlights any white or bright clothing you're wearing and you touch a gem-like form made of corrugated cardboard, painted fluorescent green. Visitors have the opportunity to take in this spectacle and others like it or be a part of building more attachments to the cave. A separate workshop area with supplies and instructions are available to each visitor. As new pieces are added to the cave, the path within the gallery gets smaller and more twisted, an ever-changing exhibit and documentation of the community's activity. 

Y-Fi and its programming, transportation, guest speakers, productions, and field trips are made possible by Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation and in partnership with Eastern Michigan University Bright Futures. This ioby campaign makes the build out portion of ADMIN, its marketing, logistics, consulting artists and builders, possible. This project is overseen by Y-Fi co-founders and recipients of the AAACF In Our Neighborhood grant, husband and wife artist, Nick and Yen Azzaro. 

the steps

January and February 2020
• Continued weekly meetings with Y-Fi students planning and building out exhibits at Ypsilanti Community High School
• Community meetings for feedback, committee meetings for planning
• Cleaning of spaces (up to 4 classrooms, up to 2 offices, 1 workroom, 2 bathrooms to maintain)
• Touring space with prospective sponsors, neighbors, stakeholders
• Building out exhibits 
• Move out classroom materials
• Social media campaigns
• Marketing materials designed
• Business and sponsorship invitations

March and April 2020
• Continued weekly meetings with Y-Fi students planning and building out exhibits at Ypsilanti Community High School
• Committee meetings for planning
• Create/choose ticketing system
• Build out of exhibition spaces
• Insurance, liability, licensing procedures
• Replace fixtures
• Distribute marketing materials
• Design signage and print materials
• Artist and builder with YFi workshops on site
• Order supplies
• Build out Gallery 1 and Gallery 2
• Clean out and set up office(s)

May 2020
• Continue build out of museum galleries
• Test ticketing system
• Train and tour docents (student volunteers and employees)
• YFi museum orientation 
• Send out press releases
• Marketing plan implemented (social media, print, face-to-face)
• Install exterior signage and interior vinyls
• Partner tours and meetings
• Artist and builder with YFi workshops on site
• Build out Gallery 3 (and Gallery 4)

June 2020
• Confirm opening event vendors
• YFi end of school year party
• Final clean up and dumpster clean out
• Workroom set up and clean up
• Install collateral fixtures
• Set up outdoor spaces (parking for food trucks and check in area), finalize offices and indoor check in areas

why we're doing it

Ypsilanti, Michigan is a town of approximately 21,000 residents. Ypsilanti Community Schools (YCS) is the public school district serving the area and the result of the consolidation of the former Ypsilanti Public Schools and its neighboring district Willow Run Schools. Like many communities, Ypsilanti does not have many options where students can socialize without spending money or linger in a space without a pre-scheduled event occurring. (The Ypsilanti District Library is a vital and thriving space for our students and we need more like it!) The summer months can be filled with long, languid days and our youth need something to do. 

The Y-Fi students created the mission of the museum. ADMIN gives youth the opportunity to get out of the house to express themselves by creating hands-on experiences, uniting the community, and contributing how ever each person can. 

ADMIN will give Ypsilanti youth and families three ways to engage in a free, high-caliber institution. 

First, our Y-Fi student artists will become the builders, founders, and stewards of ADMIN. They will be able to share the story of creating the space because the concepts and building of exhibitions originated from them.

Second, youth and adults will have a space to relish in unexpected experienes unlike traditional art museums in the area. It will be partially spectacle and partially play based in their community, built by their community youth. Visitors may choose to take a docent-led tour or take a a self-led route. 

Third, families and others will be able to participate not only as visitors in the space, but artists as they take to the work room and add to the spectacle of the displays.

Starting in January 2020, Y-Fi students will continue to meet weekly at Ypsilanti Community High School and break into groups to work on their assigned projects. Roles will include designers and fabricators as they create concepts, draw out the plans, and work with professionals to assemble the exhibition pieces in a mock gallery set up within the school. Simultaneously, a series of volunteer clean up days will be scheduled to clear out the classrooms to create space for exhibits and a build out a studio workroom where students and visitors will participate. Eastern Michigan University Art Education professor, Dr. Cam McComb will oversee her Curriculum and Assessment in Visual Art Education students will develop content for instructional cards to accompany each visitor's experience. In April, the exhibitions will start to be installed in each gallery. ADMIN will be ready to serve the public in mid June with a ribbon cutting and kick off party. The YFi students will be present to open ADMIN as the founding members of Ypsilanti's first experiential art museum. 



Gallery 1 (touch sensory)
Fake fur (58" width) $15/yard x 40 yards $600.00
Glue guns x 4 $20.00$80.00
Glue sticks 100 pack $17 each $17.00
Foam board x 2: Elmer's at Blick pack of 25, 20 x 30" $150.00

Corrugated cardboard donated
Tarps donated
Gallery 2 (visual sensory/neon room) Black LED lighting (16' length) $15/strip x 20 $300.00
Speakers donated
Wire donated
Printing $500.00
Chairs/bean bags donated
Gallery 3 TBD (sound/smell)Vinyl/printingWall sized (x4)$500.00Acrylic paintMulti large tube8 colors$350.00Brushes
4-6 sizes $150.00
Tub primerdonated
Xacto, rulers, healing boards, blades, scissors, toolkits, glue, monofilament, cardboard, housepaint, brushes, staple guns, staples, pails, mops, broomsx 6 for individual use art supplies for fabrication, all others donated or borrowed, then purchased

Program $350.00
Posters/flyers printedBenchmarkApprox. 200 $300.00
Cleaning supplies $120.00
Security (locks/keys) $75.00
Docent toolkit $400.00
Signage $500.00
Vinyls $200.00

Employee hours (2) Students, docents
Artist hours (2) Builders, artists, consultants
Manager hours (2) Yen and Nick

Volunteer meal, gifts, and incidentals
Kick off partyCatering
Graphic design
Snacks for kids
Pop up license

ioby Platform Fee     $35
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%)    $929
TOTAL TO RAISE =    $30,964


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This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


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