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

March 30, 2020 Update and latest article about our new direction:

Dear Friends and Supporters,

It's been a difficult few weeks. The last time we saw the Y-Fi students was Wednesday, March 11th. During that session, we talked about the possibility of school closure and what our (creative) world would look like—the museum being delayed, our gatherings put on hold,  exhibition-building coming to a standstill. Today, there are many unknowns but this is what we do know.

With the announcement of Governor Whitmer's statewide lockdown continuing, our timeline for building out ADMIN Micro Museum gets pushed back further and further. We know Ypsilanti Community Schools (much like the rest of the country's public school districts) is looking for innovative ways to administer learning and supply technology equitably to students.

We recognize that education comes first and would never infringe upon the learning that needs to be prioritized should we return to school this academic year. Because of this, we are planning measures to ensure the spirit of Y-Fi and the integrity of our grant with Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation and our crowdfund through are carried out. 

In total, the ioby crowdfund raised an incredible $9,578. (With credit card and fiduciary processing fees, our efforts were awarded $8,776.76). These dollars and the existing Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation grant that initially made Y-Fi possible, will now be utilized in an exciting, remote fashion that will fund materials and experiences for our students beyond this current situation. 

*Thank you* to everyone that gave of their physical, financial, emotional and cultural support.

Going forward, we have a plan to highlight and continue engaging with each student remotely. In the spirit of last year's performances, each Y-Fi student will produce a series of videos, sound, photo and/or written content to be distributed digitally. With the resources we send them (more on that below) and abilities they have learned in Nick's photography class or during Bright Futures, our students have the capability to script and present art pieces in various forms including performance art, singing/music, spoken word/rap, etc. With designated hashtags, we have the ability to follow and push out each student's work through livestreaming on our main Facebook, Instagram sites and

Because of the varying degrees of technology access and wireless internet connectivity for each Y-Fi student, we are committed to ensuring each student has a standardized toolkit to continue producing art work at home. Students will receive: 

• An iPad with keyboard/cover

• Neon pink fur to use as backdrop

• Ring light with stand (so that your projects are all professionally lit)

• Art supplies

• LED black light

• Full instructions

• Amazon gift card as payment upon completion of projects (amount TBD based on # of participants)

Y-Fi will live on in each student's home and we expect the talent and richness of storytelling will impress you. Thank you, again, for being a part of this journey. It means the world to us. Stay healthy, safe, and well. We'll see you again soon. 

Yen and Nick Azzaro
Y-Fi co-producers


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. 



Amended Budget:

Surface Pro w/ built in wifi (x 15 students, this may vary based on interest) $550 x 15 = $8,250

Ring light kit (x 15 students) $88 x 5 = $1,320

LED black lights (x 15 students) $18 * 15 = $270

Paint and art supplies Approx $600

Packaging and shipping materials Approx $300

Instructions and printing of toolkit Approx $75

Hiring of filmmaker and/or sound producer Approx $2,000

Remaining dollars will be used for programming and our final exhibition and party in Fall 2020. 


Disbursed Budget:

Item Updated Amount
Gallery 1 (touch sensory)  
Fake fur (58" width) $15/yard x 40 yards $600.00 $ 513.00
Glue guns x 4 $20.00$80.00 $ 50.00
Glue sticks 100 pack $17 each $17.00 $ 40.00
Wallpaper (olfactory) $ 550.00
Tarps and cardboard Donated
Gallery 2 (visual sensory/neon room) Black LED lighting (16' length) $15/strip x 20 $300.00 $ 168.00
Speakers donated  
Wire donated  
Printing $500.00 $ 200.00
Chairs/bean bags donated

Building furniture, donations

Gallery 3 TBD (sound/smell)Vinyl/printingWall sized (x4)$500.00Acrylic paintMulti large tube8 colors$350.00Brushes $ 210.00
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 Donations
$750.00 $ 250.00
Program $350.00 Sponsorship
Posters/flyers printedBenchmarkApprox. 200 $300.00 $ 150.00
Cleaning supplies $120.00 $ 120.00
Signage $ 140.00
Vinyls $200.00 $ 100.00
Employee hours student docent - Michigan Works donated ($1500) $ 1,500.00
Artist hours builder, professor, graphic designer, sound producer-partial donated hours $ 2,000.00
Manager hours (2) Yen and Nick-donating hours $ 2,000.00
Volunteer meal, gifts, and incidentals $ 250.00
Kick off party $ 450.00
Insurance (liability and building)

Chin-Azzaro donated

  $ 8,691.00

TOTAL RAISED = $9,578.00
ioby Platform Fee $35.00
ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee (5%) $478.90
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $287.34

Original Budget:

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 Fiscal Sponsorship Fee (5%) $1,632
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $979
TOTAL TO RAISE = $32,647


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This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


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