LEXINGTON, Ky. — The I Was Here project will launch a new multimedia experience at an event on Tuesday, Oct. 25. The experience is activated by a digital pass that can be downloaded to a smartphone. Using GPS geofencing, the pass will take users through 11 stops in downtown Lexington, where people can learn more about the I Was Here project and the history of Lexington. Every stop on the pass is within a one-block radius, centering around Henry Tandy Centennial Park and the Old Fayette County Courthouse (Courthouse Square).
I Was Here explores the significance of memory, history, and ancestry and how all three come together to begin the process of healing spaces wounded by enslavement. The project began with Ancestor Spirit Portraits illuminated in windows surrounding the Old Courthouse Square in downtown Lexington. Since its launch in 2018, the project has received local, national and international awards; created an integrated anthem; and expanded to multiple cities within Kentucky, while developing a national presence in Washington DC and upcoming in NYC.
“We’re thrilled to bring the first I Was Here Digital Experience to Lexington where the project began. This experience integrates image, history, narrative and soundscape to help each of us examine who we are to each other, who we are as a nation and how we can work to repair the wound in our citizenship created by enslavement,” said artist Marjorie Guyon, who conceived the project. “What I Was Here accomplishes is a mindful, reverent and powerful acknowledgment of American history.”
Each pass includes video and a written description. Once participants complete the pass, they can stop into the Lexington Visitors Center and pick up an I Was Here print as a prize. The project landing page I-Was-Here.org/Downtown-Lexington has information about the pass and where to download it. VisitLEX also will create a postcard-sized informational brochure for the Visitors Center and feature a QR code to link to the download pass site.
“VisitLEX has been proud to support this important project since its inception,” said Mary Quinn Ramer, president of VisitLEX. “It is an experience that will be beneficial to residents and visitors alike.”
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