Eight projects, Twenty-four hours, One community

by Christiaan Mader

Civicside's 24 Hour Citizen Project kicks off tonight at Warehouse 535

Civicside founder Butch Roussel
Photo by Greta Gerstner

You can think of the 24 Hour Citizen Project as Shark Tank for ideas that don’t make anyone money. The good news is that means you can root for all the contestants. They're spending their Friday and Saturday trying to do the good the rest of us think of but never get out of our Netflix comas to do anything about.

Beginning this evening at Warehouse 535, eight such community-oriented project ideas will pressure cook overnight with all the essentials of completion thrown together in one harried pot — the idea makers, the experts with the know-how, the backers with the cash and the people with the say-so.

Ideally, by the end of the day Saturday, the projects will be vetted and pitch-ready.

Butch Roussel of Civicside, the organization behind the community-activating lock-in, hatched and unveiled the idea for his presentation at last year’s TEDxVermilionstreet. In principle, the pressure crunch and intimacy of the event’s short time-frame will push folks with back-burnered ideas to put up or shut up, providing all the tools required to get a project going on hand.

There’s a level of competition to it. Team leaders for the eight projects will have to make a case to a pool of ten financial backers, each of whom has committed a baseline investment. Roussel hopes the energy and utility displayed by the teams will generate enough revenue to fund three of the civic-oriented projects.

The cost of implementation for the line-up of projects varies from $2,000 to $15,000 and covers a range of civic initiatives, from transportation to public spaces to civic pride.

The general public is welcome to attend tonight's launch party, free of charge, at Warehouse 535 at 6 p.m.

Saturday's pitch event is also open to the public, also at Warehouse 535 and also at 6 p.m. Tickets are $20.

Check out a list of the projects below:

Bus Stop Umbrella - Retrofit Lafayette’s fleet of bus stops with a low-cost, low-maintenance, easily installed cover. $2,800 to make a prototype.

Community Graffiti Wall -Create an activated graffiti space open to Lafayette’s street and studio artists. $2,500 to fund construction or site acquisition.

Edible Park - Plant and build an edible park stocked with berries and vegetables that can provide ingredients to local restaurants, food for residents and a gathering space for events. $7,000 to complete phase one.

Project Front Yard Gamification - Design a mobile interactive app that makes a game out of the battle to keep Lafayette clean by adding a geo-mapped interface and prizes. $15,000 to produce a Minimum Viable Product.

Historical Community Park - Create Lafayette’s first all-inclusive park, reflecting the city’s rich diversity with a beautiful gathering space. $6,000 to complete phase one.

Coulee Mine Underpass Improvement - Continue connectivity efforts on Mickey’s Loop by improving the underused, underlit Coulee Mine bike underpass with sustainable lighting and iconic art. $2,800 for improvements and beautification.

Lafayette Emojis - Give Hub citizens a change to show civic pride in their emails and text messages by creating a Lafayette-themed Emoji set. $3,000 for illustration and app development.

St. Joseph’s Diner Garden - Breathe new life into the unused edible garden at St. Joseph’s Diner, providing fresh food for Lafayette’s homeless and needy. $2000 for redevelopment and planting.