Lindsborg was thinking in Instagram Age terms before there *was* an Instagram. Witness the lively and colorful Wild Dala Horse herd. It started to gather in 2002, eight years before Instagram was born. The Wild Dalas were made for photographs, to tell a visual story about this place. So is Instagram — made for photographs that tell a story or convey a feeling.
Before going on, let’s reach for some definitions. What is Instagram? It is a social media application launched in 2010 for sharing photographs. Instagram helps people communicate what they are doing, where they live, travel, eat and decorate — from gardening and household decor to clothing, accessories and pets. Instagram posts usually appear in a signature square format. Hashtags — words preceded by a # symbol — help Instagrammers search, sort and follow areas of interest to them. #lindsborg #interiordesign #dachshund #Bethany Arise. Photographs and hashtags on Instagram have become a particular language, a shorthand for what’s new or notable, what’s interesting or surprising, what’s creative or funky.
Now, back to this morning. We talked of what is, in a word, Instagrammable about the Smoky Valley. CVB director Holly Lofton already has a nice list, prepared for a statewide tourism Instagram event at the J.O. Sundstrom a couple of years ago. We talked about ways to keep Lindsborg's visual conversation fresh and relevant — on Instagram and, even more, for those who live and visit here. Liz Lahodny of Lindsborg Realty referred to "unexpected flair,” and we kept going back to that phrase. How do we create flair — color, humor, whimsy, story, feeling -- in unexpected places?
Of course, it’s safer and easier to replicate what can be seen elsewhere. We’re not looking for that. What’s a bit of unexpected flair that is *particular to our place and to your place*? Maybe something possible with the help of friends, family and perhaps a little public interaction? Less costly and more creative? What about the rear of your property as a staging area for unexpected color, humor or movement? What is Instagrammable about our food — plant a little Lindsborg flag on each dish via toothpick, perhaps? How about more creativity in unexpected places — like bathrooms? Just think about photographable places like the Tala Dala phone booth in front of Blacksmith Coffee, the mural on the side of Merle and Lesa Larson’s building at 135 N. Main, our constantly changing sandwich boards and window displays, the large styrofoam holiday tomtes. And the Wild Dalas, too. Even after all these years people are hamming it up photographically with these characters. (And by the way, how is *your* Wild Dala holding up? Looking a little worse for wear? If you own one, please cast a critical eye and spiffy it up in time for the 150th celebration.)
This morning Kimi at Hairymolarys came up with a couple of new hashtags: #lindstagram and #findingfriendliness. Nice, yes? Thanks, both Kimi and Liz. Meanwhile, let’s take more steps toward unexpected flair, whether you Instagram or not.
Returning to Lindsborg this week are nursing students from Marymount College in Salina. Thanks to the service provided by Lindsborg CVB, these retired nurses have spurned locales such as Las Vegas in favor of Lindsborg several years in a row to tour our area and toast each other at the Swedish Country Inn.
It’s Bethany College's always-competitive football game against K-Dub at Anderson Field at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29. The Smoky Valley Viking varsity football team is playing on the road at Clay Center on Friday night.
Genealogy researchers will be at the McPherson County Old Mill Museum this weekend.
Exhibition starts tomorrow, Tuesday, Sept. 25, of items that will be up for auction through the Raymer Society/Red Barn Studio on Oct. 27. In other art news, a reception for Bethany College student Grace Peterson will be 4-6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 28.
This coming Sunday, Sept. 30, please join with friends and family at Bethany Home’s annual dinner and benefit auction starting with cocktails at 5 p.m. at the J.O. Sundstrom Center. Delivering the keynote will be humorist Amy Dee. Catered by Farley’s with vacation home stays among the larger auction items. Tickets $35 per ticket, $60 for two, available here: http://bethanyhome.com/development/donate/
Looking ahead: There’s a new event on Oct. 20 called Kasino Royale, a benefit event for Svensk Hyllningsfest. Games from 7-10 p.m. with prizes, food and good energy. That’s $35 a person; tables are available for sponsorship, too. Tickets at People’s Bank.
An Ad Hoc group has been working for some time on creating moveable-yet-wind and weather resistant public seating for Lindsborg. Thanks to a wonderful $1,000 donation of proceeds by the Smoky Valley Car Show Committee, the bench project is now on the front burner with heat turned to high. Kelly Dauer at Dauer Welding has kindly helped with a design for a backless, powder coated black metal bench in two lengths plus a wrap-around-a-tree model. The first two benches are being made now, and purchase prices are expected to range from $400 to $1,000. An advantage: These benches may be sponsored as memorials and acknowledgements. More details to come. Thanks, Kelly, for helping us get the most for our money — and a fine appearance, too.
For those of you following the distribution process for Lindsborg/DN Fund, an announcement from the McPherson County Community Foundation….
"The McPherson County Community Foundation plans to host a community meeting on Tuesday, September 25, at 7 pm in Lindquist Hall, Bethany College to announce the distribution process and this year’s amount available from the Lindsborg/DN Fund.
"The Lindsborg/DN Fund was established in 2004 by former resident David J. Nutt. Upon his death in December 2016, Mr. Nutt had specified 50% of the remaining assets in estate were to be added to the fund administered by the Foundation. The amount donated equaled $7.4 million. Because it’s an endowment, grants up to five percent (5%) of the fund’s value will be awarded annually to organizations or projects benefitting the Lindsborg community.
"Representatives from the Foundation will be available that evening to describe the granting process and administration procedures for the fund. There will be an opportunity for questions from attendees. The meeting is free of charge and no RSVP is required. For additional information, contact Becky Goss, MCCF President/CEO at 620.245.9070 or toll free 1.866.245.9070. Questions may also be emailed prior to the meeting to firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com."
This morning Ad Hoc received a quick and basic introduction to the concept of crucial conversations. Crucial conversations address the elephant in the room — in other words, topics that we may tend to avoid or might make some of us shut down. Crucial conversation tools can be used in businesses and in interactions with friends and families. Thanks, Lindsborg Community Hospital CEO Larry VanDerWege, for sharing your explorations with us. Hats off to everyone at LCH who have been working with these techniques for several years.
As noted this morning, no person or organization ever masters the art of crucial conversations; it always is a work in progress — with successes *and* failures, to be sure. When these concepts are acknowledged among everyone involved in a workplace discussion, crucial conversations may save money and time, increase safety and, for organizations that build part of their long-term culture, foster satisfaction.
If you’d like to review crucial conversations concepts for yourself:
• subscribe to the weekly newsletter a free weekly newsletter at firstname.lastname@example.org
• get a used copy of Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High by McMillan and Switzler.
If there are topics, large or small, that you’d like to hear more about in the Ad Hoc setting, please let Kathy Richardson or David Hay know. One suggested discussion: ideas for showing creative flair in unexpected places.
The results of Lindsborg’s 1st Impressions report reflected well on our community. The results confirm the many years of efforts to increase curb appeal, maintain a welcoming atmosphere, and tell our story. As part of the 1st Impressions program, five first-time visitors from Marysville made written observations about their trip to Lindsborg; visitors from Lindsborg did the same for Marysville’s consideration. 1st Impressions is project of K-State Research and Extension, and the City of Lindsborg facilitated. Thanks to everyone who helped.
To review the overview presentation given by K-State’s Nancy Daniels, go here: http://www.ksre.k-state.edu/community/civic-engagement/first-impressions/Lindsborg%20Comm%20Report.pdf
To read the full narrative, go here: http://www.ksre.k-state.edu/community/civic-engagement/first-impressions/LINDSBORG%20Comm%20Narrative.pdf
While the 1st Impressions sample size is small, it reminds us that every visitor forms an impression of Lindsborg that could (and often does) lead to more — return visits, new enrollments, property purchases, and the purchase of services of all kinds over the longer term. K-State Extension believes that visitors explore with these questions: How would it be to live here? Could I see myself or my family here? So visitors often poke around across the entire community, not just in one area.
In the meantime, let’s give a high five to our friends at MKC-Lindsborg for being noted in the 1st Impressions feedback as cleanest co-op ever. Go MKC!
21 SV Schools homecoming, 5:30 tailgate, 6:40 crowning, 7 p.m. game vs. Hesston
28 Hymn Festival at Bethany College, workshops for church musicians, starting 7 p.m.
28-30 Prairie Festival, Salina (often busy in Lindsborg)
29-30 Swedish Genealogy Workshop/Old Mill/both days
30 Bethany Home dinner, silent and live auction with keynote speaker, Sundstrom Center
12 Makers Street Art Walk 5-8 pm with emphasis on Bethany College students and alums
13 Bethany College Homecoming
13 2018 Coronado Heights Run, registration 6:30 a.m, 2 mile walk, 5K and 15K, 1 mile fun run starts 7:15-8:30
14 2018 Falun Classic Bike Ride, 1 p.m. 400 block of N. Main
20 Kasino Royale benefit for Svensk Hyllningsfest 6-10 p.m. at the Sundstrom Center
9 Makers Street Art Walk 5-8 p.m.; at 5 p.m. lighting of trees and Old Mill Bridge and unveiling of decorated shop windows with theme “Unwrap Lindsborg”
10 Lindsborg Holiday Open House 10-4 p.m. with Tomte Scrambler game, gift certificate/gift item baskets as prizes; shopper rewards also will be given
24 Small Business Saturday 10-4 p.m. with multiple in-store raffles, horse-drawn wagon rides and treats for children
1 Artists Studio Open House 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with maps to participating galleries and local artists studios in the Lindsborg area; demonstrations, refreshments and new projects
1 Snowflake Parade 10 a.m. downtown, a friendly little parade for children and other imaginative people
1 Pulled pork meal 11:30-2 at Trinity Methodist, by donation
2 Jultide at Bethany College, afternoon performance of beautiful holiday music
8 Lucia Festival, check the schedule of offerings at www.visitlindsborg.org for this beautiful and popular Swedish-American celebration of light
8 Old-Fashioned Christmas at the McPherson County Old Mill
15 Cookies and Mrs. Claus, morning First Bank Kansas; visit Mrs. Claus and decorate your own cookies
31 Roaring ‘20s-themed NYE party to launch the celebration of Lindsborg’s 150th year; see www.lindsborg150th.com
Ad Hockers recently reaffirmed a commitment to working together:
"The Lindsborg Ad Hoc Roundtable is in its sixth year as an informal crossroads for SmoAAky Valley people and organizations. Together we pursue common interests across boundaries for shared benefits, both direct and indirect. We work with the 501 (c) 3 Lindsborg At Work Association to fund our community oriented efforts.
“We have no officers, employees, bylaws or dues; thus, we share work, costs and successes. We also each share in upholding the Kansas Sampler Foundation’s "yellow card” rule, meaning that negativity and stuck-in-the-past thinking are pointed out and the comments are reframed.
"We gather at 8 a.m. most Mondays in Lindsborg City Hall for one hour only. We share our news each week via email and on Facebook. Anyone may sit in on these gatherings, receive Ad Hoc News and Notes, or be involved. To learn more, ask any Ad Hocker.”
It’s always a sunny day in Lindsborg when funding for local projects comes our community’s way. Thus, we sent up a big ol’ cheer for the Lindsborg Car Show Committee, which donated $1,000 of the 2018 show proceeds to Ad Hoc's effort to expand public seating in business districts. Lindsborg Police Chief Tim Berggren presented the check on behalf of fellow (and long-serving) committee members Ken Swisher, Kathy Malm, Jim Harty, Barry McMillan and others. The car show committee also presented $1,000 to the City of Lindsborg for new seating in Swensson Park. We appreciate your enduring community spirit, folks. Thank you all.
We also cheered Bethany College Swedish Crafts for passing along good word about the college and Lindsborg to Kansas State Fair visitors last week and this week. Fairgoers clearly are attracted to the craft demonstrations, and broom maker Justin Burton and ceramist Kayla Borell are among the deft representatives for college and community alike. It’s a big commitment, so thank you!
Holly Lofton of the Lindsborg CVB and David Hay, board member of the 501 (c) 3 Lindsborg At Work Association, put heads together to apply for funding from the Smoky Valley Community Foundation to replace worn lighting strands used by volunteers to decorate downtown and on the Old Mill Bridge. This grant anticipates matching funds raised in the community, and we have just begun to ask residents to chip in on creating these beloved Lindsborg visuals. We have a bigger-than-usual fundraising job ahead. Thank you, Holly and David, for getting our ball rolling.
Speaking of Holly, the CVB office just uploaded to Google Maps about 200 photographs of Lindsborg's public places in a 360-degree format. Holly applied to Google for the loan of the 360-degree camera. Visitors find these photographs enticing as well as helpful in planning. Thanks for that.
Wearing his non-profit Lindsborg At Work Association hat, David Hay reported this morning on spending and balances for each activity fund that Ad Hoc uses for special and seasonal events such as Lindsborg In Bloom and Lindsborg Holiday Open House; Lindsborg Landmark Concert Series; social media boosts, and other projects. There were no questions or concerns in the moment, but anyone is welcome to ask follow-up questions. The checkbook recap is available from David. It’s worth reminding everyone that there is now liability coverage now on Ad Hoc events and activities. Serving with David as Lindsborg At Work Association board members: Corey Peterson, Meg Dauer, Mike Dreier and Ryan Biegert. Thanks to you all.
We discussed the continuing challenges of spreading the word about opportunities and events. Nobody had a silver bullet solution this morning but there were a couple of general observations: 1.) On Facebook, we can best help each other by sharing posts with short personal endorsements/encouragements. Please do more of this. 2.) There is a literal fire hydrant stream of information and conversation coming toward and flowing around every one of us every day in various ways — and the flow builds. This is the environment in which we must operate, even in a small community.
Here’s a note in advance of Small Business Saturday in Lindsborg on Nov. 24: This year, instead a drawing for one or two giant stockings filled with toys and treats, we decided that each participating location will offer an in-store raffle for an item/basket that will be listed on a free map for the day’s activities. Please continue to plan as usual on receiving giveaway promo items including cloth bags, as well as for complimentary horse-drawn wagon rides and treats coming and going from the Bank of Tescott. Questions and thanks to volunteer organizers Debbie Jacobson, Tara Killingsworth and Brian Johnson. Thank you all.
So much planned this week, everyone. A few reminders that were offered this morning:
tonight, Monday, September 10
• 6:30 p.m. at City Council chambers, Lindsborg receives its report from the KSU 1st Impressions program of secret visitor observations about our community.
Wednesday, Sept. 12
• 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Lindsborg Community Hospital Auxiliary “meat and greet” sloppy joe lunch at Trinity Methodist Church, by donation, eat in or carry out
Friday, September 14
• 5-8 p.m. Makers Street Lindsborg Art Walk in support of the Lindsborg Dog Park project; “Pet-tember” theme with pet related activities, pet portraits for a small fee, pet-related art, and treats. Leashed and well-behaved pets welcome on the street and in selected businesses. Free maps.
• 5-7 p.m. Weiner Dog Races (including friends of weiners) at the tennis courts at Swensson Park.
• start of Moms Weekend for Bethany College football families; about 75 women are registered and the fun starts at Connected Fair Trade in coordination with Makers Street activities. (Show your your blue and gold, please.)
• deadline for anyone taking part in Dala Town’s inaugural on-line magazine covering the coming fall and winter season.
Saturday, September 15
• 8 a.m. Bethany College Alpha Theta Chi sorority's one-mile walk for domestic violence awareness, starting line behind Gregory Hall, by donation to Jana’s Campaign, register and check in between 7 and 7:45 a.m.
• 7 p.m. Bethany College vs. Ottawa University, football home game at Anderson Stadium
Cheers for a creative couple, Tyler and Molly Johnson, and The Good Merchant's fab new restroom....
It's always intriguing to hear what first-time visitors notice, for better or worse, about our place.
Maybe first-timers stop for a quick leg stretch. Maybe it's a detour based on curiosity. These folks don't intend to stay long. Yet their first impressions are so critical. As we know from experience, leg stretches and curiosity detours regularly turn into decisions to relocate, retire or recommend Lindsborg to others. That is often the difference between building or at least maintaining a tax base -- and not.
Come hear a set of first impressions later this week organized through the K-State Extension Office and the City of. Worthy of your time. Details below.
Meanwhile, Ad Hoc gatherings resume at 8 a.m. Monday, Sept. 10, in city council chambers.