Data Banners: quick visual storytelling

CHNA 17 (the community health network area that brings together public health initiatives from 6 communities) provided multi-year funding to five different youth health projects.  As the projects are nearing completion, the CHNA invited each of them to work with Connection Lab to turn their projects’ data into banners that tell the stories of their success.  Three of the grantees found time to do the project, looking at their data as a group and coming up with creative ways to tell their stories.

Designed as super-quick data mural processes, each group had 3-4 hours to look at their data, find a story, turn the story into a design and paint the design onto banner fabric.  One group still has some painting to do, but two others completed their banners during the session. IMG_4746

Transition House‘s Youth Action Corps made a banner that shows the progress they’ve made over the past three years in terms of strengthening and connecting the community, raising awareness of dating violence, and increasing safety.  They show that their work will have even more impact in the future.

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SCAP‘s SPF 100 youth group designed a banner that shows how investment in prevention, their campaigns and successfully reducing access to alcohol for underage drinkers have led to the lowest rates of underage drinking in 10 years.

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The Arlington Youth Counseling Center painted a banner that invited people to think about how widespread the issue of substance abuse is, and then to see how AYCC programs have made services available to many people and have led to only 70% of Arlington High School students reporting current use of alcohol.

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A few words to the wise…

1. While it turns out that it is possible to design and paint a data banner in 3.5 hours, it helps to keep the design simple and the number of colors limited.

2.  Remind your participants that they should wear clothes that can get painty- even if you bring smocks

3. Keep the energy up in the room with snacks and by assigning very specific tasks during the prep and painting stage

4. Have fun!

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