LOCKPORT – The Summer Arts Series committee is mixing fantasy with history with a collector card scavenger hunt to promote Lockport.
Residents and visitors can participate in a hunt for more than 40 collector cards featuring fictional and local characters set in a dystopian version of Lockport in 1895. The scavenger hunt is one of several activities Summer Arts Series committee volunteers – in partnership with local businesses and organizations – created this year to revitalize Lockport.
“The cool thing about the cards is you can go to the cards and see what is fantasy and what is fact. … We want to entice kids and families in a fun way,” said Wendy Streit, Summer Arts Series chairwoman and Mayor Steven Streit’s wife.
Six local artists and four writers – including Steven Streit – helped create the cards and the story behind them. The story details an alternate history of Lockport, where the city prospered until it had “fallen into darkness” and was run by a reclusive tyrant and a ruthless plutocracy.
“I’m an art guy. It’s what I do for a living,” Streit said about his contribution to the project.
The cards show local figures such as Gladys Fox as an adventurer and George Gaylord as a commodities baron.
Dorothy Worst, a World War II veteran, had a card of her own she was able to see Tuesday during a Summer Arts Series committee tour, which explained the scavenger hunt to several elected officials and residents. During the tour, they followed a map and collected cards at White Oak Library, Providence Bank & Trust, Mint Salon and Public Landing restaurant.
Robert Navarro, Heritage Corridor Convention and Visitors Bureau president and chief executive officer, who also was on the tour, said he had never seen a city like Lockport promote itself with collector cards and fictional stories. The Heritage Corridor Convention and Visitors Bureau is a destination marketing agency that works with municipalities.
“It’s a very creative way to tell the history of a community,” Navarro said.
Local artist Larry Brogan, owner of Tattoo City and Flowers of Life Art Gallery, said hopefully the collector card scavenger hunt – along with other activities by Summer Arts Series – stirs up business in the city. Brogan designed one of the cards with digital photo manipulation.
“It’s a pretty great idea to get people more involved with the town,” he said.
The deadline for completing the scavenger hunt is Aug. 31.