The Nobel Prize-winning author William Faulkner famously observed: “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” At this weekend’s music hackathon, my team, All That Philly Jazz, will bring Philadelphia’s jazz legacy to the present.
The Philly Jazz App will map historic places and markers, murals and local venues to hear live jazz.
Looking beyond the hackathon, we will go back to the future and augment reality along South Street, Ridge Avenue and 52nd Street. Back in the day, those corridors were jumping with jazz clubs where legends like John Coltrane, Ella Fitzgerald and B.B. King hung out. I’m already fantasizing about the Fantasy Lounge, which was located across the street from the studios of Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff’s Philadelphia International Records.
All That Philly Jazz is at the intersection of technology and art. The project can serve as a model for how art can be used to motivate underrepresented minorities to pursue STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). While jazz appeals to an older demographic, a project on, say, Philly’s or Brooklyn’s hip-hop legacy would resonate with young people who are disconnected from the innovation economy.
For more information, follow us on Twitter: @PhillyJazzApp.
Today is the first day of Women’s History Month. I will get the party started at LadyHacks, a women-only hackathon.
While I have participated in a lot of hackathons, I’m looking forward to being in a room full of lady problem-solvers. So if you pass by WHYY and hear some noise, it ain’t the boys. It’s #LadyHacks.
I’ve now participated in nine hackathons. Random Hacks of Kindness will always be first in my heart. So I had some pep in my step as I walked to Drexel University’s brand new ExCITe Center for #RHoKPhilly.
I didn’t pitch a project.
#PhillyRHoK Project Ideas
Instead, I joined Jason Blanchard, Christopher Brown, Brian Cohen, Max Freilich, Lauren Gilchrist, Justin Murphy, Christopher Nies and Andrew Thompson and worked on a web-based food access app.
We addressed the problem of limited access to healthy food, which is a contributing factor to the obesity crisis.
And developed a solution: Philly ForagR, a location-based app that promotes healthy living and well-being.
Users can enter their address to find the location of supermarkets, grocery stores, farmers markets, etc., that sell healthy foods. They will be provided with public transit and walking directions. The walking directions will include the location of historic markers, murals and other points of interest along the way.
With a few clicks, users will have access to healthy recipes that they can whip up with the food they purchased.
Philly ForagR placed third at #RHoKPhilly. The app is live so you can test it for yourself.
For updated information, follow us on Twitter: @PhillyForagr.