Happy Spot

Presented by UMEWE & Digital Native
Happy Spot @ PEX 2018 We’re back! Last year was a smash hit. The optimism is palpable, and we learned some valuable lessons. We’re excited to bring you this year’s Happy Spot concept expanded from our gained knowledge from last year’s experience. Happy Spot (PEX edition) is an amazing, serendipitous project— a story worth sharing. I (Bear), was influenced by an artist I met named Riley Johndonnell (a.k.a. ‘Uncle Riley’, co-founder of UMEWE.org). He focuses on “Optimism as an Ism” and as a life philosophy, and created UMEWE.org as a way to perpetuate Optimism in the arts. I became aware of this philosophy in 2013. He kept me abridged of his works, which inspired a concept to transform a large exterior space. I decided to reach out to him to see if he would give his stamp of approval, considering he was my muse. As it turns out, he had already been exploring a concept he called ‘Happy Spot’ in public spaces to instigate “transformation” by serving as a “civic acupuncture” platform for others to collectively experience Optimism. Happy Spot is a collaborative large scale project/installation focused on transforming an exterior space to stimulate happiness, Optimism, and community interaction. Numerous large round YELLOW tarps are placed in a field (creating a polk-a-dotted landscape of large Happy Spots). The spots are gathering spaces for people and groups to experience a range of activities focused on 'PDH' (Public Displays of Happiness) and positive psychology. Ten foot circles punctuate the shape of a hillside and welcome guests. Upon the approach guests will see optimistic phrases and CTAs (calls to action) on the spots. Guests will be met by a team of optimistic people who invite them onto the spots. We have a number of Optimistic activities in which participants can engage, including (such as: ‘One minute staring contest with a stranger, ‘Call someone from your past that you are grateful for and tell them right now’, etc). Our overall plan is to color their experience with joy, and get them to share that experience with others. We will also have yellow pins for everyone who participates, memetically perpetuating the happiness to others at the event. For 2018 we have expanded our concept to include a series of six Happy Spots to be dotted around at especially curated locations, spreading optimism around the event. Of all the feedback we received, this was the most common request. More Happy Spots in other locations. We’ve also decided to budget for quality signage beautifying our menu of activities. We would be honored if PEX would help us bring this collaborative experience to their participants once again. Any questions, please feel free to contact us. Thank you for your time.