Virtual Programming for a New Normal

The City of Goodyear, AZ shares how their Parks & Rec. team transitioned programming to a virtual platform.

ARTICLE | May 27, 2020
by City of Goodyear

Unprecedented Times, Uncertainty, Isolation and Quarantine…

The nation continues to hear these words, as we battle against a virus that impacts the lives of people all around the world. Following CDC guidelines, recreation programs were cancelled, some amenities were closed in parks, and library services were suspended. The city of Goodyear Parks & Recreation Department knew that without innovation, these impacts would have a profound impact on our residents. 

Social distancing created an environment where services needed to be delivered virtually to a broad demographic of people. These virtual services provide an outlet to be creative, active and to CONNECT with community. Utilizing social media, Goodyear Parks & Rec. transitioned existing programs to a virtual platform:

  • Fine Art Exhibits went virtual. With over 50 works of art by 35 local artists displayed in a 3D environment, viewers can explore the artwork from their computer or mobile device. See the Exhibit.
  • Library Services provided enhanced digital access by providing digital library cards over the phone for patrons to take advantage of over 17 million e-materials. In addition, free Wi-Fi was made available seven days a week to be utilized in the parking lot. Patrons were also able to start using curbside pickup to receive library materials without having to leave their cars.
  • Even though special interest classes were cancelled, the recreation program offered daily online activities including: Make it Monday, Water Wednesday, and Fitness Friday. Each themed-day provides a video activity for people to engage their whole family in.

In addition to taking an innovative approach to existing programs, staff challenged themselves to add new programing that would support our mission of strengthening community and enhancing the quality of life of residents.

  
  • Live Stream Concerts are hosted daily in partnership with local arts organizations. Using the “chat” feature, viewers could participate by asking the performer questions, requesting songs and engaging in conversation with other viewers.
  • E-Gaming was launched: “Stream Team Goodyear” provided 120 players per game an opportunity to engage in custom online video games. This daily platform continues to provide more than three hours of moderated game play daily. Over 7,800 people interacted with the program in the first week!
  • Live Paint Nights teach a new skill in a fun group setting! The program provides participants an opportunity to paint along with a professional artist, see what other participants’ work looks like and enjoy the company of others. 
  • Chalk on the Walk virtual event calls artists of every age to share their uplifting sidewalk chalk originals to be featured on Facebook. This four-week event includes eight professional artists sharing their work and tutorial how-to videos.  Follow along on the Facebook page!

Expanding programming to virtual platforms has enabled the city of Goodyear to help our residents in an unprecedented time. Some of that help includes battling feelings of isolation and anxiety, supporting parents who are not only telecommuting but filling in as their child’s teacher, and creating virtual experiences that support well-being.

 

“Art has a way of generating optimism and happiness. We hope families continue to enjoy this new way to connect and experience the arts at home.”

-Guylene Ozlanski, Goodyear Arts and Culture Administrator


“Two of the city’s core values are adaptability and innovation. I’m proud of how well the entire city of Goodyear Parks and Recreation team adapted to provide services to our community and for their creativity in coming up with great ways to stay engaged in our programs.”

-Nathan Torres, Parks and Recreation Director

 

 “Quality of life for our residents is so important to everyone at the city of Goodyear. I’m pleased that the Parks and Recreation Department continues to provide excellent services to our community in new and fun ways during these trying times.”

-Mayor Georgia Lord

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