National Day of Civic Hacking June 1: Prototype the new / Code For BTV Brigade Launches

From June 1-2 at Maglianero Café, Burlington will be participating in the National Day of Civic Hacking, a White House-endorsed event across the nation to promote community improvement through the power of the Internet. Burlington’s event is unique in the fact that they are calling both professionals as well as amateur enthusiasts to help out in the building and prototyping of civic apps. One of the focuses of BTV’s Code for America will be the construction of web apps for Big Heavy World and the preservation of Vermont music! Bradley Holt, one of the creators of Code for BVT, launched the program based on his experience with non-profit organizations. “While these organizations may be able to find short term help through volunteers or one-time grants, building long term capacity is a larger challenge,” he says. Found Line and Big Heavy World joined forces to create the first “Code for BTV” brigade, part of Code for America, a national organization similar to Teach for America that helps government work better by using the power of the web, and the formal launch of the Brigade is June 1 at the hackathon. The goals are to build a large group of community volunteers who are passionate about coding, designing, and maintaining apps. In 5-10 years, Bradley hopes to see a whole bunch of apps still in production over this time. It would be great if we start to see apps building on other apps using shared and open data. In other words, a true infrastructure of open data and apps working to benefit our community.”

Big Heavy World was an early adopter of the internet, bringing live concert broadcasts to the web in the mid 1990s before streaming technologies were well-stablished, working in partnership with and Yahoo!Broadcast to achieve wide web-based exposure for local artists. A 24-hour stream of Vermont-made music, 3-D 'virtual' spaces, and digital music distribution projects got their first local exposure on the web locally through Big Heavy World, which continues to harness modern technologies to serve local music.

"Big Heavy World has tenaciously seized technology-based opportunities to serve Vermont's musicians," says James Lockridge, Big Heavy World's Executive Director. "Technology has been a great equalizer, giving a grass roots organization like ours - with a strong, independent, "do it yourself" outlook - the chance to contribute meaningfully to our music community. Our partnership with Found Line and with the support of the new Code for America Brigade network and the June 1 Hackathon, we'll be accomplishing the best volunteer-driven work possible and highlighting the great talent and community values of Burlington's regional computer programmers."

“We’re calling all artists, developers, engineers, graphic designers, user experience wizards, educators, content creators, scientists, organizational masterminds, entrepreneurs, students and other creative thinkers and doers in our community,” said Alexandra Tursi, social media strategist at Fletcher Allen Health Care, and one of the event organizers. “Basically, anyone who has a passion for changing their community and is willing to contribute.”

Coders and designers - sign up to be there! Any experience level is welcome!

The day ends with a BBQ and live music in the back yard of Jim Lockridge of Big Heavy World, at 56 King Street (a block from Maglianero).