Wichita is where our heart is, so our Valentine gift to the community is an audio tour of local flag-themed art in downtown Wichita. We've developed an audio tour of 28 Wichita flag-themed murals near Douglas using the free izi.TRAVEL app. And through some unique partnerships with Friends University and the Wichita Hispanic Chamber it's now available in English, Vietnamese and Spanish!
Meet the Translators
The Mural Map Tour has been available on the izi.TRAVEL platform in English since mid-2018, but some community volunteers worked diligently to make it more inclusive. Huyen Nguyen stepped forward first and volunteered to translate the tour into Vietnamese and provide audio recordings in her native language. Nguyen has been a Wichita resident since 2008 and is originally from Vietnam. Some members of her family who live in Wichita don't speak English so she immediately saw the value of providing translation services. "I was amazed at how many flag-themed murals there were and how many artists had been involved. I thought it was a cool project and was really glad to help." Nguyen made time in between her Biology classes at Wichita State University to tackle the six-hour project.
Alicia Sanchez, President of the Wichita Hispanic Chamber, responded to a request for help with a Spanish translation for the murals. Her Board member Dr. Jerry Smartt volunteered to work with Friends University students to translate the tour into Spanish. Smartt is the Director of Foreign Languages and a Professor of Spanish at the University. She said, "It was a perfect fit for our Spanish degree students. We offer a unique degree program with an emphasis on translation and interpretation so we're actively seeking real-life experiences for students to practice their skills."
Friends University Professor Teresa Molina and four of her students (John Ralston, Ashley Knepper, Bethany Gray and Madison Rhodes) quickly provided the written translation. Then Professor Molina worked on the audio version during her Christmas break from classes. Molina said her students are hopeful that both residents and visitors will take advantage of the translated tour. "They really enjoyed the process and the opportunity to give back to the community in such a positive way. It's an inclusive way to promote our civic pride."
Download the free izi.TRAVEL app and search for Wichita Flag Murals - Downtown Wichita, Kansas. You don't have to leave your computer, phone or even your home to take the tour. But if you do drive, bike or walk the tour route, the app will trigger the audio portion of the tour as you approach each mural. You'll learn the name of the artist and the date that it was installed. We hope you enjoy these works of art that are a unique reflection of our pride and love for Wichita. Post and tag your photos and comments with #ILoveWichita.
This free phone app offers 10,000 audio guides for popular destinations around the world. You'll find tours from Athens to Zurich that include pub crawls, photo challenges and fine art museums. You'll be hooked in no time on the unique stories and visual images available on this global platform. You can also follow them on Facebook, Twitter and lnstagram. Frequent traveler and Chamber member Paul Blissett of Auto Craft Collision Repair highly recommends izi.TRAVEL. "I check the izi.TRAVEL app whenever I'm planning a trip. It's a great way to find the hidden gems in places I visit. I've used it to explore the history of San Antonio's missions, art stops in Seattle and a downtown tour of Dallas."
More Wichita Flag Information
Check ilovewichita.org for free downloadables including a special Wichita flag Valentine design and a printable mural map. You'll also find a list of places to purchase flags and flag swag as well as some short videos that explain the history and symbolism behind the flag. Follow @wichitaflag on Facebook, Twitter and lnstagram to see photos of the Wichita flag that have been posted from more than 40 different countries and almost every continent. (We're still missing Antarctica so post a photo if you make it there.)
The #ILoveWichita and Wichita Flag movement are part of the Chamber's focus area of promoting the community. The Chamber is committed to attracting and retaining top talent and championing quality of life improvements.