Title Image: Leslie Jean

Now is the time to take big swings.

The first time some friends and I rode our bikes to silo city for City of Night, it was INCREDIBLE. First, I had never seen so many bikes parked in a single space in Buffalo ever. And then to explore the silos inside and out with different art installations adorning them and igniting the imagination of everyone in attendance, THAT was the moment I started to believe in a renaissance for Buffalo. That’s about the same time we decided to give Rise Collaborative a go. Not because of Canalside or developers receiving huge tax breaks to build luxury condos. It was an immersive public art project that got me believing in Buffalo again.

There’s something very special about public art events and campaigns. Before they grow into something that the entire city is talking about, they were a small idea in someone’s head. So few of those ideas are acted upon due to numerous intimidating factors. DIY With Dana wants to hand off the tools necessary to all who would like to participate so that the next time you have a great idea, you can hit the ground running. Here’s more from Dana Saylor:

Image: City Lights Studio
I’m offering a free bootcamp online for anyone (anywhere) who wants to make a creative public project happen. But first, a little background:

I moved to Buffalo as a starving artist. No, literally. I came here twelve years ago, looking for a place I could survive as an artist and entrepreneur with around $1500 to my name. After paying rent, I quickly was on the edge. But the cost of living here was so cheap, I survived, sometimes by standing at Wegman’s with a $20 bill in my pocket, deciding how to make it last two weeks (hint: beans and rice).

Fast forward several years, when I was involved in Emerging Leaders in the Arts Buffalo, Buffalo’s Young Preservationists, and a number of civic activism projects. I was brought back to my roots as a fine artist, leveraged what I’d learned in my past career, and became a vocal advocate for Buffalo’s architectural and industrial heritage. My team at ELAB created the hugely successful CITY of NIGHT festival at the grain elevators, I helped bring Park(ing) Day Buffalo to life, and I was invited to become an Advisor to the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

So, when I offer my guidance and support as a mentor and coach to fellow DIY community changemakers, it’s because I’ve been there. I know what it’s like to struggle, to figure out your own way, to found an organization, to launch a creative event, to fight to keep a historic place standing. It is in this context that I offer my Project Execution Bootcamp, online to anyone with a creative public project.
Image: Lemur Studios

The bootcamp is free, and offered via live sessions in my Facebook group at noon each day, September 14-18th 2020. Don’t worry, for busy people, replays are available at your convenience through the following Tuesday. We’ll talk about everything from Asking for and Accepting Help, Act like a Startup, Let Creativity Lead, and Move Fast: The World Needs Your Project.

I know it’s hard to balance everyday life with meaningful projects. But if you know that YOU are the “somebody who ought to do something about that”, then you should join this free bootcamp and get inspired and connected to tools and ideas.

I invite you to share this with friends and colleagues who could use help with their great ideas, too. The more the merrier!

Register for the bootcamp here and get your “Stop Wasting Time Workbook” for free: https://www.danasaylor.com/bootcamp1

Join my free Facebook group here:


I look forward to seeing you there!


Dana Saylor
Mentor to DIY Community Changemakers