My Dot Tour Returns to Fields Corner in August

My Dot Tour Returns to Fields Corner in August

My Dot Tour is now recruiting teen guides for the second year of an innovative project to explore the past, present and future of Fields Corner in Dorchester. Starting in August, these guides will offer a unique perspective on this neighborhood story that has been developing for more than 200 years.
The tour is going high tech with a new website and interactive site markers to improve access and expand the audience.
The project originally came out of Historic Boston?s Historic Neighborhood Centers program work in Fields Corner as a way to give people of all ages, ethnicities, and backgrounds a vehicle by which to understand the history and development of their neighborhood. My Dot Tour is now being led by the Fields Corner Collaborative , a group of non-profit organizations that want to celebrate the history and architecture of Fields Corner as a way to improve social capital and economic development while supporting and strengthening youth leadership skills.
The collaborative includes the Dorchester Environmental Health Coalition, Dorchester Historical Society, Fields Corner Main Street, SCI Dorchester/Dotwell, and Historic Boston. The open source technical components of My Dot Tour are being developed in collaboration with and support from MIT?s Center for Future Civic Media.

Last year?s My Dot Tour pilot project established a guided walking tour created and presented by teen guides. My Dot Tour 2011 will continue the tours this August, presenting narratives of not only the past but also the present and future of Fields Corner. The guides will develop a story to be performed during the walking tours, weaving archival materials, their own memories, and their ideas for the neighborhood.

High tech advances

The project is exploring expanded methods of disseminating tour content through cell phone technology and other media. Site markers made of adhesive vinyl discs will feature text and unique quick response (QR) codes and phone numbers. The QR codes will be legible with a smart phone, while the phone numbers will allow access to a unique message about each site and encourage viewers to submit an audio response with their own memory or idea about the particular location. The tour website, in development at, will display a map with the information available at each site marker, and feature additional noteworthy Fields Corner spots.

Publicity adds to project

The campaign to spread the word about the project has been as creative as the tour itself.
In April, the My Dot Tour group sponsored Kite Tales, a kite-flying event to promote the tour and gather information. Stations were placed in three locations to collect stories about the neighborhood from residents. These 160 ?tales? were then used as kite tails and flown together in Town Field.
Last Sunday, My Dot Tour interns Alex Olivier and Eric Saindon, coordinator Kate Balug and Fields Corner Main Street?s Evelyn Darling promoted My Dot Tour at the Dorchester Day Parade with a ?cabinet of wonders and coasters,? irresistible to parade-goers of all ages. Spectators were encouraged to get involved by sharing their favorite places in the neighborhood.

Auditions for teen guides (14-18) will take place on June 20 at 4pm at 1452 Dorchester Ave. 3rd floor. The guides will receive a stipend. Those interested are asked to prepare a 2-minute monologue and will also read from a script. Find out more and RSVP through email at, Facebook page:, or the website: Come along on a tour in August!

This post was written by My Dot Tour coordinator Kate Balug