Chambana Proud, a joint collaboration with Visit Champaign County, the Champaign County Economic Development Corporation, and You’re Welcome CU, officially launched at ChambanaProud.com to bolster pride among residents of the area.
“There is much to celebrate in this community,” states Terri Reifsteck, Vice President of Marketing & Community Engagement at Visit Champaign County. “While we focus on telling our story every day, we wanted to give tools to those who live here a way to share what they love about Champaign-Urbana, more commonly known as Chambana.”
The initial campaign focuses on Champaign-Urbana t-shirts providing a highly visible outlet for sharing what makes this community special. The t-shirts were designed by local artists in a collaboration with 40 North | 88 West, the Champaign County Arts Council. Artists include: Scott Barber (Scobar); Ralph Roether; Madelyn Witruk; and David Michael Moore.
In discussing the ideas for the designs, Carly McCrory, Executive Director for the Champaign County Economic Development Corporation states, “Champaign-Urbana is a hotbed for innovation and we are traditionally so humble in reminding the world where some of today’s most celebrated technology was invented. This is another opportunity to brag and showcase that this community makes a difference in lives around the globe.”
The t-shirt, “We Made the Internet” by artist, Ralph Roether, celebrates the invention of the modern web browser, Mosiac, launched in 1993 from the National Center for Supercomputing Applications led by Marc Andreessen.
“We’re Super Sweet”, designed by artist Scott Barber aka Scobar, touts the invention of Super Sweetcorn, a hybrid of sweetcorn from University of Illinois professor, John Laughnan, that brought this tasty summer favorite to dinner tables and grocery stores for all to enjoy.
And the sweet tee, “Whipped Cream” also by Barber, is a nod to University of Illinois graduate student Charles Getz made whipped cream in a can a possibility.
Beyond these innovation t-shirts, creating designs that simply let the world know that Chambana is the heart of Central Illinois, from artist Madeyln Witruk, to the simple hashtag “#chambana” popular on Twitter and Instagram in the area help brand this growing community.
Following the initial launch of this campaign with Weiskamp Screen Printing, Reifsteck and McCrory plan to bring these designs into local shops and destinations bringing in visitors. Long-term, they expect to add more designs available on multiple items from canvas bags to mugs.
Additionally, Chambana Proud will continue to find ways to create community ambassadors, seeking input from what residents love about Chambana, to ultimately creating an ambassador program that helps recruit and welcome newcomers to the area.
For more information on this campaign, visit ChambanaProud.com or contact Terri Reifsteck at Visit Champaign County at 217-351-4133, or Carly McCrory with Champaign County Economic Development Corporation at 217-359-6261.