Pop-up Chess at Fairfield

Creating a space where children and adults of different ethnicities, incomes, and backgrounds can gather around the ancient game of chess was the dream – it was born by Brian Walker of Boys and Girls Club in Fort Wayne, Dan Baisden of City of Fort Wayne’s Division Community Development and Nathan Miller of Purdue Extension.

After talking about different options for a permanent park and thinking through what it would take to make one happen, the group decided to think small, and quick instead. Through a grant from Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) and the hard work of ATC members (especially Betsy Kachmar) a mini pop-up park was created and tested at Fairfield Avenue on October 24th, 2020.

The park features 10 light weight tables with a painted chess table on each, and 20 chairs.

The goal is to move this chess park around the city to promote chess playing, and the Boys and Girls Club Chess Club. We’ll also use the equipment to try out “placemaking” throughout the city.

Here are some photos of our inaugural pop-up park, along with a traffic calming test that volunteers installed on the 24th.