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Demystifying Civic Data Through Song, and 10 Other Civic Tech Finalists in the Knight Cities Challenge


One organization's quest to pair data with a banjo.

The average person doesn’t know how to access an API. But they do listen to music.

That’s the driving idea behind a proposal from the Office of Creative Research (OCR) in New York: to make data valuable to people by interpreting it in more human ways.

Specifically, they want to do that by telling data stories through bluegrass music.

“We’ve been thinking for a long time about this sort of divide that exists between data and culture,” said Jer Thorp, OCR’s co-founder. “Data is usually communicated through these really sterile means like charts and graphs. And they’re designed for a really narrow purpose … like policy decisions.”

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