The founder of a new selfie museum planned for Dayton says it will be “a space to heal” using photography.
The Gem City Selfie Museum will be a space with interactive installations created to alleviate stress, depression and anxiety, said NaAsiaha Simon.
Simon, the CEO of Simon & Associates, a Dayton public relations firm, said her own personal mental health struggles while recovering from a recent brain surgery inspired the idea.
A therapist encouraged her to take photographs to express herself using colors and different local backgrounds. “I realized when I took the pictures, I felt great about myself,” she said.
Selfie museums have popped up in cities across the country and Simon believes it will benefit the Dayton community still dealing with the aftermath of the Oregon District mass shooting, the Memorial Day tornadoes and the stress of the pandemic.
Simon says Dayton’s museum will be the only one to have a mental health component to it, partnering with the Ashley N. Scott Community Healing Foundation in Cincinnati to provide free therapy resources.
The museum will have 21 selfie stations in vibrant colors — called interactive installations — decked out with props and furnishings that implement phototherapy and color therapy.
“Certain colors are mood enhancers or triggers,” Simon said. “When you are around yellow you feel happy and when you are around red you are warm and feel loved.”
The new Gem City Selfie Museum is planned to open this summer. Official opening details are still being worked out.
Simon isn’t disclosing the exact location at this time but says it will be in 8,000 square-feet of space in the Oregon District. Admission will be $30 for an hour of picture taking.
Simon said some people believe taking selfies is a selfish or narcissistic act but she believes otherwise.
“It’s not about the pictures being taken,” she said. “It’s about the reflection you see. The goal is (for) people to come and have positive life experiences. When they leave, they feel motivated, inspired and loved. They feel heard and feel seen by capturing these moments.”