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Explore the Neighborhood of the Arts 

Here's a chance for all of you closet super sleuths to activate your inner Sherlock while nabbing some prizes, too.

On Friday, May 2, the business association of the Neighborhood of the Arts will launch a summer-long scavenger hunt called Explore NOTA.

QR codes, which are similar to bar codes, will be displayed in participating businesses throughout the neighborhood. You'll scan the code with your smart phone to earn points. Completing a series of visits will earn you a virtual badge. Each month has a theme. June is the garden challenge, for example, so you'll earn a badge if you visit all participating NOTA gardens and scan the codes.

"The goal is to get people to explore the neighborhood and get to know the businesses," says Meg Colombo, a spokesperson for the Memorial Art Gallery. Colombo is an advisor to the Explore NOTA event.

Other badge themes are music, public art, cultural, foodie, and event. The event badge will be earned by finding and scanning codes at NOTA events, such as the Clothesline Arts Festival.

The monthly challenges make it possible for short-term players, including people visiting the city, to participate, Colombo says. You can scan all the public art QR codes, for example, in a single day.

A virtual leaderboard will show the most active players based on the number of scans and badges earned. The standings will be displayed in real time, Colombo says, "so you can actually watch people move around the board."

The event ends in October. Winners will be announced and prizes awarded at the NOTA street art event. More information should be available soon on the Explore NOTA Facebook page,

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