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Edgy show captivates with vintage motorcycle images

On Friday, March 17, from 5 – 9 p.m., legendary local artist Shirley Aley Campbell’s rarely exhibited collection, “The Motorcyclists of the Seventies” will be on display at 78th Street Studios in the second floor corridor and Suite 215.
 
The 13 large scale oil paintings were commissioned by local businessman Joseph Erdelac in 1973 and were completed in 1981. The resulting works are utterly captivating on their own, but they take on new dimension considering the background stories of the riders, which include "The Flying Angel" Debbie Lawler, who was a noted and prolific motorcycle jumper at a time when few women could successfully compete with the likes of Evel Knievel; America's “First Lady of Motorcycling” — pink Harley-riding Dot Robinson; and John Knoble and Bob 'Laco' Lawrence of the Hell's Angels Los Angeles Motorcycle Club.
 
Gene Wirwah, legal counsel for the American Motorcycle Association, helped Campbell choose her subjects.


 
Campbell, a 1947 Cleveland Institute of Art grad and 1986 Cleveland Arts Prize recipient, has work in the collections of the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Butler Institute of American Art and Case Western Reserve University, as well as private collections throughout the United States. Her work has been exhibited at major museums throughout the country.
 
"Motorcycles" will be on view through April 8 and will return this summer. Campbell will be on hand for tomorrow's opening to meet and chat with attendees and discuss her work.
 
For more information contact 78th Street Studios director Daniel Bush at 440-503-5506 or dan@78thstreetstudios.com.
 

Cleveland Neighborhood Progress awards $4.2M in grants with three-year initiative

Beginning in July, Cleveland Neighborhood Progress (CNP) will invest a total of $4.2 million in twelve community development corporations (CDCs) over the next three years. The Strategic Investment Initiative (SII) includes nine awards, three of which are collaborative efforts. The funding will have a direct impact on 16 Cleveland neighborhoods.

“These critical investments will help improve neighborhoods across the city," said Joel Ratner, CNP president and CEO in a statement. "We look forward to working with our grantees as they develop work plans and implement the strategies they presented to the committee."

The following grants will be administered annually through 2020:
 
Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization and Metro West Community Development Corporation, $220,000
 
Ohio City, Inc. and Tremont West Development Corporation, $215,000
 
Famicos Foundation, $200,000
 
Burten Bell Carr Development, $200,000
 
Northeast Shores Development Corporation, $140,000
 
Slavic Village Development, $125,000
 
St. Clair Superior Development Corporation and Collinwood Nottingham Villages Development Corporation, $100,000
 
Old Brooklyn Community Development Corporation, $100,000
 
– Lee-Harvard Community Collaborative, $100,000
 
“We are also excited to invest in neighborhoods on the southeast side of Cleveland through our new capacity investment in the Lee-Harvard Community Partnership,” added Colleen Gilson, vice president of CDC Advancement for CNP. "This partnership is the result of a visioning and planning process supported by City of Cleveland Councilman Terrell Pruitt that will bring a dedicated community development entity into the neighborhood.”
 
CNP received a total of 14 proposals from a 23 CDCs for this competitive funding program. Senior staff reviewed proposals and recommended finalists to the organization’s SII Advisory Committee. Last month, that committee hosted two days of presentations during which the finalists highlighted the comprehensive community development goals and strategies they will employ during the 2017-2020 program cycle. CNP's board of directors’ final decision on funding was informed by the scoring process performed by the SII Advisory Committee.
 
“These selected CDCs will be taking on important work city-wide and we look forward to working with them as they implement community development strategies in their neighborhoods,” added Gilson of the SII recipients.
 
Over the past 10 years, CNP has committed more than $15 million to Cleveland CDCs via the SII program, funding for which is provided by the Cleveland Foundation, the George Gund Foundation, the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation, and Enterprise Community Partners.
 
 
Cleveland Neighborhood Progress is part of Fresh Water's underwriting support network.
 

New "Palettes" show lingers like a lover's kiss


Billed as "Palettes for the Senses: Art + Scent Demystified," HEDGE Gallery's new show may be described any number of ways, but "demystified" probably isn't among them. Instead, the visual and olfactory show evokes things profoundly mystifying.
 
A collection of 11 local and national artists presents works in various media, each of which is paired with a scent carefully curated by Ann Bouterse of Indigo Perfumery.
 
Next to each offering, a glass cloche upon a pedestal houses a vial of perfume. Visitors are invited to lift the dome and inhale deeply of its upturned interior. The scents are immersive to the point of sensuality and beyond. They also impart an unexpected new dimension to the artworks that is surprisingly effective.
 
Try Nikki Woods' Sugar Shack paired with Sulmona by Coquillete Paris, Liz Maugens' Fractured Atlas and funky neon Facts of Life accented by Molecule 02 by Escentric Molecules or Rebecca Cross's Sheild (pink spikes) and Shield (green spikes) floating upon notes of Dupont Circle by monsillage.
 
This author will not attempt the journalistic version of a "dancing about architecture" faux pas and apply awkward descriptions to these transcendent and unique perfumes. Suffice it to say when you leave the show, the quiet and personal experience stays with you like the impression of a lover's gentle lips.
 
Readers are invited to judge for themselves at the opening reception tonight from 5 to 9 p.m. A  when Bouterse of Indigo will be present to discuss the creation of custom fragrances and the complex nature of the scents she curated for the show. This event is free and open to the public.
 
The gallery's regular hours are Tuesday through Friday: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and every third Friday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Weekends and evenings by appointment. HEDGE is on the second floor of the 78th Street Studios.
 
"Palettes for the Senses: Art + Scent Demystified" will be on view through March 3.
 

"Year of Awareness" sessions examine impact of racism on low income neighborhoods

Race is at the forefront of national debate once more following a contentious presidential election. Through a forthcoming series of workshops, Cleveland Neighborhood Progress (CNP) will determine the impact the complex and controversial topic is having on Cleveland's poorest neighborhoods.
 
CNP, a nonprofit community development group, is convening a cross-section of civic leaders and stakeholders to discuss the effects of persistent racial inequality on marginalized populations. The work began in 2016 after CNP partnered with the Racial Equity Institute on "Year of Awareness" training sessions touching on racism in all its forms. Efforts with the North Carolina-based organization re-launched in January with history-based training aimed at any resident willing to attend. Scheduled every month through the rest of the year, half-day sessions are $75, while two-day training events are $250.

"We want to get this out to as many people as possible," says Evelyn Burnett, vice president of economic opportunity at CNP. "We're trying to cast a wide net." The next half-day event is Monday, March 6. The next two-day event is the following Tuesday and Wednesday, March 7 and 8.

Per CNP fund development manager Mordecai Cargill, "Year of Awareness" sessions will be led by the institute's alliance of trainers and community organizers. Law enforcement professionals and social justice activists teach the sessions, imparting historical events that highlight America's institutional disparities. Earlier this month, organizers screened "13th," a documentary centered on a U.S. mass-incarceration system that disproportionately imprisons African-American men.

Other talks will highlight the problems encountered in high-poverty, racially segregated regions; among them diminished resources, underperforming schools, deteriorating physical environments, and the constant threat of violence. Session planners expect to reach 1,000-1,500 participants before year's end.
 
Cleveland has its share of long-standing inequities, CNP officials note. Even thriving neighborhoods like Ohio City, Detroit Shoreway and Tremont won't reach their full potential until the ongoing renaissance becomes more inclusive. 
 
"It's good this development is happening, but there are people in those places not participating in the same way, and that often falls along racial lines," says Burnett. "We have to address these issues to do our work."
 
Uplifting the underserved means having uncomfortable conversations about the systemic reasons American society is divided between the "haves" and "have-nots," Cargill says.
 
"We've got to become familiar with some of the barriers people face," he says. "Creating solutions tailored to the needs of residents requires this kind of understanding." 
 

Bowie show celebrates life and career of a genre-bending persona

Thomas Mulready has spent a lifetime collecting material on David Bowie's chameleonic career, from his early musical development to the symbol-heavy albums that preceded the enigmatic rocker's death one year ago.
 
Mulready, founder of online newsletter Cool Cleveland, will share his trove of Bowie goodness during a two-part performance called An Evening With(out) David Bowie, set for January 13-14 at the Bop Stop, 2920 Detroit Ave.
 
The multi-media show includes rare video, recently unearthed music, trivia contests and archival photos, all meticulously researched and organized around Bowie's versatile creative output.
 
"This is a vein that artists are still tapped into," says Mulready. "Bowie has been such an influence on so many different people."
 
Part one of the performance, slated for 7:30 each evening, covers the English musician's early struggles up to the Ziggy Stardust persona that blasted his career into the stratosphere. Part two is a retrospective of Bowie's worldwide stardom, a journey that led him through drug addiction and recovery, as well as fascinating musical experimentations and a successful run as an actor. Bowie's final studio album, Blackstar, was released on his 69th birthday, just two days before liver cancer ended his life.
 
Via music and video, Mulready aims to capture the entirety of his favorite artist's strange and wonderful livelihood. In putting together the show, he found touchpoints celebrating Bowie's dizzying creativity, a portfolio including fashion, film, music, design, theater and politics.
 
Bowie also changed the meaning of sexuality and gender, telling the world he was gay in a 1972 issue of English pop magazine, "Melody Maker."
 
"He was ahead of his time on sexuality," says Mulready. "He told young people that no matter how weird or freaky they were, they could live their lives exactly how they wanted. Bowie never worried about what people thought, and that's very instructive."
 
As a lifelong fan of the influential Starman, Mulready combed through personally collected archives of books, DVDs, compact discs and digital files. Among the clips is footage of a concert at Cleveland's Public Auditorium in 1972, marking Bowie's U.S. debut. Mulready found so much good material, both famous and rare, he split the show into two parts.
 
"It's going to be a long evening," says Mulready, whose glam-rock band, Vanity Crash, will take the stage for a selection of Bowie tunes and original tracks.
 
Ultimately, the performance stands as a celebratory showcase of a genre-bending persona who paved the way for generations of musicians.
 
"This is my way of grieving," Mulready says. "It's something everyone can share."
 

Arabella Proffer's "Garden Party" evokes, beautifies inner space

Consider the quiet moment when you nestle your ear against the warm hollow of your lover's belly and listen to the universe inside of her. Mysterious gurgles, bubbles and pops erupt as all those internal systems filter, pump and process.

Behold a manifestation of the human experience that is simultaneously intimate and foreign - so much so that if the sounds were isolated and removed from the fleshy contact, one might assign the orchestration to outer space.
 
Noted and uniquely qualified, local artist Arabella Proffer has visually realized that symphony, particularly amid the works in her forthcoming show Biomorphic Garden Party, which will open next Friday, Nov. 18, at the HEDGE Gallery in the 78th Street Studios with a reception from 5 to 9 p.m. The show will run through Dec. 17.
 
"Biomorphic" is a departure for Proffer, who is well known for her devastating femme fatale portraits, but it is also profoundly personal.
 
Proffer, who has battled an aggressive form of lipo sarcoma since 2010 that required removal of part of her thigh, received an Ohio Arts Council Grant through the Artists with Disabilities Access Program. The resulting work includes efforts in “Biomorphic,” a series that combines Proffer's interests in the evolution of cells, mutation, botany and microbiology; but don't expect loose translations of medical and scientific images. Those varied inspirations have moved her to create surreal hybrids of flowers, cells, and symbols evocative of otherworldly organisms
 
"Biomorphic" is born from Proffer's body and soul - a characterization that might be trite in any other circumstance, but not with these works, which conjure her cancer. Proffer once described the disease's physical invasion as "a big nasty tumor with wandering tentacles in my thigh."
 
While the portrayal is wholly earned, her artistic interpretations of that terrible and formidable muse are beautiful and complex while managing to be abstract and highly detailed. There is also an unmistakable sexuality characterizing the series that is at once sensual and medical.

"Biomorphic" earns all the adjectives: jarring, compelling, disturbing; and for those who appreciate contrast at its most subtle and sincere, Proffer's work will not disappoint.
 
For questions, contact gallery director, Hilary Gent at hilary@hedgeartgallery.com or 216.650.4201. Viewing hours are Tuesday through Friday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., evenings and weekends by appointment.
 

Purveyor of hemp denim touts sustainability, eyes pop up locations

For some, the word "hemp" conjures up images of burning joints or bongs filled with white smoke.
 
Brian Kupiec is looking to change that perception with a new denim jeans brand that harnesses what he believes are the endless opportunities of hemp fiber. Called Magu Studios, Kupiec and his partners Val Garkov and Garrett Durica started the company in Cleveland two years ago.

After months of preparation, the trio is readying its first run of Japanese Raw Hemp Denim Jeans. The name delivers what it promises, interweaving industrial hemp with cotton for extra durability and bacteria resistance. Hemp carries environmentally-friendly properties as well, needing half as much land for growth as cotton. The leafy plant requires little to no pesticides and needs less water per growing season than "the fabric of our lives."
 
"We're highlighting sustainability and want to use our brand as inspiration for others to utilize hemp in their clothing," Kupiec says. "Industry trends are leaning toward more sustainable fabrics and ethical consumerism."
 
Magu Studios' hemp is cultivated in China, then shipped to Okyama, Japan, a city known in fashion circles as a source for high-quality denim. Kupiec, 22, a Kent State University double major in fashion and business marketing, says he and his partners saw a hemp-sized hole in the market and decided to fill it. His company name derives from the Goddess Magu, also known as the Hemp Maiden.
 
Kupiec and other supporters of the oft-misunderstood fiber point to the plant's myriad industrial applications, from medicine to building materials. Though hemp can't be used as a narcotic, the startup owner has fielded numerous queries about his company's relation to cannabis.
 
"People automatically ask us if our jeans are made of marijuana," says Kupiec. "Hemp gets grouped in with weed, but they should be viewed as two separate things."
 
Despite the stigma, Kupiec has gotten mostly positive responses to the business model, a trend he expects to continue in the next month when Magu Studios opens a pop-up shop in either Gordon Square or Ohio City.
 
Wherever it lands, the shop will carry the company's first 100 pairs of slim jeans in standard deep indigo. Different colors and fades will be available next year. By that time, Kupiec would like to be a budding voice for fashionable, sustainable garments.
 
"Creativity and innovation are what drives us as a business," he says. "We want others to have that same innovation and not be afraid to offer sustainability along with quality."  

Weapons of Mass Creation draws talent from across the globe to Playhouse Square this weekend

Upon its launch in 2010, the Weapons of Mass Creation (WMC) art and design conference was envisioned as a small meet-and-greet for area artists. Fifty people attended the event's first iteration, starting a tradition that in recent years has reached beyond regional and even national boundaries.
 
Now in its seventh year, WMC is expected to draw more than 1,000 professional and aspiring artists, designers, small business owners and other makers of all innovative stripes. The three-day happening, hosted August 5-7 at the Ohio, Kennedy and State Theatres in Playhouse Square, features TEDx-style talks with a diverse panel of speakers, interactive workshop sessions and live podcasts.
 
Among this year's speakers are Grammy award-winning designer Stefan Sagmeister and Cleveland kidnapping survivor Michelle Knight, who will discuss the healing power of art and art therapy. Cleveland designer Aaron Sechrist will host a creative celebration that includes live art battles and podcasts.
 
Founded by Cleveland-based design studio Go Media, the annual arts conference has grown in popularity due to a unique mix of guests, programming and educational offerings, says event director Heather Sakai. Attendees will learn how to create everything from a captivating comic book storyline to a profitable design business. New this year is a free "desk yoga" class that teaches simple poses busy artists can do while working. 
 
"The general feel is inspiring and authentic," says Sakai. "There's a good sense of community here. We offer a little bit of everything."
 
Positive word-of-mouth has broadened WMC's audience, as web developers and videographers now mingle with artists from traditional media.
 
"Cleveland is huge for design, arts and culture," Sakai says. "When people come to town, we try to expose them to all the city has to offer."
 
WMC moved downtown from the Gordon Square Arts District to give the metro area better exposure. About 60 percent of program patrons reside outside Ohio, coming from arts enclaves within cities such as Los Angeles and Austin. International visitors from Australia, India and the United Kingdom round out the packed event venues.
 
Sakai says broadening the guest list to include non-artistic residents can put a focus on both Cleveland and its emergent creative hub.

"Fundraising is one of the biggest challenges WMC faces," she says. "People love the idea of the arts in Cleveland, but it's hard for them to follow through with raising funds. Hosting a premier design conference is a great way to make art accessible to any Clevelander."

Expanded Startup Scaleup returns to Gordon Square on June 28

Last year, JumpStart Inc. showcased Northeast Ohio's entrepreneurial ecosystem with a half-day, festival-style event held in Cleveland's Gordon Square Arts District. Startup Scaleup returns this summer with a full day of sessions, pitch competitions, workshops and networking events.
 
The expanded format follows a 2015 venture that drew 1,200 guests interested in harnessing the region's array of small business-friendly resources. Organizers have added 13 program sessions from last summer's 28, with presenters including PNC Bank, Flashstarts and the Manufacturing Advocacy & Growth Network (MAGNET). Marketing agency Hello LLC, meanwhile, will teach attendees how to bring life to their brands through popular social media platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat.
 
"We want to make sure entrepreneurs understand all the resources they have at their fingertips, whether it's funding, getting a mentor or building a business plan," says Amy Martin, JumpStart's head of marketing.
 
The June 28 event will be easier to navigate thanks to separate track programming options focusing on either start-ups or development of existing companies. The 34 agenda items include sessions such as "The War for Tech Talent," "Ice Cream Social: Small Business Finance," and "The 5 Most Efficient Ways To Connect, Communicate And Celebrate With Your Ideal Clients." JumpStart officials are expecting the day's 1,500 attendees to chart their own unique path through sessions and post-event entertainment held at 15 Gordon Square theaters, eateries and creative spaces.
 
The marketing piece is another new addition, as is the program's outreach to student entrepreneurs. Returning from 2015 is the "Sidewalk to Stage" pitch competition, where 100 new dream-chasers will present their ideas on Capitol Theater's main stage for a share of $15,000 in prize money.
 
Full-day tickets for Startup Scaleup 2016 are $20 and include a $10 lunch voucher, as well as two $5 snack vouchers redeemable at vendors throughout the arts district. Half-day tickets are also available for $10, and include two $5 snack vouchers.
 
Giving participants more freedom is the goal of the scaleup event's super-sized format, says Martin. Program organizers expect nascent business owners to move around and mingle with the investors who can help their companies reach the next stage of growth.
 
"Our job is to create an economic impact that keeps the region on par with the rest of the country," Martin says. "We're bringing all these resources to one location for one day so people can see them in action."

Cleveland motorcycle entrepreneur rides into CIA to inspire, guide students

Though it's been a decade since Cleveland CycleWerks owner Scott Colosimo graduated from Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA), he has stayed connected to the school as both a teacher and professor.
 
This spring, Colosimo has returned to his formative digs once more as sponsor of CIA's transportation design class, which "exposes students to the basic knowledge, skills and qualities that are important for a career in transportation design." The semester-long role is part-time, as the Parma native spends most days running his small-volume motorcycle manufacturing facility in the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood, where he builds custom bikes and restorations of British, Japanese and Italian motorcycles.
 
At CIA, Colosimo serves as a motivator and critic in helping students solve real-world transportation design questions. The role is more instructional than professorial, and is meant to reflect a designer/client relationship in the professional world.  
 
"My work is to push students further than they would be by the traditional OEM (original equipment manufacturer)," says Colosimo, who graduated from CIA in 2004. "Companies tend to pull students back in to make concepts more contemporary. I'm pushing them out and making sure they're looking well off into the future."
 
That conceptual outlook includes designing vehicles for racing along the surface of distant planetary bodies. Colosimo, who wrote the class curriculum with Professor Haishan Deng, oversees teams tackling the challenge of building vehicles for transportation on Mars.
 
"The vehicles take on a more unique design, proportion and function than cars of today," says Colosimo, 35. "This kind of problem-solving is key to developing a young designer's ability to step beyond the surface and become a competent, well-rounded designer."
 
Colosimo's partnership with CIA emerged as part of a long-standing CIA tradition of bringing in automotive officials to offer students professional-level feedback. The self-proclaimed "motorcycle geek" is proud to present his particular brand of two-wheeled insight to a creative, energetic classroom.
 
"These students are already thinking and sketching on a professional level, so I like to think of them as professionals," Colosimo says. "I'm there at a design director level to push them in the right direction when they get off track."
 
Though the entrepreneur has been in the motorcycle-building game since 2009, returning to school has illuminated new innovations unburdened by the limits of running a bottom-line manufacturing business.
 
"Students are working on unique propulsion, suspension and wheel solutions that I never would have thought of," says Colosimo. "They're so quick to adapt and think of ways to use that technology. It's amazing how natural it comes to them."

The Cleveland Institute of Art is part of Fresh Water's underwriting support community.
 

Cleveland Neighborhood Progress announces finalists for Vibrant City Awards

Cleveland Neighborhood Progress (CNP) has announced 21 finalists for its 2016 Vibrant City Awards. Winners will be revealed on May 2 at the second annual Vibrant City Awards Lunch, hosted by CNP and presented by Key Bank and Community Blight Solutions.
 
“We are proud to convene community partners and stakeholders to celebrate city neighborhoods. These leading efforts in neighborhood revitalization are what help us all create a vibrant city,” says Joel Ratner, president and CEO of CNP. “The organizations and individuals being honored have displayed tremendous passion, dedication and collaboration. We’re excited to recognize them for their successful efforts in community development.”
 
CNP received more than 70 nominations for this year's awards.
 
“The complete list of nominations tells an inspiring story of neighborhood transformation that is taking place in Cleveland," says Jeff Kipp, CNP's director of neighborhood marketing for the organization. "From community development corporations to corporate partners and everyone in between, there are amazing people performing incredible work in our neighborhoods.”
 
Additionally, CNP will present the Morton L. Mandel Leadership in Community Development Award and the first ever Vibrant City Impact Award at the May 2 luncheon. During the event, civic leaders, community development professionals, local developers, investors, realtors and passionate Clevelanders will gather to celebrate neighborhoods at the Cleveland Masonic Auditorium, 3615 Euclid Ave., an iconic structure located in Midtown on the RTA Healthline. A locally sourced meal catered by chef Chris Hodgson of Driftwood Catering will be served. This event is open to the public. More information and registration details are available online.
 
The 2016 Vibrant City Awards finalists include:
 
• CDC Community Collaboration Award
 
Ohio City Inc. – Station Hope
Held in May 2015, Station Hope, a collaboration of Ohio City, Inc., Cleveland Public Theatre, Saint John’s Episcopal Church and Councilman Joe Cimperman, was a free multi-arts event that celebrated the history of St. John’s Church, the triumphs of the Underground Railroad, and contemporary struggles for freedom and justice. Station Hope featured a diverse selection of theatre and performance ensembles, including more than 30 companies and 150 individual artists.


 
Slavic Village Development – Cleveland Orchestra at Home in Slavic Village
In spring 2015, The Cleveland Orchestra At Home in Slavic Village residency brought a world-class orchestra to the Broadway Slavic Village neighborhood. Partners included Slavic Village Development, the Cleveland Orchestra, Broadway School of Music and the Arts, the Broadway Boys and Girls Club, cultural organizations, and area churches and schools. In April, the orchestra performed a free public concert for an audience of 1,000 at Our Lady of Lourdes Church. The residency continued throughout the year with a host of events.
 
Stockyards, Clark Fulton, Brooklyn Centre Community Development Office – La Placita
In 2015, the Stockyard, Clark Fulton and Brooklyn Centre Community Development Office partnered with the Hispanic Business Center and local businesses and entrepreneurs to launch La Placita, an open air market near the intersection of Clark Avenue and West 25th Street that featured 24 local vendors and cultural offerings for five Saturday events that attracted thousands. The events also served as an effective venue to showcase “La Villa Hispana,” which is home to a growing ethnic population in the City of Cleveland.
 
• CDC Placemaking Award
 
MidTown Cleveland – East 55th Street railroad bridge mural
The railroad bridge above the intersection of Euclid Avenue and East 55th Street has been transformed into a symbol of the innovation and emerging economy embodied in the MidTown neighborhood and the Health-Tech Corridor. The mural, designed by Twist Creative, Inc., includes a graphic of DNA molecules, and logos of MidTown Cleveland, the City of Cleveland, BioEnterprise and the Cleveland Foundation.


 
Slavic Village Development – Cycle of Arches
The Cycle of Arches installation evokes allusions to nature such as trees or grasses bending in the wind, while nodding to the industrial heritage of the community by representing the neighborhood's "steel roots" with its steel tube construction. Part of the $8 million Broadway Streetscape and Road Improvement Project, the installation is located at the intersection of E.49th Street and Broadway Avenue. Jonathan Kurtz, AIA, designed Cycle of Arches. Partners included Slavic Village Development, Land Studio and the City of Cleveland.
 
University Circle Inc. – Wade Oval improvements
University Circle Inc. recently invested in several improvements to Wade Oval including a permanent musical park that offers four large-scale instruments, benches, Adirondack chairs and a chalkboard with the “This is CLE to Me…” tagline emblazoned across the top. Visitors are encouraged to creatively express themselves in this eclectic area.


 
• CDC Economic Opportunity Award
 
Famicos Foundation – Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) program management
Famicos Foundation weaves together a diverse portfolio of economic opportunity programming to aid family financial stability in the Glenville neighborhood. In 2015, the organization helped complete 1,917 tax returns with a total refund of $2.3 million for residents. 549 of those returns were for EITC clients and those individuals received $869,000 in refunds. Also in 2015, while participating in a pilot program, Famicos referred 90 tax preparation clients interested in receiving one-on-one financial counseling to the Community Financial Centers.
 
Stockyards, Clark Fulton, Brooklyn Centre Community Development Office – La Placita
The Stockyard, Clark Fulton, Brooklyn Centre Community Development Office was instrumental in the planning and implementation of "La Placita," which served as a catalyst project encouraging collaboration between the local CDC and stakeholders in the community. This initiative served as a business incubator for new businesses with free business training and as an accelerator for established businesses. Situated in an economically challenged food dessert, "La Placita" also served as an access point for fresh, affordable produce and culturally relevant prepared foods and ingredients.
 
University Circle, Inc. – Business outreach and development efforts
In 2015, University Circle Inc's business outreach and development efforts included three key components: the Uptown Business Association (UBA), NextStep: Strategies for Business Growth and a financial literacy and QuickBooks bookkeeping program, all of which fostered networking amid business owners in the greater University Circle area. UCI consistently convenes the 17 NextStep alumni, a current class of nine business owners, 65 UBA members, and seven bookkeeping program participants at UBA meetings to network, enhance their skills and find new opportunities. 
 
• CDC Neighborhood Branding & Marketing Award
 
Northeast Shores Development Corp. – Welcome to Collinwood website
With the help of the CDC, the neighborhood has taken its brand as Cleveland's premiere artists’ neighborhood to a new level with the Welcome to Collinwood website. The homepage offers an artistic display of images and designs, and visitors are met with compelling copy that boasts the compelling opportunities available to artists in Collinwood. 
 
Slavic Village Development – Rooms to Let
St. Rooms To Let, a temporary art installation in vacant homes created by Slavic Village Development, was a successful marketing event that changed perceptions about the surrounding neighborhood. In May 2015, more than 1,000 visitors toured St. Rooms to Let, which included installations by 30 artists, live music performances and activities for children.


 
Clair Superior Development Corp. & Campus District, Inc. – Night Market Cleveland
St. Clair Superior Development Corp. and Campus District Inc. teamed up last summer to spark awareness, foster a creative economy, and bring attention to the hidden gems of AsiaTown and the Superior Arts District with Night Market Cleveland - a series of four summer events with local art vendors, Asian food and cultural entertainment. The inaugural season attracted a staggering 50,000 attendees and garnered coverage in 22 media publications.
 
• Corporate Partner Award
 
Community Blight Solutions
Community Blight Solutions focuses on understanding, solving, and eliminating blight. Prominent solutions currently include promotion of the organization's SecureView product and the Slavic Village Recovery Project, which aims to align demolition and rehabilitation to eradicate blight one block at a time and fosters corporate volunteerism amid the area's for-profit partners. The project is also focused on gaining access to a critical mass of real estate owned properties and those that are abandoned with the intention of either demolition or rehabilitation.
 
Dave’s Supermarkets
Dave’s Supermarkets' portfolio of stores sells products that match the profile of the communities they serve while their employees and customer base reflect Cleveland’s diverse population. Asian, Hispanic, African American and Caucasian residents all feel at home at Dave’s Supermarket. Dave’s has provided significant financial support in the form of food donations to community organizations, churches, and neighborhood groups. The local chain employs over 1,000 people in 14 stores, providing health care and retirement benefits to hard-working Cleveland residents.
 
PNC Bank
PNC was the lead sponsor of UCI’s summer concert series, Wade Oval Wednesdays – WOW! - a free weekly concert that draws up to 5,000 attendees. In addition, PNC supported UCI’s Clean and Safe Ambassador program expansion from seasonal to year-round with twice as many staff.  Additionally, PNC supported the creation and development of a children’s map and activity book to complement UCI’s newest education initiative, Circle Walk, a 40-point interpretive program set to launch in May 2016.
 
• Urban Developer Award:
 
Case Development – Mike DeCesare
Mike DeCesare of Case Development has been a pioneer in residential development in the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood, which he also calls home. He successfully finished the Waverly Station community in 2015 and completed the Harborview development at Herman Avenue and West 54th Street.
 
Geis Companies – Fred Geis
Fred Geis instigated the MidTown Tech Park, which boasts nearly 250,000 square feet of office and laboratory space leased to health and technology firms, and is part of the growing Health-Tech corridor. One of Geis’s most transformational projects is The 9, into which Geis moved its headquarters from Streetsboro. This spring, Geis will break ground on an Ohio City project converting the industrial Storer Meat Co. facility into 67 market-rate apartments. Fred Geis was also recently appointed to the Cleveland Planning Commission and will donate his stipend to the Dream Neighborhood refugee housing initiative.
 
Vintage Development Group – Chip Marous
Vintage Development Group provides well-built multi-family residential properties in Detroit Shoreway and Ohio City, thereby helping to support the associated commercial districts with residential opportunities and financial support. Not to be content with the footprint of his Battery Park project, Marous has executed plans for expanding it. His passion for complete, walkable urban development is made possible through established relationships in Cleveland’s urban neighborhoods.
 
• Civic Champion Award:
 
Joseph Black – Central neighborhood
Joe Black is committed to Central neighborhood youth. He is currently the Neighborhood Engagement Manager for the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland. As the leader of the engagement team, he is responsible for fostering a seamless experience for youth and families to progress through their education from cradle to career. Black’s passion was sparked by personal experiences with the inequities linked to men of color, and has since matured into a responsibility to serve “at risk” communities. He is a tireless, dedicated community volunteer, mentoring youth at his day job as well as during his free time.
 
Charles Gliha – Slavic Village neighborhood
Lifelong Slavic Village resident Charles Gliha strives to improve the neighborhood with art, civic engagement and business development. As founder of Broadway Public Art, he has championed the Warszawa Music Festival, is the founder of Street Repair Music Festival, organizes the Polish Constitution Day Parade, and volunteers at Rooms to Let. Gliha is an active member of the Slavic Village Neighborhood Summit planning committee and hosts cash mobs and live music events in area retail establishments. He also created a printed business directory and garnered $25,000 in grants for the neighborhood.


 
Alison Lukacsy – Collinwood neighborhood
A Cleveland transplant turned North Collinwood artist, advocate and promoter, Alison Lukacsy sees opportunities where others see problems. She has secured over $20,000 in grants, resulting in projects such as Storefront Activation utilizing debris from Adopt-a-Beach cleanups, Phone Gallery - Cleveland's smallest curated art gallery, a Collinwood Vibrancy Project, Yarn n’ Yoga on Euclid Beach Pier, Euclid Beach Book Box, and Bus Stop Moves RTA shelter exercises.
 

Cleveland Education Compact aims to improve relations between charter and district schools

While organizations such as the Transformation Alliance are working to make sure Cleveland’s Plan for Transforming Schools ensures every child in Cleveland receives a quality education with access to a selection of schools, the Cleveland Education Compact is doing their part by helping the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) and the city’s 65 charter schools work together to bring excellence throughout.

The Compact is a collaboration between CMSD, the Cleveland Foundation and Breakthrough Schools, which is a network of public charter schools. The group came together last year after the associated schools received a $100,000 planning grant from the National Association of Charter School Authorizers, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2014.
 
The Compact’s goal with the planning grant is to unite all those partners via a common goal that includes cooperation between the CMSD and Cleveland’s publicly funded charter schools and improve the educational options in Cleveland.
 
“Essentially, the district and Breakthrough Schools were doing some collaboration already,” explains Lindsey Blackburn, project manager for the Compact. “We applied for the $100,000 grant to get things going.” Blackburn adds that the term “compact” refers to both the group and the document they wrote.
 
Now the planning is underway and a group of 40 people from a dozen schools and organizations met in February for a brainstorming session and to form subcommittees. The executive committee meets monthly to discuss the subcommittee topics, which include record sharing; professional development; special education; facilities; funding; and policy/advocacy.
 
The Compact’s executive committee, which consists of five direct representatives and five charter representatives, meets once a month to ensure the planning phase is carried out before the grant runs out later this year.

“The last two areas have a lot of overlaps so it may make more sense to combine them,” says Blackburn. “Each subcommittee has co-chairs: one representative from the district and one representative from the charters.”
 
The group will meet again on April 5 for additional planning and outlining. “This is an exciting time because this is actual real work,” Blackburn says, adding that they will look for the areas that are easiest to tackle first, then address the more complex issues.
 
"We will look at the ones we can win first, like sharing professional development resources – if a speaker comes in, opening it up to all compact members,” she says. “There will be topics that will prove to be more complex and may not be solved in this round of collaboration.”
  
While the Cleveland Education Compact is not affiliated with the Cleveland Plan, the two groups still share common missions. “The Compact is similar [to the Cleveland Plan] in the sense that it is all about finding areas where district and charter schools can work together.,” says Piet van Lier, executive director of the Transformation Alliance, the organization charged with making sure the Cleveland Plan is executed. “But it wasn’t written into the Cleveland Plan.”
 
However, van Lier does see the two groups complementing each other. “Since the Cleveland Plan envisions a portfolio district with good schools, both district and charter, and allows the district to share levy money with partner charter schools, the two really are different sides of the same coin.”
 
Blackburn says future fundraising options will be considered to keep the Compact going once the planning grant expires. 

Transformation Alliance is a Fresh Water sponsor.

David Bowie tribute will be the focus of Dinner Lab’s next CLE event

Last July, Cleveland became the 33rd location in the country for Dinner Lab – a social dining experiment that hosts regular pop-up dinners in unconventional, undisclosed locations as a way for participants to meet new people, try new food and provide feedback to up-and-coming chefs.
 
The first Cleveland Dinner Lab was held at smARTspace in the 78th Street Studios and the group has held 15 subsequent dinners in the 216 since then. The upcoming event on Saturday, Feb. 20, will honor the late iconic musician David Bowie with “Let’s Dance: A Celebration of the Man Who Sold the World.”
 
"For 2016, Dinner Lab is taking a new, more conceptualized approach to our dinners, explains Elise Baros, Dinner Lab’s media relations manager. "So, rather giving members great chefs, we are now, also giving them great chefs and innovative menu concepts."

The Bowie theme seemed like a timely notion. "For the David Bowie tribute dinner, we thought it was a great opportunity to show admiration for such a legend and provide diners with a really cool menu concept, " Baros says.
 
The accompanying cuisine will be made by one of Dinner Lab’s house chefs and centered around Bowie songs. Menu Items include Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps), a beet salad; Return of the Thin White Duke, a cauliflower velouté; Berlin Era: salmon and bread dumpling; South London, shepherd’s pie; and Blackstar/The Parting Gift, a dark chocolate pound cake.
 
Dinner Lab recently began offering free memberships in addition to its $125 select memberships. The free memberships grant access to all core events, while select members receive discounted dinner rates, early registration for the events and access to exclusive additional events.
 
Baros says they started the free memberships to make the experience more affordable. “The problem we were finding was that it’s a huge barrier to entry,” she says. “To think about asking people to pay $125 for a membership and then pay for dinner, that’s [a lot of money] before even paying for a product.”
 
Previous Cleveland Dinner Labs have garnered enthusiastic turnouts. “They’ve been received really well,” says Baros. “Cleveland has always had open arms and been very accepting of the concept of Dinner Lab. It’s always really fun to do dinner in Cleveland.”
 
Tickets to Let's Dance are already on sale, $85, or $75 for select members. The price includes the five-course dinner and open bar with themed cocktails and beer. The location will not be revealed until a week before the event.

Cocktails and classic films help cure the winter blues at the Capitol Theatre

Beginning next Wednesday, Jan. 27th, Gordon Square’s Capitol Theatre will launch its monthly Happy Hour cocktail party – a classic film paired with cocktails and appetizers from local restaurants.

"An evening at our Happy Hour Film Series is a great way to warm up the winter with a drink as you mix and mingle with friends both old and new," says David Huffman, director of marketing for Cleveland Cinemas.
 
The idea came about last fall when theater officials realized they were not using the full potential of the theater’s liquor license. “We were serving beer and wine, but no mixed drinks until last September,” explains Huffman. They tried out the concept with a showing of “Some Like it Hot” last summer during the brunch series. “When we were doing Sunday mornings, a lot of films wouldn’t work with brunch,” Huffman explains
 
So officials then decided to run a recurring cocktail hour series, showing a few contemporary classics. The Happy Hour Kicks off on Wednesday with “Fargo” – a nod, in part, to the Coen Brothers’ upcoming release of “Hail, Caesar!
 
Future showings include “The Sting” in February and “Network” in March.
 
The $10 admission ($8 if you buy in advance) includes one cocktail and complimentary appetizers, catered by local restaurants.  Capitol Theatre’s current cocktail selections include a Moscow mule, whiskey sour, pomegranate gimlet, and a chipotle bloody mary, as well as beer and wine.
 
Cha Spirits and Pizza Kitchen will cater Wednesday’s showing. Toast, which catered the trial run in September, will be at the February event and Luxe will cater the March film.
 
Drinks and appetizers are from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Patrons are welcome to refill their beverages before the showings.
 
The Happy Hour series is in addition to the Capitol’s regular Wednesday happy hours, which offers a $1 discount on drinks from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Who’s Hiring in Cle: Rape Crisis Center, Neighborhood Progress BlueBridge Networks and more

Welcome to the latest installment of Fresh Water’s “who’s hiring” series, where we feature growing companies with open positions, what they’re looking for and how to apply.


Cleveland Rape Crisis Center
Founded in 1974, the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center supports survivors of rape, sexual abuse and sex trafficking; promotes healing and prevention; and advocates for social change. Each year, 50 full time staff and more than 100 volunteers provide services to nearly 20,000 people in Cuyahoga, Lake, Geauga and Ashtabula Counties.
 
 The center recently received the largest grant in its history – more than $1.4 million through the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA).  The grant allows the center to expand and enhance its counseling, advocacy and outreach services.
 
“Cleveland Rape Crisis Center’s highlight of 2015 is the transformative changes that are taking place as a result of receiving this additional funding,” says Jennifer Schlosser, the center’s director of community engagement. “We’ve grown from 29 employees in September to 50 employees in December, allowing us to expand and enhance the services we offer survivors.”
 
That expansion includes three positions. “We’re expanding and enhancing our core services to reach more people in more places, making our region healthier, safer and stronger,” says Schlosser.
 
The center is looking for a development director, a community outreach specialist and a victim specialist. To apply, email resumes and cover letters to the hiring manager.
 
Cleveland Neighborhood Progress
Cleveland Neighborhood Progress, a non-profit organization that collaboratively builds thriving neighborhoods through innovative programs, is searching for a climate resilience/urban greening coordinator to lead many aspects of the organization’s climate resilience work. Send cover letter and resume to Lynn Friedel by Friday, Dec. 18.   
 
BlueBridge Networks
BlueBridge Networks, a top-ranked datacenter services and technology solutions provider, needs a data center operations manager to manage a complex facility accommodating a wide array of state-of-the-art computer and communications equipment in a rapidly changing collocation environment. The company also needs a data center sales engineer, a network engineer, a systems engineer and an IT sales executive. To apply, send resumes and salary requirements to the hiring manager.
 
Cleveland Institute of Art
The Cleveland Institute of Art needs a director of communications to oversee CIA’s brand message and content generation. The director will manage all communications plan activities and maintain internal and external relationships. Send resumes, cover letters and salary requirements to human resources by Thursday, Dec. 31.
 
Jurinnov, Ltd.
Jurinnov,  a technology firm that works with companies’ IT and legal departments, needs an IT systems analyst to perform reviews, backup monitoring and tape cataloging, as well as troubleshooting and provide support for desktop hardware and software, including PCs, printers, laptops, peripherals, and handheld devices. Applicants must complete a survey before applying.
 
Arbor Park Village
Arbor Park Village, an affordable housing development in Cleveland’s Central neighborhood, is looking for a maintenance technician and a groundskeeper/cleaning technician. Send resumes to Mary Ellen Gardner.

Global Ambassadors Language Academy                                  
Global Ambassadors Language Academy (GALA), a new, international, dual language immersion K-8 nonprofit charter school in Cleveland, has several open positions, including family support liaison; a literacy coach who is bilingual in Mandarin and English; an assistant principal who is bilingual in Mandarin and English; and several K-1 certified teachers, Many of the teaching positions require people who are bilingual in English and/or Spanish and Mandarin. For a full list of job descriptions and to apply, click here.

NewBridge Cleveland
NewBridge Cleveland Center for Arts and Technology, a social change organization that provides youth arts education and market-driven, adult career training, needs a part-time ceramics teaching artist to Instruct and mentor students in artistic skills as well as social, cultural, developmental awareness through NewBridge’s after-school/summer programming. To apply, send cover letter, resume and NewBridge job application to the hiring manager.
 
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