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Social Innovation

photo Bob Perkoski

Like other industrial cities around the turn of the 20th century, Cleveland prospered and grew rapidly, earning many of its residents handsome nest eggs. Fortunately for future Clevelanders, wealthy industrialists made a habit of digging deep to give back. Generous contributions lead to the creation of the Metroparks system, Cleveland Orchestra, Playhouse Square and numerous other enduring regional assets. Who's leading the charge these days to affect change for the public good? Social innovation requires us to think differently about how to solve tough social problems. It's getting new people around the table, from techies and artists to those already working on the issues. It's not just coming up with ideas; it's putting good ideas to work.

Social Innovation Features

Cleveland Rape Crisis Center

How a $3.2 million grant is helping Cleveland Rape Crisis Center expand its services on campus

Recently, the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center received a $3.2 million VOCA payment, the largest grant in its 40-year history. Part of that funding is helping to expand advocacy and outreach services on college campuses around Cleveland.

Literacy Through the Arts

Small grants, big impact: How Cuyahoga Arts & Culture's 2018 project support is affecting change

With 2018 in sight, Cuyahoga Arts & Culture (CAC) is again poised to make a significant impact on local non-profit arts organizations with $12 million in grant funding. While many associate Cuyahoga County's arts and cultural scene with the well-known institutions that receive general operating support, the smaller organizations that receive project support are often unsung heroes making a difference in their communities.

Public Square Protest - LAND studio’s Landform public art series

Future so bright: Five public art projects brightening Cleveland's landscape

Fresh Water scoured the city in search of public art. It didn't take us long to find five new public art installments that add a little character and color to the skyline. Check them out here.

Remi at Welcome House

An extra helping hand for foster care children with extra-special needs

Most children who come into Cuyahoga County's foster care program have been traumatized to some degree. But for kids who are LGBTQ or have intellectual developmental disabilities and are victims of violence, the trauma can be even greater. These programs aim to help those young people with special circumstances thrive in foster care and life. 

Bobby Kennedy by artist Keith Mayerson

American Dream, Constant Sun illuminate MOCA

Wall clocks that tell stories, but not time; TRUTH from Detroit; an embarrassment of pickles — it all adds up to a feast of color and content amid MOCA Cleveland's summer 2017 exhibition.
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Social Innovation

lynde vespoli

lynde vespoli

City: Cleveland
Meet Lynde Vespoli, founder of Discover My Cleveland, a destination management company with nine part-time tour directors and one fulltime employee.
jennifer coleman

jennifer coleman

City: Campus District
Meet Jennifer Coleman, founder of CityProwl, which produces urban walking tours 
lauren steiner

lauren steiner

City: Downtown
Meet Lauren Steiner, founder of Grants Plus, a fundraising consulting firm with 14 employees.
doug bell

doug bell

City: Ohio City
Meet Doug Bell, co-founder of Global Prairie, an organization with 20 employees in Cleveland.that has a simple idea: Do great work for clients so that Global Prairie can do good work in the world. 
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