Reflections and Predictions: 2021 was a year of ups and downs, with hope building for 2022

Whew! It’s been quite a year. 2021 began with hope that the end was in sight for the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, we're rounding out the year with the Omicron variant and struggles to recover—physically, emotionally, and economically.

But 2021 also brought us some noteworthy positive accomplishments, celebrated unique ways to take advantage of all the arts and culture offerings we have, and we have a lot to look forward to in the next year.

As we move into 2022, we have a new Mayor coming on board next week and we say goodbye to 16-year Mayor Frank Jackson; we anticipate new projects coming online; we look forward to celebrating some of the city’s milestones; and we continue to look at the city’s past as markers for our future.

In the past year, FreshWater Cleveland has covered so many of the positive people, places, and projects that make this city great. As members of the Northeast Ohio Solutions Journalism Collaborative (NEO SoJo) for the past two years, we’ve also delved into the problems—and potential solutions—many of us are facing in this time of economic recovery.

FreshWater managing photographer Bob Perkoski has chronicled the city’s moments with grace and beauty, and documented our residents with his #StreetsofCLE series and photo essays.

And FreshWater contributor Tom Matowitz continuously takes us through Cleveland’s fascinating architectural history with his Cleveland Masterworks series.

In this issue, the FreshWater staff members share their reflections on 2021, their hopes and predictions for 2022, and some of their dream assignments for the coming year.

We've divided the essays into four New Year segments:

Looking back; looking forward

Arts and Culture

Cleveland sports

A new mayor; more of everything good

Thank you for reading and supporting FreshWater Cleveland. We look forward to sharing more great stories in 2022!

Read more articles by Karin Connelly Rice.

Karin Connelly Rice enjoys telling people's stories, whether it's a promising startup or a life's passion. Over the past 20 years she has reported on the local business community for publications such as Inside Business and Cleveland Magazine. She was editor of the Rocky River/Lakewood edition of In the Neighborhood and was a reporter and photographer for the Amherst News-Times. At Fresh Water she enjoys telling the stories of Clevelanders who are shaping and embracing the business and research climate in Cleveland.