FreshWater's year in review: What we're proudest of in 2018

This year, FreshWater Cleveland celebrated eight years of publication—an accomplishment we don’t take lightly in today’s unpredictable media landscape. We’re proud to continue sharing the stories of the “people, places, and projects that are shaping and transforming Cleveland,” and we’ve got big plans to keep doing just that in 2019.

In honor of eight great years, we’ve compiled the top eight things we’re most proud of for 2018:

FreshWater’s first-ever On the Ground program: In August, we launched our first-ever On the Ground program with 10 weeks of in-depth community coverage on Old Brooklyn. Along with dedicated feature and news stories, we hosted a successful storytelling event featuring local residents and business owners. We also launched a partnership with for the series, producing this video in tandem. (Stay tuned for news on two On the Ground programs in 2019—including a just-announced initiative in Fairfax!)

New website design and logo: In the spirit of keeping it “fresh,” we completely redesigned and reorganized our website in March. We also debuted a new logo with a more streamlined, bubble-free design to help avoid the common misperception that we only cover water-related stories. (While we love Lake Erie and the Cuyahoga River, we cover a lot of important stories on land as well!)

Instagram launch: Along with our Twitter and Facebook accounts, we launched our Instagram account to further highlight the awesome photography of our talented managing photographer Bob Perkoski and share other on-the-go CLE photos. Follow us here.

First-ever heat map: Our partner Cuyahoga Arts & Culture was seeking an innovative way to spotlight all of the awesome summer events and festivals offered by their grantees, so we worked together to create the "Red Hot Summer Heat Map," a one-stop-shop visual and reference guide for planning summer fun.

Common Ground: This summer, we had the opportunity to host a Common Ground conversation as part of the citywide event held June 24, 2018. Held at League Park, our conversation centered on the theme, "Why Does Place Matter?" Read the event recap here, and read the recap of the ripple effect Common Ground is having throughout the year here

LaureLive: We also partnered with LaureLive and promoted FreshWater at the popular, progressive music festival run by Laurel School

Fresh content: This year, we boosted our recurring content by introducing "Free Stamp" (a monthly roundup of what's free in the CLE) and increasing the frequency of our popular "Who's Hiring" roundup to bi-weekly. We also introduced "Fresh Takes," a first-person op-ed column written by Cleveland's movers and shakers, as well as multimedia content including Facebook Live interviews. Finally, we named our first-ever "Fresh10," which recognizes young entrepreneurs making waves in Cleveland.

Fresh talent: In the last year (and some change), FreshWater has also introduced a new managing editor (that’s me!) and publisher, Tammy Wise—both Ohio University grads and long-time FreshWater fans excited to join the fold. We also started an internship program and welcomed interns from John Carroll University and Ohio State University.

Special thanks to senior news editor Karin Connelly Rice, managing photographer Bob Perkoski, and our awesome team of freelancers for their dedication and making this year a great one! We look forward to what's in store for 2019.

Read more articles by Jen Jones Donatelli.

As a Cleveland native and enthusiast, Jen Jones Donatelli is thrilled to take on the managing editor role at FreshWater. As a full-time freelance writer and editor for more than a decade, Jen has contributed to publications including Redbook, Budget Travel, GOOD, Playboy, Thrillist, Cleveland Magazine, Los Angeles Confidential, San Francisco, Ohio Today, and many more. She is also a contributing editor for Destination Cleveland and a proud graduate of Ohio University's E.W. Scripps School of Journalism.
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