Updated: 50 min 1 sec ago
Arts education programs that teach mastery have the greatest potential to impact child development, yet many urban youth lack access to them. Learn why these programs work and how we can cultivate them in Cleveland.
Ohio is no longer flyover country when it comes to attracting venture capital for biotech companies. In 2014, Cleveland had $398 million in investments among 40 companies, ranking second in major Midwest cities behind Minneapolis. Yet access to local capital remains a concern.
Social dancing is a great way to meet new people, get exercise and explore Cleveland. From Brazilian capoeira to contra dancing, here are four local places to get your groove on.
The team at Burten, Bell, Carr Development, Inc. (BBCD), which focuses on restoring the residential components of the Central, Kinsman, and Garden Valley neighborhoods, is crossing its collective fingers over whether or not state dollars will move the ambitious Colfax Family Homes project forward. The proposal will populate the Colfax corridor between East 79th Street to just west of East 69th Street with 40 single-family residential units ranging from 1,850- to 2740-square feet. The structures will range from single-story ADA accessible units to three-story homes with a basement. "It's a very innovative project," says Tim Tramble, BBCD's executive director. "The design is a different look. It's not what we've typically seen in Cleveland." BBCD has agreements in place with area land banks for acquisition of some of the associated properties, with deals in the works on 10 additional lots. Funding is ongoing. "We applied for state funding through the Ohio Housing Finance Agency," says Tramble. "If we get it, we move forward." He sees the Colfax Family Home project as a compliment to two other unique Kinsman neighborhood projects: a nature center and a container park, both of which are outlined in the pending Kinsman Master Plan, which was updated just last month. The nature center will be in the green space known as Kingsbury Run, an area characterized by dense vegetation and wildlife such as deer, rabbit and a hawk that nests there every year. "It's about 500 feet from Kinsman Road," says Tramble, "but when you're there you feel so far removed because it's entrenched in a valley. It's amazing how close it is to the hustle and bustle of urban life." BBCD eventually hopes to partner with the MetroParks on the project. "We have had initial conversations with them," says Tramble, adding that the MetroParks would be the ideal entity to own and operate the property. He sees the development of the Kingsbury Run green space as building on the "health and wellness/urban agriculture/sustainability theme that we've established on Kinsman." Further east down the Kinsman corridor, the proposed container park centers around an idea that has been gaining popularity. Tramble explains: "It's taking shipping containers and converting them to small retail spaces," which in turn can be used by individuals in the community with goods to sell, but no means to lease a traditional retail store. This "commercial node of containers" will be on the north side of Kinsman Road between East 81st and 79th Streets. BBCD expects to finalize a report on the master plan late next month. All of this activity will need a narrator, and the BBCD team has an app for that—or more accurately, a radio station, for which the organization has already obtained a license. Possible locations for the studio include the offices of BBCD, 7201 Kinsman Road, and Arbor Park Place at East 40th Street and Community College Avenue. The community radio station will be operated by locals with the intent to bridge the disconnect between generations, give groups the opportunity to have their own radio shows and reinforce positive messaging. "Sometimes we feel that we don't really have the vehicle to do that," says Tramble. "It's going to be a wonderful innovative way to engage people where they are."
"As chief executive of the City Club of Cleveland—a 102-year-old institution created to foster dialogue about local, national and international issues—I often find myself in the midst of conversations about the city. So when I—a white guy—am in a meeting about policing or witnessing the inability of some white people here to understand why Tamir’s death catalyzed such vocal and visible protests, I remember what a divided city this really is." Read the full story here.
Growing up, Erin Slater was a sticker fanatic “I have fond memories of trading stickers with my neighbor and friend,” she recalls. Little did she know, that childhood passion would turn into a business model as an adult. Earlier this month Slater launched Fayvel, a line of colorful children’s shoes made with a blank canvas. The kids can then attach Frieze Tags –embroidered patches with industrial Velcro backings in a variety of themes. The Frieze Tags can easily be attached to and removed from the shoes and traded with friends. The tags are available in themes, from fairies and superheroes to sports and outer space. “Kids personalize the shoes and it encourages creativity,” says Slater, who has a background in product management and two daughters, aged five and seven. “It’s injecting personality into their shoes.” Slater came up with the idea eight years ago. She spent countless hours researching her idea through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office at the Cleveland Public Library. “I spent a lot of time on the seventh floor of the library downtown,” she says. “The librarians are trained and use the same databases as the USPTO to research my idea.” Slater then leased co-working space at LaunchHouse before recently moving to an office in Beachwood. “I wanted to work in shared space,” she says. “They have great internet and white board space, and Dar Caldwell had great advice.” Slater chose the name “Fayvel,” which means "bright one" in Yiddish because the term resonated with the brand's concept of empowering kids to personalize their shoes and harness their imaginations for creativity. While the shoes are currently available through the Fayvel site, Slater has talked to major retailers about carrying the brand. The shoes are available in sizes 10 through two and will be available in kids’ sizes three and four in May. The Frieze Tags come in sets out four around 10 different themes, with more on the way.
In grade school, girls are often considered uninterested in math and science, and therefore not encouraged. But leaders at OneCommunity, Case Western Reserve University and BlueBridge Networks see the potential for young women to thrive in a techie environment. On Friday, March 13 and Saturday, March 14, the three organizations will come together to host the inaugural Innovation Olympiad on CWRU’s campus. The event invites girls age 13 to 18 to explore STEM subjects and the Internet of Things (IoT) in an innovation challenge. It is designed to inspire creativity, innovation and collaboration. The girls will break into teams to brainstorm their ideas and compete for prizes. Organizers are expecting 80 to 100 participants. “We come to work at OneCommunity thinking about the possibilities in connectivity,” says Jane Passantino, chief marketing officer for OneCommunity. “The ideas are limitless when you think about inspiration, greatness and thought. I hesitate to guess what they will come up with.” The idea for the Innovation Olympiad came after OneCommunity CEO Lev Gonick heard about Cisco’s IoT World Forum Young Women’s Innovation Grand Challenge. He wanted to something similar on a local level to encourage girls to consider tech careers. BlueBridge managing director Kevin Goodman and client services director Nicole Ponstingle, who both also serve on the Northeast Ohio Rite Board (Regional Information Technology Engagement Board), got involved with the Innovation Olympiad because of their dedication to making sure the region has plenty of incoming IT talent. “Our concept is to encourage young leaders in general,” says Goodman. “In this case specifically, it’s encouraging young girls in innovative entrepreneurial leadership.” Ponstingle adds, “As a woman in technology, when I heard about this it obviously excited me. We really have to push the technology option as a viable career path for women.” Lisa Camp, associate dean of strategic initiatives at Case School of Engineering, sees the Olympiad as a great way to fuel the pipeline of skilled talent in Northeast Ohio. “One of the reasons Case Western is excited to be involved is we’re seeing the next generation coming up with wonderful, creative ideas,” she says. “This is an opportunity to inspire young women to think about STEM, think about Internet of Technology. When given the opportunity, young woman want to participate.” Goodman agrees that the Olympiad is a good way to foster tomorrow’s leaders in the region. “We are looking forward to the magic and art of innovation occurring at the Case Campus -watching the ideas the participants will come up with,” he says. “The wave of the future as well as in the now, the IoT has power and ability to change and improve the quality of life in some many ways. Areas such as education energy, exercise and fitness, transportation, home living, smart cities and many other areas are going to be positively affected. What an exciting time to be participating in this arena of technology.” Organizers will provide opening remarks on Friday, while Saturday will involve breakout groups among the participants and a second break out session for parents. The teams will present their ideas in a “Shark Tank” like setting and prizes ranging from $250 to $1,000 will be awarded to the top four teams. The Olympiad is free and open to the public. Registration, however, is required by Sunday, March 1.
This week, join Sustainable Cleveland at Old Stone Church for the kickoff of the Hope for the City series, see Booker T. Jones at the Music Box, view three versions of Blade Runner at the Cinematheque, and sample local brews.
Last year, the Fairfax neighborhood welcomed the opening of Griot Village, the area's first intergenerational housing project. In just a few short months, the project's success has mushroomed. To qualify for residency, a person 55 years of age or older must have custody of a minor. All 40 units are occupied and bustling with approximately 80 children. Most of the units are single-family households, many of which are headed by women, the oldest of which is 84. "We did it because we kept getting more and more requests for this type of housing," says Denise VanLeer, assistant executive director of the Fairfax Renaissance Development Corporation (FRDC). "It is a market niche that’s badly underserved and strained by circumstance. They need a lot of support." So much so that there is a waiting list to get into Griot and queries from urban planners have come from Akron, New York and even as far as Japan to learn from the model. On the heels of that success, the FRDC is unfolding its wings, so to speak, with an array of tentative projects. The first is a large-scale mixed income community between East 101st and 105th Streets, which is currently inundated with vacancy. "We don't know the exact number," says VanLeer, "but we're toying with 400-plus units." Still in the "very preliminary planning stages," the FRDC team has been in communication with the Cleveland Land Bank and Cuyahoga Land Bank. "We are in the process of land acquisition," says VanLeer. While still off on the horizon, VanLeer believes the project will come to fruition as a dovetail to commercial development in the area. Of the Cedar Road corridor, she says she hopes the Cleveland Clinic's Global Cardiovascular Innovation Center, 10000 Cedar Avenue, will act as a commercial development catalyst of sorts, but she words it in a much more charming way. "We envision that project to have some babies or cousins." Also of interest is the East 83rd Street corridor, which garnered a significant anchor in 2013 when Rumi's Market launched at 8225 Carnegie Avenue in 2013. The brightly lit Middle Eastern supermarket and café has been doing a brisk business. Per VanLeer, the PNC Fairfax Connection, a community resource center, is another entity that makes East 83rd "a major thoroughfare" and to further strengthen it, FRDC has trained it's sights on East 83rd and Cedar. "We're working with a church and private investors to bring that corner back." Details are preliminary and confidential. The last project harkens back to the days when Fairfax populated with grand Victorian homes. The East 89th Street Housing Project includes eight apartment buildings constructed to emulate the style of days gone by. While the FRDC has talked to developers and worked with the city architect on a vision, the project has unfortunately stalled. "Right now the numbers don't work," says VanLeer. VanLeer encourages any developer interested in learning more about the project to call Debra Wilson at 216.361.8400 for more information. When asked why she believes the project will eventually come to fruition, VanLeer responds, "There's a market for it," she says, noting the project's proximity to the Cleveland Clinic. "This would be ideal for all nurses and people who work there, especially the residents who come for three years and then they're gone. "They could actually walk to work."
Marrion Demore has always loved improving on commercial bottled barbeque sauce. “I used to have really big family cookouts and I’d just doctor up some Open Pit to make it taste better,” Demore recalls. “People always said, ‘you should market this.’ I never gave it much thought until the economy went down hill. Then I knew I had to make it from scratch.” Today, Demore calls himself the Rock and Roll Star of Sauce. In 2009 he began experimenting with homemade sauce, trying his various versions out on friends and family. Two years later, he had perfected his flavors and launched Demore’s Fusion Sauce in 2011 “There were a lot of taste tests and a lot of money being blown on bad batches, he says of his two-year journey. “It was important to me that my sauce was all natural, with no preservatives.” Demore makes and bottles four versions of his sauce – mild, medium, flaming and hickory smoke. He uses ghost peppers, ground into a powder, to add the heat to his flaming sauce and buys his bottles from Cleveland Bottle and Supply. In addition to being all-natural, all varieties are also low in sugar and sodium. “It’s more sauce with less calories,” he says. Demore describes his company as a grass-roots effort. He recently launched an online store on through his Facebook site. Last November he began handing out free samples and selling his sauce on Saturdays at Zagara’s Marketplace in Cleveland Heights, where he sells 15 to 20 bottles a week. “A tell-tale sign to me us when you have a taste-testing and people buy it,” Demore says. “I let people try it and tell them about it. It keeps me motivated and keeps me going when people walk away with a bottle. Ninety-five percent of people are going to enjoy one of my sauces when they try it.” While Demore still makes his sauce in his home kitchen, he has gone to the Cleveland Culinary Launch and Kitchen (CCLK) for advice and guidance. “Cleveland is very supportive once you plug yourself in,” he says. “Even though this is not high-tech, the platform is here. It gives you more confidence with the product to know there are people you can call for mentoring and that kind of thing.” Demore is always thinking of new flavors and ideas. He is currently testing coconut and pineapple sugars in sauces and he is working on dry rubs.
Earlier this month, the Cleveland YMCA broke ground on their highly anticipated new space in the Galleria. The Parker Hannifin Downtown Y is slated to open in February 2016. "We had about 85 come to the ground breaking," says Rick Haase, vice president of marketing for the YMCA of Cleveland. Haase notes the timing of the project, which coincides with a staggering boom in downtown residential growth. He cites the Downtown Cleveland Alliance's 2014 fourth quarter market update (p. 10), which estimates more than 25,000 people will be living downtown by 2022—up from 13,300 in 2014. Considering that and the population of daily downtown commuters, the organization hopes to double the current membership of its 2200 Prospect Avenue location, which numbers nearly 3,250. "Our current location at East 22nd and Prospect is, quite honestly, a little bit off beaten path," says Haase. Cleveland State University (CSU) owns that building, which was built in 1911 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Floors 2 through 8 are dedicated to CSU student housing, with the YMCA's fitness center on the first floor. The YMCA also has offices on the first and ninth floors. All of the YMCA's functions will eventually move to the Galleria. The new two-story 40,000-square-foot YMCA will occupy what was formerly retail space in the gleaming mall. Amenities will include a three-lane lap pool, sauna and steam rooms, approximately 75 cardio and 25 weight training machines, a spinning studio, three group exercise studios (one of which will accommodate hot yoga) and two massage therapy rooms. Haase says presales are tentatively planned for this summer, six months in advance of the grand opening. "There will be special rates for those join early," he says, adding that a presale office in the Galleria is a possibility. "There will very likely be a corporate rate as well." Packages for the area hotels are also on the horizon. The total project budget is just over $12 million. Parker Hannifin is one of the private donors on the project. Werner Minshall, owner of the Galleria, donated the space, which translated into a $2.7 million gift. The organization expects to employee 39 full- and part-time workers at the new facility with an payroll of about $1.1 million over the first two years of operation. The project is expected to create about 100 construction jobs and generate $7.9 million in tax revenue from new construction and labor costs. Moody Nolan is the architect and Infinity Construction Company is the general contractor. Aside from the obvious attraction of a fitness club, the new YMCA will feature youth and senior programming as well as specialty programs targeted at preventing diabetes and helping adult cancer survivors transitioning out of treatment. "There's a lot of impact that this project has," says Haase, "not only on the City of Cleveland but also in terms in helping to revitalize the downtown community." Having just celebrated the YMCA's 160th year in Cleveland, Haase feels it's safe to say this is a long-term relationship. "We're not going anywhere."
Game-changing projects will soon launch in St. Clair Superior and North Collinwood: Hub 55, a new fresh market, cafe and incubator, and ActiVacant, which will draw new retailers to E. 185th.
The new George Gund Building at the Cleveland Institute of Art is the perfect complement to the Uptown district, and a place where students can collaborate and create.
Like many children, Tim Hayes remembers playing with a cardboard box as a child and letting his imagination take him to new places. He built a helicopter with that box, not knowing that it would be his business inspiration years later. “It was the first time I remember using my imagination as a child and I believed it was going to fly by the end of the day,” says Hayes, who today is founder and CEO of industrial design and product development company Cardboard Helicopter in Lakewood. “We kind of lose that blue sky mentality.” But Hayes hasn’t stopped envisioning new ways to make things. A graduate of Cleveland Institute of Art, Hayes and his team of five dream up and create those useful gadgets you just can’t live without. They produce their own inventions as well as work on projects for other companies that come to them with an idea. “We do a lot of different things here,” says Hayes. “The main thing is we have a lot of fun and design a lot of things.” In three years of existence, Cardboard Helicopter’s inventions have been sold in stores like Bed, Bath and Beyond, Home Depot and Target. The team’s own invention, the Splash Infuser, in November had a successful Kickstarter campaign. The Splash Infuser easily infuses water or cocktails with fresh fruit and herbs. The company just filled a large order for a French retailer and plan to sell it locally and to major retailers this spring. Cardboard Helicopter also recently developed a self-sealing pour spout for oils, vinegars and other liquids for Jokari, a Texas-based home product retailer. “We literally have hundreds and hundreds of ideas we’re working on,” says Hayes. “We’re trying to create multi-dimensional concepts and we have a great team here coming up with great ideas.” Hayes predicts they will have 30 to 40 licensing deals by the end of 2016 that could bring in 20 years of royalties. Hayes wants to continue to support the Cleveland inventor community. “We want to help people who have an idea but not a lot of resources,” says Hayes. “We have services for innovators on a low budget.” And, of course, the team at Cardboard Helicopter will continue to create products based on their own imaginations. “We want to reinvent the way you think of things,” says Hayes. “The real thing for us is to have that a-ha moment, draw it out, make a sketch, and it evolves from there.”
This weekend, check out the hot lineup at Brite Winter, celebrate comics at Comic Con, view “The Lives of a Poet” at CPT's Big Box and follow life, liberty and the pursuit of style all the way to Playhouse Square.
"Chateau Hough, one of the first American vineyards set on reclaimed urban land, was started in 2010 with a $15,000 grant from the city and about $8,000 of Frazier’s own cash. Frazier’s main objectives were to beautify the lot across from his house (hopefully raising its value) and help out parolees, who often have trouble finding work. But he also wanted to see if Cleveland’s most notorious neighborhood could maybe make a pretty damn good wine." Read the full story here.
"Not your average flea market, this pop-up event serves as a business incubator for small businesses and has helped spur development in the neighborhoods where it's held." Read the full story here.