Updated: 43 min 21 sec ago
Cleveland filmmaker Robert Banks, Jr. doesn’t consider his feature film Paper Shadows a film about Cleveland. Yet the entire production -- shot in 35mm black and white -- was filmed in various parts of the city “Officially, it was all filmed in Cleveland -- east side, west side and we used archived footage of Cleveland in the ‘50s and ‘60s,” says Banks. But we’re not naming Cleveland. I didn’t want this to be a ‘Cleveland’ movie. It’s Metropolis, showing different aspects of a city in transition.” Paper Shadows depicts a shared creative angst between two main characters: a widowed African-American Vietnam vet who works as a janitor at an art college and a young, white middle class female undergrad completing her final year at school. The two main characters represent cultural, class and generational gaps in society. The film uses experimental film techniques to create metaphoric symbols of the social frustration and emotional angst caused by the supporting characters. “We’re using the city as a metaphor for a woman getting a facelift,” says Banks. “All of the characters represent facets of people I’ve met over the years. I consider my films to be a moving collage.” Paper Shadows is Banks’ first feature length film. He’s made 25 to 30 short films and he’s lost track of the number of film festivals his work has appeared in. Paper Shadows is Banks’ “last hoorah for cinema,” using the 35mm film instead of modern-day digital techniques. Banks launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the completion of his film. On September 15 he exceeded his $10,000 goal with 252 backers and $12,685. He hopes to have the project finished by December. Banks has been using the film as a teaching experience for his students at the New Bridge Center for Art and Technology.
Urban Orchid, a floral boutique that opened in Ohio City in 2011, recently celebrated the opening of a second location at 2062 Murray Hill Road in Little Italy. The new shop is located inside an elegant, historic church converted to retail space. With business booming, the owners needed an east side workspace for arrangements and deliveries on the other side of town. Larger arrangements for weddings and other events are still being done in Ohio City. "We wanted to keep it in the city, but we wanted to be in another neighborhood with a similar feel to Ohio City," says Jeffrey Zelmer, who owns Urban Orchid with Brandon Seitler, a floral designer. "We thought Little Italy was a good opportunity." Zelmer describes the new space as possessing "amazing" architecture; it offers soaring ceilings, hardwood floors and many other historic features. The owners worked with local contractors John Paul Costello and Alex Loos to custom-build furnishings and work stations using reclaimed materials. "We tried to enhance the architecture of the space, and not mask it off," says Zelmer of the build-out. The new location boasts a choir loft that allows visitors to get a bird's eye view of the space. Zelmer and Seitler are considering hosting pop-up shops there. The company already has 75 weddings booked for this year and additional staff has been brought on to keep up with demand. "Brandon’s design capabilities and floral style are exceptional and people really respond to it," says Zelmer. "The word of mouth spead like wildfire. We also carry a really interesting line of locally made merchandise that can’t be found in other places. People are attuned to wanting to shop local, and we are a local business that carries local artists."
Workers aged 40 and over might not fit the typical hip innovator profile, but they are often undervalued. Some may be former CEOs of large companies, arriving with particular skill sets that mesh with growth industries like biomedicine or advanced materials.
A feature titled “In Cleveland, Adding Life Where Grit Once Prevailed” in the New York Times Travel section outlined recent developments in the near-west neighborhood of Detroit Shoreway. Writer Erik Piepenburg, who frequently covers Cleveland developments, penned the feature. “About two miles west of downtown Cleveland, the gritty Detroit-Shoreway was once a vibrant neighborhood before it was hit hard by the exodus of big manufacturing companies in the early decades of the 20th century,” he writes. “Lately, new businesses, arts groups and residents have settled in the Gordon Square Arts District, a revitalized mile-long stretch of Detroit Avenue. A recent $30 million capital campaign included new streetscapes and signage. Visitors can catch a show at the Cleveland Public Theater, walk through galleries at 78th Street Studios or grab a late-night bite at XYZ Tavern. And this spring, the Near West Theater will have a $7.3 million new home.” Mentioned in the piece are Yellowcake, Toast, Sweet Moses, Happy Dog, and Capitol Theatre. Read the rest of the feature here. ?
In a Quad-City Times feature titled “Cleveland tourism chief tells of visitor successes,” writer Jennifer DeWitt reports about a keynote speech that David Gilbert of Positively Cleveland gave at the annual Quad-Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau meeting. “In his keynote speech at the annual Quad-Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau meeting, David Gilbert offered lessons on how his Ohio hometown and surrounding region have rewritten the travel and tourism strategy and found success attracting major tourism events and economic development activity,” DeWitt reports. "You need to take a look at places like Cleveland and the Quad-Cities and think: 'How do you look and feel like a traveler destination?'" the president and CEO of Positively Cleveland told attendees. “In the past five years, Cleveland has seen a significant transformation in its travel and tourism industry with $2 billion in new visitor-related infrastructure, including a new convention center, a new casino and nine new hotels, six of which are in its downtown area,” adds DeWitt. “Thorough research with visitors and residents showed Cleveland needed to "connect the dots" to make the typical traveler's experience as good as its amenities, he said. The research found the region was perceived as difficult to navigate for visitors, had a poor reputation for cleanliness, safety and friendliness, and a low level of residents who would recommend it as a destination for visitors.” "We had to look at ourselves through the visitor lens," Gilbert said, adding that some changes included signage, streetscaping and encouraging the hospitality industry to promote its strengths. Read the rest here.
Brick and Barrel, a new brewery, winery and taproom at 1844 Columbus Road in the Flats, is finally set to open its doors after months of delays. The tentative opening date is Tuesday, October 21st, the same day the new Columbus Road bridge is expected to open to traffic. Partner Jason Henkel promises that at the very least, the venue will roll up its garage doors and start pouring pints by the end of the month. That's good news for Cleveland beer fans, who will soon be able to quench their thirst at yet another new brewery. The venue will no doubt prove popular, with a new taproom that is airy and comfortable, a location offering views of iconic bridges and the downtown skyline, and easy access to Rivergate Park. The squat, one-story building was a machine shop and coal processing plant in its former life. It was "a complete mess," says Henkel, when he and co-founders Mike Dagiasis and Karl Spiesman leased it from owner Mid-State Restoration. The partners have renovated it from top to bottom and installed a 3.5-barrel brewing system, a seven-barrel fermenter and a seven-barrel conditioning tank. There will be a new front patio. The minimalist interior furnishings are made from reclaimed materials that were procured from Old School Architectural Salvage. A church pew and 19th century barn wood were used to build the bar, and the bartop is made from an old chalkboard. Tables were constructed using old warehouse carriages once used by industrial businesses in the Flats. The taproom seats about 35, but can hold up to 150, and patrons have great views of the beer and wine production areas. "We wanted to give people a feel for the neighborhood, and bring some of the outside inside," says Henkel of the decision to use reclaimed materials. Spiesman says that Brick and Barrel will offer traditional styles such as German Kolsch and English ales. There will be no pasteurization or flavoring. Brick and Barrel will sell kegs to individuals and distribute them to restaurants and bars. The brewer eschews some of the eclectic, ultra-hoppy beers that are popular these days, preferring simpler styles and doing a few things well. "There are other people doing beer and doing it well," says Henkel simply. "We want to be another one doing it, and make the rising tide lift all boats." The winemaking operation is still in the works, but the partners already have experience with importing grapes and making their own wine. The rear of the facility will house a wine press and crush that will be used to produce whites and reds. Brick and Barrel expects to sell wine onsite by the glass and bottle. Phase II of the brewery will involve a beer garden out back. The owners have to work out plenty of details with the city, including purchasing a vacated alley, but Henkel envisions a group of picnic tables with a cool outdoor chandelier hanging overhead. The location offers views of Rivergate Park.
Five years ago, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson talked about plans for Cleveland’s lakefront and riverfront. These days, he’s talking about putting those plans into action. As he recently stated, “The only good plan you have is one you’re doing. Everything else is just a good conversation.” Jackson recently conducted a waterfront tour called “Back to the Future II” on the Goodtime III to highlight progress in lakefront and riverfront development. Jackson, along with Chief of Regional Development Ed Rybka and Cleveland Metroparks CEO Brian Zimmerman, narrated a plan that’s coming to life. The Mayor introduced the tour by saying, “Cleveland is one of the few American cities with both a riverfront and a lakefront. The waterfront helped build the city and is a vital part of Cleveland’s future -- the important thing going forward is that we do it right.” With that, Jackson highlighted his goals for the waterfront: conservation, economic development and recreation. Those goals are being achieved through projects such as a pedestrian bridge and redevelopment of North Coast Harbor as well as multi-purpose trails like the Lake Link Trail and Towpath Trail. The tour kicked off with an overview of plans for North Coast Harbor. Rybka and Zimmerman touted the 200 market-rate apartments and 80,000 square feet of office space planned for Phase I. “Phases Two and Three will become a walkable, mixed-use maritime development, including housing, retail and a school site,” explained Rybka. As the tour continued up the river, residents, media and public officials caught a great view of the new Flats East project, where Phase II currently is under construction, and the recently opened Music Box Supper Club on the west bank. Zimmerman pointed out Rivergate Park, which offers riverfront dining at the newly opened Merwin’s Wharf. He also highlighted the new Crooked River Skate Park, which is employing “the best practices in skate park construction.” Overall, the tour showcased how far Cleveland has come in the past five years. “We’re using the investments to rebuild the city, connecting people to the lakefront,” said Rybka. “We’re placing value on what created Cleveland in the first place. We’re positioning Cleveland as one of the great waterfront cities.” Jackson said he’s pleased development is moving ahead along Cleveland’s shore. “A plan is a plan until you do something about it,” he said. “It’s timing. We’re in a position now where things are just lined up right.” Photos Bob Perkoski
Housing First, a coalition of more than 40 public and private organizations throughout Northeast Ohio, was formed in 2006 to end "long-term and chronic homelessness" in Cuyahoga County. With the recent completion of Buckeye Square, an $11.3 million building that offers 65 affordable, furnished studio apartments for low-income individuals and families, the group is closer to its goal of building 1,271 units of permanent supportive housing. “Housing gives residents security and stability to combat other issues and get back on their feet," said Marc McDermott, Vice President and Ohio market leader for Enterprise Community Partners, Inc., the Housing First Initiative leader, in a release." All of the partners that made Buckeye Square possible are changing lives, and the model’s success in Cleveland proves that housing makes all the difference.” The coalition has seen a 73 percent drop in chronic homelessness since the program began, which it cites as evidence that the strategy has been successful. Buckeye Square, which officially opened this week, is located at Buckeye Road and E. 116th Street. The building offers shared laundry facilities, a community room with kitchen, a computer lab, resident parking, a 24-hour staffed front desk, outdoor space and on-site social services. Supportive housing is aimed at helping the chronically homeless get back on their feet. Support services are provided to help them become more independent and reintegrate with their neighborhoods. Enterprise leads Housing First projects by assembling capital, working with local leaders and offering expertise. Cleveland Housing Network has acted as lead developer, while EDEN has served as co-developer and property manager. FrontLine Service helps provide supportive services to residents. Buckeye Square was built using Low Income Housing Tax Credits as well as HOME funds and other grants. Enterprise furnished a predevelopment loan of $572,600. Housing First also recently obtained a grant from the Ohio Housing Finance Agency to create a mobile health clinic that will serve all of its buildings.
Urban revitalization is not built on stadiums and skyscrapers alone. Vibrant cities begin with passionate people working on the ground, doing the creative heavy lifting to make their communities better. Leading up to Urban Innovation Exchange Sept. 24-26 in Detroit, we take a look at 13 small projects with big potential.
There are plenty of good jobs to be had here in Cleveland. This is the latest installment in a regular series of posts in which we feature companies that are hiring, what those employers are looking for, and how to apply. Heights Arts, a nonprofit community arts organization in Cleveland Heights, has a variety of newly-created job openings. The organization is looking for a community engagement and marketing coordinator, as well as a part-time gallery attendant. Deadline to apply is Sept. 30. For more information on these positions, click here. The Cleveland Foundation needs a writer-editor to be the primary creator of written content. Tasks include the writing and editing of executive speeches and talking points, as well as content for print, online and other media. This position also serves as the primary editor and proofreader of all copy for the organization’s marketing and communications. For more information, go to foundation’s careers page. To apply, send resume and cover letter indicating salary requirements by September 30. JumpStart is looking for a chief credit officer to underwrite the loans for JumpStart’s small business loan products in the organization’s lending program. Click here for more information or here to register and apply. OnShift, which makes staff scheduling and management software, needs an accounting associate to provide accounting support. The associate will input daily transactions into the ledger system, ensure files are complete and maintained, handle accounts payable duties and assist accounting personnel. Click here to begin the application process. Sociagram, which offers an online cloud-based platform to create customized personal video messages, is looking for an unpaid social media/marketing intern to assist with social media marketing efforts for the launch of their new consumer product for the 2014 holiday. Applicants must have experience with social media on a personal and professional level. Candidates also must be able to think strategically and see how social media fits into an overall marketing strategy and building long-term relationships with customers. Apply here. Dwellworks is seeking a marketing communications specialist with two to three years of experience who enjoys a fast-paced marketing environment. Experience preferred in branding, social media, writing, event management, and coordination. For more details and to apply, click here. Have hiring news you’d like to share? Email Karin at Fresh Water Cleveland and send us this information or career links!
Conde Nast Traveler has included Trentina restaurant in University Circle among its list of “15 Best New Restaurants in the Midwest.” Here’s the entry: Trentina Cleveland, Ohio Chef Jonathon Sawyer’s new Cleveland restaurant, Trentina, is an homage to the cuisine of Italy’s Trentino region, his wife’s ancestral home. Sure, there’s house-made pasta, but there’s also “egg cooked in a spoon over embers” and edible beef suet candles. Sit on the patio to order from the a la carte menu, or head inside for the 12-course tasting menu—provided, of course, that you’ve purchased a ticket to the meal in advance. Read about the rest of the restaurants here.
Urban Community School, an urban K-8 school founded in 1968, just celebrated the grand opening of a new, $6.3 million middle school. The new facility will allow UCS to serve an additional 150 students per year, bringing the total to 600. UCS, which is considered a high-performing private school, has a mission of helping low-income students become high achievers. The school is an anchor on Lorain Avenue, which is experiencing a shot-in-the-arm of new business investment. "Our long-term vision since 2000 has been serving more kids with a unified campus," said Sister Maureen Doyle, the head of the school, at the ribbon cutting ceremony. "Our goal is to inspire children and teachers to achieve." UCS broke ground on its Lorain Avenue campus a decade ago. The project required tearing down a historic but dilapidated building that was donated to the school. The green-built facility opened in 2005, but the school still had a long waiting list. The new middle school caps off that decade-long expansion effort. The middle school expansion was made possible by a lead gift of $5 million followed by a fundraising campaign. UCS will complete the project this month. The facility allows middle school students to have their own separate wing. It features large classrooms designed for collaborative learning and gathering spaces outside the classrooms for studying or group work. The curriculum has also been redesigned to focus more on project work and social development. Science, math and the principles behind STEAM are also a strong focus area. At the ribbon cutting, Natalie Celeste, Vice Principal of the middle school, outlined how the building's design helps facilitate learning. "We researched what adolescents need to learn best. They're becoming community members in an abstract world. Adolescents need to be able to practice community." In addition to the new classroom and learning spaces, the building also features a new, larger middle school cafeteria. A new program gives every middle school student access to a personal iPad at school. Finally, the campus features a new middle school playground, learning garden and outdoor classroom. Through a partnership with Refugee Response, students learn about urban farming.
A fresh energy is crackling all across the 216, from ambitious new developments taking shape downtown and in University Circle, to bike-friendly avenues and the transformation of blight into pedestrian-friendly green space. But the fun’s just getting started. We rounded up 10 of the most exciting projects on the horizon that have us shaking with anticipation.
Jeanne Petrus-Rivera became a vegan seven years ago, partly for health reasons. She quickly learned that one of the things vegans miss most is dairy. So she set out to create a tasty, healthy alternative. With that, Petrus-Rivera started Red Lotus Foods, making a variety of cashew-based products that are tasty, healthy and wildly popular at local farmers markets in Northeast Ohio. “As a vegan, I found a lot of people who are interested in going vegan, but found it hard to give up dairy products,” says Petrus-Rivera. “Most non-dairy products are disappointing.” Cashews, on the other hand, are lower in fat but loaded with monounsaturated fat, antioxidants and other good things. Petrus-Rivera discovered that they also make a great substitute for dairy. Red Lotus produces vegan flavored cashew spreads, cashew sour cream and a sweet cashew creme. “They’re really so flavorful and delicious,” she says. “I think this is the way to go to make vegan more accessible.” Flavors range from sun dried tomato and black garlic to the new spirulina bleu. Petrus-Rivera participated in both the Bad Girl Ventures and Cleveland Culinary Launch and Kitchen business programs earlier this year. She operates out of the CCLK with one employee, her husband, and sells her products at farmers markets. More recently, she’s been dropping samples by local restaurants in hopes of forming partnerships. Petrus-Rivera’s dream is to form a cooperative out of Red Lotus. “We’re really just at the beginning of something that’s part of a whole paradigm shift,” she explains. “I have a huge vision and I hope to achieve it in the next three or four years.”
Women's Health magazine teamed up with Yelp to find the “fittest, artsiest, foodiest, and just plain coolest cities on the rise in America.” The results of their research landed them this list: Social Climbers: 5 Best Up-and-Coming Nightlife Cities. Cleveland is among the best. “For our first ever Social Cities package in the October 2014 issue of Women's Health, we teamed up with data scientists at Yelp to help us find the best (and most surprising) cities across America for different types of social scenes. For cities to rank high for nightlife, we looked at bars of all types --champagne bars, dive bars, gay bars, hookah bars, Irish pubs, sports bars, wine bars... you name it! We also looked for cities with a ton of dance clubs, night clubs, a solid karaoke scene, pool halls... and so much more. The five fantastic cities that we named our top up-and-coming nightlife hotspots had a LOT of all of the above on offer. If you're looking for a seriously fun road trip with your closest girlfriends, you should definitely add any of these bumping cities to your must-visit list.” 2. Cleveland, OH “Sure, Cleveland has always rocked. Now, thanks to three reinvigorated neighborhoods, the city's nightlife pulses with a new sophistication. We're not talking cookie-cutter poshness: The after-dark ambience in these trendsetting locales are decidedly diverse.” Mentioned in the item are the Horseshoe Casino, Ohio City's West 25th Street, Uptown, Cleveland Orchestra's Severance Hall, Cleveland Heights and The Grog Shop. Read the rest right here.
Two local artists are finalists in the national Martha Stewart American Made Awards: Liza Rifkin in the style/jewelry category and Gina DeSantis as a wildcard in the crafts/ceramics, pottery and glass category. Rifkin owns Liza Michelle Jewelry in Ohio City and DeSantis owns Gina DeDantis Ceramics in Lakewood’s Screw Factory. The Martha Stewart American Made Awards recognize makers, creative entrepreneurs and small business owners in crafts, design, food and style. Liza Rifkin draws inspiration from her natural surroundings. Things like twigs, berries and pinecones she finds in Ohio City end up transformed into original jewelry at her studio and shop on Bridge Avenue. Each of her creations are named after Ohio City streets. Rifkin also makes custom designs and wedding rings. “I make one-of-a-kind multi-crafted jewelry inspired by nature,” Rifkin explains. “I cast, fabricate and photograph everything in-house. I typically go ‘twigging’ once a week to gather new twigs and such.” A graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Art, Rifkin opened Liza Michelle Jewelry in 2010. Rifkin nominated herself for this year’s competition after hearing that another local designer, Brian Andrew Jasinski of Grey Cardigan, had entered last year’s competition. “A few people suggested I nominate myself for it,” Rifkin recalls. “I decided I was going to do it. With all the support it’s been really great.” DeSantis also draws her inspiration from nature. But she also is partial to color in her designs. “I don’t do neutrals,” she says. “I’m a child of the ‘80s. I love purple.” DeSantis first went to Lorain County Community College to study graphic design, but never made it to her first class when she discovered the potter’s wheel. She went on to earn her degree in ceramics from Kent State University. DeSantis’ work can be found around town at the Banyan Tree and Urban Orchid, and nationally through Uncommon Goods. The competition is stiff: 16 judges selected 800 finalists and 200 wild card finalists. The judges will choose nine winners and the public will vote for a tenth winner. Voting opened on Monday and goes through October 13. Fans can vote up to six times a day until voting closes. Readers can vote for both Rifkin, and DeSantis. The winner will receive $10,000, an opportunity to be featured in Martha Stewart media and a trip to the awards ceremony in New York. Despite the competition, DeSantis and Rifkin are actually friends. "I'm wearing one of her necklaces right now," says DeSantis.
Pandemonium, Cleveland Public Theatre’s annual benefit and art party, is known as one of the wildest, most spectacular events in the city. That description certainly captured the spirit and tone of this year’s festivities. Here is a visual recap courtesy of Fresh Water photographer Bob Perkoski.
The Hudson-based Western Reserve School of Cooking (WRSOC) has been in existence for 42 years. It provides a variety of classes for professionals, amateurs and kids and features a small retail space stocked with kitchen gadgets. Now the institution is expanding to a storefront adjacent to Cleveland Culinary Launch and Kitchen (CCLK), a pay-as-you-go commercial kitchen and food business incubator that is located at 2800 Euclid. The cooking school will open by the end of the year. "It's a complementary relationship, and we're excited for the classes to start," says Carolyn Priemer, one of the founders of CCLK. "Previously, we had food, but we didn't have a space for entertainment and events." Priemer also has hired Carl St. John, co-owner of WRSOC, to manage the CCLK kitchen. The new WRSOC will sell a limited range of kitchen gadgets and offer products created by CCLK's food-based businesses, which include Saucisson butchery, Cleveland Kraut and Red Lotus Foods. CCLK entrepreneurs also will help teach classes, workshops and demonstrations at the new school. St. John and his wife and partner Catherine are opening the cooking school to tap into a new market in Cleveland and join the city's food scene. They will offer single classes geared towards amateur cooks and use the space for corporate team-building events and other functions. The storefront can fit at least 30 to 40 people for cooking classes, and more for a demonstration. St. John says the event space also will be available for rentals. WRSOC offers classes in bread making, cake decorating, sushi rolling and more. There are Friday night date night classes and weeklong classes for professionals (these will remain in Hudson). Many are taught by Catherine, an experienced chef, but there are guest instructors as well. St. John says he hopes to partner with PlayhouseSquare and other institutions to offer an evening of entertainment where participants cook their own meal and then see a show. St. John says the classes have grown in popularity. WRSOC is far more affordable than a fully-accredited cooking school, yet offers professionals a chance to break into the industry without the coveted degree. Over the years, the school has seen many of its graduates go on to work in the restaurant industry. "The cooking school [in Hudson] is going great, but space is our biggest issue," says St. John. "We're turning down private events and corporate team-building events because we can only host 12 to 14 people. In our new space, we'll be able to have 30-40 people, and more for demos."
Several Cleveland companies have new faces on their staffs. Here’s a rundown of who’s in new positions. Ben Faller is the Home Repair Resource Center’s new executive director. Since 2009, Faller has served as a staff attorney and chief housing specialist for the Cleveland Housing Court, working to expand the court’s problem-solving programs and engaging in outreach and policy work on housing and property issues. He previously worked for the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland on housing issues and operated his own small business as a general contractor, specializing in residential remodeling. Ben is currently an adjunct professor of law at CWRU and serves as the board chairperson for Larchmere PorchFest. 2005 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Bill Nemeth has signed on to lead JumpStart's Burton D. Morgan Mentoring Program after exiting his own company, Mirifex Systems, which was named the fastest-growing IT consulting firm in the United States in the 2005 Inc. 500 list. In his role, Nemeth connects JumpStart’s network of experts with entrepreneurs who need advice and guidance. Marilyn Mosinski is the new director of business recruitment and development for Slavic Village Development, where she will work with area businesses and recruit new commercial retail and industrial companies to the area. Mosinski joins Slavic Village Development from MidTown Cleveland, where she was manager of planning and development. She is a lifelong Slavic Village resident, and has been active in the neighborhood’s growth and success. Have a new hire to share? Email Karin with the details and we’ll spread the word!
In the past five years, Cleveland has made significant progress towards becoming a “green city on a blue lake.” This year’s Sustainable Cleveland 2019 summit will focus on leveraging those successes. But how sustainable are we? A new report examines key indicators and highlights some of the newest, greenest projects across the city.