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Fresh Table owners opening urban grocery store at Market Square development

Meredith Trombly and Louis Snowden, owners of Findlay Market’s Fresh Table, plan to open an urban grocery store this fall at 1818 Race St. across from their spot at the market.

The Epicurean Mercantile Company grocery store will feature a 5,700-square-foot space with fresh foods, nonperishable items, libations, personal hygiene items and a variety of seasonal gifts. There will also be a lunch counter with freshly prepared foods made by Chef Dan Jansen.
Fresh Market is an organic stand at Findlay Market that features ready-to-eat meals, including salads and entrees. The lunch counter at Epicurean Mercantile will reflect Fresh Market’s offerings, focusing on what’s fresh and what’s available.
Epicurean Mercantile will be part of Model Group’s $24 million Market Square project, which is redeveloping the entire 1800 block of Race adjacent to Findlay Market. The project has received several rounds of state historic tax credits and includes both residential and commercial space.

Twentysomething developer investing in quality Cincinnati housing stock

Ben Fry purchased his first house seven years ago while studying real estate at the University of Cincinnati. Now 27, he’s flipped about 15 properties all around the city, focusing on providing higher quality housing stock for local homeowners. 
That first house was listed at $20,000. Fry was able to purchase the property in Price Hill for just $6,000 and flipped it for a return on his investment. After purchasing a second property in Price Hill — a storefront with three apartments above — investors started coming to him rather than Fry having to seek them out.
“With redevelopment, home prices and property taxes increase, adding value to the neighborhood,” Fry says.
His company, Fry Holdings LLC, is currently working on a condo redevelopment off of Sycamore Street in Over-the-Rhine. It’s Fry’s largest project to-date and when finished in March will feature two two-story condos with city views.
He also recently purchased two houses in Northside, one on Beech Hill Avenue and the other on Fergus Street. Last week, another of Fry’s houses, this one on Mad Anthony, was listed for sale at $139,900.
“I really like Northside because of the architecture, design and home prices,” Fry says. “It’s a neighborhood where you can really do some different things and still have the home fit in with its surroundings.”
The Beech Hill house is shotgun-style and only 14 feet from wall to wall. It didn’t leave Fry a lot of space, and he’s planning to build an addition on the back of the house to create more space.

The house on Fergus is currently a two-family dwelling but will become a single-family residence after an eight-week renovation. Fry plans to create a vaulted ceiling on the first floor with stairs leading up to a loft.
Fry says he’s been in talks with TV producers about hosting a series that follows one of his renovation projects from start to finish.

Board game parlor hopes to build community via shared experiences in OTR

Growing up, game night was a common occurrence for Zach Leopold’s family. They played games like Aggravation and Sorry!, and as Zach got older he started collecting games.
“I’ve always been a board game geek, ever since I was a kid,” he says. “I was the kid who would clear the board in a rage when my brother wiped out my armies during a game of Risk.”  
His love of board games has led him to start a board game parlor, The Rook, with his father Jim in Over-the-Rhine. They’re doing much of the renovation work themselves at 1115 Vine St. (a few doors from Ensemble Theatre) and plan to create a space where people of all ages can come and play games.
“We’ve been waiting for the right location for the concept and decided early last year that OTR was ‘here to stay,’” Leopold says. “The neighborhood gets high volumes of the kinds of people we believe will most enjoy The Rook. And the community and consumers in OTR seem to embrace unique concepts because of the diversity of the people and the fact that they’re engaged in their community.”
The Leopolds are hoping to build on the existing community atmosphere in OTR. Board games give people the opportunity to gather and share in a fun experience, and The Rook will offer just that.
“Everything about your experience at The Rook is about getting friends around a table to do something you love, from the food to the drinks to the games,” Leopold says. “And most everyone loves board games, whether for nostalgic reasons, competitive reasons, social reasons or because they’re just really fun.”
Over the past 10 years, the board game industry has evolved and grown, he says. Games like Catan, Pandemic and King of Tokyo are now popular among young adults and are gateway games to the thousands of fun strategy games on the market.
The Rook will offer these types of games and more. Leopold plans to offer 1,000 different games, with well-loved classics like Candyland, Clue and Monopoly as well as newer strategy games, giant games, trivia games, dice games, card games and party games. There will be multiple copies of popular games, with about 600 different titles in the game library. “Game geeks” will be available to recommend games to a group as well as explain them.
The 4,000-square-foot space will occupy two floors in the building. There will be 25 game tables and a 30-person private party space that will also serve as a community game table during peak hours.
The Rook will also be a restaurant and bar. The menu is still in the works, but Leopold plans to offer between 8-12 local craft beers as well as a selection of wines and a cocktail menu with classics and originals. For food, the menu will have something for everyone, with sandwiches, soups, hummus platters, salads and a “game night” section with classic game night snacks to share.
The Leopolds plan to open by May 1 and will be open 11 a.m.-1 a.m. daily, with later hours possible on the weekends.

Brink Brewing to add its own story to College Hill neighborhood redevelopment

Like many Cincinnati neighborhoods, College Hill is on the verge of a major rebirth. The College Hill Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation (CHCURC) is at the helm of its revitalization and is systematically seeking out businesses that fit into its vision of a well-situated business district that serves all College Hill residents.
“We’re hoping to create a district that has a mixture of businesses that support or provide places for the community to eat, shop and play as well as be a destination for people from other neighborhoods to come and visit,” CHCURC Vice President Jake Samad says.
At its annual meeting co-hosted by the College Hill Business Association Feb. 3, CHCURC announced that its newest business recruit, Brink Brewing, would be opening as College Hill’s first brewery, melding beer and community into one.
When looking for a neighborhood to call home, Brink’s team had a set list of criteria. They wanted to be within Cincinnati city limits in order to be connected with its brewing heritage. They also wanted to be in a neighborhood where they could get in on the ground floor of its rebirth and revitalization and serve as an entertainment destination anchor. They also wanted to be on a walkable street in a neighborhood with a community feel.
“College Hill really fit all of these criteria, and the neighborhood is about to see a special kind of turnaround,” says Brink President Andrew McCleese.
The rest of the Brink team includes CEO John McGarry, marketing director Sarah McGarry, head brewer Kelly Montgomery and brewer Mark Landers. Each is an expert in his or her field, including homebrewing. Montgomery and Landers won “Best in Show” at the 2015 Hop Courage Homebrew Competition in Los Angeles for their Nut Brown Ale sponsored by Rogue Ales. As part of their prize, they brewed a beer on Rogue’s system, which then was tapped at its Portland, Ore. brewpub, The Green Dragon.
Brink is slated to open in the Fall at 5905 Hamilton Ave. The 3,200-square-foot taproom and brewery will be like a coffee shop but with beer, McCleese says. A large community table will anchor the space and help add to the connected feel Brink’s customers will have with each other and with the brewery.
“We want people to come together and enjoy good conversation and talk about beer as well as encourage the co-mingling of patrons and between patrons and our staff,” McCleese says.
On nice days, a garage door will open onto the sidewalk to help draw in passersby and drivers. A large garage door will also be installed on the back of the building to open onto a patio. The brewery’s final design is still in the works, but the Brink team wants to preserve some of the building’s historic charm, such as salvaging existing tin ceilings and exposed brick.
Brink will have 8-12 beers on tap at any given time, with a mixture of different styles — malty to hoppy, light to dark and higher ABV and lower ABV. Flagship brews won’t be available right away, but Montgomery and Landers will eventually settle on two to three styles that will always be on tap.
“Kelly prides himself on his knowledge of classic styles but loves to create beers with fresh seasonal ingredients as well,” McCleese says. “He also loves making big, rich beers like imperial stouts, barley wines and old ales.”
Food won’t be offered in-house, but Brink will allow customers to bring in food or have food delivered from nearby College Hill eateries. They also plan to partner with local food trucks and will offer a rotating schedule of street food options.
“This city has a proud brewing tradition, and we want to be part of bringing it back,” McCleese says. “Each brewery in the city is unique — that’s what makes breweries so special. They’re not your typical startups, and each has its own story to tell.”  

Hotel and office/retail space planned for Fourth & Walnut Centre downtown

A three-building complex at Fourth and Walnut streets downtown will soon see new life as hotels, office space, retail, restaurants and entertainment options. Texas-based developers NewcrestImage recently purchased the buildings for $9.3 million.
The three buildings were constructed at different times — the 19-story office tower was built in 1903, the four-floor office building in 1937 and the six-floor office building in 1961. The site currently features two restaurants, a business center and parking garage as well as 375,000 square feet of space for lease.
The three buildings have a lot of empty space, with only about 56 percent occupancy. After all is said and done, the project could bring a $100 million investment to downtown.
Just like apartments and condos, hotels are popping up all over Greater Cincinnati. The region is becoming a destination for visitors, hosting national events like the MLB All-Star Game and the country’s largest Oktoberfest. Two hotel projects are already in the works downtown, one at The Banks and the other at Seventh and Broadway.
There are also plans for a boutique hotel in Over-the-Rhine at 12th and Elm streets, while a 144-room hotel is under construction across the river at Newport on the Levee and set to open in June. The Hotel Covington is also nearing completion on Madison Avenue in downtown Covington.
NewcrestImage is looking into the idea of putting several hotels in the 19-story building, which isn’t a new concept for Cincinnati. Homewood Suites and the Hampton Inn operate in the former Enquirer building on Vine Street, offering two price points and amenity options in the same spot.
Construction isn’t slated to begin on the project until next year, and FRCH Design Worldwide is still working on the final design plans.

Center for Great Neighborhoods announces third round of Covington creative grants

The Center for Great Neighborhoods recently announced its third round of Creative Community Grant recipients. A total of $30,000 was awarded to seven Covington projects designed to engage and impact the city through art.
The focus this round is on inclusion, highlighting the uniqueness of Covington’s residents and working to make all feel welcome in the community.
Braille-ing a New Trail (Northern Kentucky Council of the Blind)
NKCB is partnering with Covington chefs to encourage a more inclusive restaurant experience in the city. A number of restaurants are offering group cooking classes for the blind and visually impaired; in exchange, NKCB will give the restaurants large print and Braille menus. The Braille printer will be purchased with funds from the grant and housed at CGN for use by any Covington restaurant or service provider who’s interested in the feature. Wunderbar, the program’s first participant, will be teaching NKCB members how to make its famous pretzels.
Collective Mosaic Mural (Ximena Flores, Anne Marie Herrera, Luis Laya)
The mosaic will depict flowers blossoming into birds and flying as a flock, reflecting the Westside’s diversity, growth, community and transformation. The community is invited to help assemble the mosaic as well as bring items to incorporate into the design.
Little Free Art Studio (Annie Brown)
The free-standing weatherproof art studio will be much like the Little Free Library, but for art. The studio will have a variety of art supplies and invite passersby to create something unique.
The Mini Microcinema Exhibition at The Carnegie (The Mini Microcinema, C. Jacqueline Wood)
During March and April, The Carnegie will host a small pop-up movie theater in its gallery space. Seven weeks of programming will include film screenings, performances and moving image installations by a variety of national, regional and Northern Kentucky artists with diverse backgrounds and POVs. The Mini Microcinema installation is free and open to the public.
Raymond Thunder-Sky Spirit Tower (Thunder-Sky Inc.)
Thunder-Sky plans to erect an outdoor sculpture to commemorate the life and legacy of Raymond Thunder-Sky, a Native American artist who had a developmental disability. He traveled the region dressed as a construction worker and clown, drawing construction and demolition sites in Greater Cincinnati. Tom Tsuchiya, a Cincinnati sculptor whose work is on display all over the world, will create the sculpture.
Westside Makers: A Community Event (Calcagno Cullen)
The project aims to illuminate makers by hosting a “meet the makers field day,” which will produce the DIY Westside Makers Book. Any Westside maker is invited for an afternoon to set up shop outside, welcoming the community to join in. It will serve as a release for the book, which will feature DIY recipes, designs and instructions as well as stories and portraits of Covington makers.
What Makes a Street Pleasant? (Anissa Lewis)
Starting with one conversation, Lewis hopes to engage those who live on and around Pleasant Street in the Eastside neighborhood and find out what Covington means to them. The event will culminate in a large community-based conversation and will conclude in a face-to-face community meal.
Creative Community Grants are funded through a multi-year grant from The Kresge Foundation to help implement creative placemaking actitives in Covington, particularly the Westside neighborhood. CGN will continue awarding up to $5,000 per grant to a variety of projects over the next two years, addressing a different issue and theme each round.

Saturday tours to highlight foodie options in MainStrasse Village

Riverside Food Tours will take guests on an edible, drinkable and historical trek through MainStrasse Village in Covington starting April 2. Mike and Laura Noyes came up with the idea after taking a trip in September to Newport, R.I., where they decided a food tour was the best way to see a new city while also sampling local cuisine.
“We tried a variety of foods and liked the experience of trying several restaurants in little spurts,” Laura says. “We found out the owner attended a course in Chicago to learn the food tour business, so three weeks later off to Chicago we went.”
Riverside Food Tours will be held every Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., combining eating, sightseeing, a guided tour and a 1.25-mile walk in one. Six restaurants featured along the route will be ready when the tour arrives, and guests will get to sample a signature or new menu item.
The restaurants were chosen based on three criteria: They had to be nonsmoking, the food had to be exceptional and the owners had to be interested in supporting a new venture and showcasing their story.
“Restaurant patrons are interested in the backstory and want to know the behind-the-scenes parts of running a successful eatery,” Laura says. “So besides hearing interesting stories about the history of MainStrasse, a lot of the tour will be sharing the stories of the restaurants themselves.”
Stops along the tour will include Bean Haus Bakery and Cafe, Cock & Bull Public House, Goodfellas Pizzeria, Lisse Steakhaus, Main Bite and Piper’s Cafe. Tickets are $59, and include all food tastings, plus two beverages; they're available online here.
“We really hope Riverside Food Tours brings recognition of what MainStrasse has to offer,” Laura says. “It’s always been pretty with the wide Park Avenue feel of Sixth Street and the beautiful architecture from buildings built in the late 1890s, and it’s hard to find a neighborhood that isn’t cluttered with fast food chains. MainStrasse is very much like a time capsule.”

Local homebrewers launch product to make brewing easier

Friends Anthony Stoeber and Eric Tanner started homebrewing two years ago, and as they got into it they constantly looked for ways to make the brewing process easier.

A typical homebrewer sets up in the kitchen, using all of the burners on the stove. The process is messy, pots tend to boil over and it can take a long time. That’s how their Brewers Buddy concept was born.
“Brewers Buddy isn’t meant to help you brew better beer, because there is still room for human error,” Tanner says. “But through our own trial and error, it definitely makes it easier.”
Tanner, who has an entrepreneurial degree, and Stoeber, who is in marketing, developed Brewers Buddy through their own R&D and feedback from local homebrewing friends as well as help from a few local breweries.
Brewers Buddy is a patent-pending gravity-fed homebrew system. The three-tier brewing stand has two burners — one on top and one on bottom — and a mash turn in the middle. The two burners allows for the liquor tank at the top and the brew kettle at the bottom to be heated at the same time, so liquid can flow throughout the brewing process without stopping.
Production of the Brewers Buddy is done in China, Tanner says, because the units are ordered one at a time and it’s expensive to do that in the U.S. He hopes to move production to the U.S. in the future.
There are similar products on the market, but Tanner says Brewers Buddy is more versatile and a fraction of the price of similar systems. Although Brewers Buddy is gravity-fed, you can also convert it to a pump-fed system.
For now, Stoeber and Tanner want to focus on homebrew retail sales for Brewers Buddy. But in the near future they plan to market their system to nanobreweries and larger breweries to produce experimental batches.
“We want to keep it scalable and build our brand around the Brewers Buddy product,” Tanner says.
Stoeber and Tanner are hosting a launch party for their Kickstarter campaign at 1-5 p.m. March 5 at Braxton Brewing in Covington. The pair hopes to raise $55,000 through Kickstarter to offset the personal funds they’ve already invested into Brewers Buddy. If you’re interested in attending the event, tickets are $30 and are available here.

Two more food truck owners bringing their concepts to brick-and-mortar restaurants

Across Cincinnati, 2015 was the year of the food truck, and it looks 2016 will be the year many of those food truck owners open brick-and-mortar restaurants. Randy Reichelderfer and sister-in-law Betsy Eicher, owners of Urban Grill, and Scott Nelowet, owner of Florida-based food truck French Fry Heaven, are joining the local entrepreneurs opening physical locations in the next few months.

Urban Grill
6623 Main St., Newtown

Reichelderfer and Eicher recently purchased a refurbished barn that sits on two acres, which they plan to turn into a restaurant. The yet-to-be-named restaurant will feature the same dishes as those served on their food truck.
The pair started Urban Grill in 2013 but have a limited amount of space on the truck for the ingredients for their 32 sandwiches. The physical location will feature their entire menu, including items like mac-and-cheese-topped sandwiches, half-pound steakburgers, meatballs, grilled goetta and pork.
Plans include building a one-story restaurant with a 2,400-square-foot addition built onto the back of the existing barn, which was built in the 1870s.
They're also planning to have a volleyball court, cornhole and horseshoes on-site.
Reichelderfer and Eicher say they plan to continue operating the Urban Grill food truck.

French Fry Heaven
206 Calhoun St., Uptown

Scott Nelowet started French Fry Heaven in 2011 as a snack brand in Jacksonville, Fla. He now has two other locations there, with plans to open his first Cincinnati location — to become the chain’s flagship store — on April 7.
After a trip to Europe, Nelowet thought Belgian-style French fries were the perfect vessel for a variety of toppings. They’re fried twice, so they’re crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.
French Fry Heaven’s menu includes loaded fries with toppings like bacon cheeseburger, chicken and waffles, chicken fried steak, chicken cordon bleu and taco. There’s also a build-your-own option where you pick your type of fries (Belgian-style, skinny, potato chips, sweet potato chips or baked potato); salts and seasonings (black truffle salt, bonfire salt, pink Himalayan salt, ghost pepper salt, Cajun, dill, Arizona or cinnamon and sugar); and dip (melted cheese, ranch, barbecue, wing, remoulade or caramel). Signature toppings include baked tater, Cajun and remoulade, chili cheese, garlic parmesan, cheeseburger and funnel cake.
French Fry Heaven doesn’t currently operate locally as a food truck, but Nelowet plans to launch one a few weeks before opening his brick-and-mortar store in order to build awareness of his brand.

Five designs chosen for Curb'd parklets in Covington this spring

Five ideas from local businesses and design teams were chosen last week for Curb’d, which will turn ordinary parking spaces in Covington into parklets, or miniature parks. The activation project is a collaboration between Renaissance Covington and MainStrasse Village Association and is funded by the Haile/U.S. Bank Foundation.
Forty-two designs were submitted from 11 local businesses that wanted to host a parklet. A review board of leaders in the local design committee judged designs based on the durability, safety and design connectivity to the businesses. Designs were then cut down to 11, one for each business, and five businesses and design teams were chosen from that lot.
The final decision was based on concept, context and construction feasibility of the parklet ideas. Winners of $15,000 grants through the Haile Foundation are:

Braxton Brewing
Design team: A+D; parklet: Hopscotch Garden, combining a hops garden and hopscotch game boards 

Cutman Barbershop
Design team: MSA Architects; parklet: The Boxing Ring, a seating area that resembles a boxing ring

Inspirado at Madison Gallery
Design team: Hub + Weber Architects; parklet: Ride, which allows people to jump on a stationary bike and power a projector that takes them to faraway places

Left Bank Coffeehouse
Design team: Seth Trance & Harry Ross; parklet: Wish-Igloo, a seating area that allows for different forms of interaction

Stoney’s Village Toy Shoppe
Design team: John Noble/SHP Leading Design; parklet: mountain/tunnel/xylophone, an interactive playground for kids
Parklets will be installed around Covington in early May and remain on display through October. See the 11 design finalists here.

Second NKY incubator kitchen focuses on helping small food companies get started

Two years ago, Rachel DesRochers of Grateful Grahams opened the Northern Kentucky Incubator Kitchen to help local food producers get their products off the ground. She is continuing that goal with a second, smaller incubator kitchen located in St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Newport.
The Hatchery is a micro incubator — a place where new businesses can start to “hatch” their ideas. It’s much smaller than the 5,000-square-foot NKYIK, making it the perfect space for small business owners to get their feet wet.

Across the river, Findlay Market’s larger kitchen incubator (8,000 square feet with 10 kitchen areas) is about a month away from opening its doors.
“We’re seeing companies that have an idea and have worked out of a lot of the kinks in their home kitchens but now they’re ready to take a step into a commercial kitchen,” DesRochers says.
Her goal is to have about six tenants in the kitchen, each for 40-60 hours per week. Three have signed leases and are scheduled to move in this month: Firecracker Bakery, Grass Fed Gourmet and Passion in my Pans. Three other businesses have shown interest in The Hatchery.
“I hope that The Hatchery brings a new launch pad to the region,” DesRochers says. “The more launch pads we can create, the more companies that are willing to put their dreams into action. If we can help create sustainable growth plans one-on-one with these companies, we can create long-term sustainable companies.”
DesRochers spends a lot of time meeting, sharing and helping new companies come up with a game plan. She guides them through the process so they’re not stressed about paying rent or getting insurance.
Between The Hatchery and NKYIK, DesRochers is starting to look at how she can further build out community programs and help serve more “foodpreneurs.” In February, she’s starting Kitchen Convos, an intimate conversation about the food industry. Tickets are $5 and are available here. (If you can’t make the event, stay tuned for the Kitchen Convos podcast to be produced by Unravel Productions.)

90 apartments plus commercial and restaurant space announced for prominent OTR corner

Source 3 Development has partnered with 224 W Liberty LLC to announce a $25-million mixed-use development at the northwest corner of Liberty and Elm streets in Over-the-Rhine. The project will construct 90 market-rate apartments as well as 15,000 square feet of street-level retail and restaurant space.
The project includes renovating four existing buildings: 212 and 214 W. Liberty and 1711 and 1713 Elm. The first three will have first-floor retail with apartments above, and 1713 Elm will be completely residential.
Source 3 envisions a live/work/play atmosphere for the project, which is aimed at young professionals and empty-nesters who already spend their free time in OTR. The project is located on the Cincinnati Streetcar line, with a northbound stop catty-corner from the development on the southeast corner of Liberty and Elm and a southbound stop two blocks away at Liberty and Race.
Most of the 90 apartments will be one-bedroom, but there will be a mix of studios and two-bedroom as well. Source 3 also plans to include a fitness room, cyber cafe and 2,400-square-foot community room on the top floor. Unit sizes, types and prices are still in the works, but they will be in line with existing projects in OTR. Final designs are still on the drawing board.
On street level, there will be more than 6,900 square feet of commercial retail space plus two restaurant spaces — one 2,200-square foot space and one 4,900-square-foot space with a 1,100-square-foot outdoor patio.
There are also plans for a new three-level 165-space parking garage. One level will be underground, with entrances on Logan, Green and Liberty streets.
Construction is slated to begin this fall, with apartments and commercial space available a year later.

Owners of 1215 Wine Bar & Coffee Lab look at Spring opening for second restaurant in OTR

Joanna Kirkendall and Daniel Souder, owners of 1215 Wine Bar & Coffee Lab, are embarking on their second Over-the-Rhine restaurant venture, Pleasantry. It will be an all-day neighborhood restaurant featuring a curated wine list and small plates.
The 1,000-square-foot restaurant will have 45 seats plus a 15-seat bar as well as room for 15 on an outdoor patio. It’s located at the corner of 15th and Pleasant streets in the Osborne development, which has 11 condos and retail space in three historically rehabbed buildings.
Kirkendall and Souder brought on executive chef Evan Hartman, who was recently the sous chef at the President’s Room at The Phoenix.
Specific menu items are still being development but will feature seasonal ingredients sourced from sustainable farmers, fishermen and butchers. The breakfast menu will include an everything biscuit with house-cured salmon and cream cheese, and the dinner menu will include 10-12 dishes under $18, including a duck rillette with grilled Sixteen Bricks bread, pickled vegetables and sweet jam.
Souder, Pleasantry’s wine director, is working with wine producers in California and Europe as well as distributors who can help bring in minimally manipulated wines that are made with organically-grown grapes and without sulfites.
When it opens this Spring, Pleasantry’s hours will be 7 a.m.-11 p.m. daily, with wine and coffee served throughout the day.

Creative types to gather for PechaKucha Night

Local creative types will gather at Rhinegeist Jan. 14 for PechaKucha Night, which started in Tokyo in 2003 as an event where young designers meet to network and show their work to the public; by last year, it had grown to more than 800 cities. The Cincinnati version launched in October 2009, and this week’s event is a reboot of sort, since there hasn’t been one held since then.
“Pecha kucha” means “chit chat” in Japanese and is based on a presentation format showcasing 20 images in 20 seconds. This makes each presentation concise and keeps things moving.
“The key to a great presentation is to present something you love,” says Ryan Newman, organizer for PechaKucha in Cincinnati. “Most people use PechaKucha Night to present their latest creative projects or work. Some people share their passion and might show their prized collection of records, while others share photos of their latest visit to a construction site or their recent holiday snaps.”
There will be eight presenters on Jan. 14, starting at 8:20 p.m.:

• Joi Sears, Free People International, “Social Change xChange”
• Brian Monahan, Prestige AV & Creative Services, TBD
• Steve Stidham, MSP, “Waste=Capital”
• Darrin Scott Hunter, Dish Design, “You’re Probably a Font Whore (or Typographic Slut Shaming)”
• John Stoughton, TBD
• Lightborne Studios, TBD
• Ryan Newman, Kolar Design, “The Secure Illusion/Psychology of Security Design”

PechaKucha is open to the public and requires a $3 donation from attendees in order to cover the cost of the venue and set-up.
“Cincinnati has an amazing and dynamic group of people doing exciting things in all aspects of creativity, beyond traditional design,” Newman says. “My hope is that PechaKucha helps connect, inspire and showcase the diverse communities in Cincinnati.”
There will be three other events in 2016, with the next scheduled for mid-April. If you’re interested in presenting at the next PechaKucha Night, send an email to cincypk@gmail.com.

Five Cincinnati arts orgs receive NEA grant money

The National Endowment for the Arts recently doled out $27.6 million to arts organizations across the country, including $517,000 to organizations in Ohio. Five Cincinnati organizations received a total of $150,000 to support creative placemaking, premieres, renovations and art installations.
ArtsWave received $35,000 for professional development workshops on the arts and community engagement. Workshops will be facilitated by Design Impact to provide participants with the chance to brainstorm creative placemaking ideas. The grant will also help ArtsWave create the Creative Placemaking Network, which will yield creative placemaking toolkits for other organizations to use. There are also plans to create a searchable website with a directory of locally-based artists and organizations.
In June, Cincinnati Opera will present Fellow Travelers, an opera composed by Gregory Spears and librettist Greg Pierce based on the novel by Thomas Mallon exploring the persecution of homosexuals in the 1950s, particularly by the U.S. Government. Cincinnati Opera received $35,000 from the NEA to support the world premiere.
The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra received $40,000 to support commissions and premieres of new works, including related educational activities. The CSO will be premiering “Symphonic Triptych” by Gunther Schuller this month and two concertos for orchestra composed by Thierry Escaich and Zhou Tian in May. Accompanying educational activities include pre-concert lectures, residency activities for schools and community groups and panel discussions.
The Clifton Cultural Arts Center received $10,000 to help aid designs for renovation of the old Clifton School, home to the CCAC.
The Contemporary Arts Center received a $30,000 grant to support the installation of “Solar Bell,” a large kite-like object created by Tomas Saraceno that will be hung from the CAC’s newly renovated lobby, and others like it.
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