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Over-the-Rhine : Development News

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Entrepreneurs utilize Findlay Market to develop sandwich shop concept

Josh Dickerson and Tyler Retyi-Gazda have something in common: Their pipe dream is to open a restaurant. But before that happens, they’re looking to get honest feedback about their restaurant concept, Grind on the Rhine, which served at Findlay Market for the first time on April 16.
“Our concept involves cooking on the spot,” Dickerson says. “We’re focusing on fresh food and fresh ingredients.”
When dreaming up their concept, Dickerson and Retyi-Gazda knew that renting commercial kitchen space would be expensive, so they turned to Findlay Kitchen as a cost-effective alternative to make their dream happen.
The focus of Grind on the Rhine is po’ boys, a sandwich invented in New Orleans during a streetcar strike. With the streetcar coming soon to Over-the-Rhine and downtown, Dickerson and Retyi-Gazda thought po’ boys belonged in Cincinnati too. 
Ideally, Grind on the Rhine’s storefront will open within the year, but Dickerson says they want to focus on perfecting their menu first. That menu is small right now, but once a brick-and-mortar restaurant opens it will be expanded upon.
The Showcase Grinder is shaved sirloin, caramelized onion, arugula and honey mustard on a ciabatta baguette from Shadeau Breads. Another menu highlight is the Pulled Pork Shoulder, which is pulled pork shoulder topped with a mango habandero BBQ sauce and apple slaw, also on a ciabatta baguette from Shadeau. There’s also a Chicken Muffeleta, which is ham and salami finished with an olive tapanade.
Grind on the Rhine also has an All-Day Breakfast, which is bacon and egg that can be topped with tomato and arugula. All of the seasonings and sauces are made from scratch by Retyi-Gazda, who is the chef. Sides include homemade Saratoga chips made from sweet potatoes and purple potatoes and rice and quinoa with walnuts, craisins and lemon zest.
Dickerson says right now they’re focused on serving on weekends at Findlay Market until they get their sandwiches perfected, and then they’ll expand from there.

Neighborhood eateries are jumping on the outdoor dining bandwagon

Arnold’s Bar and Grill has been around since 1861, and with that long history comes a number of firsts, such as being one of downtown’s first outdoor dining spots. The courtyard between the two buildings has a retractable roof allowing the space to be open pretty much year-round.
Many other Greater Cincinnati restaurants have followed Arnold’s lead and now offer sidewalk, patio or rooftop dining. These are just a few of our favorites. Where do you go for outdoor eating?  
One of Cincinnati’s newer restaurants, Americano Burger Bar, opened its patio just in time for baseball season. Plus it’s the only restaurant in the 84.51 building with outdoor seating. 545 Race St.
Che, which opened in January, recently added a tree-lined patio to its offerings. 1342 Walnut St.
Krueger’s Tavern is the only restaurant in OTR with rooftop dining. The space offers diners respite from the often-crowded neighborhood restaurants. 1211 Vine St.
Lachey’s Bar is known for its food as well as multiple TVs airing sporting events. Soon it will also be known for its patio, which is still under construction but slated to open soon. 56 E. 12th St.
Just when you thought Rhinegeist couldn’t get any better, they went and built a rooftop deck complete with a bar. The space is huge and includes heaters and great views of OTR. 1910 Elm St.
Hang Over Easy boasts a back deck and lawn located between it and Bogart’s. Most days it’s just a lawn, but during special events it can host bands and different programming. 13 W. Charlton St., Corryville.
Mecklenburg Gardens, which recently celebrated 150 years in business, is the oldest operating restaurant in the area. Its outdoor beer garden has become a mainstay for regulars and newcomers alike. 302 E. University Ave., Corryville.
Under new ownership, Django Western Taco has seen some changes, but the back patio remains the same. Kick back, relax and enjoy a margarita and some tacos. 4046 Hamilton Ave.
The Littlefield is home to a wide variety of bourbon and small plates as well as a multi-level patio complete with fire pits for chilly nights. 3934 Spring Grove Ave.
Melt’s eclectic menu and community atmosphere pour out into its semi-covered patio at the back of the restaurant. 4165 Hamilton Ave.
Price Hill
Incline Public House sits at the top of the old incline route up into Price Hill, and so its covered outdoor patio offers great views of downtown and Northern Kentucky. 2601 W. Eighth St.
Hyde Park
The patio at Dutch’s has a backyard feel to it, complete with fire pits and a bocce court. You’ll feel like you’re having a cookout at home but somebody else made the burgers. 3378 Erie Ave.
Mt. Adams
The Rookwood’s multi-level deck, firepit and swings for adults adds to the historic charm of the former pottery factory, plus the patio has a great view of downtown. 1077 Celestial St.
Pearl’s Bar doesn’t serve food, but its large outdoor patio surrounded by pine trees makes it just right for beer drinking. 3520 Eastern Ave.
East End
Eli’s BBQ has a backyard, lawn and picnic tables, which make lunch or dinner into a real picnic. If you’re there on the right night, you might catch some live music. 3313 Riverside Dr.
Hofbrauhaus is all German, inside and out. If you have a big group, head to the outdoor beer garden, where there’s additional seating and a lot more standing room. 200 E. Third St.

Pompilio's patio is home to the best bocce court in town, with the new season getting ready to start, and hosts live music on weekends. 600 Washington Ave.

Findlay Kitchen to offer commercial space for food entrepreneurs, classes

Findlay Market hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony March 23 for its new incubator kitchen, the Charlotte and Edward Unnewehr Findlay Kitchen at 1719 Elm St. The nonprofit incubator has been in the works for a year and will help give food entrepreneurs the resources, work space and support to launch or continue their businesses.
The 8,000-square-foot, shared-use space houses 10 separate industrial kitchens so a number of businesses can co-exist and create at the same time. Several small food-related businesses have already joined Findlay Kitchen, including Gadabout Doughnuts and The Jaded Fork.
Findlay Kitchen is an affordable way for entrepreneurs to get started in the food business and have access to a commercial-grade kitchen, equipment and storage space as well as resources and support. There are also plans to use the space for pop-up restaurants, cooking classes and healthy eating education.
On top of that, Findlay Kitchen is partnering with a number of programs and organizations to provide the training, mentorship and resources needed for small business owners to succeed. The nonprofit will also help its members get their products in more places, acting as a conduit for wholesale and institutional customers.
One of those partnerships is Co.Starters: Kitchen Edition, a business development program for food entrepreneurs with ArtWorks. The 12-week program will be held at Findlay Kitchen and feature food-focused business curriculum, mentorship and networking opportunities. Class registration is $350, with sessions held 6-9 p.m. on Tuesdays, May 3-July 19.
Findlay Kitchen is also still accepting applications for members. If you’re interested in renting kitchen space, fill out an application here.

Melt and Neon's getting brunch, Myrtle's Punch House adding food menu

Molly Wellmann acquired Melt and Picnic & Pantry in January with an eye toward bringing food to Wellmann’s Brands bars such as Myrtle’s Punch House and Neon’s, which will happen in April, as will a relaunch of brunch at Melt.
Brunch at Melt and Neon’s will start April 3, with favorites from Melt’s old brunch menu. Not every item will be available at both locations, but a few highlights include banana French toast, the Northside hot brown and the Southwest tofu scramble.
Myrtle’s will start serving food April 15, which coincides with Walk on Woodburn. Wellmann’s Brands Executive Chef Lisa Kagen, former owner of Melt and Picnic & Pantry, curated the menu around small plates and shareable items, much like the idea of the punch bowl.
Menus at each table will allow customers to pick and choose what they want to order. The menu isn’t finalized yet, but there will be vegan, vegetarian, meat, fish and “iron-pressed” options to appeal to everyone. Kagen is bringing in items from other local food purveyors, too, including chips from Hen of the Woods, The Pickled Pig’s smoked pork tenderloin and flatbreads served on Fireside Pizza’s wood-fired dough.
Brunch will be served on Neon’s patio, weather permitting, 12-4 p.m. every Sunday. Melt will serve brunch 10 a.m.-2 p.m. every Sunday. Food will be served at Myrtle’s Thursday-Sunday, with plans to expand to seven days a week in the near future.

OTR's first cookware store opening near Findlay Market April 2

Retirement is typically a time of relaxation and travel, but not for Brad and Karen Hughes. The couple planned their retirement around Artichoke, the city’s first cookware store, which they will open on April 2 adjacent to Findlay Market.
“When we started looking for a location, the logical place was Findlay Market,” Karen says. “We could have opened a storefront on Vine Street and done great, but the synergy with the market is the key component of what we wanted to do. There’s nothing like it in the city.”
The Hughes started looking for a location about two years ago. At that time, the city was in the process of releasing a number of properties, including those located at 1824, 1826 and 1828 Elm St. They purchased the three buildings with the intent of creating a storefront for Artichoke with two apartments upstairs, and then Phase II will focus on creating a new home for themselves.
The 150-year-old brick buildings were stabilized about 15 years ago by the city, which helped in the renovation process. The project is LEED Silver-certified, and the Hughes have made sure to repurpose a number of materials, including ceiling beams that are now part of the countertops and displays.
In the entryway will be a Rookwood tile mosaic welcoming customers into the 880-square-foot retail space, which also includes a demonstration kitchen. The idea is to have chefs demo 60-80 percent of the time, whether that’s chefs showcasing products from Findlay Market or chefs from around the city trying out new recipes or restaurant favorites. The demo kitchen will also have room to seat 10 people for after-hours events. 
Artichoke will offer cookware only as a way to provide vessels for the food sold at Findlay Market. The Hughes are focusing on items that are responsibly and sustainably made in the U.S. and Europe, including Cristel cookware, Staub enamel cast iron, Revol porcelain cookware, Fagor pressure and multicookers, OXO cooking tools and new electrics and Wusthof, Global and Shun knives.
The basement will also be stocked with a line of commercial-grade products so chefs can get what they need locally rather than having to drive out to the suburbs when in a pinch.
“After retiring, we thought about moving, but we live in Over-the-Rhine and are invested in the city and community,” Karen says. “We hated to move away and not see what happens with all of the new businesses coming in and development projects that are going on.”
Artichoke’s hours will be 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday.

Cincinnati Shakespeare program helps students design own Bard-inspired projects

For the past three years, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company (CSC) has been working with Greater Cincinnati schools to put on artistic interpretations of William Shakespeare’s 38 plays. Called Project 38, the program is a yearlong process for CSC artists going into schools to help students create an artistic piece based on one of Shakespeare’s plays, with the works then performed at a week-long festival. 
“Many students say ‘I’m enjoying school for the first time,’ because they now have an artistic outlet where they get to create the final product,” says Maggie Lou Rader, coordinator for Project 38. “It’s the students’ passion that brings each and every project to life from start to finish. The student-driven Shakespearean projects bring these wonderful stories to life in a new way for the community every year.”
Project 38 is entirely free for schools as well as for festivalgoers.
This year’s festival is scheduled for April 14-18 and will feature more than 43 events at the Woodward Theater and in Washington Park. Performances include 18 pieces based on Shakespearean text, six pieces that incorporate music, three dance performances, 13 films, eight projects that have visual elements, two research projects, one computer-animated piece and 16 original works.
The week before the festival, Cincinnati Shakespeare will host Revel and Moonlight on April 9 at The Transept. The event includes exclusive live performances of Project 38 pieces as well as wine, cocktails and food. Tickets for Revel and Moonlight range from $25 to $250 and are available online.
“We hope that Project 38 will bring the entirety of Shakespeare’s canon to life in local classrooms and the city every year,” Rader says.
Project 38 also includes a free encore performances of Shakespeare in the Park’s touring performances of Romeo and Juliet as well as premiere the new Midsummer for Elementary Students, which is Saturday at 10:30 a.m. in Washington Park.
The Woodward will serve as home base for the festival and will be open during all activities. Festival attendees can go there to get information and learn about upcoming performances as well as see art installations related to Shakespeare’s canon.
Get the full Project 38 festival schedule here.

Renovations to Music Hall are finally becoming a reality

The need to renovate Music Hall in Over-the-Rhine has been at the forefront of arts and culture conversations for nearly a decade. Those plans are finally being put into action in 2016 as Music Hall Revitalization Company works to preserve the 140-year-old historic building.
Music Hall hasn’t been renovated for more than 40 years, so this overhaul is a big deal. Such a big deal, in fact, that Music Hall will be closed starting June 1 and won’t reopen until fall 2017, if everything goes according to plan. This means that the building’s resident companies will perform elsewhere in their upcoming seasons — Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Pops Orchestra and Cincinnati May Festival will perform at the Taft Theatre for the 2016-2017 season, while Cincinnati Opera will perform at the Aronoff Center for the Arts for its 2016 and 2017 summer seasons.
A few smaller renovations are already in the works, such as structural and office demo. Within the next 90 days, the larger part of the work will begin.
Renovations include:

Smaller seating capacity: 1,000 seats will be removed from Springer Auditorium to make the auditorium more intimate, and false walls will be erected on two levels of the concert hall to amplify sound. All of the seats will be replaced, and the new seats will be wider with more legroom. The main floor will be resloped, along with the balconies, and new boxes will be installed. A new thrust stage will be added for the orchestra.

Updated lobby: The lobby, which will be renamed the Edyth B. Lindner Grand Foyer, will have new torchiere lighting along the balcony railings to show off the ceiling, and the smaller Czech chandeliers will be replaced.

New patron lounge: A new lounge is being added at the back of Springer Auditorium, and new bars, concessions areas and LED screens will be installed. The box office and gift shop are getting a facelift as well.

New windows: The currently bricked-up windows on Music Hall’s facade will be restored to allow in more light, and new accent lighting will be installed to illuminate the building at night.

More restrooms: Bathrooms for both sexes will be added, increasing the number of stalls by more than 50 percent.

Improved access: There will also be improved access for patrons with mobility issues, including street-level access through the box office, more wheelchair accessible seating, mobile wheelchair charging stations and an assisted listening system inside the auditorium. Two new elevators are also being installed that will give patrons access to all floors.

Orchestra library reorganization: Music Hall currently houses the world’s largest orchestra library, but it’s not stored in any one location within the building. When it reopens, more than 140 years of music will be represented in one fire-protected room on the first floor. 

A public campaign is currently underway to raise the remaining $5 million of the $135 million needed for the renovation. To donate, click here.

Third Cincinnati streetcar arrives, joins others in testing next week

Cincinnati welcomed its third streetcar vehicle on Feb. 11. The car arrived a bit behind schedule due to a manufacturing hold-up, but the entire streetcar project is expected to remain on time for its September grand opening.
The first streetcar vehicle arrived on Oct. 30, with the second arriving before the close of the year. The cars are essentially the same, except the newest one has “CINCINNATI” emblazoned on its midsection. All of the cars will eventually have the same decals, but the final look, size and placement were just recently determined.
The third car will now undergo the same testing the first two cars been through. Each vehicle must log 300 hours of safe travel before passengers are allowed onboard. The testing process will begin Feb. 17 and involves a “dead pull,” where the car is towed through the motions to test the mechanics, wheels and rails; then it runs the route under its own power.
The fourth car is scheduled to arrive within a few weeks, with the fifth and final one due in March.
Recruiting is underway for the Streetcar Grand Opening committee, which will help plan a grand opening celebration. If you’re interested in being on the committee, contact Brandy Jones at bjones@go-metro.com.

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 26, 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.

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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