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Podcasts provide new platform for local artists and activists

Since WNKU went off the air last September, many local radio stations have imitated the idea of playing local and national music, but one self-funded station is carrying on that format with added podcasts on local artistry and political activism.

The station, INHAILER, launched in May and consists of podcasts as well as primarily indie, folk, punk, and hip-hop music. Listeners can tune in on their websites as well as their app, which is on the Android and iPhone markets.

It all started when founder, Coran Stetter of Multimagic, heard that WNKU was going off the air. Since most of the team did not come from a radio background, they had to learn how to create an online broadcasting format.

“He got this space and started bringing people on board who wanted to give local musicians a platform and help give people, who like listening to music and music fans from this city, a place where they can listen to and meet their local performers. And the people who have potential to be, you know, national or successful performers,” says News Director and host of podcast Interchange 513, A.J. Kmetz. 

WNKU helped promote Multimagic and Setter and his team wanted to not only provide a platform for local musicians to be heard, but also let the people of Cincinnati understand and participate in the social issues happening in the city like the March of Our Lives Rally on March 24. 

“That's not our event, but it's something that's very near and dear to me and we want to see change happen so we want to get people to that,” says Kmetz.

Kmetz hosts a news hour daily as well as a bi-weekly podcast with producer Sam Benasek called “Interchange 513”. The podcast airs on Wednesdays and this season, they focus on how music correlates to social change.  Melvin Dillion of Soul Step Records has been featured and councilwoman, Tamya Dennard will be featured on the next episode.


Their other podcasts include “Lost on the River,” “Fresh Local Producers,” “DM in the PM,” and more.

 “Lost on the River” is presented by The Cincinnati Music Foundation and is recorded at the Herzog building where Aaron Sharpe of WNKU, Eli Leisring of Eli’s Barbeque, and Bill Furbee of The Cincinnati Music Foundation talk about the city’s history of music on Wednesdays from 7-8 p.m.

Fresh Local Producers is a podcast, hosted by Sledge of WNKU on Fridays nights, where he highlights electronic music producers. “DM in the PM” is hosted by Danielle Morris where she plays local rap, hip-hop, and R&B on Fridays 9-11 p.m.

The station, located on 1212 Sycamore St., has a creative 12-member staff. It is broadcasted 24/7, with live broadcasts during the week. The app can be downloaded on any smartphone, free of charge.

A new home for design in Over-the-Rhine

A newly renovated space in Over-the-Rhine called The Cincinnati Center for Architecture + Design (CCAD) will be the home space for five major Cincinnati Design Awards environmental and creative organizations to collaborate on future projects.

The organizations include the Cincinnati Chapters of American Institute of Architects (AIA), Society for Experiential Graphic Design (SEGD), the Ohio Kentucky Chapter of the International Interior Design Association (IIDA), the Ohio Chapter of The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), and the Ohio Chapter of The American Society for Landscape Architects (ASLA).

AIA Cincinnati has five goals “vision, member value, impact on the community, and engage young professionals to engage in conversation,” says architect and President and CEO of AIA Cincinnati, Greg Tilsey.

"It's a big goal of the SEGD to continue to make connections with our ally organizations and friends in the design community," says co-chairman for the Cincinnati chapter of SEGD, Hannah Anderson. "What's interesting, yet still unknown, is figuring out the different ways we can take this collaboration to benefit members of the design community and beyond."

Tilsey helped come up with the idea to have the center on Race Street, a thriving area in OTR.

The original idea was to find rental space for the Executive Director for AIA Cincinnati, Patricia Daugherty. It eventually developed in to a bigger project.

It has office space as well as meeting rooms holding up to 30-40 people. Design firms can rent the space located right on 1116 Race St. right across from Washington Park.

The SEGD Cincinnati Chapter delivered a proposal fall of 2017 to develop the brand and visual identity for the Center. The Phase 1 assets include a name and brand mark for the front door which will be ready before the first event in 2018.

"This early identity initiative for the Cincinnati Center for Architecture + Design is a clean slate, if you will, for our five organizations to put what they do out there on a platform," says Anderson. "These organizations, including SEGD, have not had a permanent address or location which we will be able to tap into now."

Each of the organizations will operate per normal, with the intention to collaborate for future projects. Funding for the Cincinnati Center for Architecture + Design is predominately provided by the AIA, who are leaseholders of the space along with the existing tenants, Lynn McInturf & Associates.

Stay tuned for more information later this spring as CCAD plans to host an official open house for the design community.

Thirsty? Try these local brews on for size

People are starting to notice the Queen City’s obsession with beer. According to Smart Asset, Cincinnati ranks fourth in the country as a destination for beer enthusiasts, and our city's recent shout-out in the New York Times includes a suggestion to check-out the Brewery Heritage Trail.

We wanted to take things one step further and provide you, our dear readers, an unofficial guide to our favorite beers around town.

The Gadget, Urban Artifact

Breweries in Cincinnati are notorious for repurposing spaces, especially historical breweries from the turn-of-the-century, when the city was known for beer production. But, Urban Artifact is located in the old St. Patrick Catholic Church in Northside, which symbolizes the blend of two beautiful Cincinnati traditions: Catholic heritage and quality beer.

Urban Artifact is known for its sour beers, and The Gadget is the perfect way to represent the state of Ohio in this category. The Gadget is part of the Midwest Fruit Tart series and is brewed at the height of summer with fresh raspberries and blackberries up front and a clean, tart finish. You can get it this month on draft in the taproom or as a 4-pack to-go. Check out this release calendar for when the rest of the Midwest Fruit Tart series will be available.

Corruption, Wooden Cask

Cincinnati has always claimed Northern Kentucky as part of the city, and Newport's Wooden Cask Brewing Company is a beautiful example of this bond between states. Wooden Cask combines the best of Cincinnati — beer — with the best of Kentucky spirits — bourbon — by aging its beer in bourbon barrels. The results are a selection of richly flavored artisan ales.

Corruption is a dark, sweet, bourbon barrel-aged Scottish stout. The first batch was aged in Buffalo Trace barrels and the current batch is marinating in Boone County barrels. Corruption is boozy and smooth with notes of chocolate.

Team Fiona, Listermann

If you put a picture of everyone’s favorite hippo on it, the people of Cincinnati will buy it. However, Listermann Brewing’s Team Fiona New England Style IPA is more than just a gimmick to buy beer. This IPA is hazy with a fresh pop of citrus that balances the floral hoppiness usually present in an IPA. Not only is the beer delicious, but the partnership between the Cincinnati Zoo and Listermann’s symbolizes a collaboration between two great Queen City institutions.

The brewery just celebrated Fiona's first birthday with a special release that sold out quickly, but it's possible there will be a new riff on the favorite in the near future.

Tea Bags, Streetside

Speaking of collaboration, Streetside Brewery’s motto is “the intersection of community and craft beer,” which influences every aspect of the business. Streetside in Columbia-Tusculum is all about balancing traditional brews with experiments that often invite community input and ingredients from some of the city’s favorite spots like local coffee shops and tea houses.

Tea Bags is a honey green tea blonde ale that is light and crisp with a finish of tannins and a twinge of sweet. The ale is brewed with Dragonwell and Jasmine Green tea from Essencha Tea House in Oakley, emblematic of Streetside's creative partnerships throughout the city.

Hefeweizen, West Side Brewing

The West Side has a reputation for being a bit more conservative and a little more traditional than the East Side of the city. The West Side has retained much of the vintage charm that put Cincinnati on the map way before we had our current brewery boom.

West Side Brewing is all about catering to this conservative market with traditional, staple brews like IPAs and ambers, but the Hefewiezen is a must try. Hefes are a unique German blend of wheat and yeast with a delicious result. West Side’s Hefeweizen is a true classic with subtle banana and clove notes swirling in a shade of hazy gold.

Lincoln Art Project will shed light on diverse culture in Walnut Hills

For the residents of Walnut Hills, the African-American culture is vital to the redevelopment of the neighborhood. One way to keep the culture prominent is through art.

The Walnut Hills Redevelopment Foundation, the Walnut Hills Historical Society and MORTAR are working to put together the Lincoln Art Project. The project aims to bring back some of the lost history of the African-American community through research, murals and events.

The three-part project is still in the infant stages, but the first portion — the research of African-American businesses in Walnut Hills — is already finished.

Next, local artist Janet Creekmore will paint murals based on submitted stories of the neighborhood's African-American community. The murals will be painted on storefronts on the corner of Lincoln and Gilbert avenues.

Lincoln was once a prominent area for African-American shops but has been abandoned due to the expansion of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

“If you look at development all around Cincinnati, all around the world, there's always a historical preservation committee or something and often times, African-American communities are left out of the equation,” says Aprina Johnson, community outreach coordinator for the WHRF.

By helping to preserve the African-American culture, the Lincoln Art Project will help add African-Americans back into the equation.

“There's value there; there's worth there — I want people to see that,” Johnson says.

The third part of the project is to continuously have art-related events in the area that demonstrate African-American culture.

“Most of the children that go to school in Walnut Hills are African-American, so to have that place where they can go and see and interact with art rather than a plaque or book is really exciting,” says Johnson. “They don't have to think about things, they see it and say ‘Oh I'm here, it's real so I can actually follow in these people's footsteps. I can actually do this.’”

The WHRF, the City of Cincinnati and the Greater Cincinnati Redevelopment Authority, with the help of the Cincinnati Development Fund and the Haile Foundation, purchased the properties that the murals will be painted on.

Many of the people in the community, as well as outside of the community, are in favor of the project.

The project will revamp the cosmetic look of the Lincoln and Gilbert intersection and bring people of all races from all over Cincinnati to the neighborhood.

“Sometimes it's like people don't want to shop in a black community,” says Johnson. “They'd rather shop in another community and once this all blossoms, this will be a business district where people of all races and nations and belief systems will come and find it valuable.”

Flores Lane focuses on eco-friendly ingredients for city-themed candles

Trish Baden loves candles. She founded Flores Lane in 2014, and her vision and leadership have transformed the company into a successful, eco-friendly business. Though she’s now based in LA, she’s never forgotten her Cincinnati roots; she recently released a line of candles based on neighborhoods in the city.

What inspired you to start making candles?
I LOVE candles. I burn them often and when I moved to LA, the cost of maintaining my habit was expensive. I didn’t know anyone and I was hoping to meet people in a candle class.

Flores Lane was born quite literally from demand: I was sending candles to friends and family as gifts, and people wanted to gift them to others. There’s a local flea market in West Hollywood’s high school where I bought a little space, got mason jars and filled them with amazing scents like “granny smith” and “jasmine.” I sold out in hours. I went back the next weekend and sold out again. So I decided to rebrand into something that I loved: travel + wanderlust + celebration of local movements.

What’s special about Flores Lane candles?
Not only are we are a successful, female-founded and run startup, we pride ourselves on transparency of ingredients, as well as being a knowledge base for other women that are DIY-ing. #BossBabe

We use soy wax and essential oils in our candles, which create a candle that is healthy to have in your home and does not hurt the environment. We try to be as eco-friendly as possible, staying away from plastic products and using recycled glass. Our candles are completely customizable, from the candle labels to the scent to the color — we can make anything our customers dream up.

What inspired you to make Cincinnati-themed candles?
Flores Lane’s essence is sharing experiences and vibes of locations within a candle, so it was only natural to create Cincinnati. Scents are a huge part of our memories, and when I am homesick I want to be able to light up a candle and feel like I’m back there again. I think we accomplished that with this line.

How did you choose the scent combinations for the Cincinnati candle series?

The last time I visited, I walked around some of my favorite parks and spots downtown. I focused on what Cincinnati smelled like to me in its purest form, as well as the natural elements that make the city what it really is. From the ivy-covered homes in Hyde Park to the industrial bare-brick lofts in Over-the-Rhine, I made a few sample candles of scents that reminded me of the city, e.g. a combination of earthy scents like English ivy and bamboo, and city scents like amber and sea salt.

We have created an OTR candle (launching soon) and will continue to collaborate with local retailers on a few more — so definitely stay tuned.

To purchase a candle, visit Flores Lane's website.

One-of-a-kind moto show returns to Rhinegeist for fourth year

On Jan. 27, more than 50 one-of-a-kind vintage and custom motorcycles and upward of 5,000 motorcycle enthusiasts will descend on the Queen City. The fourth annual Garage Brewed Moto Show will take over Rhinegeist for an all-day celebration of classic bikes and craft beer. The event, which runs from noon to midnight, will fill the taproom and event space with bikes on display, motorcycle accessories and equipment vendors and a silent charity auction.

Garage Brewed is the brainchild of the Cincinnati Cafe Racer Motorcycle Club and its founder, Tim Burke. The club formed about nine years ago when there was nothing else like it in the region. “We started to build community around vintage and Euro bikes,” says Burke. “We always talked about doing something in the winter because we sit around with cabin fever and can’t ride, everyone gets stir crazy.”

Cabin fever motivated the club to start the Garage Brewed Moto Show four years ago, which quickly grew to larger proportions than the organizers or venue had imagined. “That first year we set up this huge show, brought in thousands of people. Throughout the night it was shoulder to shoulder from the time we opened; they were running out of beers and didn’t have enough staff. We were their single largest sales day of the year.”

The event has continued to grow and command big crowds, and organizers have continued to make tweaks and improvements to the original formula. It's still free to attend, and for the past two years, has been held all day to give ample time and more space for attendees to peruse the unique bikes on display.

This year, a distinguished panel of judges will evaluate and award bikes in the garage custom, pro custom, classic and race bike categories, and attendees will vote on the People’s Choice Award. The bikes in the show are included via invitation to pro-builders and through nominations from the general public.

Burke is excited about a strong line-up of interesting bikes this year. Hollerin’ Jerr, a builder out of New York, will be displaying a highly-customized, found-art chopper with unexpected details like bottlecaps as washers. The show will also feature a locally-built electric motorcycle, plus an assortment of vintage Japanese and British bikes, vintage Harleys and pre-WWII Indians.

The show is also a fundraiser for Operation Combat Bikesaver, an Indiana-based nonprofit that builds custom motorcycles with veterans and first responders working to overcome depression and PTSD. Event sponsor Bitwell Inc. donated motorcycle helmets that were decorated, painted and embellished by local artists and will be auctioned off to help raise funds. Other event sponsors helping to make the event a success include Rev’it, T.C. Bros and Metal Rescue.

The free, family-friendly event runs from noon to midnight on Saturday, Jan. 27, at Rhinegeist (1910 Elm St.). For more information and updates, check out the event website and Facebook page.

New York-based filmmakers bringing live, interactive event to Memorial Hall on Jan. 27

On Jan. 27, a duo of New York-based indie filmmakers, Brent Green and Sam Green, are bringing their unique Live Cinema experience to Memorial Hall. Live Cinema blends short film screenings with storytelling and live narration, scored with live music performed by musicians, including Brendan Canty (Fugazi), James Canty (Nation of Ulysses), Becky Foon (Thee Silver Mt. Zion) and Kate Ryan.

Brent and Sam (no relation) have performed Live Cinema internationally, and thanks to a partnership between Memorial Hall and the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnatians will have a chance to experience it firsthand.

The short films included in each show rotate and the stories that the filmmakers tell change, too. “We have a rule for the show,” explains Brent. “On stage, we’re allowed to ask the other person to tell any story we’ve ever heard them tell and they have to do it.” This spontaneity shapes their performances and no two Live Cinema events are the same.

Brent, who is both a filmmaker and a visual artist, is known for his 2010 film Gravity Was Everywhere Back Then, which features a full-scale town he built in his backyard and was filmed using a blend of animation, stop-motion and live-action.

His collaborator Sam has made more than a dozen films, including The Love Song of R. Buckminster Fuller, a live film collaboration with the indie rock band Yo La Tengo; and the documentary The Weather Underground, which was nominated for an Academy Award. Both filmmakers have new work screening at the Sundance Film Festival (Jan. 18-28), and Sam is performing a new live cinema piece there with the Kronos Quartet. Sam has been performing live cinema pieces since 2009, and the duo have worked together for several years.

As Brent explains, they perform live cinema because they believe that “communal experiences are important. We like the audience, the whole thing feels like hanging out.”

Unlike typical film-watching experiences where moviegoers sit individually in a dark room, the pair strives to create a welcoming and interactive experience more akin to a rock concert than watching a movie.

The duo will share their special live cinema experience for one performance only on Saturday, Jan. 27. Live Cinema is happening at the Annie W. and Elizabeth M. Anderson Theater at Memorial Hall at 7:30 p.m., and tickets are $20.

More info and tickets are available on Memorial Hall
's website. Brent is also curating a short film screening at 7 p.m. at The Mini Microcinema on Jan. 26. Visit Sam's and Brent’s websites for more info about their individual work.

Last-minute local gift guide


It's Dec. 19, and you’ve waited until the last minute to buy your Christmas gifts. That’s okay, because these local, female artisans and crafters have you covered, with options for almost anyone on your list. ‘Tis the season!

For the considerate yet snarky person
Greeting cards and stationery from local printing company Pistachio Press are musts. The cards are beautifully handcrafted and include sincere messages from owner Rachael Hetzel, with a humorous twist. Hetzel is committed to environmentally sustainable materials for her edgy cards, and uses cotton paper and rubber-based inks, and she cleans her press with earth-friendly solvents. You can check out her range of products on Etsy.

For the person who loves their neighborhood
Flores Lane candles have captured East Side, West Side and the city itself in abundant, rich scents. Though the shop isn’t technically local, part-owner Trish Baden is a hometown girl who grew up in Hamilton. Like all of its candles, the Flores Lane Cincinnati series features hand-poured soy wax that diminishes environmental impact and makes the candles last longer.

For the slightly morbid girl in your neighborhood
Tooth and Claw owner and designer Chelsea Stegeman crafts her jewelry from ethically sourced animal parts like groundhog pelvis, King Cobra vertebrae and coyote ribs. Though her jewelry often leans toward a darker aesthetic, the designs and natural beauty can complement most any style.

For the guy who just moved in and is already obsessed with his neighborhood
T-shirts from Originalitees are go-to holiday gifts. Khisha Asabuhi started Originalitees seven years ago as a way to express neighborhood pride. The company’s clothing celebrates the uniqueness of Cincinnati while catering to many tastes — and they're comfortable too.

For someone who loves coffee, soup, hot chocolate or tea
Grab a mug from CG Ceramics. Although a mug for Christmas may not seem very original, these mugs are special — every single piece is hand-thrown by potter and owner Christie Goodfellow. CG Ceramics’ pottery is durable enough for daily use, making it the ideal go-to coffee cup. Goodfellow's neutral color palette and organic design make her pieces appealing to a wide variety of people.

Woodward Theater won $150,000 national grant to restore its historic marquee

When MOTR owners Dan McCabe, Chris Schadler and Chris Varias opened the Woodward Theater in 2014, there wasn’t enough money left after renovations to paint the place. But they didn’t let that stop the grand opening. Instead, they held a “Pints for Paint” event, which with the help of the community, they raised the funds they needed.

This community spirit and participation continues to guide the Woodward, which recently won a $150,000 grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation's Vote Your Mainstreet contest to facelift the building and restore its original electric marquee.

With the help of the Cincinnati Preservation Association's executive director Paul Muller, the Woodward applied for the grant. The national contest pitted the Woodward against 25 other main street communities around the country; it required organizations to get daily community votes in support of their projects.

“The local music community really got behind this and voted diligently, and the other businesses on Main Street were supportive as well,” says McCabe. “The support of our staff, most of which have been with us since we opened MOTR in 2010, was fantastic. They mobilized their friends and people voted daily.”

The grant will allow the Woodward to complete a total exterior facelift, including improving structural elements, updating wiring and sockets, repairing the crumbling plaster rosettes and returning the original lightbulb sign to its 1913 glory. With the help of local metal fabricator Kate Schmidt, as well as an architect and structural engineer, the Woodward's marquee restoration project should be completed by the end of 2018.

The sign will be constructed of copper, maintaining the original beaux-arts (think pre-Art Deco) aesthetic. “It’s going to be an attraction,” McCabe says. “I expect people to get off the streetcar and walk up. It’s going to be bright and shiny and a destination for people exploring OTR for the architecture.”

Cincinnati is rich in architectural heritage, especially period Italianate architecture, which is part of what McCabe attributes to the community support for the project. “Cincinnati loves its history,” he says.

The permitting process is expected to take some time, but McCabe is confident in the project, which he says will include some fun and surprising touches as they ramp up to the big reveal. Stay tuned to the Woodward's Facebook page for progress updates and for announcements related to the reveal. “It’ll be worth celebrating,” McCabe promises.

Community event this weekend to highlight the people and stories in Price Hill

On Dec. 9, Cincy Stories will host the Price Hill People’s Celebration to cap off its residency in Price Hill and celebrate the community they’ve gotten to know over the past four months. The event will be held from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Warsaw Federal Incline Theater; the event is free, and attendees will be able to hear stories and interviews, enjoy catered food and converse with neighbors from all corners of Price Hill.

Cincy Stories strives to use storytelling as a way to encourage those from diverse backgrounds to come together and connect. Its goal is to explore, research and connect the residents of all 52 of Cincinnati’s neighborhoods.

The success of its residency in Walnut Hills attracted the attention of Price Hill Will, which reached out to Cincy Stories.

Shawn Braley, co-founder and executive director of Cincy Stories, says that Price Hill is both interesting and important to Cincinnati because it comprises 10 percent of the city’s population. The contrasts of a growing population of Guatemalan immigrants, battles with addiction, locals who have lived in the neighborhood for decades and new growth gives Price Hill a “level of tension.”

Braley explains that Cincy Stories' goal is to not just tell stories, but to have an impact. "Storytelling makes people aware that everyone is human. Sharing stories gives them a chance to hear each other."

Price Hill's diverse stories range from a profile on Mayor John Cranley to an interview with Aaron Head, a recovering heroin addict now working with men's group homes. Other stories feature Buddy LaRosa, founder of LaRosa’s Pizzeria; local singer/songwriter Tray Walker; and Margherita Gonzalez, a woman who survived an arduous upbringing and immigrated to the states to give her daughter a better life.

Cincy Stories also worked with local organizations like Holy Family Church, which recently hosted an event called Turkeys and Tamales, where everyone brought food from their own cultures to share; the infamous Price Hill Chili, a Price Hill staple; and some of the newer businesses moving to the neighborhood.

“We call it a celebration because we want to highlight the people,” Braley says. He's looking forward to Saturday’s event because it will bring together the beautiful and diverse population of Price Hill all at once.

The event will also kick off Cincy Stories' online content, which will include 60 stories in video and podcast form that will be released gradually over the coming weeks.

You'd better not pout: Six events to get you in the holiday spirit

With Thanksgiving over, it’s now time for frenzied holiday shopping, gatherings with loved ones and making as much merry as possible before winter settles in and stays a while. Soapbox rounded up some of the biggest and best events that Cincinnati has to offer this holiday season, and sprinkled in a few fun and unexpected ideas for a little extra festive magic.

Victorian Holiday Village
Dec. 1, 2, 7 and 8, 6 to 8:30 p.m.

For 16 years running, Ohio National Financial Services has hosted a festive holiday event at its headquarters near Kenwood. The family-friendly, walk-through display features thousands of twinkle lights adorning fully decorated miniature Victorian homes, cookies and cocoa, live entertainment and photos with St. Nick. The event is free and open to the public. Visit the Facebook page for more information.

Over-the-Rhine Holiday Home Tour
Dec. 1, 6 to 9 p.m. and Dec. 2, 3 to 6 p.m.

Get out and work off some Thanksgiving calories at the Over-the-Rhine Holiday Home walking tour. The self-paced, family-friendly event, now in its fourth year, offers an exclusive peek at some of the neighborhood’s most historic homes. Tickets are $25, with proceeds benefitting Future Leaders OTR, a nonprofit working with neighborhood youth. Visit the Facebook event for more info and tickets.

Crafty Supermarket
Dec. 2, 11 a.m.

Held in the newly renovated Music Hall, this year’s Crafty Supermarket is a must for one-of-a-kind holiday shopping. The huge flea market-style event brings together more than 90 vendors from throughout the region, offering handmade goods to delight even the hardest to shop for relatives. The free event also features food offerings from local restaurants like Eli’s BBQ and Fireside Pizza, a live DJ, cash bar and craft activities. Visit the Facebook page for details.

Visits with Krampus
Dec. 2 and 9

Cincinnati’s German history runs deep. The city hosts two German-themed holiday markets, Germania Christkindlmarkt and Cincideutsch Christkindlmarkt, and Krampuslauf Zinzinnati will be at both. Founded in 2014 with the goal of “putting the ghoul back in your Yule,” the group’s mission is to spread the German tradition of Krampus. Krampus, a legend that predates even Santa, is a creature said to punish bad children and whisk them away to the woods. Unlike the stories about Krampus, Krampuslauf Zinzinnati states that its intention is not to frighten children but to keep this bizarre slice of Bavarian heritage alive. Check out the group's website and Facebook page for upcoming appearances to get a photo with Krampus.

Mt. Adams Reindog Parade
Dec. 9, 12:30 to 4 p.m.

Hosted by SPCA Cincinnati, the annual Reindog parade is a fun outing for pups of all ages and their human families. The parade is free to enter and features a festive costume contest, street food vendors and is led by Santa Claus himself. Visit the Facebook event for all of the details.

The Naughty List starring OTR Improv
Dec. 12-28, 7:30 p.m.

When you’re ready to put the kids to bed and have a few much-needed chuckles to break up the holiday stress, look no further than The Naughty List. This holiday-themed improv show held in the courtyard at Arnold’s Bar and Grill will bring off-the-cuff laughs based on audience suggestions. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased on the Know Theater’s website. Check out the Facebook page for more info.

New fine art gallery adds to Oakley's diverse, growing scene

Located at 3078 Madison Rd. in the heart of Oakley Square, Caza Sikes offers art and fine craft featuring diverse media from regional artists. The gallery features monthly exhibitions, live music, a rentable event space and appraisals.

The gallery opened this fall after an 18-month renovation of the historic building that once housed a paint store.

Owner and licensed appraiser Evan Sikes says he wanted the space to change the concept of a gallery. It features both high-end and more affordable pieces from everything from paintings to jewelry.

Sikes describes his vision as an “approachable, affordable gallery with cool stuff.”

The gallery features a rotating group of artists that all use a diverse range of media. Along with a collection of different painters, Caza Sikes also features mixed media, jewelry, woodwork, ceramics, photography, fiber arts and glass.

During the month of November, the gallery is hosting a collection of paintings by Cole Carothers, which showcase a 40-year retrospective of his work while living in Cincinnati.

After its successful opening at the end of September, Caza Sikes plans to host more events and hopes to engage all members of the community, from younger visitors to those already very familiar with the gallery scene.

“We’re mixing it up a bit,” Sikes says. Along with displays, the gallery will host a series of events from jazz shows to bourbon tastings. These will start next month with a blues/jazz concert on Dec. 1.

What Sikes is really after is a representation of fine craft because there can be a lack of the diversity of media in traditional galleries. At Caza Sikes, a visitor can see and purchase jewelry, clothes made from recycled fabric, hand-made bowls, ceramic tiles and more.

“It’s been a long time coming, and a hard momentum coming up.”

Caza Sikes joins the art scene in Oakley, along with other venues like Brazee Street Studios, which offers a gallery, events and classes for all ages; Ombré Gallery, which specializes in contemporary art jewelry by art and metalsmiths all over the world; and Redtree Art Gallery & Coffee Shop, which showcases work from locat artsits and serves as a gathering space for the community.

Supercade bringing spot for the whole family to Westwood this spring

As Soapbox reported in August, Westwood is on an upswing. The planning efforts of the Westwood Coalition, a group of community members and civic organizations, have begun to pay off with increased city investment and an influx of new businesses like Lillywood Home Décor, Muse Café and West Side Brewing.

Leslie Rich, a long-time Westwood resident and board chair for community building nonprofit Westwood Works, has been instrumental in stewarding this positive change. Now she and her husband Bill are striking out with their own new venture, Supercade, to bring some added fun to the neighborhood.

“I spent the last nine years promoting the neighborhood, so it made sense for us to invest in it,” says Rich. "We saw a lack of spaces for people of all ages and backgrounds to gather in a fun way.”

To fill this gap, the couple will be opening a retro arcade with upright cabinet games, pinball machines and air hockey. Though Supercade will serve alcohol, “it’s not going to be a place where you have to drink to play,” Rich says.

The arcade will also offer local snacks, popcorn and cane sugar sodas, and is hoping to work with West Side Brewing to develop a signature root beer.

Supercade, which is slated to open by March, will charge $7 for one hour of free play or $12 for two hours of free play access, and will also be available to host parties and team-building sessions for local companies.

The Riches began collecting game consoles back in 2016, and turned their living room into a mini-arcade before securing the former Keidel Plumbing building at 3143 Harrison Ave. for their new venture.

“We’ve been driving all over the Midwest to build our collection,” Rich says. That collection includes a Donkey Kong cabinet signed by world record holder Billy Mitchell, whose high score is still on the machine.

The couple is excited about how the arcade will be more than just a business, but also a way of building community. “We think there is a physical community that can be built on top of the virtual community,” Rich says.

In an increasingly tech-driven world, Rich believes that people are looking for those places where they can have relationships, physical interactions and conversation.

Supercade has a Kickstarter campaign running through Dec. 11, with a goal of raising $20,000 in additional capital. “Up until this point we’ve bootstrapped and done it ourselves, but this will help us get up and running even faster,” Rich says.

Visit Supercade's Facebook and Instagram for more information and to stay up-to-date on the storefront's progress.

Developments at Newport on the Levee to provide a more integrated experience

Newport on the Levee is undergoing major changes to contemporize its attractions and everyday offerings. The Northern Kentucky destination is slowly moving away from the 21-and-over nightlife scene to more of a family experience.

Across the country, the entertainment game is changing: Shoppers are choosing online shopping over retail stores, and fewer movie buffs are filling the seats in theaters.

“In the past, it was about outdoor shopping and eateries,” explains Levee spokesperson Vanessa Rovekamp.

Longtime dining favorites Mitchell's Fish Market and Brio Tuscan Grille are being joined by newer, locally owned spots like Greek Burrito and The Dog House hotdog restaurant.

The Levee wants to become an entertainment destination. Current attractions like the Newport Aquarium, Axis Alley and an AMC movie theater will provide the backbone for that plan.

On top of that, the theater, which was built in 2001, is undergoing a major renovation that will be completed in late November. Updates include power reclining seats, an updated snack bar menu and new screens, sound systems, speakers, carpet and paint. The changes aim to broaden the theater's demographic. While young adults used to make up its largest group of visitors, the updates are intended to create family entertainment for all ages.

Most of the changes at the Levee are not public at this time, but they are expected to reveal themselves over the next two years.

Two developments recently opened at the Levee: a new 238-apartment complex, Aqua on the Levee, offers one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments and another 8,300 square feet of retail space and a 144-room Aloft Hotel. Apartments and a hotel are totally new concepts for the Levee area, and encourage a new "stay and play" atmosphere.

Over the past few years, the Levee has also experienced a revolving door of tenants. Despite empty properties, the Levee holds events to keep the entertainment going as renovations continue.

Recent events include the 11th annual Wine Walk (March), supported by Levee tenants and featuring local wines; LIVE at the Levee summer concert series showcasing local bands; Local Brews and Blues (June); Margarita Madness (August); fall events and country concerts to complement the winding down of Riverbend’s schedule; and Light Up the Levee, which will kick off the holiday season on Nov. 21 with festive activities for kids on the weekends.

Visit the Levee's events page for a full calendar of events, which includes tenant-related events and specials too.

Tether Cincinnati connects local creatives to job opportunities, other creatives

One local woman is using her $100,000 Haile Fellowship grant from People’s Liberty to start Tether Cincinnati, a way to connect local image makers (photographers, wardrobe stylists, makeup artists, hair stylists, models, creative directors and fashion designers) in the Cincinnati area.

Tether’s mission is to make it easier for local image makers to connect to each other, and to opportunities for work so they can thrive — and stay — in Cincinnati.

The idea ignited when fashion blogger and former Cincinnati Magazine stylist Tamia Stinson traveled to London. She did a co-op at a British magazine and was inspired by the international image maker directory book, Le Book.

“It was extremely valuable because that was how you found people to execute those types of jobs,” she says.

When she started working, Stinson received many requests from clients, especially from out of town, about the image making industry in Cincinnati.

“I was getting all these inquiries from people and they wanted to know who do I follow, who I get in touch with, what's the best resource for doing this or that,” says Stinson. “And I thought it would be really cool to have a one-stop shop for that information.”

Her passion for design mixed with the resources at People’s Liberty, which helped jumpstart her entrepreneurial career.

“I think it's important to be a part of that creative community and to make sure that I'm supporting people financially in much the same way that I'm trying to get people to do for this community,” Stinson says.

Since its launch in May, Tether has a growing community of about 91 members — and that's just online. Anyone can connect through the Tether Cincinnati website, the print sourcebook and through networking events.

“I think people really get a lot out of that face-to-face interaction, which is why we do events,” says Stinson. “Probably about once a month there's an opportunity for people to actually gather together.”

As much as face-to-face communication is important to her brand, social media is also a key ingredient. “This is a very visual community. So Instagram is where people would tend to hang out the most, but also Facebook and Twitter.”

Aside from social media and events, Stinson also helped organize a sourcebook — a combination fashion magazine and phonebook that features Cincinnati image makers. It will launch in December to agencies and brands nationwide. At the launch, Stinson is planning to "make the sourcebook come to life".

“The plan is to have guests walk in and get the experience of walking into a photoshoot; there will be some kind of interactive part on set to create some of the imagery for the book itself,” Stinson says.

Stinson has been working on this since the beginning of the summer and as of now, the date for the sourcebook launch is Dec. 13. The plan is to have the book come out annually.

The next Tether event is scheduled for Nov. 15 at Alias Imaging, where people from different communities will meet.

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