Come meet some of the pioneers who have reinvigorated Cincinnati's past and are working hard on its future by reviving vital, urban neighborhoods at the Soapbox Speaker Series.
On Tuesday, National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) chairman Rocco Landesman is coming to Cincinnati to talk arts at the invitation of ArtsWave (the arts supporting organization formerly known as the Fine Arts Fund). Since joining the NEA in 2009, Landesman has been on the road discussing the role of arts and culture as a component of sustainable and livable communities. His trip to Cincinnati will mirror visits he has made across the country to learn how 'art works' in neighborhoods and towns. Prior to his visit to Cincinnati he took some time to answer our questions about his vision for the arts and the role public institutions have in supporting organizations, programs, and individuals who make 'art work.'
On Thursday, Give Back Cincinnati launches a new venture called 'Fuel' which will solicit good ideas for the city and help put them into action. From social entrepreneurship to community projects focused on attracting young professional energy, Fuel wants to connect the dots between big ideas and real world solutions with funding and mentorship.
Let a thousand Teds bloom. Well, actually, that should be TEDs, as in Technology, Education and Design - and it's the name of a vastly influential non-profit that in 1984 started having conferences in California devoted to offering "Ideas Worth Spreading" in those and related fields. So successful has it been that in 2009 it started a spin-off, TEDx, which has allowed 669 local communities to organize and host their own independent events. The first one in Cincinnati is October 7 and promises some fascinating speakers addressing the theme of "Passion -- the Energy Behind Life's Most Fearless Pursuits."
OTR attorney Candace Klein launched Bad Girl Ventures this year to help fill the gap between small, women owned startups looking for loans and funders who want to invest in local job creation. BGV's first class of entrepreneurs has been selected and will be revealed later today. Soapbox's Feoshia Henderson provides you with a sneak peek at the finalists who will undergo weeks of training to make their mark on Cincinnati's startup world.
There are those that believe that 811 Race Street was home to what may very well have been one of the single most important recording studios in the history of the known Universe. With landmark sessions by Flatt & Scruggs, Bull Moose Jackson, The Delmore Brothers, and country legend Hank Williams, Herzog Studios recorded country music before Nashville. Leading the charge to unearth this unique part of musical history is the Cincinnati USA Music Heritage Foundation and its President, Elliot Ruther.
World class competitions are making their way to Cincinnati and apparently we have the city's failed bid for the 2012 Olympics to thank. Highly visible sporting events like the Western & Southern Open and AVP are growing in popularity each year. With the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Kentucky this fall, and the World Choir Games in Cincinnati in 2012, it all adds up to over half a million visitors coming to our region over the next couple of years.
Located in a historic building on Short Vine in Corryville, the Niehoff Urban Studio is dedicated to addressing urban issues that challenge the quality of life in Cincinnati, and helping educate not just students, but the community at large in the "pleasures of the urban lifestyle." Soapdish columnist Casey Coston takes a look inside this innovative think-tank that's pushing the city's urban core to grow, expand and thrive.
While it may not seem readily apparent, the fact that this year's National Trust Advanced Preservation Leadership Training session is focusing on Over-the-Rhine is yet another indication that the struggling neighborhood's prognosis is improving. Several years after the neighborhood made the National Trust's "most endangered" list, 25 historic-preservation professionals will be in Cincinnati this saturday through July 24 to kick-start solutions for four specific "problem" buildings in OTR. The advanced training program will bring national attention to Cincinnati and its outcomes will shine a light on preserving and promoting OTR's historic building stock.
This October, Cincinnati will welcome TEDxCincy - a locally produced and independently organized event modeled after the uber-popular TEDTalks - you know the ones all over Youtube that have featured tech giants like Bill Gates and rockstars and activists like Peter Gabriel and Jane Goodall. Soapbox gets the exciting scoop on TEDxCincy from event co-chair Michael Bergman.
This past week, local thought leaders, urbanists and Soapbox readers got together at UC's Niehoff Urban Studio to break bread and talk about food in the first installment of the Soapbox Speaker Series. What we found out about how we eat, what we eat, and where it all comes from offers important insights into the role food plays in our community.
If this week's heat didn't give it away, you can tell it's almost summertime in Cincinnati. Residents scramble for apartment and country club pools for a quick respite from the approaching dog days. But Soapdish columnist Casey Coston tell us that the Clinton Hills Swim Club in North Avondale is about more than just frolicking and playing in the sun. Over fifty years ago its creation served as an efficient stop gap by concerned neighbors to stop flight into the suburbs. The club was emblematic of 'place making' long before those words became an urban term of art, and now stands as a model of how current city residents in inner ring neighborhoods can improve their space with ingenuity, grass roots activism, and a sense of pride. Dive in.
This Wednesday, May 26, Soapbox kicks off a new Speaker Series with the UC Niehoff Urban Studio. "Layers of Flavor - Exploring Cincinnati's Food Ecosystem," will take a look at food in our community, the importance of local sourcing, and where the holes are in our food ecosystem. And this isn't any ordinary speaker series: keeping with the theme, there will be 'street' food from Cafe de Wheels and Senor Roys, along with refreshments for attendees. So join us to start the conversation about local food along with local thought leaders. RSVP's are strongly encouraged for this event. For more details and to register, read more inside.
Cincinnati celebrates May's 'Bike Month' with style - and substance. A comprehensive bike plan, new bike lanes, 'sharrows', designated bike 'parking' spaces and even a bike corral in Northside are just a handful of the successes local bike advocates and city officials have achieved in the past year. Soapbox's Jeremy Mosher says that their efforts are not only making Cincinnati more bike friendly, but changing the way we'll all get around in the future - hint: two wheels are better than four.
Everybody makes mistakes. But just like your high school coach/mentor/teacher told you, it's not the act of never making a misstep that defines you, but how you rise after the fall. Cities can make ill advised decisions too, but nothing provides a better opportunity for a city to refocus and reimagine itself better than a good trip-up along the sidewalk of progress. It's in this spirit that Soapdish columnist Casey Coston reflects on some of Cincinnati's stumbles, from Skywalks to nowhere to a shopping mall in Union Terminal. Along the way he teaches us a little bit about ourselves as a City, and how a handful of bad decisions (and some bigger successes that followed) got Cincinnati to where it is today.