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Barbershops and cardiovascular health

An uncommon bond: Black-owned barbershops help promote cardiovascular health in the region

Health, specifically cardiovascular health, continues to quietly impact lives in the Black community. Local organizations are teaming up with Black-owned barbershops to help promote health in and out of the shop.

Women's March

In photos: Cincinnati's second annual Women's March

On Saturday, Jan. 20 — one year after Donald Trump was sworn into office — locals by the thousands gathered downtown for the second annual Women's March. 

Place Matters

Place Matters gives residents tools to transform their communities

Place Matters has spent the last decade giving residents the tools they need to transform their communities because they know the places we call home matter.


In the rearview: Looking back at our best-read stories of 2017 and beyond

At the close of each year, Soapbox goes “dark” to spend time with friends and family, reflect on the recent past and recharge our creative batteries for the coming year. Until we meet again, please enjoy this list of our 10 most-read stories.


In photos: A look back at IDEALAB Movement Makers

Over 100 community leaders, development enthusiasts and students gathered for the second annual IDEALAB on Dec. 4. Check out our photo essay of the day.


Support for major developments highlights steady progress in Walnut Hills

From new plans for the empty Kroger to restoring a neighborhood icon, there's evidence that the longtime vision for economic viability and positive growth in Cincinnati's beloved Walnut Hills community is slowly but surely taking shape.


From King Records to Shake-It, meet the pros promoting Cincy's musical heritage

Cincinnati has contributed much to modern rock 'n roll as the world knows it, and beloved institutions like Herzog Studios and King Records are in the midst of a revival. Meanwhile, Shake-It Records and a bevy of offbeat venues underpin a current scene that rocks like only the Midwest can.


Video: Building a better Covington, but first, coffee

Soapbox caps off its 12-story embedded journalism project, On the Ground: Covington, with a community engagement event and screening of a new original short film called "Covington On the Rise."


A tech hub, an app, a teenage breakfast shop: Here's how we'll keep talent in Cincinnati

Despite our award-winning accelerator programs, creative flight has always threatened Cincy's talent pool. Leaders like MORTAR's Allen Woods want to rectify that by building an intentionally diverse, welcoming ecosystem where ideas can thrive. And it just might be working.


Five local gems that rock the Queen City's crown

Yes, it's kind of subjective, but a few things are so quintessentially Cincinnati that, left un-shouted, they tend to blend into our beautiful landscape. Here are a few Soapbox favorites. Spoiler: there will be (some) chili.


Coming Clean: 5 Questions with Allen Woods of MORTAR

This month, Soapbox talks with MORTAR co-founder Allen Woods about faith, perseverance in the face of adversity and why Cincinnati's startup scene beats out those of much larger markets.  


Land of second chances: Covington puts lifelong education within reach

In this final regular installment of On the Ground: Covington, Soapbox continues exploring the intersection of poverty and education, shining a light on initiatives like the Lincoln Grant Scholar House and the Life Learning Center that support education and skills training for adult learners.  

 JGC Girl at board.jpg

Minding the gap: Poverty meets a fierce enemy in Covington's public education system

Poverty is a multi-faceted and widespread challenge to learning in Covington's public schools. But far from lamenting, leaders are tackling the problem head-on, with strategic programming and a passion for student success.


Coming Clean: 5 questions with Mike Wong of Oriential Wok

When Mike Wong opened Oriental Wok in Northern Kentucky, his was one of the region's first Chinese restaurants. Now he's beloved among restaurateurs and foodies alike. He reflects on a 40-year love affair with America and treating his guests like family.


Here's what we learned about scaling Cincinnati's food innovation economy

Visitors gathered June 28 at Findlay Market to sample wares by a number of local food innovators. Proprietors of Pho Lang Thang, LaSoupe and others offered insight on what it takes to successfully scale a restaurant venture in Cincinnati.


The 'third place': Covington's changing pub scene reflects citywide growth

Whether it’s Covington’s brewery heritage or the quaint appeal of Mainstrasse Village, the city has long been synonymous with pub culture. Now, as Covington grows by leaps and bounds, its bar scene is keeping pace with business, food, retail and other attractants.


Get the picture: Visual art is everywhere in Covington

Arts enthusiasts will find much to write home about in Covington, from small street-front galleries and edgy design firms to the beloved Carnegie and Baker Hunt — with plenty of Frank Duveneck history to go around. It's a scene with history, and it's still growing.

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Local nonprofits continue fight for equality in Trump's America

The contentious 2016 presidential election brought attention to a wide range of social issues. Now, as budget cuts threaten some public programs, local nonprofits are finding new ways to leverage national attention for positive community impact.


Leaders of the pack: Covington empowers residents for good

Building on a long tradition of inspiring residential leadership, Covington organizations like The Center for Great Neighborhoods are boosting support for community-led beautification efforts, learning initiatives and more.


Pride of ownership, diverse housing stock keys to welcoming Covington influx

With the Center for Great Neighborhoods and the Catalytic Fund at the helm, Covington is preparing to manage an influx of new residents through smart historic renovation and support for programs that put homeownership within reach.


Soapdish: Meet the modern "pioneers" of OTR's Wade Street

Pat McCafferty and Vada Hill are two urban pioneers whose newly renovated houses on OTR's once-embattled Wade Street are anchoring a wave of development bookended by institutions of public service.

On the Ground

New generation of entrepreneurs underpins Covington's bold future plans

A can-do spirit shared by residents and leaders alike is fast making Covington a regional destination for entrepreneurs. On the Ground looks at three small businesses doing big things across the city's changing business scene.


Take one, leave one: Free Little Pantries nourish 10 Cincy food deserts

Nutritionist and Pleasant Ridge resident Lisa Andrews believes no one should go to bed hungry. With help from People’s Liberty and local residents, she’s following through on her vision to install free “little pantries” across the city.


Leaders, residents and businesses join forces for good health in Covington

Covington residents face a variety of unique challenges when it comes to accessing healthy food and patterns for behavior. Organizations like Skyward and The Center for Great Neighborhoods are taking a synergistic approach, engaging everyone from city leadership to local corner stores to ensure a brighter, healthier future.


Reclaiming a birthright: Covington doubles down on history to spark smart growth

Despite being the region’s second-largest city and closer to downtown than most Cincinnati neighborhoods, Covington remains something of a mystery for many locals. The first story in our second On The Ground neighborhood series takes a closer look at the city colloquially known as “Cincinnati’s Brooklyn.”


Soapdish: Record Store Day signals hipster death while Cincy vinyl tradition lives on

Soapdish columnist Casey Coston explores Cincinnati's vinyl-making tradition through the eyes of venerated local practitioners who, along with much of the rest of the world, owe a debt of gratitude to the legendary musical pioneers at King Records.


Neighborhoods across Cincinnati take steps (and pedal) toward post-automotive future

Much of Greater Cincinnati's infrastructure was built before cars became the preferred mode of transportation. Now, with help from elected officials, groups of cycling and walking enthusiasts are making a concerted move back to a pedestrian-friendly reality.


Lobster bar, distillery and others breathe new life into Court Street

Home in recent years to a sparse handful of solid lunch spots, Court Street is now in the midst of a flurry of new activity that could grow its potential as a main commercial artery between the Central Business District and Over-the-Rhine.


100 years in Cincinnati: The story of our living centenarians

Born during the first few decades of the 1900s, today's centenarians have witnessed some of history's most monumental innovations and events. Three century-young Cincinnatians tell their stories of living through the 20th century.

The Baldwin Building

Soapbox events: Celebrating the rebirth of the Baldwin Building in Walnut Hills

On March 23, Soapbox hosted "Blues at the Baldwin" to celebrate a $100 million renovation currently underway as part of sweeping and ongoing redevelopment in Walnut Hills.


Who says print is dead? Literary culture alive and well in Cincy bookstores

Greater Cincinnati celebrates its long history as home to a wealth of independent bookstores, each occupying a special place in the hearts of readers across the region.


Coming Clean: 5 questions with Elias Leisring

Local food innovator Elias Leisring, of the popular Eli's BBQ, shares his thoughts on local entrepreneurship for a new series designed to showcase the individuals who are moving Greater Cincinnati forward.


Walnut Hills reimagines future of food security in wake of Kroger departure

Kroger will exit Walnut Hills next month, leaving a sizable gap in the community's food resources. Soapbox looks at what neighborhood leaders are doing, both short- and long-term, to address the issue.


Local writers group expands reach, sharpens mission of celebrating hidden voices

For more than 25 years, Women Writing for (a) Change has provided a safe, supportive environment for developing writers. Looking to the future, organizers outline a process that emphasizes intention setting and feedback.


On The Ground: Walnut Hills welcomes new era for crime prevention and increased safety

Thanks to the hard work of residents and community organizers in recent years, Walnut Hills has become a much safer place to live. Now, cooperation between residents, law enforcement and public leaders will be key in sustaining momentum and moving that vision into the future.

Mike Holmes

'Fixing the system' to better support adults with disabilities

Amid an ongoing lawsuit brought by Disabled Rights Ohio against the state, several independent nonprofit groups are working toward a different approach to caring for adults with disabilities — one that emphasizes individuality and independence.


Beyond the coffee shop: Cincy co-working scene diversifies to meet growing demand

With a growing workforce percentage shifting to freelance and contract bases, cities across the country are creating diverse co-working spots to meet the demand. How do Cincinnati's offerings stack up?

Thea Munchel

On The Ground: Residential developments inspire conscious change in Walnut Hills

With more than $100 million worth of investments pouring into Walnut Hills in 2017, leaders and residents are working to manage the change, maintain diversity and secure a stable future for the neighborhood.

Harriett Beecher Stowe House

On The Ground: Soapbox celebrates Walnut Hills at Stowe House event

On Dec. 14, residents, historians and organizers gathered at Harriet Beecher Stowe House in Walnut Hills to discuss the home's contributions to the historic legacy of Walnut Hills. Here are photos and an audio recording from the event.


On The Ground: Music, diversity, collaboration connect Walnut Hills

Longtime residents and recent transplants have created a thriving music scene in Walnut Hills, with regular performances at beloved locales, plus a spate of new pubs and outdoor venues. Meanwhile, the revolutionary Music Resource Center gives local kids a unique creative outlet.

walnut hills

On The Ground: Walnut Hills Historical Society collaborates for preservation and progress

Sue Plummer, organizing member of the Walnut Hills Historical Society, describes the people, places and projects that are working to highlight the community's rich heritage.

The David Project is one of the four young professional community building projects the Jewish Federation giving circle funded.

Innovation Fund giving circle grants $80,000 for arts, culture, community building

Next fall, the Jewish Innovation Fund will bring a new festival of arts and culture to Washington Park. It is one of four projects backed by an $80,000 grant from the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati, which aims to celebrate Cincinnati’s rich Jewish history by writing its next chapter.

stowe house

On The Ground in Walnut Hills: Preserving iconic abolitionist-era Harriet Beecher Stowe House

Friends of Harriet Beecher Stowe work within the Walnut Hills community to preserve the author's iconic family homestead and introduce the legacy of abolitionism to a new generation.


Chamber designs holiday homecoming to retain young professionals

Thanksgiving weekend is a time to celebrate with family and friends, so the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber, with support from C-Change Class 11, is combining a number of holiday events into one larger event.

Frederick Douglass Elementary garden club

On the Ground: Green tide sweeps across Walnut Hills

Renewed placemaking efforts in Walnut Hills include a growing number of pocket parks, community gardens and other outdoor spaces, many of which were once places of vacancy and blight.


On The Ground: Walnut Hills leaders join forces for holistic community health

On the heels of a 2013 health report that underscored the importance of perceptions, Walnut Hills groups work to expand programs that go beyond the physical to support holistic community wellness.

Frederick Douglass Elementary

Frederick Douglass School plans bright future, explores community-focused model

Since its early days as a safe haven for black students, Frederick Douglass School has experienced significant decline, but a handful of passionate administrators, parents and community members are hoping to change that refrain by introducing new community-oriented goals and programs.


Crowdsourcing Cincinnati's Child Poverty Challenge

Over 700 gathered at Duke Convention Center Oct. 29 to brainstorm community solutions and initiatives to the childhood poverty dilemma. Cincinnati has the sixth highest rate of child poverty in the nation.


Right/Smart: How a collective approach to diversity and inclusion boosts the region's talent pool

A Collective Impact report exploring the ways Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber’s Diverse by Design™ initiative is working to attract, develop and retain diverse, high-potential talent and move Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky toward full inclusion.  

St Francis Desales

On The Ground in Walnut Hills: A tale of two education systems

With an array of private, parochial options and one beleaguered neighborhood school, many in Walnut Hills are fighting to change the perception that good education is only for the privileged.

Kathryne Gardette and Baba Charles Miller

On The Ground: Old businesses and new tell economic story of Walnut Hills

In its heyday, Walnut Hills was thriving as a diverse, mixed-income community. After decades of dwindling investment, the community has created a united front to bring the neighborhood back to viability while honoring the diverse heritage of its people and economy.  

the woodburn

On The Ground: Walnut Hills serves as pilot backdrop in local efforts to bolster middle class

Multimedia documentarians Chris Ashwell and Shawn Braley from Cincy Stories will help reveal the people, places and projects driving progress in Walnut Hills, pilot neighborhood for Soapbox's new On The Ground series.

The 1310 Bandits Film Group

Immersive 'idea lab' celebrates artists as community leaders

Artspace's annual Breaking Ground event evolves this year from one dynamic evening of speakers and performances to an immersive, two-day "idea lab" on Friday, Oct. 14 and Saturday, Oct. 15 in Minneapolis and St. Paul.


Keeping Promises: StrivePartnership and Success By 6 collaborate to advance Preschool Promise plan

Collective Impact "backbone" organizations educate the public on the importance of pre-K readiness along every child's "cradle to career" education path.


Local philanthropist leads global efforts for orphans and at-risk kids

Beth Guckenberger heads up Back2Back Ministries, an international orphan care organization based in Mason, headlines international conferences and is preparing to release her seventh book.


How affordable artist housing can help cultural communities "celebrate themselves"

Artspace's long history of working with culturally distinct communities in the development of affordable artist live/work housing allows artists to celebrate themselves from Harlem to Honolulu.


New apprenticeship network honors Boomers and boosts Millennials

Brandon Black is using his People's Liberty Haile Fellowship year to connect two generations by putting retired tradesmen to work supervising young homeowners' DIY house rehab projects.


Trying to keep young talent in "the best city in the world"

A Soapbox intern experiences the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber's CINC summer program for college students and re-imagines the city through the eyes of a newcomer.


Soapdish: Historic Pendleton springs back to life with influx of development

Often overshadowed by white-hot development next door in Over-the-Rhine, Pendleton is steadily coming into its own as one of the urban basin's next (cliche alert) "hot neighborhoods."


Going Green: Collective Impact connects at-risk residents to cleaner air and healthier food

Green Umbrella unites more than 300 businesses, nonprofits and governmental agencies to improve Greater Cincinnati sustainability efforts, thanks to the Collective Impact model.  


Reporting for Duty: How Derek Bauman became Cincinnati's unlikely public transit spokesman

A career police officer working in Mason rediscovered his urban roots as the Cincinnati Streetcar project faced its biggest challenges, and now they're both on the track to "turning points."

The Tillers

Whispering Beard founders look beyond festival weekend to "build a lifetime"

Five friends explain how they developed an annual folk festival in an Indiana campground to "rear" area musicians and fans into a movement and a community.


Bold Fusion to focus on how disruptors and mavericks can help big companies thrive

Greater Cincinnati’s largest annual YP gathering will explore the emerging concept of "intrapreneurship" as keynote speaker Chitra Anand extols the benefits of entrepreneurial thinking within large organizations.

Marianne Hamilton

Food innovation scene helps feed Cincinnati's urban renaissance

For many, the entrepreneurial explosion across Cincinnati’s urban core (especially in Over-the-Rhine) is driven as much by food innovators as it is by startups.


Win/Win: Collective Impact brings employers and workers together to build a stronger community

Collective Impact "backbone" organizations Skyward and Partners for a Competitive Workforce are putting more local residents to work thanks to the Greater Cincinnati Foundation's focus on equity and collaboration.


Joi Sears lends an artistic eye to social change

Cincinnati artist and entrepreneur, believes that art can change the world, and she won't stop until it does.

stairs scott beseler

Soapdish: Stairways from the past lead Cincinnati to a more connected future

The new city budget offers $250,000 to support Cincinnati's historic stairways on our famous hills, the first funding in years, but once again we're missing an opportunity to celebrate what makes Cincinnati unique.


Stronger Faster: How Collective Impact puts Cincinnati at the forefront of social change

Collective Impact is championed by the Greater Cincinnati Foundation working closely with seven independent "backbone" organizations to reinforce each other's efforts and get everyone rowing in the same direction.


Wig Out: Innovative L-A Stopa replaces hair and restores confidence

Through her mobile wig shop, L-A Stopa is providing a boost in confidence and encouragement (and fabulous hair) among women struggling with hair loss.


The Science of Growth: Venture capitalist's new book studies why some startups change the world

Why do some companies fail and others flourish? A venture capitalist and Ohio native talks about the practices that fueled some of the most successful startups in recent history.

The Dennison Hotel

Soapdish: Demolishing the Dennison would be unconscionable

Owners of the historic Dennison Hotel, financial supporters of Mayor Cranley and major advertisers in The Enquirer, have to hope powerful friends will help their demolition cause.

Andrea Rosado

Calling All Volunteers: Why more young people spend a year working for free

For many Cincinnatians who commit up to a year of their lives to full-time unsalaried service, volunteering is a way of life. Meet four who make a real difference.

Al fresco ballerinas in Trinidad, Colo.

Helping artists across the U.S. build capacity and community

Artspace started 30 years ago with a simple plan to develop more affordable housing for artists and is now using a place-based consulting approach to help artists build capacity, raise funds and learn from each other.

Nate May

Nate May gives musical testimony to Cincinnati's urban Appalachians

Nate May's world-premiere composition "State" tells the story of Price Hill's urban Appalachians and of his own musical journey from West Virginia to Cincinnati.


Nancy Sullivan transformed her life in Price Hill, works now to transform Price Hill itself

Enright Ridge Urban Ecovillage resident Nancy Sullivan cultivates transformation in her home and across Price Hill, where her Guatemalan neighbors depend on her as a friend, teacher and advocate.


Celebrating the "ones who stayed" to reinvent struggling Rust Belt cities

Writer David Giffels, speaking Thursday night at a free Mercantile Library event, celebrates those fighting to bring back struggling old cities in "The Hard Way on Purpose: Essays and Dispatches from the Rust Belt."


History Repeats Itself: Why we tear down 150-year-old buildings in historic districts

Cincinnati's historic architecture sets us apart from and puts us ahead of peer cities, yet city leaders continue to allow the demolition of historic protected buildings. We must demand better.

Liberty Street traffic

Healing a Scar: Debate continues over too-wide, too-busy Liberty Street

City officials and neighborhood residents consider options to narrow Liberty Street, reconnect north and south Over-the-Rhine and calm traffic, but the almighty auto is poised to dominate as always.

Design Impact

Studio C designed to help organizations work for social change

Design Impact is helping neighborhoods and communities address social challenges via Studio C, a "project incubator" partnership with United Way of Greater Cincinnati that's now registering its next class.


SVP Fast Pitch finalists share innovative solutions for a better Cincinnati

Social Venture Partners Cincinnati hosted its third annual Fast Pitch competition last week, when eight nonprofits shared their stories in front of judges and a sold-out crowd eager to hear about new social innovations.


Point Perk serves much more than fresh coffee

Covington's new community coffeeshop is the latest business from The Point Arc nonprofit to provide employment opportunities for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Findlay Market

Soapdish: Lots of talk, little action on new downtown grocery store

Cincinnati drawing boards are suddenly awash in "downtown grocery store" concepts, but they remain much ado about nothing. Meanwhile, urbanistas make do as we always have.


My Soapbox: Jeff Berding, FC Cincinnati

Former Bengals exec Jeff Berding thinks pro soccer is the "next big thing" in American sports, so he's building FC Cincinnati (before even playing its first game) to be ready for MLS expansion.

Richard Cooper

Stories That Have to Be Told: Rich Cooper helps the Freedom Center stay relevant

Rich Cooper has stuck with the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center through thick and thin, serving now as Director of Museum Experiences as the organization finds its footing locally and nationally.


Lynn Meyers keeps figuring out what's next for Ensemble Theatre and Over-the-Rhine

As Ensemble Theatre celebrates its 30th birthday and confirms its expansion plans, Lynn Meyers reflects on OTR's resurgence as a "great metaphor for life."


Arts + tech + creativity = Cincinnati's first Tidal hackathon

ArtsWave and Cintrifuse lead a unique collaboration to launch Tidal: Art + Tech Challenge April 8-10, gathering local creatives for a weekend hackathon to help Cincinnati arts organizations.


Jewish & Israeli Film Festival brings the world to Cincinnati

The Mayerson JCC Jewish & Israeli Film Festival is bucking the trend in Cincinnati's languishing film presentation scene, growing again and attracting higher-profile movies for its latest run Feb. 6-25.

Linda Holterhoff

How Linda Holterhoff has improved Cincinnati's neighborhoods for over 20 years

As she prepares for retirement, Linda Holterhoff reflects on how Keep Cincinnati Beautiful has grown and changed under her leadership and what it takes to build a clean and safe community.


Soapdish: Why can't the West End be Cincinnati's next breakthrough neighborhood?

Cincinnati's "next hot neighborhood" is just a stone's throw from the current one, but the West End's tortured history often overshadows its supply of single-family homes and proximity to downtown and OTR.


Is affordable artist live/work housing the new normal?

Since Artspace pioneered affordable artist live/work housing in the 1990s, demand for such projects has continued to grow. Which begs the question: Is affordable artist live/work housing becoming the new normal?


City of Cincinnati's minority inclusion efforts gain traction in the new year

The city's new Minority and Women Business Enterprise Program is shifting into high gear, giving small businesses a chance to become economic catalysts for the entire Greater Cincinnati region.


My Soapbox: Natasia Malaihollo, Founder & CEO of Wyzerr

As Natasia Malaihollo refined the business plan for her consumer research startup at The Brandery, a strange thing happened: She fell in love with Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. And now she wants to give back.

Philip Paul

Loud and Proud: King Records comes back to life

As efforts to save the original King Records studio in Evanston remain in flux, new educational efforts led by nearby Xavier University keep the King legacy alive.


Who is shaping the future of cities? It could be you

Across the country, passionate people are working every day on the little things that lead to big changes. Here are a few of their stories.


Happy holidays!

The Soapbox elves are taking a break over the holidays, with the next issue of Soapbox slated for Jan. 5. Until then, enjoy our year-end roundup stories of 2015 highlights.


A year of bringing abandoned buildings back to life

Over the past year Soapbox followed local redevelopment projects at historic buildings and abandoned sites, including efforts by a countywide program to target new housing. Here’s a roundup with updates.


Soapdish: Good public transit makes Cincinnati competitive, not trendy

Walkability, bikeability, ride and bike share and modern transit such as streetcars are the "new normal," and Cincinnati needs to step it up. Our goal is not to be trendy, it's to be competitive.

Nikol Mora

Nickol Mora inspires a new generation of leaders

Under Nickol Mora's new leadership, Public Allies is cultivating the next generation of young, diverse leaders ready to shift the tides of social change across Greater Cincinnati.


2015 was a huge year for Cincinnati innovation

We recap Soapbox’s 2015 innovation and entrepreneurship coverage in order to stand back and marvel at the startup community's collective accomplishments while getting ready for more to come.


ArtsWave: Arts are "an absolute necessity" for Cincinnati growth and vibrancy

ArtsWave's new Blueprint for Collective Action is aiming to ensure that Cincinnati's amazing arts will support the vibrant regional economy and enable a more connected community.


Northern Kentucky FAME partners with educators, manufacturers to drive jobs

Northern Kentucky leaders are betting on an education-based jobs push from the local Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education (FAME) chapter, a partnership among 18 area businesses, allied groups and academic institutions.


Eddy Kwon tries to be the change he encourages Cincinnati to embrace

Eddy Kwon describes himself in multiple ways — performer, composer, teacher, activist — that allow him to engage differently for his various projects as director of MYCincinnati Youth Orchestra.


My Soapbox: Cameron Kitchin, Cincinnati Art Museum Director

Cameron Kitchin says his first year as Director of the Cincinnati Art Museum "exceeded my expectations in every way." He looks ahead to new exhibitions, new leadership and new technology in this Q&A session.


Neighborhood Heroes: "Super Friends" fight crime together in Covington

Replace superhero characters with a nonprofit leader, a police chief and a grandmother and you have Covington's Super Friends, using the power of teamwork to create a safe and vibrant Westside neighborhood.


Artists can be the "connective tissue" of a neighborhood, but first they need a place to live

Artspace and other developers' creation of affordable artist live/work housing is a proven initiative that reinvigorates neighborhoods and brings members of diverse communities together.


Resurrection Part 2: More local churches find useful second lives

Following a run on abandoned churches being restored to new life, we peek inside the Southgate House Revival in Newport and The Monastery and Church of the Assumption in Walnut Hills.

Cincinnati parks

Soapdish: Cincinnati parks deserve better than Issue 22

Make no mistake: Issue 22 is bad government policy masquerading as "save our parks" hero. Let's consider all the ways this charter amendment is wrong for Cincinnati.


Building Engaged Communities: Why Xavier is promoting the cooperative movement

Cincinnati's role in the cooperative movement is rapidly expanding. Over the next year, by teaming up with a number of co-op organizations around town, Xavier University will host a three-part conference to spread the word; the first event is Nov. 12.


Reshaping the Rust Belt through immigrant talent

How America's former industrial heartland is reclaiming its economically powerful past by attracting foreign-born residents.

Kelly Thomas at Oyler

After Kelly Thomas' life took numerous turns, she now teaches "Life 101"

Some people crumble after a misstep, others shake it off and move on. Kelly Thomas' journey to a fulfilling role as "life coach" in Lower Price Hill is proof that it's possible to profoundly change for the better.

growing cities

In growing cities, parking challenges require creative solutions

As more people move to cities, how can rapidly developing neighborhoods tackle parking challenges without gobbling up valuable urban space for off-street lots?


Abdullah Powell of Elementz: Cincinnati's youth are "a gift," not a problem

"I think one of the most important things Elementz shows participants is that they are valued," says Abdullah Powell, creative director of downtown's urban arts center who helps connect Cincinnati youth with the larger world.


Interact for Health's Ann Barnum forges coalitions to address heroin addiction

The plague of heroin and opiate abuse in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky causes many to throw up their hands in dismay, but not Ann Barnum, whose work at Interact for Health focuses on collaboration to fight back.

casey coston

Soapdish: A September of festivals to remember

September in Cincinnati's urban basin has emerged as a never-ending blowout festival celebration, so I took in its three biggies on consecutive weekends: the nascent Cincinnati Food + Wine Classic, the pubescent MidPoint Music Festival and the sprawling, middle-aged Oktoberfest Zinzinnati.


How to activate your neighborhood in 5 steps this weekend

Kevin Wright and Joe Nickol believe in the power of pop-up biergartens in alleys and pop-up festivals in parking lots to transform neighborhoods, and they want to help you do it in your own neighborhood.


My Soapbox: Brad Schnittger launches MusicLi at MidPoint

After a nine-month journey as a People's Liberty Haile Fellowship grantee, Brad Schnittger officially unveils his MusicLi music licensing platform at this weekend's MidPoint Music Festival. Here's what it all means.


The secret(s) to sustainable urban farms across the U.S.

Urban agriculture, once a buzz-y idea for transforming vacant spaces, has taken root in cities across America. Cities and farmers are now thinking about how to make the movement sustainable year-round and long-term.

ann Senefeld

Why Ann Senefeld digs Cincinnati's history, and why you should too

What started with Ann Senefeld's childhood home in Colerain Township has grown into a passion to uncover the hidden stories buried in Cincinnati's historic buildings.


Krista Taylor and Gamble Montessori: "I really believe that we change lives"

When Krista Taylor received Cincinnati Public Schools' "Educator of the Year" award, she donated the $10,000 prize to her school, Gamble Montessori, to help students attend a marine biology bootcamp.

AAC President John Sullivan

The Art Academy's 10 years in OTR a story of potential realized but not yet fulfilled

After 10 years at 12th & Jackson Streets, the Art Academy of Cincinnati has in some ways given more to Over-the-Rhine — and the city — than it's received in return. But a decade of urban pioneering provides the school a new edge and a positive outlook.

Hitsville U.S.A., home of the Motown Museum in Detroit

Hitsville vs. Soulsville: How Detroit and Memphis are embracing their soul music heritage

There were two rival labels and cities that defined soul music in the public consciousness, Hitsville (Detroit) and Soulsville (Memphis). What can those cities' efforts to preserve and embrace their music heritage teach Cincinnati?

casey coston

Soapdish: What you get in an urban home, from $20k to $2.5m

Greater Cincinnati real estate has always been considered a "steal" when you compare how much house you get here for the money vs. other cities. How far does your home-buying dollar go these days? Glad you asked.

Jeni Jenkinss

Neighborhood Heroes: Building community in Northside

Maybe you know Northside for its 4th of July Parade, cool restaurants and bars or collection of shops selling all things vintage. But residents will tell you their community is much more thanks to neighborhood heroes who focus on inclusion.


Michelle Dillingham's circuitous career path prepared her to lead Community Shares

Michelle Dillingham's new position as CEO of Community Shares of Greater Cincinnati is built on her varied career of social work and activism. A sign in her Mt. Auburn office says, "Excuse me, could you spare a little social change?"


Freedom from objectivity led newspaper veteran Tom Callinan to a new life of activism

After forming Charitable Words to help nonprofits trumpet their message on multiple media platforms, ex-Enquirer Editor Tom Callinan now revels in his freedom from objectivity and emergence as an "activist."


Drew Oxley's T-shirts help free sex slaves in India; what can your shirt do?

Drew Oxley has built his company, The Parative Project, on the power of a T-shirt to help rescue and employ women halfway across the world. He's betting that you'll buy into his vision, too.


Soapdish: Why can't Cincinnati have nice things like bike lanes?

Recent rumblings out of City Hall have labeled Central Parkway’s protected bike lane a "disaster" that should be "scrapped." Just because Cincinnatians are terrible drivers? Really?

Trailer Estates manufactured home in Sarasota, Fla.

The return of the pre-fab home

Millennials looking to buy their first homes and Boomers looking to downsize find factory-built or manufactured housing to be a good alternative that offers affordable, sturdy and green living. 


Ode to Joy: When Rachel Roberts found yoga, she found a path to success

After Rachel Roberts bounced around from job to job, she found her calling in yoga, which led to a career path as founder of The Yoga Bar. Now she helps others find their own calling.


P&G rebrands, reconnects the Cincinnati Music Festival

Cincinnati brand giant Procter & Gamble is helping rebrand and refresh another local institution by taking on the presenting sponsor role for the Cincinnati Music Festival July 24-25 at Paul Brown Stadium.

Torie Wiggins

Why Torie Wiggins fell in love with Cincinnati's "embrace of the arts"

Torie Wiggins came to UC to train as a performer, heading to New York City after graduation. But 15 years later she's made her home back here and built a full acting and teaching career in Cincinnati.


Cincinnati hosting one of only 12 NewCo conferences in U.S.

On July 23, Cincinnati joins New York, Austin, San Francisco, London, Istanbul and other notable cities in hosting the 2015 NewCo conference, when over 80 local businesses will tell their stories, demo their products or tour their facilities.  

Lauren Mancini

Dreams Do Come True: Lauren Mancini and the victory of tenacity

It was nothing short of remarkable when Lauren Mancini stepped onto the stage as Valedictorian of the Art Academy of Cincinnati Class of 2015. Her very presence among the graduating class was the culmination of a steep uphill climb personally and academically, a dream come true.


All eyes on All Star Game events and activities

The nation's eyes turn to Cincinnati as we welcome the Major League Baseball All Star Game back to town. Here's a rundown of the official ASG events as well as related baseball activities and general festivities.


Soapdish: What might have been with MetroMoves, what might still be

Hamilton County voters resoundingly rejected MetroMoves in 2002, but Casey wonders if the comprehensive light rail vision could make a comeback once Cincinnati's streetcar is a success.

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My Soapbox: C. Jacqueline Wood, Filmmaker

Jacqueline Wood is an artist, filmmaker and organizer who can't stop experimenting. Her drive to share experimental film with Cincinnati won a People's Liberty grant to design a 10-week communal experiment that begins Thursday, July 2.


DePaul Cristo Rey makes history with first graduating class

A 100 percent graduation rate is impressive in itself, but all 48 DePaul Cristo Rey seniors comprising the school's first graduating class have been accepted to college, earning $2.9 million and counting in scholarships.


Northern Kentucky planning leaders turn their vision skyward

Northern Kentucky faced a choice as Vision 2015 wound down its 10-year mission: add incremental goals or go for a fresh, new collective vision for regional planning. Community input pushed the creation of a bold "myNKY" plan and Skyward organization.


Renovated housing developments bring new residents to Evanston and Covington

The fourth installment of a Soapbox series focusing on building redevelopment looks at creative residential rehabs in long-ignored sections of Evanston in Cincinnati and Shotgun Row in Covington.


Neighborhood Heroes: Bellevue's collective impact

In some neighborhoods, a stand-out superstar leads the charge while everyone else follows his or her lead, but Bellevue has taken another route — the individual contributions of many form a strong collective impact.

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City Silence promotes the practice of mindfulness

City Silence, an international network of community mindfulness events organized by Cincinnatian Stacy Sims, is being held weekday mornings all summer long in Washington Park. Gatherings encourage individuals to sit in silence for as long as they wish and focus on breathing and stillness.


Beech Acres helps school families navigate parenthood via Toyota Family Learning

June 3 marks a special day, when a group of Cincinnati parents become Beech Acres' first class of Toyota Family Learning graduates. The program is expected to expand into more local schools to reach additional parents, but there is already much to celebrate.

Incline Theater is another example of creative placemaking in Cincinnati, showing how the arts can contribute to neighborhood redevelopment

Incline Theater opens June 3, setting the stage for further redevelopment in Price Hill

The Warsaw Federal Incline Theater will add another landmark to Price Hill's incline district and another success on Cincinnati's growing list of creative placemaking projects that prove the arts' ability to drive economic development.

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Soapdish: Updated insider's guide to OTR and Downtown

A second installment, three years later, updates Casey's "Highly Subjective, Sometimes Eccentric, Oftentimes Random Insider's Guide to Over-the-Rhine and Downtown." You're now ready to conquer the town with a knowing wink and ironically arched eyebrow.

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Little Free Library has big ambitions for literacy and public art

If your neighborhood is home to a small sidewalk Little Free Library, you might think it's been there forever. But the nonprofit umbrella organization has existed since just 2010 and is pushing a Kickstarter campaign to double its number of libraries to 50,000 by 2017.

Chris Strobel at NKU College of Informatics

We Are the World: Teaching perspective at NKU's College of Informatics via study abroad

Thanks to a ground-breaking and boundary-pushing program developed by Chris Strobel and Sara Drabik, NKU electronic media students are now required to study abroad to better understand their role as world citizens.

Kara Cox lives in a new affordable rental housing project for Minneapolis artists

Projects popping up in U.S. cities to create affordable housing for artists

Making the case for the role of artists in urban vitality, Minneapolis-based Artspace creates affordable live/work spaces in its hometown as well as Memphis, New York City and Washington, D.C., among others.


Resurrection: One-time Cincinnati churches find new life by celebrating life

As urban centers attract a new generation eager to live in walkable neighborhoods, many abandoned churches are once again celebrating life. We profile three new "adaptive reuse" conversions in Northside and Over-the-Rhine.    

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Documentary film explores role of Oyler School in 'saving' Lower Price Hill

When she arrived in Cincinnati in 2012 on assignment for public radio, Amy Scott didn't plan to spend the next two years detailing the lives of students and faculty members at Oyler School. Her documentary film about the role of schools in historically embattled communities like Lower Price Hill will have its first public screening May 22.

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P&Ger's drive to give back inspires confidence, intensified passion for STEM

High school sophomores and juniors will gather at Procter & Gamble June 15-19 for the 11th year of the Resident Scholar Program, aimed at exposing minority students to careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). And, as usual, P&G's Andrea Bowens-Jones will be there to inspire and lead them.


Fulton Jefferson tries to make sure every kid counts in Avondale

Fulton Jefferson has been around long enough to witness Avondale's heyday and live through its decline. It still feels like a community full of possibility to him, so he pours his energy into the next generation of leaders through the Avondale Youth Council.


Soapdish: Streetcar opponents just can't seem to 'move on'

"Move on" makes a great bumper sticker slogan and a pretty good name for a progressive online grassroots organization. It's also what Mayor John Cranley and other streetcar opponents promised to do in late 2013 when the project got back on track. But they can't or won't, and to what gain?


Neighborhood Heroes: Sharing a passion for Walnut Hills

Walnut Hills is a neighborhood on the rise, with close proximity to downtown and a rich history among its key assets. But its greatest strength lies in the diverse and dedicated residents who have a real passion for improving their community.

Paul Strickland performs at the 2013 Cincinnati Fringe Festival

Cincinnati's "hunger for alternative work" brought performer Paul Strickland here to stay

After staging comedy pieces in the 2013 and 2014 Cincinnati Fringe Festivals, Paul Strickland was so taken with the city's embrace of alternative theater and new ideas that he moved here in January. Know Theatre, which produces the Fringe Fest, has become his home base to "teach workshops and do strange things."


Students gain newfound confidence through Louder Than a Bomb poetry slam

Aiken High School students are preparing for the first-ever Louder Than a Bomb Cincinnati, part of the world's largest poetry slam competition, with Saturday night's finals offering $3,000 in prizes and a recording opportunity at Elementz.


Journey to the Center: How Albert Pyle plotted a new future for the Mercantile Library

Albert Pyle retires in July after 22 years as executive director of downtown's Mercantile Literary Arts Center, completing his oversight of the 180-year-old institution's evolution from a traditional circulating library to the region's premier literary beacon.

Joi Sears

5 ways to support artists in your community

Artists are in every community, and their work is more relevant than ever. Yet if communities are going to realize the full potential of artists’ power to contribute to positive change, they need to sustain and support them. Creative Exchange offers tools and resources to help. 


My Soapbox: Jim DeBrosse, Author & OTR Observer

Jim DeBrosse has reissued his mystery novel Hidden City, which was set in politically charged Over-the-Rhine in the late 1980s and early '90s, and moved back to the neighborhood after 20 years away. He discusses how much has changed and not changed in OTR over the years.


West Side Super-Volunteer Patti Hogan: Safety and cleanliness "critical" to neighborhood success

It might take a village to raise a child, but Patti Hogan proves that it takes just a few dedicated volunteers to pick up trash and help improve their West Side neighborhoods one street, one house and one empty lot at a time.

Kristine Frech presented findings from the 2014 Regional Indicators Report on March 19

Regional Indicators update: Cincinnati improves vs. peer cities, but a lot of work remains

Greater Cincinnati has improved slightly compared to peer cities but still lags in job creation, venture capital investment and other important areas, according to the Regional Indicators Report’s 2014 update presented at the Covington Business Council luncheon March 19.


Hughes STEM High School a springboard for effective, community-based learning

Because of strong community partnerships that result in events like speed mentoring and with lots of opportunities for experiential learning, Hughes STEM High School students are a step closer to bright futures.

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Soapdish: Cincinnati Neighborhood Summit tries to erase boundaries, promote partnerships

Cincinnati’s 52 neighborhoods are a patchwork quilt of different sizes, shapes, allegiances and demographics cobbled together into a diverse and sometimes non-cohesive unit. The 2015 Neighborhood Summit looked to erase boundaries and emphasize the results of successful partnerships among our neighborhoods.


A Walk on the Wild Side with Danny Korman

Danny Korman has accumulated many titles over the years via his Park + Vine shop: entrepreneur, trailblazer, do gooder, vegan, character, friend to the environment, activist. He'll soon be adding one more, author, with his "Walking Cincinnati" guidebook.

Wouldn't a new highway bridge look nice?

Top 10 transportation stories for 2015 and beyond

As winter slowly recedes and potholes reappear, can spring flowers and infrastructure updates be far behind? Here are 10 transportation stories we’re following that will impact Greater Cincinnati throughout 2015 and beyond.


If Not Me, Who?: Social entrepreneur Derrick Braziel answers the call

"Every person has the ability to change the world," says Derrick Braziel, 28, who puts his words into action through MORTAR's mentorship of low-income, minority or other "non-traditional" entrepreneurs.


Why the arts need to invest in innovation

"Ideas are like commodities," says arts fundraiser and consultant Scott Provancher. "Everyone has them. But, like a commodity, the real value is what you make of it. You need discipline and help." The March 4 smART Summit will prod local arts leaders to embrace innovation to make ideas a reality.


More Social Innovation: Making lives better, one job at a time

"It's meant a lot to me to find a job where I live," says long-time Over-the-Rhine resident DeShawn Ashley, who works at Holtman's Donuts and Washington Park. "I was down here for the rough times, and now it's the good times."

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Social Innovation: Why some new OTR businesses look to hire neighborhood residents

Some bash Over-the-Rhine redevelopment as "gentrification," others do something about it. See why new OTR businesses are purposefully hiring from the neighborhood, improving the community as they improve their bottom lines.

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OTR's Latin School for Boys raises the bar, demands high standards

St. Peter Claver Latin School for Boys builds character and provides a rigorous education for 27 students in the Over-the-Rhine community. "There will be no excuses," says Headmaster Jonathan Love.

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Why Minneapolis is the new capital of "The North"

Minneapolis leaders want their city be the first non-coastal area that knowledge workers and business leaders think of after Chicago. Here are some lessons for Cincinnati.


Changing people's careers 3 months at a time

People’s Liberty Residencies are tapping into one of society’s most underutilized resources: young talent. The results could shape careers and even transform Greater Cincinnati.


Community leaders push to make Cincinnati the most immigrant-friendly city in America

Cincinnati ranks as one of the best cities to raise a family, to start or expand a business, and (no surprise) to eat ice cream. Now a group of nearly 100 prominent Cincinnatians led by Mayor Cranley wants to add one more designation to that list—The Most Immigrant Friendly City in America.  


Cincinnati's Literary Luminosity

With the 8th annual Books by the Banks on the horizon, we bring to light many of the Queen City’s literary treasures, from local talent, publications and organizations to libraries, bookstores and writing groups.


Co-working options grow thanks to Cincinnati's expanding pool of independent professionals

Co-working has had a foothold in Cincinnati for many years, and the options for workers looking for collaborative office space have continued to grow. Here are 6 co-working shops for independent workers who still want to drink from the proverbial water cooler.


Single mothers and children hit hardest by poverty in Cincinnati

Cincinnati ranks second in the US for childhood poverty. Groups like The Women's Fund of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation are working to break down the barriers that keep single mothers from rising above the poverty line.


Two formerly homeless Cincinnatians tell their stories

Meet Ronnie and Willa, two Cincinnati residents who have faced what 25,000 people in the city experience each year: homelessness. Here they share their stories in video.


UC French Learning program provides kids with early exposure to foreign language

UC Blue Ash students share their knowledge of French with students at an adjacent elementary school, hoping to inspire a love of foreign languages for years to come.


My Soapbox: Terrence Burke, Wump Mucket Puppets

Terrence Burke is dedicated to sharing joy and spreading knowledge with Wump Mucket Puppets, a silly, colorful show he puts on with help from his own family.


New Americans: The plight of Cincinnati's refugee population

Thousands of refugees have fled violence and persecution to make a home in Cincinnati. For the majority of them, however, this means the start of an entirely new struggle. Learn about one man's journey from Burma to the Tri-State.


My Soapbox: Zan McQuade, The Cincinnati Anthology

"The Cincinnati Anthology" is a collection of essays about the Queen City, written by Cincinnatians from many walks of life. Get an inside look from editor Zan McQuade.

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The case for a more immigrant-friendly, diverse Cincinnati

Recently, the Brandery, a nationally top-10 ranked business accelerator located in Over-the-Rhine, hosted a fast-paced roundtable discussion on global talent attraction, immigration reform and the need for a more diverse Cincinnati. 


Nonprofit groups offer prescription for boosting community health

Cincinnati suffers from a wide disparity in health outcomes, and poverty and race are among the biggest culprits. Yet a network of local organizations is combating the health challenges facing our city.


Quality preschool key to lifelong success

Studies show that two years in a quality preschool can have an enormous impact on a child’s life trajectory — more than interventions at any other stage — but few families can afford it. Preschool Promise is a program aimed at closing that gap, and a new pilot program shows how universal access to quality preschool can work.


As non-native English speaking population grows, teachers find new ways to instruct students

Over the past five years, southwest Ohio has seen a 250 percent increase in its English Language Learner (ELL) population. Elementary teacher Erin Sucher has already adopted new ways to reach her students, and her job is going to get a little easier this year thanks to a $14.5 million grant for a program that will train teachers in new methods that enhance learning for all students.


My Soapbox: Eddy Kwon of The Happy Maladies

Six years as a band has given The Happy Maladies time to understand what works without losing their spontanaeity. Eddy Kwon, the band's violinist and vocalist, spoke with Soapbox about the band's current endeavors to support their new LP and collaborative project, "Must Love Cats."


My Soapbox: Artist and musician Dylan Speeg

Dylan Speeg's illustration style has been compared with Henri De Toulouse-Lautrec, while his music is a glamorous mixture of Delta Blues and Django Reinhardt. Find out what keeps this hardworking artist moving.


Original Soapbox series tells story of what's reshaping Cincinnati's neighborhoods

If you missed one of the community profiles featured in our Hot 'Hoods series, here's your chance to find out more about the five neighborhoods set to flourish in 2014. You might be surprised by our picks.


Hot 'Hoods: Covington

This week we continue our spotlight on neighborhoods that are poised for growth in 2014. We asked key community members from Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky to share their insights on how they expect their communities to develop this year.


MLK Ph.D. program fuels 21st century activism

This week, students and scholars from around the country will meet in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky for Union Institute & University's MLK studies residency.


Cincinnati's Minority Business Accelerator is model for economic inclusion

With a decade of helping minority-owned businesses flourish under its belt, Cincinnati's Minority Business Accelerator is now serving as a model for other chambers of commerce across the country.


#GivingTuesday: How to join in today's national celebration locally

There were more days than ever to kick off the holiday shopping season this year, but there’s another movement at work—#GivingTuesday—which encourages individuals to take the same fervor they have for Black Friday, and apply it to giving.  


Local banks and schools partner to teach kids financial responsibility

As the senior class of 2014 prepares to be the first graduating under Ohio’s new economics and financial literacy curriculum requirements, banks in Cincinnati are partnering with schools and nonprofits to push financial education further than ever for students as early as preschool and through to 12th grade.


How technology, health care and community partnerships are transforming local education

As the evolution of culture and society influence learning, the way forward for Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky public schools is through creative thinking about where to form partnerships and how to steer trends.


Cincinnati to host forum on the future of urban life

Future Cities; Livable Futures is a free symposium taking place at the Contemporary Arts Center in November. The event will bring world-renowned visionaries to Cincinnati to provoke critical thinking about the future of urban development within an accessible, public forum.


OTR A.D.O.P.T. takes matchmaking approach to preserving properties

Nonprofit OTR A.D.O.P.T. matches deteriorating historical buildings with individuals and small developers committed to preserving and enriching the historical fabric of Over-the-Rhine.


Playhouse artistic associate chronicles Cincinnati's King Records in new play

KJ Sanchez, founder and CEO of American Records and current artistic associate at Cincinnati’s Playhouse in the Park, has spent years finding valuable stories that chronicle our time. Her most recent work tells the story of Cincinnati's King Records.


Demand Better: Building healthy, vibrant neighborhoods

As we continue to reprise our four-part Demand Better series, we take a look at innovations and ideas that empower and support neighbors here and around the country—and offer some key demands for Cincinnati's future as election day approaches.


Demand Better: Architecture's impact on Cincinnati's economy

As election day approaches, we'll be re-running our four-part Demand Better series in an effort to spark conversations and provoke thought about how we can demand more from our city's leaders. This week, we take a look at the topic of architecture.


New owner, new design embrace traditions at The Little Mahatma

For more than two decades, shoppers happily shared close quarters at The Little Mahatma's 10-foot-by-10-foot space in the Carew Tower Arcade. So when Dan Schwandner bought the OTR business this year, he determined to continue the shop's densely merchandised history through a fresh renovation and an ever-evolving collection of international treasures.


Fine fellows: Roanne Lee creates 'awesome' life

West Coast native Roanne Lee moved to Cincinnati last year to learn all she could about startups and entrepreneurship. She immediately set about doing her part to make the city a more inclusive, progressive and awesome place to live.


Bridging urban divides: Northside developments take new shapes

On one long-empty, hotly contested corner lot in Northside, neighbors and business owners look for hope, inspiration and potential for thoughtful growth and development.


Special Report: A place to belong

This special report, sponsored by Procter & Gamble, is designed specifically for young black professionals new to the city and anyone in search of new ways to live, play and engage here.


Women in the kitchens, part 2

Last week, Soapbox's Andrew Welsh introduced you to Take the Cake's Melissa Mileto, whose fashion background contributes to her artistic references in the kitchen. This week, he talks food, art and inspiration with the chef-owners of Nectar, Eat Well Cafe & Takeaway and Honey. 


Women in the kitchens, Part 1

Melissa Mileto grew up in Baltimore's Little Italy. Today, Take the Cake's chef and joint-owner oversees one of the city's busiest and most creative kitchens. She kicks off Soapbox's series that spotlights Cincinnati's female chef-owners.


My Soapbox: Jason Langdon, Cincinnati Mini-Maker Faire

Louisville had a fire-breathing pony. New York had 3-D printers and makerbots galore. Cincinnati Maker Faire Founder Jason Langdon looks forward to seeing what the local science, DIY and art community has to offer in the city's first all-ages, all-genres celebration of maker culture this October in Washington Park.


Seeing stars: Innovative collaboration brings top performers to school stages

Bringing local, national and international artists to work with students at Cincinnati's School for Creative and Performing Arts does more than whet their appetite for the arts. It builds disciplined, savvy learners with deep bonds rooted in Over-the-Rhine.


Bridging the gap: Enjoy the Arts streamlines path to arts patronage

In its 32nd year, Enjoy the Arts may be older than most of its target audience members, but its new website doesn’t show it. With a fresh look and a new approach to its high-value services, the audience-growing nonprofit is planting serious roots in the digital age with some help from local startups.


My Soapbox: Chase Whiteside, New Left Media

Chase Whiteside wasn't setting out to start a YouTube sensation. But when he and filmmaking partner Erick Stoll documented a Tea Party rally in Washington, they started a documentary-making partnership that has now taken root in Cincinnati. He shares his love of film and his hatred of the Internet with Soapbox's Elissa Yancey.


Modern Makers: The Big Dinner with Chef Frances Kroner of Feast

Soapbox's Scott Beseler shares a visual feast of the latest Modern Makers event, a celebration of food and art at the Niehoff Urban Design Studio in Uptown. Music by Maria Carrelli.


My Soapbox: David Le, Pho Lang Thang group

David Le and his restauranteur partners want to make Cincinnati an easy place for Asian Americans to live—and eat. Through Pho Lang Thang and Quan Hapa, he's sharing familiar recipes, with a healthy dose of culture, to an ever-growing fan base. He chats with Soapbox about his inspiration, his strategies and his goals for the future.


From Guatemala with love: Deeper Roots partners with growers for richer roasts

What do a dairy barn in Mt. Healthy and this year's TED conference have in common? A shared love of top-quality coffee from a Guatemalan village that locals know thanks to relationships nurtured with Deeper Roots, a local roasting company and coffee consultancy. 


My Soapbox: Kyle Neyer, University of Cincinnati

When 23-year-old University of Cincinnati track star Kyle Neyer considered his senior year at his hometown college, he knew he had a chance to make a difference. He wanted to make it easier for other gay and lesbian athletes to feel supported and welcome among their peers and fans. So, he spearheaded the production of an inspiring and inclusive video: "You Can Play."


My Soapbox: Janelle Hopper, Contemporary Arts Center

Janelle Hopper, public programs manager at the Contemporary Arts Center, takes a holistic approach to connecting the community with art. In her three years on the job, she's showcased eclectic guests, from the Smithsonian's new media strategist to Sigur Ros. She shares her goals, her insights and her passions with Soapbox.


From cradle to career, creating new cycles of success

Whether she is downtown in the offices of Strive or coaching track at Clark Montessori, Nia Williams understands the power of a challenging, encouraging mentor. Without hers, she says, she wouldn't be where she is today.


On OFFF: Designers that will blow you away

Even if you didn't get a chance to attend the sold-out OFFF event hosted by the Contemporary Arts Center, you can still experience the mind-blowing designers' work from the comfort of your computer. Slideshow by Soapbox's own mind-blowing photographer, Scott Beseler.


Old kids on the block: Calhoun cornerstones offer alternatives

As U Square at the Loop looms large, long-standing Calhoun Street businesses in Clifton hope for a long-awaited resurgence.


My Soapbox: Sandra E. Spataro, NKU

With degrees from Stanford and Berkeley, Sandra Spataro brings experience from Silicon Valley and teaching stints at Yale and Cornell to her students at Northern Kentucky University. She chose to work at NKU because it offered not only a diverse student population, but a chance to focus on what she calls "up-close-and-personal" teaching.


Nights out Cincinnati

One weekend. Two nights of Cincinnati. Soapbox's managing photographer Scott Beseler tours the Art of Food in Covington and the Platter Party in Brighton. The result? A taste of fashion, music and fun in the city. Video by Scott Beseler.


Cincinnati's newest dream team: The faces of Cintrifuse

The Cintrifuse venture capital team is already working on supporting the region's entrepreneurial ecosystem. Now, it's time to see how The Rainmaker, The Money Man, The Go Getter, The Teacher, The Connector, The Youngster and The Magician Behind the Curtain plan to get down to business.


My Soapbox: Cate Yellig, Art Director, City of Covington

Cate Yellig knows how to build things. And how to use a blowtorch. The City of Covington's new art director talks economic development, world travels and how the region has become a magnet for talented, smart entrepreneurs and artists.


Know Theatre's artistic innovations extend past stage

Between crowdfunding successes, subscription innovations and artist support initiatives, Know Theatre has become a trailblazer in Over-the-Rhine’s arts scene.


School-based Health Centers offer innovative approach to educational barriers

The arithmetic is pretty simple. Medical care plus students equals a boost in attendance and graduates. That's why Cincinnati Public Schools’ school-based health center nurses offer preventive and follow-up healthcare, as well as old-fashioned TLC, to a growing number of students.


My Soapbox: Jodi Schmidtgoesling, Possible

Cincinnati native Jodi Schmidtgoesling takes on the world's top companies in her new role as branding giant Possible's chief client officer. The 35-year-old business leader also works to develop the culture of Possible as a fun, innovative and creative place to work. She talks with Soapbox about Cincinnati as a brand hub and finding inspiration in Disney characters.


Natural style: Local black women find support as they embrace their roots

Through ’Nati Naturalistas and Queen City Naturals, black women in Greater Cincinnati nurture their love of natural hair—and of themselves.


SpringBoard grads infuse city with creative startup energy

Laura Chenault took an abandoned garage on Spring Grove Avenue and transformed it into a space for everything from filming indie documentaries and music videos to hosting cooking classes, dinner parties and dance parties, too. But she didn’t do it alone.


The Kitchen Factory cooks up collaborative business model

The Kitchen Factory in Northside has been serving up pizza slices since July 1. But it's no ordinary pie shop. Its owner, Melissa Cox Howard, has come up with an entrepreneur-friendly business plan that you won’t find anywhere else in Cincinnati.  


$29.5M grant, neighbor-focused plans boost Avondale housing revitalization efforts

What happens when the city, neighborhood advocates and a national redevelopment firm collaborate to transform outdated and underutilized public housing in Avondale? They snag a $29.5M federal grant aimed at holistic renewal.


Soapbox Jobs, now powered by GigitJobs

At Soapbox, job listings have always been popular landing pages for regular readers, browsers and job seekers. Starting today, thanks to a partnership with local startup GigitJobs.com, readers can find even more creative and techie jobs for the taking in Greater Cincinnati. 


Come to the table: Black design pros diversify Cincinnati's creative class

Cincinnati and its corporate giants attract designers from across the globe, but the minority gap still looms large. Read how local black design professionals have adjusted and adapted while working to recruit and retain their peers.


My Soapbox: Sherry Carran, Covington's mayor-elect

Covington's first female mayor, Sherry Carran, takes office next month. The alum of the University of Cincinnati’s architecture program and long-time Northern Kentuckian shares her thoughts on her election, her goals, and bikes in Covington with Soapbox’s Hannah Purnell.


For Good Special: Emanuel's transformation

This week, we bring you a special, in-depth look at the recent sale of the Emanuel Center in Over-the-Rhine, a nonprofit organization that we've covered before in Soapbox.


The New Revolutionaries: Hatching ideas with The Bird Haus

Match passionate locals, creative entreprenuers and a petite force of nature known as Cat Amaro and you get The Bird Haus, a migratory classroom where learning is fun, fascinating and, yes, cheap.


Queen City sweetness: Home-town bakery startup expands offerings, again

Peggy Shannon, who dreamed up Queen City Cookies just two years ago, will open a gift shop today as part of her new Northside "campus" dedicated to community empowerment, entrepreneurial energy and amazingly delicious sweet treats.


Deck the halls: Cincinnati cosplayers revel in stories

From engineers to college students, costume designers to corporate professionals, cosplayers (costume players) in Cincinnati revel in opportunities to get their geek on. Soapbox's Aiesha Little takes a closer look.


Sweet Sistah Splash spices up Sycamore Street

Instead of talking about the kinds of programs they wanted to see more of in Cincinnati, entrepreneurs Nzingha Byrd and Daphney Thomas decided to join forces and feature them. They opened Sweet Sistah Splash in Over-the-Rhine in July.


Fresh art uncovers hidden treasures

Where you see an empty carton, Andrey Kozakov sees a face. Where you see a cabinet, he sees a magical box. Most of all, the Cincinnatian from the Ukraine sees his art as an expression of his freedom—from the bonds of the past and the constraints of convention.


Epipheo embraces stories, innovation while defying easy description

Cross the quirkiness of a Silicon Valley start-up with the genuine affection of a Midwestern community and you begin to grasp the creative forces that drive Epipheo. With an office in Portland, Oregon, and headquarters in Longworth Hall, the convention-defying company's core values—"truth, story, love"—make it as appealing to a growing number of employees as it is to high-powered clients like Google, Facebook and MTV.


'That Cortnie girl' adds voice to feminist perspectives

Cortnie Owens wants to make a difference. Whether she's in a class at UC, working on social media for the Women's Center on campus or writing on her own blog, the young feminist preaches the power of positive body acceptance.


My Soapbox: Cedric Michael Cox, artist

Cedric Michael Cox may be the busiest – and most accessible – artist in Cincinnati. As vibrant as his paintings and as intricate as his drawings, the 36-year-old is also as driven as his rock band is loud. He shares the stories behind his newest PAC Gallery show with Soapbox's Chris Graves.


'Contained' takes art into the streets of OTR

'Contained,' an exhibit of art presented in shipping containers in Over-the-Rhine, takes art into the streets, as the Requiem Project extends its reach beyond the Emery Theatre. Soapbox's master photographer Scott Beseler offers a tour.


New sounds in Newport: Local music scene gets a reboot

When the Southgate House closed its doors last New Year’s Eve, Newport, Kentucky, lost one of the region’s premier music venues. Over the last several months, two new music destinations have developed in its place. Soapbox takes a look at how the show goes on at the new Thompson House and the Southgate House Revival.


From hummus to nuts, Zaidan's journey back to Findlay fueled by family

After a decade away from Cincinnati, Kate Zaidan has returned to reshape her family business, Dean’s Mediterranean in Findlay Market. She’s not just selling fresh-roasted nuts to other local businesses, she’s staking her claim on the family brand.


My Soapbox: Kimberly Clayton-Code, NKU's Institute for Talent Development and Gifted Studies

Kimberly Clayton-Code, Director of the Institute for Talent Development and Gifted Studies at Northern Kentucky University, shared some insights on the program she helped launch five years ago and what it means to be gifted kid today. Parents, breathe a sigh of relief: it's now hip to be smart.


Brighton: Working on the edge

People make things in Brighton. Nestled in the northern tip of the West End, and bordered by Central Parkway on the east and Spring Grove Avenue on the west, Brighton’s demographics defy easy explanation.


The New Revolutionaries: Smarter than a Goldfish

What do shoe-making workshops, recycled sketch paper and Portolets have in common? They're all part of Main Street entrepreneur Alisha Budkie's sustainable world, one the UC design alum is helping build with support from longtime neighbors and a growing army of her peers in Over-the-Rhine.


My Soapbox: Honour Pillow revisits Fringe

Addyston-born playwright, comedienne and cancer survivor Honour Pillow has stories to tell. She gives Soapbox's Becky Johnson a glimpse behind the inspiration of her Fringe-encore performance at the Know.


My Soapbox: Jay Finch, Socstock

Cleveland native Jay Finch, 26, moved to Cincinnati to join The Brandery's 2012 class. The Villanova honors grad studied economics at Cambridge and Harvard before Goldman Sachs snagged him post-graduation. He gave all that up to start his "market ministry," Socstock.


Filmmaking in Cincinnati: A Wide Angle

Local filmmakers don't wait for George Clooney and Ryan Gosling to come to town to practice their craft. From skateboarding movies to one-woman-show YouTube channels to high-end commercial productions, Cincinnati's film scene offers space, and support, for aspiring artists to grow.


Second Sunday on Main

From chocolate chili popsicles to handmade shoes, from art galleries to sustainability-focused retailers, Main Street in Over-the-Rhine continues its latest renaissance. Soapbox photographer Scott Beseler offers a visual 411, with images captured during an idyllic Second Sunday on Main celebration. 


GOOD ideas: Art on the move

Cincinnati's arts leaders posed a challenge for creative thinkers: how can the city's vibrant arts scene be maximized to attract and retain talent? Twenty-somethings doing something offer an exciting new approach during the GOOD Ideas for Cities event held downtown this fall. Take a listen and see how you can keep the conversation going. Video courtesy The Queen City Project.


Miracle on Woodburn

From vintage stores to high-end fashion shops and art galleries, a new day is dawning on Woodburn Avenue in Walnut Hills. Entrepreneurs who have long called the neighborhood home welcome the fresh energy and say it has already made an impact in one of Cincinnati's most iconic communities.


My Soapbox: Floyd Johnson, OATW

If you've seen an Ohio Against the World t-shirt, you've seen the work of Cincinnati designer Floyd Johnson. And the DAAP-rejected college drop-out proudly embodies the phrase he appropriated. He tells all, including the scoop on his recent work with Nike and his college brush with Playboy, to Soapbox's Maria Seda-Reeder.


The New Revolutionaries: All Night Party mixes business, pleasure

From specialty pizzas to "HearPlugs," the musicians of The All Night Party know lots more than creative music promotion. With their help, local bands navigate the business of music in fresh, innovative ways.


Composing a life of music, art, Cincinnati stories

Call Liberty Hill's Rick Sowash a grasshopper and you won't be far off. From his home of the edge of downtown, the accomplished chamber music composer also works as an author, Cincinnati tour leader, public speaker, sometime house painter and publisher of books, musical scores and cds. Oh, and two days a week he works as a guard at the Cincinnati Art Museum.


Downtown on the farm

You can find Dylan Tennison's rainbow chard, French breakfast and cherry belle radishes, six varieties of lettuces, arugula, fresh garlic and Tot soy—all grown in a plot in Over the Rhine—in groceries, markets and restaurants throughout the city. The Cincinnati native bikes and harvests his way to a sustainable, and inspiring, life filled with delicious benefits.


Soapdish: The ultimate insider's guide to downtown + OTR

Soapbox's own Casey Coston delivers again with his “Highly Subjective, Sometimes Eccentric, Oftentimes Random Insider’s Guide to Over the Rhine and Downtown,” from best art/dog park to best rooftop establishment by default.


Fashion forward in Northside

parProjects transformed the Bertke Electric Warehouse into 10,000 square feet of art fusion, including music, visual arts and fashion. Lots and lots of fashion. Soapbox's Scott Beseler takes you there.


The New Revolutionaries: Shaping the future with art, strings and passion

Tatiana Berman wants to get Cincinnati noticed. Her fresh take on the city's established arts scene shaped her Constella Festival, now headed into its second year and poised to strike a powerful economic as well as artistic chord.


The many faces of Etsy

Four local artists who maintain Etsy shops take very different approaches to the online craft megasite. Each small business owner has a plan, but the role Etsy plays depends on products, time and long-term goals.


VFA Fellows excited to move to Cincinnati

They are young, high-powered, high-achieving, highly skilled professionals with their sights set on the same thing: success in Cincinnati, start-up style. Read where they are working — and why.


Soapbox Savings: Symphonic Stylings, June 23

It's part fund-raiser, part art show. Part chamber music concert, part fashion show. Part dance party, part pop-up sale. On June 23, Symphonic Stylings takes over 10,000 square feet in the Bertke Electric warehouse in Northside for an event like nothing you've seen before.


Thinking inside the box pays off for Oakley's Blue Manatee

Kids love to turn boxes into toys. The experts at Blue Manatee in Oakley turned that inevitability into an award-winning product that stimulates imaginations while it promotes local businesses and sustainability.


Fringe exposure

In its ninth year, Cincinnati Fringe Festival sparked ideas, opened minds and just plain entertained thousands of guests. One photographer took the long view of the 12-day celebration of all things Fringe and the results capture the art, and artists, in new and unusual ways.


What he left behind

Marvin Gates, 25, was shot and killed on the streets of Evanston last month. He was a blip on the 24-hour news cycle radar. But for family, neighbors and his supporters at the Cincinnati Initiative to Reduce Violence, he was much, much more. Photos by Thomas E. Smith.


Signs of progress light up museum's new home

Retrieving signs tossed into back alleys is something of a specialty for Tod Swormstedt, the force behind the American Sign Museum. With a working neon shop and 20,000 square feet of space, the museum's new home in Camp Washington gives his ever-growing collection a dazzling home. 


Bright lights, neon city

Soapbox photographer Scott Beseler take us on a tour of the American Sign Museum in Camp Washington.


My Soapbox: Sheida Soleimani, photographer

New college graduate and photographer Sheida Soleimani co-founded Third Party Gallery in Brighton last fall. She opens her second large-scale exhibit, which explores her Iranian-American identity as shaped by political refugee parents, at Prairie Gallery in Northside this week. The ambitious young artist talked with Soapbox's Elissa Yancey about work, school and coming to terms with cultural dualities.


My Soapbox: Lyden Foust, Xavier University, Campus Solutions

Make way for Lyden Foust, the Xavier University senior who led the effort to host Xavier’s first TEDx event and was the only Xavier undergraduate honored with an Entrepreneurship Black Belt in an award ceremony last month. With two start-ups now under that black belt and work lined up in web development, design and branding after graduation, Foust recently spoke to Soapbox's Becky Johnson to explain his creative approach to business strategies and how he would like to challenge accepted notions about the purpose of profits.


CEOs: City lovers tweet Cincinnati takeaways

Civic urban leaders from across disciplines--educators, executives, entrepreneurs--shared lessons and inspiration in Cincinnati last week, as the city played host to a conference that celebrated good ideas and creative leaders. So what were the takeaways?


Fifth Quarter in Cincinnati: Not your mother's summer school

Now in its 4th year, Cincinnati Public Schools’ 5th Quarter program targets under-performing, low-income schools with an extended school year and a collective approach to learning, and fun, that's getting national attention.


Soapdish: Crosley, Pulitzer highlight local preservation victories

Tis May once again, dear Soapdish readers. At the dawn of Preservation Month, we coronate our region’s more notable preservation victories of the past 12 months. From Powel Crosley Jr.'s estate to Emily Pulitzer's childhood home, Cincinnati saves legendary landmarks.


Craftworks: creatives chart independent paths

They make jewelry, housewares, stationery and food. While many divide their lives between traditional work and craftwork, a growing number of Cincinnatians are finding ways to turn their passions into their livelihoods. Their work styles vary as much as their merchandise, but in the end, they, like their peers around the country, are all looking for a taste of the same thing: freedom.


Bike Month events celebrate city's progress, potential

Grease up your chain, pump up your tires, roll up your right pant leg and hop on your bicycle--it's nearly Bike Month in Cincinnati. Get ready to roll.


My Soapbox: Peggy Shannon, Queen City Cookies

Look for Queen City Cookie's reigning royalty, founder Peggy Shannon, driving a pink, elephant-adorned "schnecken shack" starting next week. The city's newest food truck will house plenty of sweets and lots of new creations, from pig pockets to donut toast. And it will be hard to miss. Shannon gives Soapbox the scoop on truck menus and elephant art, selling to Dean and Deluca and building a new Cincinnati landmark within an historic one.


Nights out Cincinnati

Take a whirlwind weekend tour with Soapbox's Scott Beseler as he travels from a tattoo convention downtown to a fashion show at the Northside Tavern to a foggy party in Brighton. All photos by Scott Beseler.


Russo's 'Star' turn celebrates personal passion, arts in Cincinnati

Regina Russo, the marketing director at the Cincinnati Art Museum, has seen two record-breaking attendance years since she left her post at FOX19 to promote art for a living. Now she's stepping out, literally, for the sixth annual Dancing for the Stars competition and fundraiser. In the process, she's living out "a dream deferred."


Interactive invasion: locals pitch big ideas at SXSW

From digital pros to sleep-deprived StartUp Bus riders, Cincinnatians at SXSW Interactive staked a claim at the country's premier showcase of new ideas and cool technologies destined to shape the way we live, work and play. Soapbox gives you exclusive insights from five attendees about what it was like to live the SXSW Interactive experience.


SpringBoard diary: giving thanks

In her final SpringBoard entry, aspiring entrepreneur Megan McAuley takes stock of how far she's come and looks toward the climb ahead--with a little help from more than just her friends.


Backstage @ Signal P&G: Digital drives advertising futures

A one-day whirlwind last week, called Signal P&G, brought nearly two dozen Silicon Valley thought leaders to Cincinnati to weigh in on the state of the digital universe at the headquarters of the world’s biggest brand builder and advertiser. Go backstage to find out what it all means and what's next.


She Blinded Me with Science (Fiction)

Christy Johnson, chair of Millennicon, the Tri-State’s oldest science fiction convention, talks to Soapbox about what it’s like to run a large-scale convention and geek out with sci-fi authors, and why sci-fi isn’t a “guy thing.”


SpringBoard diary: Finding the right route

As she details her seventh week of SpringBoard, fledgling entrepreneur and rock-climber Megan McAuley reassesses her initial dream location and opts for a new and unknown path.


My Soapbox: Rodney D'Souza, founder, INKUbator

Rodney D'Souza is building a hive in Northern Kentucky. His new INKUbator at Northern Kentucky University is designed to help students turn their ideas into feasible business proposals and prepare them for the competitive world of startup accelerators. He explains his brainchild to Soapbox's Elissa Yancey.


SpringBoard diary: the climb continues

A seasoned athlete, Megan McAuley knows the ups and downs of learning new skills. What she learned via rock-climbing serves her well as she takes another step toward fulfilling her start-up goals with support from SpringBoard. Did you think she'd given up? Think again.


Art comes alive at CAC

When the Contemporary Arts Center throws a party, a whole new city shows up to be a part of it. Soapbox's Scott Beseler takes you inside last weekend's opening dance party with DJ Dan Deacon, who amplified the power of "Spectacle." Music courtesy The Pinstripes.


Puppet master

Geppetto and Pinocchio are so 19th century. In Northside, puppeteer and stay-at-home-dad Jesse Mooney-Bullock makes stage-worthy, hand-carved puppets that actors around the country use to perform everything from Rikki Tikki Tavi to The Tempest.


SpringBoard diary: the dream vs. the reality

With just three weeks of SpringBoard's classes in business development and entrepreneurship to go, our fearless climber Megan McAuley takes a serious look at sacrifice and makes an unexpected decision.


Off the rack: Nizny's Pixel 19 supplies more than vintage kitsch

Pass by 211 Klotter Street in Clifton and you’ll see an oversized turquoise egg, a green glass bottle and a few pieces of driftwood decorating the porch, but nothing that hints that this is the location of Pixel 19, a vintage shop that supplies sellers around the globe. It’s also the home of Stu Nizny.


SpringBoard diary: Nothing to lose

If I had a dime for every time someone asked me if I thought opening a climbing gym was actually realistic, I might have enough money to pay a month’s worth of rent on a potential building. While there may be a list of reasons why I shouldn’t pursue the gym or why it won’t work, I have a list triple the size of reasons why I should and it will.


Young and black in Cincinnati, part 2: Eyes on the prize

Last week you met four young, black Cincinnatians making their marks on the Queen City through entrepreneurship, creativity, networking and old-fashioned hard work. This week, meet four more trailblazers who are thriving in the world of startups, nonprofits, education and corporate marketing.


SpringBoard diary: taking an inventory

It's week three of SpringBoard, and fledgling entrepreneur Megan McAuley is taking stock of what it will take to turn her dream of creating a rock-climbing gym in downtown Cincinnati a reality.


Young and black in Cincinnati: Words from the wise

Making a city vibrant means paying attention to all of its voices and learning from all of its wisdoms. And the story –and history – of Cincinnati wouldn't be complete without the innovation, tenacity and creativity of nearly half the city's population, which is African American. Today in Soapbox, in the first part of a two-part series, we'll tell you about four up-and-coming black Cincinnatians who are making a mark in media, education and entrepreneurship.


My Soapbox: Mike Bott, GM, The Brandery

As he steps in to the newly created role of general manager of  The Brandery in OTR, Mike Bott, at just 30, is ready to give ambitious startups the tools they need to survive, and thrive, in Cincinnati.


SpringBoard diary: business-building toolkit

In week two of her SpringBoard journey, the unseasoned entreprenuer explores her motivations, her hopes and her fears.


Kolar finds success at intersection of brand, architecture, interiors

Whether she’s helping design Cincinnati’s newest riverfront park or transforming hospitals by blending graphic and industrial design with architecture, Kelly Kolar revels in integrating her passions to create massive, holistic change.


SpringBoard diary: an entrepreneurial journey

I am a 24-year-old political science graduate from the University of Cincinnati. I live in Over-the-Rhine and work at Coffee Emporium. In college, I wanted to leave the country and save the world, but somewhere between there and here, I fell in love with OTR and decided it needed some saving, too.


Neighbor dividend pays off for businesses in E. Walnut Hills

In East Walnut Hills, shopkeepers and customers are on a first-name basis. They know that making connections, and keeping them strong, helps attract, and retain, dedicated followers. The same goes for attracting new entrepreneurs to help fill in the empty spaces in the historic, and as yet not fully settled, part of town.


Art of Hair teases crowd with talent

Hair designers and models transformed the Carnegie Arts Center in Covington, Kentucky, into a wild world of wonderful, not to mention hairy, art. Soapbox's Scott Beseler documented it all.


From the CR: For I Will Consider

Managing Editor’s Note: This is the first in an occasional series of shared content with a local literary gem, The Cincinnati Review. Named one of the top 20 U.S. literary magazines by Every Writer’s Resource and housed at the University of Cincinnati, the CR will provide poetry, fiction and non-fiction for Soapbox readers, then offer special “bonus material” about each piece—including commentary from local editors, writers and poets—on their blog. The first selection is a poem, For I Will Consider, by Terese Coe.


'Johnny Walker' blends roles to build communities

He's been a stockbroker and lived in a flop house, but the most audacious experiences for University Hospital's chief psychiatric resident stem from his life as Johnny Walker, a punk blues rock guitarist who has toured with the White Stripes and the MC5. His newest gig? Helping build an artists' collective in an old Masonic Lodge in Dayton, Kentucky.


My Soapbox: Lisa Walker, Wussy singer, guitarist

2011 ended with a four-star Rolling Stone review for Cincinnati’s Wussy. In honor of the latest acclaim for their release Strawberry, Soapbox’s Evan Wallis sat down with Northside's Lisa Walker, Wussy singer and guitarist, to talk about the local music scene, inspiration and how SXSW-bound Wussy defines success.


12 things to watch in 2012

Soapbox proffers a '12 things to watch' list for 2012. Read and weigh in on what we did, and did not, include.


2011: the year in Soapbox

With a new year upon us, we take a look back at our most read stories of 2011. From the prospective new life of the Emery Theatre to the opening of A Tavola to the controversial story of the Anna Louise Inn lawsuit, here are the 12 Soapbox stories you read the most last year.


Home for the holidays

This month, Delmond Montgomery moves back home to his wife and children for the first time in more than a year. As one of the first hires at Green Recycling Works, his job is to make it easy for businesses to recycle. As a graduate of the year-long Exodus Program for men in recovery, he's also working to show that sometimes, in this case with the help of social enterprise, you really can go home again.


Get on the bus: art abounds on urban route

The smaller buses that traverse the streets of Mt. Adams, downtown and the West End offer more than colorful exteriors and a route guaranteed to please museum-goers and downtown workers alike. Route #1 helps re-define Cincinnati's bus commuting scene with a sitting-room setting and a cast of friendly regulars. Soapbox's Jane Durrell takes a ride.


Baby, it's cold outside

Sure, it's wet. And cold. And there is more than enough bad news to go around. But this month, Soapbox heads out of 2011 in style, with a look at the prospects for our city's future and the faces who will keep us inspired, and growing, into 2012.


My Soapbox: Andrew Yang, Founder, Venture For America

When Venture For America's founder Andrew Yang landed in town to chat with local entrepreneurs about his nonprofit's ambitious plans to help create 100,000 jobs by 2025, Soapbox was there to meet him at the airport.


Condo conversion: Bellevue church attracts suburban buyers

A new generation of Cincinnati workers is foregoing suburban lifestyles and finding unique, urban living spaces — and not just in Over the Rhine. At St. Anthony Lofts in Bellevue, Kentucky, buyers praise the stunning architecture and proximity to downtown.


The Talent Dividend: How more college grads can add to Cincinnati's bottom line

What's the best thing a city can do to achieve more economic success? Increase its number of college graduates. The most prosperous cities have the highest number of college grads. Read how the Talent Dividend calculates just how much college degrees add to a city's bottom line — think billions.


Design Impact grows local social innovation roots

At Design Impact, Ramsey Ford and Kate Hanisian take their design and community development skills around the world, building sustainable social solutions that combine creativity and mutual respect.


My Soapbox: Lajuana Miller, 2012 World Choir Games

Next July, when 20,000 participants from 70 countries descend on the city for the seventh annual World Choir Games, Lajuana Miller will be ready. As director of volunteer services, Miller will manage more than 3,000 volunteers during the 10-day event, which is estimated to have an economic impact of more than $73 million. Soapbox’s Evan Wallis talked with her about how it feels to manage a group of volunteers almost the size of her hometown.


Getting OFFF: artists inspire new world of creativity

Hector Ayuso, the Barcelona-based graphic and motion designer who founded OFFF, brought a piece of his three-day OFFFest to Cincinnati for two days. He left behind ideas and inspiration after connecting people to the future of creative thought.


City builders

Deanna Heil and Chantelle Noble, co-founders of City Studios Architecture, bring an appreciation for happy and healthy communities to their work. The success of their projects, whether historic preservation or new developments, results from the pair's sympatico sensibilities.


Soapbox special: MORE women to watch

Last week you met five remarkable women changing the city's intellectual and creative landscapes. This week, we're serving up another batch of smart thinking, creative planning and big dreaming by five more. They talked with Soapbox's Evan Wallis and Scott Beseler so you can read, enjoy and be inspired.


Time to tweducate

Urban school teachers have a daily impact on our most important community assets -- our children. When they succeed, we all succeed. Today marks the launch of Together We Educate, tweducate.org, a website dedicated to attracting, supporting and retaining the best and brightest teachers to work, live and grow in Greater Cincinnati.


Soapbox special: women to watch

We've come a long way, baby, redux. And if you have any doubt, ask one of these five women, each of whom is staking her claim on the future of the city in a creative and surprising way. Join Soapbox's Evan Wallis and Scott Beseler as they explore some serious feminine mystique.

Tara Lindsey Gordon, co-founder The Requiem Project: Emery Theatre

Name: Tara Lindsey Gordon Title: co-founder/co-artistic director of The Requiem Project: Emery Theatre Age: 31 Neighborhood: Mt. Adams, as of June 2011. (I just relocated from New York City.) What do you do? I am one of the co-founders of The Requiem Project: Emery Theatre. In 2008, my business partner, Tina Manchise, and I started a site-specific non-profit, The Requiem Project, with the mission to re-open The Emery as an interdisciplinary arts venue. It is the theatre’s centennial, and this project is about preserving a theatre that has withstood 100 years and also creating a space unlike others in Cincinnati, both in aesthetic and programs. The example art centers we have been looking toward are those we frequent, such as BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music), the old Zipper Factory, Cyclorama/Beehive… this list is long. Our past three years have been devoted to a stability plan and artistic direction. The vision is a space that centralizes on collaborations of mediums including music, theatre, dance and film, with a 1400-1600 seat acoustically pure theatre as the heart of the building. There will be gallery spaces, a wine bar and a 5,000-square-foot event flexible space that opens to a garden terrace. The Requiem Project is not only the re-opening of a theatre, but just as importantly an aspect of the programming is an Artistic Enrichment and Education Center, a space that supports artists in all stages of development.   Why do you do it? Tina and I believe meaningful artistic interactions create community. At its core, The Emery is about sound; it is one of three acoustically pure theatres still standing in the country. The core of my and Tina’s work is about voice, and offering opportunities for artists to “say what they have to say,” because artists have rare and specific voices. We borrow this statement all the time from Bill T. Jones, but creating art is placing a stake in the future, imagining something that cannot yet be seen, but will change perspectives; the inclusion of artistic experience in daily life is a preservation of imagination. The Emery will be another place for creative possibility and interaction in Cincinnati. One hundred years ago, Mary Emery bequeathed the building to the city for those purposes. Her desire was to preserve a venue for “civic betterment,” and the confines of her will bind the building to always serve the city in that capacity. Mrs. Emery believed that music makes community and that voices should be heard, and it is an honor to revive her mission. Why Cincinnati? Cincinnati was not on my map. I am from Boston and moved to New York City when I was 18 and thought I would stay forever. When I started working and developing relationships in Cincinnati, I realized how warm, creative and smart the people I had been meeting are; I am continually grateful to the people who have helped me with my transition. I am still homesick for aspects of living in New York City, like not having to parallel park and being able to buy wine on Sundays, but my experiences here has been incredibly rewarding, and working on The Emery means I get to do exactly what I have always wanted to do. What do you love about the city? The people. I just spent this weekend talking to such dynamic people: Chris Hoeting, Missy Lay Zimmer and Eric Vosmeier… John Senhauser, Kevin Reynolds, Katherine Durack, Sarah Corlett, Margy Waller. This project has invited a lot of introductions to extraordinary individuals. I am so happy here. What are you trying to change about the city? That is not really on my radar. I miss aspects of a bigger city, but I did not move to Cincinnati to change Cincinnati. I think The Emery will be a lovely addition. What's next? I would like to open the doors to The Emery, and then I would like to take a nap.


Eyes on the future

In a town the size of Cincinnati, it’s easy to fall into the trap of looking for, and finding, only familiar faces. That’s where this issue of Soapbox comes in.


Women artists SpringBoard into better business

A shoe designer. A dance troupe leader. A jewelry recycler. A sculptor. Meet the women of SpringBoard – among the first graduates of ArtWorks’ business development program aimed at helping local artists turn their passions into profits.


Word play

Local spoken word poets aren't trying to be famous. They just want to open your ears and possibly your minds.


Q&A: Once Blind Studios

Randy and Leisa Wilcox of Once Blind Studios could have built their design and branding business anywhere. The L.A. transplants chose Over-the-Rhine. In this Q&A with Soapbox, they explain why. And what's next.


Harvest time

From a freshly painted storefront at Findlay Market to neighborhood coffee shops, fall is the season of harvest. This month, Soapbox features stories and images about harvests of ideas and personal passions that follow our neighbors from the field to the dinner table, from the iPad to the office, and far beyond.


Please and thank you

When it comes to a well-rounded meal, the chef of Please considers every detail, from the plate to the decor surrounding it. Join Soapbox's Scott Beseler for a culinary tour of a recent meal created in partnership with the Brush Factory.


State of the arts

Steel drums and sculpture. Photography and modern dance. With passionate, eclectic leaders and a host of talented supporters, Cincinnati's local community arts centers deliver an array of classes and concerts designed to bring neighbors together. Soapbox tours a few of our region’s growing, vibrant cultural gathering spots.


Plans tonight? Join Soapbox for 'arts lessons'

We know you don't have plans for after work tonight, right? This is your last chance to register for our Soapbox Speaker Series sponsored by the Niehoff Urban Studio, tonight! When: Tuesday, Aug. 30, 5:30-7:30 p.m.  Where: Niehoff Urban Studio


Social Innovation Fund charts course from cradle to career

As grade-schoolers play in the "Energy Zone" filled with bright-colored balls at the Duke Energy Children's Museum, they learn about simple machines the fun way. Training teachers to guide students through field-trip science activities expands the reach, and impact, of every lesson. At Cincinnati's Social Innovation Fund, which supports a wide range of educational programs including teacher training, creating lasting learning makes for measurable successes.  

Mary Ronan thumb

Head of the class: Mary Ronan, CPS superintendent

This fall, Cincinnati Public Schools celebrate higher test scores and make a plea for critical funding. As CPS students head back to school this week, Soapbox quizzed Ronan about the year ahead, the district she loves and her favorite school supply.


Mural, mural, on the wall

From an homage to Frank Duveneck to an original C.F. Payne to the spoils of a TED prize, MuralWorks by ArtWorks brightens more than city walls.We tour of a few of the finest with Soapbox photographer Scott Beseler.