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Pops to host NYC jazz band for NYE speakeasy-themed concert

If you’ve yet to formulate plans for New Year's Eve, have no fear; the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra has you covered.  
New York City-based jazz band, The Hot Sardines, will join the Pops at its Dec. 31 speakeasy-themed concert, which will feature old-time favorites from the likes of George Gershwin and Duke Ellington, in addition to some of The Hot Sardines’ originals.
“Sometimes life requires a party,” said Evan Palazzo, The Hot Sardines’ bandleader. “But one that conveys a rich emotional experience which people today sometimes need permission to feel, otherwise known as fun.”
And that’s what the two musical groups plan to bring to the Taft Theatre — perhaps the perfect setting for a speakeasy-themed event where patrons are encouraged to come dressed with their beads and boas.
“We love high-energy music from the first half of the 20th century,” Palazzo said. “Our mission is to show its relevance and power as we usher in 2017.”
Tickets are still available for the special New Year’s Eve performance, which begins at 8 p.m. 

Do Good: 

•    Purchase your concert tickets before they sell out. 

•    Check out a couple of The Hot Sardines' latest hits here and here

•    Connect with the Pops on Facebook.

Best Buy awards GCSC grant to continue operations of local 3D printer clubs

Two 3-d printer clubs received a $5,000 grant from Best Buy to fund students who are eager to design, create, and problem-solve.
Corryville Catholic Elementary School students like Aleia Samuels from Avondale, for example, will gain exposure to technology.
“I’d never done anything like this before,” Samuels said. “Now I see so many possibilities and how to use technology in different ways.” Samuels’ favorite creation to-date is an egg-rabbit-chicken keychain.
According to Brian Stevens of Best Buy, the Best Buy Community Grant initiative provides teens with places and opportunities to develop 21st century technology skills to inspire their educational and career choices.  
“In a nutshell, the clubs are teens and technology,” Stevens said. “The opportunity for students to design, create, see problems and fix them is tremendous. They are getting the best STEM learning from the Greater Cincinnati STEM Collaborative (GCSC).”
The GCSC, a nonprofit whose vision is to create a “technologically rich, vibrant community with the most talented STEM workforce in the country that is representative of the region’s population,” applied for the grant and continues to find ways to fund the clubs — currently there's more interest than funding available.  Twenty-eight schools have applied, and three existing clubs are still waiting to see if funding will allow for another year of the club’s implementation.
“It’s an awesome opportunity to support something really cool that’s good for kids and our community,” said Mary Adams, GCSC Project Manager. “You can be part of making that happen for elementary and middle schools.” 

Do Good: 

•    Help fund the work of the GCSC. For example, $700 funds one 3-d printer. 

•    Support the GCSC in other ways — perhaps through volunteering.

•    Learn more about Best Buy Community Grants, including how to apply for one in the future.


Local creatives raise nearly $10K for Make-A-Wish

Halloween has come and gone, but the impacts of the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) Cincinnati chapter’s latest fundraiser are long lasting.  The group hosted GUTS: Creatives Carving for Kids at Washington Park last month and raised nearly $10,000 for Make-A-Wish Southern Ohio. The “pipeline of eligible children” continues to grow with the proximity of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.
“We raised more than enough for one wish,” said Jay Shifman of Make-A-Wish Shifman said noting that they work to grant the wish of every child facing a life threatening illness in our community.
AIGA to surpassed fundraising goal of $8,000 (the average cost of one wish) by $1,200.
The winning Team LPK carved “Haunted OTR"  four pumpkins, side-by-side, depicting the local streetscape.  
“GUTS is a part of AIGA Cincinnati’s larger ‘Design for Good’ initiative,” said Phil Rowland, architect and AIGA member. “We believe design can make a difference in our community.”

Do Good: 

•    It's not too late to donate. Contribute here.

•    Sign up to be a sponsor for next year's GUTS. It's never too early.

•    There are many ways to help grant wishes. Learn about them here.

Library Foundation announces newest Writer-in-Residence

The Library Foundation has a new Writer-in-Residence, local high school English teacher Kurt Dinan.
Dinan teaches 10th grade English and creative writing at William Mason High School. He also serves as the advisor for the school’s yearbook.
Dinan will make his first appearance in his new position at 7 p.m. on Nov. 15 in the Main Library’s Popular Library Lounge, where he’ll read from his first published young adult novel, Don’t Get Caught. The reading will be followed by a question-and-answer session.
“I started writing at 30, and I think when you find your passion, you want to be able to share it with people,” Dinan said.
He’ll have the opportunity to do just that, as he’ll share his talents through a variety of modes and mediums from now through next September.
Conducting writers’ workshops, hosting podcasts and blogging are just a few items on his agenda.

“I’m just really thrilled,” Dinan said. "I’ll have the opportunity to help other writers in the community and support the Library.”

Do Good: 

•    Support The Library Foundation in its quest to better the community through literacy, activity, enrichment and other support services.

•    Keep up with the Library and its upcoming events on Facebook.

•    Mark your calendar for Dinan's first appearance as Writer-in-Residence, which is at 7 p.m. on Nov. 15.

Local employer teams up with Starfire, builds inclusive workplace environment

Catherine Bennett and Craig Ihlendorf have worked closely with one another since September 2015, which is when Ihlendorf started working at Kinetic Vision.

Prior to his work at the engineering consulting firm in Evendale, Ihlendorf was unfulfilled by his job.

“It was okay,” Ihlendorf said. “But I didn't really care about what I did. I didn't get to work on anything that was important to me.”

Now that’s all changed, and the impact can be seen in a variety of capacities. 

On Oct. 18, Kinetic Vision received the 2016 Ohio Employer of the Year Award from the Governor’s Council on People with Disabilities, and Ihlendorf feels valued. The organization was recognized for its inclusive workplace environment for people with disabilities.

“When I go to work, I get to be around other people who like the same things I do,” Ihlendorf said. “When I suggest something, they really listen and encourage me.”

The pairing was made possible by Starfire — a local nonprofit that helps individuals with disabilities discover their talents through relationship building, then places them in communities where they can thrive. Working with one person and their family at a time, Starfire connects people to relationships and uncovers a person's talents and passions so they can thrive in their communities alongside their neighbors.

Kinetic Vision wasn’t concerned with Ihlendorf’s disability. Instead, they saw his passion and ability to work with computers, and as a result, both the company and the individual are seeing positive results.

Do Good: 

•    Want to help Starfire build a more inclusive community? Connect with the nonprofit.

•    Like Starfire on Facebook.

•    Learn more about Kinetic Vision, and connect on LinkedIn.

Local artists team up, support Pets in Need

Calling all pet lovers: Pets in Need of Greater Cincinnati will host its third annual fundraiser, Petcasso, on Nov. 19, at The Carnegie Center of Columbia Tusculum.
New this year is the “Painted Pets” auction of unique artwork by Mara McCalmont, local artist and creator of the “Peter Max” Painted Pet, and other artists who are donating their work.

“Ninety-nine percent of my work features animals,” said McCalmont. “It’s hard to put my love for animals into words — it’s unconditional — it doesn’t matter if you’ve had a bad day. They don’t care what you look like. They’re like children that never grow up; they just stay your sweet little baby.”
The organization, which provides food and low-cost veterinary care for pets in homes of those living at 150 percent below poverty level, currently serves 1,800 households.
“I’ve seen first-hand how Pets In Need helps people keep their pets, when it would have otherwise been impossible,” McCalmont said. “Their work is so important because pets are just such a big part of our lives.”
The nonprofit’s function stretches far beyond providing food and low-cost veterinary care for board member and volunteer Lexie Stevenson.
When one client’s canine companion, Beowulf, was euthanized, her niece requested memories of Beowulf from better times.
“She told me later how much it meant to her aunt to have those pictures,” Stevenson said. “At Pets In Need, we provide amazing low-cost veterinary care, but we also provide something intangible: respect, compassion and dignity to people who are often worn down by poverty, illness or age. It means almost as much to me as it does to them to be able to provide a memento of their dear companion.”  

Do Good: 

•    Register now for Petcasso, Nov. 19 from 7-10 p.m., $85, 3738 Eastern Ave., 45226, includes open bar, live entertainment, cocktail buffet.

•    Can't attend Petcasso? Support Pets in Need by donating.

•    Connect with Pets in Need on Facebook.

Walnut Hills High School host CSO chamber concert Oct. 18 to benefit refugees

A Walnut Hills High School (WHHS) student-led group is doing its part to educate themselves and others about refugees and their needs, while offering a helping hand and system of support.
Students Together Assisting Refugees (STAR), founded in 2015, will host a benefit chamber concert featuring Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (CSO) principal musicians Oct. 18.
The intimate concert experience will allow STAR, in collaboration with the Junior League of Cincinnati’s project RefugeeConnect, to fund scholarships for student refugees.
“We live comfortably in Ohio, far away from most of the international conflict, but there are refugee teens in Cincinnati who struggle with very difficult lives,” said Adam Sella, STAR president and WHHS senior. “We hope to raise enough money from the concert to offer more than one scholarship to Cincinnati Public Schools’ students.”
It’s important to Sella and other STAR members to reach out to their fellow student body as well. German Consul General Herbert Quelle, who will attend next week’s concert, will also speak to WHHS students about the German response to the refugee crisis.  It’s just one of many opportunities for both learning and engagement STAR makes possible.
“Last year when two Bhutanese youths spoke, the WHHS students were shocked to learn their stories of hardship and asked questions about what it is like to be a refugee,” Sella said. “It is important for everyone to understand the refugee crisis.” 

Do Good: 

•    Support WHHS's STAR in its effort to raise funds for student refugees' education by attending next Tuesday's concert.

•    Even if you can't attend the October 18 event, consider donating to the scholarship fund.

•    Want to do more? Learn more about RefugeeConnect and how you can get involved.

Women craft brewers host beer tasting to benefit Women Helping Women

Amelia BEERhart: Celebrating Women in the Craft Beer Industry — the brainchild of Ei8ht Ball Brewing — presents an opportunity to not only honor strong women who brew beer, but also to honor strong women who have survived domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking.
Women Helping Women will receive a portion of the proceeds from the Oct. 14 celebration.
“The nonprofit is local, like all of our breweries, and through programs, it gives strength to women who have lost their voice,” said Holli Redmond, who manages Ei8ht Ball Brewing’s taproom in addition to outside sales within its distribution area.
A portion of sales from each fli8ht special, in addition to proceeds from a silent art auction in which local females have depicted what it means to be a strong woman will go to the nonprofit, as will diapers — a much needed item, according to Women Helping Women — which are being collected all week, and throughout the night of the event.
According to Redmond, the decision to give back came out of the gratefulness women within the craft beer industry possess with regard to their experiences and expertise.
“As a female in the craft beer industry, I know there are other women, but our paths don’t always cross, and it can seem like you are surrounded by men,” Redmond said. “We thought it would be a great to invite women interested and working in craft beer to an event that celebrates them and gives them a chance to see that in a sea of male craft beer fans — who are equally as awesome — they are not alone, and that’s a very cool thing.”
Ei8ht Ball Brewing has teamed up with more than 8 other local breweries to present the event, which takes place at Ei8ht Ball’s taproom, which houses 42 different beers.
“The event is open to everyone, but we wanted to specifically invite women who are interested in, or who work in the industry,” Redmond said. “We have teamed up with other local breweries who not only have female employees, but whose female employees are taking on leadership roles and breaking the mold in the industry. It takes a strong, confident women to be in this field.” 

Do Good: 

•    Male or female, it matters not. Make plans to attend Friday's event from 5-8 p.m. at Ei8ht Ball's taproom.

•    Donate diapers to support Women Helping Women. Each Ei8ht Ball guest donating a pack of diapers will receive a glass of non barrel-aged Ei8ht Ball Beer for the price of a taster. Visit the taproom, and bring your donation by any day this week. 

•    Support Women Helping Women by getting involved

Raising awareness, reducing stigma surrounding mental illness in urban communities

One in five individuals is affected by mental illness, according to Gloria Walker, executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness’ (NAMI) Urban Greater Cincinnati Network on Mental Illness.
“African Americans are no exception,” Walker says.
It wasn’t until one of Walker’s loved ones began exhibiting symptoms of what was later diagnosed as a mental illness that she says she came to understand the ways in which mental illness is addressed within the African American community.
“I was introduced to the Alliance for the Mentally Ill — People of Color [Support Group] of Greater Cincinnati, and through that involvement, I recognized how devastating stigma and ignorance, lack of information and hopelessness about these illnesses impacted the African American community,” Walker says. “Stigma, perpetrated by jokes people tell and the names people are called keep people from getting the help they need early when recovery outcomes are better.”
She went from knowing nothing, she says — researching a mental illness on her own, joining a support group and asking questions  — to running a nonprofit that’s aimed at raising awareness and providing much needed resources to the urban community so they can lead fulfilled and productive lives.
Oct. 2-8 is Mental Illness Awareness Week, and one way that the UGCNOMI is doing its part in raising awareness is through a partnership with ReelAbilities Cincinnati Film Festival.
Patrick’s Day, a love story between a man living with schizophrenia and a female flight attendant who is suicidal, will premiere at the Esquire Theatre on Oct. 6. It will be preceded by the debut of an art exhibit at Sitwell’s Coffee House, which will feature the work of those within Greater Cincinnati who are experiencing or living with someone who is experiencing the effects of mental illness.
Deb Pinger, director of ReelAbilities, says she’s eager to partner with the UGCNOMI and bring Patrick’s Day to the community.
“It’s a powerful film, and we are excited to premiere it in Cincinnati as yet another example of the stories we believe need to be shared in the community to celebrate the lives of people who experience disabilities,” Pinger says.
For Walker, the film premiere and art opening are ways to honor the UGCNOMI’s current campaign — “Bringing Mental Illness Out of the Shadows."
“People with mental illnesses are human with human feelings," she says. "They deserve respect and understanding. We hope this will get and keep the conversation going. We want people to leave wanting to learn more and feel comfortable reaching out to us for help if they need it.” 

Do Good: 

•    For more information about NAMI's Urban Greater Cincinnati Network on Mental Illness, contact 513-238-7788.

•    Check out ReelAbilities' website to learn more and to purchase tickets for Thursday's premiere screening of Patrick's Day. Tickets are also available at the door. The showing begins at 7:30 p.m., and tickets are $10.

•    Stop by Sitwell's to check out the art exhibit prior to the showing. It debuts at 5:30 p.m. and will remain on display for the next month. 

Local civil rights advocate Dick Weiland to be inducted into Hall of Fame

On Oct. 6, the Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame will induct six new members, one of whom is a Cincinnati native and active community member.
Dick Weiland, 87, serves on more than 30 boards and commissions, and has worked tirelessly during his lifetime to serve others and stand up for what he believes.
“This is an incredible honor and one I will not take lightly,” Weiland said. “To be recognized alongside so many respected leaders in the Civil Rights Movement is truly a lifetime achievement.”
Among those leaders are individuals like Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, Toni Morrison and the Ohio Tuskegee Airmen, to name a few.
The Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame was created in 2009 and is the product of a collaborative effort among the Ohio Civil Rights Commission, Honda Manufacturing of Ohio, Wright State University and the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.
Throughout his life, Weiland has advocated for civil rights on both national and local levels. He met First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt at the United Nations and marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. He also helped put a stop to the Cincinnati riots in 1967 and founded the Halom House for Jewish adults with disabilities in 1982. But his accomplishments don’t end there.
“I believe we have a duty to take care of our fellow man; I have always upheld that we have to treat others the way we want to be treated,” Weiland said. “I was fortunate enough to have many role models while growing up who taught me the importance of making an impact on our community.”

Do Good:  

•    Make an impact on your own community. Think of someone you could help or something you could get involved with, and begin your work. 

•    Check out this year's Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame inductees, and read more about their life's work. 

•    Attend the 8th Annual Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame induction ceremony at 10 a.m. on Oct. 6 in the Ohio Statehouse Atrium.

CSO launches Friday Orange, invites patrons to experiment and engage in uniqueness

The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra is inviting you to reimagine your experience with its new initiative — Friday Orange — an idea that stemmed from the desire to make the CSO more energetic and inviting.
“Our temporary ‘home away from home’ at the Taft Theatre is right in the heart of downtown, so we hope to catch some of that urban vibe and incorporate it into the concert experience,” says Meghan Berneking, the CSO’s director of communications. “We decided to use orange because it is a hot, passionate color and a welcoming color — we want even first-timers to feel welcome and excited to be spending their Friday night at the CSO.”
A few individuals in attendance will be selected from the crowd — only if they’re in orange, of course — and rewarded with a free drink ticket.
“We want Friday Orange to be a place where first-timers feel welcome, relaxed and like they are part of something vibrant,” Berneking says.
Not only will attendees get the chance to be playful, but they’ll be exposed to world-class music while also having a unique experience, as each Friday Orange is planned by a different guest curator.
“We had The Millennium Robots hip-hop group for the launch, specialty cocktails, lighting, a sense of community or just an overall vibe of intrigue,” Berneking says. “Friday Orange rethinks the traditional concert experience, and there are sure to be surprises along the way. These are not traditional concert experiences.” 

Do Good: 

•    Check out the lineup for future Friday Orange performances, and plan to attend. 

•    Never been to a CSO concert? Call 513-381-3300 if it's your first time, and purchase $10 tickets.

•    Connect with the CSO on Facebook.

Siemens, UC partner to expose students to PLM software, enhancing job readiness

University of Cincinnati engineering students will gain skills and hands-on experience, which will lead to job preparedness and a leg-up when it comes to future successes, thanks to its most recent partnership with Siemens.
The international engineering company with local firms recently pledged its product lifecycle management (PLM) software, in addition to $1 million, to establish the Siemens PLM Simulation Technology Center at UC’s College of Engineering & Applied Science.
Siemens’ staff will also be on board, as it will provide support to both students and faculty as they navigate a new learning experience by experimenting with the same software used to design things like the Mars Rover and Maserati cars.
“As manufacturing companies worldwide move closer to Industry 4.0, it is more important than ever for academic institutions and educators to move beyond CAD software and embed digitalization into their curriculum,” says Chuck Grindstaff, president and CEO of Siemens PLM Software. “The Siemens PLM Simulation Technology Center will help establish the connection between academia and industry to develop future employees for the digital enterprise.”
Around the globe, a documented 140,000 companies utilize PLM software, so being able to access it and problem-solve with it at the Center will prepare students for future work.
Siemens PLM Software’s Milford office has also committed to employing UC students via a long-term co-op program, in which students can gain further experience.
“We believe that simulation expertise will be a real differentiator for UC,” says Jan Leuridan, senior vice president of simulation and test solutions for Siemens PLM Software. “We are proud that together we are empowering the next generation of digital talent.”

Do Good: 

•    Learn more about the CEAS at UC.

•    Want to support CEAS students and the work they do? Consider giving

•    Connect with Siemens on Facebook, and follow in the company's footsteps by partnering with local educational institutions to enhance learning opportunities for students. 

Clifton Performance Theatre, home to intimate performances and youth workshops

If you’ve never checked out the Clifton Performance Theatre, there’s no better time than now.
Its 2016-17 season opened this past Thursday with The Road through Damascus — a new play that is written by local playwright and Northern Kentucky University graduate Robert Macke.
Presented by the Clifton Players, a nonprofit collective of actors who are committed to delivering engaging, intimate material to audiences, the play will prompt audience members to partake in a world filled with people much like themselves who question life’s everyday occurrences.
It’s because of the space, Nate Netzley says, that he’s most excited to direct this play in particular.
“You won't get a more intimate and honest experience than you will in the space at Ludlow, because there is no place to hide,” he says. “There is no room for being fake — even in a play that's a kind of magical realism like this one — everything you do has to be honest, or it won't read." 
It’s just one of the benefits offered from small, local theaters like CPT, which functions not only as a space to view performances, but also as a place for youth to interact with and learn from actors by attending summer camps, classes and workshops.
Upcoming fall workshops include offerings such as “Baby Box: Creating Characters,” which allows children as young as 3 to dabble in the world of storytelling by exploring the stories of people all across the world. They will "open their suitcases" and add a new sticker to their passports each week.
A complete listing of fall session offerings, in addition to information regarding tickets to The Road through Damascus, can be found on CPT’s website

Do Good: 

•    Learn more about the Clifton Players by connecting with them on Facebook.

•    Purchase your ticket to The Road through Damascus, which closes Oct. 1, and see what it's like to engage in intimate, community theater.

•    If your child is interested in acting, sign them up for a fall workshop.


Melodic Connections seeks funding for new storytelling podcast

It’s been two weeks since flash flooding unexpectedly destroyed the possessions and changed the lives of many Cincinnatians.

Melodic Connections, a community music therapy studio, lost all of its instruments and is now in the process of searching for a new and permanent home, as its former facility was destroyed in the flooding.
Thanks to generous donations from the nonprofit’s supporters, however, the organization has been able to restore all instruments and resume programming and lessons in a temporary location at LADD, Inc.
“Community support is telling us that we must continue our work,” says Betsey Zenk-Nuseibeh, Melodic Connections’ executive director.
That work includes music therapy via lessons and opportunities for performance, but also unique activities like “Hero Radio. Stories Beyond the Music.” — an original podcast created by members of Melodic Connections’ adult conservatory and Mount St. Joseph University students. The podcast profiles well-known musicians with Cincinnati roots.
"This project will make great strides in advocating for the abilities of individuals with different learning needs,” Zenk-Nuseibeh says. “By using a storytelling medium that people are so familiar with, we know that listeners will get ‘hooked’ and return for a weekly reminder that different is not less.”
The service learning opportunity allows adult conservatory members to not only collaborate with others, but to also practice interviewing and storytelling skills, while composing an original piece of music and visual art — not to mention recording and editing audio.
“Our vision requires a quality end product, and that's where our financial need lies,” Zenk-Nuseibeh says, who recognizes the tough place the nonprofit is in fiscally. It needs a facility for daily operations but also funding to launch the podcast series. 
If Melodic Connections can raise $15,000 for the podcast seres by Dec. 1, the organization will receive a matching grant, increasing the total to $30,000.
“We need additional funding to boost our recording capabilities so that our participants' voices are not just heard, but heard loudly and clearly,” Zenk-Nuseibeh says. “And so their message comes through with no interference."

Do Good: 

•    Support Melodic Connections by donating to its disaster relief fund. More than $50,000 is still needed to secure a new facility for operations.

•    Contact Melodic Connections to learn how you can help the nonprofit launch its podcast series.

•    Learn more about the podcast series, and check out the theme song that has already been created by Melodic Connections' students.

CSO and Pops to share talents internationally in 2017

Next year, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Cincinnati Pops will pack their bags and take their talents on the road to 12 cities in seven countries on two continents.
It’s the first time the musical groups have toured internationally since 2009, when the CSO performed in Japan.
“Cincinnati’s orchestra is known throughout the world, and it’s an honor for us to be invited to perform in these important cities,” says Louis Langrée, director of the CSO. “We are proud to represent our community and Cincinnati’s vibrant cultural arts scene to audiences across Asia and Europe.”
The 2017 international tour kicks off March 17 when the CSO will perform at the Hong Kong Arts Festival, and concludes with performances next fall at an array of festivals throughout Europe.
Cincinnati Pops will perform in both Shanghai and Taiwan, and John Morris Russell, who conducts the Pops, says he could not be more excited.
“We’ve sold more than 10 million albums over the years and know that many of our most fervent fans live on the other side of the earth,” Russell says. “There is nothing like a live performance of Cincinnati Pops and the CSO, especially when we are sharing the joy of unbridled music-making with the world.”
The travel announcement comes at both an appropriate and celebratory time, as it was 50 years ago that the U.S. Department of State first sponsored a world tour for an American orchestra — the CSO — in 1966. 

Do Good: 

•    Support the CSO and Pops by donating.

•    Plan your experience to a CSO and/or Cincinnati Pops concert this season. 

•    Get involved by volunteering with the CSO and/or Pops. 
506 Talent Articles | Page: | Show All
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