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Faces Without Places raffling off two All Star Game tix to support its kids programs


If you haven’t yet snagged a ticket strip for the 2015 All Star Game festivities, your odds of finding one for less than $500 at this point are few and far between.
 
Faces Without Places, a nonprofit whose mission is “to empower lives by removing educational barriers and provide enrichment opportunities for children and youth experiencing homelessness,” is giving you a chance at tickets for just $20. 
 
Thanks to a donation from John Burns, local businessman and former president of Cincinnati Bell Technology Solutions, Faces Without Places is raffling off a pair of Diamond Seats — just behind home plate — for the July 10-14 events.
 
The tickets are valued at $2,500 apiece and include food along with access to all All Star Game activities, including the game itself, the SiriusXM All Star Futures Game, the All Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game and the Gatorade All Star Workout Day, which features the Gillette Home Run Derby presented by Head & Shoulders.
 
“This donation will enable Faces Without Places to continue on our trajectory of expansion,” says Mike Moroski, the nonprofit’s executive director. “We have some new things in store that will enable us to broaden our impact by keeping children experiencing homelessness connected to their education.”
 
Some of the ways the organization has done that thus far are through its annual Yellow Bus Summer Camp (YBSC) and ZooMates, a year-long mentoring program that pairs children from St. Francis de Sales School with students from Xavier University.
 
According to Moroski, 95 percent of children at last summer's YBSC increased or retained their math and/or reading skills, and a large majority of the children involved with ZooMates (87%) planned on attending college after participating in the program.
 
“We have raised a little over $16,000 thus far, and our goal is to reach $20,000 by July 10,” Moroski says. “Mr. Burns' donation of these tickets will help us to expand and grow more comfortably, and we could not be more grateful for his generosity.”

Do Good: 

• Support Faces Without Places by purchasing raffle tickets for a chance to win a pair of tickets to the 2015 All Star Game and related festivities. Entries will be accepted through July 10 at 5:15 p.m., with the drawing to follow at 5:30. Winners will be contacted immediately.

• Attend a free event at the Contemporary Arts Center July 30 at 6 p.m. to introduce Faces Without Places' rebranding campaign and announce what's in store for the future.

Get involved with Faces Without Places by donating, volunteering or attending/hosting an event.
 

Students work creatively with glass, learn and grow through art


If you missed the opening for Brazee Street Studios’ fifth annual Kids Exhibition, 513 Penguins, you’ll have a second chance to view students’ work at a reception taking place July 10 at C-LINK Gallery.
 
Students from 13 local schools worked to create more than 500 glass penguins — an activity made possible by the staff at Brazee along with 13 teachers who learned the project and then taught it remotely at their respective schools. Bullseye Glass Co. donated all of the glass.
 
According to Chelsea Borgman, C-LINK gallery coordinator and communications specialist, one of Brazee’s core missions is to help children not only express themselves through art but also appreciate the art-making experience.
 
“The annual children's exhibition is not only about the end result — it’s just as much, if not more, about the process,” Borgman says. “Children get to experiment with a material they may not otherwise have an opportunity to use, see how the glass transforms through the firing process, then have their work on display, realizing their connectedness to the smaller community of the classroom and the larger community of Cincinnati.”
 
The process also teaches students trust, Borgman says, as glass is oftentimes viewed as dangerous.
 
“When we trust the children to handle the glass safely, it helps them to trust themselves and take ownership over the responsibility to use this ‘dangerous’ material,” she says.
 
Perhaps most importantly, the program provides an opportunity for children to express their uniqueness without fear of judgment, as no two penguins are crafted the same.
 
“Each one has its own personality, which is a reflection of the choices made by the child during the creation process,” Borgman says. “We hope we have provided an opportunity for children to express themselves without the worry of finding the ‘wrong’ answer. There is no ‘wrong’ way to make their penguin, which I think can be quite liberating.”
 
Do Good: 

• Attend the second reception for 513 Penguins at 6-9 p.m. July 10 at Brazee's C-LINK Gallery in Oakley. Live penguins from Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden will be on site. Guests will also have the opportunity to create a penguin of their own.

• If you can't make the reception, show your appreciation for students' creations by viewing the exhibition, which is on display through Aug. 6. Gallery hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays; 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesdays; 12-8 p.m. Thursdays; and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays. 

• Check out Brazee's class offerings for students of all ages and abilities. 
 

Stages for Youth seeks funding to create year-round filmmaking program for teens


For Frank O’Farrell, the ways in which society traditionally measures educational success can sometimes be limiting.
 
“It sets boundaries and expectations that some kids just cannot understand or relate to,” he says.
 
O’Farrell experienced this frustration personally raising his now 17-year-old son and as a result founded Stages for Youth, whose mission is twofold: to help youth find their voice and express their individuality through digital and performance arts and to change the trajectory of their own lives, those around them and their community.
 
“I felt strongly that I just needed to give my son, and kids like him, an alternative avenue for self expression, another way to experience success,” O’Farrell says.
 
So he spent his vacation days from work planning and developing a pilot program, bringing in mentors and volunteers, hiring staff and fundraising — all for the purpose of teaching kids video production.
 
Twenty-four teenagers between the ages of 12 and 19 came together to create, shoot, edit and produce six films in five days last summer. The free film camp’s success has become apparent, as the group won an honorable mention at The White House Student Film Festival for I Am Urban Art, two Golden Lion awards and an $8,000 scholarship.
 
But the story doesn’t stop there, as O’Farrell is committed to making sure other students receive similar opportunities.
 
“The skills these kids learn through the film production discipline include creativity, critical thinking, problem solving, project management, collaboration, thinking on their feet, working against deadlines,” O’Farrell says. “These are 21st-Century skills that our young people will need in order to be successful. Employers are demanding it (but) schools are not teaching it, and the result is a ‘skills gap’ which is limiting our kids’ opportunities when they do enter the workforce.”
 
These skills don’t come naturally for all, but it’s these types of skills that do seem to be more innate in those who don’t relate to a more traditional educational setting, O’Farrell says, so he wants to build Stages for Youth into a year-round after-school program to “level the playing field” for all students.
 
“Kids will walk away with a finished project, a digital portfolio for their resume, awards, 21st-Century skills in creativity, critical thinking and problem solving, a network of industry professionals and a more clearly defined career roadmap,” he says. “And as these kids write a story for their film, they are also writing their own personal story, and that's what can change their lives.”

Do Good: 

• Help Stages for Youth expand to a year-round after-school model by donating.

• Connect with Stages for Youth on Facebook.

• Check out students' films by clicking "Summer Camp Productions" at the top of the page.
 

Deadline extended for Cincinnati Mini Maker Faire applications


Want to show off your latest DIY project? Perhaps lead a hands-on demonstration or teach others how to make a gadget? If so, the Cincinnati Mini Maker Faire is for you.
 
It’s once again being hosted at the Cincinnati Museum Center, and the application deadline has been extended until June 30, so there’s still time to submit your proposal.
 
According to Cincinnati Museum Center President Elizabeth Pierce, local makers are encouraged to take advantage of the extension so they can showcase the great ideas our region has to offer.
 
“Since we opened the application, we have received an outpouring of interest from makers around the Cincinnati area who want to be a part of this year's Mini Maker Faire,” Pierce says. “We've extended the deadline to ensure that all makers have an opportunity to show off the creativity and ingenuity that this region has to offer.”
 
This year’s Mini Maker Faire — affiliated with the global Maker Faire network created by MAKE magazine — will take place Aug. 29-30.
 
According to its website, Maker Faire is “the Greatest Show (& Tell) on Earth,” mashing up everything from art and science to technology and engineering. Amateurs and professionals of all ages are encouraged to participate.
 
“Cincinnati Museum Center is constantly striving to develop inquisitive minds and serve as a vehicle for creativity,” Pierce says.
 
Cincinnati Mini Maker Faire will be included in the cost of daily Museum Center admission Aug. 29-30 and be free to museum members.  

Do Good: 

Apply by June 30 to participate in the 2015 Cincinnati Mini Maker Faire.

• Connect with Cincinnati Mini Maker Faire on Facebook.

• Mark your calendars for Aug. 29-30, then visit the Cincinnati Museum Center to view local makers' creations.
 

Local AIA chapter sponsors photo contest to benefit Little League team for kids with disabilities


Major League Baseball's 2015 All-Star Game is little more than a month away, but don’t wait until July to share your love of the game with others.
 
The American Institute of Architects’ Cincinnati chapter (AIA) is sponsoring a competition titled "Fields of Dreams" so baseball fans can highlight their own stories through photos that showcase the built environment surrounding the game. Photos can range in composition — everything from the design of professional stadiums to the dugouts at local parks.
 
Contest submissions are $10 each and benefit Butler County Challenger Baseball, a league designed to “meet the needs of children and young adults from 5 to 22 years of age with special needs.”
 
If you’re not submitting a photo but just want to support your favorite entry, each vote will cost you $1 and also benefit the Challenger league.
 
For Butler County Challenger President Alan Lakamp, whose son has Down syndrome, the league is particularly special because it enables kids to live out their dreams.
 
“It’s every child's dream to be a able to play the great game of baseball,” Lakamp says. “When these kids come out to our baseball fields, they are baseball players and have no disability.”
 
Voting ends June 15 at 11:59 p.m. Winning photographers receive cash prizes and a chance to be featured in a public exhibition during All-Star Weekend in July.

Do Good:

• Enter your photos in the "Fields of Dreams" contest.

• View entries and vote for your favorite photo prior to 11:59 p.m. June 15.

• Support Butler County Challenger Baseball by donating.
 

Urban Wine Festival to benefit OTR Community Housing


The first Urban Wine Festival, hosted by 1215 Wine Bar & Coffee Lab, will take place Saturday in the parking lot adjacent to the business on Vine Street in Over-the-Rhine. Twenty-four wines will be available for tasting, and proceeds benefit OTR Community Housing and its Recovery Hotel, which provides individuals with permanent supportive housing.
 
OTRCH’s mission “to build and sustain a diverse neighborhood that values and benefits low-income residents” fits well with the ideas behind Saturday’s festival, which organizers say is to value good wine when shared in the company of others.
 
“Having this outside in OTR, in a parking lot no less, is the best way for people to see for themselves that good wine isn’t a pretentious thing,” says Daniel Souder, 1215’s Wine Director and Sommelier. “It really is meant for every day, and it’s meant for sharing with friends.”
 
A wine seminar will precede the day’s festivities. Tickets are available online for $15 to see a panel of experts discuss the importance a culture of place has on the quality of a wine.
 
“We see the desire for quality wine every day in the bar. Our guests want to know what goes into their glass,” Souder says. “Much the same as guests in a restaurant wanting to know where their food was grown or raised, we feel the need to put the same thought and care into wines we pour. It only makes sense.”

Do Good: 

•  Purchase tickets for the Urban Wine Festival’s wine seminar at 12 noon Saturday, June 13.

•  Attend Saturday's open tasting from 2-10 p.m. in the lot adjacent to 1215 Vine St., OTR. Tickets range from $6 to $48 depending on how many of the 24 wines you'd like to sample.

•  Support Over-the-Rhine Community Housing by donating.
 

Cincinnati filmmakers prep for 48 Hour Film Project weekend


Novices, professionals and filmmakers of all levels in between will gather together Friday to kick off the 48 Hour Film Project (48HFP) in Cincinnati.
 
Participants will be given a genre, character, line of dialogue and prop that must be worked into each film and then have 48 hours to write, cast, shoot and edit it. The rest of the creative process comes about through teamwork, which Kat Steele, Cincinnati city producer for the 48HFP, says is an integral part of the weekend.
 
“The competition challenges filmmakers of all abilities and ages to think outside of the box in a team environment,” Steele says. “From high school students to hobbyists to full time media professionals, all are challenged by incredible time limitations to create a film.”
 
The mission of the 48HFP, which tours more than 130 cities worldwide each year, is to advance and promote filmmaking, filmmakers and teamwork.
 
All local films received by Sunday evening’s deadline will premiere June 7 at the Thompson House in Newport. An awards ceremony will be held in July when a filmmaking prize package will be awarded to winners of the area’s “best film,” which will be screened at Filmapalooza in Hollywood next March and have a shot at a screening at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival.
 
While the 48HFP is certainly focused on filmmakers, it’s the community, Steele says, that plays an integral and supportive role.
 
“It’s not just filmmakers that participate,” she says. “This is a community effort, as each film can take dozens of people to make. It’s a fantastic experience for anyone who will be involved.”

Do Good: 

Register for Cincinnati’s version of the 48 Hour Film Project.

• Support local filmmakers by purchasing tickets to the 48HFP Festival June 7 at the Thompson House.

• Connect with the 48HFP on Facebook.
 

Public Library preps student readers for All-Star summer


For more than 40 years, the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County has engaged the community in its Summer Reading program. The tradition continues June 1 - July 31, as individuals of all ages can participate — with prizes as incentive — to become All-Star Readers.
 
Not sure what to read? The library has prepared a list of reading recommendations in addition to a reading tracker and a list of available prizes.
 
“Research has shown for decades that children are susceptible to losing ground academically over the summer months,” says Diane Smiley, Youth Services and Program Coordinator. “Children from low-income homes can lose up to two months or more of reading and math skills unless they keep those skills sharp.”
 
The program is part of a comprehensive Summer Learning program that includes Brain Camps, Summer Lunches and Summer Camp Reading, a six-week one-on-one tutoring program for upcoming third-graders labeled “at risk” by their district.
 
“I saw an excitement for reading developing especially from some of the reluctant readers,” says Denise Bentley, Cincinnati Public Schools intervention specialist who worked with Summer Camp Reading last year. “They will just blossom with their reading skills and their love of reading.” 

Do Good: 

• Learn how to become an All-Star Reader.

• Feed your body and your brain at Summer Lunches, which are available for students 18 and under.

• Connect with the Public Library on Facebook.
 

"Bipolarized" screening generates funds for local mental illness agency


Though the 2015 Cincinnati ReelAbilities Film Festival has come to a close, impacts will be ongoing thanks to $40,000 in funding the screenings generated for 17 different partnering agencies.

One of those 17 nonprofit recipients, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Urban Greater Cincinnati, gained $2,134 in proceeds from the festival screening of Bipolarized. 
 
The documentary film details Ross McKenzie’s journey toward wellness as he explored alternative treatments for his diagnosis of bipolar disorder, for which he was told lithium — which made him feel foggy — was the only way to control his symptoms. Instead, he made the decision to view his symptoms not as detriments that required prescription drugs to level out but instead as “gifts.”
 
“That’s when my transformation began,” McKenzie says. “That’s when healers and gifted therapists came into my life, and that’s when I began to uncover the trauma.”
 
Though prescription medication is beneficial and necessary for some, McKenzie was able to invest in nontraditional practices that allowed him to engage in self discovery and ultimately physical, mental and emotional healing.
 
“During this journey, I got to the root cause of my symptoms,” he says. “It confuses people when I say I don’t have a disease or disorder, because when you’re diagnosed you have that for life.
 
“But we’re all unique individuals. There’s so many different reasons people can experience these things, and if we could come together and work together we could actually create a new reality on this earth. And this is my mission moving forward — educating about mind, body, spirit and treating the whole person. It’s hard work, but when you make that choice miracles become possible.” 

Do Good: 

• Support NAMI Urban Greater Cincinnati’s work by donating.

• If you or someone you know — family, friends, whomever — is dealing with the impacts of mental illness, contact NAMI for support.

• Encourage and support loved ones to focus on mental, physical and emotional wellness.
 

NOH8 Campaign to shoot photos downtown Monday


The NOH8 Campaign will make its first-ever stop in Cincinnati Monday at The Westin Cincinnati Hotel, where people are encouraged to be photographed to show their support for the nonprofit’s stand against discrimination and bullying.
 
About 50,000 individuals from across the globe have been photographed to date sporting the signature NOH8 tattoo on their faces while duct-taping their mouths shut — a symbol initially intended to represent the voices silenced by California’s Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage in that state in 2008. A federal court eventually ruled Prop 8 unconstitutional.
 
Photos are $40 per person for single photos or $25 per person for couple or group shots, and all funds generated are used to promote and raise awareness for human rights.
 
For the campaign’s founders, Adam Bouska and Jeff Parshley, it’s important to provide an opportunity that initiates dialogue.
 
“Coming from small towns ourselves, we know what it's like to grow up without an outlet to speak out,” Bouska and Parshley say. “We want to bring the message of NOH8 everywhere we can as a resource to give people a way to show support. Harvey Milk always said, ‘Visibility was the key way to opening hearts and minds,’ and that's what our mission is all about.”
 
Bouska, an award-winning celebrity and fashion photographer, and Parshley, executive producer for the campaign, are partners for whom the message of marriage equality hits particularly close to home.
 
“Whether you're directly or indirectly affected by discrimination and legislation like Prop 8, NOH8 photos are an easy way to broadcast your support and identify yourself as an ally of equality,” they say. “For nearly seven years, tens of thousands of supporters worldwide have been using NOH8 to keep the conversation about marriage equality in the mainstream. The message has grown to be about more than just equality; it's about building and supporting a sense of community and human rights for everybody.”

Do Good: 

• Check out the NOH8 event invite on Facebook and participate in the open shoot 5-8 p.m. Monday, April 13.

• Check out NOH8's BE HEARD Project and share your own story. 

• Support the NOH8 Campaign by donating.
 

ArtWorks restarts Saturday Mural Tours of OTR and downtown public art


ArtWorks, the local nonprofit that employs young people to create public art, is again offering its Saturday Mural Tours program.
 
Each 90-minute walk — one through Over-the-Rhine, one through Downtown — is approximately a mile long and features 7-10 murals created by ArtWorks artists. The OTR tour begins at Coffee Emporium at the corner of Walnut Street and Central Parkway at noon, while the Downtown walk begins on Fountain Square at 2 p.m. Two guides lead each tour.
 
The Spirit of OTR tour features “Mr. Tarbell Tips His Hat,” “The Golden Muse” and “Strongman Henry Holtgrewe” among other murals. The Cincinnati Genius tour includes three works from the Cincinnati Master Artist series, including Charley Harper’s “Homecoming (Bluebirds),” Tom Wesselman’s Still Life #60” and John Ruthven’s “Martha, the Last Passenger Pigeon.”
 
The tours help raise money for ArtWorks, which lured the then 88-year-old Ruthven to a scaffold at Eighth and Vine streets in the summer of 2013 to work with 15 apprentice artists on a massive rendition of his original “Martha” that covers the entire side of a downtown building.
 
The tours run every Saturday through November and are $20 for adults and free for children under 12. Tickets must be purchased in advance.

Do Good:

• Join one of the mural tours by purchasing tickets in advance through the ArtWorks website, which also offers discounts and coupons to A Tavola in OTR’s Gateway Quarter following the tours.

• Find out about all 90 of ArtWorks’ public murals, located in numerous neighborhoods on both sides of the river, and do your own self-guided tour.

Support ArtWorks’ mission to employ, engage, create and transform the Greater Cincinnati region.
 

"Walking Cincinnati" launches Saturday in OTR and Covington


Walking Cincinnati, the book that takes readers on a journey through historical, architectural, culinary and socially relevant highlights in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, will be unveiled at two launch parties Saturday, April 11.
 
Written by Danny Korman, owner of Park + Vine in Over-the-Rhine, and Katie Meyer, manager of Renaissance Covington, the launch party will start at noon at Park + Vine in Over-the-Rhine with the authors signing copies. At 2 p.m., Korman and Meyer will put the spirit of the book into action by leading a hike to Roebling Point Books & Coffee in Covington, which is also the home of Keen Communications, publisher of the book. The festivities will continue there until 5 p.m.
 
Korman and Meyer worked for more than two years on the project, which is subtitled “An Insider’s Guide to 32 Historic Neighborhoods, Stunning Riverfront Quarters and Hidden Treasures in the Queen City.” The authors are experienced urban explorers who have a passion for those hidden treasures that lie just beneath the surface for people who might not get out of their cars often as they travel through the area.
 
Organized by neighborhoods, Walking Cincinnati travels from Sayler Park on the west side to Hyde Park on the east and beyond in addition to Newport, Covington and other areas south of the Ohio River.
 
“This is my first book, I’m super excited about it and I’m completely honored by it,” says Korman, who doesn’t own a car and travels the four miles from his home in Evanston to his store every day on foot or bicycle.
 
Walking Cincinnati arrives as more and more people are moving into the urban core of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. The book shares observations and stories collected by Korman and Meyer, but the authors would say its true purpose is to encourage people to find their own paths through the neighborhoods that generations have walked before them.

Do Good:

• Attend the launch parties Saturday, April 11: 12 noon at Park + Vine, 1202 Main St., Over-the-Rhine; and 3 p.m. at Roebling Point Books & Coffee, 306 Greenup St., Covington.

• Support local writers and local publishers by purchasing Walking Cincinnati.

• Walk your own neighborhood, then branch out and try walking everywhere.
 

Deadline for Public Library Comic Con drawing contest entries is March 31


The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County’s Comic Con 2015 Drawing Contest is underway with one week remaining for children ages 5 and above, teens and adults to submit their artwork.
 
“It’s unique in that it gives people the opportunity to show their work and be recognized for their talents by everyone who attends Cincinnati Library Comic Con,” says LeeAnn McNabb, reference librarian in the downtown branch's popular department. 
 
Awards will be presented at the Comic Con's Main Event on Saturday, May 16, which will feature creator and partner booths, gaming areas, free comics and more.
 
In its third year, the Cincinnati Library Comic Con provides fans, creators and aspiring creators with a venue and an opportunity to come together “in a fun, friendly, cooperative environment where they can access the tools and information they need to entertain or educate themselves about the world of comics,” says McNabb, who initiated the idea.
 
For McNabb, it’s important that comic books, graphic novels and manga are incorporated into our understanding of literacy because they’re generally familiar, fun and not intimidating,, serving as a “gateway to reading.”
 
“People read and absorb information in different ways, and it’s important for us to acknowledge that,” McNabb says. “Some readers connect better with contextual imagery that accompanies text rather than narratives told solely through the written word. For example, some students who are struggling readers, no matter what age they are, can use the sequential art as a sort of road map that can provide clues to understanding words they are not familiar with.”

Do Good: 

• Download your drawing contest entry form here. Entry deadline is March 31.

• Check out the Cincinnati Library Comic Con Main Event schedule here.

• Connect with the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County on Facebook.
 

The Women's Fund hosts Lisa Ling appearance to fund 2015 grants


It’s not too late to purchase tickets to The Women’s Fund of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation’s “A Conversation with Lisa Ling” Wednesday, March 25 at Memorial Hall.
 
The evening commences at 5:30 p.m. with drinks and appetizers, followed by Ling’s speech. Tickets are $40, and proceeds enable the organization to add to the $1 million it’s granted since 2004 to nonprofits supporting female self sufficiency and empowerment.

Ling is executive producer and host of This Is Life on CNN and previously hosted Our America on the Oprah Winfrey Network and co-hosted ABC's hit show The View. She is also an author and co-founder of the website SecretSocietyofWomen.com.
 
“Lisa often tells the stories of people whose lives are often misunderstood or overlooked and finds not only the beauty but also the hope that lies within them,” says Vanessa Freytag, executive director of The Women’s Fund. “What a beautiful lens for our community to adopt as we learn about women and their families who are struggling right here at home.”
 
In addition to awarding grants to nonprofits and offering events that spark community dialogue, The Women’s Fund also commissions research.
 
In its most recent Pulse report, “2020 Jobs and Gender Outlook,” findings indicate that by 2020 four out of every seven jobs held by females will not provide enough income for her to cover the basic needs of herself and one child.
 
“When you take that in context with the fact that two-thirds of children in poverty are in female-headed households, you start to see why it is important for the entire community to work on strategies that can help hard working moms reach self-sufficiency,” Freytag says. “There is no more important challenge to creating a thriving region than addressing this issue.”

Do Good: 

Buy tickets for "A Conversation with Lisa Ling."

• Support The Women's Fund by giving.

• Learn about The Women's Fund 2015 grant cycle and consider applying for a mini-grant or signing up as a volunteer to review them. 
 

Cincinnati native launches Queen City Crowdfunding to tap into the region's generosity


For Jim Cunningham, primary founder, funder and general manager of Queen City Crowdfunding, improving the Greater Cincinnati region is a primary aim.
 
“My family and my wife’s (family) have lived here almost since the Civil War, and both of our children have stayed here, so we are totally committed to this region,” Cunningham says. “Fortunately it’s one of the best and most affordable places in the world to live. The people here are generous, as shown by the large United Way and other charitable and arts-related support.”
 
Because of that generosity, it’s important to raise awareness about crowdfunding as an asset for both the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors, Cunningham says.
 
Cunningham managed operations at Queen City Angels, the startup investor group, and following his recent retirement he launched QCC, a free service that allows entrepreneurs to create or publicize their already-live campaigns.
 
Many people are familiar with global platforms like Kickstarter, for example, but QCC will highlight all local ventures, attracting contributors who are perhaps outside the circles of those launching campaigns.
 
“A lot of the campaigns we support are for-profit businesses that create jobs and enrich the local business community and consumers’ choices,” Cunningham says. “But The Gallery Project is a nonprofit that I found especially appealing because it is in an urban area, on Woodburn Avenue (in Walnut Hills), that will benefit from this arts incubator for its youth. It can enrich the lives of people through exposure to the arts and hands-on mentoring in a field that is not the focus of schools.”
 
The Gallery Project raised $2,865 during its two-month long campaign, and though it didn’t reach its goal of $10,000 Cunningham says a few thousand dollars can certainly help it move forward.
 
“It’s a worthy social venture in a part of town that would not normally attract a lot of funding, but it could advertise itself to the broad Cincinnati community,” Cunningham says. “Increasing the entire region’s awareness of crowdfunding is a long-term project, and we’re in this for the long haul.” 

Do Good:

• Explore local campaigns at Queen City Crowdfunding and consider contributing.

• Join QCC and publicize your own crowdfunding campaign. It's completely free.

• Learn more about how QCC works and help the site launch by sharing it with your friends.
 
248 Arts + Culture Articles | Page: | Show All
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