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Norwood students give back, gain much in return through Avenues for Success

Norwood City Schools’ Avenues for Success will host its second annual Glow for the Cure May 21 as students work to serve their community by raising funds for The Cure Starts Now Foundation and the iWILL Awareness Foundation.
The students leading the effort, which features hot air balloons at the Norwood High School practice field, call themselves “Team Erase!!!” since their mission is to erase cancer.
“We believe that teaching our students to serve others builds compassionate, caring, young people,” says Laura Ferguson, After School Program Coordinator for Avenues For Success, which affords unique learning opportunities both before and after school for students of all ages.
Glow for the Cure is just one of the ways the students engage with their community.
Since Avenues for Success believes that students thrive through nontraditional social, academic and recreational avenues, there’s a Skateboarding Club, for example, that picks up trash as they skate throughout the neighborhood, in addition to a Family Floral Club that creates flower arrangements for local nursing homes.
Because students are able to dabble in various activities and even discover their passions, they excel in a multitude of ways.
“The impact of Avenues for Success in our students’ lives is far reaching,” Ferguson says. “We have students that have struggled academically that have improved their grades, students that had difficulty in social settings and began to make friends in their clubs, students that have been exposed to the arts in ways that can only happen in the hours after school, and students that have experienced new opportunities that have led them to future career choices.” 

Do Good: 

Attend Glow for the Cure Saturday, May 21 from 5 p.m. until dusk. The event is family friendly and takes place at Norwood High School. 

• Avenues for Success can deliver unique opportunities to its students only through community partnerships, so if you're interested in pairing up, contact Laura Ferguson. 

• Avenues for Success is always in need of volunteers. Want to get involved? Find out how.

Cincinnati Symphony, CCM lead diversity push among American orchestras

According to the League of American Orchestras, about 4 percent of classical orchestra musicians are African American or Latino. To promote a more diverse and inclusive environment, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (CSO) and UC's College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) have teamed up to provide a unique opportunity for mentorship and applied learning among students.
Thanks to a $900,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, five string players are now CSO/CCM Diversity Fellows.
The program is the first of its kind and aims to change the face of America’s orchestras, kicking off in August at the start of the 2016-17 school year. Five new Fellows will be welcomed in 2017-18, as the program is slated to run for two years.
“Our Fellows hail from New York, Georgia, Kentucky, Costa Rica and Hong Kong and represent the future of American orchestras,” CCM Dean Peter Landgren says. “Working in close collaboration with our partners at the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, we will prepare these Fellows for long and fruitful artistic careers while challenging the status quo of our industry.”

In addition to financial support via scholarships, stipends and award money, students will also receive compensation to practice and perform with the CSO.

For Emilio Carlo, one of the five students selected as an incoming Fellow, the opportunity is particularly special.

“Being raised in the Bronx, I would’ve never thought my future would involve classical music,” Carlo says. “When I attend orchestra concerts, there aren’t many musicians of color seen on stage. In fact, it’s always an ‘aha’ moment when I see a Latino or African American musician playing in a symphony.”

Do Good: 

• Learn more about the Multicultural Awareness Council and how you can promote diversity and inclusiveness within the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. 

• Connect with CSO on Facebook

• Check out a list of upcoming events at CCM.

Cincy-Cinco celebrates culture, honors mothers at region's largest Latino fest

If you’re in the mood for salsa dancing, live music and authentic Latino cuisine, mark your calendars for May 7-8, when the 13th annual Cincy-Cinco highlights Latino traditions, values and culture on Fountain Square.
“We want people of all ages and backgrounds to have the opportunity to enjoy and learn about the rich heritage of Latino music, dance, and food,” Cincy-Cinco Chair Alfonso Cornejo says. “And this year we are celebrating Mother’s Day all weekend long.”
Children will be sure to have a good time with piñatas and a Conga parade. There will also be opportunities to paint flowerpots as tokens of appreciation for mom.
Cincy-Cinco is the largest Latino celebration in the region, with all proceeds benefiting local nonprofits that serve and support the Latino community.
“We are so happy and proud that this event is becoming a great tradition in this city to add to the many other wonderful events and traditions,” Cornejo says.
Cincy-Cinco takes place 12-11 p.m. Saturday and 12-6 p.m. Sunday.  

Do Good:

• Check out the music and dance lineup, food and children's activities offered at Cincy-Cinco May 7-8. 

• Connect with Cincy-Cinco on Facebook, share the page and invite a friend to the festivities. 

• Brush up on all things Latino by learning more about Cinco De Mayo, Fiesta De Pueblo and the piñata.

Internationally renowned photographer features local families in "ReelBeauty" program

While the ReelAbilities Film Festival won’t return to Cincinnati until March 2017, nonprofit organizer Living Arrangements for the Developmentally Disabled (LADD) has put together a series of monthly “ReelPrograms” happenings leading up to the main event.

Intended to build anticipation for ReelAbilities, the region’s largest film festival, and also prompt dialogue about the abilities of those labeled as “disabled,” ReelPrograms will feature everything from encore screenings of past years’ award-winning films to the ReelBeauty photography exhibition that made its debut at Christ Church Cathedral last month. 

The exhibition features the work of Rick Guidotti, internationally known fashion photographer turned activist and founder of Positive Exposure, a nonprofit aiming to shift perceptions of those living with physical, genetic, intellectual or behavioral differences.

“I see beauty everywhere,” says Guidotti, who hopes to challenge viewers to “change how they see,” then “see how they change.” 

Guidotti photographed 12 local families to produce a collection of 22 photos for ReelBeauty. Rather than walking down the street and choosing to stare at someone or make eye contact then quickly look away, he says his aim in photographing those with differences is to showcase the shared humanity one can only recognize after steadying one’s gaze and looking directly into another person’s eyes. 

“There are individuals everywhere in the world that don’t want to be seen as diseased or as a diagnosis,” Guidotti says. “We all want to be seen as human beings.” 

Photos will remain on display through the end of May.

Do Good: 

• Check out ReelBeauty. at Christ Church Cathedral, 318 E. Fourth St. downtown. Gallery hours are 8:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday. 

• Mark your calendar for other upcoming ReelPrograms.

Connect with Cincinnati ReelAbilities on social media or by getting involved as a volunteer or supporter. 

Brazee Street Studios looking for artists to join Mini Bead Marathon and Art Supply Swap April 23

Brazee Street Studios will host its first-ever Mini Bead Marathon April 23 to back Beads of Courage, a national arts-in-medicine program that supports children coping with serious medical issues.
Artists gather at Brazee every September for National Bead Challenge Day, when they create glasswork that enables children to record and share their own stories of hope through jewelry creation. The Oakley-based studio is extending its support for Beads of Courage, however, by asking skilled volunteers to stop by for a two-hour shift April 23 to utilize their talents for good.
Volunteers will work specifically on birthday beads, beads for the upcoming holidays, transportation beads and dream beads.
“These beads are tangible signs of hope and progress for the kids who receive them,” says Chelsea Borgman, Brazee’s gallery coordinator. “They show the kids, their families and the world just how much they’ve overcome.”
The event runs 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and is free and open to the public. Food and non-glass bead making activities will be provided by Brazee, which is also supplying glass artists with free torch time and, of course, glass.
In addition to creating beads, the new Beads of Courage Volunteers Superstars program will be introduced. The goal is to foster skill building and community not only among bead makers in the studio but also between bead makers and bead recipients.
“We’re proud to work with Beads of Courage each year to brighten the days of brave children undergoing difficult medical treatments,” Borgman says.
In conjunction with the Mini Bead Marathon, Brazee will also host its fifth annual Art Supply Swap, in which creatives can drop off unwanted supplies in exchange for useable materials. Drop-off begins at 9:30 a.m., and leftover supplies will be donated to Indigo Hippo, which makes art more accessible to children and other local artists in need of added support when it comes to obtaining supplies.

Do Good: 

• If you're a skilled glassworker, contact Brazee Street Studios to volunteer at the Mini Bead Marathon April 23.

• Even if you're not a glassworker yourself, the event is family-friendly. Stop by between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. to join in festivities and watch the artists in action. 

• Bring any unneeded art supplies to swap out for materials that may be of use to you. Drop-offs begin at 9:30 a.m.

Louder Than a Bomb poetry slam gives voice to local teens

Students from all across the tristate area will participate in the final round of the world's largest youth poetry slam, Louder Than a Bomb (LTAB), on Saturday, April 9 at the School for Creative and Performing Arts.

DePaul Cristo Rey, Walnut Hills, Hughes and Elementz Hip Hop Youth Center students, as well as 15 individual students from various schools, will use spoken word and poetry to describe their experiences growing up in the Queen City. LTAB, born in Chicago in 2001 as a way to give ostracized and disenfranchised youth a platform to share their unheard stories through poetry, allows youth to engage with one another, tell their own stories and listen to the stories of their peers. 

Desirae "The Silent Poet" Hosley is a spoken word artist, poet, author and community organizer who has worked as a LTAB coach since 2014. 

"I love working with these amazing teens because I get a chance to be that ear for them," Hosley says. "They just want to be heard. Being a teaching artist that focuses on performance, I was able to connect on a level that made their poem come to life and, not only did it come to life, it helped everyone see the fight in their eyes and sincerity of their poetry."

Coaches work with students, mentoring and guiding them as they find creative ways to tell their stories on stage. Hosley herself has seen teens speak about hard-to-discuss issues like poverty, race and sexual orientation in front of a bunch of strangers.

Being able to have a platform to be heard gives students a boost of self-confidence. 

"One thing that separates each teen poet from the masses is that they had the courage to step on stage and become vulnerable in room of people who don't know their story," Hosley says. "And in that moment, they will grow an inch taller and stronger in who they are."

Do Good:

Register for free tickets to Louder Than a Bomb at 6 p.m. Saturday, April 9, at SCPA's Corbett Theater, 108 W. Central Pkwy., Downtown/Over-the-Rhine.

• Read about previous Louder Than a Bomb competitions winners

• Find out how you can get involved with Louder Than a Bomb by visiting its website

CSO engages community in Orchestras Feeding America fight to address food insecurity

It’s an exciting weekend at the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, as the ensemble will perform an all-Spanish program while also collecting non-perishable food and hygiene-related items Friday and Saturday in an effort to support the Freestore Foodbank.

One in six Tristate individuals are at risk of facing food insecurity, a prime reason why the CSO participates in the national Orchestras Feeding America (OFA) initiative to fight hunger across the U.S. The CSO is one of more than 450 orchestras working hard to engage the community to show they’re more than just a musical group. 

Since OFA’s inception, 475,000 pounds of food have been collected and distributed to those in need. Here at home, the CSO also provides further incentive for its patrons to donate. 

“Offering discounted tickets ($10) with a canned food donation at Friday’s concert is a way to make a world-class, live performance as accessible as possible while at the same time supporting the work of the Freestore and helping neighbors in need,” CSO Vice President of Communications Chris Pinelo says. 

And the world-class live performance is not one to be missed, as Latin Passion features not only the CSO but also partial staging, a full chorus, a multitude of vocal soloists, a Spanish guitarist and flamenco dancing and singing. 

“The CSO really brings the world to Cincinnati each season, engaging a diverse array of artists from around the globe and exploring different repertoire,” Pinelo says. “The music for this ‘Latin Passion’ program is lush, exciting and beautiful, sure to thrill any audience.”

Do Good: 

• Support the Cincinnati Symphony and Orchestras Feeding America by donating a non-perishable food item or hygiene product at a performance this weekend (8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Music Hall). With a donation, $10 tickets are available for Friday's performance. 

• If you can't donate this weekend, support the Freestore Foodbank any day of the week.

Support the CSO and plan to attend an upcoming performance. 

Art Museum's Rosenthal Education Center celebrates successful first year

More than 26,000 people have walked through the doors of the Rosenthal Education Center (REC) at the Cincinnati Art Museum since it opened last March.
The 2,300-square-foot space is designed to give children and their parents a hands-on experience inside the museum with interactive exhibitions that rotate based on permanent and special collections. Interactive installations are usually hard to find in most art museums.
“When people come to an art museum, they’re are usually told not to touch anything,” says Jill Dunne, Cincinnati Art Museum Director of Marketing and Communications. “In REC, kids can come in and not only see art but create art of their own. It takes (museum visits) to a whole new level.”
Rosenthal Education Center is also home to family programs like Summer Camp, Wee Wednesday, Art in the Making, Connect, Creative Encounters and Evenings for Educators. When it comes to the future, the REC — and the Art Museum itself — has plans to become more accessible and more open to the community.
“We’ve always been a museum of the people for the people,” Dunne says. “We want to add more interactive and hands-on experiences within our galleries for an overall positive experience for adults and their children.”
Do Good:

• Stop by the Cincinnati Art Museum and visit the Rosenthal Education Center, 953 Eden Park Dr., Mt. Adams. Hours are 11 a.m.-5 p.m. daily except Mondays; admission is free.

Make a donation to help support the museum’s programs, including the REC.

• For more information, visit the Cincinnati Art Museum website.

Fourth round of Covington Creative Community Grants now open

The Center for Great Neighborhoods is seeking applicants for its fourth round of Creative Community Grants intended to engage and impact Covington for the better. 

In its most recent grant cycle, the focus was on building an inclusive community for all. A total of $30,000 was awarded to grantees creating unique opportunities for togetherness “from incorporating personal possessions into a mosaic mural to highlighting the collective artistic talents of an entire neighborhood to learning culinary techniques in a new way alongside the blind and visually impaired,” says Shannon Ratterman, the Center's Program Manager of Community Development. 

In the new round of grants, the focus is on health. 

“We believe that the health of the community is dependent upon the health of its residents,” Ratterman says. “When residents have access to physical activity, healthy foods and good medical care, they are more likely to succeed in other aspects of their lives.” 

Anyone who identifies as an artist and who has some connection to Covington is encouraged to apply. Finding creative approaches to addressing health-related topics like smoking cessation, food security and physical activity is ideal.

The grant deadline is May 2, and the Center will notify recipients after it reaches a decision June 15.

Do Good: 

• Check out previously highlighted projects and consider applying for a grant.

• Learn how you can help support the Center for Greater Neighborhoods.

• Like the Center on Facebook so you can keep up to date with the projects and other related events.

COV200 still at work ensuring a lasting legacy from bicentennial celebration

Though Covington’s bicentennial year of 2015 is now in the past, celebration continues as volunteers behind COV200 have more in store to make sure the city’s future is as rich as its history.

“We have accomplished a lot of great things this past year celebrating Covington’s history, and as the celebrations wind down we want to continue the momentum of those efforts into Covington’s future,” COV200 Chair Normand Desmarais says. 

To maintain momentum, COV200 is hosting a Legacy Launch Event at the Madison Event Center Thursday, Feb. 25, when the group will unveil plans to meet the goal of the Legacy Education Initiative to ensure success among all children in the City of Covington by closing the achievement gap. 

Covington schools, along with Children, Inc. and other key community partners, have already launched Footsteps2Brilliance, a literacy game app that is free for Covington residents with children between the ages of 3 and 9. This is just one step of many toward healthy students and families in Covington. 

At the Legacy Launch Event, key players will be recognized for their contributions throughout the bicentennial celebration and the finished Bicentennial Time Capsule will be on display for all to see. 

“The time capsule is a way for Covington residents to be a part of Covington history,” Desmarais says, “and leave their own legacy for future generations.”

Do Good: 

Register for the Legacy Launch Event at 5-7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 25. Tickets are free. 

• Learn more about the Legacy Project here.

• Like COV200 on Facebook.

The Carnegie's Art of Food celebrates 10 years of food, music and art

The Carnegie is hosting two nights of The Art of Food Feb. 24 and 26 to commemorate the exhibition’s 10th anniversary. The celebration will include chefs and artists coming together under a theme of Farm to Gallery, which will feature several interactive environments of the farm-to-table movement.
The first night, Feb. 24, will be limited to 200 guests who can enjoy interacting with seven local chefs and listening to live music. The second night, Feb. 26, will feature dinner-by-the-bite from 20 local chefs and food-inspired art created by local artists.
Attendees will also be able to see how The Art of Food has evolved since its inception in 2006. 
“It's hard to believe it’s been 10 years since we held the first Art of Food at The Carnegie,” Executive Director Katie Brass says. "Each year The Art of Food has evolved, and each year we've been able to work with even more amazing local artists and chefs to make it bigger and better.”
Do Good:

Purchase tickets to The Art of Food Feb. 24 or Feb. 26 at The Carnegie, 1028 Scott Blvd., Covington.

• Get more information on The Art of Food at The Carnegie’s website.

Donate to help support The Carnegie’s mission. 

Envision Children to host pre-Valentine's Day painting fundraiser

With Valentine’s Day approaching, there’s no better time to consider thoughtful gift-giving ideas.
Envision Children, a nonprofit that provides educational enrichment and added support to students in need of that “extra push,” is hosting Sweet Art, a Feb. 12 “friendraiser” at Art Design Consultants downtown. The benefit features the creation of Valentine-themed art, small bites, wine and, of course, friendship and good company.
Rosalyn Fuller, local artist and Envision Children board member, will lead a painting lesson in which participants gain knowledge of various techniques to aid them in the creation of their own unique designs.
“No artistic skill or talent is required,” Fuller says. “If you can paint a circle, you’ll be fine. We did an event like this before, and it’s fun to see how distinctly different each painting turns out to be.”
All proceeds benefit Envision Children, which will put funds toward tutoring students in need.
Space is limited, but interested parties can sign up via Eventbrite, and one lucky winner will go home with an added bonus: a Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant prize package valued at $125.
“This is an opportunity to make a gift for your sweetie while having a great time and supporting Envision Children,” says Sheryl McClung McConney, Envision Children’s founder and president.

Do Good: 

Get tickets to Sweet Art, which takes place from 6-9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 12. Tickets may also be purchased over the phone by calling 513-772-KIDS.

• Support Envision Children by donating.

Contact Envision Children if you’d like to volunteer as a tutor or if you have a child in need of the nonprofit's services.

International wines to be featured at 26th annual Cincinnati Wine Festival

Wines from all around the world will be featured at the Cincinnati Wine Festival March 3-5 at various locations throughout the city. 

The festival, celebrating its 26th anniversary this year, has grown throughout the years and has garnered interest from people in cities as far as New York, New Jersey, Pittsburgh and Atlanta, says Executive Director Debbie Dent.

Started by Russ Wiles in 1991, Cincinnati Wine Festival is one of the largest in the Midwest and has donated more than $4.6 million to 45 local charities.

The three main events during the festival weekend are winery dinners, grand tastings and charity auction and luncheon.
“There will be more than 700 wines from more than 150 different wineries,” Dent says. “You have the ability to taste different wines from all around the world right here in Cincinnati.”

Do Good:

Register for tickets for the grand tastings March 4-5 at the Duke Energy Convention Center downtown.

Register for tickets to the charity auction and luncheon March 5 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, 151 West Fifth St., downtown.

• See a list of organizations that received donations from the wine festival over the past two decades.

Friends of the Pops to host informational lecture series at Mercantile Library

The all-volunteer Friends of the Pops group affiliated with Cincinnati Pops Orchestra is hosting a new lecture series beginning in March. The series will be hosted in the Mercantile Library throughout spring and provide information for those who are interested in getting a sneak peek of what it’s like to play as part of the orchestra.

“We’re really excited that Friends of the Pops has taken on this initiative to offer the public to experience the orchestra in a new way,” says Meghan Berneking, Director of Communications for the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. “This lecture series gets to the heart of giving Pops fans the opportunity to see what goes on behind the scenes by engaging a little deeper with artists they see on stage already while also opening doors for those who haven’t been to a concert.”

Friends of the Pops was formed in 1991 by its late conductor Erich Kunzel and is committed to increasing awareness and pride for the Cincinnati Pops and provides opportunities for Pops fans to get together. 

Lectures are free and open to the public, although donations are suggested.

Do Good:

• Attend one of the lectures to learn more about Cincinnati Pops: March 30, April 19 and May 17. All lectures will be hosted in the Mercantile Library, 414 Walnut St., downtown.

• For more information, contact Meghan Berneking.

• Learn more about Cincinnati Pops at its website

Main Public Library downtown hosts "Envelope" mail artwork exhibit

The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County is hosting "Envelope," an exhibit of mail artwork from international artists all around the world, including work from local Visionaries + Voices artists.
Visionaries + Voices gives support to more than 125 artists with disabilities by providing studio space, supplies and support in a creative environment.
Visionaries + Voices first began looking for artwork for the exhibition during fall 2013, asking for submissions to have a focus on a neighborhood theme with no limitations on medium or size. Artists were asked to describe their neighborhood and the things that make it interesting while considering all of the different parts that could make up a correspondence.

The exhibit runs through March 10.
Do Good:

• Stop by to see mail art from Cincinnati and all around the world at the “Envelope” exhibit, Main Public Library Branch, 800 Vine St., Downtown.

Take a look at some the “Envelope” exhibit submissions.

• Find more information about Visionaries + Voices at its website.
297 arts + culture Articles | Page: | Show All
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