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Diversity : Cincinnati In The News

202 Diversity Articles | Page: | Show All

Mortar turns locals into entrepreneurs in Cincinnati's gentrifying economy


Mortar's nine-week business development program is explained and celebrated in Yes! Magazine, a nonprofit, ad-free online and print publication offering tools for citizen engagement and stories about real people working for a better world.

While Mortar is open to all, Araz Hachadourian writes, the majority of its students are low-income women — like Jasmine Ford, who is featured in the story. After going through the Mortar program and raising funds through a Kiva campaign, Ford is planning to open a storefront bakery, Jazzy Sweeties, in Walnut Hills.

"The (Mortar) idea sprung from founders Derrick Braziel and Allen Woods, who live in Cincinnati’s historic Over-the-Rhine neighborhood," Hachadourian writes. "Once a working-class neighborhood made up mostly of German immigrants, the area was later populated by African Americans arriving during the Great Migration. Most businesses then were bars and small shops.

"Over the years, tech firms moved in and more than $843 million was invested in Over-the-Rhine and the surrounding downtown area, bringing an onslaught of development and new residents. Braziel says the neighborhood still has small businesses, 'but they’re serving a different demographic now.'"

"A lot of the entrepreneurs that we work with operate out of the underground cash economy," Braziel says. "They’re running businesses out of their living room or they’re doing business out of their trunk or they’re hustling in some way, shape, or form. There’s talent all around, what’s lacking is the know-how."

Read the full Yes! Magazine story here.
 

Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus to use high-tech tools to fight blight


Next City explores how the Motor City Mapping project, a citywide effort to create a comprehensive property dashboard in Detroit, is now expanding to Cincinnati, Cleveland and Columbus. Next City is a nonprofit organization providing daily online coverage of the leaders, policies and innovations driving progress in metropolitan regions across the world.

"The Detroit Land Bank Authority used the data to make decisions about which houses to save versus tear down," Lee Chilcote writes. "Officials also inventoried vacant and occupied properties for the first time, concentrating their efforts on tearing down vacant homes and preventing residents who are behind on their taxes from losing their homes."

The same technology is coming to Ohio thanks to a $1 million grant from JPMorgan Chase to the Western Reserve Land Conservancy that will allow the agency to create property dashboards for Cincinnati, Cleveland and Columbus. WRLC will work with Detroit-based Loveland Technologies, which developed the Motor City Mapping project.

Loveland founder and CEO Jerry Paffendorf says the technology has been a game changer for Detroit because it's "the most accurate thing that exists as far as getting a look at occupancy, vacancy and condition" of properties.

"With information in a single, easy-to-use interface that is updated in real-time, Detroit residents can get a much more accurate picture of the condition of their neighborhoods," the story says, which will be the same for Cincinnati neighborhoods.

Read the full Next City story here.
 

Avondale program shows how the arts contribute to creating more equitable places


Local arts leader Margy Waller has published a report about her painting project in Avondale on Americans for the Arts' ArtsBlog. It's her fifth blog post in 2016 related to her involvement with the organization's New Community Visions Initiative, a two-year effort to explore the role of community-based arts enabling organizations, funders, cultural institutions and artists in shaping the future of local arts in the U.S.

Waller's new blog post asks how the arts can contribute to creating more equitable places and offers her Avondale experience as an example of success.

"Leaders at two of the area hospitals seem to recognize the damage done to the neighborhood (by large institutions replacing homes with office buildings and parking lots) and are looking for ways to connect with residents, bridging and bonding with the community, creating a stronger place for all," she writes. "These leaders called for a partner to create an experience, having in mind something like the ArtWalks — community inspired and co-created crosswalk murals — we’ve created in other neighborhoods."

The resulting painting project at Gabriel's Place, Waller says, "might seem a small thing. But, no. Co-creating the art is a major happiness element, enhancing quality of life and connecting the neighborhood residents to people working at the encroaching institutions. Recognizing the damage done, the racist and privileged actions over decades, is large."

Read Margy Waller's full blog post here.
 

Japp's recognized by Esquire as one of the "best bars in America"


Molly Wellmann and her Japp's establishment on Main Street get high praise from Esquire Magazine's David Wondrich, who includes the Over-the-Rhine gem on his list of the 18 best bars in America.

Wondrich writes about the revolution he's witnessed over 11 years as Esquire's Drinks Correspondent, where most U.S. cities are now supporting craft cocktail bars that are full.

"People are paying double to drink in them, and they're not outraged," he writes. "They're coming back, over and over. They're putting their phones away (well, mostly), forgetting about the game, doing their best to act sober. (In my years of visiting these joints, I've rarely seen anybody visibly intoxicated — tipsy, sure; drunk, uncool.) The bartenders, their mustachioed, inked hipsterdom aside, are generally studious and hardworking (if perhaps too devoted to making things by hand that really don't need to be). All of this while the media and the political class are hyperventilating about the irreparable decline of America."

Wondrich suggests getting a Cool Jules at Japp's, "a gin-and-port stunner." Unless it's Tiki night, "in which case, pick something rummy from the chalkboard."

Read the full Esquire Magazine list here.
 

Over-the-Rhine is Cincinnati's booming foodie neighborhood


The Chicago Tribune's travel section features a nice guide to Over-the-Rhine dining options, saying, "Eating in the so-called OTR starts — but doesn't necessarily stop — in the 1300 block of Vine Street, which has undergone a remarkable transformation in the past decade. You can do breakfast, lunch and dinner without leaving the block."

Spots highlighted include Holtman's Donuts (the story features a photo of staffer DeShawn Ashley holding a tray of donuts), The Eagle, Pontiac BBQ, Quan Hapa, Graeter's and Findlay Market.

Read the full Chicago Tribune story here.
 

Want a bike-friendly city? Get ready to fail until it works, says Wired


Here's a fascinating article from Wired about building a bike-friendly culture in cities. Although it doesn't specifically mention Cincinnati, its findings and recommendations definitely apply to us.

"Building any infrastructure, anywhere, is a pain in the neck," writes Aarian Marshall. "You've got to find exactly the right government agencies, community groups, funding sources and contractors. And then you've got to figure out the logistics of construction and worry about the inevitable delays and cost overruns."

But Marshall then says not to despair, that there's good news for our soon-to-be bicycling-loving cities. "Across the country, usually stodgy governments are trying quick and dirty pilot projects, putting down cheap and temporary bicycle infrastructure and giving it a literal test drive (well, ride) before committing to the big stuff."

Like bike-only lanes along Central Parkway?

"Laying down temporary infrastructure before ginning up anything permanent also provides an opportunity to convince skeptics about the upsides of bike travel," Marshall writes. "Demonstration projects go a long way in terms of alleviating fears. Once residents see bicycle infrastructure in action, he says, they (usually) decide it doesn’t take up too much room or cost too much money. That makes it politically easier to build permanent protected lanes, bike boxes and signals."

Read the full Wired story here.
 

Playhouse featured in New York Times story about marketing provocative shows


The New York Times is taking the temperature of regional theaters across the U.S. to see how they're marketing Sex With Strangers, a popular play about a relationship between a female novelist and a younger male blogger.

“Since it had its premiere in 2011 at the Steppenwolf Theater in Chicago, Sex With Strangers has become one of the most produced plays in the country,” Erik Piepenburg writes, “helped by strong reviews ... a small cast and a provocative title.”

Piepenburg explains that theaters have taken usually one of two routes to promote it: with either a G-rated illustration or an R-leaning photograph, usually of the two actors. He surveys six regional theaters, including Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, to see which direction their marketing took and what response they got. The Playhouse opened its current Shelterhouse season with the show Sept. 26-Oct. 25.

Read the full New York Times story here.
 

Preservation Magazine sees how Covington's Shotgun Row fosters a sense of community


Preservation Magazine's Spring issue includes a glowing feature story on how Covington is bringing back its West Side neighborhood, centered around rehabs of old shotgun homes on Orchard Street.

Soapbox profiled several "neighborhood heroes" in 2015 who helped lead that revitalization effort, particularly around reducing crime. We also covered the Shotgun Row concept as it geared up in 2014 and homes were put on the market in 2015 as work/living spaces for artists.

Preservation Magazine — published by the National Trust for Historic Preservation — interviews Sarah Allan, program director for the nonprofit Center for Great Neighborhoods, about its ongoing efforts to acquire, rehabilitate and sell derelict or seriously dilapidated historic buildings on Covington's West Side, "a working-class enclave across the Ohio River from Cincinnati."

"The Center has completed more than 30 projects in Covington in recent years, but Shotgun Row, for which it received a state historic preservation award, might be its crown jewel," the story says.

"These houses were so far gone, people questioned why we would even want to save them," Allan tells the magazine. "But with this project we were leveraging so much more than just a single building. We basically took the worst block and helped transform it. People look at Shotgun Row now and don’t even see the (individual) houses. It's like its own beautiful entity. It was definitely the most transformative project we've ever done."

Read the full Preservation Magazine story here.
 

Contemporary Arts Center was one of Zaha Hadid's most striking designs, says New York Times


The New York Times offers a tribute to architect Zaha Hadid, who died March 31 at age 65, by highlighting her seven most striking designs, including the Lois & Richard Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Arts downtown.

The former Times architecture critic Herbert Muschamp, one of Hadid’s great champions, famously wrote of the new CAC facility in 2003: "Might as well blurt it out: The Rosenthal Center is the most important American building to be completed since the end of the Cold War."

Read the full New York Times story here.
 

KPMG study shows Cincinnati as most cost-friendly business location among large U.S. cities


Cincinnati is the most cost-friendly city to do business among the 31 largest U.S. metro areas, according to the recently released 2016 Competitive Alternatives study by audit, tax and advisory firm KPMG.

Favorable leasing costs and low property taxes contributed to Cincinnati's first place ranking in the study, which compares 26 key cost components in each market — including costs associated with taxes, labor, facilities, transportation and utilities — as they apply to seven different business-to-business service sector operations and 12 different manufacturing sector operations.

"Many factors go into site selection decisions, and a study such as ours helps businesses, city leaders and economic development teams begin to consider investments that should ultimately be good for the community and good for business," says Ulrich Schmidt, a managing director in KPMG's Global Location and Expansion Services practice, which helps companies that are expanding, relocating or consolidating their facilities.

Read the full KPMG report here.
 

Forbes rates Cincinnati as #15 best U.S. city for recent college grads


College graduates today face better job prospects than those from a few years ago but are typically saddled by student loan debt, Forbes magazine writes, so "they would be wise to consider carefully where to start their careers."

To find out which cities offer the best overall prospects for college-educated workers with five years of experience or less, Forbes has crunched data on job growth, unemployment rates, pay and cost of living in America’s largest 100 metro areas. Its resulting 2016 list of the 20 Best Cities for Young Professionals includes Cincinnati at #15.

The top cities, according to Forbes, are either job-heavy economic powerhouses where the pay is high and the cost of living is too (places like San Francisco at #1 and Silicon Valley at #2) or underrated mid-tier markets where the pay is still decent but the cost of living is a relative bargain.

According to the numbers, Cincinnati's median salary for college grads with 0-5 years experience is $50,800; the population with bachelor's degree is 31.44%; the average yearly job growth (2015-2017) is 1.96%; and the cost of living is 8.17% below the national average.

Two regional cities finished ahead of Cincinnati — Columbus at #7 and Indianapolis at #10.

Read the full Forbes list and methodology here.
 

Chefs around the country share why wood-fire cooking sparks their creativity


Just a few years ago, Kat Kinsman writes on the Tasting Table website, the dining world was poised to drown in a gurgle of futuristic gels, spheres and foams far removed from the sensory experiences most people might associate with food. That disconnect might factor into 80 percent of the 2016 semifinalists for the James Beard Best New Restaurant award featuring dishes containing the words "wood-grilled," "smoked" and "ember" on their current menus.

"Wood-fire cooking is roaring back in a big way," Kinsman says, "and chefs from coast to coast are using this ancient technique to spark some creative thinking in their kitchens."

One of the leading wood-fire experts she profiles is Jared Bennett, executive chef of Metropole in the 21c Museum Hotel downtown who "wants diners to really feel — and taste — the burn."

The article goes on to explore Bennett's menu at length, delighting in his mix of modern techniques "with ripping-hot wood-fired heat to distinctive effect."

Tasting Table describes itself as "a website and newsletter for culinary enthusiasts." Read the full story here.
 

How the smart cities like Cincinnati use Internet of Things to attract young, skilled workforce


Social media expert and management professor Beverly Macy writes in Huffington Post about the coming connectivity explosion through embrace of the Internet of Things, saying there will be 24 billion IoT devices installed globally by 2020 and $6 trillion invested in IoT solutions over the next five years.

As the "great digital transformation of 2016" proceeds in both the private and public sectors around the globe, Macy says, we'll all be affected by the digital innovation in more ways than one.

She says the nation's "smart cities" are attracting a youthful and highly skilled workforce with "livability and connectedness" as key selling points, using Cincinnati as a prime example. As part of the White House’s TechHire Initiative, Cincinnati is looking to retrain displaced workers as application developers who could be hired on in IoT startups popping up or by companies like local manufacturer Mazak Corp.

Read the full Huffington Post story here.
 

Cincinnati lags behind other Midwestern cities for immigrants establishing roots


Coastal cities such as Los Angeles, Miami and New York have long been viewed as the gateways for immigrants starting new lives in America, Governing Magazine says, but the best immigrant-friendly strategies these days are to be found in the Midwest.

“Places like Indianapolis and Columbus and Dayton, Ohio, have pursued a wide range of immigrant-friendly strategies, in part to prop up vulnerable economies and stem population losses,” Mike Maciag writes. “Other Rust Belt jurisdictions are joining them.” Cincinnati is not among the top destinations for immigrants, according to the magazine's analysis of U.S. Census data.

“The Midwest is becoming the new gateway,” Guadalupe Velasquez, who coordinates the New American Initiative for the city of Columbus, tells Governing.

Governing compared Census data collected between 2005-2009 with data from 2010-2014 for all cities with populations of at least 100,000. Maciag's story accompanying the data highlights five cities with the best immigrant initiatives: Columbus, Dayton, Detroit, Louisville and Baltimore.

Read the full Governing Magazine story here.
 

Artfully rebuilding in Covington


The national website of Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) has a section called "Our Stories" to share examples of successful community-building efforts from its 30-plus offices across the U.S. The local story featured last week was "Rebuilding, Artfully, in Kentucky" and covered the amazing work LISC Cincinnati has done in Covington in partnership with the Center for Great Neighborhoods.

"More and more, community developers are using arts and culture, so integral to the character and identity of a flourishing place, to catalyze neighborhood renewal," national writer Alina Tugend says in her introduction. "In Covington, Ky., this kind of creative placemaking has helped brighten and invigorate communities that have struggled with blight, crime and abandonment, particularly the city’s Westside area. Today, Covington has more welcoming public spaces, affordable homes and new businesses than since its 20th-century heyday as the iron fence capital of the world."

Read the full story on the LISC national website here.
 
202 Diversity Articles | Page: | Show All
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