Center for Great Neighborhoods awards $22K for community projects

Last week, Covington’s Center for Great Neighborhoods awarded five grants to local creatives, totaling $22,000 in the fifth round of its Creative Community Grant program.
The program awards grants of up to $5,000 to creatives who presented projects focused on small business growth, entrepreneurship, workforce development and creative placemaking.
CGN has completed five cycles of Creative Community Grants over the program's three-year period, with the sixth and final round to be announced this spring. Each round of funding addresses a different community issue, as determined by The Center's neighborhood focus group surveys, resident-led community groups and existing neighborhood plans.
Below is a snapshot of fifth-round recipients and their projects:
  • Local design firm Eye Candy will provide brand management resources for a new, existing or pop-up organization located on Covington’s Westside.
  • Owners Joe and Suzanne Fessler, along with residents, patrons and local artist Bret Schulte, will create a mural depicting the history of Herb & Thelma’s Tavern, which dates back to 1939.
  • The Kenton County Public Library will create Forge, a community makerspace and embedded library within The Center's Hellmann Creative Center. The space will provide free access to digital library content, technology, instruction, mentoring and collaborative projects.
  • Community & Restorative Justice volunteers will introduce Covington ESP, a creative therapeutic project designed to help unemployed residents find a healing path to employment.
  • Printmakers from around the region will be able to sell prints and demonstrate their medium at PRINTER: FAIRE, an artists event produced by grant recipients Art Machine, Inc. The event will be held at Hellmann Creative Center and will feature printmaking using a steamroller on the street outside. Details TBA. 
"Every round I think our applicants and their projects get better and better," says program manager Shannon Ratterman. "As people become more familiar with the program and see what other projects have gotten awards before them, they learn what we're looking for and how to put together a really great project. We want projects that aren't just great works of art and aren't just cool or fun, but that truly engage on a deep level and collectively transform the community."

Stay tuned to The Center and project social media channels, and visit to learn more about the Creative Community Grant program.
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Read more articles by Hannah Purnell.

Hannah Purnell is a lifelong Northern Kentuckian who writes extensively about regional issues related to arts and culture, politics and economic development.