People’s Liberty Announces Project Grant Winners for Summer/Fall 2018

People’s Liberty, a philanthropic lab focused on directly investing in individuals through funding and mentorship, announced the six winners of $10,000 Project Grants: Carolyn Crombie, Julius Jenkins, Matthew Gellin, Troy Melnyk, Amy Osborne, and Priyanka Sen. The Project Grant provides an opportunity for individuals to implement innovative community development projects in Greater Cincinnati.

This is the seventh round of Project Grantees since People’s Liberty started in 2015. People's Liberty chooses grantees to prototype solutions to civic challenges. Each project grantee receives support in the form of $10,000, a six-month series of launch events and access to People’s Liberty’s workplace and mentorship. The next grant opportunity will be the $15,000 Globe Grant, which opens to the public this July.

Project Grant Cycle 7 winners include:

Carolyn Crombie is a lawyer and passionate community council member. Her project The North Fairmount Stairs aims to beautify three sets of stairs in the North Fairmount neighborhood. The community will come together to design, prepare, and paint the stairs, not only bringing beauty to the neighborhood, but also fostering community in North Fairmount.

Julius Jenkins is a professional street dance performer, teacher, and founder of dance group the Millennium Robots. His project Heroes Rise: Street Dance Experience will be a two-day street dance event. Over the course of these two days, audiences of all ages will experience street dance workshops, dance battles, and exposure to street dance culture.

Matthew Gellin is a theatre researcher and founder of American Legacy Theatre. His project T2: Transit Theatre will consist of ten microproductions on the Cincinnati Bell Connector. Each production aims to amplify community voices and change how people engage with their neighbors. Rather than expecting an audience to go to a physical theatre, T2 brings this collaborative art form to people. 

Troy Melnyk is a nineteen-year-old committed to eliminating the isolation and stigma of those with disabilities. His project Troy Gives a Duck will show how a single person with a positive message can build community and create a chain reaction of community building among others, providing them with a physical reminder that they are valued and that there is goodness to be found.

Amy Osborne is a beekeeper with a focus in education and community outreach. Her project Pollination Stations will deploy beehives––including both honeybees and indigenous pollinators––around the community and include workshops to inform community members on the importance of bees as well as proper care and maintenance. Pollination Stations will merge science and nature education to beautify the community and lay a foundation for community engagement.

Priyanka Sen is a designer, historian, and educator with an expertise in architecture. Her project VOUCHed hopes to reimagine the Section 8 or Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) process through a new visual format. This graphic pamphlet will act as a visual roadmap to the HCV process, including key application and submittal dates on a timeline and visual infographics of resources and agencies that assist in the application.

To stay informed on these grantees and their progress, visit the People's Liberty Facebook page and For more information on People’s Liberty Project Grants, email [email protected]

Read more articles by Jerry Jackson.

Jerry Jackson is the managing editor of Soapbox and has a passion for technology and innovation. He has lived and worked in the greater Cincinnati area since December 2000.
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