Communities around Cincinnati are experiencing a renaissance — new businesses are recognizing the beautiful bones of our neighborhoods and growing into these interesting spaces.
Walnut Hills is one of those neighborhoods. Its proximity to downtown, historic Art Deco architecture and greenspaces have made it a highly-coveted community for businesses looking to establish themselves.Green Man Park (Provided)
Yet some residents are concerned about losing the spirit of their neighborhood to the so-called renaissance.
That’s why a new artistic collaboration called “Here. Now. This.” seeks to preserve the character of the neighborhood and make the argument to keep Walnut Hills a little "weird."
“Here. Now. This” is a documentary film that includes footage and still shots by photographer Michael Wilson that capture the eclectic beauty of Walnut Hills. The film is the result of a collaboration between Wilson, musician Ric Hordinksi and the Walnut Hills Redevelopment Foundation, along with funding from ArtsWave.
“I hope ‘Here. Now. This.’ preserves the beauty of what Walnut Hills is now," says Betty Waite, CFO for the WHRF. “The beauty is going to change. It’s like the high school graduation picture, preserving the beauty before the big makeover.”
The documentary is scored by Hordinksi, who has been a resident of Walnut Hills since 1992. He says that the stories and sights of his community inspire him every day.
“I’m constantly running into interesting characters. I really love the physicality of the neighborhood; the architecture of the neighborhood.”
Hordinski says he hopes the project can unify redevelopment efforts with the diverse population of Walnut Hills. “When a neighborhood starts to have a renaissance, the things that make the neighborhood unique tend to get washed out,” he says. “I’ve been here for 25 years and we’ve worked hard to preserve the parts of the neighborhood that are amazing and unique.”
“Here. Now. This.” is still being developed with an eye toward completion in early 2018. The collaborators plan to host screenings in Walnut Hills, while also making the film available online.
“It’s important because I want to do my part to give back,” says Hordinksi. “I’ve been enriched by the neighborhood and my neighbors. I just want to share that with other people.”A Walnut Hills resident featured in the film (Provided)