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ArtsWave grant recipient: Price Hill Will

ArtsWave recently awarded a total of $45,000 to five LISC Place Matters neighborhoods—Avondale, Covington, Madisonville, Price Hill and Walnut Hills. Each neighborhood received $9,000 in grant money, which will help bring ArtsWave supported arts activities and organizations to each neighborhood. For the next five weeks, Soapbox will feature the five neighborhoods and their plans for the grant money.
 
On Aug. 23, Price Hill Will is hosting Illuminating the Arts from 1 to 7 p.m. The event will take place at four galleries in the neighborhood, including BLOC Coffee Company, Flats Gallery, Warsaw Project Gallery and the new @3506.
 
The galleries will feature local art from the Price Hill Looking Up Photography Contest, displays from a number of youth photography programs and Warsaw’s display of Luminous Lish’s glow-in-the-dark sculptural paintings.
 
With the help of the grant, Price Hill Will also coordinated several live performances. The Warsaw Arts Festival featured a performance by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra’s wind ensemble, several MYCincinnati performances, three performances by Bi-Okoto, and performances by Elementz and Bach and Boombox.
 
“This has given us the ability to offer programs to children who probably wouldn’t be able to see live performances,” says Pamela Taylor, community outreach coordinator for Price Hill Will.
 
Price Hill will have a few more Shakespeare in the Park shows in each section of the neighborhood over the next few months, which will give all Price Hill residents the chance to see the performance.
 
Live art performances are also being offered in Price Hill’s public elementary schools. Madcap Puppets will perform at one of the schools in December, and might be coming to a few other schools as well.
 
In September, Price Hill is hosting the International Festival at Roberts Academy and Music in the Woods at Imago Earth Center, and Bend in the River is Oct. 4 and 5 in Lower Price Hill.
 
“The grant from ArtsWave and Place Matters really fits with our programming, and the overall quality of life programming in Price Hill,” Taylor says. “It’s been great for community engagement.”
 

New NKY private school focuses on individualized approach to learning

A private, faith-based, co-educational K-12 school is starting September 2 in Florence. Union Pointe Academy will be held on the Indiana Wesleyan campus, with hopes of having its own building in the future.
 
Union Pointe was founded by Sheila Levi, a retired teacher and owner of the Learning Curve Tutoring Center, and Jim Skoog, an educator, athletic director and administrator for 39 years and supervisor of alternative programs at Butler County ESC. The school also has a team of educators from a variety of backgrounds to help provide students with a well-rounded curriculum.  
 
Union Pointe will address its students’ needs, strengths and talents through individual learning plans, cutting-edge technology, programs for dyslexia and related reading issues, and a performing arts and gifted program.
 
Its dyslexia program will be one of a very limited number at Kentucky schools that is specifically dedicated to helping students with dyslexia, Levi says.
 
Students will learn through a multisensory approach in reading, writing and math called the Orton-Gillingham Approach, which focuses on language retraining through multisensory techniques, direct instruction, repetition and guided practice.
 
The school’s national standards-based curriculum will use a blended learning concept, where students learn at least in part through online delivery of content and classroom instruction. The model uses a higher level of critical thinking skills and an integrated and reflective thinking that is enhanced through project-based lifelong learning experiences.
 
All graduation requirements were set by the Kentucky Department of Education, and include college prep courses and honors and AP classes. Students will have the opportunity to take drama, fitness/wellness and global languages/cultures, and will have the chance to travel, take field trips and enjoy outdoor activities. Union Pointe also offers an a la carte menu of classes for homeschool students. 
 
Tuition is $7,500 for grades K-6 and $8,000 for grades 7-12 per year. Payment plans are available, and costs are reduced if more than one child attends Union Pointe. You can register your student for the fall or request more information via email (info@UnionPointeAcademy.org).
 
Fundraising for Union Pointe started in late 2013; the school is currently seeking $500,000 for startup costs for the first year. To support the school, visit its website.

Online public art map takes Cincinnatians on "artventure"

Downtown Cincinnati Inc. recently launched Cincinnati’s online public art map, ArtVenture. The map includes a list of murals and sculptures found downtown and in Over-the-Rhine, and users can find themed itineraries that highlight works and fun spots along different routes.
 
Years ago, the Ohio Arts Council and SAVE OUR OUTDOOR SCULPTURE! Program developed A Guide to Public Art in Downtown Cincinnati, and the print edition was later migrated to the web. But the information hadn’t been updated since the early '90s.
 
ArtVenture was developed using information from Cincinnati Parks, ArtWorks and A Guide To Public Art in Cincinnati.
 
“It made sense for DCI to take on the project and combine information from different sources into one, easy-to-use database,” says Tricia Suit, director of marketing at DCI.
 
There are five itineraries—Hometown Heroes, Music City, The Old Ballgame, Take in the History and Mother(lode) of Presidents—and there are plans to add more this summer.
 
The Hometown Heroes itinerary includes Carew Tower, which is an important part of Cincinnati’s architectural, artistic and business history. Also on that itinerary is Cincinnati Venus, Jim Dine’s sculpture at Centennial Plaza. The Music City itinerary includes a stop at Memorial Hall, which has six free-standing sculptures on its façade that pay tribute to veterans from the Revolutionary War to the Spanish-American War.
 
The Old Ballgame is a tour around Great American Ball Park; and Take in the History features the National Steamboat Monument at the Public Landing. The Mother(lode) of Presidents itinerary includes stops at The Cincinnatian and The Phoenix, where local history is mixed in with the story of Ohio’s presidents.
 
“We created ArtVenture to be more than just an art walk,” Suit says. “Many cities have maps and routes to see monuments and unique architectural features, but by combining information about art with fun stops along with way, we’ve created a unique experience with all downtown has to offer.”
 
The public is invited to share its artventures with DCI using #cincyartventure on Twitter and Instagram.

ArtsWave gives $45,000 to five Place Matters neighborhoods

This year, ArtsWave will award grants to five of the Local Initiative Support Corporation’s (LISC) Place Matters neighborhoodsAvondale, Covington, Madisonville, Price Hill and Walnut Hills—totaling $45,000. The partnership, which began in January, will help support arts activities in the neighborhoods.
 
Each neighborhood will use the funds to contract arts organizations that are supported by ArtsWave, or to support activities that include community-building arts programs. Each grant project will also involve local community partners, such as the United Way of Greater Cincinnati, the Urban League of Cincinnati, Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs, schools, community councils and business associations.
 
Avondale’s Comprehensive Development Corporation will use the grant money to bring the “Kin Killing Kin Art Series” to the neighborhood as part of a strategy to promote alternatives to violence, and help residents connect to the African culture through cooking and performance programs from Bi-Okoto and the Cincinnati Black Theatre Company.
 
In Covington, the Center for Great Neighborhoods will help enhance the 2014 Art Off Pike with “ArtsWave Presents” appearances by Visionaries & Voices and the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra. Covington will also celebrate its bicentennial next year with site-specific performances by groups like the Cincinnati Opera and the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company.
 
The Madisonville Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation will launch the Madisonville Jazz and BBQ Festival in the fall in the heart of the neighborhood’s business district, adjacent to the Madisonville Arts and Cultural Center.
 
The Walnut Hills Redevelopment Foundation will add arts programming to the We Are Walnut Hills Springfest and the second annual Cincinnati Street Food Festival, and to the community space in Five Points Alley.
 
Price Hill Will and Santa Maria Community Services plan to bring members of their community together to share performances by the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company and MYCincinnati in schools and community centers.
 
The initiative falls under ArtsWave’s ArtsWave Presents program, which is an effort to extend arts programming across the region. It follows a partnership with Interact for Health on “Join the Fun,” which launched in February.

Cincinnati Public Library will open three new locations in 2015

On April 21, the The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County will break ground on three new branches in Clifton, Reading and St. Bernard. The locations are expected to open spring or summer 2015.
 
All three locations will have expanded collections, computer labs, meeting/program rooms, individual study rooms, maker space and self-check stations. Staff will serve customers using mobile devices, and the buildings will be designed for energy efficiency.
 
The new Clifton branch, which will be located at 3400 Brookline Ave. in Parkside Manor, will be 10,000 square feet, and will replace the current 2,500-square-foot storefront on Ludlow. It will feature on-site parking and the library’s first outdoor lockers for after-hours hold pickups.
 
Reading’s new location will be situated on Reading Road across from Southern Avenue. The new 12,000-square-foot space will replace the current 2,000-square-foot storefront, and will have drive-up services and on-site parking.
 
The new 8,000-square-foot St. Bernard location at the intersection of Vine Street and McClelland Avenue will replace the current 2,000-square-foot space in the St. Bernard Municipal Center. Although there won’t be on-site parking, the library did purchase a nearby lot for customer parking.
 
The new branches are part of the library’s $11.7 million facilities plan.
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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Easter Seals TriState partnering with Price Hill Will for Youth Build projects

This year, Easter Seals TriState is partnering with Price Hill Will for its Youth Build program. The first project and collaboration effort is a complete rehabilitation of 1017 Fisk Ave., a residential property in Price Hill, which will be put back on the market in much better shape.
 
Construction began on March 10, with a “wall breaking” event on March 14.
 
The project will provide 18 at-risk youth the opportunity to work in construction and learn pre-apprenticeship skills, while furthering their academic careers through a GED program or classes through Cincinnati State.
 
Participants will spend two days on-site and two days off, with the last day of the week reserved for their priority site—either academic, training or work site. Participants earn $8 per hour, which helps them meet their needs and provides a financial incentive for their academic progress, says Debbie Smith, VP of Education for Employment at Easter Seals TriState.
 
Youth Build is a national U.S. Department of Labor program, with more than 273 program sites across the country. Youth Build is open to men and women ages 18-24 who want to improve their lives by earning their high school diploma or GED while preparing for a career in construction or advanced manufacturing.
 
The program connects young adults to education, develops their leadership skills, provides one-on-one case management, connects them to job and apprenticeship opportunities, and builds their construction and/or advanced manufacturing skills.
 
To enroll in Youth Build, you must perform at a minimum 6th grade level in math and reading, be willing to commit to six months paid construction training, and be willing to work toward your high school diploma or GED with the goal of attending post-secondary school or training.
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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Life Learning Center gets new home

The Life Learning Center in Covington is moving to the old Stewart Iron Works building at the corner of Madison Avenue and 18th Street. When redevelopment is complete this summer, the Learning Center will move from its current space on 15th Street to its new location.
 
The redevelopment of the long-time vacant, blighted brownfield was made possible by a partnership among the Catalytic Fund, Corporex and the city of Covington. The city is taking care of the site's brownfield development, including installing new windows, and Corporex is redeveloping for the Learning Center.

Currently, the Learning Center is located in a 5,000-square-foot building; the Stewart Iron Works building is about 60,000 square feet, but the Learning Center is only redeveloping and occupying about 35,000 square feet.
 
When it moves in, the Learning Center will acquire the building from the city, which purchased it in 2009 with assistance from the Kenton County Fiscal Court.
 
In its new home, the Learning Center will continue to deliver its six yearly programs that target at-risk people and help them overcome employment challenges and financial obstacles, but it hopes to be able to offer the programs more often. Its holistic approach includes educational programs and other resources that help transform lives.

There will also be a child care center and fitness/wellness facility in the new Learning Center.

"We serve many single moms here, and now, they can participate in our programs and bring their kids to our on-site child care center," says Erich Switzer, the Learning Center's director of awareness and fundraising. "We've also had a lot of people request a fitness center and programs, so we're excited to be offering that too."
 
The Learning Center’s move is the last of three development projects along Madison in the last year. In October, Walgreens relocated to the corner of Madison and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard/12th Street; in December, the Kentucky Career Center announced its plans to move from 4th Street to the old Robke site at 1314 Madison.
 
Both the Kentucky Career Center and the Learning Center's projects are joint results of a deal that began in 2009 and involved multiple agencies, including the city, the Catalytic Fund, and other state and federal agencies.

The Learning Center is funding the renovation through a capital campagin—$2.4 million of the $3.2 million goal has already been raised. To donate, visit the Learning Center's website or send your donation to: Life Learning Center, 315 E. 15th St., Covington, Ky., 41011.
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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Three Rivers School awarded grant from Bengals, NFL, LISC for football complex

On August 30, Three Rivers School received a $200,000 grant from the Cincinnati Bengals, the NFL and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation to help build a new football complex. Construction is expected to begin in Spring 2014.
 
The current field at Taylor High School, which is a natural turf field, is more than 75 years old. The stadium’s lighting is affixed to old wooden electric poles, and its aluminum and concrete bleachers seat only about 1,200 people. The site of the new field is an abandoned water well field that had been vacant for more thab a decade before Three Rivers leveled it and raised it out of the floodplain as part of the construction of the new school.
 
Three Rivers’ new field will allow for expanded use for all of the school’s football teams, soccer teams and the high school band. The school will also use the field for gym class, and it will be available for community youth football, cheerleading and soccer programs.
 
The cost of the project will be paid for entirely by private funds—the Three Rivers’ administration, staff, booster organizations and community leaders have formed the Fields of Dreams campaign to privately raise money for first-class competitive athletic facilities at the new Three Rivers School.
 
The sports complex consists of the football stadium with turf, lights, a track, concession stands, locker facilities and restrooms, plus a soccer stadium, baseball stadium, softball stadium and practice fields. The campaign has already raised $360,000 to go toward the remaining cost of installing the field’s synthetic turf.
 
Total estimates for the project range from $4.3 to $7.7 million, depending on the features and quality of the complex. The football stadium will cost between $2.31 and $3.72 million; the soccer stadium between $480,000 to $1.07 million; and the baseball and softball stadium between $610,000 to $1.26 million.
 
The NFL Grassroots Program, which is a partnership between the NFL Foundation and LISC, has resulted in the construction or renovation of 256 football fields nationwide since 1998. In the past 10 years, the NFL Youth Football Fund has granted more than $32.5 million to revitalize sports fields in underserved neighborhoods.
 
If you would like to donate to the football field, visit the Fields of Dreams website.  
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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The New School Montessori opens new Enrichment Center, expands programming

Last week, a new building opened its doors to the 125 students of The New School Montessori. The Enrichment Center will house TNSM’s dance, music, art and foreign language programs.
 
Renovations began on the 4,000-square-foot center, which was formerly a house, last October. It was once owned by a TNSM parent and later purchased by the school to expand its programming. The Enrichment Center is now the third building on campus, which includes an 1800s Victorian mansion, built by furniture manufacturer Robert Mitchell, and a converted chapel.
 
Very little was done to the building’s structure, says Eric Dustman, director of TNSM. A small addition was added on to create an atrium for the second floor, which lets in lots of natural light for art classes.
 
Additional spaces in the Enrichment Center will enhance TNSM’s extended-day program with quiet nooks for homework. There is also meeting space, and the Enrichment Center is available for community activities.
 
“We’re constantly looking to improve our programs and make them better,” Dustman says. “We’re interested in educating the whole child, and we firmly believe in the arts, freedom of expression, imagination and creativity. We believe kids should be exposed to these things and celebrate them.”
 
Current TNSM families, staff, alumni and friends have been pledging support to the school’s Deep Roots, Strong Branches capital campaign. The campaign is a multiphase process that will later include additional upgrades to the historic Mitchell Mansion and the Annex.
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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Cincinnati's first tuition-free charter school to open in August

Just in time for the new school year, Carpe Diem Learning Systems will open its first Ohio school at Aiken High School Aug. 21 in College Hill. Carpe Diem is Cincinnati’s first tuition-free public charter school for the general district population, and is sponsored by Cincinnati Public Schools.
 
Carpe Diem-Aiken will offer a blended learning model of digital curriculum with blended learning experiences, says Rick Ogston, founder of CDLS.
 
Twelve years ago, Ogston’s wife, Sharon, encouraged him to go back to school and get a Masters' degree in education. After that, he started to learn about charter schools and the difference they can make in communities. From there, Carpe Diem was born.
 
“Carpe Diem is about personalizing education to the nth degree,” Ogston says. “It brings the uncommon combination of personalized education and high academics with a career focus on achievement to the table. We prepare students academically for the 21st century, but we also allow students to progress at a pace more comfortable to them.”
 
The curriculum at Carpe Diem is tailored to meet the needs of a spectrum of students, from those who are lost in large schools or traditional classrooms, to gifted students who want to work at an accelerated pace.
 
Tyree Gaines is the new principal of Carpe Diem-Aiken, and she hopes to contribute instructional leadership that opens the door for students and teachers to maximize their potential.
 
“I want Carpe Diem-Aiken to empower students to be learners, thinkers, doers, believers and achievers,” she says.
 
Carpe Diem-Aiken will bring an innovative new educational model to the area, but it will also be debuting Aiken New Tech, which infuses technology into curriculum while incorporating project-based learning and real-world experiences, says Janet Walsh, director of public affairs for CPS.
 
“We love that the Carpe Diem model incorporates ‘blended learning’—a combination of technology-driven and teacher-led instruction, which is very much a wave of the future,” Walsh says.
 
CDLS is North Central Association-accredited and includes Edgenuity’s instructional content, uBoost’s online recognition and reward system, and a secure online portal to provide parents with real-time student data. Carpe Diem also offers opportunities for career concentrations in Information Technology, Science and Engineering, Business Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Digital Arts and Entertainment, and Health Sciences.
 
Carpe Diem-Aiken joins CDLS’s first school, Carpe Diem Collegiate High School in Yuma, Ariz., and Carpe Diem Meridian, which opened in August in Indianapolis. Carpe Diem Summit in Fort Wayne is scheduled to open this August as well.
 
 Parents and students who are interested in meeting with Gaines and learning more about Carpe Diem-Aiken can email her at TGaines@CarpeDiemAiken.com or call her at 513-612-0153.
 
If you’re a Cincinnati student who is interested in attending Carpe Diem-Aiken and is 12-16 years old, you can enroll in Carpe Diem here.
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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Green, sustainable Spring Grove Village offers community education, resources

Spring Grove Village, which is Northside’s next-door neighbor, has much more to offer than just a place to live. Spring Grove prides itself in being a green and sustainable community, where residents are invested in what’s going on around them.
 
“There are lots of young couples who live in Spring Grove Village who go to farmers' markets,” says Sam Gordon, owner of Bee Haven Honey. “They’re aware of what they can do in their own environment to help the greater environment.”
 
Spring Grove is home to several organic gardens, including Wooden Shoe Organic Garden and Keystone Flora, which focuses on local and organic plant sales. There are also several well-known greenhouses in the area, especially along Grey Road behind Spring Grove Cemetery, including A.J. Rahn.
 
Residents have planted two community gardens in the neighborhood; and many of Spring Grove’s residents, including Bee Haven Honey, sell their goods at Findlay Market.
 
Bee Haven Honey is green and sustainable, which means that they don’t use chemicals in their hives, Gordon says.
 
Gordon says she likes to be a resource for others who are interested in beekeeping, but she isn’t the only sustainable resource in Spring Grove. Evergreen Holistic Learning Center in Winton Ridge offers green and sustainable programming, and Homeadow Song Farm, an educational center, teaches kids about nature and art.
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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CiNBA hosts networking event for Cincinnati independent businesses

On March 27, the Greater Cincinnati Indpendent Business Alliance is hosting a workshop that will focus on the unseen benefits of nurturing and supporting local independent businesses.
 
“This event provides a unique opportunity to explore the beneficial impact an independent business alliance can provide Cincinnati and the community,” says Owen Raisch, CiNBA’s founder.
 
CiNBA was started in March 2012 Raisch visited the American Independent Business Alliance’s national conference. Since then, Raisch has been working with businesses around Xavier University, including Betta’s Italian Oven, Betta’s Café Cornetti, Center City Collision, Baxter's Fast Wheels, Listermann Brewing, Kleen Print Products, Cincinnati Cash Mob and Beans and Grapes.
 
All of CiNBA’s members except Center City Collision worked with Xavier students to assess business models and develop their businesses. Over 60 students were involved in classes that range from an MBA management project to undergraduate graphic design courses.
 
CiNBA is the recipient of a Fuel Cincinnati grant that funded Raisch’s trip to the AIBA conference, and paid for CiNBA’s first year of membership to the organization.
 
“The grant and membership to AIBA provided startup support and promotional materials that were critical to the current level of CiNBA’s development,” says Raisch. “I’m very appreciative of Fuel’s support. I couldn’t have done it without them.”
 
The workshop will feature a presentation by Jeff Milchen, founder and director of the first International Business Alliance. The free event will be held at Beans and Grapes in Pleasant Ridge at 8:15 a.m. Contact Raisch at 937-402-6596 for more information.

By Caitlin Koenig
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New degree programs added to NKU curriculum for fall 2013, 2014

Northern Kentucky University recently added two new bachelor degrees to its curriculum: a B.S. in Data Science and a B.A. in Special Education. NKU now offers 62 undergraduate degrees, 19 graduate degrees, 27 graduate certificates, a post-masters in educational leadership, two doctoral programs and a juris doctor.
 
The bachelor’s degree in Data Science, which will be offered through the College of Informatics, will be initiated this fall. Students will learn and develop skills for careers as data analysts, data science and systems engineers. To be accepted into the program, incoming students must have an ACT score of 25 or higher.
 
“There was a tremendous demand from the businesses our graduates end up working for,” says Dean of the College of Informatics Kevin Kirby. “At the national level, there was a need for big data professionals, and there weren't enough people to decipher big data. So we decided to add something in data science to meet that demand.”
 
NKU is offering a degree in data science at the undergraduate level, which is something that other universities don’t offer, says Kirby. There are graduate programs in business analytics, but the need for talent at the undergraduate level led NKU to develop the program at the bachelor’s level.
 
Beginning in fall 2014, the College of Education and Human Services will offer a B.A. in Special Education. The degree program will prepare NKU graduates for state certification to teach children in grades P-12 that have disabilities. In addition to being certified in elementary, middle school or secondary education, graduates will also be certified in special education for mild to moderate disabilities. The program will require students to obtain an additional teaching certificate.
 
Both degree programs will require 120 classroom hours for completion. Eight new classes will be developed for the data science degree; classes for the special education degree are already in place as part of an existing program.
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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$7.6 million renovation project set to transform St. Michael's complex in Lower Price Hill

Since it was built in 1847, the St. Michael’s complex has been a cornerstone of the Lower Price Hill community. But in 1998, the church was vacated; in 2007, the Lower Price Hill Community School moved into St. Michael’s space and became tenants of the Archdiocese. Within the first month of occupancy, the Archdiocese decided they no longer wanted to be landlords, and they donated the entire complex to LPHCS.
 
On June 14, renovations will begin on the five-building complex, with the help of the 2011 Historic Preservation Tax Credit from the Ohio Department of Redevelopment. The total project will cost $7.6 million; LPHCS is working to raise $2.2 million to leverage the $5.4 million historic tax credit—they’re about halfway to their goal.
 
The project will create 50,000 square feet of community gathering space, performance venues, art studios and a sanctuary for at-risk individuals—the Center for Education and the Arts.
 
“We wanted to give the space originally built for the neighborhood back to them,” says Jen Walters, executive director of LPHCS.
 
LPHCS knew from the start that the complex was too large for them—they were only using one floor of one building. So they sought out a partner that could also utilize the complex and share the burden of upkeep with LPHCS. They found a few organizations that didn’t fit with the their mission or the neighborhood, but then Lower Price Hill’s community council president suggested LPHCS talk to BLOC Ministries, and a partnership was born.
 
“We felt called to go to Lower Price Hill,” says Dwight Young, BLOC’s executive director.” “We felt like we were supposed to be there.”
 
BLOC’s eight staff members live in BLOC-owned spaces in Lower Price Hill. BLOC will work toward LPHCS’s adult education mission and help the people of Lower Price Hill further their education, but not in the traditional way, Young says.
 
When LPHCS was first given the St. Michael’s complex and realized the cost of upkeep and repairs, the organization asked neighbors what services already existed, what services they used and what their vision for Price Hill was. The message was clear: the residents wanted them to stay.
 
“People come to us for legal services and housing assistance, not just for education reasons,” Walters says.
 
Neighbors also wanted more options for their kids. BLOC’s after-school program provides art and music programs that young people might otherwise not have access to.
 
There’s an artist on staff who oversees the Center’s pottery studio and T-shirt press. “We want to create rooms for artists who can do their business on property and teach kids in the area to do their trade,” Young says. BLOC is also working to develop a photography studio for the Center.
 
“The City of Cincinnati is going through an exciting time of positive growth,” Walters says. “This project will help change the landscape of the neighborhood and the city, but it doesn’t stop here. It continues—it’s a natural progression of positive things that are happening.”
 
A breakfast session on March 13 from 8 to 9 a.m. will provide information about the project and its vision to prospective donors and community leaders; it will include tours of the facility and time with the site plans. To RSVP, call 513-244-2214 ext. 202.   
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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NKY Restoration Weekend to educate historic homeowners, DIYers

Did you recently buy a historic home and need help getting renovations underway? Or do you want to learn more about living green? Then NKY Restoration Weekend is for you.
 
The second annual Restoration Weekend is from 9 am to 5 pm on Feb. 23 at the Gateway Community and Technical College's Urban Campus in Covington. The event will feature many opportunities for historic home owners, including classes and demonstrations on how to make historic houses and surrounding property more energy efficient and sustainable; researching historic homes; utilizing the Kentucky homeowner’s rehabilitation tax credit; Rookwood tile history and maintenance; historic ironwork; window restoration; plaster; masonry repair and maintenance ask the expert.
 
There will also be a vendor fair with more than 20 booths featuring craftsmen and contractors that represent all aspects of the renovation process.
 
“The weekend is about combining sustainable and green practices with historic homes,” says Beth Johnson, preservation and planning specialist for the City of Covington. “The vendors are a huge part of the event, and helps connect homeowners with good products and contractors.”
 
But Johnson says the highlight of the event is the keynote speakers, Matt Grocoff. He’s a nationally known TV personality who turned a 100-year-old folk Victorian house into net zero, which means it’s historically sensitive, but doesn’t use energy.
 
“There’s such an amazing stock of historic homes in Northern Kentucky and the surrounding area, and people need to be responsible homeowners and be better stewards of historic homes,” Johnson says. “DIY is really big, and they need to know the proper ways to do things.” 
 
The event is partially funded by the Certified Local Government grant that’s given to the cities of Bellevue, Covington and Newport from the National Park Service and administered by the Kentucky Heritage Council.
 
NKY Restoration is an unincorporated association and collaboration of businesses, artisans and craftsmen, nonprofit organizations, cities and the Historic Preservation offices in Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati.
 
The event is free, but reservations are requested to ensure a spot at the keynote luncheon.
 
By Caitlin Koenig
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