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Price Hill initiative focuses on prenatal, childhood health


Four years ago, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital helped launch a national program to ensure that every child was prepared for kindergarten. From that, Children’s turned to East and Lower Price Hill to look for a holistic approach to that goal and teamed up with Santa Maria Community Services for the Block by Block program.
 
The initiative utilizes residents from the community to help identify and support the most at-risk families in East and Lower Price Hill. A team of 11 Block Captains — mothers who have been successful in other Santa Maria programs — go out and talk with other mothers within five blocks of the two neighborhoods.
 
“They’re looking for ways to support other moms through their pregnancies or with their young kids,” says Chellie McLellan of Santa Maria. “This program is about building a community and finding moms who live in the community who have had the same experiences as other moms.”
 
This year, the goal is to have 15 blocks participating in the program with 15 Block Captains. Block by Block recently received a $40,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which was made possible through a presentation at Children’s.
 
Block Captains take Change Packages on their walks and hand them out to other moms. The packages contain things like children’s books and information about sleep safety for infants. The Block Captains also check to make sure that soon-to-be-moms are attending their regularly scheduled doctors visits and following up with their postpartum and well-child visits.
 
Currently, about 87 percent of the five blocks have received the packages and are implementing the materials in their homes.
 
McLellan says the most important thing about Block by Block is that the program goes out into the neighborhood rather than requiring people to walk through a door in order to utilize its services.
 
“We walk when it’s warm and the weather is nice, but in the winter we host community engagement events,” McLellan says. “We want to do more events this winter and get people more involved.”  
 
Block by Block also puts time and resources into its Block Captains, who receive training from a variety of organizations that helps prepare them for a future in the community health field if they wish.
 
“If the Block Captains are thriving and their families are thriving, it’s a great testament to the program,” McLellan says.
 

Cincinnati State adds craft beer classes to help grow local job market


Starting this fall, Cincinnati State will offer two classes that are designed to complement the city’s growing craft beer industry. Both classes will be three credit hours and available only to students taking other Cincinnati State classes.
 
Carla Gesell-Streeter, chair of the Communication and Theater Department at Cincinnati State and co-owner of the Hoperatives blog, designed the classes. She’s been writing about Cincinnati’s beer culture for about six years and has seen the number of active breweries and brewpubs here grow from five in 2009 to about 30 by the end of this year.
 
“These classes will help bring exposure to what the professional world of brewing is,” she says. “Right now, if a brewery wants to hire a brewer with experience, they have to hire away from another brewery. The same is true for sales representatives at different brewing distributors. As a community college, we look at the workforce and identify the need. We’re looking to help build up the field and the knowledge basis.”
 
Gesell-Streeter submitted a proposal to the school four years ago for the new classes and recently took a sabbatical to research different programs.
 
BREW 100: Introduction to Craft Beer will be offered for the first time in the fall. The class will cover the history of beer and brewing as well as the different styles of beer. The class will also partner with Rhinegeist to design a beer, which will be brewed and tapped at the brewery. A sales and marketing rep will then talk to the class about possible next steps to roll out the new beer. If another section is added in the fall due to demand and when the class is offered again in the spring, a different local brewery will be invited to work with the class.
 
BREW 160: Sensory Evaluation will focus on cicerone, which is the craft beer equivalent of wine sommelier. There are three different levels of cicerone, with BREW 100 getting people ready for the first level, certified beer server. BREW 160 will focus more on the second and third levels, which deal with how a beer tastes and when a beer doesn’t taste right. At this point, BREW 160 doesn’t have a true pre-requisite, but it will require instructor approval.
 
“These classes aren’t about homebrewing, but more for people who are trying to get into the business of craft beer,” Gesell-Streeter says.
 
If you’re a Cincinnati State student who is interested in either beer class, email Gesell-Streeter at carla.gesell-streeter@cincinnatistate.edu for more information.
 

Second annual Quest for the Queen provides participants a day of adventure


In its second year, Quest for the Queen will lead participants on an “Amazing Race” of sorts through Cincinnati May 23. Teams of two compete for a prize, but they can’t use cars, smart phones, the Internet or navigation systems to get from Point A to Point B.
 
At the beginning of the event, participants are given a stack of riddles that will direct them to different local landmarks and small businesses. Teams can choose how they want to tackle the clues and can visit the landmarks in any order. Teams have to snap a photo at each stop to prove they were there.
 
Since teams can’t use their phones to look up an answer to a clue, Quest for the Queen forces people to interact with strangers to figure out where to go next.
 
“We were pretty ambitious last year as to how much people could do,” says John Klinger, who organizes the event with friend Matt Feldhaus. “The winners finished in seven-and-a-half hours, and when everyone arrived at the end location at Rhinegeist they were exhausted. There were a few too many checkpoints, and they were too spread out.”
 
This year’s event will cover less mileage and fewer checkpoints. There will also be two different routes — one for bicyclists and one for walkers or bus riders. Everyone had the same route last year, and those not on bikes weren’t competitive. The checkpoints and riddles will be different between bikers and non-bikers.
 
“This event gives people a way to see the city in a new light,” Klinger says. “When you live somewhere, you often forget about its little quirks. You get in your habits and you forget about things that are there, but you don’t usually do them.”
 
The event starts between 9:30 and 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 23 at Washington Park. The checkpoints will be spread across different neighborhoods but stay within Cincinnati city limits, so participants won’t be crossing over into Northern Kentucky or visiting the suburbs.
 
The cost is $30 per person, and 100 percent of the money goes back to funding the event. Dinner is provided at the end of the race, and participants receive Metro passes so they can ride the bus between locations if they wish. Each team member also gets a Quest for the Queen T-shirt, and the winners receive a prize, which hasn’t been announced yet.
 
The deadline to sign up is May 18. Visit questforthequeen.webs.com to register for the race, or send an email to questforthequeen@gmail.com for more information.  
 

SoupCycle delivers healthy food to people without access to it


In December 2011, Harriet Matthey met with a group of homeless people in Over-the-Rhine and saw a real need for healthy food options for those who didn’t have access to it. From those conversations she came up with Oatmobile, a SmartCar that would provide hot porridge to people in Cincinnati’s food deserts.
 
That idea became what is now SoupCycle, a bike that transports soup to community centers, parks and events. Suzy DeYoung of La Soupe has been supplying the soups for about a year, and they’ve been a huge hit with those on the receiving end.
 
“My daughter was a pedi-cab driver in Boston, and she said anyone can pedal 350 pounds thanks to gears,” Matthey says. “So I thought, why not give it a try?”
 
DeYoung’s soup is made with ingredients bought or given from local chefs and discounted produce from grocery stores. Soup is a great way to help people experience healthy eating as well as introduce them to ingredients they’re not familiar with, Matthey says, and SoupCycle also helps kids learn to make more informed eating decisions.
 
Matthey says that engineering students at the University of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky University have helped contribute to SoupCycle, and engineering heads at Purdue University and Ohio State University have also given their time and advice on the project.
 
So far, SoupCycle has shared soup as well as porridge in Avondale, Walnut Hills and downtown. Matthey currently serves soup at 1:30 p.m. on Saturdays in Piatt Park downtown and has plans to take SoupCycle to the May 8 Ride for Reading event, which is part of Bike Month, and the May 16 Health Fair at Riverview East School.
 

Bike Month promotes bicycle safety, healthy lifestyles


The tristate area is increasingly becoming more bike-friendly, with new bicycle lanes in many neighborhoods and Red Bike locations throughout the city, with expansion coming soon. May is Bike Month, a time to reconsider healthy lifestyles and the use of bicycles as transportation.
 
Bike Month is organized by Queen City Bike, but a number of local organizations and businesses offer bike-related deals, lead bike rides and host events throughout the month. Things kicked off May 1 with a poster show at Coffee Emporium that runs through May 26; and on May 2, a ride to various pubs in the basin area.

If you missed these events, though, don’t worry. There are plenty more coming up — 21 below, to be exact.

Bicycle Happy Hour at The Brew House, 1047 E. McMillan, Walnut Hills: Ride your bike to The Brew House and, if you’re wearing a helmet, get a free appetizer during happy hour. May 4, 11 and 18 at 5-8 p.m.

Urban Basin Bicycle Club, meet at Fountain Square: Join the club for a slow, interesting themed ride for all skill levels that begins and ends in the basin. Every Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.

Hump Day Hill Challenge, meet at greenspace by the old SCPA building in Pendleton/Over-the-Rhine: A difficult ride up and down Cincinnati’s hills. To check out the routes, use the Hill Challenge App in the Google Play Store. Every Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Thursday Night Slow & Steady Ride, meet at Hoffner Park, Northside: These rides are open to anything with wheels and take about 1.5 to 2 hours. Every Thursday at 7:30 p.m.

Eastside to Findlay Market Ride, meet at Coffee Emporium, 3316 Erie Ave., Hyde Park. Every Saturday at 8:30 a.m.

Findlay Market Bikegarten, Findlay Market, OTR: Learn more about the bike-friendly changes that are coming to the city, pick up free bike maps and lots more. Every Saturday at 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Ride for Reading, meet at Coffee Emporium Warehouse, 12th and Walnut Streets, OTR: Join in the bike parade, then distribute books to students at Chase Elementary in Northside. May 8 at 10 a.m.

The Color Ride, meet at Washington Park: Grab the kids and dress in a single color from head-to-toe and take a short ride through OTR and downtown. May 9 at 4 p.m.

Element Cycles City Ride, meet at Element Cycles, 2838 Observatory Ave., Hyde Park: This casual ride will end at the Growler House in East Walnut Hills. May 9 at 4 p.m.

Bike Happy Hour, Fries Café, 3247 Jefferson Ave., Clifton. May 12 at 5-7 p.m.

Trivia Fundraiser for Mobo, The Brew House, 1047 E. McMillan, Walnut Hills. May 13 at 7:30 p.m.

Breakfast on the Bridge, Purple People Bridge on the Newport side: Pastries and coffee will be available, and there will also be a station set up with a mechanic to help you fix up your bike. May 15 at 7-9 a.m.

Bike to Work Day: All rides are free on Metro, Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky (TANK) and Clermont Transportation Connection for those with bicycles. All day May 15.

Bike to Work Day Celebration, MainStrasse, Covington: Rides will be led to Fountain Square and back. May 15 at 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

Bike 2 Baseball: Ride to Great American Ball Park for the sixth annual event. A free bike valet will be available, hosted by Red Bike. Tickets must be bought in advance. May 17 at 1 p.m.

Second Annual Preservation Ride, meet at Rhinegeist, 1910 Elm St., OTR: The Cincinnati Preservation Collective is celebrating Bike Month by hosting a slow riding tour of some of the urban basin’s historic sites. May 17 at noon.

Trivia Fundraiser for Queen City Bike, The Brew House, 1047 E. McMillan, Walnut Hills. May 20 at 7:30 p.m.

The Pink Flamingo Bike Ride: Ride from Covington to Bellevue Beach for this family-friendly event that touts Northern Kentucky pride. May 30 at 10 a.m.

Queen City Bike+Dine: Email info@parkandvine.com for more information about the 10th annual event on June 6.
 
There will also be three Blinkie Light Distributions throughout the month:

• Kenton County Health Center, 2022 Madison Ave., Covington, May 10 at 3 p.m.
• Campbell County Health Center, 1098 Monmouth St., Newport, May 17 at 3 p.m.
• Boone County Health Center, 7505 Burlington Pike, Florence, May 24 at 3 p.m.
 

93-year-old Baker Hunt Center undergoing expansion, renovation


By next year’s “Twilight in the Gardens” event, the 93-year-old Baker Hunt Art & Cultural Center will have undergone a $2.5 million expansion and renovation. The plans were presented to the City of Covington’s design review board in late February but haven’t been put before the board for approval yet.
 
The Baker Hunt was founded in 1922 by Margaretta Baker Hunt, a Covington arts, education and religious activist. The adjacent Scudder mansion is also part of the property and once belonged to Baker Hunt’s niece, Kate Scudder. A 1920s auditorium and studio space round out the 3.5-acre campus.

The Baker Hunt offers arts and cultural classes for children and adults, serving about 2,700 students in the Tristate each year. Classes include painting, drawing, photography, ceramics, quilting, language, dance and yoga for all ages and skill levels.
 
All four existing buildings on the Baker Hunt property will be renovated, and there will be some new construction as well. A ramp and elevator will be added in order to make the main building more accessible, and a new front entrance will allow the Baker Hunt to be more accessible from Greenup Street.
 
New structures will be added around the campus as well as a modern glass-walled “functional sculpture” that will serve as a space for various activities.
 
Along with the physical renovations, the Baker Hunt is also improving its curriculum and adding more teachers.
 
GBBN Architects will be heading up the renovation. Some of the necessary funding is already in place, and the Baker Hunt plans fundraising activities for the rest.

"Twilight in the Gardens" is a yearly celebration of art, food and music and is held in the gardens on the Baker Hunt property in the fall. Stay tuned to Baker Hunt's website for event details, including date, time and participating restaurants.
 

Gabriel's Place seeks grant support for Avondale community health initiatives


Gabriel’s Place recently applied for a $25,000 grant from Convergys in order to further its community health initiatives in Avondale. Convergys' Corporate Social Responsibility program centers around issues that impact the community, such as workforce development and skills training, health and wellness, housing, transportation, financial literacy, child care and food security.

"We were introduced to Gabriel's Place during our United Way Service Day," says Karen Ryan, Convergys' director of government and community affairs. "We admired their commitment to not only feeding their neighbors but also their desire to educate and provide for others."

Avondale is considered a food desert, which means that there is no fresh food retailer or grocery store in the neighborhood. Instead, there are lots of fast food restaurants, corner stores and mini-marts. Residents in food deserts generally have poor health outcomes, including obesity, Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease and preterm births.
 
Gabriel’s Place served over 8,000 plated meals in 2014 through its Share a Meal program. On Tuesdays, the community comes together for a donation-based, restaurant-style meal designed by a chef and prepared at Gabriel’s Place using fresh ingredients. Volunteer nurses are also on hand to perform health screenings during the meal.
 
There’s also a Thanksgiving Share a Meal event called ThankFALL, which served over 250 people in 2014. The meal is locally sourced and focuses on food and health education.
 
Share a Meal is designed to help start conversations about food, health and heritage. It helps people make healthier choices, and facilitates skills-based learning in the kitchen so Avondale residents can learn to cook and share skills while preparing a weekly meal together. Yes, Gabriel’s Place is always looking for volunteers to help prepare and serve at Share a Meal events.
 
Gabriel’s Place also hosts a weekly farmers market on Thursdays at 4-6 p.m. The majority of the fresh produce sold at the market is grown in the organization’s garden or provided by Pic’s Produce and ranges from $.25 to $2. The farmers market is the only fresh food retailer currently in Avondale.
 
In conjunction with the farmers market, there are plans to offer interactive cooking demonstrations featuring seasonal ingredients. Residents will have the chance to cook alongside a chef, taste-test snacks and take recipes home.
 
Gabriel’s Place also offers two cooking classes. The first is the Jr. Chef Institute, a free eight-week summer culinary education program that's open to high school students who have a passion for food or an interest in pursuing a career in the culinary arts. The program creates a pipeline to the Midwest Culinary Institute at Cincinnati State and helps prepare kids for jobs in the food industry.

The other cooking class, which is still in the works, will be an eight-week skills-based class that features a basic cooking curriculum designed by Gabriel’s Place. This class will not only teaches the basics but also designed to focus on different aspects of cooking, including healthy meals and meals on a budget.
 
There are also plans to partner with the Hirsch Recreation Center to host dinner theater vignettes with neighborhood performers to showcase Avondale's talent as well as connect residents in a new way.
 

CGN grant money makes creative Covington projects possible


The Center for Great Neighborhoods recently announced the recipients of eight Creative Community grants, which total over $35,000. The grants will go toward artistic and creative projects in Covington, with six of them happening in its Westside neighborhood.

216 Pike Art Wall ($5,000)
A new wall across from an open lot at 216 Pike St. will be used to display public art. The wall will include flower boxes, lighting at night and an overhang to shelter people and the artwork. Christopher J. Meyer will curate the art and will solicit work from local artists and rotate the display on a monthly basis. The art wall will prevent non-resident access to the lot, which will help improve what's been a nuisance space that attracted negative attention.

Analemmatic Sundial & Solar Light ($5,000)
David Rice will use the sun’s rays to address safety in Westside. The interactive sundial will be a 12-foot-by-6-foot half-circle, and people will use their bodies to provide the shadow-casting object to tell time. The other part of the project is installing a solar light on top of the sundial to illuminate the parking lot on Orchard Street, making it more safe and inviting.

Art on 12th ($4,321.25)
Julia Martin will install lighted artwork in the windows of an empty building on 12th Street. The original art will be created by Martin or by students in one of her community art classes. The space will also feature an Art Walk to view the pieces as well and create safety through community interaction.

B Visible: See and B Seen ($4,595)
The Coder and Maker Group for the Kenton County Library will host workshops for Covington residents and students to create clothing and bike accessories that will increase the safety of pedestrians and bicyclists. There will also be a fashion show to celebrate Bike Month and Covington’s bicentennial.

CYC Crosswalk Campaign ($3,175)
The Covington Youth Commission will address safety for kids and other pedestrians on the streets around John G. Carlisle Elementary School by installing artwork in the crosswalks. They’ll be working with artist and Holmes High School teacher Donny Roundtree and youth leaders in the school's BLOCK program to design and paint the crosswalks.

Goats in Goebel ($5,000)
Gus Wolf and Lauren VanDyke Wolf will bring goats to the hillside in Goebel Park to eat and eliminate overgrowth and invasive plant species.

Orchard Park Swing ($5,000)
A group swing will be permanently placed in Orchard Park, which is currently a vacant lot. Lauren DiFulvio Wolf will donate her photography skills to hold a one-day community session and then display the prints in and around the park to attract attention and remind visitors of the neighborhood’s energy and diversity.

Pones in Public ($3,500)
The grant will be used to fund eight Pones Inc. performances that will encourage families, groups and strangers to express creativity. The performances will be free and integrated into existing community activities.
 
The funding for the Creative Community grants is made possible by The Kresge Foundation, which has given CGN a multi-year grant for creative placemaking initiatives in Covington. Other Kresge-funded projects include improving the 12th Street corridor, the rehabilitation of the historic Hellmann Lumber Mill, creating more housing opportunities and continuing to combat blight and stabilize the city.
 

NKY Scholar House to offer housing, programming for low-income student-parents

The Scholar House is a program of the Kentucky Housing Corporation, and is designed to help out low-income families as parents earn post-secondary degrees. The goal is for people to leave the program able to live free of public assistance, including housing.
 
NKY’s Scholar House, which will be located at 450 W. Sixth St. in Newport, is modeled after ones in Bowling Green, Lexington, Louisville, Owensboro, Paducah and Pikeville. The $8.3 million project broke ground in August, and the plan is to have residents moving in by next August. 
 
The project is the redevelopment of a parcel of land that houses a community center, which will be connected to the Scholar House’s education center. Eight apartment buildings will each house six, two- and three-bedroom apartments, for a total of 48. Programming at the Scholar House will include a child development center, and the space and staffing for life skills classes.
 
“The Scholar House’s main emphasis is on the education program, but it will also provide housing and childcare,” says Tammy Weidinger, CEO of the Brighton Center. “We want to be supporting each student throughout their educational endeavors, and if they run into a problem, we want to be there to help them work through it.”
 
The Brighton Center will manage the Scholar House, as well as provide the education programs, run the child development center and provide case management and life skills workshops for parents.
 
“We want to help create a community of learning and support for people who are going through the same experience,” Weidinger says. “It’s hard to be a parent and go to school full-time. There will be enough support to help parents work through that, and they will be there to support each other, too.”
 
The project is being funded through a variety of sources, but the largest is low-income tax credits through the Kentucky Housing Corporation, as well as a grant through the Affordable Housing Trust Fund. It also received a Community Development Block Grant from the Campbell County Fiscal Court.
 
In order to qualify for the Scholar House, residents must be at least 18 years old, be considered low-income and have children. They also must be enrolled in a two- or four-year degree program at a state college, as well as attend six life skills workshops a year.
 
 
 
 

Tri*Metro campaign providing entertainment buses Sept. 13

This fall, Metro is launching the tri*Metro campaign, which will encourage young professionals to incorporate Metro into their lives. The three-pronged campaign focuses on learning about Metro, experiencing Metro and challenging riders to go car-free during the month of October.
 
Cincy YP and Give Back Cincinnati wanted to form a partnership with Metro to better educate others about riding the bus. They didn’t want to go to more meetings, but instead created a video about riding Metro, which shows riders how 20- and 30-somethings use the bus.
 
As part of the campaign, Metro is providing three entertainment buses for riders on Sept. 13. The bus will circulate to hotspots in Hyde Park, Mt. Lookout, Oakley, O'Bryonville and Over-the-Rhine. The bus will run from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m., and will stop at designated bars and restaurants.
 
“Riders can get on and off the bus all night long, and will give everyone the opportunity to experiment with the buses,” says Kim Lahman, ridership development manager for Metro.
 
A specific route will be drawn up for the night that will circle the neighborhoods involved in the event, and there will be a bus schedule specifically designed to fit the route.
 
Volunteers from Cincy YP will be at each of the designated bus stops to help riders figure out where they’re going and how long they will have to stand and wait. Riders will also receive special discounts at participating bars and restaurants.
 
Venues include Cock & Bull Public House and Unwind Wine Bar in Hyde Park; Mt. Lookout Tavern and Millions Cafe in Mt. Lookout; Animations and The Oak Tavern in Oakley; O’Bryon's Bar & Grill and Uncorked in O’Bryonville; and The Drinkery and MOTR in OTR.
 
“It will be great for ridership, as well as for economic development because we’re supporting businesses along the way, and helping get people familiar with the Metro system,” Lahman says.
 
If you’re interested in riding Metro’s entertainment buses on Sept. 13, tickets are $5. For more information, visit Metro’s website.

ArtsWave grant recipient: Avondale Comprehensive Development Corporation

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.
 
The Avondale Comprehensive Development Corporation is planning to use the ArtsWave grant money to address reducing violence in the community, cultural development and healthy eating through the arts. The grant money will also support the marketing efforts for the various events.
 
ACDC plans to host several art-related activities throughout the rest of 2014 and into 2015, including the Kin Killin’ Kin art series, which is a series of 13 photographs that feature black-on-black crime created by Cincinnati native James Pate.
 
“This series brings awareness and education to a real issue in the community”, says Latoya Alexander, senior community engagement specialist at ACDC.
 
Other events include the Cincinnati Black Theatre Company’s “Namibia Cultural Awareness;” E Sin Mi d’Afrika, presented by Bi-Okoto, which features African culture, language, geography and history through authentic songs and folk stories, as well as drumming and dances; traveling storytellers; workshop and acting classes through Playhouse in the Park; and Bach and the Boombox, which links classical and popular music. 
 
The only finalized event is Bach in the Boombox, which will perform at the last Increase the Peace Gospel Series from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 14 at Lincoln Park. The faith-based event gives residents, community supporters and local churches a chance to rejoice, pray and connect with one another.
 
“We wanted to weave the arts and community awareness together, so many of the performances will be happening in conjunction with a larger event,” Alexander says.

PAR Projects building new community space in Northside

PAR Projects recently purchased the parcel of land at 1622 Hoffner St. in Northside. Plans are currently underway to create an art and education center for the community.
 
The future home of PAR Projects is being constructed out of repurposed shipping containers, two of which you may have seen around Northside. All of the programming will be geared toward practical arts training, including teaching the elements of graphic design and video editing.
 
“Lots of different places offer painting and drawing classes, but there aren’t a lot that offer access to digital media and things that are valuable in creative workplaces,” says Jonathan Sears, executive director of PAR Projects.
 
The building will have three floors of usable space, or about 2,000 square feet. The first phase of the building will be five shipping containers joined together, with others stacked on top to form different floors.
 
The first step won’t actually be building, but rather creating a community space in the form of an open, outdoor movie theater. It will feature community screenings every two weeks or so; and the theater will actually be two containers stacked on top of each other near the front of the future building.
 
“We want to give the neighborhood a little more hope,” Sears says. “We plan to reach out to at-risk youth and provide more direction for them, as well as educate older people who need new skill sets.”
 
PAR Projects is partnering with the Apple Street Market Co-op initiative to host Northside Rising, a 50/50 fundraiser to benefit access to food and the arts. The event is Aug. 30, and will feature food, music and family activities.
 

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.
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