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Diversity : Featured Stories

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Changing people's careers 3 months at a time

People’s Liberty Residencies are tapping into one of society’s most underutilized resources: young talent. The results could shape careers and even transform Greater Cincinnati.

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Community leaders push to make Cincinnati the most immigrant-friendly city in America

Cincinnati ranks as one of the best cities to raise a family, to start or expand a business, and (no surprise) to eat ice cream. Now a group of nearly 100 prominent Cincinnatians led by Mayor Cranley wants to add one more designation to that list—The Most Immigrant Friendly City in America.  

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Cincinnati's Literary Luminosity

With the 8th annual Books by the Banks on the horizon, we bring to light many of the Queen City’s literary treasures, from local talent, publications and organizations to libraries, bookstores and writing groups.

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Co-working options grow thanks to Cincinnati's expanding pool of independent professionals

Co-working has had a foothold in Cincinnati for many years, and the options for workers looking for collaborative office space have continued to grow. Here are 6 co-working shops for independent workers who still want to drink from the proverbial water cooler.

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Single mothers and children hit hardest by poverty in Cincinnati

Cincinnati ranks second in the US for childhood poverty. Groups like The Women's Fund of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation are working to break down the barriers that keep single mothers from rising above the poverty line.

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Two formerly homeless Cincinnatians tell their stories

Meet Ronnie and Willa, two Cincinnati residents who have faced what 25,000 people in the city experience each year: homelessness. Here they share their stories in video.

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UC French Learning program provides kids with early exposure to foreign language

UC Blue Ash students share their knowledge of French with students at an adjacent elementary school, hoping to inspire a love of foreign languages for years to come.

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My Soapbox: Terrence Burke, Wump Mucket Puppets

Terrence Burke is dedicated to sharing joy and spreading knowledge with Wump Mucket Puppets, a silly, colorful show he puts on with help from his own family.

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New Americans: The plight of Cincinnati's refugee population

Thousands of refugees have fled violence and persecution to make a home in Cincinnati. For the majority of them, however, this means the start of an entirely new struggle. Learn about one man's journey from Burma to the Tri-State.

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My Soapbox: Zan McQuade, The Cincinnati Anthology

"The Cincinnati Anthology" is a collection of essays about the Queen City, written by Cincinnatians from many walks of life. Get an inside look from editor Zan McQuade.

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The case for a more immigrant-friendly, diverse Cincinnati

Recently, the Brandery, a nationally top-10 ranked business accelerator located in Over-the-Rhine, hosted a fast-paced roundtable discussion on global talent attraction, immigration reform and the need for a more diverse Cincinnati. 

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Nonprofit groups offer prescription for boosting community health

Cincinnati suffers from a wide disparity in health outcomes, and poverty and race are among the biggest culprits. Yet a network of local organizations is combating the health challenges facing our city.

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Quality preschool key to lifelong success

Studies show that two years in a quality preschool can have an enormous impact on a child’s life trajectory — more than interventions at any other stage — but few families can afford it. Preschool Promise is a program aimed at closing that gap, and a new pilot program shows how universal access to quality preschool can work.

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As non-native English speaking population grows, teachers find new ways to instruct students

Over the past five years, southwest Ohio has seen a 250 percent increase in its English Language Learner (ELL) population. Elementary teacher Erin Sucher has already adopted new ways to reach her students, and her job is going to get a little easier this year thanks to a $14.5 million grant for a program that will train teachers in new methods that enhance learning for all students.

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My Soapbox: Eddy Kwon of The Happy Maladies

Six years as a band has given The Happy Maladies time to understand what works without losing their spontanaeity. Eddy Kwon, the band's violinist and vocalist, spoke with Soapbox about the band's current endeavors to support their new LP and collaborative project, "Must Love Cats."

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My Soapbox: Artist and musician Dylan Speeg

Dylan Speeg's illustration style has been compared with Henri De Toulouse-Lautrec, while his music is a glamorous mixture of Delta Blues and Django Reinhardt. Find out what keeps this hardworking artist moving.

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Original Soapbox series tells story of what's reshaping Cincinnati's neighborhoods

If you missed one of the community profiles featured in our Hot 'Hoods series, here's your chance to find out more about the five neighborhoods set to flourish in 2014. You might be surprised by our picks.

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Hot 'Hoods: Covington

This week we continue our spotlight on neighborhoods that are poised for growth in 2014. We asked key community members from Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky to share their insights on how they expect their communities to develop this year.

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MLK Ph.D. program fuels 21st century activism

This week, students and scholars from around the country will meet in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky for Union Institute & University's MLK studies residency.

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Cincinnati's Minority Business Accelerator is model for economic inclusion

With a decade of helping minority-owned businesses flourish under its belt, Cincinnati's Minority Business Accelerator is now serving as a model for other chambers of commerce across the country.

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#GivingTuesday: How to join in today's national celebration locally

There were more days than ever to kick off the holiday shopping season this year, but there’s another movement at work—#GivingTuesday—which encourages individuals to take the same fervor they have for Black Friday, and apply it to giving.  

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Local banks and schools partner to teach kids financial responsibility

As the senior class of 2014 prepares to be the first graduating under Ohio’s new economics and financial literacy curriculum requirements, banks in Cincinnati are partnering with schools and nonprofits to push financial education further than ever for students as early as preschool and through to 12th grade.

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How technology, health care and community partnerships are transforming local education

As the evolution of culture and society influence learning, the way forward for Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky public schools is through creative thinking about where to form partnerships and how to steer trends.

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Cincinnati to host forum on the future of urban life

Future Cities; Livable Futures is a free symposium taking place at the Contemporary Arts Center in November. The event will bring world-renowned visionaries to Cincinnati to provoke critical thinking about the future of urban development within an accessible, public forum.

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OTR A.D.O.P.T. takes matchmaking approach to preserving properties

Nonprofit OTR A.D.O.P.T. matches deteriorating historical buildings with individuals and small developers committed to preserving and enriching the historical fabric of Over-the-Rhine.

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Playhouse artistic associate chronicles Cincinnati's King Records in new play

KJ Sanchez, founder and CEO of American Records and current artistic associate at Cincinnati’s Playhouse in the Park, has spent years finding valuable stories that chronicle our time. Her most recent work tells the story of Cincinnati's King Records.

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Demand Better: Building healthy, vibrant neighborhoods

As we continue to reprise our four-part Demand Better series, we take a look at innovations and ideas that empower and support neighbors here and around the country—and offer some key demands for Cincinnati's future as election day approaches.

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Demand Better: Architecture's impact on Cincinnati's economy

As election day approaches, we'll be re-running our four-part Demand Better series in an effort to spark conversations and provoke thought about how we can demand more from our city's leaders. This week, we take a look at the topic of architecture.



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New owner, new design embrace traditions at The Little Mahatma

For more than two decades, shoppers happily shared close quarters at The Little Mahatma's 10-foot-by-10-foot space in the Carew Tower Arcade. So when Dan Schwandner bought the OTR business this year, he determined to continue the shop's densely merchandised history through a fresh renovation and an ever-evolving collection of international treasures.

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Fine fellows: Roanne Lee creates 'awesome' life

West Coast native Roanne Lee moved to Cincinnati last year to learn all she could about startups and entrepreneurship. She immediately set about doing her part to make the city a more inclusive, progressive and awesome place to live.

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Bridging urban divides: Northside developments take new shapes

On one long-empty, hotly contested corner lot in Northside, neighbors and business owners look for hope, inspiration and potential for thoughtful growth and development.

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Special Report: A place to belong

This special report, sponsored by Procter & Gamble, is designed specifically for young black professionals new to the city and anyone in search of new ways to live, play and engage here.

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Women in the kitchens, part 2

Last week, Soapbox's Andrew Welsh introduced you to Take the Cake's Melissa Mileto, whose fashion background contributes to her artistic references in the kitchen. This week, he talks food, art and inspiration with the chef-owners of Nectar, Eat Well Cafe & Takeaway and Honey. 

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Women in the kitchens, Part 1

Melissa Mileto grew up in Baltimore's Little Italy. Today, Take the Cake's chef and joint-owner oversees one of the city's busiest and most creative kitchens. She kicks off Soapbox's series that spotlights Cincinnati's female chef-owners.

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My Soapbox: Jason Langdon, Cincinnati Mini-Maker Faire

Louisville had a fire-breathing pony. New York had 3-D printers and makerbots galore. Cincinnati Maker Faire Founder Jason Langdon looks forward to seeing what the local science, DIY and art community has to offer in the city's first all-ages, all-genres celebration of maker culture this October in Washington Park.

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Seeing stars: Innovative collaboration brings top performers to school stages

Bringing local, national and international artists to work with students at Cincinnati's School for Creative and Performing Arts does more than whet their appetite for the arts. It builds disciplined, savvy learners with deep bonds rooted in Over-the-Rhine.

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Bridging the gap: Enjoy the Arts streamlines path to arts patronage

In its 32nd year, Enjoy the Arts may be older than most of its target audience members, but its new website doesn’t show it. With a fresh look and a new approach to its high-value services, the audience-growing nonprofit is planting serious roots in the digital age with some help from local startups.
 

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My Soapbox: Chase Whiteside, New Left Media

Chase Whiteside wasn't setting out to start a YouTube sensation. But when he and filmmaking partner Erick Stoll documented a Tea Party rally in Washington, they started a documentary-making partnership that has now taken root in Cincinnati. He shares his love of film and his hatred of the Internet with Soapbox's Elissa Yancey.

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Modern Makers: The Big Dinner with Chef Frances Kroner of Feast

Soapbox's Scott Beseler shares a visual feast of the latest Modern Makers event, a celebration of food and art at the Niehoff Urban Design Studio in Uptown. Music by Maria Carrelli.

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My Soapbox: David Le, Pho Lang Thang group

David Le and his restauranteur partners want to make Cincinnati an easy place for Asian Americans to live—and eat. Through Pho Lang Thang and Quan Hapa, he's sharing familiar recipes, with a healthy dose of culture, to an ever-growing fan base. He chats with Soapbox about his inspiration, his strategies and his goals for the future.

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From Guatemala with love: Deeper Roots partners with growers for richer roasts

What do a dairy barn in Mt. Healthy and this year's TED conference have in common? A shared love of top-quality coffee from a Guatemalan village that locals know thanks to relationships nurtured with Deeper Roots, a local roasting company and coffee consultancy. 

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My Soapbox: Kyle Neyer, University of Cincinnati

When 23-year-old University of Cincinnati track star Kyle Neyer considered his senior year at his hometown college, he knew he had a chance to make a difference. He wanted to make it easier for other gay and lesbian athletes to feel supported and welcome among their peers and fans. So, he spearheaded the production of an inspiring and inclusive video: "You Can Play."

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My Soapbox: Janelle Hopper, Contemporary Arts Center

Janelle Hopper, public programs manager at the Contemporary Arts Center, takes a holistic approach to connecting the community with art. In her three years on the job, she's showcased eclectic guests, from the Smithsonian's new media strategist to Sigur Ros. She shares her goals, her insights and her passions with Soapbox.

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From cradle to career, creating new cycles of success

Whether she is downtown in the offices of Strive or coaching track at Clark Montessori, Nia Williams understands the power of a challenging, encouraging mentor. Without hers, she says, she wouldn't be where she is today.

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On OFFF: Designers that will blow you away

Even if you didn't get a chance to attend the sold-out OFFF event hosted by the Contemporary Arts Center, you can still experience the mind-blowing designers' work from the comfort of your computer. Slideshow by Soapbox's own mind-blowing photographer, Scott Beseler.

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Old kids on the block: Calhoun cornerstones offer alternatives

As U Square at the Loop looms large, long-standing Calhoun Street businesses in Clifton hope for a long-awaited resurgence.

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My Soapbox: Sandra E. Spataro, NKU

With degrees from Stanford and Berkeley, Sandra Spataro brings experience from Silicon Valley and teaching stints at Yale and Cornell to her students at Northern Kentucky University. She chose to work at NKU because it offered not only a diverse student population, but a chance to focus on what she calls "up-close-and-personal" teaching.

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Nights out Cincinnati

One weekend. Two nights of Cincinnati. Soapbox's managing photographer Scott Beseler tours the Art of Food in Covington and the Platter Party in Brighton. The result? A taste of fashion, music and fun in the city. Video by Scott Beseler.

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Cincinnati's newest dream team: The faces of Cintrifuse

The Cintrifuse venture capital team is already working on supporting the region's entrepreneurial ecosystem. Now, it's time to see how The Rainmaker, The Money Man, The Go Getter, The Teacher, The Connector, The Youngster and The Magician Behind the Curtain plan to get down to business.

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My Soapbox: Cate Yellig, Art Director, City of Covington

Cate Yellig knows how to build things. And how to use a blowtorch. The City of Covington's new art director talks economic development, world travels and how the region has become a magnet for talented, smart entrepreneurs and artists.

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Know Theatre's artistic innovations extend past stage

Between crowdfunding successes, subscription innovations and artist support initiatives, Know Theatre has become a trailblazer in Over-the-Rhine’s arts scene.

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School-based Health Centers offer innovative approach to educational barriers

The arithmetic is pretty simple. Medical care plus students equals a boost in attendance and graduates. That's why Cincinnati Public Schools’ school-based health center nurses offer preventive and follow-up healthcare, as well as old-fashioned TLC, to a growing number of students.

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My Soapbox: Jodi Schmidtgoesling, Possible

Cincinnati native Jodi Schmidtgoesling takes on the world's top companies in her new role as branding giant Possible's chief client officer. The 35-year-old business leader also works to develop the culture of Possible as a fun, innovative and creative place to work. She talks with Soapbox about Cincinnati as a brand hub and finding inspiration in Disney characters.

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Natural style: Local black women find support as they embrace their roots

Through ’Nati Naturalistas and Queen City Naturals, black women in Greater Cincinnati nurture their love of natural hair—and of themselves.

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SpringBoard grads infuse city with creative startup energy

Laura Chenault took an abandoned garage on Spring Grove Avenue and transformed it into a space for everything from filming indie documentaries and music videos to hosting cooking classes, dinner parties and dance parties, too. But she didn’t do it alone.

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The Kitchen Factory cooks up collaborative business model

The Kitchen Factory in Northside has been serving up pizza slices since July 1. But it's no ordinary pie shop. Its owner, Melissa Cox Howard, has come up with an entrepreneur-friendly business plan that you won’t find anywhere else in Cincinnati.  

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$29.5M grant, neighbor-focused plans boost Avondale housing revitalization efforts

What happens when the city, neighborhood advocates and a national redevelopment firm collaborate to transform outdated and underutilized public housing in Avondale? They snag a $29.5M federal grant aimed at holistic renewal.

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Soapbox Jobs, now powered by GigitJobs

At Soapbox, job listings have always been popular landing pages for regular readers, browsers and job seekers. Starting today, thanks to a partnership with local startup GigitJobs.com, readers can find even more creative and techie jobs for the taking in Greater Cincinnati. 

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Come to the table: Black design pros diversify Cincinnati's creative class

Cincinnati and its corporate giants attract designers from across the globe, but the minority gap still looms large. Read how local black design professionals have adjusted and adapted while working to recruit and retain their peers.

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My Soapbox: Sherry Carran, Covington's mayor-elect

Covington's first female mayor, Sherry Carran, takes office next month. The alum of the University of Cincinnati’s architecture program and long-time Northern Kentuckian shares her thoughts on her election, her goals, and bikes in Covington with Soapbox’s Hannah Purnell.
 

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For Good Special: Emanuel's transformation

This week, we bring you a special, in-depth look at the recent sale of the Emanuel Center in Over-the-Rhine, a nonprofit organization that we've covered before in Soapbox.

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The New Revolutionaries: Hatching ideas with The Bird Haus

Match passionate locals, creative entreprenuers and a petite force of nature known as Cat Amaro and you get The Bird Haus, a migratory classroom where learning is fun, fascinating and, yes, cheap.

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Queen City sweetness: Home-town bakery startup expands offerings, again

Peggy Shannon, who dreamed up Queen City Cookies just two years ago, will open a gift shop today as part of her new Northside "campus" dedicated to community empowerment, entrepreneurial energy and amazingly delicious sweet treats.

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Deck the halls: Cincinnati cosplayers revel in stories

From engineers to college students, costume designers to corporate professionals, cosplayers (costume players) in Cincinnati revel in opportunities to get their geek on. Soapbox's Aiesha Little takes a closer look.

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Sweet Sistah Splash spices up Sycamore Street

Instead of talking about the kinds of programs they wanted to see more of in Cincinnati, entrepreneurs Nzingha Byrd and Daphney Thomas decided to join forces and feature them. They opened Sweet Sistah Splash in Over-the-Rhine in July.

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Fresh art uncovers hidden treasures

Where you see an empty carton, Andrey Kozakov sees a face. Where you see a cabinet, he sees a magical box. Most of all, the Cincinnatian from the Ukraine sees his art as an expression of his freedom—from the bonds of the past and the constraints of convention.

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Epipheo embraces stories, innovation while defying easy description

Cross the quirkiness of a Silicon Valley start-up with the genuine affection of a Midwestern community and you begin to grasp the creative forces that drive Epipheo. With an office in Portland, Oregon, and headquarters in Longworth Hall, the convention-defying company's core values—"truth, story, love"—make it as appealing to a growing number of employees as it is to high-powered clients like Google, Facebook and MTV.

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'That Cortnie girl' adds voice to feminist perspectives

Cortnie Owens wants to make a difference. Whether she's in a class at UC, working on social media for the Women's Center on campus or writing on her own blog, the young feminist preaches the power of positive body acceptance.

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My Soapbox: Cedric Michael Cox, artist

Cedric Michael Cox may be the busiest – and most accessible – artist in Cincinnati. As vibrant as his paintings and as intricate as his drawings, the 36-year-old is also as driven as his rock band is loud. He shares the stories behind his newest PAC Gallery show with Soapbox's Chris Graves.

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'Contained' takes art into the streets of OTR

'Contained,' an exhibit of art presented in shipping containers in Over-the-Rhine, takes art into the streets, as the Requiem Project extends its reach beyond the Emery Theatre. Soapbox's master photographer Scott Beseler offers a tour.

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New sounds in Newport: Local music scene gets a reboot

When the Southgate House closed its doors last New Year’s Eve, Newport, Kentucky, lost one of the region’s premier music venues. Over the last several months, two new music destinations have developed in its place. Soapbox takes a look at how the show goes on at the new Thompson House and the Southgate House Revival.

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From hummus to nuts, Zaidan's journey back to Findlay fueled by family

After a decade away from Cincinnati, Kate Zaidan has returned to reshape her family business, Dean’s Mediterranean in Findlay Market. She’s not just selling fresh-roasted nuts to other local businesses, she’s staking her claim on the family brand.

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My Soapbox: Kimberly Clayton-Code, NKU's Institute for Talent Development and Gifted Studies

Kimberly Clayton-Code, Director of the Institute for Talent Development and Gifted Studies at Northern Kentucky University, shared some insights on the program she helped launch five years ago and what it means to be gifted kid today. Parents, breathe a sigh of relief: it's now hip to be smart.

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Brighton: Working on the edge

People make things in Brighton. Nestled in the northern tip of the West End, and bordered by Central Parkway on the east and Spring Grove Avenue on the west, Brighton’s demographics defy easy explanation.

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The New Revolutionaries: Smarter than a Goldfish

What do shoe-making workshops, recycled sketch paper and Portolets have in common? They're all part of Main Street entrepreneur Alisha Budkie's sustainable world, one the UC design alum is helping build with support from longtime neighbors and a growing army of her peers in Over-the-Rhine.

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My Soapbox: Honour Pillow revisits Fringe

Addyston-born playwright, comedienne and cancer survivor Honour Pillow has stories to tell. She gives Soapbox's Becky Johnson a glimpse behind the inspiration of her Fringe-encore performance at the Know.

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My Soapbox: Jay Finch, Socstock

Cleveland native Jay Finch, 26, moved to Cincinnati to join The Brandery's 2012 class. The Villanova honors grad studied economics at Cambridge and Harvard before Goldman Sachs snagged him post-graduation. He gave all that up to start his "market ministry," Socstock.

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Filmmaking in Cincinnati: A Wide Angle

Local filmmakers don't wait for George Clooney and Ryan Gosling to come to town to practice their craft. From skateboarding movies to one-woman-show YouTube channels to high-end commercial productions, Cincinnati's film scene offers space, and support, for aspiring artists to grow.

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Second Sunday on Main

From chocolate chili popsicles to handmade shoes, from art galleries to sustainability-focused retailers, Main Street in Over-the-Rhine continues its latest renaissance. Soapbox photographer Scott Beseler offers a visual 411, with images captured during an idyllic Second Sunday on Main celebration. 

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GOOD ideas: Art on the move

Cincinnati's arts leaders posed a challenge for creative thinkers: how can the city's vibrant arts scene be maximized to attract and retain talent? Twenty-somethings doing something offer an exciting new approach during the GOOD Ideas for Cities event held downtown this fall. Take a listen and see how you can keep the conversation going. Video courtesy The Queen City Project.

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Miracle on Woodburn

From vintage stores to high-end fashion shops and art galleries, a new day is dawning on Woodburn Avenue in Walnut Hills. Entrepreneurs who have long called the neighborhood home welcome the fresh energy and say it has already made an impact in one of Cincinnati's most iconic communities.

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My Soapbox: Floyd Johnson, OATW

If you've seen an Ohio Against the World t-shirt, you've seen the work of Cincinnati designer Floyd Johnson. And the DAAP-rejected college drop-out proudly embodies the phrase he appropriated. He tells all, including the scoop on his recent work with Nike and his college brush with Playboy, to Soapbox's Maria Seda-Reeder.

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The New Revolutionaries: All Night Party mixes business, pleasure

From specialty pizzas to "HearPlugs," the musicians of The All Night Party know lots more than creative music promotion. With their help, local bands navigate the business of music in fresh, innovative ways.

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Composing a life of music, art, Cincinnati stories

Call Liberty Hill's Rick Sowash a grasshopper and you won't be far off. From his home of the edge of downtown, the accomplished chamber music composer also works as an author, Cincinnati tour leader, public speaker, sometime house painter and publisher of books, musical scores and cds. Oh, and two days a week he works as a guard at the Cincinnati Art Museum.

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Downtown on the farm

You can find Dylan Tennison's rainbow chard, French breakfast and cherry belle radishes, six varieties of lettuces, arugula, fresh garlic and Tot soy—all grown in a plot in Over the Rhine—in groceries, markets and restaurants throughout the city. The Cincinnati native bikes and harvests his way to a sustainable, and inspiring, life filled with delicious benefits.

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Soapdish: The ultimate insider's guide to downtown + OTR

Soapbox's own Casey Coston delivers again with his “Highly Subjective, Sometimes Eccentric, Oftentimes Random Insider’s Guide to Over the Rhine and Downtown,” from best art/dog park to best rooftop establishment by default.

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Fashion forward in Northside

parProjects transformed the Bertke Electric Warehouse into 10,000 square feet of art fusion, including music, visual arts and fashion. Lots and lots of fashion. Soapbox's Scott Beseler takes you there.

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The New Revolutionaries: Shaping the future with art, strings and passion

Tatiana Berman wants to get Cincinnati noticed. Her fresh take on the city's established arts scene shaped her Constella Festival, now headed into its second year and poised to strike a powerful economic as well as artistic chord.

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The many faces of Etsy

Four local artists who maintain Etsy shops take very different approaches to the online craft megasite. Each small business owner has a plan, but the role Etsy plays depends on products, time and long-term goals.

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VFA Fellows excited to move to Cincinnati

They are young, high-powered, high-achieving, highly skilled professionals with their sights set on the same thing: success in Cincinnati, start-up style. Read where they are working — and why.

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Soapbox Savings: Symphonic Stylings, June 23

It's part fund-raiser, part art show. Part chamber music concert, part fashion show. Part dance party, part pop-up sale. On June 23, Symphonic Stylings takes over 10,000 square feet in the Bertke Electric warehouse in Northside for an event like nothing you've seen before.

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Thinking inside the box pays off for Oakley's Blue Manatee

Kids love to turn boxes into toys. The experts at Blue Manatee in Oakley turned that inevitability into an award-winning product that stimulates imaginations while it promotes local businesses and sustainability.

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Fringe exposure

In its ninth year, Cincinnati Fringe Festival sparked ideas, opened minds and just plain entertained thousands of guests. One photographer took the long view of the 12-day celebration of all things Fringe and the results capture the art, and artists, in new and unusual ways.

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What he left behind

Marvin Gates, 25, was shot and killed on the streets of Evanston last month. He was a blip on the 24-hour news cycle radar. But for family, neighbors and his supporters at the Cincinnati Initiative to Reduce Violence, he was much, much more. Photos by Thomas E. Smith.

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Signs of progress light up museum's new home

Retrieving signs tossed into back alleys is something of a specialty for Tod Swormstedt, the force behind the American Sign Museum. With a working neon shop and 20,000 square feet of space, the museum's new home in Camp Washington gives his ever-growing collection a dazzling home. 

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Bright lights, neon city

Soapbox photographer Scott Beseler take us on a tour of the American Sign Museum in Camp Washington.

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My Soapbox: Sheida Soleimani, photographer

New college graduate and photographer Sheida Soleimani co-founded Third Party Gallery in Brighton last fall. She opens her second large-scale exhibit, which explores her Iranian-American identity as shaped by political refugee parents, at Prairie Gallery in Northside this week. The ambitious young artist talked with Soapbox's Elissa Yancey about work, school and coming to terms with cultural dualities.

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My Soapbox: Lyden Foust, Xavier University, Campus Solutions

Make way for Lyden Foust, the Xavier University senior who led the effort to host Xavier’s first TEDx event and was the only Xavier undergraduate honored with an Entrepreneurship Black Belt in an award ceremony last month. With two start-ups now under that black belt and work lined up in web development, design and branding after graduation, Foust recently spoke to Soapbox's Becky Johnson to explain his creative approach to business strategies and how he would like to challenge accepted notions about the purpose of profits.

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CEOs: City lovers tweet Cincinnati takeaways

Civic urban leaders from across disciplines--educators, executives, entrepreneurs--shared lessons and inspiration in Cincinnati last week, as the city played host to a conference that celebrated good ideas and creative leaders. So what were the takeaways?

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Fifth Quarter in Cincinnati: Not your mother's summer school

Now in its 4th year, Cincinnati Public Schools’ 5th Quarter program targets under-performing, low-income schools with an extended school year and a collective approach to learning, and fun, that's getting national attention.

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Soapdish: Crosley, Pulitzer highlight local preservation victories

Tis May once again, dear Soapdish readers. At the dawn of Preservation Month, we coronate our region’s more notable preservation victories of the past 12 months. From Powel Crosley Jr.'s estate to Emily Pulitzer's childhood home, Cincinnati saves legendary landmarks.

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Craftworks: creatives chart independent paths

They make jewelry, housewares, stationery and food. While many divide their lives between traditional work and craftwork, a growing number of Cincinnatians are finding ways to turn their passions into their livelihoods. Their work styles vary as much as their merchandise, but in the end, they, like their peers around the country, are all looking for a taste of the same thing: freedom.

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Bike Month events celebrate city's progress, potential

Grease up your chain, pump up your tires, roll up your right pant leg and hop on your bicycle--it's nearly Bike Month in Cincinnati. Get ready to roll.

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My Soapbox: Peggy Shannon, Queen City Cookies

Look for Queen City Cookie's reigning royalty, founder Peggy Shannon, driving a pink, elephant-adorned "schnecken shack" starting next week. The city's newest food truck will house plenty of sweets and lots of new creations, from pig pockets to donut toast. And it will be hard to miss. Shannon gives Soapbox the scoop on truck menus and elephant art, selling to Dean and Deluca and building a new Cincinnati landmark within an historic one.

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Nights out Cincinnati

Take a whirlwind weekend tour with Soapbox's Scott Beseler as he travels from a tattoo convention downtown to a fashion show at the Northside Tavern to a foggy party in Brighton. All photos by Scott Beseler.

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Russo's 'Star' turn celebrates personal passion, arts in Cincinnati

Regina Russo, the marketing director at the Cincinnati Art Museum, has seen two record-breaking attendance years since she left her post at FOX19 to promote art for a living. Now she's stepping out, literally, for the sixth annual Dancing for the Stars competition and fundraiser. In the process, she's living out "a dream deferred."

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Interactive invasion: locals pitch big ideas at SXSW

From digital pros to sleep-deprived StartUp Bus riders, Cincinnatians at SXSW Interactive staked a claim at the country's premier showcase of new ideas and cool technologies destined to shape the way we live, work and play. Soapbox gives you exclusive insights from five attendees about what it was like to live the SXSW Interactive experience.


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SpringBoard diary: giving thanks

In her final SpringBoard entry, aspiring entrepreneur Megan McAuley takes stock of how far she's come and looks toward the climb ahead--with a little help from more than just her friends.

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Backstage @ Signal P&G: Digital drives advertising futures

A one-day whirlwind last week, called Signal P&G, brought nearly two dozen Silicon Valley thought leaders to Cincinnati to weigh in on the state of the digital universe at the headquarters of the world’s biggest brand builder and advertiser. Go backstage to find out what it all means and what's next.

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She Blinded Me with Science (Fiction)

Christy Johnson, chair of Millennicon, the Tri-State’s oldest science fiction convention, talks to Soapbox about what it’s like to run a large-scale convention and geek out with sci-fi authors, and why sci-fi isn’t a “guy thing.”

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SpringBoard diary: Finding the right route

As she details her seventh week of SpringBoard, fledgling entrepreneur and rock-climber Megan McAuley reassesses her initial dream location and opts for a new and unknown path.

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My Soapbox: Rodney D'Souza, founder, INKUbator

Rodney D'Souza is building a hive in Northern Kentucky. His new INKUbator at Northern Kentucky University is designed to help students turn their ideas into feasible business proposals and prepare them for the competitive world of startup accelerators. He explains his brainchild to Soapbox's Elissa Yancey.

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SpringBoard diary: the climb continues

A seasoned athlete, Megan McAuley knows the ups and downs of learning new skills. What she learned via rock-climbing serves her well as she takes another step toward fulfilling her start-up goals with support from SpringBoard. Did you think she'd given up? Think again.

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Art comes alive at CAC

When the Contemporary Arts Center throws a party, a whole new city shows up to be a part of it. Soapbox's Scott Beseler takes you inside last weekend's opening dance party with DJ Dan Deacon, who amplified the power of "Spectacle." Music courtesy The Pinstripes.

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Puppet master

Geppetto and Pinocchio are so 19th century. In Northside, puppeteer and stay-at-home-dad Jesse Mooney-Bullock makes stage-worthy, hand-carved puppets that actors around the country use to perform everything from Rikki Tikki Tavi to The Tempest.

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SpringBoard diary: the dream vs. the reality

With just three weeks of SpringBoard's classes in business development and entrepreneurship to go, our fearless climber Megan McAuley takes a serious look at sacrifice and makes an unexpected decision.

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Off the rack: Nizny's Pixel 19 supplies more than vintage kitsch

Pass by 211 Klotter Street in Clifton and you’ll see an oversized turquoise egg, a green glass bottle and a few pieces of driftwood decorating the porch, but nothing that hints that this is the location of Pixel 19, a vintage shop that supplies sellers around the globe. It’s also the home of Stu Nizny.

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SpringBoard diary: Nothing to lose

If I had a dime for every time someone asked me if I thought opening a climbing gym was actually realistic, I might have enough money to pay a month’s worth of rent on a potential building. While there may be a list of reasons why I shouldn’t pursue the gym or why it won’t work, I have a list triple the size of reasons why I should and it will.

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Young and black in Cincinnati, part 2: Eyes on the prize

Last week you met four young, black Cincinnatians making their marks on the Queen City through entrepreneurship, creativity, networking and old-fashioned hard work. This week, meet four more trailblazers who are thriving in the world of startups, nonprofits, education and corporate marketing.




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SpringBoard diary: taking an inventory

It's week three of SpringBoard, and fledgling entrepreneur Megan McAuley is taking stock of what it will take to turn her dream of creating a rock-climbing gym in downtown Cincinnati a reality.

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Young and black in Cincinnati: Words from the wise

Making a city vibrant means paying attention to all of its voices and learning from all of its wisdoms. And the story –and history – of Cincinnati wouldn't be complete without the innovation, tenacity and creativity of nearly half the city's population, which is African American. Today in Soapbox, in the first part of a two-part series, we'll tell you about four up-and-coming black Cincinnatians who are making a mark in media, education and entrepreneurship.





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My Soapbox: Mike Bott, GM, The Brandery

As he steps in to the newly created role of general manager of  The Brandery in OTR, Mike Bott, at just 30, is ready to give ambitious startups the tools they need to survive, and thrive, in Cincinnati.

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SpringBoard diary: business-building toolkit

In week two of her SpringBoard journey, the unseasoned entreprenuer explores her motivations, her hopes and her fears.

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Kolar finds success at intersection of brand, architecture, interiors

Whether she’s helping design Cincinnati’s newest riverfront park or transforming hospitals by blending graphic and industrial design with architecture, Kelly Kolar revels in integrating her passions to create massive, holistic change.

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SpringBoard diary: an entrepreneurial journey

I am a 24-year-old political science graduate from the University of Cincinnati. I live in Over-the-Rhine and work at Coffee Emporium. In college, I wanted to leave the country and save the world, but somewhere between there and here, I fell in love with OTR and decided it needed some saving, too.

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Neighbor dividend pays off for businesses in E. Walnut Hills

In East Walnut Hills, shopkeepers and customers are on a first-name basis. They know that making connections, and keeping them strong, helps attract, and retain, dedicated followers. The same goes for attracting new entrepreneurs to help fill in the empty spaces in the historic, and as yet not fully settled, part of town.

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Art of Hair teases crowd with talent

Hair designers and models transformed the Carnegie Arts Center in Covington, Kentucky, into a wild world of wonderful, not to mention hairy, art. Soapbox's Scott Beseler documented it all.

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From the CR: For I Will Consider

Managing Editor’s Note: This is the first in an occasional series of shared content with a local literary gem, The Cincinnati Review. Named one of the top 20 U.S. literary magazines by Every Writer’s Resource and housed at the University of Cincinnati, the CR will provide poetry, fiction and non-fiction for Soapbox readers, then offer special “bonus material” about each piece—including commentary from local editors, writers and poets—on their blog. The first selection is a poem, For I Will Consider, by Terese Coe.

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'Johnny Walker' blends roles to build communities

He's been a stockbroker and lived in a flop house, but the most audacious experiences for University Hospital's chief psychiatric resident stem from his life as Johnny Walker, a punk blues rock guitarist who has toured with the White Stripes and the MC5. His newest gig? Helping build an artists' collective in an old Masonic Lodge in Dayton, Kentucky.

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My Soapbox: Lisa Walker, Wussy singer, guitarist

2011 ended with a four-star Rolling Stone review for Cincinnati’s Wussy. In honor of the latest acclaim for their release Strawberry, Soapbox’s Evan Wallis sat down with Northside's Lisa Walker, Wussy singer and guitarist, to talk about the local music scene, inspiration and how SXSW-bound Wussy defines success.

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12 things to watch in 2012

Soapbox proffers a '12 things to watch' list for 2012. Read and weigh in on what we did, and did not, include.

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2011: the year in Soapbox

With a new year upon us, we take a look back at our most read stories of 2011. From the prospective new life of the Emery Theatre to the opening of A Tavola to the controversial story of the Anna Louise Inn lawsuit, here are the 12 Soapbox stories you read the most last year.

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Home for the holidays

This month, Delmond Montgomery moves back home to his wife and children for the first time in more than a year. As one of the first hires at Green Recycling Works, his job is to make it easy for businesses to recycle. As a graduate of the year-long Exodus Program for men in recovery, he's also working to show that sometimes, in this case with the help of social enterprise, you really can go home again.

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Get on the bus: art abounds on urban route

The smaller buses that traverse the streets of Mt. Adams, downtown and the West End offer more than colorful exteriors and a route guaranteed to please museum-goers and downtown workers alike. Route #1 helps re-define Cincinnati's bus commuting scene with a sitting-room setting and a cast of friendly regulars. Soapbox's Jane Durrell takes a ride.

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Baby, it's cold outside

Sure, it's wet. And cold. And there is more than enough bad news to go around. But this month, Soapbox heads out of 2011 in style, with a look at the prospects for our city's future and the faces who will keep us inspired, and growing, into 2012.

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My Soapbox: Andrew Yang, Founder, Venture For America

When Venture For America's founder Andrew Yang landed in town to chat with local entrepreneurs about his nonprofit's ambitious plans to help create 100,000 jobs by 2025, Soapbox was there to meet him at the airport.

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Condo conversion: Bellevue church attracts suburban buyers

A new generation of Cincinnati workers is foregoing suburban lifestyles and finding unique, urban living spaces — and not just in Over the Rhine. At St. Anthony Lofts in Bellevue, Kentucky, buyers praise the stunning architecture and proximity to downtown.

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The Talent Dividend: How more college grads can add to Cincinnati's bottom line

What's the best thing a city can do to achieve more economic success? Increase its number of college graduates. The most prosperous cities have the highest number of college grads. Read how the Talent Dividend calculates just how much college degrees add to a city's bottom line — think billions.

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Design Impact grows local social innovation roots

At Design Impact, Ramsey Ford and Kate Hanisian take their design and community development skills around the world, building sustainable social solutions that combine creativity and mutual respect.

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My Soapbox: Lajuana Miller, 2012 World Choir Games

Next July, when 20,000 participants from 70 countries descend on the city for the seventh annual World Choir Games, Lajuana Miller will be ready. As director of volunteer services, Miller will manage more than 3,000 volunteers during the 10-day event, which is estimated to have an economic impact of more than $73 million. Soapbox’s Evan Wallis talked with her about how it feels to manage a group of volunteers almost the size of her hometown.

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Getting OFFF: artists inspire new world of creativity

Hector Ayuso, the Barcelona-based graphic and motion designer who founded OFFF, brought a piece of his three-day OFFFest to Cincinnati for two days. He left behind ideas and inspiration after connecting people to the future of creative thought.

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City builders

Deanna Heil and Chantelle Noble, co-founders of City Studios Architecture, bring an appreciation for happy and healthy communities to their work. The success of their projects, whether historic preservation or new developments, results from the pair's sympatico sensibilities.




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Soapbox special: MORE women to watch

Last week you met five remarkable women changing the city's intellectual and creative landscapes. This week, we're serving up another batch of smart thinking, creative planning and big dreaming by five more. They talked with Soapbox's Evan Wallis and Scott Beseler so you can read, enjoy and be inspired.

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Time to tweducate

Urban school teachers have a daily impact on our most important community assets -- our children. When they succeed, we all succeed. Today marks the launch of Together We Educate, tweducate.org, a website dedicated to attracting, supporting and retaining the best and brightest teachers to work, live and grow in Greater Cincinnati.

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Soapbox special: women to watch

We've come a long way, baby, redux. And if you have any doubt, ask one of these five women, each of whom is staking her claim on the future of the city in a creative and surprising way. Join Soapbox's Evan Wallis and Scott Beseler as they explore some serious feminine mystique.





Tara Lindsey Gordon, co-founder The Requiem Project: Emery Theatre

Name: Tara Lindsey Gordon Title: co-founder/co-artistic director of The Requiem Project: Emery Theatre Age: 31 Neighborhood: Mt. Adams, as of June 2011. (I just relocated from New York City.) What do you do? I am one of the co-founders of The Requiem Project: Emery Theatre. In 2008, my business partner, Tina Manchise, and I started a site-specific non-profit, The Requiem Project, with the mission to re-open The Emery as an interdisciplinary arts venue. It is the theatre’s centennial, and this project is about preserving a theatre that has withstood 100 years and also creating a space unlike others in Cincinnati, both in aesthetic and programs. The example art centers we have been looking toward are those we frequent, such as BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music), the old Zipper Factory, Cyclorama/Beehive… this list is long. Our past three years have been devoted to a stability plan and artistic direction. The vision is a space that centralizes on collaborations of mediums including music, theatre, dance and film, with a 1400-1600 seat acoustically pure theatre as the heart of the building. There will be gallery spaces, a wine bar and a 5,000-square-foot event flexible space that opens to a garden terrace. The Requiem Project is not only the re-opening of a theatre, but just as importantly an aspect of the programming is an Artistic Enrichment and Education Center, a space that supports artists in all stages of development.   Why do you do it? Tina and I believe meaningful artistic interactions create community. At its core, The Emery is about sound; it is one of three acoustically pure theatres still standing in the country. The core of my and Tina’s work is about voice, and offering opportunities for artists to “say what they have to say,” because artists have rare and specific voices. We borrow this statement all the time from Bill T. Jones, but creating art is placing a stake in the future, imagining something that cannot yet be seen, but will change perspectives; the inclusion of artistic experience in daily life is a preservation of imagination. The Emery will be another place for creative possibility and interaction in Cincinnati. One hundred years ago, Mary Emery bequeathed the building to the city for those purposes. Her desire was to preserve a venue for “civic betterment,” and the confines of her will bind the building to always serve the city in that capacity. Mrs. Emery believed that music makes community and that voices should be heard, and it is an honor to revive her mission. Why Cincinnati? Cincinnati was not on my map. I am from Boston and moved to New York City when I was 18 and thought I would stay forever. When I started working and developing relationships in Cincinnati, I realized how warm, creative and smart the people I had been meeting are; I am continually grateful to the people who have helped me with my transition. I am still homesick for aspects of living in New York City, like not having to parallel park and being able to buy wine on Sundays, but my experiences here has been incredibly rewarding, and working on The Emery means I get to do exactly what I have always wanted to do. What do you love about the city? The people. I just spent this weekend talking to such dynamic people: Chris Hoeting, Missy Lay Zimmer and Eric Vosmeier… John Senhauser, Kevin Reynolds, Katherine Durack, Sarah Corlett, Margy Waller. This project has invited a lot of introductions to extraordinary individuals. I am so happy here. What are you trying to change about the city? That is not really on my radar. I miss aspects of a bigger city, but I did not move to Cincinnati to change Cincinnati. I think The Emery will be a lovely addition. What's next? I would like to open the doors to The Emery, and then I would like to take a nap.

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Eyes on the future

In a town the size of Cincinnati, it’s easy to fall into the trap of looking for, and finding, only familiar faces. That’s where this issue of Soapbox comes in.

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Women artists SpringBoard into better business

A shoe designer. A dance troupe leader. A jewelry recycler. A sculptor. Meet the women of SpringBoard – among the first graduates of ArtWorks’ business development program aimed at helping local artists turn their passions into profits.

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Word play

Local spoken word poets aren't trying to be famous. They just want to open your ears and possibly your minds.

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Q&A: Once Blind Studios

Randy and Leisa Wilcox of Once Blind Studios could have built their design and branding business anywhere. The L.A. transplants chose Over-the-Rhine. In this Q&A with Soapbox, they explain why. And what's next.

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Harvest time

From a freshly painted storefront at Findlay Market to neighborhood coffee shops, fall is the season of harvest. This month, Soapbox features stories and images about harvests of ideas and personal passions that follow our neighbors from the field to the dinner table, from the iPad to the office, and far beyond.

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Please and thank you

When it comes to a well-rounded meal, the chef of Please considers every detail, from the plate to the decor surrounding it. Join Soapbox's Scott Beseler for a culinary tour of a recent meal created in partnership with the Brush Factory.

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State of the arts

Steel drums and sculpture. Photography and modern dance. With passionate, eclectic leaders and a host of talented supporters, Cincinnati's local community arts centers deliver an array of classes and concerts designed to bring neighbors together. Soapbox tours a few of our region’s growing, vibrant cultural gathering spots.

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Plans tonight? Join Soapbox for 'arts lessons'

We know you don't have plans for after work tonight, right? This is your last chance to register for our Soapbox Speaker Series sponsored by the Niehoff Urban Studio, tonight! When: Tuesday, Aug. 30, 5:30-7:30 p.m.  Where: Niehoff Urban Studio

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Social Innovation Fund charts course from cradle to career

As grade-schoolers play in the "Energy Zone" filled with bright-colored balls at the Duke Energy Children's Museum, they learn about simple machines the fun way. Training teachers to guide students through field-trip science activities expands the reach, and impact, of every lesson. At Cincinnati's Social Innovation Fund, which supports a wide range of educational programs including teacher training, creating lasting learning makes for measurable successes.  


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Head of the class: Mary Ronan, CPS superintendent

This fall, Cincinnati Public Schools celebrate higher test scores and make a plea for critical funding. As CPS students head back to school this week, Soapbox quizzed Ronan about the year ahead, the district she loves and her favorite school supply.

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Mural, mural, on the wall

From an homage to Frank Duveneck to an original C.F. Payne to the spoils of a TED prize, MuralWorks by ArtWorks brightens more than city walls.We tour of a few of the finest with Soapbox photographer Scott Beseler.

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Talent search

As cities realize the importance of attracting and retaining talent, smaller development projects and neighborhood investment are becoming a crucial part of some cities' revitalization efforts. 

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The heart of the matter: Western & Southern's lawsuit against Anna Louise Inn

What lies at the root of Western & Southern's lawsuit against Anna Louise Inn and the city? There are more issues at play here than a zoning matter, and the questions they raise aren't as black-and-white. Soapbox takes a closer look.

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Hungry eyes: City's lit journals feed world of readers

For literary journal devotees and their posses of word nerds, Cincinnati is rich with talent and deep with possibility. Through their efforts, new generations of writers and readers continue to fall in love with a fresh turn of phrase, an undiscovered poet or a story that embodies truth and light in a compelling way.

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Keeping the faith: Getting ready for Ramadan in Clifton

Cincinnati is home to more Muslims than you might think. Members of the Clifton Mosque look forward to Ramadan and reflect on what it means to practice this pillar of Islam in Cincinnati.

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Connecting People, Bridging Divides in Over-the-Rhine

Founded in 1871 to meet the social and spiritual needs of German immigrants, Emanuel Community Center's story follows the path of many newcomers who have chosen to call the historic city basin home. Now it's using its history and community building capacity to connect residents, old and new.

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Cincinnati's Latino Community Goes National

While Cincinnati may not typically be considered an enclave for Latin American emigres on par with Miami or Los Angeles, the city has its fair share of Latino ties. Latino and hispanic professionals, artists, university students, and workers are making their mark in a city that was handcrafted by waves of immigrants. This June, the City and its Latino community will celebrate this latest wave as proud hosts of the national LULAC convention.

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World of Opportunities Expands Through Grace of CincyDance

CincyDance! targets third-graders in city schools where students may have no other exposure to ballet, and uses the language of dance to build confidence and bridge communication barriers.  

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King Studio's Reinvention Helps Build a Better Community

Inspired by the legacy of historic King Records, a unique community-based partnership between Evanston and Xavier University has big plans for a recording studio, interactive experience, and visual arts learning center that celebrates the record label's neighborhood ties and incorporates its groundbreaking innovation and soul. 

Ten Things To Watch in 2011

Hotels, revitalized retail and the elusive grocery store blossom in downtown. Light rail attempts a comeback. A home-grown music festival turns ten. Dogs having their day.  These are just some of the things Soapbox will be watching in 2011.

Soapbox Speaker Series: Patrons of Urbanism

Our first Soapbox Speaker Series of the new year is this Wednesday. There's still time to register!

The Language of Architecture

Argentine-born architect Jose Garcia's Cincinnati firm designs eco-friendly architectural projects that draw heavily on local materials and methods, whether in the Andes or Hyde Park.

Get Down Moses

Baoku Moses, a native of Nigeria, moved to the Queen City in 2002. Since then the musician, composer, actor, and activist has been a one man cultural attache, spreading West African culture throughout his 'adopted city' via music, fashion, and education.

Soapdish: Better School Choices for Urban Dwellers

This week Soapdish columnist Casey Coston goes back to school and dispels the myth that Cincinnati's best educational bets lie outside city limits.  With a wealth of opportunities in Cincinnati's urban core - from nationally ranked high schools to innovative montessori and science and technology programs - Coston finds there's more than meets the eye when considering educational choices in the Queen City.

Northside Fertile Ground For Women-Owned Businesses

Finding a sense of pride and ownership in their community, women-owned businesses are becoming the norm and not the exception in Northside. Cultivating these businesses are a group of talented women, many neighborhood residents who simply want to invest in their own community, while meeting its burgeoning, eclectic needs.

Shining A Light on Cincinnati's Historical Assets

While it may not seem readily apparent, the fact that this year's National Trust Advanced Preservation Leadership Training session is focusing on Over-the-Rhine is yet another indication that the struggling neighborhood's prognosis is improving. Several years after the neighborhood made the National Trust's "most endangered" list, 25 historic-preservation professionals will be in Cincinnati this saturday through July 24 to kick-start solutions for four specific "problem" buildings in OTR. The advanced training program will bring national attention to Cincinnati and its outcomes will shine a light on preserving and promoting OTR's historic building stock. 

Serving It Up Family Style

Darren Phan's childhood journey to the United States began tragically with an escape from Vietnam that ultimately took his father's life. Now the 33 year old Cincinnati restauranteur invokes lessons learned from his family's sacrifices and a lifetime of sharing food across the dining table into his restaurants.

Soapicks June 29-July 12

Soapbox invites you to celebrate our Founding Fathers, freedom and equality this week, by taking part in Cincinnati Equinox: Pride 2010, an event we proudly support. See nearly 500 years of African American history on display at America I AM: The African American Imprint exhibit. Compare tweets at the Mashable Social Media Day Meetup or take in a movie courtesy of Shutterbugs in Cinema: Motion Pictures & Still Photographers. And don't forget to SHOUT! with the Mariemont Players Inc.

It's A Beautiful Day In The Gayborhood

Choosing where to live and how to live are basic inalienable rights. And while gay and lesbian migration is routinely attributed to urban enclaves like Cincinnati's Northside and Over-the-Rhine neighborhoods, change has come as individual lifestyles - and broader acceptance - evolve. This week, Soapbox's Michael Kearns takes a look at a few local neighbors who are finding our region a more open-minded place for everyone to call home.

Soapdish: Pooling Resources in North Avondale

If this week's heat didn't give it away, you can tell it's almost summertime in Cincinnati. Residents scramble for apartment and country club pools for a quick respite from the approaching dog days. But Soapdish columnist Casey Coston tell us that the Clinton Hills Swim Club in North Avondale is about more than just frolicking and playing in the sun. Over fifty years ago its creation served as an efficient stop gap by concerned neighbors to stop flight into the suburbs. The club was emblematic of 'place making' long before those words became an urban term of art, and now stands as a model of how current city residents in inner ring neighborhoods can improve their space with ingenuity, grass roots activism, and a sense of pride. Dive in.

Cincinnati's Trans-Atlantic Ties: Europeans Find a Home in the Queen City

Historically, large scale European immigration to Cincinnati tapered off by the late 19th Century. But today the Queen City is attracting a new wave of euro-transplants who are plugging into the city and making it their own.  Not unlike their 19th Century predecessors, they're coming for high end jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities, but staying for more than just the chili.  Soapbox's Jon DeHart shares a few of their stories.

Transplants Breathe New Life Into Cincinnati

People move to Cincinnati for the cost of living and the family-friendly atmosphere, right? While our cozy neighborhoods and steady real estate market continue to rate high marks nationally, that's the old story about what's bringing transplants to Cincinnati. Forward-thinking companies with an international presence are drawing in many of Cincinnati's newest residents who can't stop talking about Fountain Square, our extensive park system, the Symphony, hot independent restaurants and more once they get here.  Hailing from Minnesota, Los Angeles, Florida, and even Kenya, Soapbox takes a look at four recent transplants and finds out what attracted them to their newly adopted city. 

It's No Secret: Cincinnati's Underground Ideas Come to Light

Two entrepreneurs, Chris Ostoich and Joe Pantuso, have been convening local talent to share their Cincinnati secrets and big ideas with the rest of the world.  Whether through installments 1 & 2 of Ignite Cincinnati, or with their web based Secret Cincinnati campaign, they've hit a nerve with creatives in the city and inspired a new culture of ideas. Soapbox hung out during the Secret Cincinnati 72 hour weekend kick off in March to learn more about the people behind the project, and the ideas they're germinating.  

Soapdish: Neighborhood Gem in North Avondale

Soapdish columnist Casey Coston has found a gem among Cincinnati's 52 unique neighborhoods in his own backyard.  Coston says North Avondale not only contains magnificient turn of the century architecture, but it's also one of the more diverse neighborhoods in the Queen City and home to nationally recognized educational opportunities for young families. But don't just take his word for it - this historic neighborhood has attracted a cluster of creative arts and business types who make Cincinnati go.

Changing the Cincinnati Conversation through Art

How would you change the conversation about Cincinnati?  One local artist, Ethan Philbrick, uses his artistic training and a novel project involving high school students to make us think differently about our city and how we inhabit it together.  Blurring the lines between activism and art, Philbrick's project cincinnatiUS is a fresh take on opening a dialogue through performance art.

Cincinnati Wine Entrepreneur Finds Inspiration In Heritage

Heritage Link Brands is the largest importer of wines from South Africa and has distinguished itself as a champion of the only black owned family vineyards from that region. The idea for this blend of unique wine offerings and socially conscious importing came from a pair of Procter & Gamble marketing professionals, Selena and Khary Cuffe, who have taken the global lessons learned from their time at P&G to start a business that makes a difference.

Connecting Cincinnati and Israel Through Innovation

Could Israel be the new economic engine that spurs business growth here in Cincinnati?  That's what some Cincinnati business leaders are betting as they woo energetic entrepreneurs from Israel, a country that boasts one of the most innovative economies in the world and has more companies on the NASDAQ exchange than the entire continent of Europe.

Soapicks February 23-March 1

Uncover the early days of sleek interior design with the Florence Knoll: Defining Modern exhibit at UC. Travel back to Venice during the days of the evil Iago with Cincinnati Shakespeare Company's production of Othello or channel your inner royalty in the Bockfest 2010 Sausage Queen Competition.

What is Cincinnati's Best Laid Plan?

Thirty years ago we based paint with lead and insulated our homes with toxic asbestos - and while Cincinnati's existing comprehensive plan might not be outright poisonous, thirty years after its drafting, we live in a world that it couldn't account for, and with knowledge it could only imagine at the time.  Enter Plan Cincinnati, the beginning of the city's first comprehensive plan since the 70s - which seeks to answer the questions who are we as a city? and what do we want to become?

Cincinnati Illustrated

The names of Cincinnatians C.F. Payne, Loren Long or Robert McGinnis may not be instantly recognizable to most people. But the three are rock stars of the illustration world. It goes deeper. Turns out our region has a plethora of first-class illustrators and graphic artists who choose to call Cincinnati home.

Rooms With A View

San Francisco. New York. Seattle. Cities with urban living options that afford big, beautiful views at top dollar prices. How about Cincinnati?  The city's unique hillsides surrounding downtown offer residents affordability and access to all the urban core amenities you can imagine but also provide expansive vistas for a fraction of the cost of better known 'view' cities. Soapbox takes a look at four affordable urban neighborhoods in Cincinnati that offer suprisingly great views for the money.  

SoapDish: Bull Market

Soapdish columnist Casey Coston takes a leisurely stroll through the new and improved Findlay Market and finds a veritable cornucopia of fresh, tasty food and even fresher, innovative ideas in Ohio's oldest open air marketplace.

Sisters Are Doin' It

Emanuel Community Center honors six local women, including Soapbox publisher extraordinaire, Dacia Snider, at their 5th Annual Women of Over the Rhine Stories of Success this Thursday, August 20 at the Phoenix Restaurant. 

Asian Community Alliance: Connections across cultures

Greater Cincinnati's Asian population is expected to see a rise from the reported 2 to 3 percent reflected in the last U.S. Census Bureau. Jennifer Nagrath, President of Cincinnati's Asian Community Alliance is working to meet the needs of that population through awareness, collaboration and advocacy.

Serving it up local style

In the last 15 years, KHI Foods in Burlington has turned a humble honey sales operation into an innovative local foods powerhouse bringing Kentucky crops to the national market while feeding the region's manufacturing industry.

Back to High School

Skater and entrepreneur, Andrew Martin (also known as Highschool) opened the Galaxie Skateshop in 2007 with the idea of creating a place where all skaters would be welcomed. Along the way, with the help of the City of Newport, he transformed a slab of concrete under a highway into one of the region's most popular skateparks.

Soapicks July 14-20

Summer lovin' hits Cincinnati this weekend with Cincinnati Shakespeare Company's Romeo and Juliet as part of their annual Shakespeare in the Park tour. Take in a double feature at Cincinnati World Cinema with a critically acclaimed exploration of public transportation and the dreaded killer of city centers - urban sprawl in Taken For A Ride and A Crack In The Pavement. Big Hair BINGO and Blue Wisp's Play It Forward PresentsÖ are two fine examples of local organizations creating unique entertainment right here in Cincinnati.

Cincinnati Equinox

The Queen City prepares to show its best to a number of outside visitors this weekend as Cincinnati Equinox takes over Fountain Square and most of downtown. The goal? To demonstrate the progress the city has made in becoming a gay-friendly urban center following the repeal of Article XXII.

CPS's Montessori Story

In most cities, parents pay thousands of dollars to give their children a Montessori education. In Cincinnati Public Schools, students get the same education, emphasizing self-directed learning in a prepared environment, for free.

Staking a claim in OTR

With so much attention lauded on Vine Street's recent makeover, local artists are working hard to make sure OTR's other main thoroughfare is not forgotten. Jessie Cundiff, along with a slew of other gallery and shop owners, are keeping Main Street relevant.

Cincinnati Rollergirls: Punk Rockin' and Rollin' to Success

The Cincinnati Rollergirls are the best kind of jocks: their sport is actually entertaining, they're dedicated athletes with a healthy sense of humor, adorable yet tough as nails, and they provide $1 beer for your tasting pleasure.  What's not to love?

Urban trendsetters: DAAP's Fashion Program

University of Cincinnatiís School of Design, Art, Architecture and Planning (DAAP) produces an impressive class of fashion designers each year who are ready to begin their careers at fashion heavyweights such as Vera Wang, Macyís, Liz Claiborne and Abercrombie and Fitch.

Soapicks June 9-15

June is Pride month and The Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Cincinnati is celebrating things right with Squealin' with Pride in '09 this weekend. Cincinnati World Cinema screens Who Does She Think She Is?, a story about artistic housewives from across the globe while Mixx Ultra Lounge presents Soulful Gardens, a celebration of the spoken word and good food. 

Soapicks May 26-June 1

Summer is the season when Cincinnati gets serious about its fun and this week is no exception with the kick off of twelve days of the sixth annual Cincinnati Fringe Festival featuring over 300 local, regional, national and intervational artists getting to know why art is important to the Queen City. Lokua Kanza arrives from the Congo to perform a benefit concert while Summerfair takes hold at Coney Island.

Queen City: Guerrillas in their midst

Through a network of Internet profiles through Facebook and e-mail, a local gay activist has taken to mobilizing gays and lesbians around the city to infiltrate a straight bar on the first Friday of every month. With the intent to blend, rather than take over, the innovative approach to GLBT visibility has helped to draw attention to Cincinnati's sexual diversity.

Soapicks May 19-25

Cincinnati takes its Memorial Day seriously with a slew of events coming your way such as Of People and Not Things as well as the 20th Century Theater's Get Down Give Back Charity Concert supporting local musicians. Celebrate a true Cincinnati gem with the 2009 May Festival which opens this weekend at Music Hall. And nothing ushers in summer quite like the Taste of Cincinnati which takes over downtown for the annual food frenzy.

Wood Hudson Cancer Research Center: a home for the region's best and brightest

The Wood Hudson Cancer Research Laboratory in Newport, Northern Kentucky is growing with plans to hire and retain the region's best scientists to help diagnose, treat and prevent cancer.

What 249 smiles looks like to working parents

ďSomebody should invent a better way to do this.Ē Weíve all said it at one time or another. Meet the Cincinnati parents who not only said it, but actually did it. Their newly launched website takes all the guesswork out of finding a childcare provider for Greater Cincinnati's working parents.

How to add $1.6 billion to the region's economy

What is one way in which the Cincinnati metro area can increase its economic impact by $1.6 billion annually? The answer, says CEOs For Cities President, Carol Coletta, lies in seeing an increase of just one percentage point more of our region's talent attaining an educational degree.

Soapicks April 28-May 4

Cincinnati bids a sad farewell to New Stage Collective as the company opens its final production, A Little Night Music at Know Theatre of Cincinnati while the 11th Annual Flying Pig Marathon turns the streets of downtown into one big pig pen. Ballet dancers belly up to the "barre" and Architreks takes you on a tour of OTR's best kept secrets this weekend. Fiesta on Fountain Square wraps up the weekend with its Cinco de Mayo celebration.

Soapicks April 21-27

This week InkTank invites you to evaluate the "American Dream" in their latest writer's workshop while Swedish rockers Peter, Bjorn and John rock the Southgate House. Art of the Everyday takes root at the Greenwich and free pots of pansies are to be had only on Fountain Square on Sunday.

The dimple makes the difference

For Corwyn Thomas, head designer for Krimson by Kwame and designer/owner of Corwyn Apparel, crimson is the color that launched him from behind the desk of his office at P&G into the professional apparel design world.

Soapicks April 14-20

This week Know Theatre of Cincinnati hosts a little Post Tax Relief Fun at Hugo restaurant while Tick, Tick...Boom takes the stage at Below Zero Lounge. The art of India is on display at the Krohn Conservatory as well as multiple other galleries with the citywide exhibition, Metamorphosis: Change and Continuity in Indian Contemporary Art, and the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network of Cincinnati is getting into the high school spirit with their annual Alternative Prom.

Queen City: musings on gay Cincinnati

In spite of its quiet voice, Cincinnati is home to a vibrant and dynamic gay community that shows signs of coming into its own through fresh leadership and a national platform of LGBT issues. What does the future hold for the Queen City's reinvigorated Pride?

Talking architecture with Aaron Betsky

Conversations with Aaron Betsky, Cincinnati  Art Museum director, are likely to wheel around to architecture. He and Jane Durrell settle down to talk on that subject itself, beginning with Betsky's "Of course, architects never do what you expect them to."

Diamonds in the Rough: A Price Hill Story

As the saying goes, there is no place like home.  It might also be said that there is nothing better for a healthy community than a good housing stock.  Those at the non-profit organization Price Hill Will know this, and they are busy doctoring up a neighborhood which has been limping since the economic downturn.

Launching Agenda 360

Agenda 360 is more than just another planning document destined to gather dust, supporters say. It marks a new chapter in regional cooperation, action and accountability that will make Greater Cincinnati more competitive in a global economic environment.

Pecha Kucha - the chit-chat, low-down on Cincinnati's hottest designers

Pecha Kucha (PK), Japanese for chit-chat, is a global conversation initiated six years ago in Tokyo and now taking place in cities around the world. PK events bring together designers, academics, and other professionals who network and share their ideas in a revolutionary format with a unique twist. Ready to display its own creative powers, Cincinnati is now in on the conversation too.

Soapicks February 3-9

The snowstorm is over. It's time to dig out your cars and hit the town for some February fun. Take in the scene at the I Gave Away The Sky Festival or groove to the experimental tunes of Traum. Take a trip across the river to Artisan's Enterprise Center for artistic stories or enjoy a brew at the Midwest Winter Beer Festival.

Exporting the Cincinnati Blues Sound

Three Cincinnati area blues musicians will be taking some ivory to Memphis this week. The "home of the blues" will hear a uniquely Cincinnati sound - rollicking, bawdy blues piano. It is a bit of a coincidence, but all three area entries this year at the prestigious International Blues Challenge are piano players. All three are also veteran performers, who stand a good chance to go far in the competition, as they carry on a remarkable Cincinnati piano blues tradition.

China wakes in the Queen City

These are exciting times for Cincinnati-China relations.  Cincinnati firms are flocking to China, while key players are spreading Chinese business and cultural awareness in Cincinnati.  Two such players Ė the Greater Cincinnati Chinese Chamber of Commerce and the Public Library of Cincinnati's innovative Ni Hao! program Ė share their thoughts here about the development of this important relationship.

I was there. A Cincinnatian's view of the Inauguration

Last week the world stood witness to the historic Inauguration of Barack Obama. Soapbox reporter, Ryan McLendon was among the 2 million strong, shivering on the National Mall ready to welcome the new leader of the free world.

Congregation Beth Adam: progressive Judaism coming to a computer near you

All things change - even 3,300 year-old religious traditions.  With 28 years of progressive involvement under its belt, Blue Ash-based Congregation Beth Adam has taken things to the next level:  an online congregation.  Rabbis Robert Barr and Laura Baum discuss progressive religion, the conception of Beth Adamís cyber synagogue and what it means for the future of Judaism.

Choosing Independently

Whether itís shopping for gifts, updating your wardrobe or choosing a great spot to dine, Cincinnati offers an ever-increasing choice of independent businesses that help citizens reengage with the social fabric of their community.

Soapicks November 11-17

As the days grow shorter and colder, the nights in Cincinnati continue to heat up. This week enjoy a whirlwind Fire & Ice Soiree, secret works of art, a fashion show from afar and a little Jazz for Lease.

Rising Sun over Northern Kentucky

Japan is the largest source of foreign direct investment in greater Cincinnati.  However, itís not all business.  There is a thriving Japanese community that has grown up around the Toyota-centric northern Kentucky economic base, which has forged strong cultural ties between the Bluegrass State and the Land of the Rising Sun.

Soapicks November 4-10

November is here and so continues the fall fun. This week Cincinnatians have a couple choices for socializing: the VERMILLION party or Dress for Success drinks and charity. A local family shares their treasured Chinese art, CATS hits the stage and McCormick & Schmickís pay tribute to military veterans.

Soapicks October 28-November 2

Itís that time of year again when the scariest of scary come out to play: little ghosts, goblins and Sarah Palin look-alikes. Thatís right, itís HALLOWEEN in Cincinnati and weíve got a week of freakishly fun events. Get face-to-face with a T-Rex, listen to Souseís soothing sounds, chuck a pumpkin or meet your favorite author downtown.

The xYz's of Cincinnati's New Workforce

Millennials, those twenty-somethingís from Generation Y, are causing a stir in Cincinnatiís workforce. Bringing a whole new set of ideals, goals and skills, Millennials are making their mark on Cincinnati businesses.

The wild, wild east: Cincinnati gets first look at Chinaís design frontier

To crib Napoleon, China, the once slumbering dragon, has awoken.  And itís shaking more than just the worldís economy.  Today a thriving, rapidly growing creative class is putting Chinese design on the map and the Cincinnati Art Museum is the first in the US to give a tour through the brave new world of Chinese design.

Soapicks October 7-13

Itís another week of worldly influence in Cincinnati, reminding us our little city is just part of this great big thing called Earth. So even though the temperature is dropping, the second week of October keeps things warm with international music, Iraqi inspired theater and a scavenger hunt around town.

From Cuba with love

Three years ago, professional dancers Cervilio Amador and Gema Diaz made the decision to leave their homes and families and defect to the US from Cuba. Their decision brought them to here where dancing for the Cincinnati Ballet has given them a new home.

Soapicks September 23-28

With hurricane Ike gone and electricity back on, Cincinnati continues to bring a line-up of Fall events which you absolutely cannot miss. This week itís rock and rollís turn to blow into town as the MidPoint Music Festival takes over stages everywhere. Also sweeping in is the 20/20 Arts Festival which kicks-off Cincinnatiís arts season. Making smaller vibrations are short films from around the world and a radioís look at this yearís Presidential race.

Ladies night is back

Ladies Night in Cincinnati isnít just about free drinks. Retailers across the city are tapping into the power of the purse sponsoring Ladies Night Out events to create long lasting shopping relationships.

Cincinnati Radio International: A World View of Immigration in the Queen City

Think you know everything there is to know about our Midwestern, all-American city?  Think again.  A locally-produced radio show explores how the Cincinnati region relates to the world and challenges our preconceptions of who we are.

Soapicks: September 9-15

There's more to do in this city than you can shake a stick at and with the National Baptist Convention in town this week, you can bet downtown is going to be hopping. Here are some events you might want to check out...

World travel served to you one bite at a time

A trip to India, Lebanon or Ethiopia may not be within your budget, but you can travel there by taste. With Cincinnati's wide selection of ethnic dining options, those looking to explore new culinary horizons probably won't even have to leave their neighborhood.

Soapicks September 3-8

September kicks off the changing of the leaves and a whole new set of events to take advantage of around town. There is no lack of festivals to be found this week as Cincinnati gets a little culture of the European and Latin American influence.

Soapicks for Aug 19-24

So much going on in the city this summer. Here are a few to check out that are off the beaten path...CAC's letting the architects rule the roost this week while Sawyer Point hosts a rowdy bunch of comics and over 70 different varieties of beer. Cincinnati World Cinema is showcasing a documentary about race and gardening and FUNKe is setting you up with a glass of wine, a chuck of wet clay and a humming wheel... What could be better?

Goetta Free in Cincinnati - A Vegetarian's Guide to a city named Porkopolis

Thereís more to being a vegetarian than veggie burgers. From dining to shopping to community meetups, Cincinnati vegetarians are creating a community in the heart of Porkopolis.

SoapDish for August 12: A new Soapbox in town

Soapbox columnist, Casey Coston explores an enterprising corner of downtown Cincinnati in this week's SoapDish.

Soapbox Neighborhood Profile: Hyde Park

Charm and allure flow through the tree-lined avenues of Hyde Park, peppered with gourmet eateries, imaginative boutiques and unparalleled architecture. A close knit community with open arms to visitors from Cincinnati and lands far away, Hyde Park is the perfect neighborhood for a relaxing afternoon, an energetic night out or perhaps a permanent residence.

Soapbox Picks: July 29 - August 5

There's so much happening in the 'Nati, the Soapbox staff has added a new feature that highlights events you should know about. So take a look each week at these two or three things you should know about your great city on the river.

Adventures in Cincinnati's Blog Land

From the comfort of your laptop, you can explore peopleís bona fide opinions, their favorite eateries, their fears and their passions all through the power of Cincinnatiís far reaching blog-o-sphere. But beware Ė it may be more addicting than reality TV.

Soapicks September 30-October 5

As September winds down and October creeps in, Cincinnati keeps fall fun going this week. Get ready as artists are roped back in to the city, white trash becomes the new chic, soapboxes come zipping through town and Reggae takes to the running course.
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