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Constella 2016 will push classical music boundaries to engage audiences

Constella Festival of Music and Fine Arts has announced its 2016 season, which is invigorated with new collaborations that push expectations and conventions for classical music into new territory.
The 10-day festival kicks off April 15 and, according to renowned Russian violinist and founder of Constella, Tatiana Berman, is designed with audience experience at the forefront.
“Constella has become known as a creative incubator for artists of the highest caliber,” Berman says. “We’ve always taken chances, learning from our experiences and audience reactions along the way. Our audience tell us that Constella affects their life, opening doors to new works, artistic expression.”
String performances of Baroque dance music and West African bardic spirituals will converge. Local electronic media students will contribute digital art to be paired with classical piano performances. World premieres of ballet and contemporary dance will grace the stage.
“Amazing things are happening in Cincinnati,” Berman says.
New this year: Grammy-award winning musicians, gallery owners and film industry professionals will judge music videos and fine art created by students competing to win $2,000 in prize money.
An effort to engage audience members of all ages is ongoing. Children’s concerts have been a success in the past, and they will continue this year with interactive components intended to pique the interests of young people who gain exposure to the scene in a unique, fun way.
“There’s energy one can feel just by walking around downtown,” Berman says. “We want to harness that energy. It’s the people of this city who inspire us. We hope to inspire them in return.” 
Do Good: 

• Purchase a 2016 Constella Festival pass here for shows April 15-24 at the Cincinnati Art Museum, Aronoff Center for the Arts and National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.

• Connect with Constella by signing up for the Constella Club newsletter.

• Support Constella by donating.

Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra announces poetry contest winners

The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (CSO) recently announced the six winners of its One City, One Symphony poetry contest.

One City, One Symphony is an annual initiative hosted by the CSO that fosters dialogue within the community about various themes and music. This year’s theme focused on freedom.

The poetry contest asked for original submissions responding to the question, “What does freedom mean to you?” Applicants were encouraged to find inspiration in Dvorak’s Ninth Symphony or poems written by Maya Angelou: ForgiveEquality and Elegy.
“The submissions were truly astounding,” says CSO Director of Communications Meghan Berneking. “The themes that came up, the personal experiences — both positive and negative — truly opened the gate for fruitful discussion about this sometimes-challenging theme of freedom.”
Each winner received two tickets to attend the One City, One Symphony concerts Nov. 13-14 as well as a cash prize.
“We hope that this poetry and the dialogue around the concerts will challenge people to think about freedom in a way they maybe haven’t before and feel inspired to continue this discussion into other aspects of life as well,” Berneking says.

The winners of the One City, One Symphony poetry contest are:

High School Division
Grand Prize: Dana Schneider of Edgewood, "Is Freedom Just Not That Into Me?"
1st Prize: Bridget Bill of Cincinnati, "A Snow Globe Sky"
2nd Prize: Alison Maniace of Columbus, "Are We There Yet?"
Adult Division
Grand Prize: Mark Flanigan of Prospect Hill, "The Bell Ringer’s Song"
1st Prize: Richard Hague of Madisonville, "Finding Freedom"
2nd Prize: Elese Daniel of Mt. Auburn, "Self-Portrait at 25"
Do Good:

• Read the winning poems on the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Facebook page.

Buy tickets to attend the Symphony's One City, One Symphony concerts Nov. 13-14 at Music Hall.

• Learn more about the CSO at its website

Education at Work helps students earn more than $1 million in tuition assistance

Education at Work, a Norwood-based nonprofit, just passed a $1 million milestone that helps millennials graduate from college with less debt and less stress. 

Founded in 2012, the organization is comprised of about 450 students who gain on-the-job experience while securing an hourly wage and receiving tax-free tuition assistance.

To date, students have tallied about $1.87 million in tuition assistance. Scott Maurer, a University of Cincinnati student who has been with the program since July 2013, has earned $15,000 in tuition assistance. 

“The tuition assistance program has been a motivation for me to maintain a high GPA, but most importantly it has kept me from going deep into debt,” Maurer says. “That simple fact gives me security for the future, and I would love to see more college students feel the same way as I do.”

Ten years from now — by 2025 — Education at Work hopes to fulfill its goal of expansion at both the local and national levels by benefitting 100,000 students annually. The impact on their lives, according to the organization’s CEO Dave Dougherty, has been “incredible,” and he’d like to see it snowball.

“By working hard at Education at Work and in the classroom, the students are taking their futures into their own hands and graduating with significantly less debt because of the tuition assistance they are earning,” Dougherty says. “I am grateful to all who make this possible: our clients, our university partners, our staff and most of all our students, who are EAW’s shareholders.”

Do Good: 

• If you are a current or soon-to-be college student, apply for a position with Education at Work.

• If you want to engage with EAW, get involved

• Connect with EAW on Facebook.

Style & Steps to support Off the Streets program

Cincinnati Union Bethel is hosting its annual Style & Steps event on Thursday, Nov. 12 at the downtown Macy’s store.

The fashion show and shopping event is hosted in partnership with Macy’s to benefits Off the Streets, a residential program run by Cincinnati Union Bethel to help trafficked and prostituted women recover and find community integration.

“When people read about (human trafficking and prostitution), they don’t see the human side or the suffering these women have gone through,” says Cincinnati Union Bethel Marketing Communications Manager Tracy Megison. “We want everyone to try and understand what it means and to try to find ways to help.”

Off the Streets is entirely voluntary, and most of the women have partially been through the justice system but have decided to join the program on their own and can leave at any time. The average client stays for three to five months and goes through various classes, ranging from counseling in group sessions to financial and nutritional education.

The fundraising event will feature hors d'oeuvres and drinks with live jazz music by Billy Larkin. Two graduates of the program will speak about how Off the Streets helped them re-start their lives.

“We want people to educate themselves on what human trafficking and prostitution is,” Megison says. “It’s a serious problem and people need to be aware that it’s happening.”

Do Good:

Register to attend Style & Steps at 6-10 p.m. Nov. 12 at the Macy’s entrance on the corner of Fifth and Race streets. Tickets are $45 and include a 20 percent discount on all shopping done during the event.

• Can’t attend the event? Donate to support Cincinnati Union Bethel’s mission.

• Educate yourself on human trafficking and prostitution in Cincinnati and find your own ways to help.

Walk With Family 5K to support Interfaith Hospitality Network's work with homeless families

Interfaith Hospitality Network of Greater Cincinnati is hosting its first-ever fundraising walk, Walk With Family 5K, on Saturday, Nov. 14 in Eden Park.

IHNGC started out as an emergency shelter and has been helping the homeless community since 1991. Its day center serves as a resource for families to use as a storage space if they are between homes, a place use the computer lab or do laundry or to just relax.

The fundraising walk will help IHGNC continue to help the homeless community. The organization saw a 30 percent increase in families served this year versus last year, says Development Assistant Kamal Kimball.

IHNGC’s model is unique, as it partners with local congregations of various faiths, including Catholic, Episcopal, Jewish, Unitarian, Muslim, etc. Interfaith Hospitality Networks in Ohio are located in Lebanon, Xenia, Columbus and Cleveland.

A bus takes clients from the center to the congregations, where they stay overnight. IHGNC residents usually come to the center for up to 30 days, depending on their situation, and sometimes it can take months for families to get themselves back on their feet.

“We work with them on what it will take to get their life back on track,” Kimball says. “We really hope to bring more attention to the issue of homelessness.”

Do Good:

Register for the Walk With Family 5K, which begins at 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 14, with on-site registration opening at 9 a.m. Race begins and ends at Seasongood Pavilion near the Cincinnati Art Museum. Pre-registration is $25, and day-of registration is $35.

• Learn more about Interfaith Hospitality Network of Greater Cincinnati on its website.

Donate your time to help support IHGNC’s mission.

Clark Schaefer Hackett partners with DePaul Cristo Rey through work study program

Students at DePaul Cristo Rey High School are able to gain real-world work experience before they graduate thanks to a work/study program and collaboration with Clark Schaefer Hackett

Clark Schaefer Hackett is just one of many businesses that partner with DePaul Cristo Rey as part of the school’s work/study program that allows students to gain valuable experience and connections while still in high school. Most of these students have an economic need and are able to contribute to the cost of their education through the program.

“We look at these kids as our city’s future leaders,” says Clark Schaefer Hackett Marketing Specialist Natalia Jones. “This is our future workforce, our future CEOs. This exposure at the professional level is important for them to think about their future.” 

The program gives students an idea of what it’s like to work for local businesses by allowing them to work in administrative roles, develop interoffice relationships and work side-by-side with firm executives.
A team of four students fills one full-time position on a weekly basis, each working five full days per month. The job sharing model allows students to incorporate work experience without missing classes.

Do Good:

• See what DePaul Cristo Rey High School students are saying about the program.

• Learn more about the work/study program.

• For more information on Clark Schaefer Hackett, visit the company’s website

Price Hill seeks artists, businesses to participate in window painting competition

Price Hill Will and its Arts Community Action Team (Arts CAT) are seeking artists and businesses that would like to take part in the neighborhood’s 11th annual Holiday on the Hill Window Painting Competition.
Holiday on the Hill, which takes place Dec. 4-6, engages the Price Hill community through a variety of events, including a tree lighting ceremony, crafts and entertainment. This year’s theme is “Memories of Past Holidays in Price Hill,” so paintings should fit within those parameters.
“We started this competition to make our business districts more festive for the parade and during the entire holiday season,” Arts CAT Chair Ann Andriacco says.
The painting competition is open to multiple types of artists — professionals, high school students and family groups — who will be paired with a local business wishing to have its windows decorated.
Those interested in painting should sign up by Nov. 10 and will need to finish their work by Nov. 24 in time for the Thanksgiving Day Parade, when the Window Painting Competition scavenger hunt kicks off.
Winners will be announced during the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony, where they’ll receive up to $300 in prize money for their talents and efforts.
“It’s been a lot of fun for everyone involved,” Andriacco says, “the painters, the businesses and the public who gets to enjoy original, local art all December.”

Do Good: 

• Enter the Window Painting Competition by e-mailing your name(s) and category to Ann Andriacco or by calling 513-501-1879 by Nov. 10.

• Check out the Window Painting Competition information sheet for details about the competition. 

• Like Price Hill Will on Facebook and connect with the organization to keep up with events and happenings like Holiday on the Hill. 

Local celebs fuel Dancing With Our Hearts to raise funds for 8 charities

The Nov. 7 gala and dance competition Dancing With Our Hearts will serve as Dance With Your Heart Inc.’s inaugural event to kick off a series of dance-related projects that raise awareness and funds for nonprofits throughout the year.
Jeremy and Desireé Mainous, franchise owners of Arthur Murray Dance Studio’s Cincinnati location, decided to launch Dance With Your Heart and immerse it into Cincinnati’s nonprofit landscape after producing events for organizations like Cincinnati Arts Association and Cancer Support Community of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. The couple recognized the need for support among local nonprofit organizations and wanted to do something to give back.
“We wanted a fundraising effort that was more inclusive of a variety of causes in Cincinnati,” Desireé Mainous says.
Previously, the couple had annually hosted Swinging for Charity, but the new event, whose mission is “to inspire and empower people to dance with their heart and dream with their feet,” will enable the couple to do more.
Dancing With Our Hearts will feature local celebrities like mixologist Molly Wellman and Cpt. James Kettler of the Cincinnati Fire Department representing eight different charities — everything from Northern Kentucky Hates Heroin to The Marvin Lewis Community Fund.
“We wanted to start a charity event that raised money for multiple causes,” Mainous says. “And we wanted those dancing to be able to choose which charity they wanted their proceeds to go.”

Do Good: 

• Purchase tickets to Dancing With Our Hearts 6 p.m. Nov. 7 at The Phoenix, downtown. 

• Learn more about the local celebrity competitors and the charities in which they represent here.

• Like Dance With Your Heart Inc. on Facebook.

Toss for Techs to raise money for Per Scholas IT training

Per Scholas is hosting its inaugural fundraiser in the form of a cornhole tournament, Toss for Techs, Oct. 27 at CityLink Center.

Per Scholas provides free IT job training for low-income or unemployed individuals. Applicants are given technology and professional development skills training needed to get a job, and approximately 90 percent of the jobs Per Scholas graduates are landing provide benefits like medical insurance and paid vacation time.

The fundraising event will help Per Scholas continue to provide job training and job placement.
“We want employers to know we are here as a resource,” says National Director of Communications Jessicah White. “But we also need community support to stay here.”
The fundraiser will feature light food, drinks and general play cornhole. Aaron Mingo, a Per Scholas graduate, will share his experience in the program — he worked in the restaurant industry for more than a decade before going through the program and is now working as a support analyst at The Christ Hospital. 
More than 100 individuals have graduated the Per Scholas program in Cincinnati, but there are hundreds of graduates who have moved through the pipeline at Per Scholas’ other locations in Columbus, New York, Dallas and Washington, D.C. Per Scholas has been nationally recognized in WIRED Magazine, The New York Times and by the White House
Although Per Scholas has been in Cincinnati for a few years, the organization gained more traction after moving into the CityLink Center earlier this year.
“This move was transformational for us and helped us become more united with the community,” White says. “CityLink provides a holistic community approach, and we want to be a part of it. We want to make the community better.”
Do Good:

• Purchase tickets to the Toss for Techs fundraiser, 5-8 p.m. Oct. 27 at CityLink Center, 800 Bank St., West End. Tickets are $50 for general admission or $75 to play in the cornhole tournament.

• Help Per Scholas by donating or volunteering your time. 

• Follow Per Scholas on Instagram to see student testimonials. 

Evanston Spirit of Progress Mural project manager awarded $2,500 grant

Felix Rodriguez was recently awarded $2,500 through a grant made possible by School Outfitters, a partner of the Evanston Spirit of Progress Mural.
Rodriguez, who is originally from the Dominican Republic, worked as an artist and taught in Santo Domingo for seven years before coming to the U.S. The Fulbright scholar started working with ArtWorks in 2013 while pursuing a master’s degree in art education at the University of Cincinnati. He worked as a teaching artist with ArtWorks in 2014 and returned to Cincinnati this year to become a project manager for the Evanston Spirit of Progress Mural.
The mural, located at the site of a former mural created in 1992, is a collaborative effort among ArtWorks, the Evanston Community Council, School Outfitters and Xavier University. It was designed by Jimi Jones and is meant to engage local residents around themes that are meaningful to the Evanston community.

“The mural is a perfect combination of nice art everyone will enjoy but will also educate people and prepare them to be better citizens, to get involved and be active participants of the city,” Rodriguez says.
The original timeline for the mural was seven weeks, but due to heat and unexpected weather conditions the project was extended to nine weeks.
Rodriguez decided to apply for the teaching grant, which was open to anyone who was part of the staff, to help cover expenses while he was pursuing his master's degree. The required essay called for applicants to explain why they’re involved in the work they are in, what they value and what’s important to the community.
“We are proud to be an active community partner in our area and especially excited to support the educational pursuits of teaching artists by funding the ArtWorks Teaching Artist Award,” says School Outfitters Marketing Director Verna Coleman-Hagler.
Rodriguez, who holds a bachelor’s in fine arts and music theory in education and a master's in art education, is currently pursuing his PhD in art education in central Pennsylvania.
Do Good:

• See the mural for yourself on Duck Creek Road near the I-71 North exit to Dana Avenue and Montgomery Road.

• Learn more about ArtWorks at its website

• Visit School Outfitters' website for more information.  

Beaux Arts Ball to honor Art Academy of Cincinnati supporters & donors who helped with its OTR move

The Art Academy of Cincinnati (AAC) is honoring its students, faculty, donors and supporters at its Beaux Arts Ball on Friday, Oct. 23 at the Verdin Bell Event Centre in Pendleton.
The event will celebrate the 10th anniversary of AAC's move from its longtime home base adjacent to the Cincinnati Art Museum in Eden Park to a 112,000-square-foot campus in Over-the-Rhine.
The masquerade party will focus on a central Venice theme, featuring gondolas and masks hand-crafted by AAC students and will feature performances by bands Burning Caravan and Groove Session. Key supporters who helped AAC move its campus in 2005 will be honored at the ball.
“Part of what makes this so special is the people who made it possible to move into our building 10 years ago,” says AAC Vice President of Institutional Advancement Joan Kaup. “We want to publicly and properly thank several of them who either invested financially or helped us making strong connections so that AAC could become an anchor in this creative community.”

Do Good:

Register for tickets to attend the Beaux Arts Ball 7 p.m.-midnight Oct. 23 at Verdin Bell Event Centre, 444 Reading Road.

• Visit AAC on Final Fridays for art exhibits that are free to the public.

Enroll in Community Art Education classes at the AAC.

Library's Homework Help program plans to expand thanks to donation

Homework Help, a program providing free after-school assistance for students K-8 at various Cincinnati Public Library locations, will be able to expand thanks to a large donation from the Marge & Charles J. Schott Foundation.

The donation was announced at the Library Foundation’s recent annual donor recognition event. It will help expand and support the library's after-school program and its growing number of students. Per the donor’s request, the amount of the donation will not be released.

The Homework Help program started at the William Hueneke Homework Center at the main downtown branch in 2008 and continued to grow after successful pilots at other branches. The program provides assistance mostly between the hours of 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Last year, there were more than 15,000 student interactions, a 14 percent increase from the previous year, says Education and Homework Support Manager Keith Armour.

Homework Help mentors come from a variety of backgrounds — high school students, college students and retired teachers. Each mentor is trained and dedicated to helping students K-8 with homework assistance and tutoring.

“It’s a really great program for them,” Armour says. “The kids are happy there is someone there to help them.”

Do Good:

• See a list of all the locations offering Homework Help.

• Apply to be a Homework Help mentor.

• For more information about the program, email Keith Armour.  

Next round of Creative Community Grants are available for Covington projects

Anyone with a creative solution to challenges in Covington can receive up to $5,000 through the Creative Community Grant program.

The program, funded through the Center for Great Neighborhoods of Covington (CGN), debuted last year. Throughout the next three years, officials hope to accomplish six rounds of grant funding for several creative projects. Each round will address a different issue identified by surveys, focus groups and community groups.

The second round, focusing on celebrating the bicentennial, is winding down and will close sometime in December. The third round is now open to interested applicants and will focus on inclusion in any shape or form, ranging from accessibility and disability to racial and social inclusion.

“These projects have allowed us to tackle things in a different way than what we would traditionally do,” says CGN Program Manager of Community Development Kate Esarey. “These are unique strategies that we, as a community development corporation, might not even think of.”

The solution doesn’t have to be art in the traditional sense but instead can be a mural, performance or even culinary art. Some of the applicants don’t have a background in art but found a way to creatively engage the community.

Once the project proposals are submitted, a panel and community members choose which projects they would like to see move forward.
Applicants can be individuals, a group or a businesses. The only caveat is that the project does have to take place in Covington.
The grant money can be used to compensate the artists themselves, or they can use some of it to invite the community to celebrate their finished product.
“A lot of these artists are seeing the value of coordinating with the community and doing things that fit in the social fabric of Covington,” Esarey says.

Do Good:

• Take a look at previous projects that have won Creative Community Grants.

• The deadline to apply for the next round is Nov. 16.

• For more information on the Center for Great Neighborhoods, visit its website.

Newport barber gives back to the community with free haircuts for the homeless

When Sean Caudill isn’t cutting men’s hair in his Newport barbershop, he’s venturing through the city in search of those in need who would appreciate it for free.

Caudill, better known as Spanky, has been a licensed barber and cosmetologist since 2010. His nickname came from an uncanny resemblance to Spanky from The Little Rascals as a child and was an easy choice when naming his barbershop, Spanky and Co., which he opened earlier this year at 439 W. 12th St.

The Union, Ky. native loves what he does for a living and strongly supports giving back to the community, specifically the homeless. 

“The homeless has always held a special place in my heart,” Caudill says. “Some of these people just need someone to talk to. It makes their day and gives them hope for tomorrow.”

His inspiration for cutting the homeless’ hair came from stylist Mark Bustos, who cuts hair of the homeless for free every Sunday. Bustos is currently on a national tour that started in New York and will end in Los Angeles.

Caudill will approach people on the street and offer to cut their hair. Afterward, he shows them before and after photos so they can see the difference. He has plans to team up with a close friend and local photographer to bring a mobile printer to provide a hard-copy photo they can hold onto.

Caudill encourages everyone to help the homeless in their own way by giving some of what they do for a living back to the homeless community. But most of all, he wants to show others that everyone deserves to be treated equally.

“It’s a lot harder for some people to bounce back after a tough time,” he says. “Talk to them, ask them how they’re doing, hug them.”

Do Good:

• Help the homeless in your community in your own way.

• See some of Spanky's work on Instagram.

• Visit Spanky and Co.’s Facebook page.

ReSource, Phillips Edison launch "On the Rise" initiative to connect YPs with nonprofits

When ReSource isn’t helping area nonprofit organizations by distributing corporate donated furniture and office supplies, it's connecting them with talented young professionals.

ReSource’s new YP program, On the Rise, is the product of a partnership with Phillips Edison real estate investors.

Maybe a nonprofit needs help setting up its website or taking a closer look at its finances. Maybe it need someone who knows a little about marketing or event planning. On the Rise will pair those non-profit organizations with Cincinnati area young professionals who have experience in relevant subjects.

“This allows young professionals to help nonprofits in a meaningful way beyond just volunteering,” says ReSource Executive Director Christie Brown. “They might not have money early in their careers to support a cause, but they do have talents and skills.”

ReSource plans to host a series of networking events designed to pair its nonprofit members and their business needs with skilled young professionals, essentially playing matchmaker.

“We are excited about this partnership because it allows us to impact multiple organizations at the same time while also accessing a key talent base in the Cincinnati area that we will need to engage in order to support our growth as a company,” says Phillips Edison COO Bob Myers.

Do Good:

• Like ReSource on Facebook to learn more about how they serve the nonprofit community in Cincinnati.

• For more information about the On the Rise initiative, contact Christie Brown.

• ReSource is always looking for gently used donations to redistribute to nonprofits in need.
411 Talent Articles | Page: | Show All
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