Monday, November 23, 2015


12th and Vine Streetcar Stop, Over-the-Rhine, Cincinnati

I’m grateful for artists. They create the opportunity for us to celebrate our place and come together to get to know each other in new ways. They build the platform for sharing joy.

In the city where I live in my Tiny Row House, many people worked long and hard to save the unique architecture in Over-the-Rhine. This neighborhood is one of our top differentiating assets, a piece of history and beauty that no other comparable city has to share with the world. Thanks to Cincinnati’s status as the first boomtown of the West in the nineteenth century, our geography, and a combination of factors (not all good at the time) that saved the buildings from demolition—we had a chance to create something special. And we grabbed it.

As in many other renovated urban places, the people of this neighborhood—old and new residents alike—are challenged by the changes here. We don’t know each other as well as we should, making it harder for us to address these issues. 
It is our artists who are leading us to a more connected place— creating a pathway to our future with art in the streets. They do this in neighborhoods across our region. Here are a few examples from Over-the-Rhine.

When city staff wasn’t ‘able’ (read: allowed) to plan the fireworks to celebrate the first tour of our new streetcar around the tracks, some lovely artists (professionals and citizens together) created a great, happy piece of welcoming street art at the 12th and Vine stop. Since chalk art is technically an illegal activity here, we won’t name any names. But you probably know some of the artists. Important because: everyone should know what’s happening in our community and that we’re super happy about this new asset!

Streetcar workers and fans admire the "Welcome Streetcar" guerilla chalk art.

Early Sunday, artists at work.


This cutie looks familiar, Pam Kravetz.

Dancers from DanceFix and Spirit of Cincinnati led citizens in a serendipitous coming together at Cincy Summer Streets on Pleasant Street. Important because: our sidewalks and streets are the place people meet, and dancing together is an easy way for people who don’t know each other to to connect.

Pones Inc revived their outdoor Over-the-Rhine immersive dance and video experience, introducing people to each other and the neighborhood streets at night. Important because: This show shines a spotlight on changes in the neighborhood through the eyes and words of residents whose voices aren’t heard often enough.

Artists are one asset that every community enjoys, as Jamie Bennett says. They are up near the front of the big parade creating memorable and equitable places. #GRATITUDE 

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