Today's the day! The contracts have been signed, hands have been shaken and our fifth round of Project Grantees are ready to launch! Help us celebrate the next eight individuals to receive a $10K project grant. Meet the new recruits below:
Grantee: Amber Kelly
Amber is a native of Cincinnati and a graduate of National Louis University in Chicago. She returned home to provide support to those whose voices go unheard. Her passion for community engagement, empowerment, advocacy and collaboration is reflected in her work as a community psychologist. She resides in Kennedy Heights with her husband and 2 daughters.
FamilyFlickin is a mobile pop-up movie theatre, packaged in a party bus. Years ago, Bond Hill used to have a local movie theater. Families were able to enjoy spending time at the movie theaters in the comforts of their own neighborhood. Now families travel to theaters outside of their communities to engage with one another. This mobile movie theatre invites families in Bond Hill, Roselawn and Avondale to attend these weekend showings. FamilyFlickin brings the movies back to the community.
Grantee: Christa Hyson
Christa is a Cincinnati boomerang and a self proclaimed extroverted introvert. Born & raised in Mt. Washington, she received her Bachelors in Communications and Public Relations from Xavier University. She has worked for the Department of Defense, received a Master’s Degree in Public Health and currently works in public health for the Cincinnati Health Department. Christa now lives in Clifton.
Project: Not Even Once
Not Even Once aims to implement HOPE (Health and Opioid Abuse Prevention Education) curriculum to a Cincinnati Public School. The Ohio Department of Education has approved certain curriculums to educate and prevent future heroin and opioid overdoses and users, but Cincinnati Public Schools don’t have any such thing implemented. Cincinnati is the unfortunate epicenter for heroin and opioid overdoses. Deaths by heroin are 100% preventable, and prevention is key—key to saving money, key to saving lives and the most important part of that prevention model is stopping youth from ever starting. Not Even Once has the ability leave a sustainable impact on the greater Cincinnati community.
Grantee: John Dixon
John was born and raised in Cincinnati and has been an active designer in the community for the past ten years. He currently serves as an assistant professor of Practice in Industrial Design at the College of DAAP, co-owner of Losantiville LTD and is the founder of Dixon Branded—a furniture and housewares company that sells products of his own design and make to high profile customers around the world. John lives in OTR and spends his time finding new ways of challenging the norms of the role of "industrial designer."
Due to recent growth in civic engagement, protesting has become a profession of sorts. PROtest is a semi-satirical, semi-serious solution to the unfilled needs of the "professional protester." The mission of PROtest is to supply these professionals with the equipment they need in order to best do their job. When it comes to participating in a protest, there are many regulations and rules to take into account—wooden signs, backpacks, coolers, chairs and other objects are not permitted. PROtest will create and market a series of free products geared towards protesters, starting with the free distribution of a reusable, packable, safe to use, blow-up sign that is dry-erasable. PROtest doesn't mean to be partisan, or even necessarily political. PROtest's aim is to help people with a voice, shout it louder and more clearly.
Grantee: Kaia Goodwin
Kaia is a gardening aficionado with a Bachelors of Arts in Writing and Literature from Berea College. She has lived in Walnut Hills on and off since 2011 and is passionate about uplifting her community through civic engagement.
Project: Park Street Market
Using milk crates, the Park Street Market creates modular intensive gardens as a sustainable, affordable and flexible way of getting fresh produce into the hands of those lacking accessible food. The Park Street Market crates will be available to the communities where research indicates a food desert. The modular garden model gives the person most in need direct access to their own fresh ingredients. It allows garden users the ability to utilize minimal space and tight areas, like apartment buildings, by creating a stackable, light-based production system.
Grantee: Karl Laube
Karl was born and raised in Madisonville and serves as a Firefighter with the Cincinnati Fire Department. He’s worked on cars since the age of 14, has an inherent need for hands-on projects and aiding to his community. From performing CPR, fighting fires, attending to overdose victims, to working on watches, restoring vintage Mercedes’ and helping neighborhood kids with their bikes, Karl gains a deeply rooted sense of place.
Project: Respect My Ride
Respect My Ride is a free, six-week course on auto mechanics. The class will empower people to perform regular car maintenance on their vehicle, learn how to identify an honest mechanic and learn how to avoid common automotive shop scams. Students will use their personal vehicle throughout the course, so they will be able to perform their own maintenance in the future and show any artistic expression—students will have the opportunity to choose to work with an artist to design and paint a unique makeover graphic on their car. At the end of the class, students will be able to celebrate their graduation with a car show, while professional photos will highlight the transformations.
Grantee: Ronaldo Martell (Kick Lee)
Kick is a producer, musician, Cincinnati native and advocate of the arts. A graduate of Full Sail University and of Elementz Hip Hop Program, he has a background in music production and instructional design and technology. Working in the music industry for over 11 years, Kick has licensed musical content with mainstream networks such as; MTV, VH1, Fox, BET and many more. Currently, Kick lives in Clifton and spends hours tutoring and mentoring children at Elementz.
Project: Cincinnati Music Accelerator
Cincinnati Music Accelerator (CMA) will serve as an incubator for local artists and musicians, helping them to develop their unique craft, while simultaneously educating them on how to monetize their talent and create a future with it. Consisting of six-week sessions, artists will; create content, songs or electronic press kits, be provided legal services so their work made in CMA will be licensed and protected, and host a pitch night that will allow them to showcase and promote their work created through Cincinnati Music Accelerator.
Grantee: Scott Fredette
Scott is a filmmaker and live action director living in Northside. Virtually a lifelong resident of Cincinnati, Scott has conceived and created content for local and national agencies, as well as some of the biggest recording artists in the world. His directing career took shape as he helped re-brand MTV2 in the mid-2000's. His work has attracted artists like Katy Perry, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Usher, Fleetwood Mac, Blake Shelton, The Glitch Mob and Fun! Scott also plays and records music with his band Culture Queer.
Project: The Wandering Wolf
The Wandering Wolf will be a 1–hour travelogue pilot, aired on television or online, hosted by Why? lead singer, Yoni Wolf. The pilot will feature emerging songwriters, artists and cultural figures within the city of Cincinnati. This travelogue show is for those who want to see and experience the world through a unique cultural lens. For travelers it is a struggle to feel fully immersed while only visiting the tourist attractions. How do you find the underground spots that the locals frequent? As artists that live here, Yoni and Scott plan on showcasing the fascinating underbelly, where the unique culture of Cincinnati lies.
Grantee: Yemi Oyediran + Team member:
Yemi came to Cincinnati in 1999 for UC’s Conservatory College of Music and the College of Engineering. He is a Nigerian-American drummer, a session musician, touring musician, producer and was one of the featured musicians in Don Cheadle's Miles Ahead. A Cincinnati transplant, Yemi currently lives in Clifton.
Project: The Queen City's King!
King Records was an American independent recording company located on Brewster Ave in Evanston where rock history, civil rights history and Cincinnati history intersect. With rock-n-roll greats like; James Brown, Little Willie John and more using the space, the building has been deemed a Cincinnati landmark. The Queen City’s King will host concerts from King Records’ catalog on its property, creating art for the community while preserving Cincinnati’s legacy and telling new stories about its racial journey.
Welcome to the People's Liberty Family, Grantees!
Fall Project Grantees were selected by a community panel comprised of area creative, business and civic talent. All project proposals were scored based on feasibility, novelty [specific to Greater Cincinnati] and projected community impact. A huge thank-you to this cycle's panelists, listed below: