Monday, November 26, 2012

Collinwood Rising - November

We recently had an interview with ArtPlace recently occurred and here is what was said:

Have you gained any political traction with your efforts? If so, with whom and how did you do it?

Luckily, we already have a great deal of political traction, and we’re constantly gaining momentum on that front. Collinwood Rising grew out of a HUD-funded strategic planning effort that was carried out in 16 target areas throughout the city of Cleveland, all examining how vacant properties could be converted into community assets. In the Collinwood neighborhood, this planning process focused heavily on art interventions. Local government agencies, including the Cleveland Department of Economic Development, the Cleveland Department of Community Development, the Cleveland Land Bank and the Cuyahoga Land Bank, have been tremendously supportive of Northeast Shores' efforts and have been helping the organization as it moves forward with Collinwood Rising. Perhaps no one has been a more supportive champion for the program than our neighborhood’s primary local representative, Councilman Michael Polensek, who has been one of the city's most integral and outspoken advocates of aggressive intervention in neighborhood vacancy. Councilman Polensek understands the value of putting vacant property back into productive use and using it as an opportunity to reimagine our community as an even better place to live, work, and visit.

Have you gained traction with any other leaders in your community? How? 

Northeast Shores has engaged and partnered with local stakeholders, residents and community leaders over the years that have collectively assisted with our progress in reaching goals around neighborhood revitalization efforts. Sometimes this support comes from nonprofit partners like Neighborhood Progress, Inc., a tremendous community development service organization that is laying citywide groundwork for strategic neighborhood-level investments like Collinwood Rising. Sometimes this support comes from individual community leaders.  Recently, for instance, we’ve been fortunate to work with local restauranteur Alan Glazen. Alan has launched Project Light Switch, an initiative to bring several restaurants online in our arts district in 2013, at least partially in response to the major arts investments being made in the neighborhood.

With support from local officials and other local leaders, we’re poised for tremendous success, but none of our advancements would be possible without our grassroots neighborhood leaders … The residents and workers whose passion for the neighborhood makes our work possible. Existing Block Watch groups and participants continuously help to make and keep North Collinwood safe and walkable, while community stakeholders and committees have played a tremendous role in assisting with planning the aesthetics of the neighborhood, including our Waterloo Streetscape Plan. Our goals would not have been met without the skills, expertise and continuous dedication of these people. Their contributions have definitely made a difference within the community. More individuals are beginning to take notice, take pride and are contributing and doing their part to help us paint the picture of what Collinwood can truly be artistically.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Candy Cane Cruise Comes Back

Convertibles and Jeeps are invited take their tops down Friday, December 7, to combine the joy of a neighborhood car cruise with the joy of the holiday season in the annual Candy Cane Cruise on East 185th Street. Friday, Dec. 7.

Conceived as a “modern sleigh ride,” this unique celebration fills the stretch of Cleveland’s venerable East 185th Street with the spirit of the season. Local businesses and retailers that comprise the economic heart and soul of the neighborhood add to the festivities with treats, specials and entertainment. 

Northeast Shores Development Corp. has sponsored the event on East 185th Street since 2010.  Denise Lorek, community organizer for the group, says, “The Candy Cane Cruise is a great time for everybody. We love the seeing the variety of participants who come to cruise the neighborhood and explore East 185th Street. There are cars full of kids, cars with pets, vintage cars, contemporary convertibles and even ‘honorary’ convertibles where ordinary cars cruise with windows down and sunroofs open.”

The Candy Cane Cruise tradition was born in Cleveland in 2008 with the Candy Cane Cruise on Clifton Boulevard. Candy Cane Cruise Founder Dominic Bonacci says, “Cleveland is such a great car town and there are Jeeps and convertibles on the road year-round. We’re simply providing an opportunity to come out from under those tops to enjoy the seasonal decoration and atmosphere.” 

The Candy Cane Cruise begins at 5 p.m. Dec. 7 and is free for spectators who want to view the vehicles along East 185th Street between Lakeshore Boulevard and Interstate 90 as well as enjoy the many specials being offered by neighborhood merchants.

No streets will be closed for the event.

Registration for convertibles, Jeep and other vehicle drivers is $5 per vehicle and can be made by calling (216) 481-7660 or visiting

For all the details, visit

Want to see previous years’ cruises? High-res photos are available at

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Welcome to Collinwood Launches

We thought you would all like to hear that our Welcome to Collinwood website is officially launched:! This will be a place where we can show off the various offerings to artists in the neighborhood and feature what artists are already doing in our community. It’s also a place where people can make donations to support the program and send us questions about our initiatives. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Artists in Residence Grants Announced

Welcome to the Artists in Residence grants program, brought to you by Northeast Shores and the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture. Through this exciting new program, we're giving artists who live and work in North Shore Collinwood an opportunity to propose creative solutions to some of the issues the community cares about the most.

winter 2013 projects

Neil Chastain's Collinwood sound project

Neil will lead a series of workshops for youth designed to engage young people in composing, creating, performing and recording original music pieces. One of the main desired goals is for participants to create a Collinwood sound compilation that they will then market and distribute.

Ray McNiece's North Collinwood Stories – An Intergenerational Story Circle

Ray will mentor students from Villa-Angela-St. Joseph’s School Honors English Program as they interview and transcribe the stories of elderly residents in the Waterloo area. The project will culminate in an intergenerational story sharing at the Collinwood Arts CafĂ©. 

Lou Ross's Wheels on Waterloo

Lou will oversee development of a public sculpture for placement opposite the 2013 Waterloo streetscape project. The sculpture will reflect the neighborhood’s rich history of transportation and manufacturing, with wheels representing the movement of time, where we have been, are now and where we are going in the future.

Jerry Schmidt's metalworking instruction

Jerry will instruct teenagers about metalworking, using various welding techniques learned in the studio classroom. Basic mathematics, reading a tape measure and preliminary design sketching will also be taught. They will apprentice Jerry as he completes art pieces and utilitarian projects for Collinwood area merchants.

R.A. Washington's North Collinwood Youth Choir and Performance Ensemble

R.A. will engage North Collinwood teenagers in a series of workshops to form a performance group. He will teach the ensemble the basics of performance poetry, musical theatre and songwriting and will work with them to create new arrangements for a songbook of historic songs.

Doug Wood's Music Education Series

Doug will continue his music program with a series of five 1-hour classes for children ages 6 – 9. The classes will take place weekends this winter, each with different guest performers from different genres of music. As curator of the class, Doug will help the artists share their music and engage in a question and answer session with the children.

Linda Zolten Wood's Rain Barrel Art Auction

Linda will organize a juried competition for neighborhood artists to document neighborhood history on rain barrels. The top 10 will be selected, and the artists will be paid $500 each to paint them. Finished rain barrels will be displayed in highly visible locations throughout the neighborhood. 
The members of the panel that made the final grant recommendations were neighborhood residents Amy Shoff, Jim Tomaszewski and Pat Harrison, assisted by Colleen Gilson of Cleveland Neighborhood Development Coalition and theatre artist Peter Lawson Jones.