Cuyahoga Arts & Culture resolves to place cigarette tax increase on November ballot

Source: ideastream, Kabir Bhatia

Date: April 29, 2024

Abstract: Cuyahoga Arts & Culture has taken its first step toward increasing the county cigarette tax from 30-cents-per-pack to 70 cents.

At a special meeting Monday, the board approved a resolution asking County Council to place an expansion of the tax on the November 2024 ballot. The new amount is estimated to generate about $160 million over the next decade.

The 70-cent figure was decided after extensive research, according to Jeff Rusnak of R Strategy Group.

“The voters really respect and admire our arts and cultural sector,” he said. “They have invested in it for nearly two decades and that has paid off. Three-and-a-half cents per cigarette is a small ask that produces really big impact.”

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Meet Julia Rosa Sosa

Meet Julia Rosa Sosa

Julia Rosa Sosa is a performing artist and storyteller hailing from Ciudad Juarez and El Paso, Texas. Currently based in Cleveland, OH, she is a proud alumna of the University of Texas at El Paso, where she studied Theatre and Sociology.

Julia’s specialty lies in theatre, music, and storytelling. Through her work, she explores the magic of being ordinary and emphasizes how every individual has impactful stories to share. Growing up in a dangerous and unstable place, Julia endeavors to bring messages of hope to her audiences, even if her shows are heartbreaking at times.

In 2020, Julia received the Julia de Burgos Cultural Art Center and Cuyahoga Arts and Culture In-house Residency, which enabled her to produce the US premiere of Valentina y la Sombra del Diablo. This children’s play teaches kids about consent and sexual abuse disclosure. Additionally, Julia participated in the Cuyahoga Arts and Culture and the Center for Performance and Civic Practice Learning Lab in partnership with Esperanza, Inc. In this project, she worked with a group of Latin American students living in the United States, collecting and sharing their views on various topics, including lifestyle, education, family, identity, hobbies, passions, and what it’s like to live during a pandemic. This podcast also serves as a time capsule, reflecting the present and preserving it for future generations.

Julia has contributed her skills as a songwriter and vocalist to the development of two albums for the Lunatic music project. Furthermore, she has performed across the border and bi-nationally during the Maelstrom Collective Arts window activation in 2022.

In addition to performing, Julia has also worked as a freelance theatre director, having directed and assistant directed shows in Oregon, Colorado, Arkansas, Cleveland, New York City, and Ohio. Her play, El Toro y la Nina, premiered as a radio play at the ReUnion rEvolucion | a Latinx new works Fest in 2020.

Overall, Julia Rosa Sosa’s work as a performer and storyteller seeks to share impactful stories that leave a lasting impression on her audience. Whether it’s through theatre, music, or podcasting, she is dedicated to exploring the beauty of the ordinary and the resilience of the human spirit.

Creative Impact Fund Project: El Romantico

El Romantico is Julia Rosa’s first musical. Intended to be a bilingual piece in Spanish and English, delving into the disconnect between fathers and daughters during their teenage years and how many times the ones holding their relationship together are mothers.

The story is about a father and daughter’s relationship through music. The dad is a hardworking worker who plays his guitar at social gatherings and work. The daughter is in a new school, in a new city, in a new country. Little by little, their relationship becomes more distant. She starts to develop new interests, one of which is boys. Dad is not someone she can ask for advice about boys. Mom is the one to talk to about boys; she gives good advice. What happens to the good hobbies daughter used to have with her dad, like playing the guitar and singing?

Well, they are not enjoyable anymore because Dad only talks about how the music these days sucks (but daughter likes that kind of music, does that mean Dad hates the songs she has been making and uploading to YouTube?) Mom knows they need a relationship, so she sneaks a notebook into her daughter’s backpack. In this notebook, the daughter recognizes Dad’s handwriting. In the old crunchy notebook, there are the most beautiful songs about everything she relates to.

Julia’s father passed in 2021, and her creativity shut down. She wanted to create this piece with her father, but unfortunately, it did not happen. He was a songwriter who taught her so much about music. Stay tuned for performance dates.


Meet Linda Zolten Wood

Meet Linda Zolten Wood

Linda Zolten Wood brings arts and sustainability together to create solutions to environmental issues and raise awareness to practical solutions to our changing climate, while creating beauty in our communities. Rain barrels help keep pollution out of Lake Erie and the Cuyahoga River, and give us free rain water for gardens, yard care and even car washes.

Cleveland Institute of Art graduate, LZW was inspired to make these ugly big plastic chunks more beautiful by applying her mural painting skills to improve their overall acceptance and wider use. She created The Collinwood Painted Rain Barrel Project in 2012. Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District, Neighborhood Connections, Community Partnership for Arts and Culture Grantee, Zolten Wood wanted Cleveland’s efforts of water conservation to be celebrated, as approximately 400 free barrels have been provided by Mayor Jackson for all of Cleveland neighborhoods for the last ten years, proving to be a popular program, but these barrels are eyesores. Her project will beautify them and encourage long-term usefulness for families who need gardens most.

Zolten Wood’s Upcycled Arts Workshops are influenced by travels in India, which practices a national ethic of ‘no waste’, where practically everything is repaired or reused in some way: Conservation as a daily practice and long-term culture. We benefit fro mending and recreating objects into new useful objects or artworks to beautify our spaces. Our landfills need to slow in growth, and we need to review our consumption habits. Upcycling is a useful tool for communities to tidy up and share with each other.

These project have been brought into schools, libraries, garden clubs and farmers markets for educational programs to help communities beautify their gardens and homes with painted barrels and repurposed artwork. Stormwater and Landfill reduction benefit our fresh waterways, wildlife and drinking water resources and art improves our quality of life. Her philosophy “Art For All” offers creativity to anyone who wants to try, regardless of economics or education: She has experienced the healing of the Arts in all areas of her life.

Creative Impact Fund Project: Sustainable Arts with Zolten Wood Design & Collinwood Painted Rain Barrel Project

Three projects/locations at Senior Centers and a Community Garden who are committed to improving the quality of life for their residents. The audience ranges from senior citizens attending social day classes and helping to nurture their bonds of community, to the Community Garden including families of all ages, encouraging hands on creative expression with Upcycled materials and beautifying their rain barrels so they are encouraged in more consistent use, which helps keep the Lake and River cleaner, and supplies them free water for their garden and yard use.

One Wall Mural for Rose Senior Center in East Cleveland, A series of Skylight Banners to enliven and brighten the space of an old building for a Collinwood Senior Center, and a rain barrel painting and upcycled arts series of workshops at a community garden in Old Brooklyn.

Through her collaboration in these impactful projects, Linda Zolten Wood actively contributes to the well-being and enrichment of senior centers and community gardens. Her dedication to nurturing community bonds, fostering creativity, and promoting sustainable practices demonstrates her unwavering commitment to improving the quality of life for all involved.


Meet Dale Goode

Meet Dale Goode

Dale A. Goode is a Cleveland-based artists and arts educator. He works primarily in photography, mixed media collage and sculpture. He received his Bachelor of Arts from Hiram College and pursued his graduate studies at Kent State University. Over the last 40 years, Mr. Goode has exhibited his work widely throughout the Midwest. His work is included in various corporate, university and institutional collections, Akron Art Museum, University Hospital of Cleveland, Hiram College and The Dalad Group. He was selected as one of the International artists to participate in Front International Triennial and has received a grant from Spaces Art Gallery.

Mr. Goode’s primary focus is spotlighting the issues and beauty of the community he represents and the people who share that community. His sculptures, paintings, and prints reflect the way he sees the world and wishes others could see it as well. His most recent bodies of work have been named RAW VISION, bodies of work which contrast what we see and what we call it. Women, Domestic Violence, Beauty, and Trash, all seen have been seen in exhibit locally and away from Cleveland over the past 2 years.

Good’s focus right now is on Domestic Violence. He thinks of domestic violence and wonders how much is carried out of our homes into the streets of our cities where it explodes in the unprepared relationships we have in our community. Patterns that we create through behavior and language shape out home as much as physical environment of doors, windows, furniture and costume. His art work reflects this by the construct of sculptures and the way he uses objects like shoes, handbags and doors to create symbolic understanding of this epidemic of violence.

Creative Impact Fund Project: Domestic Violence Is Not Pretty

This project will use doors from abandon buildings and houses to stand in as substitutes for people. Designed and built in abstract sculpture using things thrown away in the streets as we do overlooked and under served people in violent situations.

The hope is that people’s attitudes who view these sculptures that are dedicated to stopping violence will understand the impact that violence in general and Domestic Violence specifically has on a community.


Meet Mary Kay Thomas

Meet Mary Kay Thomas

Mary Kay Thomas has had a lifelong artistic practice, influenced by the women in her family who have been engaged in various artistic disciplines for multiple generations. While she has experience in jewelry and metalworking, printmaking, and drawing, Mary primarily focuses on photography-based oil/acrylic paintings as a means to capture the essence of memories.

Her inspiration stems from the experiences, people, and moments that have contributed to shaping her identity, which she seeks to immortalize in her artwork. Each piece is a gift to future generations and a tribute to her family’s artistic heritage. Mary’s family serves as her muse, and she employs a vibrant and expressive palette to celebrate the rich cultural fabric of Cleveland, deeply rooted in her lineage and connected to the broader history of Africa.

Having survived a ruptured brain aneurysm, Mary holds a deep conviction that while life can be fragile, healing comes through expression and paying homage to what is held dear. Her artistic practice extends beyond the personal realm and finds its place in the community as well. As an art educator, Mary’s work is informed by her interactions with individuals of all ages, exposing her to diverse viewpoints and enriching her creative process.

Mary actively engages with Cleveland’s art communities, such as Zygote Press and CAN Journal, which further strengthen her ties to the cities of Cleveland and East Cleveland. Additionally, she has initiated her own public art project, The U and I of Euclid Ave, a Gateway to East Cleveland, and has collaborated with service-based organizations like Food Strong. Through these endeavors, Mary aims to foster a stronger connection to her community and utilize art as a medium for inspiration, encouragement, empowerment, and healing.

Creative Impact Fund Project: U & I of Euclid Avenue

U and I of Euclid Avenue is an interactive arts education program for Cleveland area youth planned and installed by Mary Kay Thomas. The project is designed to work in partnership with other organizations, specifically existing youth programs to augment engagement with art education. The U and I of Euclid Avenue is a community mural and public art series envisioned by Mary Kay Thomas.

This project will help revitalize and renew energy along Euclid Avenue in East Cleveland. Upon full program completion by 2025, over fifteen murals and public art installations depicting colorful scenery, African American heritage, and historical themes relating to East Cleveland’s past will permanently change the landscape of Euclid Avenue. For this specific grant opportunity, up to 15 Shaw High School students will engage with the mural project.

The end result will be weatherized and installed in one of the three vacant lots across from Shaw High School along Euclid Avenue in East Cleveland. This original mural and art installation will be designed toward promoting hometown pride and East Cleveland history. This community-engaged art project is intentionally designed so that the incremental painting and developing of the work can happen almost anywhere.

Once the piece is completed, it will be weatherized and professionally installed at its permanent location. As this project continues to grow and add finished pieces, Mary Kay Thomas shares the new installations with the greater community via social media and efforts at earned media through press releases and other means. Of course, the residents of East Cleveland will be aware of these new art installations as Euclid Avenue is the busiest transportation corridor in the community. Many of the buildings along Euclid Avenue and in the surrounding neighborhoods are vacant and in a state of significant disrepair. It is widely known that East Cleveland is the lowest income community in the State of Ohio. A heightened emphasis will be on murals placed along the Euclid Avenue corridor that will reinvigorate an area once known as “The Grand Promenade of Cleveland”.


Meet Georgio Sabino

Meet Georgio Sabino

A highly acclaimed multi-disciplinary visual artist, photographer, designer, author and educator; “I have fostered connections with business pioneers to build and develop new talent and works of art.”

Twice an official photographer at The White House for President Obama’s invitation to photograph, Two National Champions, current director at Hector Vega Studio. Georgio Sabino III continues to consistently create magic. Virginia Marti, Ursuline College, Cuyahoga Community colleges, Cleveland Entertainment Coalition, the Visit and numerous community organizations’ have emerged under Georgio’s engagement and service as a chief visionary and prime strategist. His digital art searches for dramatic lines pushing vibrant colors but depicting strong contrast between the images in each work of art. An experienced artist, businessman and educator with current participation in the professional arts and business community, he fosters real life connections with business pioneers to build and develop new talent and with a collaborative approach to create new works of art.

Sabino’s art, photographs and graphic design work conveys polyrhythmic identities striving to be heard, but especially to be seen. By concentrating on the principles of design, a thorough understanding of the relationship between the visual arts and the future of art is conveyed but by adding the next level of augmented reality to show there are no bounds. Sabino shares, “I created art that stimulates the imagination and challenges the intellect using art and technology. The viewer can explore, discover and uncover their polyrhythmic identities through art and space.”

Georgio Sabino III is a man of many talents. He is a fashion designer, artist, and a true visionary in the world of fashion and art. He was born in a small town in Ohio, and from a young age, he knew that he wanted to create beautiful things.

Growing up, Georgio would often sketch designs for clothes and accessories in his notebook. His parents, who both recognized his talent and encouraged him to pursue his passion. They enrolled him in a prestigious fashion school (Kent State University), where he honed his skills and developed his unique style. After graduating, Georgio moved to NYC, the fashion capital of the world. There, he became an entrepreneur, learning everything he could about the industry. He soon launched his own fashion photography business (in Cleveland Ohio), “GS3 Art, Fashion & Photography”, which quickly became a household name.

His art and fashion were a fusion of classic and contemporary styles, with a touch of eccentricity. He was known for his use of bold colors, hand painting silks and unconventional textiles, which set him apart from other designers. He also incorporated elements of art into his collections, often collaborating with artists to create one-of-a-kind pieces.

Georgio’s runway shows are always a spectacle, with models walking down the runway wearing sculptural pieces that were as much art as they were fashion. His dream is to have his designs were worn by celebrities, royalty, and fashion influencers, and GS3 has been featured in magazines and social media.

Creative Impact Fund Project: Artistic Jungle Series

Technology advances and changes so very quickly. Artificial intelligence, surveillance and privacy issues are pervasive negative news stories in the media. However, these technological advances also provide wonderful new ways for artists and creators to express themselves. Over the last few years, Georgio Sabino III has worked with adding a technological advancement to the static universe of two-dimensional visual art and fashion design. But these are not ordinary paintings and dresses. They are augmented reality (AR) painting and dresses that come to life when you point your smart phone at them.

The dragonflies, hummingbirds and butterflies fly around the dress and room in a realistic way, creating a magical effect that surprises and delights viewers. You can also interact with them by tapping on your screen or moving your phone closer or farther away. The proposed project will be an art and fashion show where the walls of the gallery space will be filled with art for attendees to view and engage. Once the fashion shows commences, models will wear the artist’s pieces and attendees can watch the show. Even without smart phone access, the show will be vivid and dynamic. Engaging with the augmented reality component of the show will only improve audience enjoyment and the “wow” factor. Fashion pieces will be made primarily of silk with the image screen printed onto the item of clothing.

The show will be scheduled for approximately three months after the project is fully funded. A gallery in the Cleveland area will be selected based on appropriateness and availability. The project will help allay fears about future technology by demonstrating how amazing these tools can be for making art and fashion design even more dynamic.

Please see current examples of how the augmented reality works at the following links: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LyAdGiA5eaQ&t=57s https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=alQvw4hNdXM&t=57s

 


Meet Natasha Herbert

Meet Natasha Herbert

While some attend schools to learn a trade, others have a keen, natural ability to do it. The latter describes artists who are born with intrinsic talent, which defines Natasha Lehuanani Herbert. Her young life spent honing her skills in drawing, as an escape from a troubled childhood in the inner city of Cleveland, progressed into a passion for creation. The need to actualize her artistic desires led her to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in Digital Media from Michigan State University. Upon launching her professional photography career, she realized a plethora of awe-inspiring wedding, portrait and street work. Herbert’s wedding portraits have been featured in numerous highly recognized publications like Essence, Huffington Post, and Glamour Magazine.

In 2022, she was recognized with the Allen E. Cole Excellence in Photojournalism award from the Western Reserve Historical Society. Herbert has always used photography as an outlet to relieve the stresses of her environment. In doing so, she’s achieved much success and wishes to foster and give back to youth growing up in the same circumstances that she endured. Herbert’s desire is to inspire inner-city youth in Cleveland, by creating a hands-on photography program. This program will be an outlet that provides an enriching experience for youth to learn a new, marketable skill and adopt a positive, creative hobby.

Creative Impact Fund Project: The Avenue Cleveland

Natasha Herbert will instruct and lead a photography program which will have a strong emphasis on the technical use of a DSLR camera. She will teach the youth participants how to use their eye to connect emotionally and drive them to produce images that speak and evoke some sort of response from the viewer. The program will challenge their creativity while simultaneously teaching them all of the processes of photography. For example, finding inspiration from movies by using the Rule of Thirds method, learning how to correctly use light, composing their shots, and having the capability to change their settings based on the environment. By the end of the program, the youth will have gained a definite understanding of capturing moments.

In addition, at the end of the program, the youth will have to take photos that are emotionally driven. The challenge is to take photos that are candid and evoke some sort of response from the audience. They will get their inspirations from every day life and movie scenes. At the end of The Avenue program, the photos will be printed/matted on 13 x 19 format paper, and they will have a photography exhibition to showcase their captures. Herbert plans to go to the regions of the area she feels need it most like East Cleveland, where she currently teaches at Kenneth Clement Boys’ Leadership Academy. Pamphlets will be handed to the schools and or youth facilities like recreation centers with the photography program description.

Furthermore, Kenneth Clement Boys Leadership Academy intends to create an after school program for students in school or a week day program at the recreation centers. The project in itself is very close to home for Natasha Herbert because she grew up in the Kinsman neighborhood, which was often plagued with violence and no opportunities available to youth. She wants to show youth that there’s more out here. The goal is to encourage youth to seek and obtain success despite their environmental factors. Herbert already has extensive experience teaching 4 grade – 8th grade children about photography. She works with 15 students at the Kenneth Clement Boys Leadership Academy. Furthermore, Herbert independently invests in and provides all current supplies and materials, i.e. cameras, lens, and lighting, for the classes that she teaches. The Avenue Cleveland Photography program will provide an explorative art and most importantly bring light to the youth in these communities that lack resources.


Meet Baba Jubal Harris

Meet Baba Jubal Harris

The African drum speaks, talks, communicates with the voice of our human ancestors . The drum has a function beyond keeping time. Rhythms speak, the voice of the drum forms a bridge between the ancestral spiritual realm and the human realm. Musical form, conforms to the limitation and necessities of time, moment by moment, day by day ,month by month, year-by-year, century by century. Music is fluid and conforms to the container of the times that constrain it. The origin, essence and sacred ancestral spirit of African American musical expression is contained within a feeling that has the power to transcend pain, agony, misery and transform bad feelings into good feelings at the cross road of destiny. Today we are in the process of global polyrhythmic revival. Our African Ancestors knew that polly rhythmic drumming accompanied by voice and musical instruments create modal vibrational phenomena. Modern science has rediscovered that wave propagation harmonics and harmonic overtones create visual patterns of sacred geometry. It is our sacred human oneness within the Divine Source of Life that gives us victory over those forces that oppose our humanity. It is our sacred music and spoken word that has the power to transform bad to good and good to greatness.

Heart Beat Drum Circle

Creative Impact Fund Project: Heart Beat Drum Circle

Heartbeat Drum Circle is a unique and inclusive gathering that brings together drummers, dancers, artists, social activists, government and business leaders, community builders, healers, and educators. The primary purpose of this collective is to express joy, love, and appreciation for the gift of life through the power of arts and rhythm.

At Heartbeat Drum Circle, all people are engaged in a holistic and sustainable arts experience that is deeply rooted in rhythmic harmony. The sound we create resonates with the human heartbeat, connecting us on a primal level. The configuration of drummers and dancers is carefully orchestrated in a circle, representing unity and equality. This dynamic circle is thoughtfully balanced by positioning participants at specific points, allowing for the free flow of hyper-dimensional energy.

The project itself involves the creative act of harmonizing divergent cultural expressions, as we understand that these diverse elements have the potential to create moments of wholeness, especially in times of great uncertainty. Heartbeat Drum Circle has successfully demonstrated the power of community cooperation, bringing people together in practical and meaningful ways.

The logistics of the project are simple yet impactful. We provide workshops for leaders to create their own Samba/Siko frame drums, empowering them with the tools to express themselves through rhythm. Participants also learn four basic poly rhythms (with the opportunity to learn more as they progress). They are then encouraged to take what they have learned back to their schools, organizations, clubs, etc., and actively recruit others to join this rhythmic movement.

To culminate this journey, participants attend a preliminary Heartbeat Drum Circle rehearsal with their respective groups, leading up to the main event in May 2024. This collective effort aims to address the pervasive issues of violence and fear within our community. We strive to reach those who are afraid to go to work, places of worship, school, or even walk the streets due to the prevailing tension and stress caused by violence.

In this environment, Heartbeat Drum Circle serves as a powerful alternative. It creates a space where respect and appreciation for life take center stage, promoting the message of “Drums Not Guns” and “Drums Not Drugs.” We firmly believe that drums are instruments of mass creation, offering an alternative to the destructive force of weapons. By participating in Heartbeat Drum Circle workshops, individuals learn self-love through self-respect and self-discipline. The drums they create become personal and collective reminders of these principles, carrying the significance of our purpose.

Ultimately, the significance of Heartbeat Drum Circle lies in its ability to foster unity, heal communities, and inspire positive change. It is a call to action for people to recognize and embrace the transformative power of drums as an instrument of mass creation, creating a path towards a more peaceful and harmonious world.


Meet Benjamin Smith

Meet Benjamin Smith

Benjamin Smith is a music composer, vintage electronics tinkerer, and an overall glass-half-full dreamer aural/visual artist. He loves video game music, analog gear of all sorts, and old BBC television programs, but his passion in life is connecting and connecting with people through art and sound especially those who wouldn’t normally be presented with what he likes to call the “opportunity of community” collaboration. He believes that music is one of the greatest instruments of camaraderie, outside of Love itself. He uses and creates sometimes forgotten analog and acoustic (tangible) musical devices to bring a hands-on approach to “bringing us together”, teaching while creating. He truly believes that the sound of music is everywhere, and he strives to capture and share it. As a person of color, he has experienced firsthand how important it is to be seen and heard, as well as be accepted as a unique individual, so he seeks to teach that everybody, no matter how “different”, is to be treated equally and encouraged to let their light shine bright by putting our stories out there through the vehicle of music!

All compositions feature at least one handmade instrument and have been inspired by the African-American experience. Ben grew up in California but with a Military/Pastor Father, he has lived in 16 different states which gifted him the ability to comfortably interact with anyone from any walk of life. He started channeling music at age 15 and began tinkering with the visual arts as early as 10, building “toys” from disassembled tube televisions and various audio equipment.

Ben moved to Cleveland after the passing of his older brother Chris. Since then he has gone on to create and collaborate on various art pieces including the Splice Cream Truck, The Riff Mechanics School For the Riffted, and The See Our Light Art exhibit which is currently on display at the Glenville Public Library. Every art project that Ben involves himself in always has a central theme of bringing people together by any (positive) means possible — Which ultimately culminated in his 4-day round trip journey to purchase and pick up the Splice Cream Truck from Helena, Montana and drive it back over 2000 miles to Cleveland with no sleep. He is dedicated.

Benjamin Smith

Creative Impact Fund Project: The Splice Cream Spliced Team Dream Concert Series

The Splice Cream Spliced Team Dream Concerts series is a monthly pop-up concert series consisting of three 3-hour family-friendly concerts. These concerts will take place in the Buckeye Community, specifically in front of the Trumpet Man at Art & Soul Park. The aim of the concert series is to showcase the talent of three diverse artists who not only come from the area but also represent the surrounding communities. The performances will encompass a wide range of genres, spanning from hip-hop to classical, and from poetry to rock, R&B, and country.

The project’s main objective is to bring together a team of creative community members and provide a platform for them to showcase their talents to a local audience. The target audience includes individuals who may not have had the opportunity to experience live performances by specific musical artists in traditional venues. Each stage artist will be given forty-five minutes to perform, and they will be presented in a unique way – in a self-contained ice cream truck that doubles as a mobile stage. The ice cream truck will be equipped with lights, speakers, a mixer, and microphones. When it’s time for the concert to begin, the stage will be dropped, the speakers will be plugged in, and the lights will be turned on, setting the stage for an unforgettable concert experience.

The Splice Cream Truck, as it is called, goes beyond being just an ice cream truck. It features a fully analog recording studio, making it a tool to “splice together” communities that have historically been separated by color lines and virtual borders. The project aims to achieve this by recording and sharing the stories of these communities with other groups that may have been previously inaccessible to each other. As an incentive for participating in interviews, individuals will receive an ice cream treat or a SPLICEE (an Icee-like drink, if the Icee machine is installed as planned), as well as an on-the-spot “vinyl” 45rpm.

The project organizers have a strong track record, having previously collaborated with over 50 different organizations and participated in various events, such as FreedomFest, FRONT Block Party, IGNITE! Neighbor Nights, and FreshFest Cleveland. They are confident that their presence in the community will attract a substantial crowd. Additionally, the project aims to work with other musicians and artists who have applied for the grant, with the intention of bringing different creative individuals together, showcasing their talents, and compensating them for their services. Each artist will be paid immediately after their individual sets, recognizing the challenges of pursuing their passion while also securing funding.

The organizers are also open to collaborations with food trucks, mobile artists, and businesses. Each concert in the series will feature three unique flavors of ice cream/Splicees that represent each artist’s style, and these treats will be provided free of charge to concertgoers. Diversity is a key aspect of the project, as it aims to expose the community to various styles and genres of music that are not typically represented in specific areas. During the intervals between sets, mingling and discussions will be encouraged while enjoying an icy treat of one’s choice.

The entire concert series will be audio and video recorded. Additionally, a compilation of the performances will be made available for free download and streaming, and a vinyl record will be produced to commemorate the project. These recordings will be accessible at local libraries, event centers, and community gathering places. Furthermore, each participant will receive a raffle ticket for a chance to win their own copy of the compilation record.


Meet Julie Schabel

Meet Julie Schabel

We are all here to learn. Wave Space is an artist-run creative studio in Lakewood, Ohio owned by Julie Schabel. Their goal is to be accessible to the community by offering free art classes to areas of Cleveland that are underfunded and have cut art programming in schools. Having taught art classes in CMSD schools and by speaking with students in classes, Julie sees a strong need for more social emotional learning, especially in the arts, our proposed classes will provide that for students. Wave Space Workshops will also focus on the skills to develop their own creative style with high quality projects and in depth instruction. Screen printing is like magic to kids. The look on their faces when they lift the screen up and see the print transferred from the screen to the shirt, bag, paper, is priceless. This process, as well as other printing and stenciling techniques are great for encouraging group learning and critical thinking skills.

Creative Impact Fund Project: Wave Space Summer Camps at CPL

Wave Space, a team of educators and artists, plans to offer one-week Wave Space Workshops for free at Cleveland Public Libraries in the Hough, Collinwood, Union Miles, and Central Kinsman neighborhoods. The program will focus on printmaking, creativity, and learning the elements of design. By the end of each week, students will have completed a cumulative project, which will be showcased at Human Heart Studios’ art gallery to showcase the students’ work.

Each Wave Space session will run for one hour in the afternoon from 1-2 in August or after school as per the schedule. The program will welcome up to 15 students ranging from 1st to 4th grade who can register either online, at the library, or via social media. The lead teacher for the program will be Julie Schabel, who has 5 years of experience teaching art programming in the Cleveland area. Additionally, Wave Space will have another staff member alongside Julie Schabel to assist and oversee the project.

Besides, the program will document the classes by capturing photographs of the students. Each student will be requested to give permission by signing a release form that includes information about Wave Space and Assembly for the Arts. Moreover, pre and post-class evaluations will be conducted to understand the effect of this program on students’ skill development and engagement.

A quote from Wave Space founder, Julie Schabel: “Kids always tell me that art is their favorite class. I hope that the projects I create stay with the kids as they grow and learn valuable life lessons from their art making experiences. I try to guide the students to a final project that is influenced by their creativity and ideas. Sometimes the end result is very different from my initial explanation but the student ends up developing their own style through this process, so I encourage it. I teach students about artists they don’t normally learn about in school or on a museum field trip. I find that using more accessible contemporary examples helps connect them to the project more.”