Suggestions for the Northeast Shores Development Corporation's "Ballot Box Project."
The Northeast Shores Development Corporation won a grant from ArtPlace America, in July 2015, to organize a “Ballot Box Project,” where Collinwood residents can decide how to spend $100,000 in funding to use art to make a better community. Some areas to consider include: youth programs, neighborhood safety, health education, and senior programs. Public meetings are being held the third Wednesday of the month October through February from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Collinwood Recreation Center, at 16300 Lakeshore Blvd. Voters will decide which projects to choose.
Since not everyone may be able to attend (I missed the first meeting), I contacted Julia DiBaggio, Community Engagement Manager at Northeast Shores, and I gave Ms. DiMaggio some suggestion, as follows:
A few ideas for projects projects to revitalize the neighborhood could involve classes at the La Salle (music, dance, and art), movies, travel logs, book swaps, a speaker series, health fairs, and contests for residents to design or write something to promote these projects. The local art community on Waterloo Road could have lectures for artists about entering competitions and employment.
For any project or event that is chosen, there could be a competition for local artists to design a flyer or decal (for merchant participant windows), with stipends offered to the artist winners. There could be a separate art competition for artists, students, merchants, and seniors.
Since I am a senior, I also have some suggestions for senior programs, and hope other age groups can provide other suggestions relating to their interests.
A monthly transportation service (or a delivery service) for local grocery stores on Lakeshore Blvd., (Dave's, Aldie’s), during the severe winter months, of Dec., Jan., and Feb., when it is difficult to get outside.
A shoveling service, for seniors and in front of the bus shelters, on Lakeshore Blvd., and East 185th, where severe storms cause high mounds of snow in the winter.
A recycling option for seniors who live in apartments. The city does not provide trash or recycling containers in front of apartments (only homes). And there are lots of apartments in this community that need to be able to recycle.
A career center (for seniors) and everyone else, who needs help with job searching. A program could be started where local companies let residents learn about the job (for a day), or there could be meetings with employers at schools for career mentoring.
The future La Salle Arts and Media Center, could also be used as a ‘Community Center’ for many of these events and programs, such as meetings on: health issues, animal rights, the environment, poverty, civil rights, and the economic issues that affect Collinwood. (Speakers could be brought in to inform residents of interesting topics, and residents could request speakers.)
A newsletter for seniors, written by seniors. (Euclid, OH has a monthly senior newsletter, and I believe Collinwood needs one, too!)
Banners, decals (for merchant participants), flyers etc., could be created to announce these events, and artists could have a chance to show their work. T-Shirts could be also designed for upcoming events, and to help publicize the Collinwood neighborhood!
Jeanne Coppola is a resident of the Collinwood neighborhood, and is interested in art and writing. She has a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Cleveland State University.