French Lamb Design Studio
The Black Lives Matter street mural on East 93rd was just the beginning of what will be a years-long public art project in Kinsman, Woodland Hills and Buckeye called 'Elevate the East' that's being led by Burten, Bell, Carr and Ward 6 councilman Blaine Griffin.
Bringing together a diverse, vibrant and committed team, 'Elevate the East' includes architects, graphic designers, urban design consultants, artists and community members who now have a tentative roadmap of what might be possible, from murals to streetscapes and sculptures and more.
A recently completed report
based on surveys, community research, focus groups and data identified 50 Actions to Elevate the East, "a range of exciting opportunities to express the unique character of the area’s people and places through public art.” Key locations have been identified, plans have been set in motion. Now, it's about money.
“Our next step for implementation is to find funding," Burten, Bell, Carr executive director Joy D. Johnson said. “We have already worked with LAND Studio to apply for a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. ‘LAND’ is also dedicating funding they received from the St. Luke’s Foundation of Cleveland to contribute to a few of the 50 Actions identified in the plan. We are also working with the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority to include public art in their plans to rebuild Woodhill Estates.”
Projects have been loosely placed along a timeline that shows what works could be completed in a short as one year to those that will take five or more. Once projects have been finalized and funded, RFPs will be issued for artists and stakeholders will select the finalist.
Community members have already identified areas of emphasis that the Elevate the East steering committee and projects should follow: Elevate the View, Engage Residents, Include Local Artists, Feel Value and Inspired, African American Identity, Stress Reduction, Safer Streets, Multi-sensory Experiences, and Unique Local Character.
The 50 Plans of Action include landscapes (for example, a sledding hill on Holton Ave.), murals (dozens of possible sites are listed), sculptures (a possible African obelisk, as one example) and streetscapes (an anamorphic fence at Woodhill Homes, for instance).
The steering committee has been trying to get the word out through block clubs, neighborhood walking tours and t-shirts, working to energize residents and keep momentum going.
"We’re going to do something on the Eastside with art-to express people’s emotions and feelings," said committee member Sherall Hardy. "Elevate the East is going to bring the community together as one.”