Waterloo Arts District

On the October 27, 2013, edition of Cleveland Connection we learn about the Waterloo Arts and Entertainment District in Cleveland.  Host Katherine Boyd talks with Brian Friedman, Executive Director of Northeast Shores Development Corp.

The Waterloo Arts and Entertainment District is a neighborhood currently undergoing a major transformation. There’s a new streestcape beautification project underway, and a surge of artists moving into the area.

But with any transformation comes construction. To keep business flowing as usual and celebrate the neighborhood’s recent growth, The Kresge Foundation has chosen Collinwood’s Northeastast Shores Development Corporation to be a recipient of a million dollar grant that will keep the community flourishing during the year-long transformation.

“We are beyond thrilled to have received this grant. With it, our goal is to add even more art-placed businesses and maintain neighborhood vibrancy during the construction period,” said Brian Friedman, Executive Director of Northeast Shores Development Corp. “We saw what happened with a lot of businesses during Cleveland’s Euclid Avenue construction project. A lot of them were highly affected in a negative way because construction deterred people from coming into the area. With this grant, we hope to create the opposite effect,” continued Friedman.

So, how exactly does the non-profit organization plan to do that? With a portion of the 1 million dollar grant, Northeast Shores will be working to host a variety of one-day events at existing businesses located around the area. This may include pop up concerts, community-gathering events, networking opportunities, dinners and more. The possibilities are endless and will be determined by the existing independent businesses currently open.

“How it works, area businesses apply to receive a portion of the grant to host an event at their location. This includes what they want to do and how they plan to utilize the funds. We then will review the project applications and then promote those events to encourage visitation to the community,” continued Friedman. “It’s our goal that by continuing to bring people into the neighborhood with exciting events and opportunities that the district will continue to grow, rather than take a year long hiatus during the construction.”

In addition to providing a variety of district-wide events, the majority of the new grant will help create a ceramics co-op studio, further develop artists’ live-work spaces in the neighborhood, and convert former foreclosed homes into new homes for artists and musicians.

The Kresge Foundation award builds on other placemaking activities that Northeast Shores has conducted recently. The Kresge Foundation is also a funder of ArtPlace, which is an association of funders. Northeast Shores previously received a $500,000 grant from ArtPlace to support its efforts to engage artists around issues of vacancy.

“At The Kresge Foundation, we are very much looking forward to playing a role in the Waterloo/Collinwood grant program called Collinwood Rising. We love the idea of creating a neighborhood that is built on the foundation of fantastic artisans and musicians,” said Regina Smith, Program Director. “The idea of using the grant funds to offer living spaces, working studios and events that keep the entire community involved during a transitional period, was something that really appealed to us and what we stand for as a foundation.”

In the coming months from October 2013 to June 2014, a variety of events and announcements will be coming out of the Waterloo Arts and Entertainment District. “We are very much looking forward to sharing with the greater Cleveland community all the exciting events that our neighborhood has to offer,” said Friedman. “Stay tuned!”

For more information on Collinwood, please visit www.welcometocollinwood.com. For more information on Northeast Shores Development Corporation, please visit www.northeastshores.com. To learn more about The Kresge Foundation, please visit www.kresge.org.


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