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Center for Great Neighborhoods awards small business Creative Community grants totaling $22k

Local entrepreneurs are building their businesses, and the fifth round of Creative Community Grants from The Center for Great Neighborhoods (The Center) aims to assist their growth in Northern Kentucky.

This week, The Center awarded five grants totaling $22,000 focused on small business growth, entrepreneurship, workforce development, or expansion of job opportunities, skill building, or sharing of skills with the community. Grantees were selected by a panel of five judges that included professionals in arts-related organizations, Covington residents, and a staff person from The Center.

. . .and the winners are (Photo provided)

“Seeing the growth and entrepreneurial spirit in Covington is exciting and inspiring,” said Shannon Ratterman, Program Manager, Community Development at The Center. “We’re thrilled to be able to help local business owners reach the community in new ways. These projects will help small businesses improve visibility, and will assist residents in gaining technical skills and employment.”

Creative Community Grant recipients and projects include:

AMP Your Brand
 Recipient: Eye Candy 

Too often, hiring a professional is not within the budget of a small company, yet professional design services are an essential component of creating a memorable company capable of building a strong customer following. Through the AMP Your Brand project, local design firm Eye Candy will provide the necessary tools for a selected local organization to be seen and heard, communicate clearly with their target audiences, and ultimately, drive economic growth and vibrancy in Covington. The process and experience will be documented by Eye Candy to be shared as a community story and a learning experience for the business.

The business selected may be new, existing, or popup, and must be located or have plans to locate to the Westside neighborhood of Covington, preferably on 12th  Street.

Herb & Thelma’s 

Herb & Thelma’s 
Owners Joe and Suzanne Fessler and customers of Herb & Thelma’s Tavern, local artist Bret Schulte, and Lewisburg residents will create a mural on the eastern elevation of Herb & Thelma’s (718 Pike) depicting the history and community connections of the business, which has been open since 1939. The mural and accompanying exterior improvements will enhance the aesthetics of the pre-Civil War building which serves as an anchor in the Lewisburg neighborhood and a gateway into the city of Covington.

The mural will also signal the return of the Heine Social Club, a popular community building and fundraising group in existence from the 1940s through 1980s.

Forge: A Community Makerspace & Embedded Library 
Recipient: Kenton County Library   

The Digital Branch of Kenton County Public Library, led by artist and digital librarian Ann Schoenenberger, will create a pilot community makerspace within the Hellmann Creative Center. This embedded library project will work to develop resources and services with the groups served by the Hellmann Creative Center, the Westside neighborhood and Covington artists, community groups, youth and residents seeking to build creative and technical skills.

Through open and free access to digital library content, technology, instruction, mentoring and collaborative projects, Forge will increase economic, creative and employment opportunities and strengthen the educational pipeline for Covington’s emerging technology and arts corridors.

Covington ESP – Essays, Sketches, & Poetry Project 
Recipient: Community & Restorative Justice

This project is a creative arts and therapeutic project for Covington residents in the Westside, Eastside, Helentown, & Austinburg neighborhoods who are unemployed and looking to break down barriers to employment.

CRJ volunteers will use arts and the CRJ circle process to bridge gaps and create a healing process to get motivated individuals on a path to finding employment.                                                                                        
 Recipient: Art Machine, Inc.

PRINTER:FAIRE is an arts fair focused on the printed art. Printmakers from around the region will sell prints and demonstrate their printmaking medium. Printmaker organizations and guilds will present history and different types of printmaking processes. Faire-goers can participate in a number of hands-on activities, as well as, sell any of the prints they make in a pop-up shop.

Music and food will complete the faire atmosphere. The big attraction will be printmaking using a steamroller on the street outside of the Hellmann Creative Center.

The Center’s Creative Community Grants are funded through a multi-year grant The Center received from The Kresge Foundation to implement creative placemaking activities in Covington.

The Center plans to continue awarding Creative Community Grants in one more round this summer addressing a different community-identified issue or topic. Information on the next round of Creative Community Grants will be available in the spring of 2017. More information about Creative Community Grants can be found online at www.greatneighborhoods.org.

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