It took lots of planning but things are starting to bloom in St. Clair.  Our creative reuse center is open, youth that we met through our after-school program last year have been working in our shop this summer, we've trained 9 volunteers, 3 of whom live in the St. Clair neighborhood, to help us run the shop.  We have gathered over 3,500 lbs of donations and have lots of them for sale.  We're leading workshops and programming in the community and at our own space on St. Clair pretty regularly now and we've started working with a few fellows as we launch our upcyclist fellowship program.   It's happening.   And there's so much more to do.  But, work in progress is still progress and we're pretty excited about that.  Check out more at www.upcyclepartsshop.org 

Thanks to our friends at LAND studio, Upcycle Parts Shop led the community installation of this fun fence mural between Kentucky Gardens and Fairview Park in Ohio City.  Have an old garden hose lying around your yard?  We'll take more!  See more things Upcycle Parts Shop takes as donations here. 

Thanks to our friends at LAND studio, Upcycle Parts Shop led the community installation of this fun fence mural between Kentucky Gardens and Fairview Park in Ohio City.  Have an old garden hose lying around your yard?  We'll take more!  See more things Upcycle Parts Shop takes as donations here



Check out this brand new opportunity to be a part of revitalization in St. Clair.  Click on the image above for a full description:  deadline to apply: May 15!

Check out this brand new opportunity to be a part of revitalization in St. Clair.  Click on the image above for a full description:  deadline to apply: May 15!

In collaboration with St Clair Superior Community Development Corporation, I'm working on a project called Upcycle St. Clair.   {I do this work part-time and run Plenty Underfoot in my other time}  The goal of the Upcycle St. Clair community revitalization process is to utilize the strategies of creative place making to build up a neighborhood.  In particular, it's St. Clair Avenue between East 55th -Addision.  We're using upcycling as the artistic strategy for revitalization, and in a great alignment of the stars, I get to play the role of principal artist & project manager. Dream!!! Swoon!!  It's been since June 2013 that I've stepped into this role (after we received funding from ArtPlace America, a proposal I worked on with colleagues/friends/visionaries at St Clair Superior that we were so excited to GET!) 

 My major endeavor, and one that has been ramping up in a big way, is developing the Upcycle Parts Shop creative reuse center!  If you know me, you know that I can't talk about this without exclamation points pouring out of me.  For years I've been quietly and dutifully stalking creative reuse centers* and through participation in ReUse Conex, I learned of the first ever creative reuse boot camp this past August.  You guessed it, I am a proud alumni of the first ever class of complete awesomeness.   With a few other reuse enthusiasts, we spent 4 days learning the ropes from the country's leading creative reuse center, The Scrap Exchange in Durham NC.   It was incredibly wonderful to learn in this hands-on way, all of us with the intention of starting our own creative reuse center.  (check out their promo video here and you'll want to sign up for the next one!) I cannot wait to stand on the shoulders of giants and open up  Cleveland's first creative reuse center in June 2014!  

*Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse is worth a visit next time your in Pittsburgh!  I love the women who have built it and run it and I am grateful for what they have taught me over the years. 

In September I wrote on my blog about my role in St. Clair: 

It still feels new, this collaborative way I’m working with reused materials and with community building and with economic development in Cleveland’s St. Clair community.  It’s dream work and I’ve been learning that dream work can still be overwhelming, amazing, draining, and beautiful all in the same hour.  (I’ll take it, though, the reality of it versus the dreams of it!).    

It still feels new, this collaborative way I’m working with reused materials and with community building and with economic development in Cleveland’s St. Clair community.  It’s dream work and I’ve been learning that dream work can still be overwhelming, amazing, draining, and beautiful all in the same hour.  (I’ll take it, though, the reality of it versus the dreams of it!).    
This photo is adorable, isn’t it? Little Olivia was just one of the chalk artists last week at our Popsicles & Pinwheels event on St. Clair Avenue and we loved having her and everyone else there.  It was at the ‘doors of St. Clair’ installation designed by Agnes Studio and funded by Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.  It was community celebration at its best, complete with popsicles, bench bombing (yup, check out this link if you’re interested), and neighbors of all ages walking up, hanging out with us, and upcycling pinwheels from used vinyl banners.  Horray for community events!  Check out our photos on facebook, and like us on there too, okay?  Upcycle St. Clair.   Amazing collaboration. Beautiful, incredible, exciting work that I feel honored to be doing in Cleveland.  #thisisstclair      

This photo is adorable, isn’t it? Little Olivia was just one of the chalk artists last week at our Popsicles & Pinwheels event on St. Clair Avenue and we loved having her and everyone else there.  It was at the ‘doors of St. Clair’ installation designed by Agnes Studio and funded by Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.  It was community celebration at its best, complete with popsicles, bench bombing (yup, check out this link if you’re interested), and neighbors of all ages walking up, hanging out with us, and upcycling pinwheels from used vinyl banners.  Horray for community events!  Check out our photos on facebook, and like us on there too, okay?  Upcycle St. Clair.   Amazing collaboration. Beautiful, incredible, exciting work that I feel honored to be doing in Cleveland.  #thisisstclair