Neighbors lead week of revitalization projects, invite community to help

Initiative sponsored by Neighborhood Connections, with support from City of Cleveland and the Cleveland Foundation

CLEVELAND (Sept. 20, 2013) – A neglected alley between West 38th and West 41st Streets in the Clark-Fulton neighborhood. An underutilized park on East 121st Street in the Larchmere-Buckeye-Shaker Square neighborhood. An unattractive retaining wall in the Stockyard neighborhood, along West 61st Street.

City workers clean-up vacant lots every year during the annual "Clean Cleveland" event.

City workers clean-up vacant lots every year during the annual “Clean Cleveland” event.

Reimagining and redesigning these neighborhood spaces is the focus of a citizen-led project this week called City Repair Cleveland. The project was initiated by Neighborhood Connections, the small-grants and grassroots community-building program affiliated with the Cleveland Foundation, as part of its 10th anniversary activities. Neighbors will kick off City Repair Cleveland on Friday, Sept. 20, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the intersection of W. 41st and Newark Court.

“Neighborhood Connections is all about empowering neighbors to be ‘change agents’ in improving where they live,” said Tom O’Brien, program director for Neighborhood Connections. “This project has focused neighbor activism around art or, as we’ve dubbed it, ‘artivism’ and I can’t wait to see how the neighbors come together to transform their spaces over the next week.”

Inspired by a national movement called City Repair that began in Portland, Oregon, neighbors from six Cleveland neighborhoods have met weekly since April to learn about the City Repair process and to plan and design their own projects.

“This program has brought neighborhood residents together from around the city, across neighborhood boundaries, to plan these improvement projects,” said Cleveland Mayor Frank G. Jackson. “This collaboration shows how much our residents care about Cleveland and their willingness to help us continue to improve our neighborhoods.”

Following Friday’s kick-off of City Repair Cleveland, there are a variety of activities planned throughout the week focused around the design projects in the three neighborhoods. The “Artivism Festivals” will officially launch the improvement projects and will include mural painting and music.

“Clevelanders don’t realize that Neighborhood Connections is recognized nationally as a leader in the work of neighborhood engagement,” said India Pierce Lee, program director for neighborhoods, housing, and community development for the Cleveland Foundation. “As we mark Neighborhood Connections’ 10th anniversary, the City Repair Cleveland project is a wonderful way for the community to honor that work by getting to know some new neighbors by taking part in one of this week’s activities.”

  • Saturday, Sept. 21
    • Larchmere-Buckeye-Shaker ‘Artivism’ Festival at Kossuth Park at East. 121st St. at Shaker Blvd. from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
    • Clark Fulton ‘Artivism’ Festival at Newark Court between West 38th and West 41st Streets from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.
    • Party at Touch Supper Club at 2710 Lorain Ave. at 8 p.m.
  • Sunday, Sept. 22
    • Stockyard ‘Artivism’ Festival at West 61st Street and Frontier Ave. from 4 to 7 p.m.
  • Monday, Sept. 23 through Sunday, Sept. 29
    • Implementation of City Repair Cleveland at the various neighborhood sites. All are welcome to participate.

Go to for the full schedule of City Repair activities.