Cleveland’s thriving community development industry celebrated the creation of an arts campus in Glenville, a street revival in Slavic Village, preservation of affordable retail in Central, a neighborhood re-branding in Midtown and transformative efforts by local developers and civic champions.
It all happened at the fourth annual Vibrant City Awards Lunch, where the sell-out crowd of 600 city leaders, stakeholders and community development professionals gathered to celebrate leading neighborhood revitalization efforts. The event was hosted by Cleveland Neighborhood Progress and presented by KeyBank. Guests gathered at Cleveland’s Lakefront Reservation on the border of the Glenville and St. Clair Superior neighborhoods. They appreciated scenic views of Lake Erie, Gordon Park and Dike 14 from the Metroparks location and enjoyed an outdoor lunch coordinated by Chef Chris Hodgson of Driftwood Catering. The event honored 18 award finalists and eight Vibrant City Award recipients.
Cleveland Neighborhood Progress president Joel Ratner offered enthusiastic praise for all of the vital partnerships and collaborative efforts that have improved our city. “The passion, vision and dedication of Cleveland’s community development system is on display daily,” stated Ratner. “We are proud to honor the leading programs, services and developments taking place in the city’s neighborhoods. These efforts create stronger neighborhoods and continue to make the City of Cleveland a desirable location to live, work and play.”
Kenny Crumpton, Fox 8 personality and partner alongside Cleveland Neighborhood Progress for Cleveland Chain Reaction, served as emcee. Bruce Rinker, Metroparks Commissioner, welcomed the guests and kicked off the program.
Northeast Ohio Area Coordinating Agency (NOACA) received the Vibrant City Impact Award for being an invested neighborhood institution that is contributing to the lives of Clevelanders every day through its transportation related services and programs.
Bobbi Reichtell, recently retired executive director of Campus District, Inc. was named the recipient of the 2018 Morton L. Mandel Leadership in Community Development Award. Reichtell has dedicated her career to neighborhood development, working at settlement houses, community development corporations and intermediaries over the last four decades.
Jeff Kipp, Director of Neighborhood Marketing for Cleveland Neighborhood Progress and coordinator of the Vibrant City Awards Lunch, noted the importance of highlighting these efforts taking place across the city. “The Vibrant City Awards allows us to highlight activities and programs that strengthen urban neighborhoods and attract new residents into the city. We are proud to celebrate these efforts and want the greater Cleveland region to better understand the innovative strides we are taking when it comes to neighborhood revitalization.”
Additionally, six other efforts received Vibrant City Awards. They include:
CDC Community Collaboration Award: Famicos Foundation – Glenville Arts Campus
CDC Placemaking Award: Slavic Village Development – Fleet Avenue Revival
CDC Economic Opportunity Award: Burten Bell Carr Development – Arbor Park Place
CDC Neighborhood Branding & Marketing Award: Midtown Cleveland Inc – “Town” Branding & Video
Urban Developer Award: Sustainable Community Associates
Civic Champion Award: Marilyn Burns
Neighborhood Progress also used the event to launch its new promotional video, This is Where I Live, to assist in its efforts to raise the city of Cleveland’s population by 2% by 2022. The video may be viewed at https://youtu.be/SZrwdGtY5m0