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OTRChamber

An Interview with Michael and Jill Carroll, Owners Cheers to Art!



1) What do you want people (the community) to know about your business?

 

Cheers to Art! offers ‘art as entertainment.’ Absolutely no experience is necessary

to have a great time. We combine canvas painting, music and beer or wine from

our bar for the perfect night out before or after dining at one of OTR’s fabulous

restaurants.

 

2) Why did you decide to set up your business in OTR?

 

We had so many downtown companies coming out to our Madeira studio for

team building events that we decided to open a downtown studio. We loved the vibe

and wanted to be a part of the revitalization of OTR.

 

3) Is there anything that surprised you about working or having a business in

OTR?

 

Probably the perception of OTR. Although it’s getting better, people still ask us if

it’s safe to come down here. We see it changing, but the success of OTR depends

on people from the Cincinnati suburbs and surrounding areas visiting the neighborhood.

 

4) Do you have a favorite place you like to go in OTR? (Restaurant, bar, shop,

place to exercise, theatre).

 

We enjoy walking down to The Coffee Emporium on Central Parkway for a drink

or for a light lunch. Also, the margaritas at Bakersfield are fabulous when we can get in.

 

5) If you had a magic wand, what would you change in OTR?

 

I’d get the revitalization done overnight! All the buildings would be beautiful, the

streets would be safe at all hours of the day and people would walk, ride bikes or

take the street car to work or home.

 


OTRChamber

A Chat with the Elementz Leadership Team: Abdullah Powell and Tom Kent

1)      What do you want people (the community) to know about your business?

 

That Elementz is a place for creative youth. There are a lot of centers out there but not one that focuses on creative youth. We, in conjunction with volunteers from various backgrounds and ethnicities, use hip hop as a means to connect with inner city youth. We believe in our inner city youth and focus on their positive gifts.

 

2)      Why did you decide to set-up your business in OTR?

 

We were located in the West End for 7 years before moving to OTR. We wanted to be close to the young people, and close to a bus route and where many of them live. It was important to be in the center of development and be a part of the wave of good things going on in the community.

 

(Tom): Part of our mission is “Don’t fear the unknown”. This means that we want to help the community get to know the youth in the community. We want to help introduce the youth to the community so there is no fear.

 

3)      Is there anything that surprised you about working or having a business in OTR?

 

(Tom): The support from the local business community has been surprising. They have really reached out and made it clear that they want us here. They have worked with us to bring the Explore Over-the-Rhine initiative to fruition. This program invites patrons of the arts to explore OTR and receive discounts off other arts events or organizations. So this has become a partnership with the local business community.

 

4)      Do you have a favorite place you like to go in OTR? (Restaurant, bar, shop, place to exercise, theatre, etc.)

 

(Tom): When my grandchildren are here, I love to take them to Washington Park. They love the fountains. I enjoy seeing all of the diversity in the park. It has become a very friendly, urban family and an extension of what we’re trying to do on a bigger scale.

 

(Abuddlah): I don’t get a chance to frequent many places but I have the ability to go to my place of worship here in the community. I also frequent Original Thought Required. It is more than a shop, it’s a center that is very relevant for the community.

 

5)      If you had a magic wand, what would you change in OTR?

 

(Tom): The streetcar construction would be done and parking would be open. The streets would be alive with people getting on and off the streetcar. I’m looking forward to it being completed.

 

(Abdullah): I would want to make sure everyone is able to find their place in the community. It’s important to make sure that the needs of the community are being addressed.