GOOD_MAY

As part of its initiative pairing creative problem solvers with urban challenges, GOOD Ideas for Cities ventured to Cincinnati for its fourth city. The May event saw over 350 people gather at the Contemporary Arts Center to watch six local creative teams tackle issues ranging from increasing parental involvement in education to making neighborhoods more walkable to increasing access to healthy foods. The event was held as the opening night mixer for the CEOs for Cities Spring Meeting and was attended by many urban leaders from across the country, including ArtPlace executive director Carol Coletta! Check out photos from Cincinnati and some fantastic write-ups from the evening at CityBeat Cincinnati and Next American City. Stay tuned for videos of the presentations, which will be posted at the GOOD Ideas for Cities site.

GOOD Ideas for Cities has also had some great on-the-ground action emerging from earlier events. In early June, a team from Wieden + Kennedy that presented at the Portland event held a hackathon to help create technology solutions around their ideas to get child-less residents to support local public schools. Mayor Sam Adams kicked off the day and gave feedback to the presentations. Eight teams of designers and developers spent the day working with local representatives from schools and educational organizations, and presented their concepts, ranging from a text message solution that showed users where to bring books and other necessities, to a Kickstarter-inspired platform, and a Facebook build to connect more Portlanders to school events.

This month, GOOD Ideas for Cities heads to Dallas on June 6, with a final 2012 event scheduled in New Orleans on July 12. Keep up with all the incredible solutions coming out of America’s cities over at good.is/ideasforcities or on Twitter at @IdeasforCities.

ArtPlace asked Alissa Walker, the editor of GOOD Ideas for Cities, about their most effective strategies for attracting the attention of people who matter.

“We’re very lucky to be anchored in two amazing organizations that help us get the right people to participate in and attend our events. GOOD is such a magnet for creatives who want to connect and engage with their communities, and CEOs for Cities has such a rich network of leaders who are involved in their cities at a very grassroots level. I also think working with local design and art organizations like AIGA, AIA and IDSA in the cities that we’ve launched initiatives in has been instrumental in getting the groundswell of support from the creative community that we need.

“The combination of all these forces working together was extremely apparent during our Cincinnati event, where we worked closely with two very different organizations, The University of Cincinnati Niehoff Urban Studio and the Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation. Between the two organizers, Frank Russell and Eric Avner, I felt like we had a direct connection to pretty much anyone in the city. They put in plenty of calls to personally invite people to participate and attend, which is definitely still effective, even in our social media age! Due to their ability to reach out to urban leaders and creatives, we really did feel like we had a diverse cross-section of the city represented. It was such a great example of getting very different people in the room together who had never really talked before. We heard that a member of the museum’s board said that it was one of the best events the museum had ever held. That made us feel pretty good.”

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