SpringBoard is a new program from ArtWorks of Cincinnati made possible in part by an ArtPlace grant of $150,000. The goal is to provide creative entrepreneurs with business development training and shared retail space in the city’s Over-the-Rhine neighborhood, which will be home to a proposed streetcar line. Program graduates will receive seed funding for ventures in this historic neighborhood, giving rise to new first-floor uses, new street traffic and new vibrancy.
Sarah Cortlett, the founding director of ArtWorks and project coordinator for Springboard, brings us this update:
September is an exciting month for ArtWorks and the City of Cincinnati. On September 7th, 12 creatives and artists kicked off the second session of SpringBoard. Over the next eight weeks these aspiring entrepreneurs will build a strong foundation for launching or growing a business with the help of area experts and an encouraging a facilitator.
In the meantime, our first round of SpringBoard entrepreneurs continue to make waves in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood and beyond with their creative energy and talent. Maya Drozdz and Michael Stout of VisualLingual recently received an order for 6,000 seed bomb pouches from a national retailer, ramping up for the holiday season. Even though they have been in business for years, the tools and lessons they acquired from SpringBoard allow them to make smart, savvy management decisions when the unexpected comes knocking at their door.
Such and Such, a design drive, full service fabrication shop has a project under their wings that is taking flight. The three-man collective is in the process of building 16 foot section of a fuselage for Boeing – for a super secret purpose. These University of Cincinnati industrial design grads were given entrepreneurial training through SpringBoard they needed to manage projects and requests of this size.
At the end of September, for the first time, ArtWorks partnered with MidPoint Music Festival – the region’s largest celebration of emerging musical talent. Eager to add an outdoor component to celebrate MPMF’s 10 year anniversary and to take creativity and collaboration to the streets, ArtWorks approached organizers with the idea of creating a Box Truck Carnival. This carnival gave artists and SpringBoard entrepreneurs a platform for creating unique experiences and installations inside the box component of truck. These trucks sparked enterprise and creativity as the trucks served as venues for galleries, theatre performances, miniature golf, games and even a wallride. Over 10,000 festival attendee explored these trucks and engaged with some of Cincinnati’s most exciting talent.