The Ballot Box Project

Northeast Shores Development Corporation

Funding Received: 2015
Cleveland, OH
Funding Period: 1 year and 5 months
November 14, 2015

There was a great turnout for our first meeting of the Ballot Box Project. There were 32 residents participating, including our Artist Leadership Team.

The meeting began with how we got here, and where we’re going. Northeast Shores has a history of Creative Placemaking through small artists’ projects. These projects have been selected by panel review. For this round of artist projects, we felt it was important for the residents to be more engaged in a transparent process. That is when we stumbled upon Participatory Budgeting (PB).

Participatory Budgeting, while rapidly expanding around the world, is a relatively new concept that our residents are not familiar with. The Director of Arts and Democracy, Caron Atlas, shared the process and examples of projects that residents of New York City successfully helped to get on the ballot and then funded.

The participants broke out into four groups, discussing their concerns about the neighborhood, with two members of our newly launched Artist Leadership Team facilitating the discussions. They spent about 20 minutes brainstorming and presenting their ideas to the group as a whole. The ideas were categorized. Finally, participants were able to vote on their top four concerns.

The Ballot Box Project will focus on:

  • Telling Collinwood’s History
  • Vacancy
  • Healthy Eating
  • Youth Involvement


We’re looking forward to the next meeting when residents will select which of these topics they would like to explore in depth, and start distributing the Call for Proposals.