The Ballot Box Project

Northeast Shores Development Corporation

Funding Received: 2015
Cleveland, OH
Funding Period: 1 year and 5 months
March 12, 2016

The Ballot Box Project kicked off on a sunny Friday in early March with Democracy on the Move, a parade that weaved throughout the residential streets where the projects will primarily take place. Thirty musicians and 40 artists and residents marched through the streets bringing people out of their homes to enjoy the show.

A young boy pointed toward the parade when one of the parade walkers handed him a flag with the Ballot Box logo. He and his dad smiled gleefully waving their flag as the parade continued past their home. Parents and children, seniors and singles came outside to enjoy the sights and sounds of democracy. This excitement was echoed through the neighborhood into the commercial district, with owners and shoppers taking leave of their business to check out the parade. The route concluded at the first polling site where inside the musicians circled up for a jam session with dancers showing off their best moves.

“The parade is the first time I felt the arts district connected with the neighborhood,” said Linda, a longtime residents who was so pleased that she even joined the parade with her dog.

It felt like a party at each of the four voting locations. Each site was just as popular as the first. We needed bigger rooms and we ran out of voting booths. Artists on the ballot didn’t miss a day of voting to promote their ideas, while people of all ages and backgrounds came out to vote on their favorite projects.

 “I care more about this election than the real one,” said one resident as she was checking in to get her ballot. “This vote will actually impact the community.”

The desire for The Ballot Box Project to continue in the future has been unanimous. Everyone was excited about the projects. Some residents came out to engage the arts for their first time. Several people registered to vote in the general election. Youth had their first real voting experience.

Stay tuned to learn who are our winners.