The Ballot Box Project

Northeast Shores Development Corporation

Funding Received: 2015
Cleveland, OH
Funding Period: 1 year and 5 months
September 27, 2016

Michael Hudecek from Upcycle Parts Shop wants to reduce vacancy- and its working! In the Ballot Box Project’s March election earlier this year, Michael's project, Craft Up Collinwood, received the most votes in the vacancy category. With the help of Collinwood neighbors, they are using items that were heading to the dump and creating artwork to beautify vacant buildings.

On the East 156th Street corridor in North Collinwood, Michael has put up temporary installations in vacant storefront windows that not only beautify the street but draws attention to the spaces.  Less than one month after covering a store with plastic scales, after years on the market, it finally sold. The artwork created a new lens for prospective owners to see the property as an area of investment that people care about.

Currently, Michael has completed four storefront installations and is working on a fifth. This includes transferring the colorful scales from the building that sold to another vacant building. Two adjacent storefronts are reminiscent of department store holiday windows. Hanging from the ceiling are large vinyl flowers that were made by children from the community. If you’re interested in relocating to Cleveland’s Collinwood neighborhood, these two units are currently available for rent. A once beloved restaurant is getting new window treatments- flowerboxes filled with garland flowers made by the community. We look forward to seeing how these efforts will continue to improve the district and see if a little art reduces vacancy yet again.