Upcycle St. Clair

St Clair Superior Development Corporation

Funding Received: 2013
Cleveland, OH
Funding Period: 1 year and 5 months
February 4, 2014

Students from Saint Martin de Porres High School in the St. Clair neighborhood  tour of a local company that reclaims wood from buildings and homes and crafts it into furniture while Chris Kious, proprietor of A Piece of Cleveland explains how upcycling works in his business model

After a busy holiday season of holding events at Collective Upcycle’s semi-permanent location in St. Clair, we’ve been busy working on our program goals and assessing what worked and what can be improved this year. Upcycle St. Clair is a project and a strategy for ongoing development. We are happy to have raised some additional foundation dollars for several of the broader goals in our project—specifically the concept of “thriving in place.”

One thing we’ve learned as we’ve planned programming and listened to the community that surrounds us is that the opportunities for which St. Clair is becoming known need to be extended to those who live and work right here. In some ways it’s so obvious, but in reality it takes its own strategies. We know how to reach out to artists and those who want to be a part of Cleveland’s “next neighborhood,” but we recognize that we’re not building a neighborhood if we’re not doing it with those who already claim this place as their own. With funding from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture for a yearlong project in 2014, we are beginning an outreach program called “Hello, My name is Upcycle” this spring. This project will leverage existing relationships with Saint Martin de Porres High School and create open studios for neighbors and families. With additional funding from the William J and Dorothy K O’Neill Foundation, this year we are also creating a family business incubation program that aims to support residents in developing small business ideas. Through workshops at training at the Upcycle Parts Shop creative reuse arts center, we hope that upcycling will seed a few of these businesses.