Make Your Mark engages residents in creative way to strengthen local economy

Cleveland Heights High School senior intern Davon Brantley refines details on his personal stamp.

Heights Arts, the organization behind local art initiatives such as the Coventry P.E.A.C.E. Arch, murals in the Cedar Lee and Cedar Fairmount business districts, and the Heights Youth Club mosaic, has launched Make Your Mark for the Arts, a new public art program designed to tap into the creative spirit of the community and encourage increased support of local businesses. 

Rachel Bernstein, executive director, explained, “It's a way to bring our entire community together with a fun, artistic activity [to] help build relationships with residents and businesses. I am especially thankful to the Cleveland Foundation and Cyrus Eaton Foundation, Shawn Paul Salon, and Elizabeth Gevelber of Simply Charming for their early investment in this idea, and to Heights Arts board members for pounding the pavement. The response from businesses has been beyond my expectations so far, and I’m really looking forward to seeing this program spread as we celebrate our creativity together.”

Beginning at the end of May and running through September, Heights residents can participate by creating a personal symbol on a rubber stamping block, then using the stamped image (their mark) throughout the Heights at member businesses and organizations. The result will be a collective creative endeavor for local economic development, and a visual archive of the participating individuals.

“Heights Arts has been instrumental in solidifying Cleveland Heights’s reputation as Home to the Arts,” said Mayor Dennis R. Wilcox. “Now, Make Your Mark is the latest embodiment of this, using art and creativity to celebrate all of us as individuals who make up this incredible community—including our thriving local businesses.”

Residents create their personal stamp in one of two ways: through a Create Your Mark workshop at select Heights businesses, or using a do-it-yourself kit. Evening workshop locations include The Wine Spot, the BottleHouse Brewery, Katz Club Diner or B Side Lounge, with many businesses offering evening specials. Daytime workshops will be held weekends at Heights Arts gallery and Dewey's Pizza.

The artist-led workshops are free for Heights Arts members and $15 for others. Registration and a workshop schedule is available online at www.heightsarts.org or in person at Heights Arts, 2175 Lee Road.

For residents unable to attend a workshop, Make Your Mark kits are available for purchase at Bliss Health and Healing Center, City Buddha, Fairmount Cleaners, Grog Shop, Mister Brisket, Katz Club Diner, The Wine Spot, and Wood Trader. The kits are free for Heights Arts members if picked up at the Heights Arts gallery and $15 for others at all locations.

Once residents have created their mark, they can visit member businesses to stamp their mark and collect the businesses’ stamps in a passport-style booklet. The booklet outlines participating businesses by themed tracks, such as “food and drink” and “arts and culture.” Once a track is filled with five stamps, passport booklets can be presented at Heights Arts, and participants will receive coupons to businesses listed on that track.

Almost 50 founding Make Your Mark business participants have signed up so far, including Big Fun, Bremec Garden Center, Dewey’s Pizza, Luna Bakery Café, Cedar Lee Theatre, Heights Libraries, the BottleHouse Brewery, Fairmount Cleaners, Fire Food and Drink, the Grog Shop, Jakprints, Katz Club Diner, Mac’s Backs, Moto Photo on Cedar, PC Handyman, Simply Charming, Quintana’s Barber and Dream Spa, Mister Brisket, the Music Settlement, the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes, Shawn Paul Salon, Sing and Swing, the Stone Oven, and The Wine Spot.

"I am thrilled to be a part of the Make Your Mark for the Arts public art program," said Douglas Katz, owner of Katz Club Diner. "Make Your Mark for the Arts is an incredibly creative opportunity for all of us in the Heights communities to express our individuality and celebrate living and working in this diverse community. I hope all residents will be a part of this community archive and legacy project and join me in creating their stamps and leaving them in our local businesses this summer."

For more information contact Heights Arts at 216-371-3457 or visit www.heightsarts.org/makeyourmark.

Mary Ryan

Mary Ryan is a member of the Heights Arts staff, and has been a Heights resident for 25 years.

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Volume 7, Issue 6, Posted 12:30 PM, 05.30.2014