Heights businesses unite behind Make Your Mark for the Arts program

Sean Vogley, manager of MotoPhoto Cedar Center, with the Make Your Mark for the Arts display.

More than 55 independent, local businesses—from Cedar Center, South Euclid, Coventry, Cedar Fairmount, Shaker Square and Van Aken Plaza shopping districts—have joined forces with Heights Arts  to participate in the Make Your Mark for the Arts community-engagement project.

The program is now in its third month, and residents can take part by creating a personal stamp at a Heights Arts-led workshop. They then exchange their stamped marks at participating businesses in a passport-style booklet. Businesses are grouped by categories, including food and drink, clothing and gifts, health and beauty, arts and culture, and services and miscellaneous retail. Once a passport page has been filled with stamps from five businesses, it can be redeemed at Heights Arts Gallery for a rewards sheet with savings coupons from all participating businesses in that category.

Rewards vary by business. Free food incentives are being offered by Katz Club Diner, Cedar Lee Theatre, Shaker Square Cinemas, Buffalo Wild Wings and Phoenix Coffee, while Cleveland Running Company, Simply Charming, City Buddha, Shawn Paul Salon and Bremec Garden Centers are offering discounts on purchases. Each rewards sheet has an estimated value of $35. A complete list of program rewards can be seen at www.heightsarts.org.

“It’s all about playing to the advantages of the Heights as a walkable retail and residential community full of great independent and local businesses,” said Greg Donley, a Heights resident and Heights Arts board member. “Heights Arts was instrumental in putting forth the idea of Cleveland Heights as 'Home to the Arts' some years ago, and this is an extension of that in a lot of ways. Make Your Mark for the Arts is a way to use a creative activity to encourage people to patronize local businesses, and to encourage those businesses to form lasting relationships with people in the neighborhood, around this creative activity.”

Sean Vogley, manager of MotoPhoto Cedar Center, agrees. Now in its 18th year at Cedar Center, MotoPhoto was eager to get involved with the community project. The company is scanning and labeling all of the prints that are being created with participants’ stamps to make a digital archive of the project. Vogley believes the Heights is a unique place for independent businesses because of the community’s diversity, friendliness and neighborly spirit.  

“I really enjoy seeing a new batch of prints come through our door—the creativity in our community is fantastic,” Vogley said. “It’s been a fun family project, as well, with four to five members of a family all creating their own mark.” An online photo gallery of the digital marks can also be found at the Heights Arts website.

For more information, including upcoming August workshop dates, contact Heights Arts at 216-371-3457 or visit www.heightsarts.org/makeyourmark.

Mary Ryan

Mary Ryan is a staff member of Heights Arts and has been a Heights resident for 27 years.

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Volume 7, Issue 8, Posted 2:26 PM, 07.31.2014