FutureHeights celebrates 20 years on Aug. 20
FutureHeights will celebrate 20 years of service to the Heights community at its 2022 benefit party, "Swinging at the Rockefeller," on Aug. 20, 6–9:30 p.m.
The event will take place at the Heights Rockefeller Building, 3099 Mayfield Road, and its Proximity Golf Lounge. Guests will have the opportunity to enjoy music and dancing in the building's outdoor garden and courtyard, and partake of appetizers, desserts and drinks from some of the Heights' finest culinary establishments. Proximity Golf's simulators will also be available to guests, enabling them to tee off, albeit virtually, at championship golf courses.
To purchase tickets to the Aug. 20 benefit, and for additional information, visit www.futureheights.org.
“We are proud of all that FutureHeights has done to strengthen the Cleveland Heights and University Heights communities,’’ said FutureHeights Board President Julie Sabroff, “and we look forward to even greater accomplishments in the coming years.”
This year's honoree will be Brendan Ring, whom FutureHeights is recognizing for his decades of contributions to the community through his ownership of the iconic Nighttown music club, in Cleveland Heights' Cedar Fairmount district.
The annual benefit will also highlight FutureHeights' 20 years of working to strengthen the Cleveland Heights and University Heights communities. Among its endeavors are the following:
Supporting racial equity: FutureHeights has made the advancement of racial equity an over-riding goal and underlying principle of its work. That includes the hiring of Black contractors, connecting Black residents with employment, and increasing participation by Black residents on its board and committees.
Housing rehab: FutureHeights partners with local contractors to renovate—so far 20—houses that have been abandoned due to foreclosures. To date, FutureHeights' FutureHomes Rehab Program has sought to maximize the impact of its housing work by targeting rehabilitation in the Noble neighborhood and the neighborhood surrounding Cleveland Heights High School.
Community forums: FutureHeights has always sought to engage and empower Heights residents by hosting or co-hosting public forums on various topics of community interest and concern. Recent forums have included "Shared Space: What Makes a Neighborhood?,” ”A Conversation About Severance” and “Electing Our First Mayor: Moving Cleveland Heights Forward.”
Heights Observer: FutureHeights founded and publishes this monthly, hyper-local print publication that is focused exclusively on news about Cleveland Heights and University Heights. In the four years that it has entered the Press Club of Cleveland’s annual All Ohio Excellence in Journalism Awards, it has consistently been named one of Ohio’s best community newspapers.
Noble neighborhood: FutureHeights works with Noble Neighbors, the cities of Cleveland Heights and East Cleveland, and the Northeast Ohio Alliance for Hope on projects to enhance Noble Road and strengthen the surrounding neighborhood.
Heights Music Hop: FutureHeights founded and produces this annual free music event. In 2021, it adapted to COVID by hosting a pandemic-friendly event on three outdoor stages in Cleveland Heights' Cedar Lee Business District.
Mini-grants: This ongoing grant-making program supports community projects in the Heights, helping many to get off the ground. In 2021, the FutureHeights Neighborhood Mini-Grants Program awarded $10,452 to 14 projects in several Heights neighborhoods, supporting public art, community gardens, creative placemaking initiatives, youth activities, and sustainability education.
Sponsorship opportunities are still available for businesses and organizations interested in sponsoring the 2022 FutureHeights Annual Benefit. For information, contact FutureHeights Interim Director Micah Kirman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Robert Brown is a city planner with 45 years of experience; for nine years, he was Cleveland's planning director. A resident of Cleveland Heights for more than 40 years, Brown is a FutureHeights board member.