Nicole Delamotte

Brite Winter Illuminates Cleveland Creatives + Ohio City

Written by Nicole Delamotte.

Published on Digging Pitt

Cleveland events have few prouder glories than highlighting its greatest neighborhood success stories. Last week’s Brite Winter celebrated both the flourishing of the start-up festival in its third year and the city’s most progressively developing district, Ohio City.

If there were any doubts Ohio City is now one of Cleveland’s premier arts and culture hubs they were quelled by Brite Winter Festival’s line-up of the city’s most promising and most established creative forces. Moving from last year’s location in the Flats to directly adjacent to the bustling West 25th, the festival turned the usually lively neighborhood into a complete block party takeover.

The night was lit with interactive installations created by many of the most up-and-coming designers in the Cleveland art scene. As the evening went on the crowd swelled and a giant snowflake by cyancdesign glowing in the usually vacant lot became a symbol of the festival. Nearby, open pit fires burned alongside an audience dancing to jangly indie buzz act The Lighthouse and the Whaler on the outdoor main stage. The whimsical scene was accented by the presence of art event leaders The YoyoSyndicate, who brought the 50 People 1 Question film project, and Cleveland festival veterans Ingenuity Cleveland, who examined the art of sound with their ‘Whisper-ma-phone’.

Most engaging of all was Brite Winter Festival’s use of local businesses as musical venues. Not only were bands stationed throughout the night at Ohio City mainstays such as Great Lakes Brewing Company, Garage Bar, and Touch Supper Club, crowd favorites were the most unconventional stages: Bonbon Café, Joy Machines Bicycle Shop, and Market Avenue Wine Bar. The folk of Jack and the Bear has never sounded so intimate as playing a floor set to a wall-to-wall crowd in the trendy newcomer bakery Bonbon. A block away, Cleveland hip-hop was at its most organic, on ground level in the dark basement of Touch Supper Club with the stylings of DJ ESO.

A sensory overload marked the triumphant return of this year’s Brite Winter Festival. Beyond the charming and ambitious art, beyond the packed bars and stages, Brite Winter’s move to Ohio City was a testament to the possibilities of local businesses investing in local talent. And that’s what makes Cleveland’s culture keep blossoming.

A New Generation of Sustainability: Educating Our Next Great Innovators

Written by Nicole Delamotte.

Earth Day Coalition's integrated environmental science education program was the focus of my third installment in the Harvest for Sustainable Neighborhood series I developed for the 14th Annual Instrumental Evening for the Earth fundraiser. The education program provides hands-on community projects for more than 500 students in 15 to 18 Cleveland schools annually.

My first feature, "East and West Cleveland Work Together for Sustainable Green Spaces: Mount Pleasant" and second feature, "Lakewood: Rethinking the Future of Clean Air" are also both available.

A New Generation of Sustainability: Educating Our Next Great Innovators

Students are gathered at the Cleveland Lakefront Nature Preserve on one of the first days of fall, one with the feel of a northeast Ohio Indian summer that can coerce even the most stubborn 17-year-old to appreciate being in the outdoors. After their mile hike, Lincoln West’s AP science class may not return home to their parents and use the term ‘biomimicry’ during tonight’s dinner table conversation, but they will leave knowing that the burrs they were shown served as the model for modern day Velcro. They will know the hemlock plant they stepped around was what was used to poison famed philosopher Socrates and they will know the pokeberry in front of them was what the founding fathers extracted ink from to draft the most important American document in history, the Constitution.

ImagePlacing the youngest generation of scientists face to face with the most historical uses of nature from 399 BC to the 1940s brings a new hope to the question: What if the greatest inventions of the future are right in our own backyards? In a world of constant cutting edge development, Earth Day Coalition is laying the foundation for our next innovators with sustainable science-based education initiatives throughout Cleveland.

Rethinking the Future of Clean Air: Lakewood

Written by Nicole Delamotte.

This is the second installation in the Harvest for Sustainable Neighboorhoods series I'm writing for Earth Day Coalition's 14th Annual Instrumental Evening for the Earth fundraiser. Amy Wainright from the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA) and David Celebrezze of the Ohio Environmental Council were gracious enough to weigh in on Lakewood's anti-idling ordinance and Clean Fleets' innovative technology.

You can read my first feature, "East and West Cleveland Work Together for Sustainable Green Spaces: Mount Pleasant" here.

HARVEST FOR SUSTAINABLE NEIGHBORHOODS: LAKEWOOD

Rethinking the Future of Clean Air

"In the past year, the city has brought together groundbreaking technology with forward-thinking law development to create new standards in everyday sustainability measures."

Consider the things we often do without a second thought: we take our trash to the curb at the designated time every week, turn our cars on and off as we run our errands daily, inhale and exhale 20 times each minute. Our lives are shaped by these habits and instincts, the familiarity of day to day life.

But when we start to crunch numbers with Ohio’s most densely populated city, our conventional schedules quickly turn into an issue of health for Lakewood’s 52,131 residents and 20 breaths a minute become a shared 1,042,620. It is with this in mind that the city of Lakewood has made great strides in partnership with Earth Day Coalition to rethink the future of clean air.

Although it may be difficult to visualize the impact of our daily routine, the effects of air quality raise important questions about public health and what we can do as a community to combat rising rates of asthma, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. Amy Wainright, an air quality planner at Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency, a key partner in Lakewood’s anti-idling ordinance, explains, “As people are moving towards a more environmentally conscious attitude, they are much more receptive when they understand why changes must be made.”

For Lakewood, this progress has come in the form of preventative actions, innovative engineering and most importantly, education. While many may only see a garbage truck or idling car without the knowledge of the hazardous particulate matter being released into the air we breathe -- or why our region exceeds the Environmental Protection Agency standards for those same emissions -- together Lakewood and Earth Day Coalition are changing the public’s understanding of air pollution.  “In America we love our cars, we love to use trucks for delivery,” says Wainright “Because we cannot change some of these cultural behaviors, we must change the way things happen.”