Inside the Circle

University Circle building connections

University Circle has made a place for itself in Cleveland with its educational and medical centers, which eventually led to the many programs that help it to be more engaged with its neighboring communities. Cleveland Foundation President and CEO Ronald B. Richard first noticed that University Circle was isolated from the nearby neighborhoods a decade ago, and he determined that he needed to connect University Circle to the surrounding areas.

Richard asked people in the nearby neighborhoods if they thought they could find work in the Circle, but many answered that jobs at the institutions within the area seemed unattainable. This led to Richard’s decision to create the Greater University Circle Initiative (GUCI). GUCI consists of the Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals, Case Western Reserve University and many other Circle institutions, and its partners include University Circle Inc., the City of Cleveland and Cleveland Neighborhood Progress. The communities involved are Fairfax, Wade Park-Glenville, Hough, Little Italy and the Buckeye-Shaker area.

Neighborhood Connections, the Evergreen Cooperatives, Evergreen Energy Solutions, Green City Growers and Project Uptown are all GUCI programs that have done their part to help University Circle. The Evergreen Cooperatives and Evergreen Energy Solutions provide jobs to residents of the area. Neighborhood Connections has increased interaction between residents within their own communities and with University Circle. Neighborhood Connections has given out $6.5 million in small grants ($500 to $5,000) to help citizens with their own projects since its creation in 2003. Project Uptown has used $44 million as it continues to develop Uptown with the goal of attracting more people to the area, especially college students.
As a result of programs such as these, University Circle is seeing an increase in both the number of people working in the area and its residents.

University Circle movie to be shown again

“University Circle: Creating a Sense of Peace,” created by Nina Gibans and Jesse Epstein, will be on WVIZ ideastream, Cleveland’s primary Public Broadcast Station (PBS), on Jan. 26 at 2:00 p.m. The documentary focuses on the public art, history and architecture of University Circle. It first reached Cleveland audiences Sep. 30, 2013 via WVIZ ideastream with the help of the channel’s Senior Host/Producer Dee Perry, who narrated part of the film.

Gibans and Epstein went through many steps when beginning the three-year project that would become their documentary, the least of which was finding the resources and funding they needed. The final budget was $67,000, raised by the Ohio Humanities Council, Kickstarter and foundation grants. As for resources, Gibans herself called over 80 people in resources.

The final project is a little less than an hour and a half and broken into two parts. The first, “Creating a Sense of Place,” is an hour, followed by the 20 minute coda “Our Common Ground,” but the two parts will be shown together. The movie includes information about University Circle from the 19th century until present day, and though parts of the film give viewers small tours of area landmarks, most of it is devoted to commentary about the Circle.

MLK essay contest deadline this Sunday

Jan. 20 is Martin Luther King Day, but students can submit essays for the annual MLK Essay Contest any time before 11:59 p.m. on Jan. 19. The essay gives undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty and staff the chance to win a $500 or $1,000 dollar prize—a winner and runner up is chosen from each group—while discussing King’s ideas. Submissions can be submitted online.
The goal of the contest, which began in 1992 when it was a part of the Share the Vision program, is to promote the discussion of King’s ideas in a contemporary light. Those who submit an essay can choose from many prompts that show King’s stance on a variety of issues and are free to argue against, further explain or interpret for themselves King’s philosophy.

Essays are graded on originality and creativity, pertinence for contemporary policy discourse, relevance/connection to prompts and grammar and mechanics. The word limit ranges from 500-1,000, and the winners will be announced at the MLK Convocation in Amasa Stone Chapel on Jan. 24.