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This Month's Walk All Over Waterloo May be the Most Exciting One Yet 

With a parade, public voting on $120,000 in community-based art projects, opening receptions for several new art exhibitions, the grand opening of Waterloo's first coffee shop and more, March's Walk All Over Waterloo is shaping up to potentially be Collinwood's largest and most exciting to date. It all takes place this Friday from 5 to 10 p.m. (Individual venue hours may vary.)

Friday's event marks the start of voting on Northeast Shores' Ballot Box Project, Ohio's first "participatory budgeting" project, which allows the community to actively participate in efforts to improve their neighborhood. Thanks to $120,000 from ArtPlace for arts placemaking efforts, no public money is at stake. All residents and employees of Ward 8 are eligible to vote for their favorite project.

"We are so proud to be launching this movement and cannot wait to see the positive impact it will have on our community," says Brian Friedman, executive director of Northeast Shores Development Corporation. "We hope to see everyone at the parade to celebrate and support the Collinwood neighborhood! Nothing like this has ever been done in Cleveland. This is really a fantastic opportunity for the public to have a direct impact on their community, and to support local artists, the community, and make a difference."

Candidates for the Ballot Box Project are divided into four categories:

Collinwood History candidates include Ali Lukacsy, Loren Naji, Jeanne Coppola, Stephen Bivens, Maura Rogers, Benjamin Smith, Lauren Sammon and Timothy Cornett.

Vacancy candidates include Grace Summanen, Jessica Pinsky, Dairoll Medrano, Michael Hudecek and Seth Beattie.

Healthy Eating candidates include Lori Kella, Kevin Scheuring and Linda Zolten-Wood

Youth Engagement candidates include Coyan Smith, Christen Duvernay, Carla Carter-Lovejoy, David Henniger, Brittany Quinn, Danny Carver, Ray McNeice, Bill Wade, Jimmie Woody, Margaret Craig, Daniel Gray-Kontar, Cindy Barber, Jerry Schmidt, Bridget Caswell, Anthony Velez, Megan Lee Gargano, Scott Hudson, Valerie Salstrom and Doug Wood.

The Democracy on the Move parade takes place from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., departing from the Collinwood Recreational Center (16300 Lakeshore Rd.) and culminating at the Slovenian Workmen's Home (15335 Waterloo Rd.), where voting will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. Waterloo's Brick Ceramic + Design Studio will be giving away handmade Ballot Box ceramic mugs to voters during Walk All Over Waterloo. The Ballot Box voting process will be conducted using voter enrollment information from the Board of Elections, and is designed to encourage unregistered residents to register before November's presidential election.

Voting for the Ballot Box Project continues through March 9. From 3 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, voting will be open at the Collinwood Recreational Center. Next week, stop by the Euclid Beach Villa (125 East 56th St.) from 2 to 4 p.m. on Monday, March 7, or the Salvation Army (17625 Grovewood Ave.) from 4 to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, March 9. Children 14 and older will also participate in the voting process at Collinwood High School. Organizers hope to encourage students who will be 18 by November's election to register to vote.

Waterloo Arts hosts the annual National Arts Program Exhibition, a juried exhibition open to residents, employees of the city of Cleveland and their families and students of Cleveland schools. Jurors award a number of prizes at various skill levels. The opening reception takes place from 5 to 9 p.m., and the show remains on view through March 24.

"Until you walk in and see your work on a gallery wall, it is hard to know how affirming that is; but every year I get to see it in the faces of the 200 artists who come to the National Arts Program exhibit and find their work in the wide swath of colors and textures lining the gallery walls," says Amy Callahan, Waterloo Arts executive director. "Anyone attending will enjoy the full array of ages, styles and experience levels represented in the work"

The Maria Neil Art Project hosts an opening reception for Darius Steward's Pressure. Steward studied drawing and painting at the Cleveland Institute of Art before receiving his MFA from the University of Delaware in 2010. In his first solo exhibition since receiving a Creative Workforce Fellowship, Steward directly addresses the "pressures" facing African Americans in today's society through imagery of daily life, including casual encounters, moments of solitary reflection and societal challenges. Steward's work includes drawings, watercolors and oil paintings. Pressure remains on view through April 17.

If you missed last month's opening reception for Royden Watson's exhibition, Fair, you'll have another opportunity to view it in Praxis Fiber Workshop's gallery during the art walk. Watson earned his BFA from the Pratt Institute and his MFA from Kent State University. In 2006, he participated in the Ohio Dresden Residency Exchange in Dresden, Germany. Watson is Praxis' first artist in residence, and Fair remains on view through March 25.

Second-generation local sculptor Jerry Schmidt has maintained his studio on Waterloo longer than any other artist. In order to accommodate upcoming commissions for the new downtown Hilton, Schmidt is hosting a liquidation sale in his Waterloo 7 Studio Gallery. Stop by to peruse the studio for special deals and learn more about his upcoming commissions for the Hilton.

This Friday also features the much anticipated grand opening of Six Shooter Coffee, Waterloo's first coffee shop. A ribbon cutting at 6:45 p.m. will be followed by live music from Liz Kelley (7 p.m.), Aaron Civil War (7:30 p.m.), Alyssa & Bill (8 p.m.) and Dolfish Music (8:30 p.m.). Additional special refreshments will be available courtesy of Poison Berry Bakery, Cleveland Bagel Co., Lucy's Sweet Surrender Bakery, Instant Whip Akron, Bearded Buch and 46and2Brewing. The grand opening takes place from 6 to 9 p.m.

Loren Naji's Satellite Gallery presents its latest exhibition of artwork and installations. Ground Control includes new works from Laszlo Gyorki, Dina Hoeynck, Sean Kelly, Don King and Nico Pico Train. Stop by to explore all of the artwork in and outside this former single family home.

Walk All Over Waterloo

Waterloo Road facebook.com/waterlooartsdistrict

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