Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Black Lives Matter Street Mural Just the First Part of 'Elevate the East' Public Art Initiative in Cleveland

Posted By on Thu, Jul 9, 2020 at 1:23 PM

click to enlarge EMANUEL WALLACE
  • Emanuel Wallace
The Black Lives Matter street mural recently painted on E. 93rd, the letters of which were designated to individual artists and students to decorate, could not have offered a timelier kickoff to "Elevate the East," a new public art initiative in Wards 4, 5 and 6.

Ward 6 councilman Blaine A. Griffin said, “This mural has had more impact than even I envisioned. My hope is that civic partners and funders join the Elevate the East project.”

Representing Ward 6 (which encompasses the East Side neighborhoods of Fairfax, Larchmere, Little Italy, Woodland Hills, and parts of Buckeye-Shaker, University Circle, North Broadway, Slavic Village and Union-Miles), Griffin is chairman of council's Health & Human Services Committee and sits on four other committees – Development, Planning & Sustainability, Finance, Workforce & Community Benefits and Operations.

“As the councilman of Ward 6, I know that cultural identity, neighborhood history and safe streets are priorities for our residents,” said Councilman Griffin. “Another priority is supporting our local artists.”

The public art plan, which will also be helmed by the Burten, Bell, Carr Development Corporation, aims to empower the community, giving residents a ‘seat at the table’ when choosing artists to represent the neighborhood.

Local resident of the East 93rd and Kinsmen Area, Myra Simmons sees the potential of the Elevate the East plan "to elevate our attitudes, you know, elevate our spirit…to bring some life into the place.”

This partnership will also be fostered by the city’s Metropolitan Housing Authority, which conducted a recent planning study including suggestions for improvements in neighborhood housing, public spaces and art investments for Woodhill Homes.

Part of this plan is to work with the neighborhood residents to memorialize community members who have been, “lost but not forgotten” according to the 134 page document entitled, “The 50 Actions to Elevate the East: A Guide for Connecting Art and People.”

The process of implementing these initiatives includes: 130 survey responses, 84 public meeting attendees, 40 focus group participants, 3 user experience (UX) walks, 350 community event conversations, and 29,054 social media impressions.

This study area includes: East 72nd St. bordering the Western portion, Mt. Overlook to the North, East 140th St. to the East and Kinsmen Ave. to the South but also includes an extension south to Union Ave. along the above-mentioned, East 93rd Street.

“I am confident that the steps taken during the planning phase will continue to advance in the right direction in the upcoming implemental phase," Griffin said in a release.

Read more about Elevate the East here.

Tags: , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

February 24, 2020

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2021 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation