Current Projects

The Community Building Institute wants to know what types of community development trainings you’re looking for to achieve success in neighborhoods. Please complete our short survey and help design a training that meets the needs of community stakeholders such as yourself. Click here to fill out the CBI training survey.

 

Reviving the Living Legacy of Music in Evanston and Greater Cincinnati

King Studios is a proposed new development that will revive the legacy of King Records, the eclectic recording studio that operated from 1943 to 1971 out of a warehouse in Cincinnati’s Evanston neighborhood. It will house three core components – a memorial space dedicated to King Records, a recording studio and a visual art studio– into a newly constructed, three-story facility (read more about what we are currently doing). click here for the King Studios website.

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Choice Neighborhoods is planning work in North Fairmount, South Fairmount, and English Woods, bringing together the entire community – residents, businesses, and stakeholders – to create a community action plan that reflects the community’s vision for the future in the areas of housing, neighborhoods, and people. The plan will build on the community’s assets and take advantage of opportunities to create a roadmap for achieving that shared community vision. The plan is supported by a Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) received by the Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority. The Community Building Institute, Xavier University, is facilitating the plan for CMHA. (click here for updates on the Choice Neighborhoods project.)

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CBI was brought in to facilitate a community-wide visioning process in Clermont County, Ohio, led by the Clermont Chamber of Commerce and funded by a Duke Energy grant.  A County-wide workshop was held in April to review the major themes, topics and values identified through many Community Conversations and online survey responses. With guidance and oversight from CBI, Work Teams have begun to meet, and will continue to do so regularly in the coming months to develop specific strategies for addressing priority topics and issues that Clermont County is facing. This summer, CBI will be assisting the Work Teams as they work to produce recommendations for a final Clermont County "Agenda for the Future" report which will be published and distributed in the Fall of 2014.

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The United Way of Greater Cincinnati recently launched the Place Matters Initiative, a place-based investment strategy to achieve breakthrough change in the Greater Cincinnati neighborhoods of Avondale, Covington and Price Hill. The United Way turned to the Community Building Institute to help facilitate the development and management of community investment plans in the three neighborhoods. Each investment plan requires the input and broad participation of neighborhood residents, associations and institutions. Learn more here.

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Clermont County Agenda for the Future

CBI was brought in to facilitate a community-wide visioning process in Clermont County, Ohio, led by the Clermont Chamber of Commerce and funded by a Duke Energy grant. A County-wide workshop was held in April to review the major themes, topics and values identified through many community conversations and online survey responses. With guidance and oversight from CBI, Work Teams have begun to meet, and will continue to do so regularly in the coming months to develop specific strategies for addressing priority topics and issues that Clermont County is facing. This summer, CBI will be assisting the Work Teams as they work to produce recommendations for a final Clermont County "Agenda for the Future" report which will be published and distributed in the Fall of 2014.

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Youth Engagement - Aiken in Africa!
The Youth Leadership and Engagement Academy was supported this year by CBI, PNC, and The Eigel Center for Community Engaged Learning.  With the help of the Cincinnati Human Relations Commission, we connected with nearly one-hundred students for three separate sessions on leadership and civic engagement. Volunteers from St. Vincent DePaul, Cincinnati Youth Light House Services, and Public Allies played a tremendous role in making this year's Academy even more impactful.
Motivated by their participation in the Youth Leadership and Engagement Series, Aiken High School students created a Leadership Team made up of sophomores, juniors and seniors. Sandy Horine, a Counselor at Aiken returned from Sierra Leone in February 2014 and told the Leadership Team about a village she visited that needed a School as the closest school is 3 miles away and the preschool and elementary schools are not safe to walk to. Only 41% of the people in Sierra Leone are literate. The Team decided to champion this project and raise $4,400 before Christmas 2014.  They started out with a Change for Change project collecting change from students.  They also did an out of uniform day fundraiser.  Next year they are going to sell "shares" to students, so students can share in the ownership and building of the school.  The $4,400 is for supplies to build the school which will be built by the village.  It will be given through a foundation that is helping schools in Sierra Leone. This school will allow students to go through the 6th grade and then graduate and go to the secondary school 3 miles away.  Because education is the key out of poverty - the Leadership Team has selected this project to make a change - to make a difference. Aiken students are hoping to continue the partnership after the school is built - by helping with supplies and maybe even becoming pen-pals with some of the students.  They would also love to visit someday after the school is completed.

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The Neighborhood Asset-mapping Tool (NAT) 
The Neighborhood Asset-mapping tool is an online resource to connect residents to one another and encourage civic engagement.  Residents are using NAT to create a profile of their neighborhood that focuses solely on community strengths, to share those resources with the broader community,  and learn more about the great things happening in surrounding neighborhoods. There's over 300 entries in this data-base, but some neighborhoods still aren't represented.  NAT is growing and we hope you'll use this resource to connect with your neighbors and learn more about assets in other communities. Click here to access NATor go to cincynat.org.  You can also add this link to your home page.

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Price Hill
CBI is working with Price Hill Will and the City of Cincinnati's Planning & Buildings Department to create a community-driven comprehensive plan that will establish a common vision for Price Hill's future and recommendations and strategies to build on its numerous assets. The Price Hill Plan will be a guide for neighborhood redevelopment and a roadmap for program and policy development. The results of this process will be shared in a final document that highlights the strengths of Price Hill and identifies priorities for the future and the partners and strategies that will help contribute to positive change in Price Hill. On March 22, 2014, CBI facilitated the Kick-off Meeting for the Price Hill Plan, the first community plan to bring together Lower, East, and West Price Hill. More than 200 residents packed the Holy Family Cafeteria to share their experiences in Price Hill and their vision for its future. The Kick-off Meeting was followed by a survey and focus groups to get even more feedback on what matters most to the residents, business owners, and stakeholders in Price Hill.

A Priority Workshop was held on May 31, 2014 at Elder High School to prioritize earlier community feedback organized into seven themes and more than 55 topics. Here are the seven emerging themes for the Price Hill Plan: Housing & Buildings; Community; Economic Development & Business Districts; Healthy & Safe; Schools, Youth, & Teens; Getting Around (transportation); and Arts, Culture, Parks & Recreation. A survey is now open to get even more community members to identify their priorities. This information will be used by community-led Work Teams who will develop recommendations for each theme throughout the summer.

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Creative Culture and Quality Of Life
It would benefit urban neighborhoods if there were a better understanding of the real impact of the "gritty arts" on a community's vitality, identity, health and overall quality of life. In Cincinnati the music scene plays an important role in providing a higher quality of life within its urban neighborhoods. It does so by developing a unique sense of place, offering cultural amenities, creating a foundation for economic development and oddly enough providing the unique service of public safety. Click here to learn more about CBI's work in this area.