Westside Makers is a community event and publication created to celebrate the Westside Neighborhood of Covington and encourage the idea that everyone is a maker. Covington is a community of makers. This project aims to illuminate that trademark by hosting a â€œmeet the makersâ€? field day and publishing a DIY Westside Makers book. Any resident of the Westside neighborhood who identifies as a maker, including anything from knitting to fly-tying to carpentry, is invited, for one afternoon, to move their practice outdoors and to share with the community. This book was made to accompany the Westside Makers event on May 21, 2016 held in Orchard Park and throughout the Westside Neighborhood of Covington.
All photos are by Calcagno Cullen unless noted. This project was made possible through a Creative Community Grant from the Center for Great Neighborhoods
Peggy Munson - the yoga instructor Who Are You? I’m from Indiana originally. It’s about an hour away. I was raised on a farm, my brother now owns it. I teach Kundalini Yoga. In Kundalini Yoga we work a lot on the spine and we do Creas. Crea means action, a complete crea is a set of actions that build on each other for a complete result. You chose a Crea and do it exactly as given. That’s what I believe in, Kundalini Yoga. So I teach Kundalini out of the front room here twice a week and also at Baker Hunt. You know, one person makes a class. I used to teach at the Holistic Health Center at Saint E before coming to Baker Hunt and sometimes Bob was the only one that came to class! And he comes to my class on Tuesdays now. I teach also at the Ronald McDonald House twice a month. It’s so rewarding. You never know what to expect but I have learned so much from the kids, and their parents, who can do it too. It is just wonderful. I love working with kids so that’s why I do education programs with kids. What do you like about teaching? Well, I love people. I’m a people’s person, truly. I always have been. In my previous jobs I always dealt directly with the people. What I love about yoga is that it brings awareness. It’s all about you, your journey, your experience. It’s proven, visualizing something is almost as effective as it actually being there. That’s the other thing - Do it for 40 days. That’s what it takes. And nobody knows what you’re going to experience. You don’t even know what you’re going to experience! What do you think about Westside Covington? You know I didn’t think I’d like Covington period but I actually love it. I love these houses. I feel safe, I’m very happy here.
Yogi Tea - a recipe from Peggy: Yogi Tea is amazing. I thought you would also be interested in the benefits of the ingredients. Kundalini Yoga is a life style. I keep learning something new every day. There is a saying: ‘If you want to learn something, read about it; if you want to understand something, write about it; if you want to master something, teach it.’ Yogi Bhajan Black pepper: blood purifier Cardamom pods: digestive aid Cloves: beneficial to the nervous system Cinnamon: strengthens the bones Ginger root: healing for colds and flu, increases energy The milk in the tea helps in the easy assimilation of spices. A homeopathic dose of black tea acts as an alloy for all the ingredients, creating just the right chemical balance. While it was not a part of the original recipe, the use of soy milk is a variation that Yogi Bhajan permitted. INGREDIENTS FOR EACH CUP: 10 ounces of water (about 1-1/3 cups) 3 whole cloves - cloves support the nervous system 4 whole green cardamom pods, cracked - cardamom works as a digestive aid 4 whole black peppercorns - peppercorns purify the blood ½ stick cinnamon - cinnamon strengthens the bones and immune system 1 to 2 slices fresh ginger root - ginger increases energy, boosts the immune system ¼ teaspoon or 1 small bag of black tea ½ cup milk - milk helps assimilate the spices COOKING INSTRUCTIONS: Bring water to a boil and add spices. Cover and boil 15 to 20 minutes, then add black tea. Let sit for a few minutes, then add the milk and return to a boil. Don’t let it boil over. When it reaches a boil, remove immediately from heat, strain, and sweeten with maple syrup or honey, if desired. Save the drained spices and use them to make a second batch with slightly less water. For a special treat, add just a touch of vanilla extract. Drink plain, cold Yogi Tea first thing in the morning as a powerful tonic. See the dangers of using Aspartame as a sugar substitute. NOTES: a) Without milk this brew is not really considered Yogi Tea b) The milk aids assimilation and digestion c) Herb tea may not be substituted for the black tea. In this combination and with the small amount of black tea it has a balanced chemical action on the system.
Nathan Chambers - the restaurateur Where are you from? I was born in Covington, raised in Union, Kentucky. My background is a mix up of everything from working in construction to working in restaurants. I’m used to hanging out with all walks of life. What do you make? I wouldn’t say that I’m a ‘creator’, I’m more of a facilitator, kind of a muse for other people I push people in the direction that maybe they’re trying to go in. I try to help people out when I can. I act as more of a networking outlet. I know people that do certain things and if you need something I connect you. Wunderbar, the biggest thing about that place is all of the relationships that have been built there, the friendships. Multiple bands have formed out of that place, a lot of music and about everything else that you can think of. This summer we’re starting a music festival with some of those people in MorningView, Kentucky. How did you get involved with Wunderbar? I was not in the initial partnership that started Wunderbar but it opened in April 2012 and I came on in July 2012. I was given the chance to do my thing with the place and was given 50% of the Wunderbar. I initially came in as just part time cook, help with menu development and I had a little more knowledge on the community than the original partners did. They both migrated here from Jersey City, New Jersey and they were both from the area but hadn’t been here in over a decade so I was able to give them the community knowledge. Since I took over in December 2012 we’ve done nothing but grow. The crowd that we have, our customers are second to none. They’re so friendly and so welcoming, knowledgeable about what we do. They’re talented in their own ways and everybody just contributes to the melting pot of awesomeness. I don’t contribute the success of that place to me, maybe I’m responsible 20% of that but I think the other 80% comes from the people that work for me and the people that come, they take the credit for the success really. We just bought two other properties, one at the other end of Lee Street and one on Pike across from Braxton. We’re picking up with our catering as well and this music festival, there’s a lot of things going on. What’s your relationship with music? I don’t play music but music was always a big thing in my house growing up as well. The family always gathered around food and music. And now we make our daughter practice guitar. It’s always been a big regret of mine that I never picked it up at a young age. I’ve tried it several times but I just can’t pick it up that easily. What’s most important to you about the work that you do? I want Wunderbar to just kind of be that hub for everybody to share their thoughts and ideas and be a comforting place for people to gather and take a load off from work and let it out. It’s become more a family now than everything. The thing is that it could be your first time there and you’re going to feel just as much a part of that family as somebody who’s been coming for the past four years. It’s such a welcoming environment and it’s so organic, it’s not anybody generate a ton of profit or anything. Sure, we have plans to grow, add a deck and a second bar but with the Wunderbar I’m going to do everything I can to keep it exactly the way it is.
Wunderbar’s Pan Seared Brussels Sprouts: Everyone comes for the homemade sausages, but they always leave raving about the Brussels sprouts! INGREDIENTS For the sprouts: 4 cups (about 1 pound) Brussels sprouts (the smaller the sprouts, the more evenly they’ll cook) ¾ cup olive oil Wunderbar Spice Mix, to taste For the Wunderbar Spice Mix: 1 teaspoon granulated garlic 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon pepper 1 teaspoon seasoned salt PREPARATION 1. Rinse the Brussels sprouts thoroughly and drain. Meanwhile, combine the spice mix ingredients. Pat away any residual water from the sprouts. Quarter each one by slicing the root off the bottom, allowing it to sit flat on the cutting board, then safely cut into quarters. Discard any blemished leaves that fall off in the process. 2. In a large sauté pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil until it glistens. Add the spice mix to taste and allow the flavors to bloom for 20 seconds. 3. Add the sprouts and give the pan a good shake (or stir with a large spoon) to coat evenly with oil and spices. If the sprouts become dry, drizzle in a bit more olive oil. Cook 6 to 8 minutes, tossing or stirring frequently, until the sprouts are evenly browned and fragrant, careful not to let the delicate outer leaves burn. Serve immediately with sausage, pork, or chicken. As close as you can get them to black without being burnt, the better they taste!
Photo opposite source: Wunderbar Covington via Facebook
Trudy Chambers - the artist/ecological designer Where are you from? I was born in Bellevue. Actually Nathan and I have known each other since we were young. My background is in ecological design, that’s what I went to school for so I have a very deep passion for plants and the world for sure. I have an 8 year old daughter so that keeps me busy. What do you create? I’ve been in the non-profit world for a very long time with plants but I actually had a lot of bureaucratic things in that world that didn’t work for me. For me plants have become a very spiritual thing - I see lots of things as connected. I’ve always painted and drawn and it’s always been a passion as well and now I’m going back to that and trying to make a go of it. I have my own very small landscape business, I only do selective jobs. My business is native plants and plants that are healthy and work together in a system - there’s not really a huge market for that right now. So that’s always there, on the table. But I’ve actually started taking art projects when I can. From when I did landscape architecture for 4 years, I’m very comfortable with a pen. Painting is kind of a new thing. I also work at Roebling Point Books. That’s where my studio is actually, and that’s a great place. I also work at Spring Grove for Keystone Native Plant Nursery during the summer, I’ve been there for 3 years. It’s a really neat spot. My life is kind of eclectic. What I’m finding is that I like creating and I just like to build and to try new things. My brother is very similar and he lives in Bellevue. Right now we’re trying to formulate a business around that, that incorporates the plants and the books and the art. We’re taking the co-starters class at ArtWorks to kind of facilitate that. This time next year we’ll have a Romani style wagon, it’s basically a gypsy wagon. They’re called Vardos, which is actually the correct name for a gypsy wagon. It will be very ornate, decorated in the traditional style but the inside will be a mobile gallery and performing arts space. We’re still figuring out logistics on how it will be a sustainable business. What’s important to you about plants, drawing, and books? Why do you need to have this in your life? For me it’s all very important to humanity in a way that I think we’re just now starting to learn the connections. Plants are such a scientific thing but for me it opens up a much wider picture about how we all matter to each other. There are things that perhaps we can’t verbally express but I think intrinsically we understand those connections. For me, that’s what’s important, not only be immersed in it to understand it and myself better but to maybe have a conversation with somebody, hoping to make somebody else more confident that maybe they can create and do something that’s authentic to them. That’s why I like it, it means something to me. Do you have any advice for people interested in pursuing a creative life? I’m still learning. And I’m not a trained person, I’m not in the world. As for starting a business, I would tell people to be more authentically themselves. Don’t follow a model that’s already done and that isn’t yours, just find out who you are and do what you care about. Some people may think you’re crazy but it’s worth it.
Gus Wolf - the tree/goat farmer Who Are You? Well, my name is Gus Wolf and I live here in Covington, I’ve lived here almost 4 years now and have lived in the Westside for 1.5 years now. I’m definitely a transplant, from Denver. Out there, I was an oddity because I was from here but here everyone is from here so I’m still an oddity. I always wanted to start my own business and it was feasible here but it just wasn’t there, so that’s what drew me here. I rented and rented, I lived down on my farm for a few years, but I was always drawn to Covington so last year we decided to commit and buy a home. I do a bit of everything. There was an original group of people that got together called “Grow the Cov” and I was sort of involved with that, and helped to get a lease here at Orchard Park. This (Orchard Park) has always been a loose idea right, but with the idea that it can get people to come together. My latest project is the Goebel Goats where we have goats in Goebel Park. For environmental and social impact, the goats have been great. So this year we’re going to have them in Goebel Park again and then in Devoe Park, doing some landscaping to help keep the view. It’s been a slow process of getting buy in because some people think that we’re crazy. But the goats have been a huge success and I’d really like to develop that more in Covington. I’d really like to help the city of Covington incorporate this into their land management practices. And then the idea is to tie it all together. I I’m not a huge urban-ag person. I’m just about building community and utilizing underutilized spaces and improving them. I’m using it as a took to improve the community. The goats are a prime example that it works. All we have is a month to month lease here (Orchard Park), there’s no funding, there’s nothing to incentivise real infrastructure improvements. What’s cool about the Westside is that we all have the same idea – keep this square, keep it green-space, develop beautiful homes but commit to the park as permanent green space so that we can make some real infrastructure improvements. How did you get started? I just always was into it - my first job was cutting grass and then I got a job at a nursery when I was 20 something. They had a large farm up in Colorado that they offered me to manage and I’ve never looked back. What else do you do? I manage the Covington farmers market. I also have this tricycle that I ride around and distribute produce here in Covington. I want to develop that more. The tricycle is so much fun. I see a fleet of these things going out. One of things that drew me to Covington is that it’s flat – I ride my bike everywhere. As I’ve gotten involved in things I’ve found that there are these opportunities out there.
Janet Toebler - the potter/chicken caretaker Who Are You? My name is Janet Toebler and I was born in Massachusetts, I grew up in Glastonbury, Connecticut and I came to the Cincinnati area about 25 years ago and have been in Northern Kentucky here about 20 years ago I think. I’m a potter, I make tiles and things out of clay. I’ve started on this path of urban agriculture. I don’t know if I found it or it found me but that’s what we’re doing. I co-manage the farmer’s market with Gus, I work up here at Orchard Park with the chickens and the garden. We’ve got garlic growing right now. We had some lettuces in the green house but we haven’t really started back up here yet but it’s coming. I’m really busy. I have a 13 year old daughter that I’m raising as well. How did you get into pottery? I started in high school – I had this great high school art teacher – we’re still friends and we still see each other. That’s what started it and I just made pottery. I did an apprenticeship in Oslo, Norway for 2 years and then when I moved back here I had a job at an organization for a couple of years while but since then I’ve been a studio potter and I haven’t had any other job. I like the combination of doing something that’s utilitarian and beautiful and I also like the idea of working with something that’s ancient that you can do contemporary things with. It’s keeping an ancient art form alive which is very appealing to me. What about Urban Farming? That just kind of fell into my lap. It really just started with the chickens. I’ve always been a gardener and liked gardening but when Gus brought the chickens down here and I saw them and just started hanging out with them, I really liked them. And then it just kind of expanded and we had access to this place and no one was really using it.
How many eggs do you get per day? Between a dozen and 18 per day. Right now we work a community thing. They are fed a completely organic diet. The amount I charge for the eggs goes right back into the food. We’re going to start selling at the farmer’s market too. They’re like pets, well they’re not pets, but they’re friends, odd–little dinosaur style friends. It seems like you’ve got your hands in a lot of things. Do you have any advice for people who want to get started making a craft or art or farming their life? The truth of the matter is that once you start doing things that you like, all these other things just kind of fall into line to facilitate you to do it. You just start, even if it doesn’t seem like it’s going to pay off, you don’t need to have the end game figured out, because that will just kind of fall into line. It’s funny how if you’re out there doing whatever you want to do, then people start contacting you and things just kind of line up.
Faye Massey - the all around maker Where are you from? What’s your history with the neighborhood? My family’s from Corbin and we moved up here when I was about 5 and I’ve basically been here all my life. One day I figured that being Appalachian, this was my ‘holler’. It’s got it’s good and it’s got it’s bad but in this neighborhood there’s more good than bad so it’s OK with me. There’s a lot of good energy in this neighborhood. I’ve always been involved in the community because I have kids and now I’ve got great-grandkids. So I’m always trying to keep on doin’ in order to make it better for them. I worked at the Center for 26 years. I was a neighborhood volunteer long before I ever worked there and then I went back to school and got a degree in social work and then I started working at The Center. Basically back then it was in welfare rights and community organizing. As time went by The Center changed into what it is now. They do A LOT of stuff. It’s hard to keep track of all they do. When I was there I worked mainly with youth and coordinates the community garden. Have you always been an active maker? Yes, oh my gosh yeah. I do a lot of different things. I feel like anything that you are doing to create, that’s what you should keep on doing as long as you can, cooking or collage, or trying to grow things, I love plants. I love to watch things grow - they become my babies. In the 60’s I know I tie-dyed everything in my house. You name it, I tie-dyed it! I cook too. My two dishes that are my claim to fame are fudge - people are always bugging me for fudge around November, and potato salad. Strange combination but those are my two signature dishes. I did a project on oral history and storytelling with this neighborhood a while back. I’d always loved to tell stories to my grandkids because my grandma would always tell us, since we didn’t have a TV or anything, stories for entertainment. We’d call them haint stories, a ‘haint’ is another word for a spirit or a ghost. These stories, in general, are called Jack Tales, like Jack in the Beanstalk. Most people didn’t know that Jack had a female counterpart named Mutsmeg, who was every bit as brilliant as Jack. Anyway, we did a project, called Jack in the City, and the project was really a multimedia thing, there was a documentary made about it, a book, and a play and everything. Why is making things important to you? I think it was because my grandma always preached you know, ‘Idle hands is the devil’s work’ and I’ve just been carrying that on. I think it’s important. I try to teach my great-grandkids, because I do a lot of childcare now. I always keep a bunch of art stuff out for them to do because so many kids spend so much time on their little electronic devices and technology and I try to get them involved with nature and other ‘real’ things. They need to get muddy and dirty sometimes, they need to connect with nature. That’s why I love the chickens and everything. You can take kids down there and they can see some neat things happening and learn about nature and how things grow. It’s just important to do whatever your passion is and don’t think that ‘Well, I’m not an artist because…’, just do it.
Fayeâ€™s Potato Salad: INGREDIENTS: 6-8 potatoes boiled with skin 4 hard boiled eggs 2-3 stalks of celery 1 medium onion. INSTRUCTIONS: 1. Peel potatoes and cube. 2. Chop other ingredients and add yellow mustard, mayo, sweet pickle relish until mixture is desired consistency. 3. Salt and pepper as you like. Sometimes I sprinkle paprika on top. 4. Have a great day.
Fritz Kuhlman - the architect/builder Who are you? I’m Fritz Kuhlman. I’ve lived in Covington for close to 25 years. I’m not from here. I’m from the North side of Cincinnati, but my father’s mother and my mother’s father are from Kentucky, and my father’s mother was from Covington. So I’ve been an architect for close on to 30 years and have always been in the building business. Then when the recession happened I got into real estate because I figured that would make a better mix of architecture, construction, and real estate during the harder times. And now that the market has recovered and everything is going great we’re really well positioned. We’re going to call our company ‘HAUS’. What got you interested in architecture? I’ve always been interested in architecture really, even as a child. My dad was in the building business. What are you working on now? Well this building we’re redoing. The top floor we’re actually taking out this part of the roof so we’ll have a rooftop patio. The cemetery here is high ground in Covington, so everything up here has a view over top of everything else. You’ll have a great view up here, you’ll be able to see the Cathedral and downtown Cincinnati. I’m working on one other house in Mt. Healthy now as well and have another one here in Covington that we’ll start shortly and then another that we are working on selling to a couple. From being in the neighborhood you learn about certain things that are available. The Center for Great Neighborhoods is part of it. They have an inventory of buildings that they want to develop or see get developed. Why Covington? I’ve lived in Covington since 91’ and it’s funny because although my grandmother was born and raised here, they moved to Cincinnati in 1902, so they’ve been gone from Kentucky for a long time. But there’s so much about Covington that’s really great. Not only is it really well located, it’s basically downtown Cincinnati, but you can walk to everything, the community is really cool, interesting, young, old, diverse, all mixed, lots of fun stuff going on, lots of people moving and shaking and doing all kinds of fun stuff. Another thing about it that’s inherent in the architecture in the town itself is that unlike Over the Rhine, which is happening and successful, Covington is like a story or two shorter, it’s basically 1, 2, and 3 stories tall and it’s a much less intense lifestyle. Some people want to be near the bars and the restaurants and the shops and everything, which you can be here, but it’s a little less intense. You have a yard, tree lined streets, parking, and you have everything else but you’re only a few blocks from the river. You can literally ride a bike to OTR in no time and it’s all level, that’s another great thing, it’s all flat but you can see the hills in the distance. There’s a lot to be said for it. Covington is a place on the move, that’s for sure.
Jessica Starr and Alexa Abner the yogi and the farmer What is Yogi and the Farmer? A: I represent the farmer side of Yogi and the farmer. Representing a group of first generation farmers, people really looking at how we can make our food systems sustainable again. The model of farming that I study and practice is CSA, Community Supported Agriculture. We are starting our first season of CSA, based in the Westside of Covington, this year. J: What is happening just by word of mouth, and people finding out that we have this great concept to build on these vacant urban lots, is that we have interest from Fort Thomas, CSA membership from Hyde Park and all over the surrounding area. So it’s really taken off already. A: Because the idea is taking off, we’re not only looking at the making side of the food but also the making side of the farmers. So the after school gardening program plays into that. Introducing the idea to elementary level children that sustainable gardening in the city could be a career choice someday, that they could become a farmer someday if they wanted to, even here in the city. J: Not only is there no succession plan for farmers put in place, but the farmers were never really skilled in finances and how to maintain the farm. The younger generation wanted to do everything to get off the farm, they didn’t see it as a profitable way of life. We have to put up the stop sign and say ‘No, turn around, it can be profitable, it is feasible way of life.’ It’s quite a challenge. A: So there really is that connectivity in that it is a global issue but the only way that it will work is if we create these pockets of neighborhoods and communities with programs that can be replicated in other neighborhoods and communities iwth their set of circumstances and their food culture. So here we’re really going to dive into what the Guatamalan population here in the Westside uses on a daily basis in their cooking and what can we grow for the groups of people living here. Sharing recipes and growing our food culture. J: There is new legislation that CSA is WIC and SNAP accessible now. That’s huge for accessiblity! But it offers its own challenges too because it’s one, making sure that they want to participate and two, informing the masses that it IS available. There’s the trendy, elitist thing that the farmer’s markets have developed where people don’t feel welcome. A: From the production side of things, the style that we’re doing isn’t meeting the demand that’s created by local restaurants. There are restaurants here in Covington trying to source everything locally and are working with 40 different farms and still can not meet the need that it takes to service a full restaurant year round. There really is that duality of creative the demand but also being able to keep up with the demand.
How did you get started in farming? A: Mostly just the simplicity of being able to feed myself and my family. Everything that Iâ€™m growing is what Iâ€™m eating and the opportunity to share that with more people, more people interested and more people being able to feed themselves. Do you have any advice for people interested in growing their own food? J: You can grow anywhere! A: Yes, you can grow anywhere. Also, never stop learning how to grow things. Remain innovative. There are workshops on growing things vertically, growing things on roofs, just being open to looking at every space as a functional space that you can grow things in.
Potatoes in Tires with Alexa: Typically you would place your seed potato on soil directly with a sprouting eye and as that sprouting eye turned into a green leafy plant you would hill with soil (cover your potatoes’ leafy plant with soil). As your potato is growing it produces more potatoes. But that means that during harvest you’re having to dig potatoes out of the ground, which is hard work and messy, you end up having to scrub your potatoes. Instead of hilling with soil we’re hilling with straw. Potatoes love this because it’s nice and airy and it drains water well and you don’t have to worry about root rot and other disease. The tires actually will conduct extra heat for the plants as well. With the tires, you stuff the tires with straw mixed with a little bit of peat moss instead of hilling with soil. Step 1: Stack two recycled used tires on top of one another and fill half way with straw and a little peat moss. Step 2: Cut a potato with sprouting eyes so that there is at least one sprouting eye on each piece. The starch from the potato is actually what feeds that plant. Step 3: After you cut up your potato (for example, you may have a ½ lb potato cut into 4 or 5 pieces), place them in a circle within your tire. Step 4: As leafy green sprouts grow, hill your potato plants with straw, and extra tires as necessary, as it grows. Step 5: Harvest when ready (2-6 months from planting). Typically you can get a yield of 5 or 6 lbs per original potato seed pound. We’ll plant the first succession in the beginning of May. There are thousands of different potato varietal. Jessica and I both love heirloom seed. There are a lot of South American varietals that come from indigenous people in the mountains. Smaller potatoes, blue, purple, gold, red. With that huge range, there are some that are called short season that would be harvested in 2 months, in early July, but there are longer season varietals too that can take up to 6 months. There are plenty of tires out there - anybody can grow potatos!
Where does the yoga come in? J: So, we’ll do two weekly yoga sessions in the gardens. It will mainly be restorative yoga, sun salutations, just things for people to come and be very peaceful and come connect the food with their breath. And how did you get started with yoga? J: I found my yoga mat back in 1995 after I survived a near fatal car accident and had not only a lot of physical healing but a lot of emotional healing. I’m from Lexington originally and just happened to be walking in downtown Lexington and saw a sign above a health food store that said ‘Yoga today’. This was back before Yoga was cool. But the minute I walked in I just felt complete. My cup filled up and I just said, ‘I have to do this’. I took a year off school and just lived like a gypsy. I went to wherever I could practice. I sold homemade jewelry and stuff. This life led me to Colorado Springs, which led me to Utah, which led me to San Diego. I then went to Rishikesh to do some studying. From there I thought, ‘Ok, I better go home and be a grown up now.’ So that connection between food and breath, I saw it then. What is nourishment? It is food and oxygen, it’s food and breath. At a very early age, in the late 90s I started growing tomatoes on whatever back patio I had. I always brought food with me if I was seeing people or practicing yoga. I always made sure that wherever I was living I had some access to growing food. What’s the story behind Yogi and the Farmer? So fast forward - Last year I just said, ‘You know what, there is so much I can do here locally with wellness and yoga and sustainability.’ So I came home at the end of the summer and told my now husband Aaron, ‘I quit my job today and I’m just going to teach yoga and be an urban farmer.’ And he went, ‘OK!’ Alexa and I just kind of met one day while I was dreaming all this up and started talking. I told her my idea and she just started crying. She tells me, ‘I’ve been working on this farm in Alexandra and two months ago the farm was sold underneath me and I had to move.’ She pulls out a little notebook that she’s been writing notes in and it says, ‘My hands are rooted. Who will guide me?’ So here we are! What advice would you give to people who want to pursue an alternative life path? J: Don’t be afraid to take a risk. With cooking, creating, with yoga, with everything, you just have to show up and take the risk. As simple as it sounds, this is it.
Dan Creed - the sound artist Who are you? My name is Dan Creed. DC Sonix is my business, but really I’m just Dan Creed. We moved here from Southern Indiana, in the country, God’s country. I’ve been in Covington for 2 years. I heard there was a thriving arts community down here, that was the bait that drew me down here and now, yes, there are a lot of my neighbors here doing things. We have awesome neighbors – restored Civil War mansions, we have a great garden tour. Out in the country you’re isolated. There was no one out there to listen to it, you don’t exactly play country music through something like this – you can but it may not display it in the best way. So what exactly are you doing here? Well, this is not your regular thing. This is 3D audio, 32 channels. This is what it sounds like to be inside of a piano - isn’t it wild? It’s coming from all over the place. You’re immersed in the sound! I originally started with goodwill amplifiers. You know, I had 4 kids. I had no budget. Everything you see is used, it’s just my ability to put things together and shop goodwill. My major discovery was that I can do this on computers and load this up. I get scolded by every IT guy – “What?! Windows ’98, floppy disks!” – Yes, I’d love to have today’s stuff but the beauty of it is that you don’t need it. What’s your goal? Well, I’m sick to death of mono from the stage, blasting in my face. This guy is getting his face blown off the guy in the back can’t hear anything. I want to display my art! That’s what I’m looking to do. I’m just slowly chipping away at it, showing people like yourself. I was hoping to put together a band, a 3-D band. If I could put a mic on every person in the symphony I would, like you’re in the pit. I actually go beyond that too – so just rather than have one person over here, I’ll add echo so you can also hear an echo of them across the room. The birds actually come down and listen to this too when I throw open the doors – it’s like “Oh my God! – even mother nature likes this!” - Yes, my wife is very tolerant. What got you interested in sound? I’ve been a musician since I was about 12 years old. Just being linked to that – at one point when I quit performing because I couldn’t quite keep up with the hottest guns in the west and I don’t sing on key all the time, I started becoming the sound man. It occurred to me that if one wall was all speakers and another wall was all speakers then you’d have a nice giant stereo. Then I realized that, well, just like pixels on a screen, you could address those speakers – that was before I could ever even do it, but I had the idea. Sound is my brush, space is my canvas, that’s the only way to describe myself. If I want to try something like this, and I’m interested in experimenting with sound, what would you tell me? Start tinkering and years later, years later...It starts with a mixer, and headphones. I don’t know what stirs the inspiration to get involved with something like this. It’s just years of tinkering.
Claudio Gutierrez and Courtney Case the store owners and taco makers Who are you and how did you get started? CG: My name is Claudio Gutierrez and this is Gutierrez Deli. How did I get started? That’s a good question! How or Why?! I have a store so I don’t have to work for anyone else. We (Claudio and Courtney) started this together. We’ve been here for 4 years last month. CC: My name is Courtney Case. We’ve only lived in Covington for a year. Before we were living in Erlanger, not far We like to help the Hispanic community. This is something for the Hispanic community. CG: The key is that I don’t have to work for anybody. I used to work for everybody but never saw an extra dollar. CC: At least here you get to work your buts off for yourself. CG: In the beginning, I asked all of my family for loans to start this business. I used to raise vegetables. I worked from 5 in the morning to 10 at night and I got a lot of vegetables but no money. I then worked at a night club and had 2 jobs at night. I had to work a lot and I was able to save some money. I used that money plus money from my family to start this store. Everyone likes the idea of running a business but it’s not easy. Even me and Courtney, we have to work together everyday. It’s not easy working with your woman or wife 24/7. It’s nice but it’s not easy. CC: He’s got like 7 brothers and sisters so they all chip in a little bit. CG: We make tacos and quesadillas and tamales here. We started making these things about a year after opening. We originally started selling sandwiches and we spent so much on getting ingredients. This is something different and it’s something people like. CC: And it’s your own recipe, not a recipe by someone else.
Do you have any advice for people who want to start their own business? CG:: If someone wanted to start their own business I would say they can try it but I’d say, ‘It looks easy but it’s not easy’. Sometimes people think because we have 4, 5, 6 people here they think we’re making a lot of money but that’s not true. We are very busy but it’s a lot of work. If anyone needs help running a business, I’ll talk to them, I can help. As long as it’s a business that’s not exactly my business. I’m not going to give them my recipes, but I’ll give them advice! CC: And we made a lot of new friends. We’ve made a ton of new friends. We were iffy about Covington at first but once we started and got to know more people we started liking it. I don’t know where else we’d go at this point. What do you like about Covington? CG: I like Covington because that’s the place where I found my life. The business is life and this is where it works. CC: This is where we found what we’re supposed to do.
Claudio’s Guacamole: INGREDIENTS: 5 Avocados 2 tablespoons chopped onion 1 tablespoon lime juice 1 teaspoon jalapeño juice 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 bunch of chopped cilantro PREPARATION: Mash up avocados in large bowl and mix in all other ingredients. Keep avocado seed and put in guacamole to keep it fresh for longer. Eat with tortilla chips.
Mark and Holly Young - the chef and the urban gardener What is your history? What made you think you could rehab this house? H: I have an MBA in marketing and management information systems from Miami U. M: I’ve been in the investment business since 1981. H: The one thing I did, when I met Mark I did come with my own power tools. We’ve both done small projects but nothing to the extent of “Let’s take on a rehab.” Our parents thought we were crazy. But yeah, there was no background. We basically bought a bunch of books. We did get a few professionals in here for the HVAC. But we did all of the framing ourselves. And that was the thing, we designed this. And when it came to framing and construction, it’s not that difficult. Someone without an engineering background can rehab a house. We figured, this is a 150 year old house and we can do this. M: We purchased this place in 2007 and finished it in January 2009. We were under the gun trying to get things done. The Center was really the only entity that could make this stuff work. Most people aren’t up for what we did. It took us a year plus of hard work.
H: We blogged the entire process. We basically had no experience in doing this but we thought, if we can do this, and document it, other people will feel like they can do it. If we can do it, I’m sure other people can. Besides rehab homes, what do you make? H: Mark is an excellent cook. He’s a chef extraordinaire. First date, chanterelle and oyster soup, I was hooked. I was like ‘I’m not leaving.’ M: We cook about 6-7 days a week. H: We go to Findlay Market. We love knowing where our food comes from. If we can’t get it locally, we try to grow it. We’ve got a garden plot down at Riddle Yates. They just expanded that by 50%. I’ve got about 1500 seedlings in the basement. I got a grant from the Center for Great Neighborhoods last year for us to have a seed and plant sale fundraiser for the Westside. We’re having it again this year and then we’ll be at the farmer’s market. M: Go show her your screen-house and the basement. H: Yeah, Let’s go outside.
This is the room that I spend most of my time in in the summer. This time of the year I’m thinning the garden and giving it out to everyone else. This greenhouse back year is basically things I’ve been digging out of my yard and will give to other’s to grow in their yard so they don’t have to worry about growing things for the next few years. My goal is to turn everybody into a gardener. I mean, I don’t do any of this. I come in here and shovel stuff out and I give it to people. This does it on it’s own. Any advice for people who might be a little nervous about gardening? H: It’s OK to let things die. You know, you put things in the ground, and then it might die. You don’t know why but you know not to put it there next year. You don’t need to do testing, just put stuff in and try it. If it thrives then you did it right, if it doesn’t then take it out and try something else. But it’s OK to let stuff die. M: It’s OK to be ambitious too. Nature tries to find a way. You’ve got mother nature at your back. H: Basically everything I have is stuff that will reseed itself. My goal in getting everyone in Covington to be a gardener is also so that they don’t have to buy seeds and go through a hefty process every year. M: People who garden too are invested. It’s strange, you get a little something in the ground and suddenly you’re invested. H: It’s beautification effort that’s not difficult. Some people think, ‘Oh I’ve got to paint the front of my house, I’ve got to get new windows, I’ve got to do all this stuff” when realistically, you’ve got a crappy looking chain fence, put a cardinal climber on it and you’re going to cover it with these beautiful red morning glories. You know, plants can cover up a multitude of decorating sins. So how did you get started gardening? H: My grandfather was a gardener when I was a kid. I learned to eat dirt. My grandfather was a gardener in Pennsylvania and after WWII he just started to garden and he would grow tomatoes and peppers and cabbages and I remember just walking out in the backyard and he would pull out his Swiss army knife, cut something and feed it to me. And every time I do this I get this sort of memory of “This is what you’re supposed to do.” You know, you’re not supposed to go to a big box store to find something to eat. Particularly tomatoes. I love the tomatoes. You just don’t get them. When they get them off of a truck they pick them before they’re ripe and they’re basically Styrofoam tomatoes.
So what’s the secret to this chicken? M: One is quality. Getting the right chicken. This is a capon, a male chicken. I have a menu for the week and we shop for the menu. We eat in 6 days a week. How did you get started cooking? M: My family always cooked and they made the children cook one dinner a week. And then I went to Northwestern where I met Leslee Reis who was then running Café Provencal, which is up in Evanston, a little 60 person high end French restaurant. It turns out that I played tennis with her brother in law and she asked me to be her bar tender and wine steward sort of guy. I worked for her for a couple years and I just came in a half hour early just to watch the chefs work. We still eat recipes that I stole from them. Back in the 80s access to good food wasn’t a given the way that it is today. H: When I was a kid, the reason my grandfather was raising vegetables in his backyard because you had to travel 25 minutes just to get to a little corner store to get your eggs, your milk, and your bread, and it was all the same, no matter where you go. What’s your advice for people who want to start cooking? M: I would say hang out with people who cook. Because they’re like gardeners, they can’t help themselves. H: It’s the same spirit, it really is. People who value what they do want to share what they do because they want to share the benefit of what they do with others. I don’t know anybody who cooks an elaborate meal for themselves. There’s no fun in that. M: I’m gonna say start with watching Julia Child. She said, ‘Anybody can do this stuff, if I can do it, you can do it.’ There’s nothing I’m doing here that’s particularly complex. There’s little cheats. The thinking ahead part is hard for people, but once you do that, you’re way out ahead.
Mark’s Diablo Chicken with Garlic Green Beans: FOR THE RUB: 2 tsp salt 1 tsp chipotle powder 1 tsp granulated garlic (garlic powder) 1 tsp dried thyme 1 tsp cumin
FOR THE CHICKEN: 1 3-4lb Fryer 1 lemon 4 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1tsp dried) 1 T. olive oil 1 cup unsalted chicken stock (homemade is better, with chicken feet is best)
Mix the rub ingredients together and pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a skillet (something that will make fond), add a little olive oil and then add your rinsed and dried chicken (anything from a game hen to a roaster will do, just make more rub and extend cooking time as the bird gets bigger). Sprinkle some of the rub inside the bird. You may want to add a little extra salt, but use care. We’ll be making a pan sauce with the juices. Place the bird breast side down and add a little olive oil, rubbing into the skin. Sprinkle more of the rub on the back of the bird. When well covered, turn the bird breast side up and add a bit more oil, making sure the breast is well oiled. Sprinkle more rub until it’s well seasoned and rub into the skin. Put the thyme into the cavity and then, with a fork, stab the lemon several times over the chicken until it will drip a little juice onto the bird. Put the lemon in the cavity. Place skillet and bird inside the pre-heated oven. Set your timer for 1 hr. 30 minutes. When the timer goes off, check your bird for crisp skin and a movable leg. Chances are, it can go another 30 minutes or even longer. Meanwhile, clean and rinse your green beans. For the green beans: 4 medium cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped 3/5 lb trimmed green beans salt to taste 1 T. unsalted butter When the bird is ready, pull the skillet out and let it cool just a bit on the stove. Carefully move the bird to the cutting board. I use a sturdy spatula and tongs to move the bird, which helps me not leave any skin in the pan. Pour off as much of the fat as possible and then put the skillet over high heat. Add the stock, and scrape some of the bits off the bottom of the pan. Reduce to a roughly 8-10 tablespoons. This will take about 10-20 minutes. Meanwhile, in a 12” non-stick pan, add the butter and garlic. Saute’ for 2 minutes or less over medium high heat. Add the green beans and toss or stir to coat with butter and garlic. Salt, then toss again. Reduce heat to medium. Toss occasionally to insure even cooking. Pre-heat your plates. When your sauce has reduced (about 10 minutes or so) your garlic green beans should be done. Turn the heat down to low on both and carve your bird. You can either sauce the plate and place the chicken on it, keeping the skin crispier, or spoon the sauce over the chicken. Next, plate the green beans. Serve this with a pinot noir or something that will stand up to the robust seasoning and rich-tasting sauce.
Melanie Goble - the enamelist Where are you from? I’ve lived in Covington on and off all my life. When I was 18 I moved out and there was a place called the Burton Apartments over on Garrett St and I lived there for about 7 years. It was just a great old place. So I’ve lived in different areas of Covington all my life. The flip side of that is that I’ve lived in the country too. I had a cabin on the Little Miami River, now we have a farm in Williamstown, it’s always been this city or country, and so now we’ve kind of combined the two to have the best of both worlds. This (the Orchard St. Row House) was great because it kind of gives an extra element to it to have a studio included. What really sold me on this place was that it was all new, no maintenance, no grass, we like the accessibility, the open space across from us (Orchard Park). They’re proposing some development for that space and in fact I’ve drafted up my own plan here. Tell me about your background in the arts Well, I went to Antioch College and my major was film and film communications. I started enameling at Baker Hunt about 25 years ago. It’s always been kind of a hobby that I’ve taken workshops and then in the past 5 years done a little bit of metal-smithing. This (house) has given me the opportunity to really have a studio, it’s just all coming together. I’m 60 years old, it’s kind of like moving forward now.
What did you do for most of your life? I worked at a hospital for a good part of my life as a clerical coordinator. I have that caretaker side of me from working at that for a long time. I had a neon business for a while and did neon. Tell me about what you’re doing now I’m looking at this (enameling) as just for fun at this point. I’ve started doing more bigger pieces rather than just jewelry. You just take a piece of metal, prep it clean, and then sift enamel or inlay enamel and then fire it. Enamel is a powdered glass. You use these sifters to sift it on or you can inlay. You can put wires, you can use silver or copper, steel. I’m working with the W.W. Carpenter Foundation trying to get master enamelists to come into town to participate in workshops to keep the foundation going. If we bring in 6 masters a year, that will carry the foundation. So I’ve been working on that. And I’ve been a little active with the Covington projects here. I’m also a master gardener and have lots of beds down at the farm. Do you have any advice for people who want to start crafting? The W.W. Carpenter Foundation will give you the bug. The Carpenter Foundation was started by Mr. Carpenter who founded Thompson Enamel. Thompson Enamel distributes enamel world wide. So now people can go and take classes, all kinds of classes there. Enamel is really such a neat medium. There’s not a lot of places where you can learn about metalsmithing in Cincinnati really. There’s one place in Middletown. So we’re developing a metalsmithing room also at the Carpenter Foundation, in Bellevue, KY.
Julia Keister - the bagel maker/life coach You seem to do a lot of things. So maybe, could you start by talking about who you are, where you’re from, why you do what you do? I am originally from Silver Spring, Maryland, which is right outside of DC. I’ve lived many places. Went to school in Wisconsin, lived in Savannah Georgia, and then lived in New York for 8 years. That’s where I met my girlfriend Hannah, and she was moving here for a job, and so I followed her here. So growing up in a Jewish family and living in New York, I’ve eaten many many bagels in my lifetime. But then moving here, there was no where to fill my addiction. So, Hannah and I just started making them. We literally looked up a few recipes, tested things out, go back, test more things out, and then we were like ‘OK, this is it.’ A friend of ours was then like ‘These are so good, you should sell them.’ And that’s really where it started. I’ve been cooking my whole life and remember as a kid just wanted to bake just to bake. Sweet food is not my favorite kind of food but I always loved baking. So this feels like fun. It’s the fun part of the week is when I get to make bagels. This is the sponge, Sponges are kind of like the starter to a bread. Doing a lot of research, this is really how people traditionally made bagels though most bagel shops don’t use sponges anymore because it is an extra part of the process. So this I made yesterday and it sat overnight and I think actually it’s kind of nice that it sits in the distillery because there’s all this other yeast here. Where’s the name Lil’s Bagels come from? The name Lil comes from my grandmother’s name was Lillian. She never ever cooked a day in her life except for tuna salad and hot dogs, but she was the person who introduced me to good bagels. My grandmother had bagels every weekend, and she would say, “These are good bagels”, she was very particular. What else do you do besides make bagels? Besides making bagels, I teach high school students at the Point in Covington. I also supervise students at the University of Cincinnati who are getting their teaching degree. I taught and coached teachers for 10 years when I was in NY. I also have a coaching business where I do private life coaching for people with disabilities, mostly people with autism. They have a project and I work with them on creating the goals for that project and then working on the goals for fulfilling that project. It’s called Different By Design. Through a grant through the Center for Great Neighborhoods I started an apprenticeship program. That just ended but I’m hoping to start a new round in the Fall.
Photo above source: Lilâ€™s Bagels via Facebook
BenADDICTING Spread (Benedictine) Recipe INGREDIENTS: 2 cups fresh spinach 1/4 cup chopped dill 1 small cucumber peeled and seeded 2 tbsp. chopped mint leaves 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes salt and pepper to taste 1 lb. cream cheese 1/8 cup of half and half INSTRUCTIONS: Put all ingredients except the cream cheese and half and half in a food processor. Chop until ingredients are fully blended. With a mixer whip the cream cheese, adding the half and half slowly. Whip until cream cheese is smooth and easy to spread. Add mixture from the food processor to the cream cheese and whip until all ingredients are fully combined. Eat with your favorite Lilâ€™s Bagel!
Why Covington? When I moved here, I was trying to pick a neighborhood and I just fell in love with Covington. I just liked everything about it. I like the diversity, I like the focus on the arts, I think the Center for Great Neighborhoods does an amazing job of making it very community oriented. There’s just all different types of people living very integrated. This is malt syrup, which is actually used to make beer and then malt is used to make bourbon. It is actually the traditional ingredient for bagels, so there may have been some actual cross over between beer and bagels at some point. So these bagels, I will roll them today and back them tomorrow. Bagels really are a long process compared with other baked goods. I try to get everything as local as possible. This is from Listermann’s brewery in Cincinnati, the flour is from Weisenberger Mill outside of Lexington, all local raisins and spices from Findlay Market. I try to be as local and organic as possible. How do you relate to being a maker? I feel like I’ve always been a maker in some way or another. I think I have a mixture of the creative with the business side of things. I grew up in a family that was very much focused on creativity. My dad is a writer, my mom owns a graphic design business. So, I feel like anything that I can do with my hands, anything that I can do where other people can enjoy and get something from it is what makes me the happiest. That’s why I love teaching, it’s very much about being creative and sharing, and I think that’s why I like cooking too. Do you have any advice for anyone that’s looking to make a life as somebody that creates? What I love most about Covington and Cincinnati is that that sort of life is possible. Thinking about living in New York, I don’t know how anyone starts a business there. I think it would very overwhelming, but here, that’s why it is so interesting. I think if you want to do it, you should just do it. I think people like you and people like The Center for Great Neighborhoods are there for that reason. There are lots of people who will help you out. There’s lots of resources to help you as a maker here that don’t exist in other places. Just going for it and talking about it with people, finding the community that really appreciates what you do, and then I think you can do it.
David Rice - the sculpture artist Who Are You? I’m David Rice. I’ve been here since 1983. I grew up in Fort Wright but I moved down here with my father on 12th Street into a house that’s been in our family since the day it was built. About 10 years ago we bought this place and it had a big yard and my friend Lester and I added this one summer and the next I added that and it’s great because the neighbors can’t see it so it doesn’t have to be completely organized in here. This is our ‘Tetanus” Garden, just a bunch of rusty parts over here, mostly from the dump and friends give me stuff. Our plan this year is to kill the grass, then put straw down and try to landscape it in some way. Maybe stone and leave just some small patches of grass. What got you started? I was always the destroyer when I was a kid, taking telephones apart, taking radios apart and I didn’t really know how to put them back together, I just wanted to see what was going on there. And then I went to school and I really wasn’t interested in art. I was a creative person I guess but I never really did much with it. Then I went to school for aviation and philosophy and social work - no interest in art. And then about a year after I got out of college I fell in love with art. Mainly because I would stop by Carl Solway’s place on my bike and I was like ‘Wow - this is really cool.’ And I went to Baker Hunt and did some stuff - I don’t have any formal training. I painted for a while and I found out that I could copy things pretty OK but I couldn’t be creative. I couldn’t think of anything interesting to paint, I just wasn’t a good painter. And then Ybette and I were working at the Contemporary Arts Center and this guy named Gregory Barsamian came through. Sometimes I think the CAC has great stuff and sometimes I just think it’s awful. Well, Gregory Barsamian’s stuff started rolling out of their boxes and then they turned them on. Do you know what a zoetrope is? Well these are three-dimensional zoetropes. It blew me away. So I stopped making art for like 5 months. I just couldn’t paint anything. That was it. I couldn’t do anything that would move me the way that his work moved me. I was a little lost and a little depressed. But then I started doing what I was doing as a kid. I would take things apart, and then put them back together, and make them do things they weren’t supposed to do. Gears and all kinds of stuff. I found my way. I learned to weld. My break up with painting was 1998 and I’ve been doing this ever since. What advice do you have for somebody that is struggling with their artistic practice? Go see some Gregory Barsamian! Well, the CAC is free now and it’s very inspirational. It will pop in there. Keep looking at stuff and eventually it will pop in there, in your head.
Ybette Inojosa - the mixed media artist Who are you? I came here to learn English. My cousin lived here, he was going to UC to get his PhD and he told me to come here, so I came. I just fell in love here. Everything is just really nice here. Before I came here I was the junior art director at an advertising company in Venezuela. I try to go back to Venezuela every year but I haven’t been in 3 years. My background is in graphic design. I worked in advertising and do a little bit of everything. Here I learned how to do stained glass and started doing different things. I came here in 94’ and met this woman who makes stained glass and we became friends. She taught me because I was helping her in her store. I just bought everything that I needed and started making it. I then started doing dolls, these are called the ‘Uglies’, they can hug you too. I do videos too. I went to back to school here in NKU and I did video production. So, I’ve done some documentaries. What would you say to someone who is trying to get into a life of making things? I would say an artist always has that thing inside, I don’t know how to call it, but if you feel that just try, try everything you can imagine. Just try different mediums and try everything and you will find what is your soul and you will take it further. Some people do a lot of stuff but you will find what it is you like. Just try everything.
Stained Glass with Ybette: 1. When making stain glass you always want to start with a sketch to work colors, shapes and cuts. 2. Make a pattern at size after the approved design. 3. Gather glass, copperfoil, and mixed objects . 4. After all the glass pieces are cut, and wrapped with foil, Set them on table to get ready to solder. 5. When finished soldering just Clean the glass pieces well with a glass cleaner and dry. VoilĂ !
Liam Hall - the musician/teacher Who are you? My official name is William L. Hall but I go by Liam around here. I’m from north of Columbus, Ohio, Delaware, Ohio area, cornfields area. Nowadays I teach English at UC and Gateway and work at Kenton County Jail now as of last week. There we help people get GEDs with another guy. I teach guitar lessons independently but also through SkoolAid. SkoolAid has done a couple of events at Wunderbar. It’s creative after school programming that works out of Northern KY and Cincinnati. I do a song writing club for them at Bellevue and Aiken Highschool currently. There’s a few other schools I go to as well. We are very active in Covington. That’s where we build our band. The first steady gig we had was at Wunderbar once a month. So you teach English, you’re a musician and a writer. What are you working on write now? I mostly just focus on writing songs. The rest of the time I’m designing classes and teaching. Our music is kind of genreless, like a lot of music today. It’s a seven piece band, kind of gypsy folk rock, kind of experimental. Our band is called Common Center. That’s my main cup of tea as far as dreams go. We commissioned Trudy to make a flier and she made this design. There’s a guy Scott Bud who’s working on animating her art and he also did our light show when we did our CD release. There’s a lot of creative networking going on. And then we run into people like you… What got you started being creative? Music. I started playing guitar when I was 19 and just fell in love with it. Before that I just had really loud speakers in my car but never played anything. I got into music and that got me more into reading and language which led to changing studies to creative writing and to teaching. I was tutoring for a while and then got a teaching job and got my masters degree. It just sort of happened. But it’s been 10 years now. What advice would you give to someone who’s just starting to think about playing music? Follow your passions. If you feel passionate towards something, then you should allow yourself to experience that. Especially something like art or music. If you feel it then keep doing it. Because if you lose the feeling then it’s gone. There’s a lot of other things you could say about keeping at it. Where I’m lucky is that all of my work is creative. Nothing gets in the way of creative thought. It’s just always happening. If you’re a creative person, maybe don’t work a cubicle job. Even if you have to sacrifice for a little bit, just keep following the passion. Take risks and maybe be poor for a little while while you figure out different or a more suitable job.
Photo opposite source: Channel 9
Ché Ché Koolay: A lesson plan from SkoolAid This sing along elimination game is based on the principles of simple competition and musical diversity that allows children to learn a wide variety of instruments from around the world. This allows them to learn the shape, names, and sounds of instruments in a friendly non-talent oriented atmosphere, where the emphasis is on fun and culture awareness more than musicality. EQUIPMENT: - A box of instruments (“Magic Box”), Ex: maracas, castanets, claves, rhythm sticks, etc. - A baton or any object to be passed around the circle to determine the eliminated person - Instructor instrument in order to facilitate the rhythm of the sing along - Create a standing circle with all participants with the magic box in the middle of the circle - Present and demonstrate instruments showing how to properly play each instrument - Introduce the baton (or whatever you use to pass) RULES: - Baton Rules: The individual who starts the baton passing chooses the direction, No skipping of individuals, No reversing the direction, No throwing, No refusing of the baton - All eliminated participants must pick one instrument from the magic box and sit cross legged in the middle of the circle and play along with the instructor. - No instrument playing in between rounds - Everyone must sing - Dancing and clapping is encouraged THE SONG CHE CHE KOOLAY: Che Che koolay (echo) Che ko fe sa (echo) Ko Fey salanga (echo) Gaga salanga (echo) Kum…eh deh deh (echo) THE GAME: - Instructor starts the song and participants echo the song until song’s conclusion and an individual is eliminated to the middle of the circle to choose an instrument. - Tempo varies between rounds at instructors desire - Size of the circle remains intact, gaps included - When the game gets to the point where there are big gaps between people standing, implement a new rule where only the person with the baton may move to pass the baton to the next person - Clap and/or make noise for top five winners - Game ends when only one person is left in the circle and is crowned champion - Time permitting…after the game, play song a few more times so that the winners get a chance to play an instrument Photo opposite source: Liam Hall
Missy and Mandy Spears - the artist and the comedian Who are you? MA: I’m Mandy Spears, I’m from Park Hills, so I didn’t go very far. But I grew up right around here and Covington was always kind of place that we went to but joked about too, I don’t even know why. But she (Missy) actually moved me here. The Center re-did this house and it’s not like I could say no to this, it’s so beautiful. So we decided to just grow here. After a while we just loved this place. We had a lot of really good friends, that’s what happened first. We had a lot of really good friends and they encouraged us to be bad! We always send out a funny card every year for Christmas or the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster or whatever it is that year, it’s always custom. So they encouraged us to keep going and that’s why we built this. We made our friends laugh and then we made a company to make everybody laugh as much as possible, trying to represent Covington for how interesting and unique it is. MI: My name is Missy Spears-Lojack I’m from West Chester. I moved to Cincinnati in 2003 or 2004. I lived there until we got married and bought our house here in 2012. We moved here because of The Center. The neighborhood was great, the neighbors were great, and Covington was the only city in Northern Kentucky that had a Hate Ordinance also. So that protects us from people denying us housing, employment, or service based on our relationship. That was really important to us too. MA: We knew Covington stood up to something that happened like that a few years before and that’s why that ordinance went into place and so we knew the people of Covington supported us. So that’s really why we came here, that’s one of the big reasons. MI: And the bars! So what is your business? MI: Keep Your Shirt on Covington is so many things. It started as a bar trivia team and then on a whim one night after drinking we wrote a grant to spay cats, just to be funny and submit it, and we got it! So we had to go through the whole process of creating this organization that was just the name of a bar trivia team and then getting all of these cats fixed. We kind of pushed ourselves into it by accident. Then in order to raise more money for the cats we decided to make mugs that said ‘Cut your balls off Covington’ and we printed like 30 of them, that’s all we could afford and we sold out in 20 minutes. So we finished the project and the next year at the night bizarre someone offered to fund our project if we made stuff for it. So we did it just to be funny and it was just so popular that this year we decided to make it a real business.
Have you guys always been creative types? MA: I have. She’s maybe more of a writer but I’m more into visual arts. I went to art school since I was 5 years old. I went to the Carnegie and then Baker Hunt. I was always into the fine arts and galleries. My whole family paints and draws and are into art. It’s always been a love of mine. I took some time off from it but then we got photoshop because we could make better memes, because we just like making silly things, and then we just started making art on there. The Coloring Book was an idea that we came up with at Christmas last year and then we worked non-stop for 3 or 4 months just trying to make the images for that. It was wonderful, I can’t wait to make another one. So yeah, I have a little background in art so I’m really excited to be doing that. She’s funny, so we use that a lot. In the cards, our writing, especially social media, she manages that. She’s got the voice for that. MI: And the patience! I never really made anything growing up, I enjoyed art, but I’m more of like a prankster. It’s kind of a combination of that plus her making shit. MA: It’s super fun. We kind of play off of each other. It was about a year ago we got these silly little kid’s notebooks, just because we kept coming up with really cool ideas and then we’d forget about them. But we just really enjoyed, just between the two of us and also when our friends are around, if someone comes up with a really good idea that we could keep track of it there and map it out. It’s just fun really that we can create art together. MI: I do more of the broad joke and then she’ll come in and make it look pretty, and let me know if it’s offensive. MA: Yeah, I’ll come in and be like, ‘Maybe change that... that’s not funny enough to be that offensive.’ We did study comedy for like 2 years. We worked at the IRS right next to each other. We’d listen to the same comedy albums and podcasts while we were working together. What advice would you give to someone interested in starting a creative business? MA: Take your time developing your ideas. But also don’t be afraid. Put your thing out there because you never really know how many people there are that believe the same thing or think that whatever you put out there is fun or interesting or great - why not? We were doing these things for our friends or family or just to be silly and then we realized that there were a lot of people that thought that this was a fun and interesting voice that we had and the things we were presenting were fun so we just kept putting things out there. MI: And be involved. Whatever world that you’re trying to create in. You know most of our jokes are about Covington and it was only because we were reading the River City News everyday, we read the comics, we got to know the people on there and we got to know people int he community. We spent a lot of time volunteering and getting to know organizations. It makes the jokes better for us. But I would imagine in anything you’re trying to create the more immersed you are in that world the better. Photo opposite source: Cards Against Covington Facebook
How To Write Your Own Cards Against Humanity Expansion Pack: 1. Pick a subject matter. (Ex Covington) 2. Grab some beer. (We recommend Braxton’s Storm.) 3. Gather friends to brainstorm people, places, and things relevant to the subject. (Ex Covington News, Bob Due, The Waterfront) 4. Drink more beer. 5. For each person, place, or thing try to identify something well known or a common experience. (Ex Arguing with Covington News for bad reporting, Bob Due’s theft, The Waterfront breaking loose) 6. Twist those bits of information about those people, places, and things into cards. 7. Make black cards (question cards) from the more innocent references. 8. Make white cards (answer cards) for the funniest and more controversial (Braxton’s new brew is infused with ____________________. What do you always see at the Anchor Grill at 2am?) references. (Ex Being blocked on Facebook by Covington News. Bob Due doing your taxes. Sadly waving while The Waterfront floats away.) 9. Grab the templates and get these cards typed up. Order through almost any custom game company. (Use small businesses!) 10. Play the cards with friends when you get them! (And buy more beer.) Voilà!
Marjorie Graham - the painter Who are you? My name is Margorie Graham, everybody calls me now Gigi. I grew up here in Northern Kentucky. I was born in Newburyport, Massachusetts but I went to high school here, and college here. I had a 9th grade art teacher who just inspired me so much so I’ve just always done art. In college I did art with an emphasis in clay and then I started doing show. I was juried into Tall Stacks a couple of times. I had a gallery on Mainstrasse. It was a retail shop/ gallery because I sold regional art and jewelry too. But I was a single mom with two kids and it just got to be too much. I couldn’t do it anymore. So I’ve always done art and did shows for a long time. My last solo show I had at Envision, next to the Comet. I’m also in a small art group called ‘Cake Night’, with Ybette and David. So you started with clay and then what? Well, I started with drawing really, then went to clay and ceramics. But it was too much, you’ve got to have a kiln and everything set up. So then I did portraits for a while. I really like the process. I like trying new things - new products, new techniques. I love watching other artists work. I really like mixed media now. I really like putting different things, 3-dimensional things, on canvas. I was doing dolls for a while. They all had names. But now I’m going back to painting and other mixed media. So you’ve been doing art for a long time. Do you have any advice for people just getting started? Well, it’s not a business to get into. But, it is something that you should always keep you hand in. You have to do it because you love it. If you can make money at it, it’s a great bonus.
Chris Oaks and Krista King-Oaks the librarians Who are you guys? K: My name is Krista King-Oaks and I’m originally from Covington, KY, Latonia to be specific. We actually met in high school here. C: I’m Chris Oaks, also from Covington. And yes, we met in Highschool in marching band. We were both in the drum line. K: I was actually a flute player at first but I didn’t want to get picked on by my band teacher so I decided ‘They’re all boys in the drum line and I’m going to show him that a girl can do this. I was the smallest one and I held the smallest drum, but that also met that I got to march next to him all season.’ So librarian-ship, I just kind of fell into it. C: No, that’s not true! You worked at the library at UK, you wanted to go into library work. So we moved to Lexington to go to the University of Kentucky. K: Well, I actually started working at libraries in Highschool. I thought I wanted to be a teacher. I always gravitated towards kids and their imaginative, creative spirit. I was volunteering working with middle school students at the library. I was the only person that showed up and I just stayed long enough that they were just like ‘Hey why don’t you work here?’ and they really mentored me all through college. I spent a couple years at UK and then I realized that I just didn’t like the structure and the bureaucracy of the school system but I still wanted to teach and work with kids so it was then that I decided to get on the path to become a children’s librarian. It has been wild how the libraries are just transforming. It’s been a really interesting time to get into the field. C: I think we enjoy challenging of the perception of libraries though. Now libraries are loud and they are more like community hubs. Of course, it’s not just about books anymore. If there’s any one big point I can make it is that we’re they type of librarians where Krista is more childhood education and learning and then I actually do event coordination, author visits and concerts and movies and cooking classes. I take the books on the shelves and make them into live action versions. We’re adding a Makerspace at Erlanger and we’re actually breaking ground for a mini amphitheater for larger scale concerts and speakers, so that’s a sign of the direction we’re going in.
K: We curate experiences. That’s a whole other conversation happening in the profession these days, is getting away from being the stereotypical public image. So many people haven’t even set foot in their public library. It’s amazing, especially in the Greater Cincinnati area, there are so many libraries! Book circulation is down, but listening to what your community wants is the most important thing. A public library is so very different in it’s scope and it’s mission from a school library or a special library at the Art Museum or wherever else. Just that whole sense of bringing together a community is where we’re at. The technology is isolating, ironically, just the fast-paced speed of life can isolate us, and we want to create and curate happenings and events to not only make what’s on the shelf come alive but that also make people aware of the wealth of resources and creativity that’s happening in their own neighborhood. What are some projects you’re working on right now? C: We recently put in an art gallery space. The meeting rooms we had were kind of dull, big walls that looked kind of sterile. So I wanted to put in artwork and have a rotating local artist in there every couple of months. So we installed a gallery hanging system in there. We started kind of small with local people that I knew. And then it kind of snowballed. Every month we were getting someone who was a little closer to a professional artist in there. What’s really awesome is that we landed a Charlie Harper exhibit for the summer. Brett Harper is going to come and do a kick off presentation in June. So instead of just leaving the room empty most of the time we’re actually going to have gallery hours there so folks can go check out the works. K: One thing I’ve been working really hard on is to develop a relationship with the Kentucky Science Center that’s based in Louisville to develop a traveling exhibit that will live in public libraries, focused on STEM education and early literacy and the connections between the two. That’s kind of where we’re going in terms of libraries, experiences, exhibits, hands on, participatory learning. It’s not just sitting quietly and reading a book in the corner. The STEM exhibit is part of a larger federal grant that we received to develop educational tools for librarians to integrate school readiness standards into their programming. What would you tell someone who is interested in getting involved with the local library but doesn’t know where to start? C: First and foremost, just come into the building. You’ll be surprised. We know we’re dealing with those stereotypical images of the old lady behind the desk saying ‘shhh’. But if you just come in, from there you’ll see there is so much stuff happening. K: Pick up the event calendar that’s available at each location. All the libraries are very active on social media, facebook and twitter. Also, if you want to get involved, don’t be scared to go up and talk to the person working, introduce yourself. More than likely they will just be thrilled that there is someone who cares enough to find out what is going on. C: Every library has a volunteer group too. There are lots of volunteer opportunities, “Friends of the Kenton County Library” is our group.
How to Love your Library Libraries provide an invaluable service and like the communities they serve, all libraries are unique. Libraries don’t just offer books and dvd’s - libraries bring people and ideas together. Think of the library as the living room of your community. Here are some simple ways to make your community living room a more vibrant and inclusive place for all: Get a card - it’s free! Don’t have time to visit? You can get free e-books, audiobooks, music, and streaming movies all without stepping foot into a building! Donate - whether you need to clean up your personal book collection or your are looking for an annual charitable fund, your library would be happy to give your extra resources a good home. Become a Volunteer or Friend of the Library - speaking of donations, if you have extra time, why not “lend” it to your local library! It’s a great way to meet new neighbors and lend your talents to the daily operations of the library...and a great way to build your resume! Attend Events - libraries aren’t just for books anymore! Many people may be familiar with book club or family storytime, but libraries have something for all ages and interests, from art exhibits, to exercise classes, and weekend concerts. Libraries are also highlighting the best local businesses through unique collaborative community events. Did we mention it’s all free?! Advocate - don’t assume your legislators and local elected officials know what the library is and what it has to offer. Leverage your personal and professional networks to share your library support to ensure funding for future generations. Anyone can speak up for libraries—your voice counts! Tell a Friend! - word of mouth is the best advertisement. Next time you visit your local library, bring a friend! For more inspiration and information, visit: http://www.ilovelibraries.org. Stop by your local branch of the Kenton County Public Library and follow their latest events on Facebook and Twitter, @KentonLibrary
Steve Huss - the picker Where are you from? My name is Steve Huss. I was born here in Covington, Booth Hospital, right now they’ve got condos there. And I’ve lived in Covington all my life. I’ve lived here in this place since 1985. This house was built in 1890. The Center put the siding on for me and it looks really nice. How long have you been involved with antiques? Since I was born. I was raised with them. My parents, that’s all they did. So I know a lot about them. I’m a picker. Have you seen that show on TV? I know stuff when I see it. I used to go to Ferguson Hills. I could run down the aisles and find stuff. I’m used to it, that was my job. I got some pretty good stuff. I deal mainly with antique lamps and wall sconces, things like that. My parents were into anything that they could make a dollar on. My mom liked antique dolls but my dad dealt with many things. Back then, years ago, you could get marble top furniture sometimes for a quarter, because nobody would want it. People know now. The internet has killed even buying things. People see the internet or these TV programs and they think they’ve got something that’s worth a lot of money. Do you ever fix the antiques? Oh yeah - some of them need some work. I do some detailing work on them. I buy things at reasonable prices and will sell them reasonably. They may need a like a little paint or an arm piece or something. I don’t get expensive antiques where I have to worry too much about hurting them. I get more affordable things for everybody. I like them myself though too. I don’t really keep a lot but I just like them because I’ve been around that kind of stuff for years, all my life. What do you like about Covington? Well, I was born and raised here. I kind of like it here. You’re right here by the interstate. My wife works in Cheviot and it doesn’t take long for her to get where she’s going. I just like it. I used to live over on Wheeler when I first married my wife in the 70’s and then we lived a couple other places, Florence and Newport, before we moved here. And it was reasonable back when I bought the house. It was about $13,000. And it was what I could afford. You know, I had two kids. What would you say to people interested in starting antiquing? They should go around to these flea markets. There’s a lot of them around this area. You can even find some things at these antique malls that’s good. They’re a little pricey but you know, I can go in one and might find a couple things. I know what I’m looking for.
Dan and Linda Carter - the gardeners Where are you from? D: Since 1960 we’ve been nomads. L: We moved here in January 89’. We bought it in September of 88’. We didn’t know what we were into - there was no heat electricity or plumbing in here. We’ve lived here since then. We started the bed and breakfast in 1990 and did that until 2000. We lived in Cincinnati from 1960-89’ and before that we were in Florida. We’ve been together 56 years. D: We’re both New Yorkers.
So you rehabbed the house, you have an amazing garden, and you used to run a bed and breakfast? L: We bought the house to have a bed and breakfast. That worked out well. D: Yup, over 11 years, the average burn out for that is 7. L: Since every unit has a separate entrance, people could bring their pets. The Phantom of the Opera lived here for 8 weeks when they were in hear in 94’, 95’. The city asked us for a diagram of how we’re going to do the back yard. I said, ‘I can’t do that, I don’t know how we’re going to do it, we just have to do it as we can afford it.’ So that’s what’s happened here. I don’t think Dan liked doing yardwork until we had this place. D: No, I did a little there L: You did but I don’t think you enjoyed it the way you do here. D: Well, it was a job. L: It was a job. This is not quite a job. It’s work but it’s pleasure work. It’s because, it’s unique!
So this is a historical landmark? L: Originally it was just a home built for Sanford. Then in 1845 the Western Baptist Theological Institute bought it to be a seminary. This house was the president’s home. After that it was a girl’s school. It was a Catholic commune in the 70’s. Actually when we bought it, the first person that came was one of the priests that used to work here. When we bought this, this was a parking lot. D: The only thing here that you see now is that one Black Walnut tree. L: We added all the rest. It’s pretty much finished now. The only thing we have to add is color. In the summer I have to put some window boxes and then a couple of hanging planters to add color. All of the ground cover has gotten so large that we don’t have to put hardly anything. What do you like about working on the garden? L: I just like it finished! D: I’m just the grunt or gopher or what have you. L: He plants all the larger stuff. The trees and the shrubs. I plant the flowers. Do you have any advice for people who are interested in perhaps starting a garden? L: Start small. We started small. Part of it may start out as a yard. But we just kept improving. I built that wall because I couldn’t find a professional to do it. Dan made sure it was level and then I put all the bricks in.
PJ Lonneman - the community gardener What’s your background? I bought a house in Covington about 5 years ago. I actually started working with the Center in 07’ 08’ when I was an Americorps Vista volunteer. So I did that with them and then went back to school in Lexington. Then I moved back up here and found a great deal on our house. I’ve been gardening here ever since I moved back up to Covington. I like doing yard work as long as it’s not my yard. I’ve got broccoli, kale, and brussel sprouts in so far. I’m not really sure how I got roped into doing the fence but it was fun I guess. We’ve still got a lot of work to do. What’s the history of the Riddle Yates Community Garden? From 1982 to 2014 it was just this plot here, half the size it is now. There was a nasty house populated by raccoons here. The Center leases this plot from the City and they got the City to tear the house down last March. It was great, but it quickly became apparent that it would become a massive job to double the size of the garden. And when they brought the big earth moving trucks in it destroyed the fence. So myself and some other people dug all of these post holes, put the posts in, ran the top rails to fence off this plot. So the fence was a big job. But now we’re worried about the ground. We put some compost and manure and stuff in there but still I think we have a long way to go. We’re going to dig a trench to bury this hose and then add another one halfway down this pathway to have easy access to the water. We’ve got 20 plots, 4 rows with 5 plots per row. They’re more or less all spoken for now, we have a couple left up for grabs. We’re charging $10 per person per year. It’s an organic garden. We might get a truck load of topsoil and a truck load of mushroom compost or something like that. We’ll see. What do you like about gardening here? I like being outside. I don’t really have a yard at my house but it’s nice coming down here and getting outside, having a reason to go on a walk. I like interacting with the other gardeners too and the neighbors. You see even now, we’ve got people coming by to talk. Sometimes it’s hard because I just want to get a post up or something but most of the time it’s pretty cool.
PJ’s Dutch Oven Bread: INGREDIENTS: 3 cups flour (any flour works but I’ve found that, if you use wheat flour, it doesn’t rise as well. half wheat and half white is a good combination) 1.5 cups water 2 tsp salt 1.5 tsp yeast INSTRUCTIONS: Mix flour, salt and yeast together, then add water. the dough will be very sticky! but mix it well, cover and let sit at least 8 hours (ideally overnight). I found that the right temperature is important to ensure proper leaveningif it’s cold in your house, put it in the microwave overnight! When the dough has approx. doubled in size, it’s ready to bake. Preheat the over to 450. Once preheated, place empty dutch oven in the oven and preheat it for approx. 30 mins. While the dutch oven is heating up, prepare the dough. To prepare dough, dust a large cutting board (or your table) with flour, and also spread flour on your dough in the container. It will stick to the sides of the containeruse your finger to work the flour down the sides of the container to help separate the dough. Once the dough is out of the container, roll it around a bit to form it into a bun shape. You don’t need to knead it, just form it. Place the saran wrap on top of the dough until the dutch oven is ready. Place dough into the hot dutch oven and bake for approx. 30 mins at 450. This recipe is very versatile- you can add anything! I’ve tried cheddar and bacon, parmesan and oregano, and many other combinations. My favorite is fresh rosemary from the garden. Add these ingredients along with the other dry ingredients and mix together before adding water.
Annie Brown and Lindsey Whittle - the community educator and the artist entrepreneur
What is Pique? L: We’ve tried to create a weird situation where artists can connect with other artists and have opportunities and artists can connect with the community and we can create unexpected experiences with art for people to have various experiences, including sleeping and living with it. A: In addition to what Lindsey said we also want to get artists to think about ways that they can connect with the community besides just sharing their art. We encourage them to have workshops when they’re here to try to share what they know and their knowledge and specialty with the community at large. How did you get your start? L: I have an undergrad from the Art Academy of Cincinnati in painting and I spent a year in Japan teaching English to a fashion technical highschool and then decided to go back to school at UC for 3 years for fashion design but never finished because I got into a Master’s program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago for fashion. I really wanted to learn from Nick Cave. When we decided to move back here my husband and I were looking and I am more of an urban girl, I like to be able to walk and get a gallon of milk or something but we weren’t so urban that we were compelled to live in the thick of it in Cincinnati. And I think we just always loved the Cov. We like the grass roots feel. Everyone here is just really passionate about it and they want to do something great in Covington because it is important to them, not because of money or some other hidden motive. A: I came about it in a little bit different journey. I don’t have the formal training that Lindsey has. I took art classes all my life, in school and outside of school. L: I thought you had a graphic design degree? A: Oh, I always forget about that! That was something I didn’t like doing at all. A year ago I wouldn’t even call myself an artist, even though it was always a very important part of my life. Anyway, Lindsey is coming at it from the viewpoint as an artist, wanting to help the artists make it as an artist, being able to make a living as an artist. I’m coming at it from the point of view of bringing the community to the artist. The education part is really important to me. I’m encouraging the artists to think about their role in the community and how they can reach another audience that they normally wouldn’t. That’s one of the things that we’re really conscious of here at Pique. We want to make sure everyone feels welcome here. Some of the residents in the neighborhood are a little shy about it. L: We’re right across from the Parish Kitchen and the Welcome House and a lot of those people don’t feel comfortable coming in. We go out and invite them in and they are shocked that they are welcome here. A: But we feel that those are the people that really need the experience here so we make sure that they know that they are welcome.
How long have you been here? What are your goals? L: I’ve been in the building since August 2014 and we opened as an AirBNB in July 2015. Then we opened it as an gallery on Labor Day 2015. There were quite a few things we had to do to shift it to a gallery, track lighting and white paint, things like that. At first we had thought of starting a collective, a bunch of artists paying a bit to cover the mortgage, but we’re just really tired of artists losing money so that cut that option. Then for a while I was thinking about possibly moving things around so we could have an apartment and a gallery but it was just too complicated with the layout of the space. Then I was talking to someone who was telling me all about her thriving AirBNB in Newport and I thought, this could be a really great solution to this problem where it will allow for the gallery to exist but we can still run it as a gallery. It is an exhaustingly weird dance where we have to keep track of the calendar where when we have guests we shouldn’t have events. Normally our guests are not artists. They’re people coming in for weddings, sports games, concerts, lots of conventions. My observation is that most of these people may not feel comfortable coming to an opening but they love the commodity of sleeping in an art gallery. They have these really personal experiences with the work and it’s just them, no one is judging them and they can have whatever experience they need to with the work. So, that’s been a positive unexpected thing. What advice would you give to creative people interested in starting their own space? L: My advice for anyone who wants to do anything is to just do it. Do it like a person with their head on fire looks for water and don’t take no for an answer. Everytime you come up on a road block try to come up with a creative solution. If you don’t know the answer, ask and research. A: I think that was something really smart that Lindsey did at the beginning was just reaching out to people. You reached out to people you knew who were doing things down here who were doing good things and every person we talked to said, “Oh you need to talk to so and so and let me introduce you…”. L: I figured out the bare minimum of what it would take. To put in the track lighting I went to Lowe’s and got a Lowe’s credit card and then got a friend who’s an electrician to come and put it all in. I’ll probably be paying that off for a while but we just made the decision to do it and we just did it. A: And find the people who will support you in your journey. There are a lot of people out there who will tell you “No, that’s crazy, you can’t do that, don’t even try.” But then you’ll get those people who will say “It may not work but let’s try anyway.” L: Just keep turning your plan on it’s head and doing weird crazy stuff with it. I just hope we never get bored with it. I think if we’re ever in a place where we’re not excited that that might be the time to turn it over to someone else or park it for a while. As long as we’re constantly like, “Well that was interesting” then I think we’re on to something. My hope is that it never gets stuck in the same thing all the time or boring. A: We’re just doing this because it’s something cool. We’re enjoying it. If it doesn’t last forever, it doesn’t matter, we’re doing something, we’re learning, we’re making an impact. It already has worked out.
Annie’s Hand Sewn Needle Book 2 pieces 5x8 inch fabric 1 piece 5x8 inch light colored felt 1 or 2 pieces 4.25x6.5 white felt three inches of small elastic cord a button to match the fabric needle and thread scissors pins
1. Tack a small piece of elastic in a loop in the middle on the right of the short end of one piece of fabric. Make sure the ends of the elastic line up with the edge of the fabric and loop is on the inside. 2. Lay down the felt, and then lay one of your fabric pieces on top of it, right side facing up. Then lay the top piece of fabric down with the wrong side facing up. Make sure the elastic loop is on the inside. Pin all around the edges, marking a 3” space at the top right corner where you won’t be sewing. This hole will help you turn it right side out later! Using a 1/4 seam allowance, sew all around the edge using a running stitch. Trim the edges of the bag, especially the corners! (Do not trim the opening or where the elastic is sewn on, though.) 3. Place your fingers in the opening between the two fabrics and turn it right side out. Don’t try to turn it between the felt and fabric, or you’ll end up with the wrong things on the outside. 4. Tuck in the opening so it looks nice and even with the rest of the edges. Then topstitch all around the edges using a 1/8 inch seam allowance. Pin the pages into the center of the book. Use a backstitch to stitch pages to the book. 5. Close the book and pull the elastic over to the cover. Mark where the center of the loop is on the cover with a pen. Sew on a button & viola! Your book is ready for some needles & pins.
Keith Riley - the commemorative park planner Where are you from? I grew up right here on Russell Street on the 1400 block. I went to college at UC. Just like anyone else I did a lot of other things and moved around but I found myself coming back here to Covington in 1996. I bought a house and I’m interested in seeing the community stop the deterioration and so that’s why I bought the house and am rehabbing it. I’m working with the Center for Great Neighborhoods and our Neighborhood Association because everyone has this idea of trying to bring it back. It’s been a big turn around but I’m back here in this area and I want to see some improvements. But I grew up here. I remember what was here. I was here 60 years ago! A lot of things have changed. The city has a desire. They want to see the community have this desire also. If we work together we might make something happen that is really positive. So what’s going on with this green space? Well, I put out a grant requesting that this lot here be turned into a commemorative park. What I mean by commemorative, we’re trying to commemorate, as the sign says, ‘A time gone by’. What that is referring to is what was here at one time. On the Northeast corridor of Martin Luther King Blvd, where the telephone company is now, that was the original location of Covington’s first public school, right here on this corner, it’s pictured in the sign here. So, as we develop in the urban core, we go through and tear out and make improvements. Well, when we do that, we tear out a piece of history. So what I’m trying to do is capture that before it becomes forgotten. And that’s what I want to do. So we worked a deal with the city, saying ‘We want to make a park.’ The lot stretches all the way from Banklink to Russel Street. The plan, we were going to have within the park, some murals and plaques, educational theme. We want to keep the green space, we want to bring something to the community. There’s a lot of history as to what was here before. Up and down this street we had a lot of teachers. Earlier in the mid 1800’s north of 12th street and stretching from Russell Street to Madison Avenue was the Western Baptist Theological Seminary. A prominent institution for its time, but ultimately split apart over the issue of slavery. After the civil war ended and up to about 1900 many district schools, from 1st District to 7th District (The Colored School) were being built in this area, from Philadelphia Street to Scott Street. Also, missing are those early African American teachers who first taught at the Colored School and then later at what became Lincoln / William Grant School. Many of those teachers resided right on Russell Street a main corridor in this community. So the theme is education. So to try to work with the neighborhood, I adopted two schools, John G. Carlisle and Glen Oak Springs to try to help bring more attention to the park. This is a Butterfly garden here and I’m looking at what I need to do to get it up to speed this year. I wanted to tie in science projects with these schools. I wrote a grant to get funds to buy Monarch butterflies and build this garden. And we actually did a butterfly release with these students, right here in this garden. The city likes the idea but we’re not sure if there are other plans for this block. But I’m still pushing for this park. I want to capture something about what was here before, before we forget about it. You come in and make major changes to the roadways and tear things down, but I don’t want to forget, I don’t want it to be forgotten.
How To Commemorate the Past Through A Park: Step 1: Do your research! The one thing I can say about a project like this is that you really need to do your research and get to know the area’s history. Take in all the positives and negatives you’ll discover and then evaluate them. Look over the results again and again until it becomes so obviously clear that this idea will surely touch the hearts of many, and therefore becomes a story that must be told. Step 2: Find support The very next step is to find some dedicated stakeholders who will help provide the resources and connections needed Step 3: Don’t ever give up.
Published on May 1, 2016
The project involved interviewing residents who are makers, creaters, and builders, and then compiling the interviews along with photos of t...