M&M News Briefs: Dec. 15, 2021

Here’s a quick wrap-up of those breaking new ground, receiving awards and grants, and landing new jobs in recent days…

Brighton Center groundbreaking

Brighton Center and its wholly-owned subsidiary Brighton Properties – in partnership with Northern Kentucky University and the City of Highland Heights – hosted a groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate Opportunity House – 16 apartments for young adults ages 18 to 24 who have aged out of the state’s care, foster care, or other similar life experiences. Opportunity House will hopefully have a profound and life-changing impact on the young adults served…ultimately leading to educational success, employment and self-sufficiency.

According to Brighton Center: “If our youth are prepared for their future due to the supports and education in high-demand industry sectors they will receive, our community and businesses can thrive, and everyone wins.”


Miami U. honors National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

Miami University will honor Cincinnati’s National Underground Railroad Freedom Center with the Freedom Summer of ’64 Award for its efforts in advocating for social justice.

The Freedom Summer of ’64 Award is bestowed by Miami upon a distinguished leader or organization that has inspired the nation to advance civil rights and social justice. A ceremony will take place Feb. 11.

“The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, with its focus on ongoing social justice issues and through its role as convener of dialogue on freedom and human rights, exemplifies the commitment to social justice and anti-racism at the core of the Freedom Summer of ’64 Award,” said Cristina Alcalde, vice president for institutional diversity and inclusion at Miami.


Literacy Network ‘Reading Hero’ Award

“Reading Hero” Arin Gentry

In 2021, the Literacy Network of Greater Cincinnati kicked-off its “Reading Hero” campaign to provide individuals an opportunity to celebrate the story of their own reading hero. The goal was to highlight community members who go above and beyond to share their passion for reading. Each nomination provided inspiring insights about how their reading hero makes an impact on others. After a year, with over 50 nominees, LNGC closed the campaign by highlighting one last person who truly emanates what it means to be a “Reading Hero”: Arin Gentry.

Gentry was nominated by Literacy Network board member Yasmin Chilton. “Arin’s a busy new mom,” Chilton said, “but is relentlessly committed to helping all Black children have access to Black books and authors. In 2020, she held a book drive which raised more than $6,000 and gathered hundreds of donated Black books. She donates books directly to teachers who share feedback about how much Black book options changed the interest in reading for students. She regularly shares literacy related social media posts and books she is reading with her own baby.”

Gentry also launched the “As Told By” Foundation, a nonprofit targeted specifically toward closing the literacy gap for Black youth. 

“Sharing books is never about the recognition,” Gentry said, “but I am so proud to receive this award for my efforts. I love reading Black books to my own son and want to make sure all families get to experience the joy of seeing themselves reflected in the books they read!”


ONE 12: The Manifest Prize has reached $5K

Brett Eberhardt: “Studio Corner and Floor,” oil on linen, 60 x 85.5″, 2020

Manifest’s projects are carefully crafted exhibitions of engaging works from around the world, judged and chosen by a dynamic jury of working artists, creative professionals, scholars and educators. Once each year, the gallery and its judges honor an exemplary artwork in ONE: The Manifest Prize. 

The nonprofit Manifest Creative Research Gallery is celebrating over a decade offering this award supporting artists making exceptional art. Now in its 12th year, one work has been chosen from a pool of nearly 800 works by 172 artists from 35 states, Washington D.C., and 11 countries, (Canada, China, England, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Poland, Russia, Switzerland, Turkey and the United States) to stand out as the best from so many exceptional submissions. Twenty-three jurors from across the U.S. and beyond participated in this multi-stage selection process.

According to Manifest, “It should be noted that the winner and ten finalists*, 11 works total, represent the top scoring 1% of the jury pool. The winner represents the top one-tenth of 1% of the jury pool as determined by the broad peer jury.”

This year’s $5,000 Manifest Prize and corresponding ONE exhibit has been awarded to Brett Eberhardt of Providence, RI for his painting, “Studio Corner and Floor,” which will be on view in Manifest’s Central Gallery through Jan. 7th. It is also worth noting that this is the first time an artist is a second time winner of the Prize. Brett’s painting won the second annual Prize in 2011 when it was a mere $300 award.



Santa Maria Community Services wins INSPIRE | Healthcare Award

Santa Maria Community Services, Inc. is pleased to announce it has been named the 2021 INSPIRE | Healthcare Diversity and Inclusion award winner from The Health Collaborative

INSPIRE | Healthcare celebrates those who have made significant contributions in improving health and healthcare in Greater Cincinnati. The Health Collaborative recognized excellence in the areas of quality improvement, population health, healthcare technology, and diversity and inclusion in an online presentation on Friday, December 10.

The Diversity and Inclusion Award celebrates the individual or organization committed to inclusiveness and advocacy for under-represented and minority populations and for people of diverse cultures, backgrounds, and experiences in its overall policies, practices, and partnerships.

Between October 2020 and October 2021, Santa Maria held three health fairs, hosted numerous vaccine clinics and participated in several community events aimed at getting minority populations vaccinated against COVID-19. More than 500 people received a COVID-19 vaccine at Santa Maria events during that time period.

“We are honored to receive this award. Santa Maria has been dedicated to immigrant outreach ever since our founding, nearly 125 years ago,” said Santa Maria President and CEO H.A. Musser Jr. “We continue to explore ways to build the core values of diversity, equity, and inclusion into all our programs and to model those values as we advance our mission to be a catalyst and advocate for Greater Price Hill families to attain their educational, financial, and health goals.”

Craig Brammer, CEO of The Health Collaborative said about Santa Maria’s work: “The driving force behind this dedicated team, is their devotion to inclusivity and advocacy for immigrant populations, specifically the Latinx community within the Price Hill community.”



St. Joseph Home bus wish comes true

The White family – Pete, Lori and Jason – with St. Joseph Home VP of Advancement Jordan Huizenga and CEO/President Dan Connors

Through the combined generosity and goodwill of a volunteer-led grassroots fundraising campaign, a grant from the John A. Schroth Family Charitable Trust, and a grant from The Farmer Family Foundation, St. Joseph Home is able to afford one of the biggest items on its wish list – a reliable new bus.

“This bus is so much more than just transportation,” said St. Joseph Home VP of Advancement Jordan Huizenga. “For our residents, who have complex disabilities and require wheelchairs, it means they have access to education and the community. In a typical year we transport them, with their caregivers, on the equivalent of 7,000 trips to where they need, and want to go, including school and day programs, doctor appointments, and community outings.” The most frequently used bus was purchased in 1994.

Jason White, who attends one of St. Joseph Home’s Adult Day Programs, is well known throughout his hometown of Blue Ash and beyond for waving at passersby who honk in response. Jason’s dad, Pete White, wanted to share Jason’s gifts with the world, and that’s how the Honks for Jason campaign was born. Since July, the nonprofit has raised more than $23,000, with a $5,000 donation from Total Quality Logistics putting the effort over the top.

The new vehicle, which will be specially adapted to carry six wheelchairs plus six passengers and a driver will cost just under $100,000.


Central Clinic receives grant from Truist Foundation

Central Clinic Behavioral Health Child & Family Treatment Center has received a $10,250 grant from the Truist Foundation to help increase children’s emotional well-being and regulation and improve academic performance.

Central Clinic uses the Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies curriculum in kindergarten through third grade in the schools it serves. Developed in alignment with Common Core State Standards, Common Core State and National Standards, Head Start, and American School Counselor Association Standards, the staff using PATHS will collaborate with teachers and school staff to integrate PATHS programming into the school day. In addition, this grant will fund Parent-Child Interaction Therapy, an evidence-based treatment for young children who have behavioral problems. PCIT is used by mental health therapists to help parents/caregivers learn different ways of engaging with their children.

“We have aspired to update our PATHS curriculum in the schools we serve to help the students,” said Dr. Walter S. Smitson, Central Clinic president and CEO. “Thanks to Truist Foundation, Central Clinic’s Child & Family Treatment Center will be able to make this happen, which will be a benefit to our students as well as the teachers.”

“Investing in youth education initiatives can increase students’ confidence and create an environment where they can thrive,” said Calvin Barker, Kentucky and Ohio regional president for Truist, speaking on behalf of the Truist Foundation. “By supporting Central Clinic Behavioral Health, we can help improve the emotional well-being and academic achievement of children in Greater Cincinnati and fulfill our purpose to inspire and build better lives and communities.”


WAVE Foundation hires new executive director

Tricia Watts

The WAVE Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that works in partnership with Newport Aquarium, has announced the hiring of Tricia Watts as its newexecutive director.

WAVE provides unique education curriculum and experiences for students; supports and provides leadership in local, national and global conservation efforts; and has a vibrant volunteer program.

“I am thrilled to join the WAVE Foundation as executive director,” said Watts. “The mission to excite, engage and educate our community about the wonders of aquatic life and the importance of conservation really speaks to me. I look forward to diving right in and can’t wait to meet all of the WAVE Foundation’s supporters and friends.”

Watts has been dedicated to nonprofit work for more than 10 years and served most recently as executive director of Gorman Heritage Farm in the Village of Evendale. Prior to Gorman Heritage Farm, Watts served as director of advancement for Senior Services of Northern Kentucky.

“Tricia’s past accomplishments in nonprofits and her proven leadership skills will have an
immediate and positive impact on WAVE,” said Board Chair Tabitha Tolliver.

In her position at WAVE Foundation, Watts will provide oversight and direction for WAVE
Foundation’s conservation, education and volunteer programs and lead the organization to fulfill
its mission and ensure continued financial health


CCM selects Skelton as new opera chair

Grammy nominee and 2014 International Opera Awards Male Singer of the Year Stuart Skelton has been selected to lead the UC College-Conservatory of Music’s internationally renowned opera department into a new era of excellence. CCM Dean Stanley E. Romanstein announced the appointment of the acclaimed heldentenor as the college’s new J. Ralph Corbett Distinguished Chair in Opera

A CCM alumnus, Skelton (MM Voice, ’95) joined CCM’s faculty this past August, and has worked closely with faculty and students while balancing an international performance career. He was recently dubbed “one of the world’s most exciting singers” in an interview with the Guardian. Earlier this year, Skelton performed as featured soloist in Last Night at the Proms with the BBC Symphony Orchestra at London’s Royal Albert Hall. He is also featured in a critically acclaimed recording of Benjamin Britten’s “Peter Grimes” with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra and Choirs, which won Gramophone’s Classical Music Awards Recording of the Year and Opera Recording of the Year in October 2021.

Skelton’s appointment as begins on Jan. 3, as current head of CCM Opera Marie-France Lefebvre passes the baton. Lefebvre has held the position since 2019 and will continue to serve as professor of opera at CCM. 


CSO names 2022 MAC Music Innovator

The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra recently announced Antoine T. Clark as its 2022 MAC Music Innovator.

An award-winning conductor known for his engaging stage presence and advocacy for arts education, Clark is assistant conductor of the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra and founding artistic and music director of the McConnell Arts Center Chamber Orchestra. A supporter of new music and interdisciplinary artistic collaborations, he regularly commissions new works and engages artists from various practices to create dynamic programming intended to inspire, foster music education, and establish relationships between artists and communities. 

Antoine Clark
(Photo by Jennifer Zmuda)

“Antoine Clark embodies everything we are looking for in a MAC Music Innovator,” said Jonathan Martin, president & CEO of the CSO. “The goal of the MAC Music Innovator program is to amplify African American musicians who demonstrate both artistic excellence and a passion for engaging communities not traditionally reached by the CSO. We are excited to see the impact he will have in schools and the greater community.” 

The MAC Music Innovator is a one-year music residency that highlights leading African American classical musicians who embody artistry, innovation and commitment to education and community engagement. Supported by the Multicultural Awareness Council, a diverse volunteer group that helps support audience engagement initiatives with the CSO, the MAC Music Innovator works closely with the CSO’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion department staff in collaboration with the CSO’s Learning department to develop a unique residency that includes multiple community engagement and educational activities along with a culminating performance.  


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