Category: Non-Profit

Making Columbus Festivals

It has been said that festivals are one of the best things about our community. By extension, the folks who conceive and orchestrate them are making the city measurably better. This week, on the occasion of the upcoming Hot Times Festival, organizer Candy Watkins discusses the origins of Comfest, why Hot Times Community Festival is the friendliest festival in town, and the importance of leaning in to ensure that these festivals continue to thrive.

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Housing

As the Assistant Director of Housing Strategies for the City of Columbus, Erin Prosser wakes up every day thinking about housing in the city. In today’s episode, we discuss strategies for combatting NIMBYism, the importance of non-commercial partners when we think about housing, why housing should be thought of as infrastructure, and how we can right-size our systems in order to align them to our priorities.

As a bonus this week, we have an additional conversation with entrepreneur David Hunegnaw about one possible micro solution to density: Lease the Lawn.

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Homeport

54,000 households in Central Ohio pay 50% of their income for housing. Homeport, along with other Columbus-based organizations, are working to fix that. This week, Homeport President and CEO Bruce Luecke discusses their work, the growing need for affordable housing in Columbus, and the contributing factors that hamper Columbus’s housing market.

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Greater Columbus Arts Council

What’s the difference between being an arts advocate and an artists’ advocate? Look to the policies and missions of the Greater Columbus Arts Council for an idea. This week, I spoke with Jami Goldstein, Vice President of Marketing, Communications & Events. We discussed the organization and how it’s funded, their non-competitive grants programs, their new office and gallery space, how the arts community has the opportunity to engage and uplift marginalized communities, and the importance of public art.

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Wexner Center for the Arts

Contemporary art and the presentation of it has traditionally been a class-based endeavor. The Wexner Center for the Arts is trying to change that through its programs and the type of work that they present. I spoke with Johanna Burton, the Center’s Executive Director about what the Wexner Center is and how you should view it, how to convince people to expose themselves to the arts, the importance of being a multi-disciplinary laboratory, and how they are pivoting in this time.

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Matter News

What makes news in Columbus? From gentrification to policing to protests, Matter News is approaching issues with an approach meant to build trust while avoiding bias. In this week’s episode, Matter News’ Editor in Chief, Jaelynn Grisso, talks about their non-profit structure, how they choose and execute their coverage, and the importance of objectivity in reporting.

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Can’t Stop Columbus

In this time of consistent change and challenge, we look at how the Columbus community is standing up. Can’t Stop Columbus is a community-wide movement that tries to address some of the problems that have arisen due to the COVID-19 crisis. Co-organizer Mackenzie King joins us to discuss how the organization got started, how they’ve scaled up to 56 projects, and the importance of being authentic in their endeavors.

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Real Girls F.A.R.T.

After a nervous breakdown and mental health diagnosis, Achea Redd needed help. She found it by finding her voice through writing on her blog, Real Girls F.A.R.T. (Fearless, Authentic, Rescuer, & Trailblazer). On the occasion of her upcoming keynote at the Columbus YWCA’s fundraiser Activists and Agitators, she sat down to talk about her work, the stigma of mental health in African American and spiritual communities, and how to talk to kids about trauma and mental illness.

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The Columbus Festival Scene

Two years ago, when the Independents’ Day Festival wrapped up after 10 years, it left a gap in the Columbus festival scene that’s slowly been filled by other independent event producers. Festival and community organizer Cassie Young sat down this week to talk about her new endeavor, Cloud City 614, filling that gap, and how people can discover what’s going on in Columbus.

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The Overcomer Foundation

In Ohio, single parents pay nearly 44% of their income for an infant in a daycare center and nearly 80% for two children (Child Care Aware of America, 2018). The Overcomer Foundation is trying to address that financial burden. This week, Sarah Perez, co-founder and president of the newly formed non-profit discusses their mission and the importance of companies in Columbus giving back.

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COTA’s Joanna Pinkerton

With nearly a year into her role as president and CEO of COTA, Joanna Pinkerton sat down with Columbus Underground reporter Brent Warren to talk about how she came into her role, the interdependence of mobility in Columbus, mobility as a service, the state of affairs at COTA, and where they’re going.

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