April 28, 2017 Carly Rospert

Pitch Night in Madisonville: Your Ideas. Your Voice. Your Choice.

Earlier this year, Strong Cincinnati introduced the concept of fostering strong, connected communities through the activation of strengths within individuals, organizations and neighborhoods. The neighborhood selected to begin this work? Madisonville, an amazing community that has already experienced the impact that character strengths can have within the neighborhood elementary school, John P. Parker School.

Last week, around 150 individuals gathered at John P. Parker school to support their neighbors and friends in making positive change in Madisonville. These individuals worked with the Strong Cincinnati staff and local partners over the past two to three months to build out their ideas with an action plan, budget, and compelling pitch for projects that met the following criteria:

  • Build awareness and use of character strengths
  • Ability to complete within six months
  • Contribute to making Madisonville the best community it can be
  • Have the potential to make a lasting impact in the Madisonville community
  • Offer the possibility of replicating in other Cincinnati neighborhoods

The proposals were amazing and reflected an intense desire on the part of residents and local organizations to make Madisonville the strongest community it can be by activating strengths within themselves and their neighbors. The eight Project Pitches presented were:

  • Read Across Madisonville: Building literacy and connections through a strengths-based reading program (Pitched by: Susan Arbogast)
  • Simply Fresh Farmers Market: Creating a strengths-based space to bring fresh produce into Madisonville (Pitched by: Terri Henry-Hayden)
  • Hello Home Madisonville: Using character strengths and conversation to welcome newcomers to Madisonville (Pitched by: Camielle Howard)
  • Strong Strides: Spreading the message of strengths through community flags and crosswalks (Pitched by: Ginny Jefferson)
  • Abandoned Lots to Pocket Parks: Turning unused spaces into places of strength in Madisonville (Pitched by: Alexander Smith)
  • Madisonville Cooks: Building character strengths and confidence through cooking (Pitched by: Kristen St. Clair)
  • Curiosity through Chess: Using strengths and chess to build connections across generations (Pitched by: Rosemary “Toni” Tanks)
  • Little Library Community Hubs: Using strengths and books to create connections and communication (Pitched by: Joan Willis)

While all these ideas were incredible and well-presented, the Madisonville community could only select five to move into implementation. After a community voting process, the following projects were chosen:

  • Curiosity through Chess
  • Strong Strides
  • Madisonville Cooks
  • Abandoned Lots to Pocket Parks
  • Simply Fresh Farmers Market

The Strong Cincinnati team will be working with each project over the next six months to support them in implementation. Follow our Strong Stories blog or visit our Facebook page to watch our progress or connect with us if you want to help support this work.