Feb 16, 2023 - News

Black Avenue Cultural District takes shape

Up-close photo of the Mid Town sign in Cleveland, Ohio.

MidTown has become one of the fatest growing areas in Cleveland. Photo: Troy Smith

A creative initiative is in motion to preserve the cultural vitality of one of Cleveland's fastest-growing areas.

Driving the news: MidTown Cleveland Inc. is kicking off its Black Avenue Cultural District initiative this week, as part of an effort to highlight Black culture in the MidTown neighborhood.

  • To celebrate, the organization is hosting an event with music, dancing and poetry tonight at The Agora on Euclid Avenue.

Why it matters: The Black Avenue project looks to ease Black residents' concerns as several multimillion-dollar development projects from companies outside the area take shape in the MidTown.

  • The Cleveland Foundation is also moving its headquarters from a rented space in Playhouse Square to a $22 million building in MidTown.

What they're saying: Aisia Jones, vice president of community empowerment for MidTown Cleveland, tells Axios the district will assure residents that the area's rich history and Black culture won't get lost in all the innovation.

  • "The community members wanted to make sure they had a voice and weren't being pushed out," Jones says. "We're partnering with Cleveland Foundation and other organizations to assure these developments are places Black creators can thrive in."

What's next: Jones says plans for the Black Avenue Cultural District are in the early stages.

  • The next steps include developing a website and having the area designated as an official cultural district that can help with generating tourism.

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