Kennedy Heights Cultural Center

For over two years, the KHDC has been coordinating a $3M development project in partnership with three flagship non-profits:

• The Kennedy Heights Montessori Center, a highly regarded private Montessori school founded in 1965;

• The Cincinnati Art Museum;

• The Kennedy Heights Arts Center, a historic mansion and grounds celebrating its 7th year as a non-profit, community-based center featuring arts education, regional gallery space, artist gift shop, and event hosting.

Working with Cincinnati officials and our three partners, we are converting a 32,000 sq.ft. former big-box store in the heart of the District A arts corridor into a regional cultural center which will rejuvenate our business district while making art and arts-related education accessible to persons of all economic and cultural backgrounds throughout the Greater Cincinnati area.

The center will be the home for a variety of regional resources and community programs:

• a state-of-the-art, expanded home for the Montessori Center;

• the Cincinnati Art Museum’s first community outreach center, featuring educational space, a small gallery and a viewable collection of archives;

• an expansion of the Arts Center including artists’ studios

The Cultural Center will become a physical anchor and focal point of “District A”- the arts corridor along Montgomery through Pleasant Ridge and Kennedy Heights, extending to Silverton. The Museum’s outreach facility is intended for use by school children throughout the region. The Montessori school will open out to the June Alexander Playfield complex.

Our Cultural Center is perfectly matched to recommendations adopted by the City of Cincinnati and our Community Council. A 2005 City-funded market study determined that the revitalization of the corridor should be built on the growing core of arts-based businesses and cultural institutions along Montgomery Road. The City adopted the market study as an urban design plan in 2007 and re-zoned the area accordingly in 2008

We have obtained commitments from our partners and received funding from the City of Cincinnati, Procter & Gamble, and the Emery, Jergens, and the Schmidlapp Foundations for nearly $2M of the projected $3M cost of the finished center.

On October 10, 2011 the purchase of the property was completed by the City of Cincinnati. The City took ownership of the 32,000 sq.ft. building and surrounding acreage, and the property was conveyed to the KHDC in April of 2012.

KHDC will maintain ownership of the property through the construction phase of the project and will oversee disbursement of the project funds. We have contracted Emersion Design of Cincinnati who has, in turn, met with our partners to develop a preliminary set of plans.

We are a small organization with a modest annual operating budget. Our expenses are minimal since we do not maintain any full-time staff. While KHDC is spearheading the fundraising effort for the Cultural Center, the ongoing operation of the Center will be handled by the Montessori Center, the Art Museum and the Arts Center.

The specific objectives of the Kennedy Heights Cultural Center are as follows:

1. Provide a regional cultural center where the Cincinnati Art Museum will establish its first ever community outreach location, making great art more accessible to low income and minority residents of Cincinnati.

2. For the first time, establish a connection between the Cincinnati Art Museum and a Montessori Center.

3. Provide an opportunity for the Kennedy Heights Art Center to expand its offerings to the community by providing much-needed artist studio space for rent.

4. Provide storage space for the Art Museum, which will free up space in the Museum's main building in Eden Park for other uses.

5. Provide a unique venue for the project partners as well as for Cincinnati residents to host a variety of cultural and arts-based events.

6. Eliminate blight in the Kennedy Heights neighborhood by re-purposing and renovating an empty big box store.

7. Providing an anchor for the 'District A' Arts Corridor along Montgomery Road from Pleasant Ridge through Kennedy Heights.

8. Greatly increase the cultural amenities available for all area residents.

Birth of the Cultural Center

The current project is the result of three pressing needs that emerged in 2008.

1. Cincinnati Art Museum was looking for a site for community outreach and storage.

2. The Kennedy Heights Montessori Center needed a new, expanded home for its 40-year-old school.

3. The Kennedy Heights business district was peppered with abandoned or neglected properties.

When the vacant, former Kroger property, in the heart of the business district, became available for sale, the idea for the Kennedy Heights Cultural Center was born.

Cultural Center Partners

More about the Kennedy Heights Cultural Center

Read Remarks from the Groundbreaking

Project Overview

Kennedy Heights Cultural Center

KHCC: Supporting one of Cincinnati's most live-inable neighborhoods
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