As with most things in 2020, The City Planning Department’s public engagement events for the Hough Form-Based Code project were disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Originally scheduled to begin in May of 2020 the Department took the summer to work with its partners to re-envision the shape and scope of the public engagement session given our new reality. What has come out of that work is a plan for a deep dive with residents and stakeholders into their vision for the future of the Hough neighborhood.
The public process will be led by two local Cleveland engagement leaders, Alexandria (Lexy) Lattimore and Daniel Gray-Kontar. Lexy’s background in art and dance combined with Daniel’s experience with youth engagement will bring a unique set of perspectives to city process that can sometimes feel routine. Building on their prior work with MidTown Cleveland on the East 66th Street Transportation for Livable Communities Initiative, Lexy and Daniel will focus on pulling in often under-represented voices to the City’s new zoning code development process. Lexy is currently helping to organize “The Freedom Zone” – an interactive and educational zoning experience that is open to the public. You can learn more about Lexy and Daniel below.
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Daniel Gray-Kontar has worked as an advocate for social transformation in the city of Cleveland for more than 25 years. Gray-Kontar is an education consultant for the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; Writer-in-Residence at MOCA Cleveland; the former chair of the Literary Arts Department at the Cleveland School of the Arts; and a former graduate school fellow at UC Berkeley’s College of Education. His work in arts education has been showcased on PBS Newshour, The Christian Science Monitor, and the UK Guardian among others. Gray-Kontar has lectured at universities, public schools, arts organizations, and scholarly conferences across the US. His Ted Talk discussing youth leadership in public school education has affected the ways public school administrators think about the inclusion of youth and their families in the process of re-making school cultures and curricula. Daniel currently serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Cleveland Arts Prize. He is the founder and Executive Artistic Director of Twelve Literary Arts and a 2020 Joyce Award Recipient.
Lexy Lattimore has had an extensive career as a dancer, performer, and storyteller. She is also a social worker, an academic, organizer, and a talented writer. Lexy has performed with two contemporary ballet companies and has traveled to Cuba, Spain, Italy, and Australia, sharing her love for dance with the world. She has produced her own work in New York City, Boston, Durham, and Cleveland. Lexy has used storytelling as an effective marketing tool, raising over $60,000 at age 16 for arts funding and over $750,000 at age 22 for a health care center in Boston.
Lexy graduated cum laude from Duke University with a Bachelor’s in History and honors in Dance. She is the 2019 recipient of the Cleveland Arts Prize Verge Fellowship. Additionally, she is a Mandel Leadership Fellow at Case Western Reserve University where she will receive her Master’s in Social Administration and a certificate in trauma-informed care. Lexy is the founder and director of “Hood Ballets”, an arts organization that utilizes movement, storytelling, and performance to build healthy and inclusive communities. She dreams of opening healing-arts centers around the globe.