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2018? Let’s try that again!..

[ 2min VID + 6min TXT ]

Much like our Happy Winter video embedded above and/or Linked HERE , we’re ready to repeat.

When looking over notes and reviewing the ups & downs of 2018, they read a bit differently than years past. Though rocky at times, we’ve found a formula that pushes us as an organization and now have a practice round under our belt. The tweaking process is a go!

Two thousand eighteen was a change of pace. Personally speaking,  YeAr ONe as a parent was officially under way. “Yay Waylan!!” But in the same breath, Team PAR- was gellin’ and able to launch two new initiatives — an applied arts education program in Kennedy Heights and new strategies to help fund local artists, starting in Northside. The boat was rocked, construction milestones were reached at Headquarters, and our organization as a whole continued to mature. Memorable times!

Though we only hosted two full exhibitions last year, both were rather impressive. Christian Benefiel thrilled us all with This System is Working, while Emily Moore’s Cincinnati 5 project helped create one of the most diverse collaborations, ever hosted by PAR- — one that invited notable organizations such as Elementz, Intermedio, and Pones Inc. to help activate our space.  Thanks again to all involved with both. “…Really impressive ladies and gentlemen. Your assistance was necessary and greatly appreciated.”

As we continue renovating The Nook, our 2019/2020 exhibition season is in full view. Upcoming artists have begun touring the space in preparation for their shows. And looking forward, we hope the upcoming exhibition season will bring new levels of connectivity to all corners of Northside. We're excited to directly engage with local community organizations — such as Northside Farmers Market — but we’d also like our efforts to reach deeper. Starting with Chase Elementary and Parker Woods Montessori, becoming a resource for local schools is another goal, especially when considering the ongoing collaborations we already have in place with UC’s DAAP Program. Field trips, presentations, and artist-lead discussions are all on the table.

On the other hand, we can’t overlook the need to refine some of our more established off-site engagements. In the case of Northside Summer Market, we’ve stumbled onto something worthwhile. The format we launched last year celebrates our community and financially rewards participation & creative thought. Regretfully, in 2018 we hit a bit of a location hurdle, but just last week Humble Monk Brewing Company officially opened their doors to the public and we can only hope the passion, grit, and energy the’ve put into their space will help us finish the event’s transformation for NSM019. "Congrats again to Mike, Paul, and all family + crew(s) involved. I know we shared one last week, but here’s to our next beverage and the years ahead!" 

For the foreseeable future, sustaining growth at PAR- remains vital. This sentiment caries throughout, from our Board of Directors to our two external committees — Education and Events. Reaching more of the community is simply a priority. For this reason we’re creating new access points that are more readily available to the public and look to expand our community presence. As the spring approaches please keep an eye out for us. But to any active artists taking the time to read this (at any career level or milestone), please don’t hesitate to reach our direction as well. We are one of the few community focussed arts organizations in Cincinnati started and led by working artists — "shout out to Wave Pool"— and one of even fewer founded by an artist of color. We understand the need for more opportunities to present creative ideas, challenge conventional thought, and be influenced by the abstract. And yes, the journey ahead. Check. ♥

As incorporated in our long view, we’re also enjoying the work we’ve been able to chase down alongside a few of our partners. Notably the work we we've been able to accomplish with Kennedy Heights Arts Center and Clifton Cultural Arts Center was particularly inspired. While vastly different in scope — an ongoing program versus an annual exhibition — both stem from the understanding that we’re best when we come together. Over the years we've been able to work with a number of organizations — art & otherwise — and it's an honor to be a chosen collaborator each time around. Thanks again for keeping us in mind.

 What about rating things on a color scale? 

I’d land our progress somewhere between burnt umber and violet. We’re still grassroots, fairly gritty, but heating up.  That said, it’s quite certainly a pleasure to be part of the Greater Cincinnati Arts Community in whichever role that entails on any given Sunday.  Let’s keep the spirit of PAR-Projects alive and well.


With renewed focus and deeper understanding,

Jonathan Sears
Executive Director
Professional Artistic
Research Projects
1662 Hoffner Street
Cinti, OH 45223

P.S. Thanks for staying tuned in. And if you’re new here, welcome to the family.


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..and to close on a deeply personal note: If this somehow finds you, “Thank you dearly to all of the doctors and staff of Cincinnati Children’s for your help with our son, as well as both the Virginia & Maryland-based medical teams who have been helping us with both of little Waylan’s grandmothers. We had an extremely long year and can’t thank you enough for leading us through the moments. And if reading this from a supporter standpoint, please excuse any lags you may have noticed, especially related to outward communications. I look forward to reconnecting with everyone as we're thankfully back on our feet.


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