Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Valuable Businesses on Vine Street

I am in a Writing for Social Change class where we are analyzing the media and corporations' dealings and perceptions that they give of Over The Rhine (OTR). Over The Rhine has went through its years of cultural change and uprising(s).

Yet there's an untapped and hidden beauty surrounding OTR and the evidence is in those who have and are looking to invest in the neighborhood. As a small business owner, I understand this need for capitalization and went on an adventure to see how the present businesses are handling things.
The pictures above with an art gallery feel are from the Switch Lighting & Design, LLC. Drew Dearwester and Bertie Ray III opened Switch in 2008. They service and consult personal and commercial clients throughout the region and from New York City to San Francisco on modern lighting. Mr.Bertie Ray III contributes the success of his business to the location he's in. Learn more about Switch at

The man I am pictured with is named Terrance Heath. Heath is 51 years old and is on his third attempt to obtain his GED. He believes he is going to get it this time because of his tutoring he's received through Power Inspires Progress (PIP). PIP also employed him at the Venice on Vine restaurant and trained him how to be a server, dishwasher and cook so he can gain employment after his 12-14 month stint with the program. As I take a bite into my well prepared, steamy hot steak hoagie and share a joke with the employees, it was hard for me to imagine the people working there had employment barriers. They are having a fundraiser event on May 6th from 5:30PM to 9:00PM. PIP definitely gives power to the people, so I will definitely be in attendance.

In my class, I seen the media portray OTR as place unfit for travels. Yet, I have come to feel an elegance and sense of community in OTR that makes you forget the woes of this world.

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