News and Events

  • 19th Annual Founders Day Honors Volunteer Leaders

    • 14 April 2023
    • Posted By Ellen Muse-Lindeman

    Each year, Kennedy Heights Arts Centers recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to KHAC’s mission and our community through their leadership and volunteer service through awards presented at our annual Founders Day event. The 19th Annual Founders Day will be held on Sunday, April 23 at 2 pm.

    We are pleased to announce this year’s honorees.

    Kennedy Award: Beth Muething

    “Leave no trace” was one of Beth Muething’s mottos. The Pleasant Ridge resident and mother of four believed in having the smallest ecological footprint possible.

    So when she visited a creative reuse center in Portland her first thought was how to create something similar in Cincinnati. She came home and gathered a team of local residents, and Kennedy Heights Arts Center as fiscal sponsor, to dream and plan.

    Beth wrote grants, scouted for sites, recruited volunteers, made presentations to community groups and funders, painted the walls, and laid the floor… literally and figuratively.

    The result was Scrap It Up, a volunteer-run nonprofit that promotes sustainability and creativity by keeping usable materials out of the waste stream and putting them into the hands of creators. Community members visit the store on Ridge Road to purchase yarn, fabric, paints, and any number of other supplies for creative pursuits for just pennies a pound.

    Since 2017, Scrap It Up has diverted more than 137,817 pounds of materials from the landfill and provided low-cost creative resources for thousands—from students to teachers to a quilter who uses the fabric to make blankets for sick kids. 100 percent of the net proceeds are donated back to arts and green community organizations.

    Sadly, Beth passed away in 2022 after a battle with pancreatic cancer, but her legacy continues to enrich our community and generations to come.

    “Beth cared deeply for her family, her community, the earth, and our scrappy little endeavor,” remarked fellow volunteer Mindy Burger. “She was a bright, kind, innovative, and humble leader who was passionate about making the world around her a better place.”

    Volunteer Award: The Kennedy Collective

    If you’ve attended events at Kennedy Heights Arts Center, or dropped by on any given day, chances are you encountered a member of the Kennedy Collective.

    This group of 40+ local artists commit to volunteer service as part of their membership in the creative community. Members contribute more than 200 hours annually leading activities at community events, assisting in the art shop, organizing and installing exhibitions, working in the office, and more.

    In 2022, members took on a special project to create a “book nook” at Talbert House’s Passages residential program for teen girls, where KHAC has offered an art therapy class for many years. The students love the weekly art class, but were asking for opportunities to do creative art making on their own between visits. Passages art instructor (and Collective member) Lynne Gibb shared this with the group and they sprang into action.

    Collaborating with Passages staff, Collective members contributed more than $2,000 and worked together to create a welcoming, healing space for the girls to explore and express their creativity. Artist and the students collaboratively painted an inspiring mural; comfy chairs and bright furnishings were purchased; a library of books donated; and individual art supply kits were provided for every student.

    “(The space helps me remember that) I’m worthy of moving on and healing,” said one of the Passages residents. “Today me isn’t tomorrow me.”

    All are invited to join us for the 19th Annual Founders Day celebration on Sunday, April 23 from 2 to 4 pm. The program starts at 2:30 pm. Free.

    RSVP appreciated by April 18. 

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