Creative Ohio: Transforming Communities

Creative Ohio_2015_Final Web_02


View the Complete Agenda Here

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2015 Annual Conference

The Heritage Ohio Annual Revitalization and Preservation Conference returns to the historic Westin Columbus October 5-7 in downtown Columbus, Ohio.

This year’s conference will once again present great learning opportunities for preservationists, community revitalization volunteers, and development professionals. There will be many activities such as field sessions, educational workshops, hands on training, and the chance to network with like-minded community members. In addition, AIA credits will be offered on many of the sessions.

Conference Presentations

2015 Conference Registration Fee Chart


Heritage Ohio Annual Conference Sessions

2015 Annual Conference Accommodations

Register is now closed!



Donovan Rypkema is principal of PlaceEconomics, a Washington, D.C.-based real estate and economic development consulting firm. The firm specializes in services to public and non-profit sector clients who are dealing with downtown and neighborhood commercial district revitalization and the reuse of historic structures. In 2004 Rypkema established Heritage Strategies International, a new firm created to provide similar services to worldwide clients. He also teaches a graduate course in preservation economics at the University of Pennsylvania.


Mary Means has spent more than 30 years building bridges between plans and people. She has helped scores of cities, towns, counties and civic interest groups make their communities better places to live, work and visit. Prior to entering consulting, Mary led the team that created the National Main Street program at the National Trust for Historic Preservation. She was a Loeb Fellow at Harvard University Graduate School of Design.

The 2015 Legacy Circle Reception will be held on October 5. This reception, held every year at the annual conference, honors the support and generosity of our Legacy Circle members. This year the Legacy Circle Reception will be held at:

The Julian Building

272 South Front Street,

Columbus, Ohio 43215

If you are interested in information about our membership opportunities, click on the membership tab at top of the page.

Thank you to everyone who has joined Heritage Ohio this year as a conference sponsor. Your support helps us keep conference registration prices affordable. Thanks to:
Boulevard Strategies
Brad DeHays
Buckeye Hills-HVRDD
Chambers Murphy & Burge
Cheryl Stephens
Coon Restoration
Craig Gossman/Source 3 Development
CT Consultants
DS Architecture
FirstMerit Bank
Frontier Communications
global X
Gray & Pape
Heritage Architectural Associates
John Gerlach & Company LLP
Lamplight Industries
Longwell Legal LLC
Marvin Windows
MCM Company
Novogradac & Company LLP
Ohio Arts Council
Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing
Ohio Group Insurance Consultants
Ohio History Connection’s State Historic Preservation Office
OHM Advisors
Orton Family Foundation
Perfect Balance
Plante Moran
Poggemeyer Design Group
Rausche Historic Preservation, LLC
Sandvick Architects
Schooley Caldwell Associates
TRIAD Architects
Ulmer & Berne LLP
Union Metal

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Old Worthington Partnership Seeks Executive Director

The Old Worthington Partnership is seeking an entrepreneurial and energetic Executive Director. The Executive Director represent our downtown to the community and will be the principal on-site staff person responsible for coordination of all activities locally as well as for representing the community regionally and nationally as appropriate.

Applicants should have education and/or professional experience in one or more of the following areas: administrative management, economic development, marketing or advertising, design, volunteer management, nonprofit management and small business development. The Executive Director must be well organized and capable of functioning effectively in an independent environment. Excellent verbal and written communication skills are essential.

Duties and Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

* Manage all administrative aspects including maintaining an appropriate data system for record keeping, purchasing, preparing reports, retaining information on job creation and business retention, and submitting information to the Board of Directors on a monthly basis.

* Supervise support staff including Events Coordinator and Farmers Market Manager, interns and administrative volunteers.

* Develop strategies for downtown economic development. With the committees and Board of Directors create an annual action plan focused on these four areas: design, promotion, organization, and business enhancement.

* Develop and conduct public awareness and education programs through speaking engagements, media interviews, and appearances.

* Provide advice and information, assess and encourage events – marketing, special events, business recruitment, parking management, beautification, etc.

* Build strong, productive working relationships with appropriate public agencies at the local, regional, state, and national levels.

Salary is commensurate with experience.

Interested parties should submit a resume and cover letter to workforthepartnership@gmail.com by September 13, 2015.

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Accepting Applications for Heritage Ohio Downtown Program Coordinator

Heritage Ohio is hiring the Downtown Program Coordinator position to coordinate the Franklin County Downtown Works program and assist in coordinating the Ohio Main Street Program. This position is full-time and only guaranteed for three years. The individual filling this position will be an employee of Heritage Ohio and answer to the Director of Revitalization. This position has three primary responsibilities in serving all Franklin County Municipalities except the City of Columbus, Ohio Main Street Communities and Ohio Downtown Affiliate Communities. The salary is negotiable and health benefits are included.


Franklin County Downtown Works
Serve as coordinator for the Franklin County Downtown Works Program

  • Meet with community leaders and stakeholders in all of the targeted municipalities to explain the Downtown Works program
  • Provide capacity building services including; board development, fundraising, community buy-in, strategic planning and work planning
  • Develop benchmarks, timetables and goals including mutual expectations for Heritage Ohio and participating communities
  • Orient and train downtown managers
  • Develop and implement county wide training and networking calendar
  • Collect and track economic impact statistics
  • Develop partnerships with government, business, and organizations to build further benefit to Franklin County communities
  • Providing on-going support through community visits, emails and phone consultations
  • Track visits, attendance, trainings, network meetings, phone calls and emails
  • Conduct Annual Review Process for Downtown Works communities
  • Educating and communicating with all elected officials in effective revitalization practices
  • Familiarity with all Franklin County marketing, mapping, economic development, marketing and small business programs
  • This position will work closely with Franklin County Economic Development staff and provide regular progress reports.


Ohio Main Street Program
Serve as associate coordinator of the Ohio Main Street Program

  • Develop and implement revitalization training series
  • Assist in putting on Heritage Ohio Annual Conference
  • Conduct Ohio Main Street Program Annual Evaluations
  • Collect and track economic impact statistics
  • Providing on-going support through community visits, emails and phone consultations
  • Track visits, attendance, trainings, network meetings, phone calls and emails
  • Assist in distribution and or collection of OMSP contracts, payments, monthly reports, and contact information


Downtown Affiliate Program
Serve as coordinator of the Downtown Affiliate Program

  • Providing on-going support through community visits, emails and phone consultations
  • Track visits, attendance, trainings, network meetings, phone calls and emails
  • Help support training needs and communication strategy with junior tier programs
  • Grow the Downtown Affiliate Program through public presentations, articles, calls and emails


General Office

  • Support Heritage Ohio office functions as needed
  • Attend Board of Trustee meetings, prepare board reports as requested
  • Promote membership, support fundraising efforts
  • Communicate the message to public about revitalization/& preservation
  • Familiarity with Power Point, Photoshop, InDesign, WordPress and similar programs


Candidate must have excellent verbal and written skills, as well as strong public presentation technique; customer service, mediation, problem solving skills and strong computer knowledge are a must.  He/she should understand the issues confronting business people, property owners, local government, public agencies and community organizations.  He/she must be energetic, imaginative and well organized.  Prior experience in local or state Main Street program preferred, and an understanding of an historic preservation ethic as it relates to revitalization. Knowledge of financing, funding, and preservation tools for development is helpful.

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Apply Now for 2015 – 2016 Ohio History Service Corps Positions

Heritage Ohio is pleased to announce we will once again be hosting AmeriCorps members for the 2015-16 service year! Applications are now being accepted and will be reviewed as the come in.

Heritage Ohio will be hosting the following member positions:

Workshop Coordinator

Other AmeriCorps opportunities through the Ohio History Service Corps include:

Local History – Archaeology

Community Surveyor

Local History Corps

Local History Corps – Collections

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The Big Give Returns May 12th




The Big Give is back and better than ever! Donate to Heritage Ohio Tuesday, May 12th  from 10am EST through Wednesday, May 13th at 10am EST and Heritage Ohio will receive a pro rata portion of a $1.3 million dollar bonus pool from the Columbus Foundation!

The Big Give is open to all donors, not just Columbus residents, so here’s your chance to amplify your donation to Heritage Ohio!


Also, for showing your spirit during The Big Give, three leading Columbus-based businesses have agreed to reward your generosity! For official rules on these three Big Give Rewards, visit the Columbus Foundation’s Big Give Rewards page.

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Announcing the Winner of Heritage Ohio’s Preservation Month 2013 Photo Contest!

We’re pleased to announce the three finalists of our Preservation Month Photo Contest and need your help picking the winner!

To vote, click on each photo below to view it, select your favorite, and click vote.

Voting will continue through Friday, June 30. We’ll announce the winner of the 2013 Preservation Month Photo Contest on Monday, July 1.

With Ohio photographic fame and a Revitalize Ohio cover image on the line, the stakes are high! Good luck to our finalists!

Update June 28: Voting has almost closed. If you haven’t voted yet, make sure you vote for your favorite! We’ll announce the winner here on Monday!

Update July 1: Congratulations to Kirstin Krumsee, the winner of Heritage Ohio’s Preservation Month 2013 Photo Contest! The interior of the Victoria Opera House struck a nerve with our voters. Touted as the last remaining opera house in Fairfield County, the Victoria has very concerned citizens on its side, as it faces an uncertain future.


The Victoria Opera House, our winning entry

Thanks to everyone who voted for our three finalists. We’ll feature Kirstin’s winning image on a future cover of Revitalize Ohio.

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Enter our Preservation Month photo contest!

Happy Preservation Month to you! Each May preservation organizations across the country, including Heritage Ohio, celebrate historic preservation with special events and activities. Our Preservation Month 2013 Photo Contest will focus on Saving Ohio’s Treasures. We want to see you with the places that matter in your life and the places you want to see preserved for future generations of Ohioans. We’ve created a special sign for you to hold in your photos, which you can print off from our website.

We’ll accept entries through Friday, May 24, choose our finalists, and open the online voting for the winner on May 27. Online voting closes on June 3 and we’ll announce the winning entry on June 10.

Some guidelines to remember:

  • The subject matter of the photo must be physically located in Ohio
  • Judging criteria for choosing photo finalists include originality, subject matter, and artistic merit
  • Photos should highlight historic locations that merit being preserved as an Ohio Treasure
  • We also encourage photos depicting historic buildings in use

Again this year, we’ll feature the winning entry on the cover of Revitalize Ohio, so here’s your chance for Ohio photographic fame. Good luck!

To submit your entries, click here.

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Top Tips from the 2013 National Main Street Conference

Heritage Ohio staff and about 40 Ohioans, including Main Street Managers, and downtown revitalization advocates attended the conference, hosted this year in New Orleans.  Having just completed 5 days of inspirational and educational sessions, I thought I would share my top ten things learned, in no particular order:


1.      The JOBS Act of 2012 allows for locavesting and crowd funding, providing more options for financing businesses to create jobs.  There are many more platforms than I realized, and they are all slightly different, so finding the right match is important.


2.      The Entrepreneur – the term is thrown around so much we’ve begun to lose sight of who we mean. It can be anyone: a car mechanic, a gardener, a knitter, a computer geek. Think small, not so big. Make your downtown welcoming to anyone with a business idea; create an environment of support where business can thrive.


3.      Sponsorship – believe in the value of your program and its activities. Develop relationships with your sponsors with as much thought to the follow-up as to the ask.


4.      Streetscape projects can be challenging for downtown businesses.  Effective communication, frequent progress meetings and a creative attitude will get the community through the process.


5.      Business Enhancement Committees can create a Recruitment Manual to give them structure month after month to make the best use of your market analysis data and help you find the new businesses that belong in your community. Court your new business candidates.


6.      Fundraising isn’t so hard when everyone is able to share the story of your downtown.  Use your revitalization statistics. Tailor your story to the listener’s style.


7.      What is trending in 2013? Diversity, young talent, young women, deliberate spending, shortened commutes, health and wellness, main stream technology.


8.      Transportation – Reduce our car-centric decisions. Walkable communities are the future.  Healthy and hip, they attract the young people, your town’s future.


9.      Millennials (under 30 yrs.) – get them on your board and committees, or you may go the way of the dinosaurs.


10.    New Orleans is a party city.


Thousands of communities across the country are doing creative work in revitalizing their downtowns and neighborhood commercial centers.  You too can be part of this amazing process, it’s all about the can-do attitude.

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Update to The Highway Beautification Act Needed?

A few weeks ago, I finally got around to watching Morgan Spurlock’s POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold. The most interesting part of the film was learning of Sao Paulo, Brazil’s Lei Cidade Limpa, or Clean City Law. The law went into effect in 2006, banning billboards, most outdoor posters, and bus advertising, as well as graffiti.

As an Ohioan, it’s certainly difficult to imagine living without the constant barrage of advertising. They seem to be everywhere. Depending on where you live and what you do with your day, you have the potential to see thousands of advertisements a day. In addition to being information overload, outdoor ads can become visual pollution if executed poorly. The Highway Beautification Act of 1965 was implemented to help curb some of the bad taste, but it clearly has some shortcomings. When I was helping my friend move to Colorado in 2005, I could not believe how many billboards I passed between St. Louis and Kansas City in Missouri. I would not be exaggerating in saying at least 500 in 3 hours of driving. Not exactly a scenic drive. While Missouri may be extremely friendly to billboard advertising, 4 states have banned them outright: Alaska, Hawaii, Maine, and Vermont. Others have mode of delivery bans. Arizona recently banned electronic billboards.

So, what effects have been seen in Sao Paulo? According to a 2011 survey, 70-percent of residents supported the ban. Graffiti and street art can still be seen in the poorer areas of the city and marketers still hope for relaxing of the law. Several media sources cited the need for building improvements. With the billboards, posters, and graffiti gone on many buildings, years of neglect are beginning to show and have presented the city with new challenges.

Personally, I wouldn’t miss billboards if they were banned in Ohio, even the one I saw in Cleveland a few weeks ago that informed me of current NFL scores as I drove by. It was possibly the most useful billboard I have ever encountered. Typically,  I look at a few dozen a day as I drive around Columbus, but I could only tell you the messages of a few that I find amusing. I think this is true of most people. We’ve learned to ignore them. And if such a ban were even discussed in the Ohio Assembly, business would be front and center in this discussion. As with any change, businesses will overreact, claiming doom and gloom, but they will survive. It may take some creative solutions, but marketers will still find ways to get information to you. It could even have a few positive benefits for businesses and customers, not to mention for the aesthetics of communities, the rural landscape, and nature.

What’s your take on outdoor advertising? What, if anything, would you like to see changed?

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