CGC has planted more than 45 gardens across Cincinnati in the past 30 years, and the gardens' leafy fruit have reached more than 2,000 community members. Driven by its community base, the neighborhood-gardens program furnishes flourishing garden beds with volunteers, water tanks, tools, and seeds. However, the gardens are commonly plagued with poor city soil, clogged with rubble and stripped of nutrients. CGC would like to infuse a community garden with 10 garden plots' worth of fresh, nutrient-rich soil, creating a fertile infrastructure that will support plantings for generations.
At RJ Fitness, founder Rachelle approaches fitness as a collective task, leading intensive group workouts that get her clients to exercise harder and push themselves further than they would on their own. During her Body-Sculpt Boot Camp sessions, participants are continuously engaged and pushed in a non-intimidating atmosphere. Besides interval training, strength training, and bodyweight exercises, the camp incorporates healthy eating plans from a certified nutritionist. This whole-lifestyle approach helps clients quickly burn away body fat, build muscle, and increase cardiovascular endurance, so they can quickly get into the best shape of their life. Rachelle also leads hour-long, calorie-blasting Zumba classes, where students burn fat to the varying beats of salsa, merengue, and international music. The simple dance moves are easy to follow, even with two left feet or two left brains, making the energizing routine appropriate for all skill levels.
During a self-proclaimed midlife crisis, Tod Swormstedt became the voice for some silent witnesses to American history: signs. The former editor and publisher of Signs of the Times magazine was more than familiar with the subject, and he wanted to give this particular slice of Americana a permanent tribute. He opened American Sign Museum in 1999 and filled it with nearly 4,000 books, photos, and, of course, lots and lots of signs.
The Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra showcases music not commonly performed by large symphony orchestras, so each show is an uncommon musical experience. During Spring 2, the delicately constructed harmonies of Arnold Schoenberg and George Gershwin (two works each) float across Corbett Auditorium and into ears to tickle auditory nerves like pixies riding tiny ponies on eardrums. Two of the four pieces were inspired by literature. Schoenberg’s Transfigured Night was inspired by a Richard Dehmel poem about a shocking confession that affects two lovers, while Gershwin's Porgy and Bess Suite is inspired by DuBose Heyward’s racially charged 1925 novel about the inhabitants of the semi-fictional Catfish Row. Schoenberg's Five Pieces for Orchestra, op. 16, is an unsettling work that balances Gershwin's famous Rhapsody in Blue, which is performed by acclaimed solo pianist Michael Chertock.
Originally built in the late 1800s as a vaudeville theater and then seeing time as a German film theater in the 1950s, today Bogart’s stands as a portal to a world of live music. Six bars stand at the ready to keep rocking bodies hydrated, and three concert-viewing levels ensure pristine sightlines so that lead singers can have midconcert staring contests with anyone they choose.
Planet Dance Uptown coordinates shindigs for youngsters in three dance studios, all sporting floating wood floors with marley surfaces expertly tuned for floorboard-pounding. The trained instructors—who have been featured on everything from Broadway to MTV—specialize in myriad dance styles, so kids can pirouette at a ballerina party or learn to expertly cut a rug at a hip-hop hoopla.