It has been ongoing since 2001.
“I Have a Dream of Peace” (2001-02)
More than 200 neighborhood residents and local artists of all ages came together to design a sculptural mosaic bench, now permanently located in Washington Park. Lead artist Suzanne Fisher incorporated images of peace from photographs and children's drawings into the design. The piece was unveiled August 3, 2002 at the Over-the-Rhine Community Festival. Generous support came from the Over-the-Rhine Community Council, the Cincinnati Recreation Commission's Arts for All program, the Miami University Center for Community Development, and local businesses.
“Imagination Alley and the Imagine Peace and Unity Archway” (2002-04)
Several mosaic panels based on children’s drawings were installed in a pocket park in the 1300 block of Vine Street named "Imagination Alley." Children from Memorial Community Center created stepping-stones now located in the garden, and their designs were used as the basis for these larger mosaic wall pieces. The mosaic panels for the Imagine Peace and Unity Archway were created by local residents at various locations in the neighborhood, including Washington Park School, the Drop-In Center, St. Francis Seraph Art Club, and Peaslee Neighborhood Center. Young people from Lighthouse Community Services also contributed mosaics for this structure. Standing approximately 16 feet high and weighing about 18 tons, the entire piece was installed in September of 2004. In addition to the individually created panels, Suzanne Fisher used residents’ images and ideas in the final design of the arch top. Funding came from the Fine Arts Fund and the Greater Cincinnati Foundation.
“OTR Freedom Trail—Mosaic Welcome Mats / Signs” (2004)
Each partnering organization and its participants worked with artist Suzanne Fisher and assistants to design and create a mosaic sign for its front entrance. The custom-designed signs reflect each organization’s struggle to encourage freedom and effect positive change in the lives of neighborhood residents. In conjunction with the mats/signs, a passport brochure was created that maps a “freedom trail” linking these organizations. Freedom Trail passports were available to the public at each of the organizations and various other locations. A celebration of this modern-day Freedom Trail occurred at Peaslee Neighborhood Center. Visitors had the opportunity to get their passports stamped as they visited each stop. Funded by the Ohio Arts Council and the Fine Arts Fund.
“Imagination Alley” has become the first component in a ten-year plan to turn this area into a neighborhood park. The combined effort of Peaslee, Art Academy students, Keep Cincinnati Beautiful, IMPACT Over the Rhine, Emanuel Community Center, the Sarah Center, the Drop-In Center’s Full Circle Program and many others created 24 beautiful mosaic panels being installed in flower boxes and benches in Imagination Alley. This, plus four more Freedom Trail signs, mosaic wall panels, and a large Unity Tree were made in a studio space at Peaslee Neighborhood Center. Funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, the John C. Griswold Foundation, the Architectural Foundation of Cincinnati, and the City of Cincinnati Clean and Safe grant.