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Cleveland 2016 Host Committee Announces Beautification Effort to Enhance Experience of Convention Attendees

Cleveland 2016 Host Committee Announces Beautification Effort to Enhance Experience of Convention Attendees
Community Collaborates to Help Cleveland Shine to Welcome 50,000 Visitors in July

CLEVELAND(May 31, 2016) – The Cleveland 2016 Host Committee announced today a collaborative beautification effort aimed at enhancing the visitor experience of the delegates, media and other guests in town for the Republican National Convention in July. The goal of the initiative is to create a brighter, more welcoming experience along the main pedestrian and vehicular thoroughfares in Downtown Cleveland and the surrounding communities.
The beautification effort involves the collaboration and contributions of several community partners including The City of Cleveland, Downtown Cleveland Alliance, ScottsMiracle-Gro & Petitti Garden Center, GE Lighting, LAND studio, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) and the Regional Transit Authority (RTA).  
“I want to thank everyone involved in this initiative for their hard work and dedication to the City of Cleveland,” said Mayor Frank G. Jackson. “As we continue to improve upon our infrastructure throughout the city this collaboration will add an aesthetic element designed to showcase the beauty and prosperity of our city.”  
“This beautification effort is such an important component to this community’s preparation for the
Republican National Convention,” said David Gilbert, president and CEO, Cleveland 2016 Host Committee. “In July, Cleveland will be center stage as we welcome 15,000-plus members of the national and international media and many more delegates and guests. This is our opportunity to demonstrate once again the collaborative nature of this community in putting our best foot forward to showcase the true beauty of our city and the passion of our people.”
The Host Committee’s beautification effort launched Tuesday morning in collaboration with ScottsMiracle-Gro and the help of more than 60 Host Committee volunteers to plant gardens in three primary locations including: Downtown’s Willard Park, featuring gardens managed by the Northeast Ohio Sewer District, the City of Cleveland and The Refugee Response, along with Ohio City’s Market Square Park and a new garden in Shaker Square.
These gardens are the recipients of ScottsMiracle-Gro’s GRO1000 Grant Program, an initiative launched in 2011 to support the creation of more than 1,000 community gardens and green spaces in the U.S., Canada, Latin America and Europe.
In addition to the gardens, ScottsMiracle-Gro and Petitti Garden Center also donated 135 temporary planters filled with greenery throughout Downtown, bringing the Downtown’s number of planters to more than 250. Throughout the Convention, all planters will be maintained by the Downtown Cleveland Alliance ambassadors.
“It has been an honor and a true source of pride for ScottsMiracle-Gro to be a part of this city-wide beautification effort,” said Jim Hagedorn, Chairman and CEO, ScottsMiracle-Gro. “Our partnership with the City of Cleveland will help bring more gardens and greenspaces to our urban areas.”
In August, many of the planters will be donated to several valued neighborhood commercial districts as a way to enhance the local resident experience long after the Convention. The Host Committee has already received interest from Old Brooklyn, Shaker Square’s Larchmere, Detroit-Shoreway, Collinwood and Midtown and is working collaboratively with Cleveland Neighborhood Progress to identify other neighborhoods with an interest and the capacity to consistently replant and water them to ensure their continued.

Through the generous contribution of GE Lighting, Cleveland will welcome visitors with the warm glow of 1.4 million individual LED twinkle lights that will be strung in strategic gathering spaces throughout Downtown. “GE Lighting is proud to be a part of the Cleveland beautification project and we’re excited to help the city shine,” said Bill Lacey, President and CEO of GE Lighting. The lights will be installed by Downtown Cleveland Alliance in selected areas along E. 9th Street, Mall B, Public Square, U.S. Bank Plaza and around the perimeter of the Gateway Sports Complex.
Additionally, the Host Committee is installing approximately 1,000 banners on street poles throughout Downtown and University Circle, featuring the faces of Clevelanders selected by the Host Committee to welcome convention-goers in July.
With the help of the City, Downtown Cleveland Alliance will plant 275 new trees throughout Downtown. They will also repair sidewalks as well as work with parking lot owners and operators to ensure their properties are spruced up and accessible to guests.
The Host Committee is also supporting beautification efforts led by local entities including The INTER|URBAN project, Rock Box, Cracking Art, ArtS Interventions and pedestrian wayfinding signs.

  • The INTER|URBAN project is a city-wide initiative led by LAND studio, the City of Cleveland, the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA), Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA) and Anisfeld-Wolf and The Cleveland Foundation. It will serve as a platform to connect public transit riders physically, socially and culturally through a series of large-scale, artist-designed murals, installations and experiences. 
  • The Rock Box public art project designed by artist Mark A. Reigelman – an initiative maintained and operated by the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame – is funded by Destination Cleveland and was coordinated by LAND studio. This project aims to connect visitors to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame by a series of stacks of black, square loudspeakers in seven locations along East Ninth Street—from Progressive Field to the Rock Hall. The loudspeakers will feature bright colors and play snippets of music from Rock Hall inductees at strategic times throughout the day. Installation will be complete in mid-June.
  • Cracking Art Group will bring outdoor art to the city before and after the Convention thanks to a $1.5 million grant to LAND studio from the Char and Chuck Fowler Family Foundation of Cleveland. In June, Cracking Art (an Italian art collective) will install hundreds of colorful plastic meerkats, wolves, swallows, frogs and snails at Downtown Cleveland’s Public Square and Cleveland Public Library.  
  • During the Convention week, visitors will be treated to “Arts Interventions,” supported by Cuyahoga Arts & Culture. Spontaneous gatherings of artists, singers, musicians and dancers performing perfectly rehearsed pieces will entertain visitors throughout numerous venues and will appear throughout Downtown and the region.
  • Destination Cleveland will install 55 pedestrian wayfinding signs in Downtown Cleveland before the Convention. These signs come equipped with maps and directional information that help visitors navigate their way through the city. Visitors can also experience the map digitally at
  • The Citizens Bank ArtBox effort is also focused on adding vibrancy to Downtown Cleveland. The organization is working with Downtown Cleveland Alliance and its advocates to wrap several utility boxes along Euclid Ave. that have been wrapped with printed art designs from six local artists and institutions.
  • The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA) and Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) are each hosting opportunities to pick up litter along the RTA Red Line track as well as the I-71 corridor respectively. Volunteers are encouraged to sign up on the Host Committee’s website
To learn more about Cleveland 2016 Host Committee or to keep up-to-date on new developments, please visit or follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.
The Cleveland 2016 Host Committee, Inc. is an Ohio nonprofit corporation with no political affiliation that is responsible for organizing, hosting and funding the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland. Their mission is to promote Northeast Ohio and ensure Cleveland is best represented in addition to lessening the burden of local governments in hosting the 2016 Republican National Convention.  For more information visit
With approximately $3 billion in worldwide sales, The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company is the world's largest marketer of branded consumer products for lawn and garden care. The Company's brands are the most recognized in the industry. In the U.S., the Company's Scotts®, Miracle-Gro® and Ortho® brands are market-leading in their categories, as is the consumer Roundup® brand, which is marketed in North America and most of Europe exclusively by Scotts and owned by Monsanto. In the U.S., we operate Scotts LawnService®, the second largest residential lawn care service business.  In Europe, the Company's brands include Weedol®, Pathclear®, Evergreen®, Levington®, Miracle-Gro®, KB®, Fertilig√®ne® and Substral®.  In 2015, the Company ranked on Forbes 100 Most Reputable Companies in America. For additional information, visit us at
GE (NYSE: GE) is the world's Digital Industrial Company, transforming industry with software-defined machines and solutions that are connected, responsive and predictive. GE is organized around a global exchange of knowledge, the "GE Store," through which each business shares and accesses the same technology, markets, structure and intellect. Each invention further fuels innovation and application across our industrial sectors. With people, services, technology and scale, GE delivers better outcomes for customers by speaking the language of industry.
Downtown Cleveland Alliance (DCA) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to building a dynamic Downtown. By working with property owners and neighborhood based partners, DCA is able to provide economic development opportunities, business attraction and retention efforts, the Clean & Safe Ambassador Program, as well as strategic marketing initiatives for Downtown Cleveland. In 2014, DCA unveiled Step Up Downtown, a vision and tactical plan that sets the course for the future of Downtown Cleveland. The five-year strategy is available to read here.