In 2016, I teamed up with Spring in Our Steps, a nonprofit organization that reclaims, maintains and advocates for Cincinnati’s alleys and public stairs, to organize Kleingassefest: a tiny celebration of all the tiny things in Coral and Drum Alleys in Over-the-Rhine, Cincinnati. In a week and a half, working with no budget, I successfully pulled together contributing artists, developed relevant programming, and deployed a print and online promotional campaign that brought over 100 people to an event that delighted and surprised all, bringing attention to public spaces that are often overlooked.
Because of the event site’s iconic “yellow brick road” appearance, yellow was the color used for all promotional materials. Tiny posters, economical to print while conceptually relevant, promoted the event:
Early in the day, Spring in Our Steps volunteers cleaned up the alley while I installed signage and artwork:
I invited PhotoCorps, a program that encourages individuals to learn and utilize photographic principles, explore neighborhoods and connect with others while creating meaningful photographs, to host a photowalk through neighborhood alleys, led by Christian Huelsman, executive director of Spring in Our Steps. Participants were encouraged to pick up tiny objects on their way, thus doing their part to clean up alleys while collecting materials for an activity later in the day.
Bradley Cooper of Start Small Homes contributed tiny volumetric studies of tiny houses:
GIA & the Blooms, a florist located just around the corner from the festival site, created a miniature succulent wall garden:
The haiku station I’d created had many contributions by the end of the day:
Kira Geer of Geers of Change contributed plushies made out of lone socks:
Kristian Geer of Geers of Change displayed miniature shadow boxes using figurines and his own original photographs of figurines in iconic Cincinnati locations:
Richard Calkins contributed a series of urban-themed photographs:
Alley photowalk participants were encouraged to collect objects, which were then used to create sun prints:
Wally German‘s site-specific installation was a full-scale diagram of a tiny house: