Council recognizes ACGTWritten by Amy Biolchini | | ABiolchini@toledofreepress.com
Julie Webster, owner of Shine Ceramics, read a letter she wrote about her “Chicago Doesn’t Need YOU! ¡VIVA TOLEDO!” T-shirt campaign into the public record at the Sept. 14 Toledo City Council meeting.
“I wanted to share with Council members that many Toledo ‘creatives,’ including myself, are actively working towards building a culturally and economically vibrant community, intended to retain and attract young artists and professionals to the Northwest Ohio area.”
In her letter to City Council, Webster wrote: “In the past two years, I have heard many individuals complain that ‘the market’ in Toledo isn’t conducive to the sorts of enterprises for which they’d like to work for or to invest. The success and popularity of these shirts, and my other business projects … is a testament to the economic and developmental possibilities created when an individual chooses to influence the market, instead of letting the market influence the individual.”
At the meeting, Council passed a resolution recognizing The Arts Commission of Greater Toledo (ACGT) and the 2010 Arts Walk. The resolution praised ACGT for the revitalization of the arts, the hundreds of visitors brought Downtown for the Arts Walk and the resulting economic development. Webster was mentioned in the resolution for her promotion of the arts Downtown, as well as the EPIC Cultural Arts Action Team.
The resolution was sponsored by Council members Mike Craig, Michael Ashford and Tom Waniewski.
Waniewski said, “I was surprised to hear the number of local artists in the area and the amount of local economic development they contribute. They’re a tremendous economic development engine.”
After Webster presented one of the “¡VIVA TOLEDO!” T-shirts to Representative Marcy Kaptur at a fundraiser Aug. 18, Craig took notice and talked to Webster about the campaign.
“I thought it was a great idea because it is hard to keep young people in Toledo,” Councilman Craig said.
Webster said the “¡VIVA TOLEDO!” T-shirt campaign began in the spring of 2010 in response to young professionals and creative-minded individuals leaving Toledo for supposedly more promising markets like Chicago or Portland. Sales and demand for the T-shirts have exceeded her expectations, Webster said. The shirts are designed by Webster’s business, Shine 419, and are printed by Max Reddish of Reddish Printing.
Webster will debut a regular column about the arts scene in an upcoming edition of Toledo Free Press Star, joining a roster of local arts and culture figures that includes Jerry Gray, Rachel Richardson, Stacy Jurich, Martini Rox, lilD, Jim Beard, Don Zellers and Jeff McGinnis.
Tags: Arts Commission of Greater Toledo, Don Zellers, Jeff McGinnis, Jerry Gray, Jim Beard, Julie Webster, lilD, Martini Rox, Mighty Wyte, Rachel Richardson, Stacy Jurich, Toledo City Council, ¡Viva Toledo¡