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September 30th, 2013

Born Again Cleveland.

If you took all the talks from this year’s TEDxCLE and dropped them into the Wonkamatic 3000, it would spit out this exciting, bite-sized anecdote:

Cleveland is once again poised for greatness.

Because Cleveland is in the middle of a creative renaissance that’s driving artists and innovators around the country to our lovable, underdog, unpretentious, steel-belt city.

As former NYC TV producer and Cleveland boomeranger, Joy Roller, put it: “Cleveland may have rust on it. But rust only forms on something strong.” We have the infrastructure to withstand an exquisite metamorphosis. And we’re already seeing the transformations. Like:

  • The west side’s revitalized Gordon Square Arts District

  • The east side’s Chateau Hough – Cleveland’s first vineyard and home to the world’s first biocellar

  • The St. Clair Superior District where you can hunt for urban treasures and handmade crafts at the Cleveland Flea

  • And Pho Row (which tragically doesn’t actually rhyme), but provides a block of artisanal Vietnamese cuisine options

“Clevelanders have a genuine interest in seeing a positive change and being part of it,” says TEDxCLE co-founder Hallie Bram Kogelschatz. With brush fires of inspiration all over the city, we’re collaboratively igniting a more modern, more kick-butt Cleveland.

“It’s the 130 incredibly inspired people who show up for work who are making it happen for us, and ultimately, for Cleveland,” says Dameon Guess, owner of Jakprints in midtown. “My brother came to visit from the West Coast – I drove him from University Circle to Ohio City and Tremont, and it blew him away.”

But it’s not just local entrepreneurs who are feeling our collective rise-up, even The New York Times is looking westerly. Is it a coincidence that Cleveland is also home to the world’s greatest advertising agency, according to Google? Maybe. Maybe not. Either way, we’re proud to call it home.