P.S. to all of Cleveland's chronic complainers who like to whine and say...

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Wed, 11/03/2004 - 02:39.

In the words of Northeast Ohio Arts Educator of the Year Mary Beth Matthews:

As a little P.S. to all of Cleveland's chronic complainers who like to whine and say,

"Nothing ever gets done in this city"
"People have no vision here"
"Clevelanders don't know how to work together"
"It's all just a lot of talk"
"New ideas don't stand a chance."
"The Cleveland Schools suck."

At Max Hayes, we refused to get caught up in all of that negativity...We're makin' it happen...Ha!

Ha is right - it has just been announced Mary Beth and her students will install a major public arts project at the Soap Box Track, right down from her school,

If you don't know of Mary Beth Matthews, you don't know of Cleveland grass roots economic development. She is a vocal and pubic supporter of Cleveland education excellence and her home school, Max Hayes, on Detroit Avenue. She's a regular participant at most important economic development meetings in town - including her students in the process - and she has recently succeeded to secure support for her school to develop this important public arts project, to be installed over the next six months, right down the hill from her school.

See the announcement of this project below. Also, visit her blog for personal insights from this great community leader and inspiration.

Ground Breaking to Begin on Public Art Project

Well folks, I think it's finally going to happen. At last we have set a date for groundbreaking!

Max Hayes/Soapbox Derby public art project, more than two years in
planning, will start to become a reality. Footers are scheduled to be
dug and concrete poured next week. The block and sandstone will be laid
the following week. Work on the stainless will take place over the
winter, final installation is scheduled for spring, and the dedication
will take place in June.

The concept of arts integration,
although becoming accepted methodology in academic subject areas in
education, has taken a very different twist here at Max Hayes
Vocational High School. Several years ago, we began integrating
art into teaching the trades classes by inviting sculptors to work in
the shops with the welding classes and the building construction
students. I was able to get funding to pay the artists through an ICARE grant sponsored by Young Audiences of Greater Cleveland.

established a partnership with the Cleveland Institute of Art, and
brought numerous artists/professors to the school to work with the
trades students. At the same time we were coordinating with the
City of Cleveland, the Detroit Shoreway Neighborhood Development
organization, various neighborhood block clubs and businesses, the
Soapbox Derby Commission, the Cement Mason's Union, the Brick Layers
Union, and last but certainly not least,(in fact, most importantly)the
Steven Tatar Studio. The result is going to be a beautiful new entrance
to the Cleveland Soapbox Derby Park, featuring an elegant sanstone wall
and two stainless steel, art deco styled, soapbox derby racecars.

I will try to post the project drawings done for the planning commission later this week, as Steve told me had digitized them.

This is gonna be sooooo cool!<><>

Mary Beth asks for your help to spread the word about this success:


First quarter grades are due this week, and I may not
have time for a press release. Know anyone in the media? Please have
them e-mail me or call the school. Thanks.


Contact Mary Beth Matthews by email at mbmatt356 [at] yahoo [dot] com and visit her blog at

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