For the next few months—until May 18th 2012, you will likely notice people hugging buildings, trees, statues, signs and other objects of their affection. No, the residents of the city are not scouring the streets for pots of gold; they are simply showing their love for the great city of Cleveland with a Group Hug.
Group Hug is a three month long event, sponsored by Saving Cities, that culminates into a mega-regional party on May 26th 2012 at the Key Bank Building on Waterloo Rd. Residents are encouraged to hug what they feel makes their city special, take a photo, and then email their photo to firstname.lastname@example.org. On May 26th, 2012, all participants, fans and friends are invited to the Group Hug Cleveland party where Group Hug photo submissions will be displayed, music will be played and red cups will be raised in honor of Cleveland.
A committee will choose the top 20 photos to be displayed at the soiree. Then you, the people, will have the opportunity to vote on your favorite photo. The winner will receive a prize yet to be determined but you can rest assured it will include awesome Cleveland swag, gift certificates to local small businesses and a huge group hug from Jack Storey and Rick Stockburger of Saving Cities. Submission rules, regulations and general info can be found at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Rust-Belt-Group-Hug/227745567302941.
Rick Stockburger co-creator of Saving Cities says, “This is a fantastic way for the people of these amazing Rust Belt Cities to highlight what makes the cities we love so much our home.”
Group Hug: Rust Belt is a concept inspired by Matthew Mourning of St. Louis, MO who hosted the very first Group Hug event in his hometown in June of 2011. That event drew nearly 300 passionate St. Louis residents together to celebrate the people and places they love most in their city.
Saving Cities thought this was too cool to pass up, so we set out on creating a mega regional Group Hug: Rust Belt that will occur on the same date and time, in 5 major Rust Belt cities: Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Milwaukee, and – of course – St. Louis. This event will mark the first ever mega regional grassroots collaboration of this kind!
Submit your photos to your respective city:
Cleveland: Charlie Kamen
Pittsburgh: Sarah Spicuzza
St. Louis: Matthew Mourning
Detroit: B.J. Perry
Milwaukee: Peter Murphy
Contact Rick Stockburger with any other questions, comments, concerns or to find out how to get a Group Hug event started in your Rusty City.