Thursday, September 29, 2005

Need a Crack Designer? Just Give Me a Holler

I wear several hats, but one of my favorite (and possibly most important) is as an informal talent agent, a service for which I've never charged, but which I tend to pursue with great relish. Why? That's easy--I'm blessed to know some impossibly gifted creatives who are far too modest about their accomplishments when it comes time to find their next gig. So I like to fill the void and shout on their behalf. My current project is on behalf of an old friend, Clarence M., an impossibly gifted print designer, hip-hop poet and man about town. Clarence has deep experience in all manner of print design, from book jackets to company logos to magazines (he was the chief designer of the late, great bible of literate protest, Urban Dialect, and was once art director for the Free Times). If you or anyone you know has a need for such a jewel, I hope you'll give me a holler. A lavish lunch goes to the Working With Words reader who passes along the tip resulting in a successful match.

UCI's Terri Brown headed for Nat City. We hear that University Circle's executive director Terri Hamilton Brown, often rumored to be interested in running for mayor of Cleveland some day, is leaving for a new job as head of diversity at National City Bank. That sounds like a good fit for a woman who always seemed in a little over her head representing UCI. In this memorable interview, she was asked a routine question about the Circle's founding vision. Her response: "I'm not that much of a historian." This time, Terri, just do a little bit of background reading on your new employer so you can sound at least moderately informed.

Gunlocke's Latest Musings. My friend Bill Gunlocke, founder of Cleveland's first and still best alt-weekly, the Cleveland Edition, now lives in Manhattan, where his impossibly hungry mind has found its proper outlet. On a trip in April, I had the good fortune of staying with him and spending hours wandering around bookstores, walking the streets of Soho, the Village and the lower east side and talking about life and family and reading. Always, when you're with Bill, there will be hours of talk about writing and reading. He's the hungriest reader I've ever known, which is saying something. He once told me he was so eager to publish and share with readers so many of Cleveland's best writers that he could never get enough budget or pages to do half of what he wanted.

His friends regularly marvel over how well-informed he remains on the Cleveland writing and journalism scene despite not having lived here for some years. His secret, of course, is that he stays in regular touch with lots of well-informed people who fondly still hold him in high regard as a friend and mentor. Among them is Angle Magazine co-founder Amy Sparks. While on WCPN's Around Noon program some months ago, she nicely tipped her cap to Bill as a a crucial person in the development of her career. So it's not surprising that she makes sure that his byline periodically appears in Angle. She also makes sure her fellow editors go lightly on the changes, lest they fool with his signature style, familiar to readers of his weekly editorials from years past. Bill's latest Angle essay is an interesting rumination on how a Catholic kid came to revere so many Jewish novelists. And if you don't already subscribe to Angle, please consider doing so. It's a certified jewel on a local media landscape in desperate need of several more such quality pubs.

The Edition, by the way, has its own entry in the excellent Encyclopedia of Cleveland History. One Cleveland's Lev Gonick reports that he has had discussions with the encyclopedia editors about helping to sharpen their web outreach. Armed with wiki pages, they'll be able to invite a larger group of knowledgeable professional and amateur local historians to submit information for possible use in the next edition of the encyclopedia. Stay tuned for more details about that.


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