The President's Corner
It was a brisk Sunday afternoon in Parma on October 25, but that did not stop a group of about 50 Parma advocates from showing up, socially distanced and wearing masks, to witness the unveiling the newest piece of public art in Parma – the Welcome to Parma mural.
I am always on the lookout for new ways of inspiring pride and beauty in our community and to show off Parma’s charm and amenities to our visitors. For instance, last year’s addition of the script Parma sign has become our newest community landmark. The Welcome to Parma mural is an idea I have had in the back of my mind for a couple of years, but when I saw the Welcome to Tremont and Greetings from Cleveland murals, I was moved to begin the work of raising the funds from private donors, just like the script sign.
I soon came in contact with Stamy Paul. Stamy is a Valley Forge graduate and founder of Graffiti HeArt, which is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that develops opportunities for graffiti and street artists to create art installations with donors looking to bolster community beauty and pride, while funding educational opportunities for under served youth. The organization’s projects generate commissions for talented aspiring and accomplished artists, as well as fund art education scholarships. When I explained my vision to Stamy, she excitedly got to work on the creative aspect of the project as I initiated the fundraising.
Thanks to the following donors, we met our goal:
Mo and Abe Dayem, Donna Koler of Koler Financial, Padua Franciscan High School, the Young Professionals of Parma, Harry and Stamy Paul, acclaimed artist Maggie Denk-Leigh of the Cleveland Institute of Art (my sister-in-law), Daniel and David Serban of Perla Pierogies, former Mayor Dean DePiero, Bill and Carol Mason, Snider Recreation, Dr. Jennifer Mentessi of Distinctive Eyewear, Rudy Stralka, David and Pam Neuzil of Dairy Queen on Ridge Road, Fran and Joe Leisz, Julane Tubbesing, Stefan and Oksana Stefaniuk, Ilah Adkins Attorney at Law, Bethany Yackin-Miller, Daniel McCarthy of the Parma Observer, Eugene and Karen Lovasy, Frank and Lisa Mahnic, Leo Samokieszyn, the Gliebe family, the Juby family, the Spies family, Daniel Fedeli, Plumber’s Local 55, IBEW Local 38, Baker’s Local 19, Parma Law Director Timothy Dobeck, Parma Auditor Brian Day, Parma Treasurer Tom Mastroianni, Parma Councilman Mark Cassellbery, Parma Councilman Al Divis, Parma Councilman Brian Brochetti, Parma Councilwoman Debbie Lime, Parma Mayor Tim DeGeeter, Cynthia and Lloyd Bratz, Raj Sandhu, Rich Pilat of Pilat Insurance, Maria Asher, Benton Brigdier, Deena/Patrick/Colleen Brennan, the runners/walkers/sponsors of the annual Parma Run-Walk for Pierogies, several anonymous donors,as well as matching funds from a grant from Cuyahoga Arts and Culture.
Special thanks to Mo and Abe Dayem, the owners of Planet of the Vapes who also supported the project by donating the use of their building at the corner of Ridge and Pearl Roads. “We are fortunate to call Parma our home, and we are excited when the opportunity arises to get involved in an amazing project like this one. One of the best ways for a business to show its commitment and responsibility to a community is by simply giving back,” Mo said.
Artists Vic Savage and Alan Giberson provided their amazing talents to bring the mural to life. To watch them in action creating the mural visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SgWc2tdyTSk. Special thanks to Eduardo Olmeda for producing the video.
Ward One Councilman Vito DiPierro, whose ward the mural is located, stated, “Thank you to Council President Brennan for bringing his vision of the Welcome to Parma mural to the city. It will be an excellent addition to ward one.”
Although the mural is bought and paid for, please consider supporting Graffiti HeArt’s mission by making a donation at their website at graffitiheart.org or mail it to 2452 West 7th Street, Cleveland, 44113. Welcome to Parma!
Parma City Council President Sean Brennan