Eugene Ross: Using Music to Inspire Hope and Address Trauma in Cleveland
Updated: Nov 14
As the year winds down and mid-November arrives, communities in northeast Ohio continue to grapple with alarming increases in crime rates. Despite the efforts of the political and public safety sectors, homicides, juvenile violent crimes, and car thefts have all risen sharply. This highlights a crucial need for a more comprehensive community intervention.
Interestingly, the arts and culture sector could have a significant impact in addressing this issue. However, engagement through art alone is not enough. Cross-sectoral collaboration is needed to address barriers to integrating arts and culture within the public safety sector and to advance collaborations with artists.
Enter Soul City Cleveland Stories
Soul City Cleveland Stories is a culturally responsive community arts project that aims to connect youth participants from under-resourced communities with elder Black artists through virtual and in-person engagement. It is a result of a partnership between Cleveland Rocks: Past, Present and Future, the Youth Resiliency Institute, and the National Rites of Passage Institute. The project also involves archiving the wisdom and knowledge of elder Black artists in a respectful manner. Youth participants learn about career paths through the arts as well as the powerful role of music in fostering hope, optimism, pride, and joy within the African-American community.
Eugene Ross discusses cross-sectoral arts-based interventions for youth alongside Cindy Barber, Founder of Cleveland Rocks: Past, Present, and Future, and Soul City Cleveland Stories advisory members. (Photo courtesy of Soul City Cleveland)