project leader
Calcagno C
2940 Colerain Ave.
(Camp Washington)
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Volunteer Day!

the project

B.U.I.L.D. is a transition point for Wave Pool’s studio and maker offerings. We want to make hands on skill sharing events more available, more often, and more affordable to accommodate all with an interest, whether they are creating for function or fun. With this funding we will expand our woodshop into a new, adjacent space on Wave Pool’s first floor, relocate the Welcome Ceramics classes to Wave Pool’s garage and kiln area, and transform the back of The Welcome Project storefront to be a tea drinking, snack tasting, neighborhood lounge for welcoming conversations, mindfulness workshops, and pizza parties. The classes and offerings will diversify and become more frequent, and we will be able to offer scholarships for those who could otherwise not attend these classes. 

The B.U.I.L.D. project fulfills many needs in our community. Our neighborhood and city struggle with drug addiction, poverty, and isolation. Suicide and depression rates are on the rise. 40% of Americans feel isolated. Creating things together and learning new skills connects our community and builds empathy between diverse residents. In a recent study by Topos partnership, it was found that investing in making sure arts, music, and culture "are available to people, it boosts the overall health and wellbeing of individuals and the community as a whole." From refugees to entrepreneurs, construction workers to fine artists, recovering addicts to returning citizens, these offerings have both a mental and physical impact on our communal health as well as an economic impact on our community.

This project is being led by a team of 5 artists. Scott Bellissemo is a sculpture artist with a focus on wood working who is spearheading most of our woodworking classes and manages the shop. Erika Allen is both a photographer and ceramicist who manages The Welcome Project and coordinates classes and other offerings for Cincinnati's refugee and immigrant community (and beyond). Julia Lipovsky is an illustrator and ceramicist who is also a teaching artist that coordinates classes and other programs with Wave Pool. Radha Lakshmi is a visual artist who works with printmaking, ritual, and other media to create community experiences. She is spearheading the installation of a community living room/lounge for The Welcome Project for this project. Calcagno Cullen (Cal), is a social practice artist who views community organizing, connecting both resources and people as her medium. She is Wave Pool's Executive Director and is the lead organizer for this project. Four of the five artists collaborating on this project are also Camp Washington residents, part of the community they serve. 

Having regular and accessible arts education classes benefits our growing community of residents and those who are creative-curious, as well as assists a group of hard-working artists ready to teach and share know-how with neighbors. We believe building things together brings our community together. 

the steps

In 2020, we will...


Tear down studio walls and relocate artist studios to the building next door.

Build out worktables for shared use between woodshop and ceramics programming.


Move ceramics supplies from The Welcome Project to Wave Pool and expand woodshop into former studio space.

Work with artist Radha Lakshmi to create a comfortable tea room installation at Welcome.


Begin increased woodshop offerings and scholarship program.

Expand community ceramics programming in new space.

Open Welcome's tea room for community gathering and sipping.

why we're doing it

We believe that everyone has the power to create. We are lucky to live in a community of makers. From painters to plumbers, our neighborhood is coming alive with pride at what we can do with our hands. Artists are of course making things, and in an effort to build an inclusive arts community as well as foster tangible skill building, we are constantly attempting to blur the boundary between what it means to be someone who makes sculptures and someone who sculpts sidewalks. Creating things, especially together, has been proven to have numerous benefits in our communities including reductions in stress, improved well-being, friendship and network building, and even job readiness and knowledge building for employment in construction and building fields.

To help fulfill our vision for art to connect communities and create change, Wave Pool is just as much of a makerspace and studio as we are a whitebox gallery for exhibitions. We provide both artists and residents with access to a full woodshop, ceramics kilns and throwing wheels, as well as classes on how to use all of these tools. However, our space and resources are limited.

We regularly have neighborhood folks come in who want to develop skills in wood working but we have limited space and capacity to accommodate everyone. Often folks who come from the nearby Talbert House program or from The River City Correctional center come asking to take a class, interested in doing something productive and new to assist with their personal and professional growth. This expansion of both space and programs will allow us to offer scholarships to folks and have more availability to include everyone in these programs. Wave Pool has also have spent some serious time listening to the needs of our community through ballot box sculptures throughout the neighborhood and a series of programs and installations called 'Staycation'. From these surveys 33% of participants stated that they wanted to take a class or learn sculpture, woodworking, ceramics, and/or home improvement skills. 

We can currently only accommodate about four woodworkers at a time in the woodshop, and our ceramics workshop, currently at The Welcome Project, would be better envisioned and utilized as a gathering space for neighbors and newcomers to sit, eat, and enjoy each other’s company without the dust and grime that comes with the ceramics. Furthermore, while we are excited and passionate about offering regular woodworking hours and classes, we understand that these offerings can be cost prohibitive for many in our community that wish to partake. As a non-profit community arts space, being inaccessible is unacceptable for us. B.U.I.L.D. will allow everyone the chance to create. 




Woodshop move and work table build    2000
New Tool Acquisition    1500
Throwing Wheels    1000
Radha Lakshmi Tea Room Installation    2000
Yearly Woodshop Scholarship Fund    1400
Ceramic Materials and Clay    1815.76
Ceramic Instructor Fees    1800
Total Budget    11515.76


TOTAL RAISED = $11,908.00
ioby Platform Fee $35.00
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $357.24


Woodshop move, tool maintenance, and table build - $2600

Throwing Wheels - $1000

Radha Lakshmi Tea Room Installation - $2000

Yearly Woodshop Scholarship Fund - $1400

Ceramic Materials and Clay - $1200

Ceramic Instructor Fees - $1800

ioby Platform Fee $35
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $310
TOTAL TO RAISE = $10,345



Volunteer Day!

We need your help! Wave Pool is seeking a group of volunteers on Saturday, December 21 from 9am-12pm to help us with tasks including painting, organizing, heavy lifting, and taking down studio walls. Come see this project come to life!

Over Half Way There!

Wow! Such amazing support for this project - thank you all! Yesterday we had our regular community ceramics class and it was full and bustling with chatter and excitement. Folks are making connections and learning from each other and the energy and support is unreal. Can't wait to get some new throwing wheels and a larger space to accomodate this growing group.  <3 



This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


  • Anonymous
  • Jenna Shaifer
  • Sandy Eichert
  • In Person Donations at Wave Pool/Welcome
  • Mark Harris
  • Kim Krause
  • Denise Goldrich
  • Anonymous
  • Mel & Margaret Fickenweiner
  • Meredith W.
  • Traci Renai
  • Dave Purcell
  • Anonymous
  • jodi p.
  • Derrick Woodham
  • Anonymous
  • Caitlin Sparks
  • Gene E Wiggs
  • Michael Mann
  • Colleen Houston
  • Marissa Fine
  • Susan Berliant
  • Anonymous
  • In Person Donations at Wave Pool/Welcome
  • Anonymous
  • judy w.
  • Daddio
  • Carrington Broeman
  • Jamey Ponte
  • Morgan Rigaud
  • Diane Fishbein
  • John m Humphries
  • Aaron
  • DB
  • Nate
  • Dan
  • Joe Girandola
  • Joseph Gorman
  • Anonymous