I love the arts. As a reporter, I enjoy writing about small businesses. I had the chance to see how the two intersect through the Greater Cleveland Urban Film Festival, which is just wrapping up its 12th year. Compared to the much older and established Cleveland International Film Festival and others like it around the country, the Greater Cleveland Urban Film Festival, or GCUFF as it is known, has a much smaller economic footprint.
I looked at the Black businesses benefiting from the city’s Black film festival, focusing on the connections GCUFF made with places such as Zanzibar Soul Fusion on Shaker Square, just across from Atlas Movie Theaters, which hosted many of GCUFF’s films.
I also talked to folks at the GlenVillage business incubator, which provides a place for “aspiring entrepreneurs to test their business.” It hosted a film screening on criminal justice issues, which was sponsored by The Marshall Project. I saw 9-year-old DJ Lily Jade spinning and deejaying, and I watched people dropping beats with the Splice Cream Truck, a recording studio on wheels.
Hope you find that these articles feed your love of film and small businesses.
Stories from the film festival
The goal was to create economic spin off, no matter how modest, by linking GCUFF attendees and other supporters with Black businesses during the nine-day festival.
The fourth grader, who recently worked an event connected to the Greater Cleveland Urban Film festival, has a radio show and was named to Forbes Cleveland Under 30 list.
The truck, which captures people’s stories and impromptu artistic expressions, recently tapped into an event connected to the Greater Cleveland Urban Film Festival.