Keep The P.E.A.C.E.

#1 Get the facts.

Scroll down and click on the information boxes below. Be sure to share this information with your friends and family who would support our Keep The P.E.A.C.E. effort.

#2 Do the survey.

Our landlord – Heights Library – is collecting feedback to help determine the fate of our building. Instructions and a link are below the information boxes. THE SURVEY CLOSES ON JULY 28th.

#3 Add your name to our list of supporters.

Because the Library’s survey is so limited, we’re asking you to add your name to OUR list of supporters. And please be sure to sign up to receive our emails. A link is below the information boxes.

#4 Write letters.

Further down this page you will find an easy link which will allow you to send one email that will automatically be forwarded to Library leadership, City of Cleveland Heights leadership and City of University Heights leadership. Please let them know that you support our organizations and our effort to establish a permanent Arts, Culture and Education Center. Let them know that you support a win-win solution for all involved.

#5 Attend the Library’s Public Meeting.

The Library will be holding a public “Listening Session” regarding the fate of the Coventry P.E.A.C.E. building and they want to hear from you. Please attend and share your support of  our Keep The P.E.A.C.E. effort. THE MEETING WILL BE AT THE LEE ROAD LIBRARY AT 7:00 PM ON  WEDNESDAY, JULY 24th.

#6 Come to our P.E.A.C.E. Pops event.

On top of all the amazing events planned for the evening (live music, open studios, open mic, workshops & more), we will also be hosting a Q & A table and offering tours. This all ages event is FREE and open to the public. FRIDAY, JULY 26th FROM 6-9 pm.

Want to know more about our project? Click on each box for more information.

Each box contains information about our Coventry P.E.A.C.E. project and our Keep The P.E.A.C.E. effort.

Arts improve academic performance. Our organizations offer an array of arts education programs.

Students with an education rich in the arts have higher GPAs and standardized test scores, and lower drop-out rates—benefits reaped by students regardless of socio-economic status.

The Coventry P.E.A.C.E. tenants have always paid our rent, even throughout COVID.

In fact, in 2022 the Library was required to return $40,000 in OVER payments to the tenants–and the tenants GAVE BACK $20,000 to put toward the cost of the future HVAC refurbishment project.

Coventry P.E.A.C.E. provides a social impact that benefits the entire city.

University of Pennsylvania researchers have demonstrated that a high concentration of the arts in a city leads to higher civic engagement, more social cohesion, higher child welfare, and lower crime and poverty rates.

Cleveland Heights Has the Greatest Concentration of Artists in Cuyahoga County.

The greatest concentration of all artists is in the near eastern suburbs, centering on the neighborhoods in Cleveland Heights. 

The Coventry P.E.A.C.E. Campus is a cultural anchor and draw for the struggling Coventry business district.

In Cuyahoga County, attendees of arts events spend $37.33 per person in nearby businesses. This is vital income for local merchants and a value-add with which few industries can compete. Non-local attendees spend even more and (of those polled) the primary purpose of their visit was specifically to attend a performance, event, exhibit, venue, or arts facility.

Demolition isn’t free–not by a long shot.

The Library appears to want to demolish the building, but this is NOT CHEAP. It will likely cost upward of $800,000. And this WOULD be a cost footed by the taxpayers.

The organizations of Coventry P.E.A.C.E. Campus employ over 60 people and serve nearly 20,000 people each year.

Our organizations also provide volunteer opportunities to over 2,500 people and have over 120 people serving as board members. 

The Coventry P.E.A.C.E. project was–and can be again–financially sustainable, without the need for public dollars.

When the Coventry P.E.A.C.E. group operated and managed the building, we did so financially in the black. Only when the Library took over managing the building and outsourced that management to an expensive management company and accrued $72k in legal fees (For what? We don’t know.) did it start operating in the red.

Our nonprofits host or participate in over 40 FREE events each year, and provide FREE programs, as well.

A sample of our FREE events & programs:

P.E.A.C.E. Pops

Lantern Festival

Kids Comic Con

Art for the Masses

Teen Editors & Book Project

Juneteenth Exhibit

Art of Community Celebration & Exhibit

Open Studios

& more!

That $2.3 million in needed repairs the Library keeps citing? That’s not quite accurate.

Not everything listed in that number is a NEEDED repair, not all needed repairs are urgent, and some items had previous quotes that came in SIGNIFICANTLY lower (even with inflation). This cost can be covered over a duration of years. Our plan funds those costs without needing public dollars.

The Coventry P.E.A.C.E. tenants have a plan to fund necessary repairs to the building without needing public dollars.

Major foundations and finance organizations have expressed interest in supporting this project, but they require “site control”–which means long-term leases. We need the Library to extend at least 5-year leases so we can secure the funding for the repair costs.

Tearing down the building is not an environmentally responsible decision.

Demolishing an average American home can put about the same amount of material by weight into the landfill as the average American throws in the trash over a lifetime. Can you imagine how much waste will be created if the P.E.A.C.E building is torn down? Not to mention the energy required for the machines and transport of the waste. 

The “bones” of the Coventry P.E.A.C.E. building are solid.

According to multiple facility studies, the building is structurally sound. It just needs maintenance and repairs, as any old building does. Cleveland Heights residents, with all our old homes, should understand that you don’t tear down a good building because it needs a little maintenance.

Complete our landlord’s survey

The Library (building owner) is currently conducting a survey to collect feedback from the community on the fate of our building. Several of the question only offer bad options for answers and there is very little opportunity to show support of what already exists in the building – the Coventry P.E.A.C.E. project.

We would encourage you to check the boxes for “OTHER” and use the text fields to state the building should not be demolished and Coventry P.E.A.C.E. should be given a long-term lease and the ability to manage the building and finance its improvements.

List of supporters

If you believe in the Coventry PEACE Campus Project, and the organizations we support, please add your name to our supporters list. By sharing with our community the names of those who want to see this project carried forward, you can inspire others to join us, too.

Attend the Library’s Public Meeting

It is critical that anyone who supports establishing a permanent Arts, Culture and Education hub attend this listening session. This is the one opportunity we have for our supporters from the Heights and beyond to publicly share their support for the Keep The P.E.A.C.E. effort! An RSVP is always appreciated.

PLEASE NOTE: This meeting is being held at the Library’s LEE ROAD BRANCH on Wednesday, July 24, at 7:00 pm.

Come to our P.E.A.C.E. Pops Event

In addition to all the wonderful activities we’ll be hosting (open studios, live music, open mic, hands-on workshops & more), we’ll have a Q&A table and information avialable to help answer any questions you have. Plus, we’ll be happy to take you on a tour of the facility!

Sign up for emails

Be sure you are receiving our latest news and event listings.

Get our graphics

Use our images for your social media profiles and cover images.

Taking the time to write a letter sends a powerful message.

It is important for those in leadership to know where you stand on this issue. Let them know you support our organizations and our effort to establish a permanent Arts, Culture and Education Center–a win-win solution for all involved. If you own a local business, or are in the leadership of a nonprofit, providing a formal letter of support is of great help.

By clicking on the button below, you can write one email that will be forwarded to the following:

Heights Library

Vikas Turakhia
Board President

Nancy Levin
Library Director

 

Coventry P.E.A.C.E.

Krista Hawthorne
Board President

Brady Dindia
Board Secretary

City of Cleveland Heights

Mayor Kahlil Seren

City Council
Tony Cuda
Davida Russell
Craig Cobb
Gail Larson
Anthony Mattox, Jr.
Jim Petras

City of University Heights

Mayor Michael Brennan

City Council
Michele Weiss
Christopher Cooney
Threse Marshall
Brian J. King
John P. Rach
Sheri Sax
Winifred Weizer

Recent Updates

Coventry P.E.A.C.E. Statement ::: July 2024

We continue to maintain support for all community-serving organizations. While we feel that the public narrative has been incomplete and potentially misleading, we have chosen not to engage in a public dispute out of respect for all community-serving organizations, including the Libraries. Our priority remains fostering support for these vital community resources.

We will work towards a reasonable outcome that benefits all involved. We remain committed to our vision and the project that the community has supported for seven years—an arts and education hub in the heart of the Heights. We also remain focused on our individual missions and continue to build upon each of our thriving organizations. Our goal is to continue to carry out those missions at the Coventry P.E.A.C.E. Building. We are solution-focused, and we hope to work with anyone who shares that vision and will collaborate with us in a spirit of cooperation and transparency to find solutions and options with a mindset toward problem-solving.

We aim to support the Library while preserving the Coventry P.E.A.C.E Building. We value the Library's significant contributions to our community, including the renovation and expansion of the Noble Branch Library, as well as the park and playground at Coventry. We also champion the transformative impact of our arts, culture, and education center, currently home to a dozen local and regional nonprofits. Recognizing the Library's shift away from landlord responsibilities, Coventry P.E.A.C.E. seeks collaborative solutions with stakeholders to secure the building's future as a vital part of the Coventry Village neighborhood. We believe maintaining this property aligns with community desires, as evidenced by past studies and environmental sustainability principles embraced by many in our community. For those of us who live here, work here, or visit here, we are fortunate that Cleveland Heights embraces such rich cultural and educational resources.

Time is pressing. Despite our preference for 18-month extensions with a 12% rent increase, we were only offered six-month leases, leaving us with no choice but to sign these short-term agreements or face vacating the building by the end of last month. There could be a month-to-month option after these short leases expire. However, the Library has indicated they could give us 60 days’ notice as early as November, making December 31st potentially our last day in the building.

The looming closure and/or demolition of the Coventry P.E.A.C.E. Building would be devastating for our community. The resulting disbursement of our co-located nonprofits would be an enormous loss of and a burden on community resources. All of the benefits that come with being co-located would vanish—like the ways in which we are better able to cross-promote and partner on the 40+ free programs our organizations host (or participate in), both individually and as a group. We urgently need to collaborate to find a viable path forward that maintains stability for our organizations, preserves our co-location benefits, and continues our impactful community programs.

[If anyone is interested in reading more about the benefits of nonprofit co-location and social purpose real estate, you can read more about this on our website.]

Contrary to the Library’s claims, the Coventry P.E.A.C.E. Project has consistently demonstrated financial sustainability and we have a proven track record of creating and maintaining affordable, accessible spaces. Coventry P.E.A.C.E. aims to provide sustainable, supportive, and collaborative facility and event management for local nonprofits by leveraging the benefits of co-location. P.E.A.C.E. stands for People Enhancing A Community’s Environment. We managed the Coventry P.E.A.C.E. building successfully for two years and were able to add tenants during the Covid pandemic. At the conclusion of our master-lease we had accumulated a significant surplus in funds including $40,000 in utility overpayments the Library had to return to Coventry P.E.A.C.E., Inc.

We want to share some facts with you. There have been a lot of numbers thrown around lately, and we know it is difficult for the public to make heads or tails of what they mean. For some community members, a decision like this comes down to only numbers, and for others there is an immeasurable social benefit cost that is of greatest importance. We believe those concepts are not mutually exclusive. What we know is…

  1. Financial sustainability & capital expenses. Rent paid to the Library has averaged about $18,000 more per year than standard operating costs of the building. With the recent increase in tenancy, and with further occupancy growth, the building will continue to do better than break-even and begin to build a substantial reserve fund for capital improvements that can be combined with grants, traditional financing, and capital campaigns to update the building in phases and achieve significant environmental improvements.
  2. We have shown ourselves to be competent & responsible. Our organizations have always lived up to our responsibilities, absorbed every rent hike, and paid our full rent throughout the Covid pandemic. Upon conclusion of the Coventry P.E.A.C.E., Inc., master lease in 2022, the Library was required to return overpayments to Coventry P.E.A.C.E. and in turn, we gave the Library back $20,000 of these funds to put toward the cost of the future HVAC refurbishment project the Library had already decided to move forward with.
  3. We have support from major funding organizations—IF we have long-term leases. There's genuine interest from external nonprofits in securing space here—multiple leases negotiated with the Library didn't materialize (for reasons we're not privy to). Our extensive research shows that a dedicated nonprofit managing the hub boosts lease negotiations and attracts external funding. We've garnered interest from a major foundation and a non-profit funder, contingent on securing a long-term lease (or ownership) to prevent funds from being diverted to separately funded institutions like the Library. Assembly for the Arts, a major regional advocacy group, publicly supports us and aims to assist in securing a resolution benefiting all stakeholders.
  4. We are an important asset to our local economy. Our organizations employ over 60 people and serve nearly 20,000 people per year.

We are ready and able to resume the Coventry P.E.A.C.E. Campus project. With Coventry P.E.A.C.E., Inc., as the long-term master lease holder (or owner) and facility manager ,a structure would be in place to establish an official nonprofit center capable of attracting tenants and forging partnerships for extensive fundraising to support major capital improvements. By avoiding costly external management—currently at about $90,000 annually under the Library’s oversight—this approach allows for innovative problem-solving beyond what a large government entity like the Library can offer. Collaboration among our institutions is crucial to breaking down silos and laying the groundwork for success, a strategy proven effective in communities statewide and beyond. But we are down to weeks, not months. We urge decisive action from leaders to help secure a lasting solution for all involved.

Cleveland Heights is known for its creativity and forward-thinking spirit, focusing on the intangibles that strengthen community vitality. What attracts residents here? What makes them want to stay and build their lives here? It's the vibrant local businesses, the rich arts scene and unique atmosphere that give Cleveland Heights its distinctive charm. What we have developed over the last several years is an important component to attract and retain residents—it adds to the overall quality of life that residents are looking for. We hope you will join us in envisioning and creating a future for our nonprofit collective that embodies these values. Together, we can uphold Cleveland Heights' reputation as "Home of the Arts" by securing the future of our diverse hub, which houses numerous local and regional creative nonprofits dedicated to enriching the lives of our residents and beyond. Together, we can “Keep the P.E.A.C.E.”

Most sincerely,
Coventry P.E.A.C.E.

Coventry P.E.A.C.E. Campus Lease Update ::: July 2024

As of July 1, 2024 nine of our organizations entered into a six month lease with our landlord (Cleveland Heights - University Heights Library). While this leaves us little time to find a solution, we are determined to work with our City Leadership, Library Leadership, business leaders and residents to find a resolution that will be a win-win for all stake holders. We remain dedicated to the neighborhood where we are located, and to all of those we serve throughout Cleveland Heights and beyond. We believe Cleveland Heights is "Home to the Arts" and we are an important piece of that. We hope you will join us in our efforts to "Keep The P.E.A.C.E.". Please be sure to add your name to our list of supporters, and be sure you have signed up for our emails to receive the latest updates.

Volunteer

We are in the process of forming 2-3 new volunteer advisory committees and looking for people with skill sets in creative placemaking, economic development, commercial real estate, capital campaigns, accounting and PR/communications. If you are intersted in learning more and volunteering for one of thse groups, please click on the button below to email us.

Watch and share the videos below.

Stay up-to-date on the latest Coventry PEACE Campus news and events – sign up to receive emails or follow us on social media.

Emails & Newsletters

Occassionally we send out updates, event information and newsletters via email. Click on the link below to sign up to receive information via email.

Social Media.

Coventry PEACE Campus can be found on several social media platforms. Click on the button below to find us online and be sure to like/follow us! 

What is Coventry PEACE Campus?

When the school district sought to divest itself from the former Coventry Elementary School building in 2017, leaving its future uncertain, the leaders of all the tenant organizations and a broad base of community supporters came together in a grassroots movement to propose ways to preserve and grow the thriving arts, culture and education hub that had organically taken root there. From this effort, the Coventry PEACE Campus came into being. The Coventry P.E.A.C.E. building currently houses a dozen local and regional nonprofits. It is our goal to provide an accessible, sustainable, more efficient, and affordable home for these nonprofits, and to attract new organizations to the building.