A letter from our CEO...

April 9, 2020

 As we prepare to send out our first monthly e-newsletter for Public Square I find myself sitting in my kitchen thinking about the safety and security of my staff, our partners, the public and our beautiful Square in a completely new light.  While I would normally be brainstorming ideas for programs that would create connections to our public spaces and each other, instead I am forced to think about physical distancing while at the same time ensuring the ongoing high-quality maintenance of The Square continues in our physical absence. 

 

Right now, we all follow the directives of our leaders in order to protect our fellow citizens and give our healthcare workers a chance to do what they do best. As we do this, Public Square remains quiet except for downtown residents going for a walk with their children or their dogs, and of course the customers picking up food at Rebol Café.  The fountain will remain turned off as part of the Governor’s “Stay at Home” order including public pools and splash pads.

 

While The Square may be quiet, we will continue to work with the Downtown Cleveland Alliance Ambassadors to maintain a safe and clean environment.  We are working with community advocates and city leaders to ensure the city’s homeless population receives support and finds shelter in locations where they can practice social distancing.   We are working with CPD Third District Police and the Downtown Service Unit to provide extra attention to The Square.  Our team monitors The Square as part of our daily routine and responsibility. 

 

We have a long road ahead of us, but I believe we are a resilient community and I look forward to the day when our six and a half acres of Public Square is once again bustling with activity.  When children’s laughter will be as loud as the bubbling sound of the fountain.  When lunchtime returns to the meeting place for downtown workers enjoying the sounds of our local musicians. When people rush to be first in line on Food Truck Tuesdays.

 

During this time of physical distancing my team and I are at our individual homes designing and planning creative programming for Public Square. We collaborate using the vast amount of technology available to us, and are even using technology to present several of our programs online. 

 

A few examples include:

  • Yoga on the Screen

  • Square Sounds At Home

  • History Lessons about Public Square and downtown

  • Programs from partner and community organizations shared to our large footprint of followers

 

Once it is safe to gather, we are planning to enjoy SUMMER together at these exciting programs:

  • For The Love of Cleveland Speaker Series presented by The City Club

  • Food Truck Tuesdays

  • Square Sounds daily lunchtime performances

  • Weekly yoga and exercise programs in The Square

  • Summer Splash- daily activities for children of Greater Cleveland to come together for creative time, play and educational lessons

  • Pet Parades (pets are a large part of our daily visitation in The Square!)

  • Touch-a-Truck

  • Jungle Terry Animal Adventures and Science Day

  • Happy Hour or evening socials for downtown residents and workers

While we have had to modify some of our plans, Public Square is a four-season venue allowing us to move some of our programs into the fall and winter months.  And, of course we look forward to the return of the Cleveland Foundation Skating Rink and Winterfest in November. 

We welcome your input and ideas for what you’d like to see in Public Square. Please send your comments and questions to sanaajulien@clevelandpublicsquare.com 

 

Each month we will be sharing how Group Plan Commission uses your contributions and support to create connections and enhance Cleveland’s most treasured public space, Public Square.  We will show you the dedicated workers and vendors who diligently manicure the lawn, maintain the plant beds and ensure that the trees remain healthy so visitors may enjoy a beautiful park. 

 

We will introduce you to our team of supporters and ask you to get involved by encouraging your friends to visit, your colleagues to donate and your family to enjoy Public Square.  We will show how we are fulfilling our promise to program, maintain, operate and protect the community’s investment.  We hope you are pleased with our work. 

 

Sending thoughts of health and safety to you and your family, friends and loved ones,

 

Sanaa Julien

CEO

Group Plan Commission

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Group Plan Commission
50 Public Square, Suite 1700

Cleveland, OH 44113