Posted Thursday, October 2, 2003
The debate over whether to build a new convention center was far from over when this episode of A Quiet Crisis aired in 2003. But, we asked, is that the only major project that will have any real impact on our local economy? Were there any other so called “Big Bets” that needed to be considered? A Quiet Crisis: Big Bets addressed the continued debate over whether or not to build a new convention center; and explored other “Big Bet” development projects.
Brad Whitehead, Senior Program Officer for Economic Development Initiatives, The Cleveland Foundation
Eric Von Hendrix, President, MWV Pinnacle Management Co.
James Levin, Artistic Director, Cleveland Public Theatre
Ruth Durack, Director Kent State University Urban Design Center
Lisa Hong, Vice President, eQuest Engineering
David Gilbert, President, Greater Cleveland Sports Commission
There were many signs of trouble in late spring of 2001. LTV Steel had just gone through bankruptcy—again. Cleveland’s last downtown department store was closing. The region’s largest multi-national corporation, TRW, was leaving town. No major downtown construction project was on the boards. Regional growth was lagging behind the national average. The so-called “brain drain” was sapping the region of its best and brightest young minds. And nobody wanted to talk about it.
This was the backdrop for A Quiet Crisis, a series initiated by The Plain Dealer, Ohio’s largest daily newspaper and ideastream, the multimedia content organization just formed by the merger of Cleveland’s public radio and television stations. For three years this innovative multiple-media series focused the attention of Northeast Ohio on the region’s most serious challenge—an economic decline that was unraveling the “comeback” renaissance of the 90’s and threatening the vitality of the region.
Through 14 round table discussions of community leaders that were broadcast on WVIZ/PBS and 90.3 WCPN, radio call-ins, in-depth reports on radio and television, newspaper articles, columns and editorials, the ambitious multimedia campaign highlighted the region’s problems and also offered solutions in ways that energized and empowered individuals and organizations to action and change.