'Keep Cincinnati Beautiful' artists receive national attention

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Some local artists are receiving national attention. Most recently, leaders in Sin City are taking a page from Keep Cincinnati Beautiful.

"We see this as a first responder to blight," says Katie Ferncez with Future Blooms.

Katie Ferncez with Future Blooms says properties on Vine Street in Over-the-Rhine now have painted doors to make it look like someone lives or works there.

"It helps eradicate graffiti and makes an area look cared for and if somebody thinks that an area is cared for they're less likely to do illegal things around it," explains Ferncez.

"It's brightening it up a little bit and you got a lot of people and you got a lot of people coming downtown that would never come down here before," says Todd Phillips, a long time resident of Cincinnati.

Future Blooms launched in 2009 as a non-profit organization funded through grants, and Ferncez says it's all one of a kind art, on each of the 640 buildings they've worked on.

"We take a photo of the building and then do a design that works with the architecture of the particular building that we're working on," adds Ferncez.

But just recently, Ferncez says city leaders in Minneapolis, Las Vegas, New York, and Chicago are contacting them for advice on how to get the program started in their city.

"It seems to be something that's really catching on for people with similar problems with vacancy because it's so high impact and so low cost," says Ferncez.

Phillips says this project simply improves the image of a part of town that is undergoing a much needed transformation.

"I'm very proud of this area because if you look back about six or eight years ago, it was pretty bad down here, drug related, crime and now you just look around and they've cleaned up," explains Phillips.

Future Blooms also fixes up buildings in Avondale, Price Hill, and Walnut Hills, and they're eventually expanding to the West End.

Organizers with Future Bloom say city leaders in Hamilton have also contacted them for advice on how to start their own program.

Copyright 2014 WXIX. All rights reserved.