Nick Spencer

An Over-the-Resident and Small Business Owner: Nick has lived in our city’s most promising neighborhood of Over-the-Rhine for years, and in 2004, he took the next step with 3 partners, by opening a small business in the area. That business, Alchemize, is one of the most successful and groundbreaking venues in the Main Street Entertainment District. By offering a focus on local original music, hosting a visual arts gallery, and working as an instrument for community change, Alchemize was voted “Best New Bar” by the readers of CityBeat, as well as “Best New Bar/Nightclub” by Cincinnati Magazine.

A Leader for Change: Nick is the proud founder of Cincinnati Tomorrow, a non profit working to attract and retain young and creative people in our city. He formed the organization after the 2000 census showed a massive loss of talented young people (often referred to as “Brain Drain”). Cincinnati Tomorrow has garnered positive national press attention for the city, including stories in USA Today and the Christian Science Monitor. In 2003, the organization released The Creative City Plan, a 42-page guide to attracting the “Creative Class” through quality of life initiatives like the arts, massive transit, and outdoor recreation. That plan is considered a model for others across the country now, and was awarded the Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission’s award for “Best Regional Plan” in 2004.

After the riots and the boycott of 2001, our small businesses were hurting. That's why Nick launched the Weekly After5 Walks, bringing young people out each Thursday to support locally-owned businesses in our downtown and our neighborhoods. The Walks continue to this day, bringing people out to patronize businesses and learn more about what our city has to offer.

After his first City Council campaign in 2003 ended, Nick spent time as a volunteer on 2004's successful Yes on 3 Campaign to Repeal Article XII. He helped recruit more volunteers and raise funds for that important initiative, and assisted with canvasses and phone banks regularly. Alchemize hosted a weekend benefit fundraiser for the cause, and was even more proud to host their Election Night Victory Party.