top of page


On behalf of the American Community Gardening Association’s 2016 Annual Conference in Cleveland Ohio, StoryLenz – a local Oral History company – will debut the “Cleveland Growing Strong 2016” – Community Garden & Urban Farm Oral History project.


The local conference committee commissioned this work to give people from near and far a glimpse of the growing Community Garden & Urban Agriculture movement in Greater Cleveland. With hundreds of unique garden projects and thousands of outstanding gardeners around the city, selecting only twenty-four examples was extremely difficult. We hope this multi-media project gives you a preview into the remarkable movement occurring here and the inspired leaders who, every day, are re-creating Cleveland.

Cleveland Growing Strong 2016
Oral History Project includes:

Oral History Collection

Twenty-four unique Cleveland stories told by the gardeners and leaders who are cultivating “THE Land” into a new city. Oral History Interviews were video recorded and are archived online for viewing. A Companion E-Booklet was created with written summaries of each respective interview. Full interviews, photographs and summaries are available premiering now in celebration of this conference, and will serve as historical & cultural enrichment for years to come.

Documentary Film

A special fifty-minute documentary film has been developed with excerpts from the interviews and behind-the-scenes footage of Cleveland’s flourishing movement. This film draws connections between the gardens and gardeners themselves, giving light to the region’s rich gardening history and sharing the community’s aspirations for the seasons ahead.

Photo Exhibit & Music Video

StoryLenz partnered with NewBridge Cleveland – Center for Arts & Technology to engage the region’s youth and display their talents throughout this project. Students visited gardens and farms across Cleveland to inspire music and lyrics, and create photographs and video. On display at the conference is a stunning photo exhibit and entertaining, original-score music video motivated by the community garden movement in Cleveland. These artworks were created collaboratively by the talented students and their expert instructors. The photo exhibit will be curated by regional galleries and public spaces.    

Project Team:

















Nancy Nolan-Jones - Senior Oral Historian / Project Director

President, StoryLenz, LLC

A "keeper of history", Nolan-Jones has considerable experience leading organizations and developing/directing oral history projects. She served ten years as Executive Director for the Cleveland African American Museum and is delighted to now serve as Senior Oral Historian for StoryLenz during this exciting, pivotal time in history for Northeast Ohio and the world.








Brad Masi – Film Maker / Videographer
Freelancer, NEOFood Web

Brad is an independent consultant with significant experience in local food systems development, non-profit management, and ecological design. A leading innovator in sustainability, Brad has served as Executive Director of the New Agrarian Center, co-founder of the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Food Policy Coalition, and often as social entrepreneur, writer, filmmaker, community organizer, and teacher.











Matt Moore – Technology / Art Manager

Matt is a husband, an artist, and the Produce Partnerships Manager at the Greater Cleveland Food Bank. He works to empower neighbors, share good stories and create a better Cleveland through food, art, and opportunity. This year he will help provide 14,000,000 lbs of fresh produce to Ohioans in need, release his debut album, and grow garlic for his wife.


With Student Photographers From 

bottom of page