What is your good deed for the day?
Good Eggs

Good Eggs

 
 

GOOD EGGS NOW OUT IN PUBLIC, CINCINNATI, OHIO

RHINEGEIST
FOUNTAIN SQUARE
WALNUT HILLS REDEVELOPMENT FOUNDATION
PEOPLE'S LIBERTY
FINDLAY MARKET
WE HAVE BECOME VIKINGS

The Story of Good Eggs

People's Liberty / Globe Grant

Sara Bedinghaus and Jason Snell, Founders of Good Eggs

Sara Bedinghaus and Jason Snell, Founders of Good Eggs

Good Eggs looks like an every-day gumball machine, but dispenses eggs containing messages instructing patrons to commit a simple good deed.  A good deed can go a long way to improve morale throughout a community, and so Good Eggs is designed so that it can be easily replicable in any community setting.

Good Eggs will debut its first machine in the gallery of People’s Liberty, featuring unique eggs designed by Jason Snell at We Have Become Vikings. 

 
 
 
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BECOME A PART OF THE MOVEMENT

OPENING AT PEOPLE'S LIBERTY
GLOBE BUILDING MARCH 27TH, 2015
6pm - 10pm
Gallery Hours are M-F 9a-5p & S 11a-3p

Opening of the New People's Liberty Globe Building

 
 

DO YOU HAVE A
GOOD DEED IDEA?

Name *
Name

#GoodEggs | Be Good!

Be a good egg today. No, really

John Faherty, jfaherty@enquirer.com

 

The idea is simple and elegant. But mostly simple. The premise is this: If somebody decided to make you a sandwich, just for no reason at all, it could change the direction of your whole day.

I mean, who doesn't like a nice sandwich?

That is the concept behind an art show tonight, and on a larger scale, the idea behind the host of the show.

Let's back up a little bit. People's Liberty is a new kind of philanthropy that started this year and is intent on making the entire region better and more liveable and more pleasant by investing in individuals. This is actually a fairly radical idea in the philanthropy world because most well-intended money goes to well-intended organizations or programs or museums or parks or whatever.

The idea for Good Eggs was hatched by Jason Snell's wife, Sara Bedinghaus. They found old vending machines and had them rehabbed. Inside, they've placed plastic eggs with a message and a prompt to do a good deed. The machines are either .25 or .50 cents. You also get a small badge to show you’re part of the movement. (Photo: The Enquirer/Liz Dufour)

People's Liberty gives its money to a person with a good idea. Like to the people behind Good Eggs.

Tonight, People's Liberty will open its doors on Elm Street across the street from Findlay Market in Over-the-Rhine. The organization has existed for a while, but has been waiting for its building to be finished. The building opening will coincide with the installation of Good Eggs, which a perfect example of art-meeting-mission.

Good Eggs, funded with a Globe Grant by People's Liberty, is the work of Jason Snell and Sara Bedinghaus. They are married to each other and are so civic-minded that they once stayed up late wondering how they could make their city better. Like, actually staying up and talking about it.

"Sara and I were kicking around projects we could do together," Snell said. "She is really civic-minded and I wanted it to be fun."

Shortly after that late-night talk, they heard People's Liberty was looking for interesting civic-minded projects to fund. So Bedinghaus and Snell hatched (I waited as long as I could) this idea called Good Eggs. Using People's Liberty grant money, they bought a bunch of old vending machines, and some plastic eggs, had some buttons made and then created hundreds of "challenges." These challenges are not difficult and boil down to just being kind. Even to a stranger.

Starting tonight at the Globe Gallery, people will be able to walk up to a vending machine, insert a quarter or 50 cents, and get an egg. The egg will have a small piece of paper – think fortune cookie – that challenges the egg opener to do a good deed. There will also be a pin for the person to wear declaring himself or herself a good egg. A pin and a prompt.


For the next three months, the machines will only be available at the Globe building on Elm Street, across from Findlay Market, but Snell is hopeful the idea will catch on and can spread to other areas. (Photo: The Enquirer/Liz Dufour)

"We like the idea that you pay. Even if it is only a quarter, now you are invested," Snell said. "And, with the pin, you are part of a movement. So you are more likely to do the good deed."

The money will go into keeping the machines running properly. At the end of the three-month exhibit, the money will be used to bring the vending machines out to neighborhoods.

Bedinghaus, a senior development officer at 3CDC in her day job, said the best part about the project is that she and Jason were inspired to spread goodwill and kind action in the community and by doing so they became the recipients of good will and kind action.

"We have had so many people come and help us," Bedinghaus said. "They come after work, they come when they are tired, they have been so helpful."

The hard part, at first, was finding good challenges for people. "Help your older neighbor with her groceries" is very kind, but not really original. But then more creative and whimsical ideas for the challenges came in.

One says "Call your stepsister." This works, even if you don't have a stepsister. "Maybe you don't. Probably you don't. But maybe instead you get the idea to call your brother," Bedinghaus said. "These ideas organically lead to other ideas."

Wednesday, March 25, 2015 Jason Snell, founder of “We Have Become Vikings” design firm in Over-The-Rhine, works on his newest project, Good Eggs. The idea was hatched with his wife, Sara Bedinghaus. They found old vending machines and had them rehabbed. Inside, they have placed plastic eggs with a message and a prompt to do a good deed. The machines are either .25 or .50 cents. You also get a small badge to show you’re part of the movement. For the next three months, the machines will only be available at the Globe building on Elm Street, across from Findlay Market, but Snell is hopeful the idea will catch on and can spread to other areas. The Enquirer/ Liz Dufour (Photo: Liz Dufour)

Some say: "Buy somebody a doughnut" or "Compliment somebody's hair." Bedinghaus is fond of "Leave a thank you note to your mailman."

She likes it because it is simple and fast and costs nothing. It will make your mail carrier happy. Maybe then he or she does something nice for somebody else. It can continue on. Or maybe it doesn't. Maybe your mailman just thinks you are a little bit kooky and a little bit kind. Isn't that enough?

Each year, People's Liberty will issue three Globe Grants for installations on the first floor of their building. These vending machines will be the first. That was not by accident, according to Jake Hodesh, People's Liberty's vice president of operations. "Good Eggs spoke to what we are trying to do in terms of civic engagement," Hodesh said. "They are challenging people to be better."

People's Liberty was conceived and funded by the Haile Foundation and the Johnson Foundation. Everybody involved in those organizations knew Bedinhaus and Snell would be able to work in the building while construction workers were finishing the actual structure.

On Thursday, it looked like a construction site inside a construction site with everybody a little frantic. "We knew it would not be easy, but knew they could handle it," Hodesh said.

It turns out everybody was a good egg. Apologies.


Friday at People's Liberty

People's Liberty opening at the Globe Building

1805 Elm St, Cincinnati, OH 45202

10 am to 3:00 pm: tours of the newly renovated space at the historic Globe Furniture Building near Findlay Market.

For more information about People's Liberty, go to www.peoplesliberty.org.

Good Eggs Installation: The grand opening is 6 to 9 Friday night. Part of the city's Final Friday celebration.

For more information on Good Eggs, go to goodeggs.info.

Good Eggs

This week, Residents Chris & Candice check-in with our first ever Globe Grantee, Jason Snell, in preparation for the Good Eggs opening on March 27th.

Experience Snell's installation for yourself next Final Friday, 3/27, from 6–10PM.

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Jason chose a beautiful day to move his newly painted machines into the Globe 

Inside his We Have Become Vikings storefront on Vine Street, Jason Snell unlocks the door with a loud "Hello!," ready to talk. His energy and excitement for his project is immediately evident. As the first People's Liberty Globe Grant recipient, Snell has been working on refurbishing over thirty gumball machines preparing them for his Good Eggs installation, opening Friday, March 27th.

Good Eggs: The Artist

We caught up with Jason to ask him about the process of collecting and purchasing the vending machines (“from a man named Michael Vending! No joke!”), to working with students at the Art Academy of Cincinnati to paint the machines in bold red, orange and blue, to creating the prompts inside the eggs.

When Snell talks of Good Eggs, he  expands on his passion projects, community involvement and how ripe Cincinnati is for creating one’s own path. Having worked at a number of big name design firms in Cincinnati, Snell carved his own path with We Have Become Vikings, his storefront specializing in designing everything from band posters, brand identity, graphics and websites for big name companies and local small businesses.

Good Eggs is his newest passion project.

Red and orange and blue... oh my. 

Good Eggs: The Basics

What has been your favorite part about working on Good Eggs?
The ownership. When you open the prompt, you see “go do that” in a positive manner. It’s things like this that I want to do more of. There's a space between being a badass, feeling good and helping people. That space is not always occupied and that's where I want to fit.

How does living in Cincinnati impact your creativity?
I think Cincinnati has opportunity. There’s no way I could have a shop in the heart of a really cool neighborhood in New York, LA or even Chicago. I really feel that the opportunities are here with the potential of a big impact. I’ve worked hard to get to this point but there’s still a lot of room to do creative things here.

What’s in the future for Good Eggs?
It starts in People’s Liberty gallery, but it can branch out to other neighborhoods beyond Over-the-Rhine. Why wouldn’t someone want it in their community? Good Eggs can move to another place, another neighborhood. I would love to see that. All the money that goes into the machines goes back into the neighborhood and the project. Overall, we are just realizing the power of a little positive message. 

Good Eggs: The Idea

Good Eggs’ website describes the project as “a community-minded attitude to better ones neighborhood through colorful and playful gumball machines that dispense 'good deeds'. Good Eggs machines look like every-day gumball machines, but instead of candy, they dispense eggs containing messages instructing patrons to commit a simple good deed. A good deed can go a long way to improve morale throughout a community. That in mind, Good Eggs is designed to be easily replicable in any community setting.

Snell and his wife, Sara Bedinghaus, came up with the idea together. “It was one of those things where my wife and I were talking, thinking about doing something cool for the neighborhood. We wanted something that wouldn’t require too much effort for someone to get involved, and where people of all ages can participate and feel like they are a part of the movement.”

The prompts themselves are the spirit of the Good Eggs project. “Let’s prompt people to do something good in their neighborhood. Let’s prompt someone to tell someone that they love them. Let’s prompt someone to pick up a piece of trash. It’s weird and it’s fun.”

Gallery Opening Friday, March 27th, 2015, 6-10pm. The Globe building is located at 1805 Elm Street., directly across from Findlay Market.

Jason Snell’s Globe Gallery installation for People’s Liberty encourages good deeds

Jason Snell’s Globe Gallery installation for People’s Liberty encourages good deeds

Jason Snell’s Globe Gallery installation for People’s Liberty encourages good deeds

If you consider yourself to be a creative person in Cincinnati and haven’t heard of People’s Liberty yet, get thyself to Google. Or at least walk across the street next time you’re at the Dojo Gelato/Colonel De end of Findlay Market to check things out at The Crown building — People’s Liberty’s temporary home until updates are made to the Globe Building next door. The new Over-the-Rhine-based nonprofit (a philanthropic arm of the Haile/U.S. Bank Foundation and the Johnson Foundation) is making a name for itself in its first year of existence by doing something no other local arts organization has: investing directly in individuals — not organizations or businesses, but people — to make their creative visions for this city come true.

And artist/designer Jason Snell’s inaugural installation Good Eggs at People’s Liberty’s Globe Gallery next month will be the first tangible assertion of the organization’s progressive approach to cultivating the work of unconventional creatives.

Due to construction delays on the Globe Building and the constraints of installation timelines, this year People’s Liberty approached only a select group of artists. Snell submitted an application for a Globe Gallery installation grant that covers up to $15,000. Snell came up with the idea with his wife, senior development officer for 3CDC Sara Bedinghaus, while brainstorming ideas to make things better in the neighborhood that they both work in and clearly care for.

Snell’s “creative shop” We Have Become Vikings is in the heart of OTR and, like his wife, Snell seems wholly invested in the community for which he’s currently creating this unconventional installation of vintage vending machines filled with plastic eggs that contain a small “treat of sorts”: buttons, badges, temporary tattoos. But the crucial element inside the egg is the “Good Deed” that buyers are encouraged to perform — anything from picking up litter to giving your neighbor a hug — which Snell and People’s Liberty hope will engage buyers in positive community exchanges.

The eggs cost either a quarter or two, depending on the machine. Regarding the cost, Snell says, “We wanted them to give something so they would feel a part of the community, a part of the movement, ownership if you will.” The badges and tattoos, then, “allow the user to feel and commentate this in their neighborhood, to spread the word of Good Eggs,” he continues. And both Snell and People’s Liberty Operations Director Jake Hodesh speak of the potential for taking Good Eggs outside the gallery and into other cities.

In fact, the Good Eggs website reads, “The process of constructing the first good eggs vending machine will be documented in the form of an instructable downloadable instruction kit + an online video, so that any community can learn how to reproduce this program, as efficiently and affordably as possible.” According to the online manifesto, “A good deed can go a long way to improve morale throughout a community.”

Snell says the money will go back into the machines and the community. But beyond making more eggs and repairing the inevitable technical glitches that come from relying on old machines, the exact plan for the money raised by Good Eggs is “something that’s still to be determined,” Snell says, which seems apt for a philanthropic organization that is breaking new ground with its very first exhibition. 

People’s Liberty, led by CEO Eric Avner of the Haile Foundation (“the beacon of arts in Cincinnati right now,” in Snell’s words), has taken a consciously non-traditional approach to its Globe Gallery artists in the form of unconventional art installations. Snell’s is just the first of three artist grants for 2015 at the Globe Gallery, and the next up is filmmaker and artist C. Jacqueline Wood’s “Microcinema” of avantgarde, outside the mainstream experimental film and video.

Vending machines purchased from a local vendor whose real name is — get this — Michael Vending are currently being painted by Snell and Art Academy painting students (with oversight from Snell’s Temple bandmate/ Art Academy assistant professor Jimmy Baker and Galen Crawford, the school’s director of student services), and the school is allowing them to use studio space at the Academy to work on the project before Good Eggs’ March installation.

By mid-March, 800 square feet of the gallery will be filled with more than 30 rehabbed/repurposed vending machines of all shapes and sizes. Snell says the unconventional gallery will be painted to look like “Willie Wonka’s urban funhouse,” with photos documenting the construction process on the walls, painting on the glass storefront windows and machines that can be left out on the busy sidewalks during the day and brought in at night.

The investment that People’s Liberty has committed to during its first five years will include 21 people within the I-275 beltway directly effected by the organization’s financial support. But it also aims to provide workspace and a possible lending library for creative thinkers to be empowered to change the issues they see within their own communities.

Because their first few grantees are on a yearlong Haile Fellowship, according to Hodesh, “We could have the first two [Globe Gallery artist] installations before we see the fruits of the labor of the grantees.”

“It’s important to see that these opportunities are a tangible reminder of how [People’s Liberty seeks to] draw people in to participate and respond,” he continues.

As with much of the development currently happening in Cincinnati’s historic urban district, the long-term effect of so much financial investment can only be speculated at this point. People’s Liberty has planted roots in the heart of Over-the-Rhine, an area that (depending on one’s political leanings) is either precariously poised on the brink of questionable gentrification or healthy redevelopment — but the organization seems determined to affect positive change.

Jason Snell’s Good Eggs art installation at the Globe Gallery will be People’s Liberty’s first visual indicator of the organization’s commitment to the community, and if things go the way the artist plans, his chickens will come home to roost in all the best ways. ©

 

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