Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Video shows off city quirks

By Cindy Schroeder
The Cincinnati Enquirer

COVINGTON - Guests won't be arriving in limousines or walking the red carpet for Wednesday's premiere of a film showcasing Covington's historical oddities and everyday life.

But the 70 volunteers who helped develop and shoot the hourlong video about Northern Kentucky's largest city are excited nonetheless.

"We're expecting between 100 and 150 people for the premiere," said Betty Sander, one of three videographers on the project.

Invitations to Wednesday's premiere were issued through the Covington Neighborhood Collaborative, which represents 11 of Covington's 13 neighborhoods.

"This video is really about promoting the livability of Covington," said Sander, a neighborhood development specialist with the Covington Community Center. "There are a lot of folks who don't know much about Covington. I think sometimes they think we're just a riverfront. They don't realize there's a whole set of neighborhoods and historic architecture here."

The video was the inspiration of longtime Wallace Woods resident Nancy Slagle, who pitched the idea to the Covington Neighborhood Collaborative in August 2001. With no budget, Slagle and Sander learned how to use the equipment at the local telecommunications board and did most of the principal photography themselves. Staff at the Community Program Center also donated the services of editor Robert McCoy.

Covington focuses on some of the lesser-known personalities and places in the Ohio River town of close-knit neighborhoods dotted with 19th-century buildings. The film features scenes from all 13 neighborhoods, including such landmarks as the home of Frank Duveneck, an internationally known 19th-century painter, and the "Holmes Castle"-turned-school.

It also features interviews with multiple generations, including the woman who recalls when Austinburg residents took children through the neighborhood streets on horse-drawn sled rides and cows roamed the streets.

Mayor Butch Callery, who took part in a question-and-answer session with pupils at Thomas Edison School for the video, said the film is a promotional tool for the city, both for potential residents and developers.

Beth Sewell, who moved to Covington's Peaselburg neighborhood five years ago with her husband, Jeff, relates in the film how the couple fell in love with Covington's unique architecture and "neat old homes."

"We like to call a lot of ladies (in the neighborhood) our favorite German grandmas because they just welcomed us like we were family and took care of our baby girl, Gabrielle," Sewell said.

"We love feeling like we're part of a big family here."

If you go

What: Covington neighborhood video premiere

When 6-7:15 p.m. Wednesday

Where: The Madison Theater, 728 Madison Ave., Covington

Admission: $1 per person. Movie refreshments will be available.

Sponsors: Covington Neighborhood Collaborative, Covington Community Center, the Madison Theater and the Telecommunications Board of Northern Kentucky

Cable viewings: During July, Covington will run on channel 22 in Kenton and Boone counties at 9 p.m. Tuesdays and 3 p.m. Wednesdays.

To purchase: Available for sale in VHS for $15 or DVD for $25 after the show. For information, contact Betty Sander at (859) 491-2220 ext. 34 or e-mail bsander@cccenter.net


E-mail cschroeder@enquirer.com

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