OTRview XI: Tracey Lynn Conrad of The Young Philanthropist Society of Cincinnati

Tracey Lynn Conrad is committed volunteer and the Founder and President of the Young Philanthropist Society of Cincinnati. She chairs Mayor Mallory’s YPKC Arts and Entertainment Committee, serves on the board of several arts and charity organizations, and is one of the stars of the Cincinnati-based reality show “Queen City“. Somehow, she graciously found the time to be the subject of OTRview XI. Here it is:

You appreciate Over-the-Rhine. When did you first learn about and/or experience OTR? How has your perception of it changed since your first impression? Was it love at first sight?

My first experience with OTR was when I got involved with the Cincinnati Opera and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. Music Hall was the first place I visited in Over-the-Rhine and I was fascinated with the architecture and wanted to learn more about the area and its history.

It was definitely love at first sight! My husband and I bought a loft just 4 blocks from Music Hall. We love walking with our daughter through downtown and OTR exploring the city and discovering its beauty. I also love the sense of community in our urban core.

Tracey Lynn Conrad wedding photo at Music Hall. Photo by JMM Photography. Dress by Lindsey Lusignolo

You are the Founder and President of the Young Philanthropist Society of Cincinnati. Why did you create it and what is its mission?

The Young Philanthropist Society of Cincinnati is a volunteer organization established to raise awareness for non-profit organizations in Cincinnati while developing a commitment to philanthropy among the next generation of community leaders.

I created this organization because I was inspired by our city’s current board members and philanthropists. Our members look to them as mentors so we can be prepared to continue the strong tradition of leadership they have provided. Members of the Young Philanthropist Society are committed to the city of Cincinnati. Our members will be the future board leaders of non-profit organizations. We know the responsibility this entails which is why we are getting involved now through young professional committees and associate boards so we can be prepared to take over board leadership in the future.

Filming of "Queen City", photo by Gus Geraci

You are one of the stars of the reality-show “Queen City” on FOX19. You were recently quoted on Cincinnati.com as saying the goal of the show is “to make people aware of the nonprofits and charities, and the great things going on downtown and Over-the-Rhine.” When did you first hear about the show and how were you approached to be a part of it? What was filming like?

When I first heard about the show I thought it would be a great opportunity to showcase downtown and OTR. There is beautiful footage of many areas in OTR including Main Street, Gateway Quarter, Findlay Market, and Christian Moerlein Brewery to name a few. My goal of the show is that people who haven’t been to our urban core in several years will see this footage of downtown/OTR and will be inspired to come into the city and see the changes and expansion happening.

We will also showcase some charities, music festivals, and transportation options in the city. I also want to promote that young families are living in downtown/OTR. It is a safe and diverse place to raise my daughter and I want people to know that.

I hope that the show will expand past 4 episodes so we can showcase more of the city and some of the cool things happening such as Cincinnati Fringe Festival, Bock Festival, Final Fridays and MidPoint Music Festival along with more charities and urban development.

Queen City Intro from Queen City on Vimeo.

Other than your leadership of the Young Philanthropist Society of Cincinnati, how else are you engaged in the city’s civic life? What advice would you give to others who are interested in volunteer and philanthropic opportunities?

I am the Chair of Mayor Mallory’s YPKC Arts and Entertainment Committee. I work closely with the Mayor and other young professionals to engage our generation in community involvement. I help plan and promote events that will attract young professionals to downtown and over-the-rhine.

I am also an associate board member of the Cincinnati Opera, committee member of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Encore Group, ArtsWave Friends for the Arts, and the Junior League of Cincinnati. I have served as a hostess and promoter for events for the Cincinnati Opera, Cincinnati Symphony, ArtsWave, Contemporary Arts Center, Taft Museum of Art, Cincinnati Ballet, Vocal Arts Ensemble, United Way of Greater Cincinnati, Enjoy the Arts, American Heart Association, Visionaries and Voices, Women Helping Women of Greater Cincinnati, Cincinnati Zoo, and Cincinnati Fashion Week.

I would advise people who are interested in getting involved to check out our website at ypscincinnati.org to become a member and learn about opportunities.. There are also great resources available through HYPE Cincinnati, ArtsWave’s Boardway Bound program, and United Way’s Emerging Leaders program.

How would you describe Cincinnati and/or OTR to someone who has never been here?

There is a great energy in Cincinnati. Our urban core is thriving! Downtown Cincinnati is not only a great place to work and play, but a great place to live!

Mayor Mallory and Tracey Lynn Conrad at the 2010 Cincinnati Opera Gala. Dress designed by Lindsey Lusignolo

Why does OTR matter to you?

OTR is an important part of Cincinnati’s history and vital to our future. It is important that our generation helps preserve this area for our children and future generations.

Thank you for giving your OTRview, Tracey! I encourage all interested readers to become a member of the Young Philanthropist Society of Cincinnati. It’s a great way to find the right avenue to give back to the Cincinnati community. You can also connect with the YPSC on facebook.

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