Cleveland overflows with support for slain reporter Nikki Delamotte: Share your stories

November 13, 2018

Cleveland overflows with support for slain reporter Nikki Delamotte: Share your stories

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- So many members of Cleveland’s arts community never personally met Nikki Delamotte, but through her articles and thoughtful social media posts, they felt like her friends.

Their outpouring of love and support for Delamotte, who was shot to death at a mobile home park near Toledo on Sunday, has been inspiring.

Friends are organizing a vigil Thursday evening at Upper Edgewater Park, a fundraiser Friday at the Side Quest and a GoFundMe account to support Delamotte’s boyfriend and her mom. (Details below.)

“I think everyone felt like you knew her... It was 100 percent because of her,” said comedian Deena Nyer Mendlowitz. “She would comment and support everybody. When you have a community like Cleveland you have a lot of independent art. To have a focal point who supports all of it is pretty amazing.”

Mendlowitz plans to donate profits from her Hanukkah show with author Ken Schneck to Delamotte’s family, helping to spread a little of Delamotte’s sparkly light.

Delamotte, who attended Springfield High School in Holland and graduated from Cleveland State University, worked for Cleveland Scene before coming to cleveland.com two years ago. She covered culture in Cleveland and seemingly knew everyone involved in the arts. She was overflowing with story ideas, about restaurants, makers, artists and more.

The Gofundme page puts it this way: “As Nikki’s friend Laura Wimbels so perfectly stated, ‘Nikki wasn’t just my friend or your friend, she was Cleveland’s best friend.’”

Delamotte amplified other voices, said Schneck, a Baldwin Wallace University professor and Cleveland Magazine freelancer who became friends with Delamotte first online.

“You can’t tell a story without a storyteller,” Schneck said. “She told our stories.”

Here are the details:

Thursday vigil

A candlelight vigil will be held at the Cleveland script sign at Upper Edgewater Park at 6:30 p.m. Close friends of Nikki’s have asked to organize the event to collectively mourn and to celebrate the wonderful and beautiful life she lived. The band Ouster will give a small performance.

In the band’s words, “She was the first person most Clevelanders thought to contact about anything supporting the art, music and culinary scene.”

Friday fundraiser

The event will be held 7 p.m.-midnight at The Side Quest, 17900 Detroit Avenue, Lakewood. 15 percent of profits will be donated. Baskets will be raffled off. You can donate raffle items until 7 p.m. today at Coven.

Online fundraiser

“We are all incredibly shocked by the tragic and sudden loss of Nikki, and while we collectively grieve, our community is also working to support to her mother Jo (and cat Sadie), her boyfriend Bob, and her cats who she adored, Phoebe and Bailey,” the fundraiser says.

The account had raised more than $5,200 from more than 100 people by noon Tuesday.

Feel free to share your kind words and stories about Delamotte in the comments section of this story.

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