Cleveland arts and culture reporter Nikki Delamotte, 1988-2018
November 19, 2018 7:42 AM   Subscribe

Cleveland, Ohio is an underappreciated city at the best of times, and frequently the butt of burning-river and balloon jokes. The portfolio of Cleveland arts and culture reporter Nikki Delamotte focuses on the unique arts and culture scene in northeast Ohio. From her book 100 Things to Do in Cleveland Before you Die to her columns in alternative weekly Cleveland Scene and the Plain-Dealer’s, Delamotte’s work shines light on new artists, restaurants, music venues, and miniature art galleries located in the last standing phone booth in Cleveland’s Collinwood neighborhood.

The pinned post at the top of her Twitter timeline links to her favorite stories from 2017, including: After Nikki Delamotte died at 30 last Monday, the victim of an apparent murder-suicide by her uncle, the arts community in Cleveland is coming together to celebrate her contributions, kindness and belief in the richness of the cultural landscape and the future of Northeast Ohio.
posted by chesty_a_arthur (14 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
I never met Nikki. I've only ever heard that she was an absolute delight in every way, both personally and professionally.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 7:43 AM on November 19, 2018 [1 favorite]


I lived in the Land of the Cleves from '82 to '95, a very different time for Cleveland, and well before Nikki started writing. But the city holds a dear and special place in my heart. Thanks for the post, chesty_a_arthur, I never would have heard of Nikki without it. Looks like I missed someone pretty special, and I look forward to discovering her work.
posted by Frayed Knot at 7:57 AM on November 19, 2018 [1 favorite]

One of my friends in Cleveland knew Nikki, as my friend and her husband are part of the house music scene there. My friend has been posting articles of Nikki's and artworks dedicated to Nikki on her FB feed. Oh, that poor woman.

There's a Go Fund Me page that's been set up to pay for memorial services, and to help care for Nikki's mother and Nikki's cats with whatever's left over.
posted by droplet at 8:03 AM on November 19, 2018 [1 favorite]

A friend of mine knew her. “Melt the guns and prohibit their manufacture” was her response.

posted by acb at 9:07 AM on November 19, 2018 [2 favorites]


I am glad her work is getting some attention. I am so angry. After her death was reported but before it was identified as a murder-suicide, it seemed obvious that her uncle had killed her and I was just fuck fuck fuck fuck. These fucking men. Jesus.
posted by Bella Donna at 9:19 AM on November 19, 2018 [8 favorites]


Thanks for this post. I live in Cleveland, I know her boyfriend, I met her a few times. She was pretty well known around town. This is an unbelievable tragedy and something nobody really knows how to deal with. The lack of a motive, the lack of closure... It's hard to understand. You see these kinds of things on the news but never think they will happen to somebody you know.
posted by SystematicAbuse at 9:28 AM on November 19, 2018 [7 favorites]

how horrible
posted by thelonius at 10:17 AM on November 19, 2018 [1 favorite]


She was a good journalist and person.
Nikki was able to write stories without being patronizing or exploitative of her subjects that were often of a different race and/or ethnicity.

For the local newspaper, she covered a lot of small businesses opening or people whose non-profits or organizations weren't being about written anywhere in any other local publication. We followed each other on IG and twitter, I never got the sense that she ever claimed any exclusivity over places or gave airs for knowing about certain subcultures or events that many cultural journalists give off. She didn't limit herself to just the trendy neighborhoods. She was genuinely curious and wanted to share what Cleveland had to offer.

I lost a family member 11 years from gun violence. Having already lived and seeing it happen again personally to an acquaintance doesn't make it easier.
posted by fizzix at 12:50 PM on November 19, 2018 [4 favorites]


What a loss. She seemed so wonderful. It's strange when other people recognize the joy and honest loveliness of Cleveland and can expose it unapologetically. What a shitty garbage thing. Damn.
posted by chasles at 2:55 PM on November 19, 2018 [1 favorite]

I boggles my mind that she searched this man out to forge a connection and he almost immediately killed her. I wonder if there is more to it. Simply horrible.
posted by bluespark25 at 3:56 PM on November 19, 2018 [2 favorites]

"Nikki was trying to reconnect with the small family left and did detective work to find her Uncle Bob on her father's side. [...]
Neither of us had seen him in about 20 years. They connected Oct. 13 after a memorial lunch for my mother," Ullman told NBC News."

Damn. I guess it's true that no good deed goes unpunished. So sad. Fucking guns.

posted by BlueHorse at 5:39 PM on November 19, 2018 [1 favorite]

I met her a couple of times .. I work for sort of a partner organization to hers. She loved Cleveland and was absolutely beloved by her colleagues. It's such a terrible and pointless loss of a beautiful life.

chesty_a_arthur, I'm glad you posted this because now more people know about Nikki. announced information about an upcoming memorial service for her. I'll be there.

posted by Kangaroo at 6:01 PM on November 19, 2018 [3 favorites]

I don't know that I actually ever met Nikki - which is weird, considering I spend my professional life in the Cleveland arts and culture world in a variety of ways - but this has hit the Cleveland arts and culture community hard.

And by "arts and culture community" I mean, like, the way Nikki clearly defined it, which was . . . *gestures widely* . . . . pretty much everything. Butchers, bakers, and candlestick makers, chocolatiers, bars, bands, theater, craftspeople, fine artists, whatever - if it was in or around Cleveland and it was cool or interesting or unique or fun or cute or weird, she wanted to know about it and she wanted other people to know about it. We haven't lost just an "arts and culture" reporter, we've lost a unique chronicler of life in this city.

The Cleveland Arts Community Remembers the Legacy and Life of Nikki Delamotte.

Thanks for posting this, chesty_a_arthur.
posted by soundguy99 at 6:48 PM on November 19, 2018 [6 favorites]

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