The Hooley is one of our favorites. It’s our first big street fest of the season, family-friendly, great music and food. And the best part: a major thoroughfare, Lorain Avenue, closed to traffic so the community can commune. Truly a beautiful thing.
Find your joy this week in the unlikeliest of places: the Found Footage Film Fest, circus photos shot by a roustabout, a fond farewell to an assistant conductor. We’re reforesting the Forest City, and picking up organic plants at Crown Point, hard-to-find native plants at Shaker Lakes and heirloom flowers and veggies at LEAF. Say hello to spring. –Thomas Mulready
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The Found Footage Film Festival has been traipsing across the country for years, as founders Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher tote their stash of old VHS tapes from venue to venue, showing their cache of embarrassingly dated videos that the makers probably wish would disintegrate already.
“What we love is seeing the pathos of somebody who is really ambitious with something, even if it was a terrible idea,” says Prueher. John Benson learns where this stuff comes from and why they keep doing it. Fri 5/12.
The Hooley at Kamm’s Corners may have an Irish name (and Kamm’s Corners sure has a lot of Irish bars and dance schools!) but, Kamm’s Corners’ development director Steve Lorenz assures us, it’s not just an Irish festival. It’s a long afternoon of family fun that features music on two stages, food, dancers, visual artists, karate demonstrations, a children’s area with bounce houses and more.
The Hooley started 8 years ago, Lorenz says, to show off the then-new streetscape the city did to rejuvenate “a really crappy-looking street.” “it was kind of our coming out party,” he says. Sat 5/13.
Many years ago, commercial photographer Mike Wilkes ran away to join the circus. Looking around for a personal photography project, he presented himself at Ringling Brothers headquarters in Florida as a laid-off teamster looking for a job and was hired as a roustabout. He brought along an old Nikon F and eased his way into taking photos of backstage life.
Those black & white photos comprise The Circus Show, opening at Loftworks Gallery in AsiaTown Fri 5/12. It runs through Sun 5/21- the day the nearly 150-year-old circus does its last show.
In the last four years, Seattle native Brett Mitchell has become an integral part of the Cleveland music community as assistant conductor, and then associate conductor, with the Cleveland Orchestra. That was a springboard to his new job as music director of the Colorado Symphony. He leaves in July.
Before he does, he’ll be conducting a final concert with the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra. He talks about his musical background, his time in Cleveland and his future in Colorado with CoolCleveland’s Phillip de Oliveira. Fri 5/12.
We’ve all heard Cleveland called “the Forest City.” But looking around it may not be clear why it’s been called that. Over the years, much of the lush tree canopy that was once a Cleveland trademark has been cut down.
One of the projects of the Western Reserve Land Conservancy is to restore some of that leafy cover, not just for its beauty but for the healthy environment it creates. It’s joined with Holden Forests & Gardens (formerly Holden Arboretum) to train citizen/stewards to plant, care for and maintain trees. Kendall Embrescia-Hridel talked to WRLC’s Emily Bacha to find out how the trainings work.
Usually the Musical Rainbow kids’ concerts at Severance Hall showcase a single orchestral instrument. But this weekend the toddlers get two for one – and two of the biggies. The Dynamic Duo are the violin and the piano, and they’ll get to hear simple, kid-friendly tunes played on them by two Cleveland Orchestra veterans. Fri 5/12 & Sat 5/13.
It’s just about time to get those plants in the ground if you want to be eating from the bounty of your own garden by midsummer. That’s why the area is brimming with plant sales this week and next. This weekend, you can pick up vegetable pots, herbs and flowers at the Crown Point Ecology Center (they’re selling next weekend too), the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes and the LEAF Community sale at Lakewood Garden Center. Sat 5/13.
Americana singer/songwriter Justin Townes Earle has made Cleveland a regular stop on his tours since he began releasing albums in the mid 00s. So naturally he’ll be back through town on the heels of his latest, his seventh album Kids in the Street, with a stop at the Kent Stage.
Ahead of that show, Earle talks to John Benson about the album, how it differs from his previous efforts and why he decided for the first time to not record in Nashville but to head to the great plains of Nebraska to work with producer Mike Mogis. Tue 5/16.
SPONSORED: The Kent Stage welcomes Justin Townes Earle plus The Sadies, Tom Paxton and The Don Juans, Eric Johnson Electric Band, Scott Stapp – Live and Unplugged, Red Wanting Blue, Ottmar Liebert & Luna Negra, Bruce Cockburn, Robert Cray & Hi Rhythm, Devon Allman, Al Stewart performs “Year of the Cat” & The Empty Pockets, The Quebe Sisters, JJ Grey & Mofro, Jonny Lang, The Gine Blossoms, Ana Popovic, X- 40th Anniversary Tour, plus more. TheKentStage.com.
Cleveland online station oWow radio has announced a series of summertime Happy Hour concerts in the vein of the old WMMS Coffeebreak Concerts, kicking off at the Music Box in June. Wed 6/7
Read more of CoolCleveland’s picks for Cool Events.
Harpist Brandee Younger is classically trained, as you would expect. But she uses her instrument to explore a wide range of music. She’ll be at the Cleveland Museum of Art with pianist Courtney Bryan to perform the music of Alice Coltrane, along with some of her original compositions.
Cleveland pet photographer Greg Murray has been getting national attention with his book, Peanut Butter Dogs. This evening he’ll be close to home with a program at the Lakewood Library sharing how he came to shoot photos of pooches smeared with peanut butter.
Playwrights Local debuts a new work, Things As They Are, written by artistic director David Todd, which looks at the life of poet Wallace Stevens in words, music and images. Through Sun 5/28 at Reinberger Auditorium.
Geneva-on-the-Lake has gone through many lifetimes as a northeast Ohio summer resort town, and it’s still a beloved destination for everyone from families to bikers, mingling and enjoying junk food together. The season kicks off today with a parade on “The Strip.”
Where are you going to take mom on Mother’s Day? How about to the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo to check out some animal moms and babies? Her admission is free today! Brunch is available there too.
From early May through late October, the Slow Roll Cleveland bike rides gather at a different location each week for a leisurely and sociable ride through one of Cleveland’s urban neighborhoods. This week meet at Market Square Park for a roll through Ohio City.
Come to the CLE Urban Winery in Cleveland Heights, drink some wine and help paint a collaborative mural to raise money for Graffiti HeArt’s scholarships for low-income kids.
Barbara Tannenbaum spend 26 years as chief curator at the Akron Art Museum, growing its collection exponentially before becoming curator of photography at the Cleveland Museum of Art in 2011. She’ll be speaking at he Hudson Library about photography collecting and how the market sets prices for works.
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