On The Ground
People are upset about the sudden closing, after 27 years, of area mainstay Big Fun. But apparently not enough for them to support Steve Presser’s unique retail shop. And the area dance world is making moves: Dancing Wheels rolls into a new location, while local dancers Antonio Brown and Tommie-Waheed Evans are featured at the Breen Center.
Right under our feet, Medina’s Kitten Crazy rescue will benefit when you buy an adorable photo of Cleveland’s top music photog Joe Kleon. Denis DeVito leaves his Cats on Holiday behind for a night to focus on his songwriting. The DayGloSho lights up Waterloo Arts, the Family Reading Festival cracks open in Akron, Orchid Mania is back at CBG, Pinch & Squeal encore at CPT, and Mansfield comments on LeBron, Oprah and juveline justice. You want a better world? Put your feet on the ground and start walking. –Thomas Mulready
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An outdoor festival in February? That didn’t stop a handful of intrepid organizers from launching Kurentovanje in 2013, based on a popular Slovenian festival in which furry-costumed kurents ring bells to chase away the winter.
The family-friendly festival, with an outdoor parade and an afternoon of indoor fun at the Slovenian National Home on St. Clair, takes place on Sat 2/10. But the growing event also includes a dinner on Mon 2/5, an exhibition on Slovenian women opening Wed 2/7 and the Kurent Jump party Fri 2/9.
Maybe Cleveland doesn’t have all the corporate headquarters it did in its heyday, but it’s still got DayGlo Color Corp, maker of DayGlo paint, located on the edge of AsiaTown. Five years ago, local artist John Saile approached them about donating some of their distinctive fluorescent paint for artists to create an exhibition with.
That exhibition, the DayGloSho, now taking place at Waterloo Arts, is in its 6th year, with DayGlo still contributing paint and prizes. It kicks off with a Mardi Gras-themed party with black lights, glowing cocktails, live music and the chance to play around with some of the paint yourself. Kids are welcome! Fri 2/2.
Terri Pontremoli has the best job in jazz. She is the director of the Tri-C JazzFest, and CoolCleveland correspondent Stephan Haluska caught up with her at Nighttown to hear the details of their 2018 lineup.
The 39th annual Tri-C JazzFest, presented by KeyBank will take place Thu 6/28-Sat 6/30 at Playhouse Square and features the gamut from well-known headliners such as Terence Blanchard and Brian Simpson’s Smooth Jazz All Stars to up-and-comers like 24-year old phenom Grace Kelly.
Surprises include jazz and funk collective Snarky Puppy and Academy Award-, Golden Globe-, Emmy- and Grammy-winning actor and musician Common, plus Jose James, presenting his new project celebrating Bill Withers. Plus the outdoor stage is free all weekend long with regional music, dancing and fun. Single tickets go on sale Mon 4/2, but you can purchase a festival pass (and save $150+) or become a member now.
Clevelander Scott Armour is an environmental health consultant who deals in issues such as mold and bacteria contamination, and remediation of storm, sewage and water damage hazards. So it’s no surprise that since this past October, he’s travelled to Puerto Rico three times to help deal with cleanup and construction there.
Scott paints for CoolCleveland readers a vivid picture of what Puerto Ricans are dealing with in terms we can understand. He likens it to “an area that stretches from downtown Cleveland to Erie, Pennsylvania, and down to Youngstown and over to Canton and on to Westfield and back up to Hopkins Airport, and around every corner there is damage.”
Black History Month isn’t the only time that Cleveland-based Verb Ballets showcases the work of black choreographers. In fact, the four pieces by two choreographers that comprise its program at the Breen Center this week are pieces it’s commissioned and performed previously.
But given that both Antonio Brown (pictured), a graduate of the Cleveland School of the Arts, and Tommie-Waheed Evans, are exciting young artists doing fresh and groundbreaking work, Clevelanders are lucky to have a chance to see them again. Sat 2/3.
Cleveland’s top music photographer Joe Kleon loves cats even more than he loves his favorite band, Rush. In fact his two cats are named Geddy and Alex.
Joe volunteers at Medina’s Kitten Crazy rescue, photographing the residents to share their adorable adoptable faces. And for the 3rd year, he’s offering some of his prime concert shots – 50 of them – for an annual auction to benefit the rescue. You can also purchase a limited edition T-shirt with Geddy’s mug on it – Geddy the cat, that is. Through Tue 2/6.
Big Fun patrons received the shocking news this week that the popular Coventry Village vintage toy and novelty store with be closing when its lease expires in June. At least owner Steve Presser is dropping intriguing hints about future projects he’ll take on.
The Akron Public Library brings back its Family Reading Festival for the 11th year with a free fun day that features music by local singer/songwriter Jim Gill, Outback Ray’s animal show, the Bubble Lady and a visit from Curious George. Sat 2/3.
Growing season will be here before you know it. So a coalition of Summit County organizations is holding a Let’s Get Growing Community Garden Workshop and Expo in downtown Akron to get things started. Sat 2/3.
* Gail Bellamy, author of Cleveland Food Memories, will reminisce about the tastes of Cleveland past as part of the Cleveland Stories series at the Music Box Supper Club. Wed 2/7.
Singer/songwriter Alexis Antes returns to the Music Box with ex-members of her ’90s folk rock group Odd Girl Out and an evening of songs old and new. Thu 2/1
Read more of CoolCleveland’s picks for Cool Events.
If you’ve got a film project in the works or you’re interested in seeing what other people in the media re working on, you’ll want to be at the Greater Cleveland Film Commission’s monthly mixer and networking event at Ohio City’s Bier Markt.
Eileen Burns is is best known for rocking dance floors with her swing band Red Light Roxy. She and some of her band members are doing a special program at Nighttown, paying tribute to classic movie music from films such as Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Swingtime and Casablanca.
Pinch & Squeal brought their freewheeling vaudeville Wizbang! Circus to Cleveland Public Theatre in December for two shows and both sold out. So they’re doing two more nights – tonight and tomorrow.
For the 15th year, Kent’s Standing Rock Cultural Arts hosts the International Shorts Festival, with short films, all under 12 minutes, from Japan, Italy, Germany, France, the UK – and northeast Ohio.
Fiddler Bruce Molsky has been making music for four decades. Now, with his trio Molsky’s Mountain Drifters, he’s joined with two younger players to bring a new twist to bluegrass/Appalachian folk. They’re performing at CVNP’s Happy Days Lodge.
Join the musicians from the Musical Theater Project as they perform an intimate “Cocktail Cabaret” show at PlayhouseSqaure’s Cibreo with a theme of yearning and desire.
Mappy Hour, a social event for outdoors-minded urbanites, comes to Cleveland. Its launch event at Terrestrial Brewing Company, features Dan Sahli of the Cleveland Metroparks talking about cross country skiing.
Is the 1988 cartoon The Land Before Time about baby dinosaurs scientifically accurate – or is it just cute? Find out at a screening at the Capitol Theatre, followed by a conversation with a paleontologist.
Send your cool events to: Events@CoolCleveland.com
We have to face the fact that these are ill-raised young criminals, and for all of the bleeding hearts that posit that these are merely misguided youth, I say to them…
* Is It Tme for LeBron to Pack it In? Now, before folks start heating up the tar, breaking out the feathers and finding a sturdy rail on which to run my ample ass out of town…
* Oprah, Quit Being So Selfish If Oprah were to run for president, she probably would lose. We’re still one of the more misogynistic nations on the face of the earth…
Read other stories from Mansfield Frazier here
A look back at the last week
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