What Do We Call Ourselves?
No, let’s not argue over CLE vs. The Land vs. 330 vs. The Rubber City. More like, what should we be known for? Like, who are we? For example, at CoolCleveland, we resonate with arts, culture, entrepreneurialism, authenticity.
Guest columnist Charles Mosley takes this whole issue very seriously and asks, “What Should Black People Call Themselves?,” while Mansfield Frazier calls BS on the appointment of three white cops as detectives to the homicide unit.
But we call ourselves a lot of things around here: beekeepers (see this week’s CoolCLE PODCAST), Grammy winners (Apollo’s Fire celebrates their win with Baroque Bistro), poets (hear Steven B. Smith read at Art on Madison’s Poetry + event), environmentalists (many groups, including CPT, are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the infamous Cuyahoga River fire), lovers (celebrate Galentine’s Day at Fear’s Confections), travelers (columnist Claudia Taller maps out a regional itinerary for a romantic tryst), rock stars (slow jams and rock and roll love stories at the Rock Hall), and coolistas (the Canton Museum of Art shows off the wealth of offerings available in the region).
Turns out we have a lot of different names for ourselves. –Thomas Mulready
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This week, we delve into the world of the urban beekeeper. Declines in bee populations around the world have been widely reported over the past several decades. Much of the attention has been focused on honey bees, which in turn, along with local legislative restrictions on backyard hives being lifted, has sparked an increase of hobbyist beekeeping in cities.
But the decision to keep bees in your backyard shouldn’t be taken lightly and there are a number of local associations, clubs and businesses to help those interested in the activity. We’re talking to two such businesses, Urban Honey Bee and Mueller Honey Bee, ahead of them hosting a Beginner Beekeeping Course in Akron starting Thu 2/21.
And we have new music from Cleveland’s Ray Flanagan and the Vindys – just one of the local bands announced to play at June’s LaurelLive music festival.
Memories of the 1969 Cuyahoga River fire will be in the spotlight this year, as the city celebrates its 50th anniversary. “Celebrate,” you say? In fact, that fire put some real momentum behind the environmental movement.
Many area organizations and arts groups will be offering programming around that event, including Cleveland Public Theatre. It’s revived and reworked its 2014 production Fire on the Water, with segments created by six local writers and theater artists. “There are going to be art installations, flying from the rig in the theater, live fire on stage and women swimming in water,” promises co-director India Nicole Burton. Thu 2/14-Sat 3/2.
SPONSORED: Are “serialized dramas” replacing journalism? With inspiration from Dr. Brian Monahan book, The Shock of the News, Media Coverage and the Making of 9/11, Baldwin Wallace University’s annual “fyoo zh en” concert “fuses” dance and research into a choreographic exploration of the way news media influences our perceptions of reality. Runs February 13-16. Info here.
There just was nobody like Liberace. The ebullient entertainer, who died of AIDS in 1987, was the heartthrob of millions of gaydar-lacking older women. While he was actually quite a decent trained pianist, he was largely known for his flamboyant costumes and candelabras, splashy stage entrances and coy, self-aware stage banter.
Entertainer David Maiocco brings Liberace back to life in the show Liberace!, which will have four performances at Theatre in the Circle at Judson Manor in University Circle. The show features $20,000 worth of stage costumes owned by Maiocco, which are exact replicas of Liberace’s in his heyday. Expect eye-popping glitz. Thu 2/14-Sun 2/17.
Walking into Tom Megalis’ studio is like stepping into his mind: vibrant, manic and, in every corner, the process of life being transformed into art.
Megalis works in Tyler Village, a massive repurposed industrial space on Cleveland’s east side which housed the Tyler Elevator Company at the turn of the century. Like his personality, Tom’s art does not fit a single category. His pieces combine assemblage, painting, sculpture & collage, fearlessly taking on issues ranging from gun violence to mass incarceration. Join us for a walk through his studio and then make an appointment to see it for yourself.
Bold African-inspired Ankara prints have enjoyed an upsurge in popularity in recent years. The word “Ankara” means “colorful” in West African dialect and the prints encompass a range of beautiful designs worn by celebrities such as Beyonce, Michelle Obama and Gwen Stefani.
But could YOU wear it? Don’t be intimidated! Our fashion columnist Dru Christine, who uses Ankara to create a wide range of garments and accessories in her shop/workspace in the Lake Affect Studios, shares some tips about how to integrate it into your own wardrobe.
The Canton Museum of Art is hosting a “Cleveland to Canton” event to introduce families to the wealth of offerings available to them in the region. Local art, performance and historical organizations will be on hand, along with local creative businesses with demos and hands-on maker opportunities. Sat 2/16.
* When Rosa Parks refused to give up her bus seat to a white person in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1955, her action sparked the Montgomery bus boycott, one of the catalyzing events of the Civil Rights Movement. The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati brings her story to the stage of the Akron Civic Theatre. Sun 2/17.
If you procrastinated in making plans for a Valentine’s date with your sweetie don’t panic. Our winery maven Claudia Taller shares a variety of places in NE Ohio, from Norwalk to Willoughby, where they’ll roll out the red carpet for you for a romantic tryst over the coming weekend, many with holiday specials. Try more than one, she suggests!
* Tremont’s Prosperity Social Club rolls out a Valentine’s evening worth waiting an extra day for, with chocolate-y drinks and desserts and the Two Souls performing live love songs by the Beatles. Fri 2/15.
Soprano Jennifer Rowley, acclaimed worldwide for her unforgettable voice and remarkable stage presence, presents a free recital at her alma mater, Baldwin Wallace University on Fri 2/15. Travel to catch her future engagements at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, the Dallas Opera, Opernhaus Zurich, Opera Australia, and Opera de Marseille or hear her at BW this month!
This special recital is part of Rowley’s 2018-19 residency at the BW Conservatory of Music, which also includes public master classes with BW voice performance students, individual lessons and coaching, and classes about the career of the classical singer. Info here.
Get out your dancing shoes and head to the American Croatian Lodge in Eastlake for the Polka Hall of Fame’s Sweetheart Ball with the Eddie Rodick Band playing beloved polkas and waltzes. Fri 2/15
The Cleveland Museum of Art gets visitors in the mood for love with a guided tour of romantic artworks in the collection, a pop-up studio in the atrium to make your own valentines and an Instagram contest to share the piece in the collection that you love. Also tomorrow.
Even if you’re uncoupled, Valentine’s Day won’t be a drag at the Grog Shop. Well, actually it will be, if by “drag” you mean “drag queens.” Cleveland drag queen/host Anhedonia Delight and her friends bring “Love Is a Drag” to the Coventry club for an evening of outrageously good fun.
There’s always plenty to look at during 78th Street Studios’ Third Friday with dozens of galleries, shops and artist studios open for browsing. But a new music series also gives visitors something to hear, such as, this month, Uno Lady, a one-woman act who creates her sound by looping and layering her own voice.
We sure have heard a lot of lies about immigrants in recent years, claiming they bring crime and violence when most bring a strong work ethic and an entrepreneurial spirit. Learn some facts to share with your MAGA brother-in-law. Come to a presentation by the Greater Cleveland Immigrant Support Network called “Newcomers to the U.S.: Challenges and Benefits” at the Parma-Snow Library.
Art made from recycled waste materials has become all the rage, a perfect confluence of creativity and environmental awareness. The Geauga Park District is opening discARTed, a show of more than 200 pieces of upcycled art with a family-friendly, recycling-themed reception at its West Woods Nature Center.
If you’ve always wanted a selfie with George Washington or Abraham Lincoln, head over to the Maltz Museum on President’s Day where there will be family-friendly special programming including visits from long-dead presidents – and free admission.
Art on Madison’s Poetry + is about giving one writer the stage for a full evening so the audience can do a deep dive into their work. Cleveland literary legend Steven B. Smith has enough to fill weeks of evenings. He’ll be reading from his memoirs and collected poems – he won’t read all 254! – followed by a Q&A.
Some of you may remember a 2011 story in Scene about three men falsely accused of murder who were exonerated and released after 40 years. Its author Kyle Swenson, who now writes for the Washington Post, has turned the story into a book, setting it in a larger context of race, urban corruption and a failed justice system. He’ll be in town to talk about it at Visible Voice Books in Tremont.
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As a racial identity for Black people, the popular term ‘African-American’ is an inaccurate, meaningless stereotype and promotes racial apartheid, contends former East Cleveland resident Charles Mosley, a past president of the Lafourche Parish, Louisiana NAACP. “The term stereotypes and gives false racial identity to Brown and Black people; hides, distorts, sanitizes and revises history; and segregates Brown and Black people from each other,” he says.
“Adopt the historical, social, linguistic accuracy and identify Black people as Black,” he suggests. “The meaningless identity ‘African-American’ substitutes for ‘Colored’ and promotes apartheid.”
I know that police departments all over the country are the most highly politicized organizations in any city, but there should be a limit on how far a department is willing to go to appease the white rank-and-file power brokers. You know, those cops that if they don’t get their way they will simply quit doing their jobs – or threaten to. It’s sickening…
Read other stories from Mansfield Frazier here
A look back at the last week
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