It’s that time. You learn to love all four seasons around here, and I’m sure you have your favorite. But isn’t it the best right when things are changing. Now it’s time to change and get out in the open air.
From the Larchmere Porchfest to the Fairy Days at Heritage Farms in Peninsula, from Carlos Jones & the P.L.U.S. Band on the venerable Goodtime III to Michael Stanley and Donnie Iris at the brand new Youngstown Foundation Amphitheatre, from Wade Oval Wednesdays to the Avon Heritage Duck Tape Festival, from Oberlin’s Riverdog Barn to Cain Park’s Alma Theatre, you’ll find something worth your time out of doors this week.
There’s free hot dogs at the Baseball Heritage Museum, 400 vintage cars at Stan Hywet, Irish cheer at the Kamm’s Corners Hooley, free books for kids at the African-American Cultural Garden, and thousands of mini-lanterns at Voinovich Park during the Water Lantern Festival.
Correspondent Jenna Thomas reports from Minneapolis where she attended organizer training and learned how to take advantage of what they called “Moments of the Whirlwind,” events that catalyze action, such as the deaths at the county jail. Meanwhile, C. Ellen Connally scrutinizes Councilman Ken Johnson’s expense reports, and Mansfield laments local black leadership, or the lack thereof, and the lack of black civic engagement. Talk about UncoolCleveland. We gotta air some things out. –Thomas Mulready
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The transformation of Public Square was completed in 2016 just before the Republican National Convention. Since then, it’s become the locus for a variety of events, ranging from the annual Pride in the CLE celebration to public forums and discussions.
Among the presenters is the City Club of Cleveland, which is bringing back its lunchtime “For Love of Cleveland” series. This year it’s looking at environmental issues in four forums through the lens of “water,” “earth,” “air and “fire.” It kicks off with “water” on Tue 6/18 as a sort of prelude to Xtinguish Torchfest (6/19-22), the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the last Cuyahoga River fire.
SPONSORED: Thinking about transferring to Baldwin Wallace University? Attend BW’s “Transfer Cookout and Conversation” on Fri 6/21 at BW’s Durst Welcome Center for food, fun and valuable information about BW’s academics, activities, and campus life, as well as the transfer admission process and financial aid. Arrive early for a campus tour. Learn more/RSVP here.
A few weeks ago, our writer Jenna Thomas, a student at Cleveland State, headed for Minneapolis for an organizer training called Momentum. Her goal, she said, was “strengthening my understanding of organizing people and my role in the large-scale movements forming around us.” With her interest in justice issues such as those surrounding the Cuyahoga County jail, she wanted to learn how to be more effective.
In meeting people fighting for justice around the county, she says, “I was able to see the larger ecosystem of activism that the groups I work with operate within. In Cleveland, there are so many organizations fighting these same fights, and countless opportunities to get involved.” She learned how to take advantage of what they called “Moments of the Whirlwind,” events that catalyze action, such as the deaths at the county jail. She shares some of her insights with us.
Larchmere Porchfest, now in its 11th year, was inspired by a similar festival in Ithaca, New York. And while it started as a small, community-focused event in this neighborhood near Shaker Square, it quickly grew to attracting thousands from all over the city.
But it still retains that neighborly vibe, as 30 musical acts – raging from classical to hip hop to electronic to blues – perform mostly on people’s porches, while listeners relax on lawns or set up chairs in the street, and the kids next door peddle lemonade. Larchmere’s merchants have gotten in on the act too, offering their own music that keeps going into the late evening. And it’s all free. Sat 6/15.
As Broadway’s production of Kinky Boots closed this spring, BW’s renowned Music Theatre program ramped up auditions as the first university in the nation granted rights to present the Tony Award-winning musical. With seven BW music theatre grads in the Broadway and national touring productions of Kinky Boots, BW will close its November 2019 run with an “extravaganza” featuring as many of those alumni as possible.
Kinky Boots, book by Harvey Fierstein and music and lyrics by Cyndi Lauper, original Broadway production directed and choreographed by Jerry Mitchell, is based on the Miramax motion picture, Kinky Boots, written by Geoff Deane and Tim Firth. Info (Look for tickets this fall at BW.edu/tickets.)
Last week, we previewed the mostly tried-and-true shows that open during the early part of Ohio Light Opera’s season, taking place at the College of Wooster. This week, we’re looking at some of the lesser-known shows that fill the later weeks. They include Music in the Air, which, while little known, was written by a famous pair: Jerome Kern (pictured) and Oscar Hammerstein.
The Devil’s Rider, a U.S. premiere, was written by once hugely popular operetta composer Emmerich Kalman & Perchance to Dream was penned by British stage legend Ivor Novello. You may not heard of any of these works, but you surely know this year’s Gilbert & Sullivan entry, The Pirates of Penzance, which also debuts midway through OLO’s season. Sat 6/15-Sat 8/10.
Everyday Heroes is an exciting, interactive playspace with a hands-on series of exhibits where younger kids can explore issues of kindness, listening and helping, compassion and everyday heroics by getting involved.
They start by donning a superhero cape and zooming around the Good Mood Movement Area, then move on to customizing their own masks, painting kindness rocks to give and share, building a better world with jumbo Legos, adding their name and handprint on the hero wall, and becoming their own superhero in a show they might put on in the Puppet Theatre. The accompanying Family Fun Series include story times, and a self-guided Everyday Hero Story Walk of the Museum’s permanent exhibit. Open now through August 18. Details here.
Get out those tutus and fairy wings! The annual Fairy Days at Heritage Farms in Peninsula give little girls a chance to show off their glitter and gauze while parading with Flitter the Fairy, dancing in the Fairy Circle, playing fairy games, shopping in the Magic Meadow, and making fairy house and garden decorations to take home. Sat 6/15 & Sun 6/16.
It’s season #8 for ChamberFest Cleveland, the multi-event fest founded by retired Cleveland Orchestra clarinetist Franklin Cohen and his violinist daughter Diana. Ten events take place, mostly at CIM, over the next two-and-a-half weeks. Thu 6/13-Sat 6/29
See the best of the musical theater tradition at Ohio Light Opera’s 41st festival season, 6/15 thru 8/10 at the College of Wooster’s Freedlander Theatre. The season opens on Sat 6/15 with Rodgers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific, followed by George & Ira Gershwin’s Girl Crazy, opening on 6/20, then Into the Woods by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine, opening on 6/27, then Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance, opening on 7/3, and Jerome Kern & Oscar Hammerstein II’s Music in the Air, opening on 7/11, and Emmerich Kalman’s The Devil’s Rider, opening on 7/17, then Ivor Novello’s Perchance to Dream, opening on 7/24.
All 7 musicals are performed in English with full orchestra and run in rotating rep thru August 10. Order your tickets today! Call 330-263-2345 or visit OhioLightOpera.org for a complete schedule, season brochure, and secure online ticketing here.
Come join a panel of local experts in a discussion of how transportation options have affected the city’s growth and what options exist for the future, at the Transformer Station in Ohio City.
One of the area’s more unusual festivals, the Avon Heritage Duck Tape Festival offers (in addition to the usual food, rides and live music) the chance to show off costumes, floats and sculptures made from a colorful variety of tapes made by the Avon-based manufacturer.
Dancing Wheels’ Reverse* Reoot* Reveal* annual gala at the Allen Theatre features not only their unique mix of wheelchair and “stand-up” dancers, but new works by choreographers with disabilities.
Thousands of mini-lanterns, bearing messages written by attendees, will float for a few hours in the water off Voinovich Park during the Water Lantern Festival.
If Dad’s a car fancier, the place to be on Father’s Day is Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens, which holds its its 62nd annual Classic, Antique & Collector Car Show today. In addition to 400 vintage cars, there are activities for kids and other family members not so enthralled with vehicles.
With Xtinguish Torchfest, celebrating the rebirth of the Cuyahoga River, kicking off Wednesday, Ojibwe elder Sharon Day gets a head start, leading a Sacred River Walk starting at the driver’s headwaters today and ending Thursday at its mouth at Lake Erie. You can follow her group’s progress with an online map.
The cast of Cain Park’s Ragtime performs an evening at Nighttown, honoring the show’s composer Stephen Flaherty and lyricist Lynn Aherns, who also wrote the songs for Seussical, Anastasia, My Favorite Year and Once on This Island.
While public defenders represent low-income people charged with crimes, the Legal Aid Society helps them with more mundane but impactful civil issues such as landlord & employer disputes. Jam for Justice at the House of Blues helps fund this important work to assure that justice isn’t just for the wealthy.
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Among the claims Cleveland’s Ward 4 councilman Ken Johnson has made to justify claiming the maximum allowable amount each month for expenses is that he’s driving around his ward looking for abandoned homes that need attention. He claimed to have driven 625 to inspect homes in a ward that’s two miles wide at its widest point.
Our columnist C. Ellen Connally, who lives in Ward 4, decided to personally inspect some of these blighted homes. “I discovered five houses within .3 of a mile of the councilman’s back yard with a total tax delinquency of $233,787.62,” she says. “It took less than an hour to find and I drove less than a mile.”
The recent analysis on local black leadership (or lack thereof) entitled “Missing in Action,” published by PolicyBridge, a black think tank, takes a deep dive into the myriad ills affecting Cleveland’s black community and offers up a slate of potential solutions. The report focuses on the fairly recent past but the problems within black communities go back much further. By 1903 W.E.B. Du Bois recognized that we had a problem and wrote…
Read other stories from Mansfield Frazier here
A look back at the last week
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