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Posts Tagged ‘cleveland’

Photo: Thomas Ondrey/The Plain Dealer
Zumba instructor Kelly Perkins, center, leads a group dance-walking  through Shaker Heights on Friday. The local version of the craze was organized by Shaker resident Jennifer Lehner.

Mary Ann is one of Cleveland’s biggest boosters. This week she’s been posting on Facebook about a dance-walk outing she joined Friday.

Janet Cho at the Cleveland Plain Dealer interviewed dance-walk organizer Jennifer Lehner.

“The idea came out of a backyard barbecue,” Cho writes. Lehner “was chatting with her friend Karen Katz, wife of Fire Food & Drink’s Doug Katz, about the fun YouTube video where WNBC television reporter Ben Aaron convinces New Yorkers to strut their stuff with him down the city streets.

” ‘We should do that!’ Katz said.

” ‘About one hour later I went home and bought the dancewalkfitness.com domain, set up the website and the Facebook page,’ she said. ‘You know, that’s just how I roll.’ …

“Lehner envisions tying the dance-walks in with her monthly Flash Cashers events, since the group might end up having lunch at a local restaurant after the workout.

“Flash-Cashers summons consumers to descend upon a local Shaker Heights-area business to spend at least $20 each during the cash mob event, giving the merchant a welcome one-night boost and increasing awareness among residents who may never have stepped foot in the store before.” Read more at the Cleveland Plain Dealer, here.

And here is Ben Aaron, who started the whole thing.

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Luke Jerram’s street-piano movement is coming to Boston. We blogged previously about the artist here (his solar chandelier installation) and here (the street piano concept).

The pianos will be scattered all around Boston, and everyone is encouraged to play. The Boston website says, “Touring internationally since 2008, Play Me, I’m Yours is an arts project by artist Luke Jerram.  When the project goes live in Boston on September 27, over 1,000 street pianos will have been installed in 37 cities across the globe, bearing the simple invitation to Play Me, I’m Yours! The project has already reached more than four million people worldwide.

“As a thank you to millions of loyal patrons and to celebrate its 75th anniversary season, Celebrity Series of Boston is presenting Play Me, I’m Yours ‘the Street Pianos Boston Festival’ from September 27 – October 14, 2013.”

More here. The website also provides details of where all the pianos will be found starting Friday.

YouTube video: Dani Rosenoer of Three Days Grace punching on a street piano @ Cleveland.

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This was such a nice story. It’s about idealistic young adults who join Teach for America , get sent to poor, rural areas, and decide they like the simpler life. When they settle down, they bring new energy and business — while receiving in return local wisdom and friendship.

Bret Schulte writes from Helena-West Helena, Arkansas, for the NY Times, “If you are from around here, you know Doug Friedlander is not.

“Born in New York City and reared on Long Island, Mr. Friedlander is Jewish and vegetarian and has a physics degree from Duke.”

He and others who fell in love with the Delta “arrived through Teach for America and stayed beyond their two-year commitment.

“Mr. Friedlander is now the ambitious director of the county’s Chamber of Commerce. He frets over the kudzu that is devouring abandoned buildings. He attends Rotary Club meetings, where he sidesteps the lunch offerings for carnivores. He organizes workshops to modernize small businesses and pushes tourism and the development of a decimated downtown along the banks of the Mississippi. …

“Matty Bengloff, 28, is one of [the new] people. He grew up in an apartment on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Now he owns a three-bedroom home in Cleveland, as well as a hip new yogurt shop called Delta Dairy, with his fiancée, Suzette Matthews. …

“Residents cured Mr. Bengloff of his Yankee ways. Soon after arriving in the South with Teach for America, Mr. Bengloff was in a school speaking to a receptionist. When he could not hear the man’s words, Mr. Bengloff asked, ‘What?’ The receptionist said: ‘I can tell you’re not from around here. When you don’t understand something, you say, “Excuse me, sir?” Or, “Sir?” ‘ ”

More.

Photo: William Widner for the NY Times
Matty Bengloff, who grew up in Manhattan, in his frozen yogurt shop in Cleveland, Miss. The unofficial motto is “Keep Cleveland Boring.”

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In addition to poetry, art often brings comfort. (Artists don’t usually want to make anyone “comfortable,” which has a different connotation.)

One reason art brings comfort is that creativity generates surprises, and surprises may bring delight.

So although I’m still preoccupied with Boston, I’ll leave Boston for today and write about Cleveland.

Thank you, Mary Ann, for pointing to the Gwarlingo blog, which recently said of the art scene in Cleveland,”prepare to be surprised.”

Blogger Michelle Aldredge writes in part, “It is possible to experience the best of Cleveland culture entirely on foot. …

“According to Ann Craddock Albano, the director of The Sculpture Center in Cleveland, the 550-acre area that encompasses the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Cleveland Botanical Garden, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Cleveland Symphony, the Cleveland Institute of Art, the Cleveland Cinematheque, Cleveland Institute of Music, and numerous university and medical facilities is the most concentrated neighborhood of world-class cultural institutions in the country. …

“The latest jewel in the Circle’s crown is Farshid Moussavi’s new building for the Museum of Contemporary Art. MOCA is Moussavi’s first museum design, and also the first American project by the Iranian architect, whose firm, Farshid Moussavi Architecture, is based in London.

“A few blocks away from MOCA, at Case Western Reserve University’s Weatherhead School of Management building, silver planes slice through red brick like paper in a windstorm. While Frank Gehry opted for flamboyance, Moussavi wisely chose a simpler, less ostentatious design for MOCA—one that is unique and engages the surrounding neighborhood.” More.

BTW, I wouldn’t mind hearing what other folks do for comfort.

Photo: Michelle Aldredge
The zigzagging stairwell is the most eye-catching feature inside the new MOCA Cleveland

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Yvonne Zipp wrote a nice article about a Christian Science Monitor-designated Difference Maker. He is Mario Morino, a philanthropist based in Rocky River, Ohio, outside Cleveland. He wrote the free book Leap of Reason to help large nonprofits demonstrate that they are serving the public in the ways they think they are.

Zipp writes that in 2009, after a day of meetings with three different nonprofit boards, Morino was about to burst from frustration.

“At each, a board was discussing how it would assess its nonprofit group. The problem? ‘There wasn’t a nonprofit executive in the room,’ he says.” How could the people who run nonprofits and the boards that assess them ever get agreement on worthwhile measures?

“Morino, who owned his own software development business in the 1980s before setting up the Morino Institute and later Venture Philanthropy Partners, went home and fired off one e-mail, then another. After a fourth, he had what became the core of his book, Leap of Reason, which has more than 40,000 copies in circulation so far – an impressive number for a book about the rarefied topic of nonprofit management. …

The book isn’t aimed at small nonprofits or “civic-minded individuals, Morino says. ‘They represent the strongest core of philanthropy in the US. You don’t want to touch that.’ He likens these folks to his long-ago neighbors in Cleveland, where, ‘if somebody’s building a garage, everyone helped build the garage.’

However, “of the 1.5 million nonprofit groups in the US, 40,000 have budgets of more than $1 million, according to Bridgespan [an organization that consults to nonprofits]. They are the targets of Leap of Reason.”

More here on how the data-driven approach outlined in the book has helped some large nonprofits become more effective.

By the way, the Center for Effective Philanthropy, where WordPress blogger Judith once worked as a writer, addresses the same issue. And Zipp’s article lists other organizations that advise charities.

Photograph of Mario Morino, Ken Blaze / Special to the Christian Science Monitor

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My son mentioned this Jane Scott obit the other day. He knows how much I like stories about older people who stay in the fray because they love their work. Writes the NY Times:

“In four happy decades as a rock writer for The Cleveland Plain Dealer, Ms. Scott, who died on Monday at 92, braved mud and mosh pits, foul weather and fouler language, ‘a drop of bleached blond and pink polyester in a roiling sea of blue denim and black leather,’ as The Philadelphia Inquirer once described her. …

“Ms. Scott, who took up her beat in 1964 at 45 and retired nine years ago at nearly 83, was often called the world’s oldest teenager, a description she hastened to correct. ‘Second-oldest,’ she would say. ‘After Dick Clark.’ …

“But what troubled Ms. Scott … was her inability to share her passion with her peers.

“ ‘I finally convinced a friend to come see Deep Purple with me,’ she told The Washington Post …. ‘I called her before the show to confirm, and she said, “Oh, Jane, I can still remember dancing with Ben at Beta Theta Pi fraternity, and we danced ‘When the deep purple falls over sleepy garden walls.’ ” ’

“ ‘I thought: “Oh dear. I hate to tell you …” ‘ Ms. Scott continued. ‘I ended up taking her grandson.’ ”

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