literary lots will bring characters to life in an underused ohio city park

Currently, visitors to the Carnegie-West branch of the Cleveland Public Library find an underutilized park across the street. But soon they'll stumble upon a literary wonderland of peanut butter sandwich boats with sails, spaghetti tubes and a stone soup mural.

Inspired by children's books, a love of reading and the ambition to bring families and community members together, Literary Lots will kick off Saturday, August 3rd in Novak Park in Ohio City and run for two consecutive weeks.

"This idea started with saying, 'We have a great anchor in the library, books are inspiring and we want an educated, engaged community,'" says Kauser Razvi, an Ohio City parent who has served as Project Manager for Literary Lots. "Tons of kids come to the library. Let's do this work together and offer it in a single place."

"Hopefully soon, the park is a place where people stop and say, 'What are those three sandwich boats doing there?' says Razvi, an urban strategist. "Then they want to come in and take part in a poetry slam or start doing some spaghetti art."

Programming will be offered daily at Novak Park, which is located north of Lorain on W. 38th, including art and writing events, author nights and movie nights.

The idea behind the event is to engage kids and families in reading and building a sense of community together. "The city needs to do more things for kids and families, because that's how you're going to help the city grow," says Razvi.

Project partners include Cleveland Public Library, Ohio City Writers, Art House and LAND Studio. Funders include The Cleveland Colectivo, Councilman Joe Cimperman, Neighborhood Connections and the George Gund Foundation.

Literary Lots will kick off this Saturday with community mural painting with artist Julia Kuo. Community members will help illustrate the classic story Stone Soup.

Source: Kauser Razvi
Writer: Lee Chilcote
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