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CLE deemed "on the cusp of cool" by LA Times

West Coasters who mistakenly think of Ohio as a flyover state clearly haven't been to Cleveland—but the Los Angeles Times has finally gotten the memo. This in-depth piece by Fran Golden provides an overview of all of Cleveland's greatest hits, from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame to 78th Street Studios to the West Side Market. Local movers and shakers like Mayor Frank Jackson, Julian Bruell, and Greater Cleveland Film Commission head Ivan Schwarz all lend their voices to the story, with notable quotables like the following:
Local pride is also a philosophy embraced by young returnee Bruell, who said, "Cleveland shouldn't try to be like New York or Chicago or other cities. It should be unique and different."

Schwarz, of the film commission, compared what's happening in Cleveland to the renaissance of Portland, Ore.

"Old-time Clevelanders may question the cool factor. I see an untapped gold mine," he said. "I think we really should shout from the rooftop the virtues of this city."

Read the full write-up here.

Still in: local organizations vow to honor the Paris Agreement

Mayor Frank G. Jackson is joining the Mayors National Climate Action Agenda, a network of nearly 200 U.S. mayors representing over 50 million Americans in fighting climate change. The group of mayors is working together to strengthen local efforts for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and supporting efforts for binding federal and global-level policymaking.
Per a statement from the Mayor's office, climate policy in Washington will not affect plans underway in Cleveland to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050. That goal is part of the Office of Sustainability’s Cleveland Climate Action Plan.
“We’re in support of a worldwide climate action plan and we are committed to doing our part here in Cleveland. It is simply the right thing to do,” said Jackson in the statement. “We have a responsibility to leave for future generation a more green, vibrant and healthy Cleveland."

In addition, Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA) and Cleveland State University have both signed the We Are Still In open letter, which states in part:
"It is imperative that the world know that in the U.S., the actors that will provide the leadership necessary to meet our Paris commitment are found in city halls, state capitals, colleges and universities, investors and businesses.
"Together, we will remain actively engaged with the international community as part of the global effort to hold warming to well below two degrees Celsius and to accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy that will benefit our security, prosperity, and health."
CIA President Grafton J. Nunes said of the commitment: “Stewardship of the environment needs to be among our highest callings, and it certainly is a critical challenge for artists and designers," he noted in a statement. "Our faculty emphasizes sustainable solutions with students, although frankly most of our students have grown up with an innate understanding that they were living in an era of a changing climate. But we guide them as they consider what materials and processes they use in their art making. Some of them consider how to use their skills and social agency to improve the environment.
“We also model awareness of our environmental impact, through efforts to reduce the impact of our campus facilities,” Nunes added. The school's green efforts include a 300-panel solar array on the roof of the Gund building, a native-species garden atop the Peter B. Lewis Theater and the ongoing replacement of compact fluorescent lighting with high efficiency LED lights in the Gund building.
Fresh Water realizes that this list is not likely complete. We apologize if other area organizations have committed to the Paris Agreement. Any omissions are unintentional.
The Cleveland Institute of Art is part of Fresh Water's underwriting support network.

St. Luke's garners national spotlight

The National Trust for Historic Preservation shines a light on the stunning resurrection of St. Luke's in Buckeye. From Katherine Flynn for Preservation magazine:

St. Luke’s was vacant for a total of eight years, and things weren’t looking good; it was the target of vandals and copper wire prospectors, and moisture damage severely eroded the plaster on the building’s interior. In 2006, the community development organization Cleveland Neighborhood Progress (CNP) came up with what some may have called a far-fetched plan to put it back into use.

“Frankly, a lot of folks in Buckeye had just gotten used to this kind of cultural erasure happening,” says Wayne Mortensen, the director of design and development at the organization. “When businesses or institutions shut down, the buildings would fall into disrepair and they would just eventually be torn down.

“So the ability to bring that [St. Luke’s] back,” he says, “was a pretty big shot in the arm for a neighborhood that was just assuming that it would be lost.”

Read the whole story here.

VIDEO: Sherwin Williams takes hawking paint to a new otherwordly level

There is much more to a new 30-second ad for Sherwin Williams' Emerald paint than meets the eye. The company has been headquartered in Cleveland since 1866, but this effort is bit more technical than the longstanding "cover the earth" directive.

From Angela Natividad for Adweek:

The ad, dubbed “Epiphany,” uses only real Emerald paint. It was made possible with help from a robot arm called Spike, whose precision guidance system helped control camera movement at high rates of speed, even underwater. A Phantom camera, mounted to Spike, shot footage at 900 to 4,000 frames per second, enabling you to see colors splashing together, and creating gorgeous shapes and psychedelic combinations that the human eye can appreciate.

Production buffs will want to read the entire article. Now view the ad for yourself:


Client: Sherwin-Williams
Campaign: Emerald, Epiphany

Agency: McKinney
Chief Creative Officer: Jonathan Cude
Group Creative Directors: Jenny Nicholson, Owen Tingle
ACD, Art Director: Jordan Eakin
ACD, Copywriter: David Sloan
Group Account Director: Lisa Hughes
Account Director: Lindsley Laham
Account Supervisor: Mandy Gatton
Project Manager: Kanika Pendergrass
Executive Producer: Josh Eggleston
Director of Media: Swap Patel
Associate Media Director: Katie Swicegood
Media Supervisor: Virginia Crotty
Media Planner: Alex Grimm
Media Planner: Jimmy Patel-Nguyen
Production Company: PSYOP
Directed by: PSYOP
Creative Director: Eben Mears
Music: Beacon Street Studios
Audio Post: Sonic Union
Mix: Steve Rosen
Producer: Pat Sullivan

A subtle CLE cameo to appear on 'Grace and Frankie'

Art of Cloth, a women's garment company in Chagrin Falls is getting ready for its close up, so to speak.

Lily Tomlin will be seen wearing the shop's locally produced, one-of-a-kind, hand-dyed tunics on Season 3 of the Netflix series Grace and Frankie, which begins this week.
Courtesy of months of correspondence with the show's costume designer and stylist, two tunics made it into Lily Tomlin's wardrobe for character Frankie Bergstein: the Emma tunic in the Grape Sky colorway and the Seabreeze Tunic in the Pompeii colorway.
A limited quantity of both garments will be available beginning on this Friday, March 24, to coincide with series season premier. Interested parties can shop online or call 440-708-1116.

Fun: the NYT peeks 'behind the poster' of CPT's 'Barbecue'

The New York Times' Erik Piepenburg asks Cleveland artist Sean Higgins of The Bubble Process about what's going on in his funky poster for the Cleveland Public Theatre's current show, Barbecue, which is written by Robert O’Hara, directed by Beth Wood, and runs through March 11.

From the Q & A:

Why did you render the people in these wonderfully nonhuman colors?

It’s a big thing in illustration now to use different colors of people to make it race neutral. They are obviously different races but not black and white. It’s an oversimplified way to do people: big eyes, the bare minimum, almost cartoony in a way but trying to take a naïve approach to humans without getting detailed.

Read the whole article over at the NYT.

Tribeca taps "Dahmer" for 2017 lineup

The 2017 Tribeca Film Festival has named 82 of the 98 features for this year’s event. The films are listed under the categories of Spotlight, Viewpoints and Midnight as well as an array of narratives, shorts and documentaries. Special screenings, gala titles and the closing night activities have yet to be announced.

Based on the graphic novel by Cleveland artist Derf Backderf, "My Friend Dahmer," written and directed by Marc Meyers, will be screened as part of the Viewpoints category.

Per Variety:

"This year, the festival’s organizers opted to cut the total number of titles by 20 percent. 'Over the past few years, the festival has grown in a lot of ways and a lot of different directions, and there was an opportunity to think about ways to stay focused and curated in all of our slates,' said Cara Cusumano, Tribeca’s director of programming."

Further reading: Q & A with "My Friend Dahmer" author Derf Backderf

The festival runs April 19 – 30 in New York.

VIDEO: Khloe Kardashian loves .... Cleveland!

Khloe Kardashian, who is in a relationship with Cavs' center/power forward Tristan Thompson talked about life in Cleveland during an episode of The Talk last week.

“Everyone is so nice there,” reported Kardashian to Sharon Osbourne and the rest of the gang. “It’s a normal routine life. I love to cook, so I get to cook dinner every day. It’s this home, family thing that I’ve been craving that I get to have in Cleveland.”

“I love that it snows. I spent Christmas there and it was — snow," added Kardashian. "I’m not used to that. I’m born and raised in California, so everyone thinks I’m crazy for loving the snow. I’m like, ‘It’s snowing! This is so fun!’ and [Tristan's] like, ‘No you’re going to get over it in one year.’

"But I love it.”

Welcome to Cleveland, Khloe. As for the snow, we usually have a good bit more of it. Why not hang around and see what the weather's like next year?


Call for young filmmakers

Hathaway Brown and St. Edward High School have partnered to offer the 2017 iMagine Film Festival.
Hence, through March 31, organizers are accepting film submissions from Northeast Ohio high school students. Films must be no longer than 15 minutes in length. All finalists will receive constructive feedback from area industry professionals. Winners will receive film-related prizes.

iMagine 2017 will be held on Saturday, May 13, from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. in Hathaway's Ahuja Auditorium, 19600 North Park Blvd. The event, which will include screenings of the student films, is free and open to the public.

Click here to register and for submission details.

Nine local sustainable products

Between Cleveland's winning sports teams, revitalizing neighborhoods, and thriving food and arts communities, the city is clearly on an upswing. Another key to this revitalization is creating a sustainable economy that benefits all.

From energy efficient LED lighting to windpower, Sustainable Cleveland rounds up nine local company's that help to do just that.

Get the whole list here.

Celebrate love with free skating on Valentine's Day

Courtesy of the Cleveland Foundation, on Tuesday, Feb. 14 from 3 to 11 p.m., skaters will enjoy free skate rentals and a free 45-minute session on the ice, weather permitting. Tickets are required and will be distributed at Public Square at noon on a first come, first served basis. Up to 150 tickets will be distributed per time slot. Additional activities during the Feb. 14 free skate will be announced.
“The Cleveland Foundation Skating Rink on Public Square has proven to be one of our community’s top destinations during the winter months,” said Ronn Richard, President and CEO of the Cleveland Foundation in a statement. “We wanted to provide a chance for residents to celebrate their love for Cleveland by coming out and enjoying this vibrant gathering place in the heart of our city.”
In November 2016, the Cleveland Foundation announced a $100,000 grant to support ongoing community programming on Cleveland Foundation Centennial Plaza in Cleveland Public Square. The grant to the Group Plan Commission continued the foundation’s support for the Square, including $8 million for the transformation of Public Square and the creation of Cleveland Foundation Centennial Plaza. That same month, on Nov. 26, the foundation presented a free day of ice skating on Cleveland Foundation Skating Rink to coincide with the return of Winterfest in Public Square. More than 1,900 ice skaters took advantage of the free opportunity to enjoy the official opening of the skating rink.
The Cleveland Foundation Skating Rink will remain open for the season until Feb. 28, 2017 with skating available for $10 per skater, which includes skate rental. Additional information about Cleveland Public Square programming is available here.

Cleveland cited as up-and-comer on MovieMaker's 2017 'best places' list

From Maggie Gottlieb and Julie Pearson for MovieMaker:

This year, we skewed big, compiling a list of 15 big cities (population 400,000 and up—that’s city population, not metro) along with a shorter list of five small cities and towns, for those who like a more intimate setting for creativity. Each list also ends with three cities that were “On the Cusp.” (Who can resist an honorable mention?) As usual, you’ll see some familiar names and some up-and-comers—and yes, one of the lists has a tie for the top spot. We’re confident that the places on these lists offer the finest array of filmic institutions, backdrops and good ol’ community-driven energy available. Sink your roots into any of them, and you really can’t go wrong. What you can do, we hope, is find your people, and from there help to write the next chapter of North American cinema.

Read why they think Cleveland is getting ready for its close-up here.

Free help available for taxpayers ahead of April 15

Locals seeking help with their tax preparation have options.

—Lakewood Alive has teamed with Empowering and Strengthening Ohio’s People (ESOP) to offer free tax preparation and filing on Saturday, March 4 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Turkish Cultural Center in Lakewood’s Historic Birdtown Neighborhood, 13303 Madison Avenue. Click here for more information.

—Cuyahoga EITC Coalition has a bevy of tax information online, including a list of tax sites where low and moderate income taxpayers can make an appointment for help with filing by dialing 211.

The EITC free tax prep locations will also host several “Super Saturday” events at select locations where a larger number of volunteers will be on hand to provide additional assistance. These include:
February 4, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Saint Ignatius High School (co-hosted by Key Bank)
Library Room
1911 West 30th St., Cleveland
Cleveland Central Catholic High School (co-hosted by Third Federal Savings & Loan)
1st Floor Atrium
6550 Baxter Ave., Cleveland
February 11, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

PNC Fairfax Connection (co-hosted by PNC Bank)
8220 Carnegie Ave., Cleveland
February 18, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Notre Dame College (co-hosted by Ohio Savings Bank)
Administrative Building, 2nd Floor
4545 College Road, South Euclid

February 25, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Stephanie Tubbs –Jones Community Building (co-hosted by Ohio Savings Bank)
3420 Lee Road, Shaker Heights
Required documentation for tax preparation includes: Current photo identification, Social Security cards for each adult and child, W2 and 1099 income statements, child care expense statement and provider’s Tax I.D. Number, Form 1099-INT for any checking or savings accounts, and bank account and routing numbers for direct deposit. If the taxpayer purchased health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, they should bring 1099 tax credit from the issuing health insurance company.
The EITC Coalition is a volunteer driven program. Free training is available to become an IRS certified tax preparer for community members who want to volunteer to prepare taxes.

Demonstration this Friday to denounce Trump's immigration actions

This Friday, Feb. 3, at 4 p.m., a demonstration denouncing Trump’s executive orders on immigration will be conducted at Market Square on the corner of West 25th Street and Lorain Avenue.

The following is the complete press release regarding the event:

"Civic leaders will join together for a demonstration in Market Square to denounce the Trump administration's executive actions on immigration. These executive orders, calling for the construction of a border wall and threatening the withdrawal of federal funding from sanctuary cities, prioritize the deportation of illegal immigrants without considering the circumstances that drove them to emigrate from their homes. The documents promise to expand Immigration and Customs Enforcement by a combined total of 15,000, but no amount of border control or enforcement will affect whether or not migrants make the difficult choice to leave their countries and seek safety in the US.
There are several push factors existing in Mexico, Central America, and Colombia. Chrissy Stonebraker-Martinez, co-director of the InterReligious Task Force on Central America, said, “Neoliberal and militaristic US foreign policies are often at the root of the push factors for refugees who are fleeing violent social and economic persecution. If we promoted true democracy in our international relations, rather empirical, unbridled, domineering policies, refugees would have less reason to flee violence and poverty.”
The Trump administration’s executive actions claim to target dangerous criminals, but, in reality, the new policies are vague enough to put at risk the status of families and individuals who, in the administration’s words, “In the judgment of an immigration officer, otherwise pose a risk to public safety or national security.”
Jose Mendez from DreamActivist Ohio, said of his personal experience with immigration policies, “As a Dreamer, I can’t continue to live in anxiety day by day. We need Congress to act and fix our broken immigration system. I will continue to fight for my family and myself no matter how tough the battle gets.”
Civic society will continue to fight for the rights of immigrants. We call on this administration and the 115th Congress to do everything in their power to reverse these executive orders."

Per the statement, attendees will include the following organizations: InterReligious Task Force on Central America and Colombia, DreamActivist Ohio, Greater Cleveland Immigrant Support Network, Lorain Ohio Immigrant Rights Association, Cleveland Jobs with Justice, Ohio’s Voice and others.

Global Student Awards Qualifications set for this Thursday

The Global Student Entrepreneurs Awards (GSEA) will host a Qualifying Competition on Thursday, Jan. 26 at Kent State University School of Podiatric Medicine, 6000 Rockside Woods Blvd N in Independence, starting at 1 p.m. GSEA, a program of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO), is an awards program for student entrepreneurs, providing students the opportunity to form relationships with fellow enterprising students and the judges.
“Over the course of the past several years, the GSEA awards have been responsible for launching and fostering the entrepreneurial efforts of many local students” said Brain Sprafka, Chair of Cleveland’s GSEA Awards, in a statement. “We look forward to hearing the presentations from these enterprising individuals.”
As qualifying criteria for the program, the four student finalists are in currently enrolled in their undergraduate studies of a recognized college or university and have been primarily responsible for operating a business for no less than six consecutive months. The four presenting students are enrolled at Kent State University, The Ohio State University, and Cuyahoga Community College. The presentations will focus on their business efforts in emergency medicine, software, locally sourced food, and fashion with a philanthropic cause.
The winner of this competition will be sent to compete at the Qualifying Competition in Kansas City, MO, on March 8 – 9,  and will also receive business services and prizes totaling more than $20,000 from Brouse & McDowell, Compass Packaging, Licata Law, Northcoast Angel Fund/Todd Federman, Post-Up Stand, Sales Concepts Inc., Studiothink, and Technical Assurance, Inc.
The winner of the Qualifying Competition will attend the GSEA Finals in Frankfurt, Germany on April 27-29, 2017 to compete with the world’s top student entrepreneurs and have a chance to win over US $400,000 in cash and donated business services.
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