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Asian Festival returns with food, fun and a fashion show

The popular Cleveland Asian Festival returns this year from May 21 - 22 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Payne Ave. between East 30th and 27th Streets with a host of activities, vendors and irresistible food choices. This event is free and open to the public, although event organizers ask attendees to leave their pets at home. Payne Avenue is closed to traffic during the festival, which is in its seventh year.
This year's event will feature cultural enlightenment, fun and health screenings for all ages. Enjoy wonderful Asian cuisines with more than 10 Asian restaurants offering up home-style authentic dishes. Children may learn about Asian cultures inside the Activities Pavilion, while more than 100 vendors will be available offering information and exotic merchandise.
Entertainment will be non-stop on two stages throughout the weekend and will include performances such as a magic show, lion dance and Colors of Asia fashion show. Other activities include a Cosplay 103 competition and the K-Pop Cover Dance competition.
The event has grown steadily since its 2010 inception. The inaugural festival saw 10,000 attendees who spent less than $1 million. The 2015 festival, however, garnered 45,000 visitors who lavished more than $3 million in spending at event.
Visit the Cleveland Asian Festival page for complete scheduling and attraction details.

RTA to maintain service during RNC, offer special pass

During the Republican National Convention July 18-21, the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority's (RTA) will operate its current level of service on buses, Paratransit vehicles and trains. Staff will be prepared to increase that level on traditional rail and commuter routes to serve individuals who may not be regular RTA customers, but who may want to be during the Convention week. For added convenience, RTA will sell a $20 special Convention weekly pass for unlimited rides from July 17-23.
RTA realizes that there will be some road closures and possible elimination of some parking complexes for the week. Customers are encouraged to take advantage of RTA's 6,000 free parking spaces at rail stations and use the Rapid to get to the Tower City Station in Downtown Cleveland, or to get across town.
Once Downtown, RTA's free trolleys will help link customers from Public Square to all Downtown venues. The HealthLine operates 24-7 from Public Square to all Euclid Avenue locations.
Although RTA buses will not be used by Convention delegates to get Downtown, increased traffic on the roads and highways could cause delays on regular bus routes and on Paratransit services. RTA recommends that commuters allow extra travel time.

No RTA buses or Paratransit vehicles will be able to go into the established security zone surrounding Convention venues in Downtown Cleveland. The exact perimeter of the security zones is unknown at this time.
If bus service needs to be rerouted, RTA will notify the media as quickly as possible, and communicate that information throughout regular channels.

Cedar Lee District in national competition for $25,000 prize

The national small business movement, Independent We Stand, announced earlier this week the quarterfinalists of the 2016 Independent We Stand “America’s Main Streets” contest. The list of just 25 cities includes Cedar Lee Business District in Cleveland Heights.
Per the release from Independent We Stand, "As the lifeblood of our cities and towns, Main Streets play an important role in the long-term success of communities and help build a sense of place. Independent We Stand invites the public to vote for their favorite quarterfinalist and move a deserving Main Street one step closer to the grand prize of $25,000."
"Should Cedar Lee receive enough votes to become the grand prize winner of $25,000, the funds will be used for new pilot programs aimed at filling vacant storefronts in the Cedar Lee Business District of Cleveland Heights," added Andrea Turner, managing editor of FutureHeights, in a statement. "There are only two quarterfinalists in Ohio; Cedar Lee is the only one in Northeast Ohio."
Vote for Cedar Lee up to once a day here. Voting continues through May 29. Winners will be announced June 3.

Photo group's fine art show to benefit Hunger Network

The Kalman & Pabst Photo Group 2016 Fine Art show takes place at 3907 Perkins Ave. and opens Friday, May 13 from 5 to 10 p.m. with a reception featuring food, drinks and live entertainment. The show will also be open to the public on Saturday, May 14 from 1 – 6 p.m. Both events are free. A portion of the proceeds, as well as raffle ticket sales, will benefit the Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland.
“The Fine Art Show’s history traces back to more than a decade ago when studio co-founders Jan Kalman and Bob Pabst expressed their desire to promote the creativity and talent here in Northeast Ohio,” said co-owner Craig Brown in a statement. “It was Jan and Bob’s gift to honor the staff who work tremendously hard to serve our clients all year long.” Brown added: “The staff are all accomplished artists, outside of their work in the studio, so the Fine Art Show was created as a way to recognize their efforts by displaying their personal work for art-loving audiences.”
To RSVP for the Friday event, which is strongly encouraged, or for more information click here.

Selfie contest: #imoveCLE

To celebrate the Year of Sustainable Transportation in 2016, the City of Cleveland is holding a selfie contest to engage the community in sustainable transportation practices and connect residents to the many transportation and recreational opportunities in Cleveland.
To enter:
- Review the complete contest rules.
- Take a fun, safe* selfie while using a sustainable mode of transportation such as biking, carpooling, walking, or kayaking - among many others. Note: resolution must be six megapixels.
- Post on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag: #imoveCLE or upload your photos through the Facebook app or via the contest website.
- Post up to two entries per person per day through July 31. The more selfies you post, the more chances you have to win.
- Vote for your favorite #imoveCLE selfie or encourage others to vote for yours.
Prizes include a host of gift certificates and passes, with the grand prize pack valued at more than $500. Winners will be announced in August and will be recognized at the 8th annual Sustainability Summit on September 21 and 22.
*Sustainable Cleveland encourages all participants to practice safe selfie-ing and use caution while taking selfies. Do not take selfies or use mobile devices while operating a car, bicycle or any other form of motor vehicle.

Filmed in Cleveland, "Dog Eat Dog" tapped to close Cannes Director's Fortnight

Filmed in Northeast Ohio, "Dog Eat Dog" was selected last week as the closing night film for the Cannes Film Festival's Director's Fortnight.

Directed and written by Paul Schrader, the film stars Nicolas Cage and Willem Dafoe. Any number of northeast Ohioans worked on the film, including a host of Cleveland Institute of Art students.
Filming of "Dog Eat Dog" began last October in Cleveland, which was the principal location. Sheffield Lake also hosted filming, which ended on November 23.
Édouard Waintrop, artistic director of the Director's Fortnight said in a statement that the mission of the section is "to bring new talents to the fore, surprise audiences with new and unknown facets of known talents ... in a word, to show what's most exciting in world cinema and what rises to the top among the new trends."
"The selection of 'Dog Eat Dog' for this honor is global recognition for something we have known for some time here in northeast Ohio," added Greater Cleveland Film Commission president Ivan Schwarz.

"This is a great production destination and an emerging center of excellence in the media industry," he added. "None of this would be possible without the Ohio Motion Picture Tax Credit, or our local crew and actors, many of whom worked on this film."

Sale to feature 70,000 books, prints, maps records, memorabilia and more

On May 21 - 24 in the Adelbert Gymnasium, 2128 Adelbert Rd., the 70th annual Case Western Reserve University Book Sale will feature display tables filled with more than 70,000 items including books, prints, maps and atlases, sheet music, CDs, DVDs, records, play scripts, memorabilia and more. 

Regular sale hours are noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on May 24, which is $5 Box Day, during which shoppers can bring and fill any size box for that amount.
Regular hours are free. There is, however, a pre-sale preview, admission for which is $20, from 10 a.m. to noon, on May 21. At that time, shoppers may scour the collection before doors officially open to the public.
Highlighted items in this year's sale include:
- An extensive rock ‘n’ roll collection (books, CDs, memorabilia), including a 17-box collection of items donated anonymously
- An unusually large collection of books on the entertainment industry
- 18th- and 19th-century first editions
- A 1973 first edition of Toni Morrison’s Nobel Prize-winning Sula
- A Leo Leonni folio published by Verve magazine
- An extensive collection of science-fiction magazines from the 1940s and ’50s
- A four-volume set of The Life of Jesus Christ, illustrated by James Tissot
- A deep collection of plays, playbills and theater-related books and texts
- Collections of Zane Grey and Hardy Boys books
- A wide selection of gun, knife and survivalist’s books
- How-to books, games, puzzles and graduate-level text books

Click here for a more extensive list of items.
Book donations are accepted year round. Drop off is at 10620 Cedar Ave., between Fairhill and E. 105th, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Please go to the package delivery dock on Cedar and ring the bell. You are responsible for unloading your owns boxes. Pick-ups can be arranged for those who have six or more boxes of books. Encyclopedias, magazines, journals, or textbooks in the social sciences that are more than three years old are not accepted. For additional information, or to arrange a pick-up, please contact the Siegal Lifelong Learning office at 216-368-2090.

"G-Dog" screening part of National Reentry Week

This Wednesday, April 27, at 6:30 p.m., the Towards Employment Young Professional's Associate Board will present a screening of the documentary G-Dog at Bloom Bakery, 200 Public Square. The film tells the story of Father Greg Boyle, who became an expert in gang life and transformed the lives of thousands of gang members.
The event is one of the organization's efforts to promote National Reentry Week, a national initiative that endeavors to help formerly incarcerated individuals contribute to their communities.

The film will be followed by a discussion about reentry in our community, the role that young professionals can take, and the possibilities that social ventures like Bloom Bakery offer.
This event is free and open to the public, but attendees are asked to register.

#whatsyouroldbrooklyn campaign kicks off with free Cinco de Mayo bowling party

On Thursday, May 5 at 7 p.m. the Old Brooklyn neighborhood will celebrate Cinco de Mayo with a bowling party at 4233 Fulton Road. The free event is open to the public, but attendees must be 21. Tickets are limited. Click here to reserve up to three.
The event will feature bowling, shuffleboard, cornhole and music. Platform beer and tacos will be available.
The May 5 bowling party will kick off a host of activities and special events that are part of the neighborhood's new #whatsyouroldbrooklyn initiative to promote Old Brooklyn as a unique urban community where people can live work and play.
Old Brooklyn Community Development Corp. is spearheading the initiative, which is supported through a Neighborhood Solutions Award from Cleveland Neighborhood Progress.

"Road to Hope," dedication of Toni Morrison's "Bench by the Road" at Cozad-Bates House

On Sunday, April 24, at 1 p.m., Cleveland Public Theatre presents "Road to Hope" at the historic Cozad-Bates House, 11508 Mayfield Rd., in University Circle. The event will feature numerous music, dance, and theater performances and center around a message of hope inspired by the triumphs of the anti-slavery movement in Northeast Ohio.
At 3 p.m., a ceremony will commemorate the installation of the 19th Bench by the Road, a project of the Toni Morrison Society. The benches serve as places for reflection at historic sites that are significant in African American history. Author Toni Morrison, a Nobel Laureate, was born in Lorain, Ohio.
Participants and Speakers include: Dr. Marilyn Mobley of the Toni Morrison Society, Cleveland city councilman Joe Cimperman, and Chris Ronayne, president, University Circle Inc.
University Circle Inc. (UCI) is the current owner of the historic Cozad-Bates House, the only remaining pre-Civil War structure in University Circle. Working in partnership with Restore Cleveland Hope and the Western Reserve Historical Society, UCI intends to restore and preserve the property, which will include an anti-slavery interpretive center.
Activities will be outside on the front lawn of the home. This event is free and open to the public.

More information is available here and here.

Cedar Lee Theatre to screen "Purple Rain"

With the untimely passing of yet another musical icon this year, the Cedar Lee Theatre will be mourning right along with Prince’s fans as it screens his 1984 classic film Purple Rain on Thursday, April 28 at 7:30 p.m.
“We’ve shown Purple Rain a few times over the years as part of the Melt Bar & Grilled Late Shift Series,” says David Huffman, Cleveland Cinemas director of marketing and late shift programmer. “It’s a film that captured Prince at the height of his career and I can’t think of a better way to pay tribute to this legendary performer than to bring it back to the big screen.”
Prince Rogers Nelson was found dead at the age of 57 on April 21, 2016. Prince was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004.
Fans are encouraged to dress in purple when they attend the screening.
Tickets to see PURPLE RAIN are $6 and are on sale at the Cedar Lee Theatre or online.


CMHA to screen "Our Journey Home," tell real stories of public housing residents

On Tuesday, April 26, from 7 to 8 p.m. at the Capitol Theatre, 1390 West 65th Street, the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority will screen the documentary “Our Journey Home” to narrow the gap between misperceptions and the real stories of people living in public housing.
The effort is part of the ReThink initiative, which fosters awareness about public housing and encourages the general population to realize the benefits that public housing offers individuals as well as the greater community.
Produced by Emmy award-winning film company Stillmotion and narrated by singer-songwriter and ReThink ambassador, Jewel, the documentary examines the role we all play in supporting those who struggle with having a stable place to live, grow and dream. A community panel discussion and Q&A session will immediately follow the film screening.

More information is available here. Purchase tickets here.

History fair to feature historical figures, exhibits and activities

On Saturday, April 30, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Bedford Historical Society, the City of Bedford and Cuyahoga Arts & Culture will host the The Northeast Ohio Local History Fair at the Ellenwood Community Center, 124 Ellenwood Ave. in Bedford. This free event aims to bring the local history societies, museums and organizations to the public for a fun and educational experience. 

The event will feature genealogy help and resources, arts and crafts and an array of exhibits as well as entertainment. Historical figures such as Annie Oakley and President and Mrs. Lincoln will be on hand to give presentations and mingle with the crowd.

Get more information and details here.

CPL to host teen poetry hip-hop workshops

As part of National Poetry Month, De’John Hardges, a student at Cleveland School of the Arts and member of the prestigious 2015 class of the White House's National Student Poets, is encouraging new audiences of all ages to embrace the art of poetry by leading a series of hip-hop poetry workshops at Cleveland Public Library. The teen poetry hip-hop workshops will take place April 22 and 29 at 4:30 p.m. at Main Library, 325 Superior Ave.

Get all the information here.

Legislation: Ohio's medical marijuana users could be fired

Per Tom Knox of Columbus Business First:

"Ohioans who are legally prescribed marijuana to alleviate symptoms for serious illnesses could still be fired from their jobs under both major proposals to legalize marijuana's use as a medicine.

Republicans in the Ohio House introduced their medical marijuana bill, House Bill 523, late Thursday. It’s an effort for legislators, not outside marijuana advocacy groups, to be in charge of what seems to be inevitable."

The article continues:

"House Bill 523 does not require employers to accommodate employees’ use of medical marijuana, and it doesn’t stop employers from refusing to hire or fire someone because of their use of medical marijuana.

'A person who is discharged from employment because of that person’s use of medical marijuana shall be considered to have been discharged for just cause,' according to the bill sponsored by Rep. Steve Huffman (R-Tipp City)."

Read the full text here.
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