A & E News

Choral Arts premieres American Mass

Just who is George Bristow? Choral Arts Cleveland, with director Brian Bailey, invites you to find out as it brings to life the Mass in C by 19th-century American composer George Bristow, in a world premiere of the composition. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m., on Wednesday, June 8, with a talk on Bristow and American classical music, followed by the choral performance. The venue is Fairmount Presbyterian Church, 2757 Fairmount Blvd. in Cleveland Heights.

The Mass in C (1884–1885) is filled with lush, romantic phrasings that segue into joyously spirited, energetic and robust movements. Its expressive text setting infuses movements, such as the Kyrie, with an evocative imploring quality, and the Credo, with moods of triumph. Other artistic assets of the Mass include its varied use of vocal solos, alternated with long choral sections and short instrumental interludes, and the use of bold homophonic styles.

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Volume 15, Issue 5, Posted 5:51 PM, 05.01.2022

Poems and photos come together at Nature Center

Well into her 80s, and showing no signs of slowing down any time soon, Cleveland Heights resident Nina Freedlander Gibans has published her fourth book of poems—In the Garden of Old Age. The poems, and accompanying photographs by Abby Star, will be on exhibit at the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes from an opening reception on Wednesday, May 25, through Aug. 15.

Gibans describes In the Garden of Old Age as a collection of poems about memories, “colliding daily in these summary years that pile up and tumble to the pages like leaves in fall.” The poems are richly illustrated—bright flowers giving way to autumn leaves.

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Volume 15, Issue 5, Posted 5:41 PM, 05.01.2022

Dobama wraps up season with award-winning comedy

Dobama Theatre will end its 2021–22 season with the award-winning comedy "Life Sucks," by Aaron Posner. This contemporary reworking of Chekhov’s classic "Uncle Vanya" won the Off-Broadway Alliance’s Best New Play of 2020. Dobama audiences may remember Posner’s adaptation of Chekhov’s "The Seagull"—"Stupid F*cking Bird"—which came to roost at Dobama in 2019. 

Chekhov’s themes of love, longing, and ennui are at the heart of this story, but Posner also highlights the humor and wit of his characters. In the play, Sonia and her Uncle Vanya are visited by her estranged father and his third wife, Ella. Their large house is also home to Babs and Pickles, and frequented by Vanya’s longtime friend, Dr. Aster. Rivalries and love triangles simmer among these passionate people, and tensions brew as personalities clash.

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Volume 15, Issue 4, Posted 11:59 AM, 04.02.2022

Heights Arts celebrates National Poetry Month

Heights Arts has decided to extend the two-year term of current Cleveland Heights Poet Laureate Ray McNiece for an additional year.

Rachel Bernstein, Heights Arts executive director, said, “Ray’s original appointment unfortunately corresponded directly with the onset of the pandemic. He, and therefore the community members, were deprived of his being able to fully participate in the position. We are very pleased that he has accepted our offer to serve for an additional year, and very much look forward to his contributions in the coming year."

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Volume 15, Issue 4, Posted 11:55 AM, 04.02.2022

LEI's Bananagrams fundraiser returns April 29 and 30

In 2013, a group gathered at the home of Cynthia Larsen, co-director of Lake Erie Ink (LEI), to test a new game: Giant Bananagrams. It’s a game of nerves, wit and teamwork that appeals to word lovers everywhere. Later that year, the game made its debut as a fundraiser for LEI—a massive competitive tournament for both adults and youths, played on a 30-by-30-foot board. Since then, the Giant Bananagrams fundraiser has become an enduring tradition for LEI, drawing teams of word-game enthusiasts.

The fundraising tournament returns April 29 and 30, to spread the joy of wordplay and support writing programs for young people in our community.

The fundraising tournament returns April 29 and 30, to spread the joy of wordplay and support writing programs for young people in our community.

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Volume 15, Issue 4, Posted 11:34 AM, 04.02.2022

Registration is open for 10th LEI Kids' Comic Con

In 2013, shortly after Lake Erie Ink (LEI) opened its doors, co-founders Cynthia Larsen and Amy Rosenbluth set out to build a new creative expression community for youth. They knew Cleveland’s young people loved the rich comic culture in Northeast Ohio, and enjoyed creating their own comics. 

What if the robust comic talent in Cleveland could work directly with the next generation of comic creators? Several phone calls later, the LEI Kids’ Comic Con was scheduled, featuring workshops by Marc Sumerak, Derf Backderf, Martinez E-B, Karen Sandstrom, and more.

This year, as the Kids’ Comic Con celebrates its 10th birthday, Larsen reflects on its growth: “When we started, we had like 40 kids . . . not as many workshops, not as many artists. We pretty quickly doubled the number of kids participating in Comic Con.” 

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Volume 15, Issue 3, Posted 11:00 AM, 03.01.2022

Dobama presents 'Kill Move Paradise'

Dobama Theatre’s 2021–22 season continues with "Kill Move Paradise," winner of the 2018 Kesselring Prize, March 4 through March 27. 

The play, by acclaimed playwright, actor, and director James Ijames, is a biting, funny, and hopeful requiem for Black lives that takes place in a waiting room to the afterlife. In this space, four Black men—Isa, Grif, Daz, and Tiny—search for peace and hope in the lives they leave behind.

Ijames likens it to the Bardo, a Tibetan Buddhist concept of the void between death and rebirth through which everyone must pass.

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Volume 15, Issue 3, Posted 10:58 AM, 03.01.2022

Liza Grossman goes Kaboom (collectively)

When Liza Grossman directed the Contemporary Youth Orchestra (CYO), she showed her young musicians many other ways in which they could use their talents in the musical world, beyond playing in orchestras and pit bands, and teaching. Those included playing for recording sessions; playing in studio orchestras for movie, TV, cartoon and game soundtracks; and playing behind rock (and other) musicians in concerts.

Grossman, who has lived in Cleveland Heights since 1992, stepped down as head of CYO in 2020 and, soon after, launched Kaboom Collective. Kaboom maintains a studio orchestra of about 40 members—the size of a standard Hollywood recording orchestra—which meets in person. And, small groups of students from all over the world, aged 15 to 25, can participate in online classes in a wide variety of music-related subjects, taught by industry experts.

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Volume 15, Issue 3, Posted 10:52 AM, 03.01.2022

DCC hosts open house for new arts center

Disciples Christian Church (DCC) invites the community to tour its newly renovated facility on Feb. 12, between noon and 4 p.m. Guided tours will be offered every half hour, starting at noon. 

The building and sanctuary have been remodeled to include a 500-seat performance space with great acoustics, flexible dance studio space, classrooms, teaching studios, and more. It is now home to a cultural arts center for young people and families. Visitors are invited to explore the space, and the many program offerings.

DCC is offering program space, free of charge, to artists and art organizations that make the arts accessible to youth in the community. In addition, part of DCCs mission is to provide reasonably priced rehearsal and performance spaces to Cleveland-area art organizations.

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Volume 15, Issue 2, Posted 10:39 AM, 02.01.2022

Registration opens for Reaching Heights music camp

After a two-year, COVID-caused hiatus, Reaching Heights Summer Music Camp will return to Cleveland Heights High School, June 13–18. It is open to 85 young musicians, ages 10–15, who live in the CH-UH City School District, and who have at least two years of experience playing an instrument.

This one-week camp brings together local musicians and music educators to create a music-immersion experience. The camp fee is $200, with scholarship support available.

Each camp day runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Campers participate in two orchestra rehearsals, a master class and sectional rehearsal, and a chamber group rehearsal. They develop their understanding of music theory in small groups, and explore a new musical interest, such as jazz, percussion ensemble, ukulele or choir. Somehow, there is also time in each day for lunch, outdoor play time, and arts and crafts.

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Volume 15, Issue 2, Posted 8:16 AM, 02.01.2022

Poetry and art draw emotion from corrosion

Beauty expresses itself in many ways, both at surface level and beneath. At Heights Arts this February, poets and artists will convene to respond to two current exhibitions: RUST, and Jesse Rhinehart's Spotlight show.

The event—Ekphrastacy: Artists Talk and Poets Respond—is one of Heights Arts' most popular recurring programs.

This month, on Feb. 17, at 7 p.m., four poets will respond to the shows on view with performances that combine sight, sound and the soul. Cleveland Heights Poet Laureate Ray McNiece will be the emcee.

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Volume 15, Issue 2, Posted 8:19 AM, 02.01.2022

ARTFUL hosts Feb. 26 'Art for the Masses' sale

ARTFUL is planning its first “Art for the Masses” event for Saturday, Feb. 26, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., at Coventry PEACE Campus.

Artists who create one-of-a-kind work, who are interested in clearing out older work, or offering less expensive versions of their art—such as prints and sketches—are invited to participate.

The event is intended to enable artists to connect with an audience that may not be experienced in art buying, or might think it cannot afford to collect art. Nothing will be priced over $200. 

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Volume 15, Issue 2, Posted 8:17 AM, 02.01.2022

Visit PEACE Campus Jan. 28 for roller skating, tours and a community conversation

Coventry PEACE Campus (CPC) will host its next PEACE Pops event on Friday, Jan. 28. The evening will feature open studios at ARTFUL, Lunar New Year Dragon Dance performances, a pop-up roller-skating rink, building tours, and a community conversation and question-and-answer session for those interested in learning more about what is happening at the campus.

PEACE Pops at CPC is a quarterly experience of art and community, held in partnership with Coventry Village Final Fridays. Visit www.coventryvillage.org to learn more.

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Volume 15, Issue 2, Posted 7:44 AM, 01.25.2022

Lake Erie Ink offers playwriting workshops

In partnership with Dobama Theatre, Lake Erie Ink (LEI) will kick off the New Year with Playwriting, a workshop for writers at all levels, in grades two through 12. Participants will have the opportunity to work on their storytelling skills with support from local professionals. 

Julie Fisher, local playwright, director, and actor, will lead the workshops and help participants write their own original plays.

“This experience allows kids' imaginations to come to life,” Charisse Bailey, curriculum director at Lake Erie Ink, said of the workshops. “It’s a way for children from different backgrounds and different experiences to come together and share those experiences.”

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Volume 15, Issue 1, Posted 11:39 AM, 01.03.2022

Dobama continues its season with 'Hurricane Diane'

Dobama Theatre’s 2021–22 Mainstage season continues with the Cleveland premiere of the 2019 Obie Award-winner "Hurricane Diane." The play, by Pulitzer finalist Madeleine George, will run from Jan. 21 through Feb. 13.

The Diane of the title is a permaculture gardener with supernatural abilities. Owing to her true identity—the Greek god Dionysus—she has returned to the modern world to gather mortal followers to restore the earth to its natural state. Where better to begin than by seducing four housewives in a suburban New Jersey cul-de-sac?

In this award-winning comedy with a twist, George pens a hilarious evisceration of the “blind eye” we all turn to climate change, and the impending storm of catharsis that awaits us all, even in our own backyards.

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Volume 15, Issue 1, Posted 11:37 AM, 01.03.2022

Heights Arts gets the 'Rust' out to start 2022

Heights Arts starts off 2022 a little bit rusty . . . 

Many current residents never saw the city of steel and industry that once drew people from all over the world to live and work in Greater Cleveland. Many of those facilities were already crumbling decades ago. The industrial era is unfamiliar to many, generations later. Instead, abandoned warehouses seem only lost ruins, housing mysterious corroded parts that may as well be artifacts from crashed UFOs. There’s a fascination with urban decay that lives in people from the industrial Midwest. It’s commonly characterized by an affinity for coarse textures and tarnished hues that hold decades of depth.

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Volume 15, Issue 1, Posted 11:34 AM, 01.03.2022

10th annual author event features Janice Mitchell

Author Janice Mitchell will be the guest at the P.E.O. International Cleveland Heights Chapter Q 10th Annual Author Event. The free, virtual event will take place on Saturday, Jan. 29, 1–2 p.m. 

Mitchell‘s memoir, My Ticket to Ride: How I Ran Away to England to Meet the Beatles and Got Rock and Roll Banned in Cleveland (A True Story From 1964), relates her adventures as a 16-year-old who, with a friend, ran away from Cleveland Heights and traveled to England at the beginning of Beatlemania.

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Volume 15, Issue 1, Posted 11:29 AM, 01.03.2022

Coventry PEACE Lantern Festival

Coventry PEACE Campus hosted a community celebration of light during the darkness of winter on Dec. 11. Earlier that day, Artful artists Jacqui Brown (Studio Cat) and Adam Brumma (Living Art), along with Art Acts artist Tanya Gonzalez, held a free lantern-making workshop for community members. Lake Erie Ink staff helped them write solstice-themed stories and winter-themed haiku. Then, at 5 p.m., participants joined in a lantern procession through Coventry PEACE Park and the Coventry Village Business District, led by illuminated musicians and dancers, and orchestrated by Robin Van Lear. Participants then headed back to Coventry PEACE Campus for cocoa and cookies, courtesy of FutureHeights and Reaching Heights, and caroling with the Singers Club of Cleveland. Learn more about Coventry PEACE Campus at www.coventrypeacecampus.org.

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Volume 15, Issue 1, Posted 11:18 AM, 01.03.2022

Elégie presents free holiday concert Dec. 18

Elégie will present a live holiday concert at the Wiley building (2155 Miramar Blvd., University Heights) on Saturday, Dec. 18, at 7:30 p.m.

Founded in 2014, the male vocal quartet comprises four classically trained soloists and professional musicians who are Heights High alumni. Michael Hives (second from left in the photo) and Caleb Wright (at far right in the photo) graduated in 2009; Brian Barron (third from left in the photo) and Mist'a Craig (at far left in the photo) graduated in 2011. All were members of the Heights Acapella Choir, Heights Singers, Heights High Barbershoppers, Heights Gospel Choir, and Heights Honors Ensemble.

They have performed at some of Cleveland's most notable venues, including Karamu House, Cain Park, Nighttown, and Jacob's Pavilion.

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Volume 14, Issue 12, Posted 7:27 AM, 12.02.2021

LEI creates communities in Cleveland Heights

Lake Erie Ink (LEI) believes it takes a community to foster a lifelong love of creative expression. This fall, as LEI cautiously restarted its programming for youth, the Cleveland Heights-based organization took steps to increase its community presence. LEI currently is partnering with more than 29 different community organizations, and is becoming involved with a total of 36 outreach and community programs, including local schools and libraries, and larger programs, such as the Maltz Museum’s “Stop the Hate” competition.

LEI hopes to continue this partnership trend by expanding relationships with other organizations to provide opportunities for creative expression and academic support for young people who may not otherwise have those opportunities.

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Volume 14, Issue 12, Posted 7:24 AM, 12.02.2021

Holiday shop at Heights Arts opens Nov. 5

Heights Arts will open its annual Holiday Store on Friday, Nov. 5.

Each year, as the holiday season nears, Heights Arts expands its Lee Road shop to fill its entire gallery space. Giving a gift from Heights Arts also gives back: Every gift purchased at the local arts’ hub helps support both the artist who created it, and the nonprofit Heights Arts.

Among the artists and items featured this holiday season are lithographic prints by Maggie Denk-Leigh, fine jewelry by Emily Joyce, prints on metal by Abby Star, hand-blown glass by Mark Sudduth, creative cards by Katie Ford, cyanotype prints by Paula Zinsmeister, wheel-thrown bowls by Marty Resnick, oil paintings by J. Allon Hall, and unique ceramic sculptures by Mark Yasenchack. 

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Volume 14, Issue 11, Posted 10:24 AM, 10.29.2021

UH Fall Fest returns on Oct. 10

University Heights Fall Fest, first held in 2019, returns to Walter Stinson Community Park on Sunday, Oct. 10, from 1 to 5 p.m.

The event will feature more than 50 artists and vendors from across Northeast Ohio, activities for the kids, circus performers, and a concert from '80s dance band Back 2 The Future. (And with the Cleveland Browns kicking off at 4:05 p.m. on Sunday, vs. the Los Angeles Chargers, one can attend all of Fall Fest and be back in plenty of time for the second half of the game.)

“Fall Fest is another way we are building a sense of community here in University Heights,” said Mayor Michael Dylan Brennan.

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Volume 14, Issue 11, Posted 11:07 AM, 10.05.2021

New book recounts Heights girls’ wild quest to meet the Beatles

Cleveland Heights was at the center of one of the most unusual Beatles fan stories ever, although few people remember it today.

In September 1964, two 16-year-old Heights girls became international news for weeks when they ran away to London, England, in search of the Beatles. Eventually apprehended and returned for a public punishment, they never spoke of their adventure again. Until now.

Janice Mitchell tells her story in a new book, My Ticket to Ride: How I Ran Away to England to Meet the Beatles and Got Rock and Roll Banned in Cleveland. It’s a vivid, firsthand account of the early days of Beatlemania.

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Volume 14, Issue 10, Posted 12:25 PM, 10.01.2021

Heights Arts' next Haiku Hike is Oct. 30

Enjoying nature in all forms became especially popular during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, with folks getting out for walks, hikes and bike rides, even in the cold of winter.

To celebrate all that nature has to offer, Heights Arts now offers Haiku Hikes, led by Ray McNiece, Cleveland Heights poet laureate and Cleveland Arts Prize winner.

The art of haiku poetry dates back to ancient Japanese culture, where poems were written in three sentences, with five syllables in the first line, seven in the second, and five in the third.

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Volume 14, Issue 10, Posted 11:15 AM, 10.01.2021

Baldwin Wallace students find new venue at Beaumont

For more than a decade, Nighttown in Cleveland Heights was an important resource for Baldwin Wallace University’s (BW) music theater program, giving students the opportunity to perform in a nightclub setting similar to what they would experience as working artists.

When Nighttown closed last year, it looked as though these budding theater professionals might lose the opportunity to hone this aspect of their performance skills; but, luckily, those students have found a new venue at Beaumont School.

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Volume 14, Issue 10, Posted 11:14 AM, 10.01.2021

Lake Erie Ink hosts Sept. 25 comics fest, and weekly workshop

Is there an educational value to comic books? Lake Erie Ink thinks so. The Cleveland Heights-based writing space for youth has been working with aspiring comic book writers and illustrators for more than 10 years. This fall, Lake Erie Ink is running a Mini-Comics Fest on Sept. 25, as well as a weekly series of comic design workshops. 

While typically focused on other forms of writing, Lake Erie Ink has found that comic design is an educational, as well as popular, method of supporting creative expression and inspiring new narrative forms among youth.

When Lake Erie Ink started running its yearly spring Kids Comic Con (a convention focused on comic books and related forms of pop culture), the event’s overwhelming success led to an increased demand for comic-related programs.

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Volume 14, Issue 10, Posted 10:11 AM, 09.21.2021

Artist installs new mural at Coventry PEACE

Artist WRDSMTH has installed a mural on the Coventry PEACE Campus building, near the Lake Erie Ink entrance, as part of the “How Do I Love Thee" tour, hosted and produced by Graffiti HeArt. The tour is a series of 17 murals gifted by the artist to various spaces, walls and organizations installed throughout Cleveland, Lakewood and Cleveland Heights in August. All of the murals are in WRDSMTH’s signature style of typewriters with inspirational quotes. Learn more about the tour at www.graffitiheart.org.

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Volume 14, Issue 9, Posted 8:37 AM, 09.06.2021

Musicologie adds early childhood classes

Musicologie, a community music school owned and operated by Pat and Kevin Richards, will bring Musicologie Junior to their Cleveland Heights school this September.

This new, early-childhood music class for kids and their caregivers develops young minds through music using a research-based proprietary curriculum.

“Each class,” said Pat Richards, “is an action-packed musical journey that instills passion and excitement for music.” The program incorporates singing, melody, rhythm and movement to engage children and reinforce their natural musical instincts.

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Volume 14, Issue 9, Posted 8:24 AM, 09.03.2021

Heights Music Hop is Sept. 18

The eighth annual Heights Music Hop, a celebration of a diverse community through music, returns on Saturday, Sept. 18, from 5 to 11 p.m. This free music festival features a stellar lineup of artists on three outdoor community stages in the Cedar Lee Business District of Cleveland Heights.

The University Heights Symphonic Band, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary, will open the festival at 5 p.m. on the Flaherty & Collins ~ City Architecture Mainstage @ Lee & Meadowbrook. The evening continues with music from acapella group Elegie (R&B, Soul, and Gospel), Ms. Reec Pearl and the Groovemasters (Jazz, Blues, and R&B), Top Hat Black (Blues and Rock), and Dan Bruce’s Beta Collective (Jazz). Apostle Jones (high-energy Rock and Soul) will cap off the evening.

The North Stage @ the Cedar Lee Mini-Park will feature performances by Jesse Jukebox (fun music for kids and adults), Kiss Me Deadly (Rock, Punk, and R&B), and OPUS 216 (classical).

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Volume 14, Issue 9, Posted 10:26 AM, 09.02.2021

Two Heights Arts shows explore print's range

When we think of art, we might think of a painting that hangs protected in a museum, or sculptures, ever-present in parks. But art comes in many forms, changing with the times. In a time like no other, to close out 2021, Heights Arts presents the Printers Select exhibition, running through Oct. 17. 

Curated by artist Liz Maugans, the show features work by six artists new to Heights Arts. They were each tasked with bringing in a second artist for the exhibition—someone who made a significant impact on their lives and studies.

The participating six artists and their six partners are Hannah Manocchio and Sampson the Artist, J. Leigh Garcia and Nina Battaglia, Orlando Caraballo and Ed Lugo, Anna Tararova and Amirah Cunningham, Shadi Ayoub and Bob Kelemen, and Omid Shekari and Kristina Paabus.

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Volume 14, Issue 9, Posted 9:56 AM, 08.31.2021

Heights Music Hop announces 2021 lineup

The eighth annual Heights Music Hop, a celebration of a diverse community through music, returns in 2021, from 5 to 11 p.m., on Saturday, Sept. 18. This free music festival features a stellar lineup of artists on three outdoor community stages in the Cedar Lee Business District of Cleveland Heights.

The University Heights Symphonic Band, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary, will open the festival at 5 p.m. on the Flaherty & Collins ~ City Architecture Mainstage @ Lee & Meadowbrook. The evening continues with music from acapella group Elegie (R&B, Soul, and Gospel); Ms. Reec Pearl and the Groovemasters (Jazz, Blues, and R&B), Top Hat Black (Blues and Rock), and Dan Bruce’s Beta Collective (Jazz). Apostle Jones (high-energy Rock and Soul) will cap off the evening.

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Volume 14, Issue 9, Posted 5:14 PM, 08.06.2021

Dobama announces reopening and expansion

Dobama Theatre will reopen on Oct. 29 with a four-show season and a new look, including an expanded staff, a relaunched board of directors, and renovated seating to allow for the best possible audience experience. Part of the reopening campaign includes a full rebranding from Agnes Studio, the theatre’s graphic design partner, coming later this year.

The theatre’s 2021–22 season opens with"Airness" by Chelsea Marcantel, a high-energy comedy about a group of competitive air guitarists who discover that they are one another’s chosen family.

Next is "Hurricane Diane" by Madeleine George, in which the Greek god Dionysus comes to Monmouth County, N.J., as a lesbian landscaper who seduces the housewives into creating more climate-friendly lawns.

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Volume 14, Issue 8, Posted 8:54 AM, 07.30.2021

Lake Erie Ink recognizes summer staff

Lake Erie Ink (LEI) is honored to have had the help of three creative individuals this summer. They are Melanie Moore, an AmeriCorps volunteer with the Greater Cleveland Neighborhood Centers Association; Sofia Ayres-Aronson, an intern for the Summer in the City program coordinated through John Carrol University’s Center for Service and Social Action; and Elana Pitts, a summer intern from Hiram Collage.

Asked why she chose to work with LEI, Ayres-Aronson cited the community, and “the atmosphere of optimism and collaboration."

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Volume 14, Issue 8, Posted 8:59 AM, 07.30.2021

Heights Arts celebrates community and reimagination

Heights Arts has been working to connect its community with the many literary, visual, craft and musical artists who make Northeast Ohio rich with creative energy. Now, as it begins its 21st year, the organization is looking ahead to future decades. Over the last year, as Heights Arts and the rest of the world waited for a return to “normal,” its board of trustees assembled a group of stakeholders, comprising board members and respected community members, to create a Reimagination Task Force.

The task force engaged a consultant to assist with the process of reaching out to supporters and community members, to help determine the direction of future programming.

With its roots in public art, Heights Arts’ first project, the Coventry PEACE Arch, still stands today in Coventry PEACE park.

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Volume 14, Issue 8, Posted 8:57 AM, 07.30.2021

Friends of Cain Park celebrates 30 years

Since 1991, Friends of Cain Park (FCP) has donated nearly $200,000 in support of artists, actors, musicians and programming at Cain Park.

This year brings a shorter season and limited seating to Cain Park’s 2021 programming. FCP members will receive early access, special seating, and reduced ticket prices to performances at the Evans Ampitheater (with some restrictions for Tri-C Jazz Fest and Multi-Music Fest). Memberships can be purchased on Cain Park’s Residents Day, June 26th: at FCP’s booth at the Cain Park Arts Festival, July 9–11, or online at www.friendsofcainpark.com.    

 “The vision of our founder, Chessie Bleick, was to raise funds and awareness of Cain Park so that everyone could enjoy our local gem,” said Molly McGuigan, president of the board of directors of FCP. “We are in full swing this year, with a new website and added membership benefits.” 

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Volume 14, Issue 7, Posted 12:13 PM, 06.21.2021

Western Reserve Chorale presents online concert June 4–6

Since last September, the Western Reserve Chorale’s (WRC) artistic director, and pianist Sara Smith, have been meeting in a large space at Church of the Saviour every Tuesday night. They are the only two in the room while all other WRC members tune in for rehearsal via Zoom.

While many music ensembles put their seasons on hiatus this past year, WRC found a way to continue to connect with one another and create music together. This effort is culminating in a virtual concert, available on YouTube June 4–6. Links for the concert can be found on the ensemble’s website, www.westernreservechorale.org.

WRC invites the community to listen to and watch its upcoming concert. “In Her Voice” celebrates the contributions of female poets, including Emily Bronte, Maya Angelou, Elizabeth Barret Browning, Sara Teasdale, and Ysaye Barnwell.

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Volume 14, Issue 7, Posted 11:45 AM, 06.02.2021

Heights Arts presents 'Random Acts of Art'

Heights Arts is proud to announce the return of its Random Acts of Art LIVE! music program for this summer and fall. The concert series was born during the pandemic, when local musicians found that their usually steady summer work was no longer available due to the shutdown of many, if not all, performance opportunities. Concerts went virtual, and artists were inspired to write and create new music addressing current issues and challenges. The Random Acts of Art LIVE! series allowed for continued live performances, bringing friends and neighbors together, while remaining socially distanced.

"There is something magical about hyper-local pop-up events like this, especially after some of the isolation we felt in the last year,” said Arleigh Savage, music coordinator at Heights Arts. “I always witness spontaneous conversation and excitement shared with listeners at these concerts, with everyone walking away feeling energized with the connection the event fosters."

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Volume 14, Issue 6, Posted 12:02 PM, 05.27.2021

Dobama releases anti-racism policy in new document

In 2019, Dobama Theatre was recognized for its efforts toward equity, diversity, and inclusion with the Kathryn V. Lamkey Award. On March 8, Dobama’s Board of Directors renewed the theater’s commitment [to those principles] when it unanimously adopted its Love and Respect document. In a statement, the Dobama Theatre team noted it was “continuing to learn about each other's life experiences, engaging with and supporting colleagues, and challenging injustice when we encounter it will help us create the community we seek."

The living document is a plan for anti-racist action, and building a culture of authentic inclusivity at Dobama Theatre, focusing on the intersections of race with sexuality, gender, disability, religion, and other oppressed identities.

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Volume 14, Issue 6, Posted 11:59 AM, 05.27.2021

LEI offers in-person and virtual camps

As Lake Erie Ink (LEI) prepares for the start of in-person creative expression camps this summer, one cannot help but reflect back to last summer, when the idea of meeting in a physical space seemed impossible.

The story of LEI this past year is one of difficulty, as the entire organization scrambled to find ways to adapt.

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Volume 14, Issue 6, Posted 11:56 AM, 05.27.2021

Student interns curate 'Innate Environments'

Heights Arts is known for celebrating art in many forms at its longstanding Cleveland Heights gallery. That especially includes up-and-coming artists. This spring, Heights Arts presents Innate Environments, and a Spotlight showcase, both celebrating new talent. The concurrent exhibitions run Friday, May 21, through Sunday, June 13, at Heights Arts gallery, 2175 Lee Road.

Heights Arts interns Zelda Thayer-Hansen and Eryn Lawsonn curated Innate Environments. They created a show that acknowledges nature in its unsightly truths and inherent beauty, all while evaluating humanity’s existence within the natural world, through photography, graphic design, and mixed media. The two interns share the Spotlight showcase adjacent to the exhibition.

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Volume 14, Issue 5, Posted 11:06 AM, 04.30.2021

CH sculpture garden reopens for annual tour

For 12 years, Cleveland Heights artist Fred Gearhart has opened his studio and sculpture garden to visitors. Cancelled last year due to the coronavirus shutdown, the annual event returns on Saturday, May 29, and Sunday, May 30, 1–7 p.m. This show attracts many Heights residents, as well as visitors from throughout the region, and is intended to provide enjoyment and respite on the Memorial Day weekend.

Gearhart has been a productive sculptor, working for 36 years in his home studio at 1609 Rydalmount Road. Because he works mostly in stone, the studio area is outdoors. Many finished pieces are on display on the property, ranging from fist-sized to 10 feet tall.

Subject matter includes figures and faces, abstract art, and functional work, such as fountains, birdbaths and bud vases. Some pieces are memory pieces about his life.

“Many people enjoy the humorous stone faces,” said Gearhart. “Browsers are welcome. I want my friends and neighbors to enjoy seeing what I make.”

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Volume 14, Issue 5, Posted 11:04 AM, 04.30.2021

Novel celebrates LGBTQ+ life and Coventry's unique culture

Award-winning author Doug Henderson has had a long-term love affair with Coventry Road. It’s the setting of his forthcoming novel, The Cleveland Heights LGBTQ Sci-Fi and Fantasy Role Playing Club, which focuses on a group of, in his words, “D-list gays,” who haven’t been well represented in modern fiction. These are characters who, Henderson notes, deserve acknowledgement, recognition and inclusion in the larger sphere of LGBTQ+ life and culture.

Why Coventry? Why Cleveland Heights?

Henderson recalls the first time he visited Coventry in its 1990s heyday, and the “vibe” about the neighborhood, which “bubbled up” as he explored its bustling shops and services. “I knew I would write about it someday,” he said. “The novel is a love letter to Cleveland. Every time we visited family, I would return to Coventry to refresh my memory, see the changes, see what stayed the same.”

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Volume 14, Issue 4, Posted 9:55 AM, 03.31.2021

CAEP offers guide to nearby arts programs

Those seeking art experiences nearby need look no further than Cleveland Arts Education Consortium’s (CAEC) Ready To Go Arts Programs booklets. Two distinct volumes are regularly reviewed and updated twice a year. January 2021 editions—one for online programs, the other in-person—are available to download from CAEC at https://class.csuohio.edu/caec/caec.

All kinds of activities and resources, for all ages, are offered by Heights-based consortium members, which include Ensemble Theatre, Heights Arts, Reaching Heights, and Sing and Swing Cleveland.

Those curious about music can look for Apollo’s Fire Baroque Orchestra’s Virtual Music School; City Music Cleveland Chamber Orchestra’s puppetry and live music in Daniel and the Snakeman; or Roots of American Music’s People on the Move program, which reflects on the ways that people of different races, backgrounds and cultures came to the United States and settled throughout the country.

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Volume 14, Issue 4, Posted 10:21 AM, 03.31.2021

Heights Arts celebrates Poetry Month

Poetry has a way of elevating the meaning of simple words and phrases, while simultaneously allowing readers to create their own interpretations of the art form. The nation’s first-ever youth poet laureate, Amanda Gorman, and her speech at the inauguration of President Joe Biden, reminded the nation of the power words. April is National Poetry Month, and Heights Arts will present its popular Ekphrastacy: Artists Talk and Poets Respond event in conjunction with its current group and Spotlight exhibitions.

During this program, artists talk about their inspirations and processes for the work on display, and poets respond to the work in poetry they have written, inspired by those works of art. The series title comes from the Greek word “ekphrasis,” meaning the description of a work of art produced as a vivid, dramatic, verbal description of a visual work of art, either real or imagined.

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Volume 14, Issue 4, Posted 10:20 AM, 03.31.2021

Heights Arts presents in-gallery and online programs

March at Heights Arts brings the last weeks of Posing the Question, closing March 14and the opening of its 2021 Group Show, a celebration of local artists.

Group Show opens Friday, March 19, with a public reception 5–8 p.m. RSVP for the opening by making an appointment at www.heightsarts.org. The exhibition runs through May 16.

In Group Show, five artists present work in painting, sculpture and mixed media.

Julie Friedman’s paintings take visual cues from nostalgic media images. Paula Izydorek offers abstract compositions in acrylic on birch panels. Mark Keffer’s paintings address themes of uncertainty, with forms reminiscent of circuitry. Alessandro Ravagnan presents sculptural membranes on mylar. And Dante Rodriguez creates human-animal hybrid figures in his Migrantes pieces.

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Volume 14, Issue 3, Posted 4:13 PM, 02.25.2021

Artist helps to organize annual Kids' Comic Con

Od Perry-Richardson wears many hats at Lake Erie Ink (LEI), a writing space for youth based in Cleveland Heights. The Cleveland-based artist started as an intern and worked his way up to help organize LEI’s ninth annual Kids’ Comic Con.

Perry-Richardson was an art student at the Cleveland Institute of Art when he first heard of LEI during an internship fair. LEI's booth was one of the last he visited.

“Od approached the table, and he was very excited about the idea of working with young people,” said Jill Levin, LEI's program director. “He wanted to give back.”

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Volume 14, Issue 3, Posted 4:10 PM, 02.25.2021

LEI builds community in time of isolation

In late March 2020, Lake Erie Ink (LEI) was presented with a problem: After almost a decade of providing creative expression opportunities across Greater Cleveland, a global pandemic disrupted in-person programs.

In response, LEI facilitated a new program series—Creative Community Challenges—to address the increased need for community-building and creative expression during a time of social isolation. LEI called for and gathered submissions from throughout the community, and published them in bound anthologies. To further the program's reach, LEI also worked with the Coventry Village Special Improvement District to organize a pop-up public art display, in an empty storefront window, of the writing and visual art submitted as part of the project.

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Volume 14, Issue 2, Posted 12:14 PM, 01.29.2021

Jan. 21 lecture to examine history of mass deportation

On Jan. 21, via Zoom, Claudio Saunt will give a lecture on “Indian Removal and Mass Deportation in the Modern Era.” Saunt will explore the history of Indian removal in the context of other mass deportations in the 19th and 20thcenturies.

He’ll look specifically at the U.S.-sponsored expulsion of the Indian population in the 1830s, known as the “Trail of Tears,” in which some 46,000 members of multiple Indian nations were forcibly moved from their ancestral homelands and driven westward.

This removal of entire populations created something of a model for future actions by colonial empires around the world, including the infamous deportations of World War II. Notoriously, during the Nazi conquest of Eastern Europe, Hitler equated “indigenous inhabitants,” with “Indians,” and declared, “the Volga must be our Mississippi.”

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Volume 14, Issue 2, Posted 1:33 PM, 01.14.2021

'Posing the Question' at Heights Arts

The topics of racial equality and a fight for justice dominated headlines in 2020. The issues have forced many to decide where they stand--whether they choose to stand in unity, agree to disagree, or just disagree. In the latest Heights Arts exhibition, Posing the Question, artists tackle these topics and our nation's response to them.

Featured artists are Kenneth Bernstein, Matthew Deibel, Mona Gazala, Kenn Hetzel, Scott Kraynak, Liz Maugans, and Omid Tavakoli, with an accompanying spotlight show by Helen Liggett. Their work features photography and paintings that reflect systematic racism, and manipulated photos taken during social justice protests in 2020.

Maugans’ paintings recall a time of self-reflection in 2020, when she enrolled in a social-justice class and started daily morning runs to meditate on what the classes taught her.

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Volume 14, Issue 1, Posted 10:23 AM, 12.29.2020

UH showcases 14 Heights artists

Heights Arts, the multi-disciplinary community arts organization based in Cleveland Heights, is partnering with University Hospitals (UH) to showcase Heights-area visual artists as part of its 20th-anniversary celebration of connecting the arts with community.

The exhibition, which runs through mid-February, is not the first collaboration between Heights Arts and Thomas Huck, director of the UH Fine Art program. Heights Arts frequently collaborates with organizations and community members with expertise in and passion for the arts; Huck curated the All Ohio Ceramic Invitational at Heights Arts in September 2013, which featured the work of more than 20 artists.

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Volume 13, Issue 12, Posted 11:38 AM, 12.02.2020

Celebration of Light: a P.E.A.C.E. Campus project

Coventry P.E.A.C.E. Campus (CPC) will bring the community together around the themes of light and hope during the dark days of December. Celebration of Light: a PEACE Campus Project is a collaborative effort to engage the community in art and writing projects to commemorate the end of one year and the beginning of a new one.

Starting in early December, CPC will offer several free or donation-suggested workshops throughout the month via Zoom and videos posted to its website,                                      www.coventrypeacecampus.org/celebrationoflight, and social media pages. Scheduled workshops include writing with Lake Erie Ink and art projects with Studio Cat, Living Art Origami and Art Acts Studio. A culminating event will take place on New Year’s Eve. 


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Volume 13, Issue 12, Posted 11:20 AM, 12.02.2020

LEI invites young writers to explore what's 'On the Other Side'

What's on the other side? Lake Erie Ink (LEI) is posing this question to student writers throughout Northeastern Ohio—asking them to cross over and find out. 

On the Other Side is a collection of work from students in grades 6–12. It is the fifth anthology of teen writing published by LEI, a Cleveland Heights based-creative writing nonprofit for youth. LEI will use this anthology to amplify youth voices through poetry, short stories, personal stories, and art.

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Volume 13, Issue 12, Posted 12:13 PM, 11.24.2020

Heights Arts Holiday Store opens Nov. 1

Heights Arts' 19th annual Holiday Store will open to the public on Sunday, Nov. 1. Since 2001, the store has delighted shoppers by offering truly unique gift options. This year, the Holiday Store offer more than 80 talented Northeast Ohio artists the opportunity to display and sell their work.

Heights Arts urges the community to make supporting local artists a priority this holiday season, by shopping at local arts organizations and galleries.

“This will be a critical year, not only for artists, but for Heights Arts as well," said Rachel Bernstein, Heights Arts' executive director. "The annual Holiday Store accounts for a significant portion of revenue for us. Like many arts organizations, we have suffered significant loss of visitors, contributions and revenue due to the pandemic.” 

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Volume 13, Issue 11, Posted 6:51 PM, 10.29.2020

Annual author event will be free and online

The Cleveland Heights Chapter Q of P.E.O. International hosted its first annual “Afternoon with an Author” fundraiser nine years ago. Traditionally, the event has been held at a lovely venue in the community, such as Notre Dame College or Forest Hill Presbyterian Church, but, due to COVID-19 restrictions, Chapter Q found it necessary to shift to a virtual setting. On Saturday, Nov. 14, at 1 p.m., it will present a free, virtual event with local author Eliese Colette Goldbach.

Goldbach’s book, Rust: A Memoir of Steel and Grit, was published in March 2020 and has received notable reviews. In it, she recounts her tenure as a steelworker at ArcelorMittal Cleveland, and shares her personal coming-of-age journey.

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Volume 13, Issue 11, Posted 6:46 PM, 10.29.2020

Heights High junior is newest Heights Arts intern

Each year, Heights Arts selects one Cleveland Heights High School junior intern, to join a returning senior intern, to work with its volunteer Exhibition Community Team (ECT). The team comprises community members with expertise in the visual arts. They are charged with reviewing artist submissions, connecting Heights Arts with new artists, providing assistance to hang shows, and setting up the annual Heights Arts Holiday Store in November and December.

Heights High art teachers are instrumental in identifying internship candidates. After she applied and interviewed with ECT members, Eryn Lawson was chosen from several candidates to be the 2020–22 intern.

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Volume 13, Issue 10, Posted 10:46 AM, 09.29.2020

Fields and Juaire: Independent Together

Single isn’t always better—or is it? Viewers can make that decision when they view Heights Arts’ newest exhibition, Independent Together: 30 Years of Collaboration, featuring Ray Juaire, senior exhibitions manager at the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland, and his longtime collaborator Patti Fields, head of visual art at the Ratner Montessori School. Fields and Juaire began their personal and professional relationship 30 years ago, while students at the Cleveland Institute of Art.

Fields is known primarily for her jewelry designs, and she brings a jeweler’s detail-oriented aesthetic to her larger pieces in Independent Together. Juaire brings his expertise in sculpting and painting.

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Volume 13, Issue 9, Posted 8:14 AM, 09.01.2020

Dobama offers alternatives to live theater

Dobama Theatre’s 2020–21 season will take a different shape due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While Dobama will not be able to welcome patrons into its physical space anytime soon, the theater is planning alternative programming to stay engaged with the community. Most or all of Dobama’s artistic programming this year will be available online.

Like theaters across the globe, Dobama has faced pandemic-related challenges, leading to suspended and canceled performances, as well as cuts to staff and salaries. Thanks to the generosity of Dobama’s members and donors, the theater is hopeful for another live season, to be programmed after an effective treatment or vaccine emerges.

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Volume 13, Issue 9, Posted 8:13 AM, 09.01.2020

Heights Arts showcases images of activism

Heights-area artists can always be relied upon to respond to current events, and the recent activism around Black Lives Matter and related social-justice issues has energized a number of artists to begin creating new work. Some of the most immediate responses have come in the form of digital photography shared by way of social media. 

Heights Arts staff were immediately struck by images that not only told powerful stories, but also could stand alone as visual art. Images have the power to pose questions and eloquently express things that can be hard to express in few words.

This idea has been explored previously at Heights Arts through two past exhibitions of photojournalism, where photographs that had initially been used editorially to support journalistic articles were gathered, framed, and presented at Heights Arts’ gallery. Heights Arts exhibition planners referred to these images as "stealth art"—works of art that sneak into one's consciousness under camouflage.

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Volume 13, Issue 8, Posted 10:00 AM, 07.31.2020

Heights artist explores order/disorder

In a Spotlight exhibition on view through Aug. 23, Heights Arts features the artwork of Heights native son Stephen Calhoun, a photographer, designer, painter and musician.

Calhoun describes his approach to making visual art as a "musical process." His work employs found objects, algorithms and fractals to create images that have both organic and mathematical qualities. Every form of creativity [has] something to do with the vibrations of materials,” he said. Calhoun’s creative process seeks out elements that vibrate both dissonantly and harmonically, from which he conducts and improvises the generation of his own creative image. “These steps are found in different configurations in every art form,” said Calhoun.

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Volume 13, Issue 8, Posted 10:39 AM, 07.30.2020

Ewing describes an exemplary life in new book

How does one approach a book about a Catholic priest when one is neither Catholic nor particularly spiritual? For the many people struggling with the extraordinary times in which we are living—racism, protests, unemployment, a global pandemic and the restrictions that it imposes on our daily lives—there is a book that speaks to humans of all persuasions: Lead Me, Guide Me The Life and Example of Father Dan Begin by Kathy Ewing.

Father Dan Begin was Kathy Ewing's priest and friend. Ewing was Father Dan's congregant and friend. They met when Ewing joined St. Cecilia Catholic Church in Cleveland's Mt. Pleasant neighborhood. There, Ewing found a spiritual home that was unique in many ways, not the least of which was the racial integration she found, as well as a priest who exemplified the very best that can be found in religion.

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Volume 13, Issue 8, Posted 10:37 AM, 07.30.2020