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If a concert happens in downtown Cleveland and hardly anyone hears it, does it really happen at all? The Downtown Cleveland Alliance has announced a photo contest that is sure to gather evidence of the dozens of events and concerts going on downtown this summer. The Downtown Photo Challenge is open to amateurs and seeks work that reflects the “life and built environment of downtown Cleveland.” Entrants can submit up to two photos. Ten finalist photos will be shown on the Playhouse Square Theater District’s outdoor video boards throughout the month of September. Judges will also select three top photos to be recognized at this year’s Ruth Ratner Miller Awards in October. Prizes are $500, $300 and $200, plus a framed print of your photo. Register and submit online at www.downtownclevelandalliance.com/photocontest.asp. The deadline is August 15. The top three will be announced on September 5.

Not to be outdone, the Akron Art Museum has announced its own Northeast Ohio photography contest. But if the Cleveland competition leans toward the high tech — what with online submissions and the display of photos on the Playhouse Square Jumbotron — Akron is running gleefully in the other direction. The Akron contest has one defining rule: All photos must be taken with a Lomo camera. The Lomo is the plastic low-fi jobby that has achieved cult status for the often blurred and oddly distorted images it produces. To enter, submit up to three photos in any of the following five categories: Freaks and Geeks, Self-Portraiture, Landscape, Life on the Street, or People and Pop Culture. The deadline is September 30. Selected works will be shown at the museum starting October 18. Call 330.376.9186, x 230, or go to akronartmuseum.org.

Cleveland Public Theatre is taking proposals for its Little Box play-reading series, October 23 through November 2. CPT offers those whose work is selected the opportunity to stage a full reading in the James Levin Theater for one night. BYODA (bring your own director and actors). You’ll get two rehearsals before the performance and all-day use of the theater on that day. The idea is to develop new work and get feedback from audience members through book-in-hand staged readings, with little or no set and minimal lighting plot. Each team will be provided a small honorarium of $120. For application materials, e-mail bwood@cptonline.org or go to www.cptonline.org. The deadline is September 12.

More by Michael Gill

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