The hundreds of items that make up the Western Reserve Historical Society's Every Four Years: Ohio's Role in the Making of the American President, which opens Saturday, are more than just artifacts of past presidential campaigns, says chief operating officer Kermit Pike; they're "monumental [pieces of] American history."
Among the memorabilia that will fill more than 10,000 square feet of the Historical Society for the next five months are dresses worn by various First Ladies, George Washington's pistols, and part of the noose used to hang the guy who killed James Garfield. "You look back on this," offers Pike, "and you want to demand the best from our leaders."
A hefty chunk of Every Four Years focuses on the eight Ohio-born Presidents, but, says Pike, the exhibit is just as much about the election process through the years. "Some of the issues we're facing today were dealt with in the past," he says. "There are things to be learned from our history." Every Four Years is at the Western Reserve Historical Society (10825 East Boulevard) through February 27. It's open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $7.50, $5 for students; call 216-721-5722. -- Michael Gallucci
Black and White and Read
Book awards honor diversity.
Cleveland's literary roots may not run as deep into America's cultural soil as, say, New England's, but dig a little and you'll discover that our city can claim numerous unsung artists -- such as poet, philanthropist, and civic activist Edith Anisfield-Wolf. In 1935, she established the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards for socially conscious English-language works. This year's annual awards ceremony takes place on Thursday. "This is the only major book award in the nation that focuses exclusively on new works of fiction and nonfiction that attempt to narrow the gap of misunderstanding between races and cultures," explains spokeswoman Kathleen Cerveny. "These awards and what they represent are a highly visible way to demonstrate the foresight of a single individual." The awards are handed out at 5:30 p.m. at the Cleveland Museum of Art, 11150 East Boulevard. Admission is free. Call 216-861-3810 for more information. -- Chad Felton
When in Roma . . .
Mercury Lounge hosts weekly Euro-bash.
Instead of writing off the "glorified beer halls" in Cleveland's Warehouse District, Franco Bucci decided to bring a "true urban downtown theme" to Club Roma. A favorite with the city's mix of Italians, Greeks, and Russians, the weekly party turns the Mercury Lounge into a Roman cabaret, with Italian flicks on the wide-screen TV and DJ-spun contemporary ethnic dance tracks. Bucci came up with the concept after partying at Italian-themed get-togethers in Washington, D.C. "But we kinda tweak it," he explains. "We've brought a world-music event to Cleveland." Club Roma is open from 9 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. Sunday at Mercury Lounge, 1392 West 6th Street. Admission is free; call 216-566-8840. -- Cris Glaser
Philly combo Silvertide is set to drop its debut album, Show & Tell, on Tuesday. It's a disc of riff-heavy cock rock that cribs inspiration from slippery '70s rockers like AC/DC and any number of the soaked-in-sweat bands that followed. Silvertide is with Shinedown at the Odeon (1295 Old River Road) at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. Tickets are $15.50 and $17; call 216-241-5555. -- Michael Gallucci