Mahall’s 20 Lanes To Launch Virtual Artist Talk Series

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click to enlarge Dr. Mary Weems - Courtesy of Mahall's 20 Lanes
Courtesy of Mahall's 20 Lanes
Dr. Mary Weems
Over the past several years, Andy Schumann worked locally as what he describes as “a rogue operative,” booking indie rock concerts at various venues in town.

Earlier this year, he gave up that gig to work at Mahall’s 20 Lanes, the indie venue/bowling alley located in Lakewood. Mahall’s has hired him as an assistant talent buyer.

“I got involved in playing in playing in bands when I was in college,” says Schumann via phone. “I used to play at all these weird spots. My first show was at Super Electric’s pinball parlor in the 78th Street Studios. I hit them up at playing a show there and have had this habit of doing things like that. I had gotten into playing shows in unconventional spaces. When that wore off because it was so complicated, I started doing events that were compelling in different ways.”

After hosting a battle of the bands at Mahall’s last year, he befriended the owners and got hired as an assistant talent buy earlier this year.

Later this month, Schumann will launch a new Artist Talks series at the venue. He and Kelly Flamos, one of the venue’s owners, came up with the concept.

Teamonade’s Osi Okoro and the Katy’s Cathalyn will collaborate during an event on July 24, Malaz Elgemiabby, the Sudanese-born designer who interviewed more than 220 people to help design Ohio City's Riverview Welcome Center, is slated for July 29, Quartez Harris, writer-in-residence at Twelve Literary Arts, poet, and schoolteacher in the East Cleveland Public School system who writes on “the plight of black and brown students in urban public schools coupled with personal accounts of teaching in an urban public school district,” will team up with Raja Freeman on Aug. 8, and the indie acts Uno Lady and LaToya Kent are on the bill for Sept. 10.

Dr. Mary E. Weems, the playwright who contributed to Karamu Houses’s Freedom on Juneteenth, and Phil Metres, another PhD., will speak about “the language arts as a political act” on Sept. 25.

“Mahall's is entering the dawning of a new age, transitioning from hosting jam-packed concerts and dances to highly limited capacity workshops, discussions and performances,” says Schumann. “We wanted to find a way to have shows in the time of COVID. In the past, we wanted to pack people in like sardines. We want to turn things on their head but still be intimate without people being close to each other. We also want to take advantage of a time when national acts aren’t touring to show off local bands.”

The shows will be virtual, and audience members can purchase tickets online and tune into an intimate Zoom call featuring conversation, performance and collaboration between two artists that admire each other. Ticket proceeds will benefit the artist until they hit a specific number. The club aims to use any profit to ensure it can stay open and keep on hosting events.

“These events have the power to break down barriers of class, race, gender,” says Schumann. “It’s important to increase accessibility to world-changing stuff happening in Cleveland, and it’s important to have people of all races, mobilities, classes, sexualities and genders from the Cleveland area participating.”

Once it’s safe to do so, the club hopes to invite a live audience to the events.

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About The Author

Jeff Niesel

Jeff has been covering the Cleveland music scene for more than 20 years now. And on a regular basis, he tries to talk to whatever big acts are coming through town, too. If you're in a band that he needs to hear, email him at [email protected]
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