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Friday, December 6, 2019

Update: Megadeth Mascot Vic Rattlehead to Co-Host WJCU’s Cleveland Metal Holiday Show at the Beachland on Dec. 14

Posted By on Fri, Dec 6, 2019 at 10:42 AM

  • Courtesy of Bill Peters
Update: Megadeth mascot Vic Rattlehead (pictured) — a real person who lives in Parma in case you were wondering — will co-host the upcoming Cleveland Metal Holiday concert that takes place on Dec. 14 at the Beachland. Rattlehead, who doesn't speak, started appearing with Megadeth in 2010. For the benefit concert's raffle, he's put together a framed collage of photos and a quote from Megadeth's Dave Ellefson plus "a couple trinkets." He'll share MC duties with Chris Emig, the singer in the local metal band Olathia.

In addition, Olathia has recorded "We Are the Storm," an original tune about the annual event. The single will be sold exclusively at the concert.

"The Cleveland Metal Holiday Show is entering its 11th year, and the anticipation and excitement that surrounds this event is just incredible," says Olathia singer Chris Emig. "It’s become a top metal rally that benefits worthy causes, while also promoting the music scene and giving a free night of entertainment to the fans. You’ll find the venue packed with all ages, and huge amounts of generosity being shown with food, pet supplies and money donations for the causes. A few beer donations seem to get tossed my way through the night as well. We wanted to write a song about the event and to thank the people who support it and who make it happen. They come together every year, many in person and many donating from afar, but without fail they hit it hard, and their craziness and kindness carries on to make a difference! This anthem song, 'We Are The Storm,' is for them and for all who feel the excitement with engines burning while thunder strikes!"

Original Post 9/20/2019:
A terrific benefit concert that occurs during the holiday season each year, WJCU's 11th annual Cleveland Metal Holiday Show will take place on Saturday, Dec. 14 at the Beachland Ballroom and Tavern.

It’ll again feature some major metal talent.

The local glam metal act Priscilla, who had a commercial radio hit on WMMS back in 1989 with "Wake Up the Neighborhood" and had three songs chart on the popular heavy metal satellite radio station Z-Rock, will reunite to perform at the event.

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Monday, September 30, 2019

Land Acknowledgement at Convergence-Continuum Should Set Example for Cleveland

Posted By on Mon, Sep 30, 2019 at 4:23 PM

  • Sam Allard / Scene
Tremont's Convergence-Continuum Theatre this weekend staged Heirloom, a solo performance written by and starring Mike Geither, a local playwright who teaches at Cleveland State University.

Heirloom was a harrowing probe into Geither's family history of rape and incest and the bouquet of psychological effects emanating therefrom.

The play was unique not only for its content and presentation, but for its introductory remarks. A Convergence-Continuum intern, after inviting audience members to silence their electronic devices and warning them about the nature of the play's themes, concluded with what is known as a land acknowledgement. It's a formal statement that recognizes Indigenous Peoples and their stewardship of their traditional territories.

The statement read as follows:

"Lastly, we would like to acknowledge that we gather tonight on land originally stewarded by the Wyandot, Delaware, Shawnee, Ottawa, Miami, Eel River, Wea, Chippewa, Potawatomi, Kickapoo, Piankashaw, Kaskaskia, Mingo, Seneca and Ojibwa people. We honor with gratitude the land itself and the people who lived here and cared for it."

The land acknowledgement was the first Scene had heard in Cleveland. When we contacted Geither to inquire about the language, and why he chose to include it in the play's prefatory remarks, he said that land acknowledgements were commonplace in Canada and the American Northwest.

"I included this one after hearing land acknowledgements at Canadian shows and at the end of emails from Canadian colleagues," Geither wrote in an email. "I like the idea of acknowledging our indebtedness to the original stewards of the land, regardless of the show's content, but I thought it was especially important here, where I'm addressing the American genocide, albeit tangentially." 

Land acknowledgements struck us instantly as an important gesture, and one that could be (and should be) customized at other events, conferences or performances in Cleveland, home of professional sports' most garish Native American mascot.

Dr. Debbie Reese, in a popular Twitter thread earlier this year, warned against the tokenization of land acknowledgements. She encouraged those who were interested in them to do research ahead of time.

"Make it meaningful," she said. "Give your audience a task."

In other words, land acknowledgements need not only concern themselves with tribal territories. Reese recommended, among other things, directing audience members to works by Native American authors, podcasts that address Native American issues and events and programs that promote the current activities of tribes in the area. Reese also specifically referenced addressing Native mascotry. 

Despite the Cleveland Indians' gradual phase-out of Chief Wahoo, the image is still prominent across town, and prefatory land acknowledgements would be an opportunity to dispel myths about Wahoo and to discuss the negative psychological effects of native mascots on American Indian high school and college students.

Moreover, Ohio has more high schools with Native American mascots than any other state in the country, including 11 that use the racial slur also used by the Washington NFL football team. A land acknowledgement might include those statistics and offer specific strategies or contact information for the nearest schools that have yet to change their names.

Kudos to Convergence-Continuum and Mike Geither for incorporating a land acknowledgement into this weekend's production. Others should find ways to use their own platforms to both acknowledge the history and celebrate the contribution of Native Americans in the area.

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Ohio City's Market Avenue Pop-Up Pedestrian Park Closing After Three Months

Posted By on Mon, Sep 30, 2019 at 3:33 PM

  • Courtesy Kerry McCormack
The pop-up pedestrian-only park at Ohio City's Market Avenue is closing after three months – or, rather, reopening to cars.

Yes, the yard games, patio furniture and metal barriers are being packed away so cars can drive through the street starting tomorrow morning.

Reviews of the pop-up this summer have almost universally positive, with the exception of one business on the street.

Koffie Cafe owner Greg Bodnar told News 5 that his morning business has dropped by 20 to 40 percent.

“Weekends, I don't mind it being closed because the traffic is generated from all the people down here,” he said. “But weekdays, it just doesn’t make sense.”

Made possible by a collaboration between Ohio City Incorporated, councilman Kerry McCormack, the City of Cleveland, LAND Studio and other nearby businesses, it is unclear whether or not the pop-up will become a permanent fixture. However, according to Ohio City’s Twitter account, the attraction should be back next summer.

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Cedar Lee Theatre to Screen 'El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie' From Oct. 11 to Oct. 13

Posted By on Mon, Sep 30, 2019 at 2:52 PM

  • Courtesy of Cleveland Cinemas
The Cedar Lee Theatre has just announced that it’ll be the exclusive Cleveland venue for a limited theatrical run of El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie. A continuation of the AMC series Breaking Bad, the film follows Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) and chronicles what happens to him after the events of the show's series finale.

The movie will screen at 7 and 9:45 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 11, Saturday, Oct. 12 and Sunday, Oct. 13.

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Hot Chicken Takeover Announces Opening Date of Oct. 8 for Crocker Park Shop

Posted By on Mon, Sep 30, 2019 at 2:34 PM

  • Hot Chicken Takeover
Hot Chicken Takeover, the Columbus-based restaurant that specializes in Nashville hot chicken, has announced the opening day for its Crocker Park location, the first in Northeast Ohio. That date will be Tuesday, October 8.

Since launching five years ago as a weekend-only pop-up, the homegrown startup put down roots on the second floor of the North Market. They have since added outposts in Clintonville and at Easton Town Center north of town. Next up for the quickly growing brand is Greater Cleveland, specifically Crocker Park.

Beloved for its crispy fried chicken, offered in varying degrees of heat from zero to “holy,” Hot Chicken Takeover has been pursuing steady but cautious expansion.

“When it came to selecting our first site outside Columbus, Cleveland was the obvious choice for all of us,” states founder Joe DeLoss. “We’re incredibly grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the community and to deliver our mission: creating extraordinary experiences for extraordinary people.”

That “mission” also includes providing meaningful jobs, benefits and support services to people who might not find them elsewhere, including those with disabilities, criminal records, homelessness and other barriers to employment.

The Crocker Park location will open its doors to the public at 11 a.m. on
October 8. Its hours going forward will be 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., 7 days a week.

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Cleveland's Pokémon Pop-Up Bar Canceled Over Licensing Issue, Allegedly Happening Next Year Under New Name

Posted By on Mon, Sep 30, 2019 at 2:27 PM

A photo of what the Pokemon-themed burgers are supposed to look like. - PHOTO COURTESY OF THE POKEBAR
  • Photo courtesy of the Pokebar
  • A photo of what the Pokemon-themed burgers are supposed to look like.
The event-planning company Viral Ventures was supposed to bring a Pokémon-themed pop-up bar to Goldhorn Brewery in Cleveland this upcoming weekend.

"We were contacted months ago by the organizer asking if we'd be interested in having the event, so we went back and forth and arrived on a date," Goldhorn Brewery owner Rick Semersky tells Scene. "It seemed like such a cool thing."

Many of you agreed, judging by the shares and interest in our post announcing the pop-up back in June.

But, ever since it was announced and a date agreed upon, Goldhorn had heard curiously little.

A couple weeks ago, after a long stretch of zero communication, the Australian company finally got back with Goldhorn asking if they could move the event to next year.

"At that point we decided to cut ties," Semersky says. But by then many Cleveland Pokémon fans had purchased tickets for the event via Eventbrite. Cleveland's Pokebar event is not alone. Events across the country have either been canceled entirely or rescheduled. A spokesperson representing the event tells Scene there are still plans to hold the pop-up in Cleveland in early January, but now under a new name: The Monster Bar.

Viral Ventures has also recently cut ties with the event, spokesperson Terry Adams says, and it is now solely being run by Wonderland Global Events.

Turns out, neither company ever got the express permission to use the Pokémon name in its branding, which is illegal, and Nintendo took them to task. The new event website now clearly stipulates that it's "not associated with Nintendo® or its brands."

Viral Ventures is known for its wide array of pop-up style parties aimed at Millennial nostalgia. So far this year, the company has announced a Lego-themed bar pop-up and a ball pit party, along with the Pokémon pop-up in Cleveland alone.

For each event, the same format follows. Every local media outlet is blasted with a bunch of press release materials. Sometimes the event already has a date and a place, other times not. An Eventbrite page is also set up, along with a generic website that asks people to enter an email address for direct information. 

But so far, despite nearly every local news outlet (including Scene) reporting on the various announcements, no Viral Ventures event has come to fruition in Cleveland.

However, some of the scheduled events have actually occurred in other cities.

Most recently, the Pokémon pop-up was held at Boomtown Brewery in Los Angeles. But some Twitter photos share a differing, underwhelming picture from the promo materials originally provided to the media:
When reached for comment one of the Boomtown managing partners Alex Kagianaris said the company was not at liberty to speak about a third-party event, but we do know the second weekend of the event was canceled.

The Pokebar website now has no information on the Pokemon-themed plans and instead asks users to click to learn more about Monster Brunch.

Meanwhile in Cleveland, the ball pit event is officially nixed but the Brick Bar pop-up (formerly known as the Lego Bar, but changed after proper logo licensing was not granted) is still allegedly going down in April, Adams confirms.

Customers who already bought a ticket to the Goldhorn Brewery event can choose to be reimbursed through Eventbrite or hang on to their tickets for the rescheduled Monster Bar — which we can only assume will feature zany Japanese creatures and artwork completely unaffiliated with Pokémon.

"We are currently working on our processes in order to avoid this issue in the future," Adams tells Scene.

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Local UN Youth Climate Summit Rep Wants to Bring Better Version to Northeast Ohio

Posted By on Mon, Sep 30, 2019 at 12:22 PM

  • Courtesy of Elena Stachew
Elena Stachew is a 28-year-old PhD candidate at the University of Akron's Biomimicry Research & Innovation Center and a member of the Cleveland hub of the Global Shapers Community. She was one of 500 people between the ages of 18-29 selected from a pool of more than 7,000 applicants to attend the United Nations Youth Climate Summit in New York City earlier this month.

With her trip paid for by the Cleveland Office of Sustainability, Stachew departed with an optimism and fire shared by youth climate activists from around the world, many of whom have been inspired by the courageous leadership of 16-year-old Greta Thunberg. Stachew was prepared to bring her passion and expertise to the world’s leaders on one of the world’s biggest stages.

"I am beyond humbled and excited to be able to represent the Northeast Ohio region at the United Nations,” she was quoted in a press release, “and to discuss the health of our Great Lakes, the importance of ecological restoration in the era of climate change, and biomimicry as our regional asset with stakeholders and decision-makers."

But Stachew was unable to do so.

Like other youth activists who complained that the summit amounted to little more than a publicity stunt, Stachew told Scene she was disappointed with many aspects of the experience, not least what she viewed as the summit’s false advertising.

“In the invitation, we were told it would be action-oriented, intergenerational and inclusive,” she said in an interview by phone last week. “I got the sense that global leaders would finally listen to the youth who have to deal with the consequences of climate change, and our suggestions for mitigating its effects for young and vulnerable populations.”

But when she got there…

At the UN Youth Climate Summit - COURTESY OF ELENA STACHEW
  • Courtesy of Elena Stachew
  • At the UN Youth Climate Summit
“It was a lot of panel sessions,” she said. “It was a lot of material presented to us, with only snippets of time for us to ask questions and engage. I spent a lot of time being talked at in a room, and I went in with the assumption that it would be the other way around.”

Stachew stressed that it was an honor to be at the UN, and said she did appreciate some of the daylong summit’s content. She referenced, in particular, a workshop on climate finance. But even then, she said, meaningful conversation was cut short because of a time crunch and a late start.

“I’m glad I had the opportunity to meet other young leaders,” Stachew said. “And I know the UN has never done anything like this before, but the content was stuff we all already know.”

(Like other attendees, Stachew joked about the multiple sessions focused on social media strategies, things like making climate posts “go viral.” One youth representative told a reporter from Vice News, “I went into a session, and it was essentially, like, teaching us how to make an iMovie. Our generation has been doing that since we were like, what, 10?”)

But Stachew’s recognition of the summit’s flaws, including the burdensome logistics involved in entering the UN grounds, has hardened her resolve to organize something better in Northeast Ohio.

“Basically, the goal is to create the summit here that I wanted to have there,” she said.

Right now, she’s aiming for a summit in Sept. 2020, and hopes to begin reaching out to high school and college classrooms and young professionals in their 20s and 30s with the support of the Cleveland Office of Sustainability and other members of the Global Shapers hub in Cleveland.

One way that she wants to differentiate this planned summit from the UN Summit — and other summits in Cleveland, for that matter — is by ensuring that attendees have time to review preparatory materials and opportunities to engage and “define the problem” beforehand.

So many summits begin at square one, and Stachew said that if a summit spends most of its time breaking ice and setting the stage, nothing gets accomplished.

“The goal would be to really push for education, policy and legislation,” she said. “Let's not talk about what we could do. We know what we could do. We know the future that we want: more walkable, bikeable, transit-friendly neighborhoods. Clean water, Local food. We all know this. The question is, how do we do it?”

Asked what she thought the region’s most pressing climate-related issues were, Stachew mentioned insufficient stormwater systems, lack of trees, urban sprawl and public transit.

She said that young people have innovative, practical solutions to tackle many of these problems. The key for regional leaders and area organizations is listening to them.

“This could be a pie-in-the-sky idea,” she said, “but with the help of the Cleveland Hub of Global Shapers and other interested partners, I’m going to go for it.”

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