Cleveland Cultural Gardens at Maltz Museum of Jewish History September 26, 2009
Throughout October 2009, the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage celebrated our community's rich, diverse heritage with Cleveland: A Celebration of Cultures, an exhibition and festival with multicultural artifacts, native dress, a display on the Cleveland Cultural Gardens, performances, lectures, activities, food and fun.
"We're so lucky to live here, where any night of the week you can attend a lecture on neighborhoods, enjoy a musical or performance or feast on delicacies from around the world. We take it for granted, because Cleveland's diversity is a lucky fact of our lives. We're more alike than different, but each with our own traditions. We celebrate those similarities and the unique differences," says Judi Feniger, Executive Director.
An exhibit on the Cleveland Cultural Gardens, curated by the Museum and Cleveland State University, shines a proud spotlight on this treasure covering 1.5 miles in University Circle's Rockefeller Park. The Gardens were created as a lasting tribute to peace, harmony and mutual understanding. They have been the site of countless parades, weddings, musicals, dances and celebrations, and have hosted dignitaries from around the world. A renewed interest in their continued vitality has led to establishment of new gardens and revitalization of others in recent years.
The visionary behind the gardens was Leo Weidenthal, an editor of the Jewish Independent (founded by his brother, Maurice, later The Cleveland Jewish News).
Daniel Weidenthal and Dan Hanson discuss the Gardens
The Gardens began in the early 1900s as a response to the xenophobia of the times and in the aftermath of World War I; the first of the nationality gardens was the Hebrew Garden, established in 1926.
Dr. Mark Tebeau, Department of History, Cleveland State University, notes, "These Gardens reveal the history of immigration to, and migration within, the United States; stories of the major conflicts that gave shape to the century and insight into the large social, economic, political and cultural upheavals that roiled through the nation, including the Great Depression, suburbanization, the Civil Rights Movement, and the deindustrialization of America's heartland."
The Cleveland Cultural Gardens Federation had a special preview event on Saturday September 26, 2009.
Enjoy these photos and videos from the event
Paul Burik, president of the Cleveland Cultural Gardens Federation and Board Member George Terbrack
Reception before the presentations and performances
Dr. Linda Schoenberg, Bill Jones (Vice-President, Cultural Garden Federation) and Bud Weidenthal.
James Graham, Dr. Jill Mushkat and David Dusek
Daniel Weidenthal, MD
Anda Cook and husband Bill
Italian Garden representatives Gino Colage and Joyce Mariani
Cultural Garden Executive Secretary Mary Hamlin greets bagpiper Don Willis
Paul Burik and Dan Hanson with bagpiper Don Willis
Sheila Murphy Crawford and husband Bob Crawford
Ludmila Hyvnar and Fran Burik
Indian Garden representative Raj Pillai
After the opening reception, guests moved to the exhibit room where they were welcomed by Cultural Garden Federation president Paul Burik who gave a brief history of the Gardens.
Guests browsed the displays and photos
Fran Burik and Ludmila Hyvnar admire the Czech Cultural Garden display
Raj Pillai at Cleveland Indian Cultural Garden display
Sheila Murphy Crawford at Cleveland Irish Cultural Garden display
Monika Smid and George Terbrack
Several groups then performed in the main exhibit room including PIAST, Artistic Folk and Dance Ensemble featuring Asia Sycala.