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Celebrating Cleveland's Cultural Diversity


Cleveland International Hall of Fame - What a Night!
Cleveland International Hall of Fame - What a Night!
Since 2010, the Cleveland International Hall of Fame (CIHF) has inducted people who have made significant and lasting contributions to our multicultural society. Cleveland is home to people representing about 120 different ethnic groups. The CIHF exists not only to honor those special people but also to inspire a new generation of leaders to follow in their footsteps.

Over 150 worthy candidates were nominated for both the 2020 and 2022 Classes of the Cleveland International Hall of Fame. The selection committee was advised by previously inducted members of the Cleveland International Hall of Fame.

Covid-19 forced the always sold out induction ceremonies to be cancelled in 2020 and 2021. We tried to induct the 2020 class virtually but it was not the same. So once we were able to gather together again, we included the 2020 class in the induction ceremony along with the 2022 class on June 7, 2022. The event at Windows on the River was a sell out and the 2020 class finally got their moment in the spotlight.

2022 Class of the Cleveland International Hall of Fame

2022 Class of the Cleveland International Hall of Fame

2022 Class of the Cleveland International Hall of Fame
Seated (l-r) Anda Cook, Taras Szmagala
Standing - Victor Ruiz, Carl Robson MD


2020 Class of the Cleveland International Hall of Fame

2020 Class of the Cleveland International Hall of Fame

2020 Class of the Cleveland International Hall of Fame
Seated (l-r) Margaret Lynch, May Chen, Valarie McCall
Standing Berj Shakarian, Joe Valencic, Ramesh Shah


See the entire Cleveland International Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

See pictures of many of the attendees at the event

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Bartók and Kodály Monoliths in Hungarian Garden
Bartók and Kodály Monoliths in Hungarian Garden
Two new monoliths have been added to the Hungarian Cultural Garden flanking Franz Liszt.

Franz Liszt monolith

Franz Liszt


Béla Bartók was a Hungarian composer, pianist, and ethnomusicologist. He is considered one of the most important composers of the 20th century; he and Franz Liszt are regarded as Hungary's greatest composers. Through his collection and analytical study of folk music, he was one of the founders of comparative musicology, which later became ethnomusicology.

Béla Bartók monolith

Béla Bartók


Zoltán Kodály was a Hungarian composer, ethnomusicologist, pedagogue, linguist, and philosopher. He is well known internationally as the creator of the Kodály method of music education.

Zoltán Kodály

Zoltán Kodály


You can see all three in the upper level of the Hungarian Cultural Garden on East Blvd.

Bartok, Liszt and Kodaly monoliths in Hungarian Cultural Garden

Bartok, Liszt and Kodaly monoliths in Hungarian Cultural Garden


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Estonian Victory Day
Estonian Victory Day
The Estonian Cultural Garden was dedicated June 19, 1966. Each year, the Estonian community and friends gather to celebrate Estonian Victory Day (Vőidupüha) and St John's Day (Jaanipäev).

Singing the Estonian National Anthem

Singing the Estonian National Anthem


Photos and Video of the Victory Day Event

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Juneteenth in the African American Cultural Garden
Juneteenth in the African American Cultural Garden
The annual Juneteenth celebration in the African American Cultural Garden included music, drummers, storyellers, food, resources and remarks from Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb and others.

African American Cultural Garden Table

See photos and videos of the 2022 Juneteenth Celebration

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Albanian Ambassador Faber visits the Albanian Cultural Garden
Albanian Ambassador Faber visits the Albanian Cultural Garden
Albanian Ambassador to the United States Floreta Faber was given a tour of the Albanian Cultural Garden in Cleveland Ohio by former Cleveland City Councilwoman Dona Brady and leaders of the Albanian community.

Juxhin Sazavari, Ajaz Emini, Ambassador Floreta Faber, Dona Brady and Soni Mihijat Albanian Cultural Garden

Juxhin Sazavari, Ajaz Emini, Ambassador Floreta Faber,
Dona Brady and Vilson Mihaj

She was especially impressed by the beautiful park-like setting and, of course, the Mother Teresa statue.

Photos and videos of the Ambassador at the Albanian Garden

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Quick Video Walk-through of the Albanian Cultural Garden
Quick Video Walk-through of the Albanian Cultural Garden
Here is a quick look at two of the main features of the Albanian Cultural Garden in Cleveland Ohio - the fountain and the statue of Mother Teresa. The Albanian Cultural Garden is one of about 30 in the Cleveland Cultural gardens chain. It was dedicated in 2012. This garden was created through the efforts of Cleveland City Councilwoman Dona Brady, working in conjunction with the Albanian community here and in Cleveland's sister city, Fier, in Albania. Its dedication ceremony was attended by Albanian President Bujar Nishani and the Albanian Ambassador to the United States, Gilbert Galanxhi and Fier Mayor Baftjar Zeqaj.

The first phase of the Albanian Cultural Garden features a statue of the beloved humanitarian and sister to the poor, Mother Teresa. The piece was created by noted Albanian sculptor Kreshnik Xhiku. The statue and garden dedication in 2012 also commemorated the 100th anniversary of Albanian independence.

The upper level fountain was added later. It was originally built in the 1920s and was in Cleveland's Willard Park for many years until Councilwoman Brady discovered the fountain dismantled. She saved it and donated it to the Albanian Cultural Garden.



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Mayo Society of Greater Cleveland Annual Meeting and Tea
Mayo Society of Greater Cleveland Annual Meeting and Tea
The Mayo Society of Greater Cleveland was founded in 2004 as a not-for-profit corporation to provide a forum for information and activities of interest to individuals of Irish descent particularly those with ancestral ties to County Mayo. The annual meeting was held at John Carroll University.

Mayo Society President Gerry Quinn announced that Mike Gibbons would be the 2022 Mayo Person of the Year at the Mayo Ball in September. Ambassador Ed Crawford also spoke.

Gerry and Nellie Quinn and Mike and Diane Gibbons

Gerry and Nellie Quinn and Mike and Diane Gibbons

The Murphy Irish Dancers performed.

Murphy Irish Dancers

Murphy Irish Dancers


See photos and video of the Mayo Tea

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US Senator Rob Portman speaks to Ohio Nationality Leaders about Ukraine
US Senator Rob Portman speaks to Ohio Nationality Leaders about Ukraine
US Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) is without a doubt the most knowledgeable and active US politician regarding Ukraine, Russia, the Baltics and the rest of Eastern Europe. He is a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Co-chair of the Senate Ukraine Caucus. He has made several trips to the region, well before and since the Putin invasion. His weekly reports on the Senate floor has helped keep the dire situation in the news. He recently returned from a Congressional Delegation trip to Europe where he visited England, Germany, Romania, Moldova and Ukraine.

The Senator held a call on Friday June 3 with various Nationalities communities and discussed his recent trip and his continued efforts to provide assistance to Ukraine to aid their fight to defeat Russian aggression.

Senator Rob Portman at the Ukraine border

Senator Rob Portman at the Ukraine border

Callers included Marta Kelleher, president of the United Ukrainian Organizations of Ohio, who worried taht "It's not on the front page anymore."

A call came in from Andrew Futey, Honorary Consul of Ukraine for Ohio and Kentucky and appointed by the Foreign Minister of Ukraine. Andy called in from Kiev Ukraine. He told of the Russian missile strikes taking place forcing them to seek cover. He said there is a long way to go with no end in sight.

There will be a fundraiser for Ukraine in Cleveland at Severance Hall on June 25 and Senator Portman will be there. More details to come.

More from Senator Portman's call

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Pakistan Cultural Garden Groundbreaking
Pakistan Cultural Garden Groundbreaking
Cleveland's Pakistani community came out for the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Pakistan Cultural Garden.

Groundbreaking of Pakistan Cultural Garden

Masroor Malik and
the Hon. Tariq Karim, Consul General of Pakistan from Chicago


Groundbreaking of Pakistan Cultural Garden


See photos and video of the Pakistan Garden Groundbreaking

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Cleveland Asian Festival 2022
Cleveland Asian Festival 2022
The annual Cleveland Asian Festival was back live after being virtual during Covid and over 30,000 people came to AsiaTown to enjoy it.

The Cleveland Asian Festival (CAF) is a grassroots festival that highlights Cleveland's AsiaTown, Diversity, and Asian Culture in Northeast Ohio. It was organized in 2010 by volunteer community leaders to celebrate Cleveland's diversity and Asian Pacific American Heritage month (May).

CAF Volunteer with book


The mission of CAF has remained the same over the years:
  • Strengthening the identity of AsiaTown and supporting its economic growth
  • Educating and promoting Asian culture and traditions
  • Celebrating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and Cleveland's Diversity
  • Uniting Cleveland's Asian Community

See photos and videos from the 2022 Cleveland Asian Festival.

CAF Co-founder Lisa Wong and friend

CAF Co-founder Lisa Wong and friend


Don't miss the Cleveland Asian Festival Photo Page too

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Grand opening of HOLA Hispanic Community Center
Grand opening of HOLA Hispanic Community Center
HOLA Ohio is a 501c3 Latino organization based in Painesville with a mission to empower the Latino community by creating opportunities through education, outreach, leadership development and economic advancement. In 2016 HOLA embarked on a project to develop a Hispanic community center to meet the demands of the growing Latino community and demand for its services. On May 5, 2022 the HOLA Hispanic Community Center had its grand opening.

Tania Daniela Nicasio

12 year old Tania Daniela Nicasio led the national anthem.


See photos and videos of the HOLA Grand Opening

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Los Jilgueros de Altamira and HOLA Folkloric Dancers
Los Jilgueros de Altamira and HOLA Folkloric Dancers at HOLA grand opening
After the HOLA Hispanic community center ribbon cutting, the festivities continued with delicious food and performances. Los Jilgueros de Altamira celebrates the enduring folk music of the Mexican Huasteca region identified by its indigenous inhabitants, the Husatecs.

Los Jilgueros de Altamira

Los Jilgueros de Altamira


In addition, the HOLA Folkloric Dancers performed. The HOLA Folkloric Dancers were started by Salome Espinoza and his wife Rosario when they were teens in their home city of Leon, Guanajuato Mexico.

HOLA Folkloric Dancers

HOLA Folkloric Dancers


See photos and videos of the music and dance

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Polish Constitution Day Parade
Polish Constitution Day Parade
The Polish Constitution of May 3, 1791 was the first constitution to follow the 1788 ratification of the United States Constitution. May 3 was restored as an official Polish holiday in April 1990, after the fall of communism. It is celebrated in Cleveland with events including a ceremony at the Polish American Cultural Center in Cleveland's historic Slavic Village neighborhood and this parade down Ridge Road in Parma.

Rev. Eric Orzech and Bruce Kalinowski

Rev. Eric Orzech and Bruce Kalinowski

Polish Constitution Day Parade in Parma Ohio 2022

Pictures and videos of the Polish Constitution Day Parade

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Polish Constitution Day Festival
Polish Constitution Day Festival
The Polish American Congress - Ohio Division, in collaboration with Polish Village Parma, hosted Polish Constitution Day to commemorate the signing of Europe's first democratic constitution. Before and after the Parade there was a celebration of Polish culture featuring music, food and camaraderie.


Polish Genealogical Society

Polish Genealogical Society at the Festival


Pictures and videos of the Polish Festival

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Cleveland Council on World Affairs honored
Cleveland Council on World Affairs
The Rotary Club of Cleveland's International Service Award was presented to the Cleveland Council on World Affairs on April 21, 2022. This award celebrates Rotary International's vision of a "world where people unite and take action to create lasting change - across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves." It was presented to an organization that was founded in 1923 to promote world peace.

Ingrida Bublys, Yunus Badat and Carina Van Vliet with award

Cleveland Rotary's Ingrida Bublys and Yunus Badat
with CCWA CEO Carina Van Vliet


Photos and videos of Cleveland Rotary honoring the Cleveland Council on World Affairs

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Fun with Maps - Kaliningrad aka Königsberg
Fun with Maps - Kaliningrad aka Königsberg
This episode of Fun with Maps takes a look at a very strategic piece of land called Königsberg or Kaliningrad. Kaliningrad is actually a city in the administrative center of Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave between Poland and Lithuania on the Baltic Sea. Remember that an enclave is a piece of land that is totally surrounded by a foreign territory. An exclave is a piece of land that is politically attached to a larger piece but not physically having the same borders with it because of surrounding foreign territory. Many entities are both enclaves and exclaves. Kaliningrad is an exclave because while politically attached to Russia it is bordered by Poland and Lithuania and the Baltic Sea.

An oblast is a political and administrative division of a country. Oblast is a term used by many former Soviet countries that is something like states or provinces.

So how did Russia get territory to the west of Lithuania and north of Poland? It's a long story starting with Prussia. For much of the last 700 years or so this land was Königsberg, an historic Prussian city that then became German. As you will see, Germany was forced to give up huge patches of its conquered land at the end of WWII. In 1945 the Potsdam Agreement was signed by the USSR, Britain and the USA. It specifically gave Kaliningrad (known as the German Königsberg at the time) to Russia, without opposition. As you can tell from the map, it's very important as Russia's Baltic Navy base. It was also a center of knowledge and culture with people such as Immanuel Kant, Leonard Euler, Christian Goldbach and others there.



More Fun with Maps episodes

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Friendship Foundation scholarships in Vietnam
Friendship Foundation scholarships in Vietnam
The Friendship Foundation of American Vietnamese is a Cleveland Ohio based non-profit with the mission "to build bridges of friendship between the people of Vietnam and people of other countries."The Friendship Foundation has built schools and orphanages and assisted in many other ways in their numerous trips back to Vietnam and in fundraising and leadership from Cleveland. Their most recent achievement was helping orphans and needy children with scholarships.

Friendship Foundation Scholarship Graduation

Graduation


See more of the Friendship Foundation's work in Vietnam

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Fun with Maps - Ukraine
Fun with Maps - Ukraine
We had always planned on doing a Fun with Maps episode about Ukraine but due to the tragic current situation we moved it up in order. People are understandably very curious to know more about the country of Ukraine. And yes it is a country. It is not THE Ukraine; it is the country of Ukraine. Using the term THE Ukraine makes it sound like a region of another country as opposed to a sovereign nation.

Ukraine is the second-largest country by area in Europe after Russia, which it borders to the east and north-east. Ukraine also shares borders with Belarus to the north; Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary to the west; Romania and Moldova to the south; and has a coastline along the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea. It spans an area of 233,062 sq. miles with a population of 43.6 million. That makes it the eighth-most populous country in Europe.

We briefly talk about the history of Ukraine including the tragedy at Chernobyl and the Holodomor. We also touch on the great writer Lesya Ukrainka and pysanky Easter eggs.



More Fun with Maps episodes

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Italian Heritage in Cleveland
Italian Heritage in Cleveland
Italian immigrants and Italian Americans have played an important part in the history and growth of Cleveland. This is on display at the Italian Museum of Cleveland located in the Little Italy neighborhood of Cleveland.

In this video, Pamela Dorazio Dean, Director of the museum, led Dan Hanson on a quick tour of some of the Museum's displays and told the story of the Italians coming to Cleveland and helping build it and make it grow. The first wave of immigrants settled in what was called Big Italy but later moved to several neighborhoods in both the west and east sides including, of course, Little Italy.

Pamela told how many of the immigrants were skilled stone carvers and how they played an important role in the creation of the huge Guardians statues which became the inspiration for the Cleveland baseball team's name change from Indians to Guardians. The Feast of the Assumption and Columbus Day Parade were discussed and Pamela shared the history of how Columbus Day came to be celebrated. It resulted from the largest lynching in US history when 11 Italian immigrants were lynched in New Orleans in 1891. Pamela stressed that Columbus Day is mostly a celebration of Italian heritage.

The museum is free to visit and details can be found at www.iamcle.org.



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A different kind of Fun with Maps
A different kind of Fun with Maps
Each year when the Cleveland Cultural Gardens Federation hosts the annual One World Day in the Cleveland Cultural Gardens, ClevelandPeople.com makes sure everyone has fun with maps.

The ClevelandPeople.com booth had large 5' x 7' maps of Asia, Europe, Africa, South America, North America and the Middle East. Visitors placed a colorful dot on the map where there ancestors (or they) came from. At the end of the day almost 80 different countries were represented and various areas within countries. A real display of Cleveland's diversity. Here is a sample.

Girl pointing at ClevelandPeople.com map of Asia

Boy pointing at ClevelandPeople.com map of Jordan

TV anchor Chris Tanaka points to Japan


See more people having fun with maps

See Fun with Maps Videos

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Fun with Maps - Lesotho
Fun with Maps - Lesotho
There are only 3 enclaved countries in the world. By enclaved we mean an independent country whose territory is completely surrounded by the territory of one other country. In Lesotho's case, it is within South Africa.

Lesotho is a unique and interesting country and the map really defines it. Did you know that the country of Wakanda in the Marvel superhero movie Black Panther was inspired by Lesotho? There's lots more interesting items about Lesotho. Keep having Fun with Maps.



See more Fun with Maps Episodes

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Fun with Maps - Afghanistan and other "-Stan" Countries
Fun with Maps - Afghanistan and other "-Stan" Countries
We have always planned on doing a Fun with Maps episode on one or more of the "Stan" countries. Just not yet. Unfortunately, the news has made me change the schedule and focus on the map of a very troubled place - Afghanistan.

This episode looks at the group of seven countries known as the "Stan" countries in the heart of Central and South Asia. Then we drill down more into the map of Afghanistan, its capital Kabul and more.



See more Fun with Maps Episodes

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Murder in the Cultural Gardens
Murder in the Cultural Gardens
"It just didn't seem right to DJ. A body found bludgeoned in a place known for "Peace through Mutual Understanding." But there she was, crumpled behind a bust of composer Franz Liszt in the Hungarian Cultural Garden. He pulled out his cell phone and dialed 911. "What is the nature of your emergency?" the dispatcher queried. With a suddenly very dry mouth DJ managed to get out, "There's been a murder in the Cultural Gardens."

That's the beginning of the recently published first novel by Dan Hanson.

Murder in the Cultural Gardens book cover - Franz Liszt statue


The whodunit, titled Murder in the Cultural Gardens, takes place in the Cleveland Cultural Gardens and all 30+ gardens are featured during the mystery. You may even recognize some of the characters.



Click the link above to learn more or to purchase in paperback or Kindle version from Amazon. Or contact Dan via the Murder in the Cultural Gardens webpage to have a signed book delivered.

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Cleveland's Ethnic Diversity on Display
Cleveland's Ethnic Diversity on Display
Cleveland is a diverse city with about 120 distinct ethnic heritages represented. We at ClevelandPeople.com and the Cleveland International Hall of Fame believe that this ethnic diversity makes us a much richer city and that we should all celebrate this fact.

We asked people from various ethnic groups to create a tile representing their heritage. These 3 quilts are a product of that effort. We hope that other ethnic groups will want to add their own tile to these patchworks showcasing our ethnic diversity.

Cleveland ethnic diversity quilts

The quilts are available for loan to ethnic museums and organizations and for special events. See more about the ethnic heritage display

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Welcome to Cleveland
Welcome to Cleveland



Members of the Stabrova Youth Ballet
welcome you to Cleveland


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We Pray the Rosary - Living Rosary DVD
We Pray the Rosary - Living Rosary DVD
Hail Mary, Full of Grace…

This DVD is a Living Rosary in the sense that over 200 people participated in saying a prayer. 3 bishops, numerous priests and sisters and a variety of lay people all said a prayer (Creed, Our Father, Hail Mary or Glory Be) that when put together combine to form the complete Rosary.

We hope that you will pray along with the diverse group of people on this DVD. They are young and old, different races and ethnicities, in Church and outside, alone and in groups. The prayers are said in English, but occasionally there is a prayer in another language. You may not know the language but will understand, and be able to pray along, because of the context.

  1. American Sign Language
  2. English
  3. Gaelic
  4. German
  5. Hindi
  6. Italian
  7. Konkani
  8. Korean
  9. Lebanese
  10. Polish
  11. Portuguese
  12. Slovenian
  13. Spanish
  14. Swahili

Lourdes Shrine in Cleveland


More about the We Pray the Rosary DVD

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Submit Your Group's Event

If you want your group's events listed in our Calendar, please send an e-mail to events@clevelandpeople.com with the details. Please allow at least 2 weeks lead time.

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On-line store for browsing and shopping

Do you need a Hungarian Flag? A shirt that says "I love Slovenian girls"? How about a sign that says No Parking except for Irish Grandmother?

These and hundreds of other items for your particular ethnic group are available for browsing at our on-line store. It's safe, fast, easy and fun. And there is a wide selection you will never find in the stores!

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Murder in the Cultural Gardens
Whodunit Mystery
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