News/Blog

The great outdoors and COVID

During all the hardships that have occurred during the past (nearly) two years of global pandemic, the Cultural Gardens were fortunate in that we could offer an outdoor escape to Northeast Ohio residents and tourists from outside the area.

We have seen an uptick in visitors who could experience our outdoor museum and learn about the cultures of the world on a tour or leisurely stroll through the gardens, or during one of our programs.

We will continue to be that oasis – among many others in Cleveland – as we carry on our outdoor events.

On Sunday, Dec. 12, for example, we hosted our first ever holiday tree lighting party. We welcomed our Cultural Garden delegates, along with the Cuyahoga Cossacks, who led us in caroling, and Recess Cleveland, an organization that works to “activate” public spaces for children and families who often do not get to make use of city parks. The group drew five neighborhood families to play games, enjoy Christmas cookies and help us decorate our tree. 

The holiday party took place at our Centennial Peace Plaza; it was a special and heart-warming way to enjoy winter, and the Cultural Gardens.

Caroling in the plaza

 

Looking forward to 2022

Change is happening in the City of Cleveland, as we kick off 2022 with a new mayor and several new City Council representatives. We at the Cultural Gardens hope to continue our strong bond with the administration and Council as we all work together to beautify and strengthen the Cultural Gardens. We also look forward to collaborating with partners to expand access to Rockefeller Park.

There are abundant reasons to be excited. First, the Gardens themselves. Several new and in-development Gardens, including the French, Pakistani, Colombian and Mexican Gardens, are working on design plans that we hope to see coming to fruition in 2022. Others are close to construction on new phases, most particularly the African American Garden. These activities will contribute to the Garden’s rich story of global cultural expression.

Secondly, the CCGF and the gardens are continuing to expand programs such as World on Stage and One World Day. World on Stage is a series of performing arts – music, dance, spoken word -at our Centennial Peace Plaza. And One World Day, our multicultural extravaganza with the Parade of Flags, a naturalization ceremony and music, dance, and ethnic food, will be even bigger than ever in 2022.

Lastly, the Gardens hope to keep building partnerships with schools and community groups so that we can share our many resources with others.

Volunteers keep the Gardens beautiful

So far in 2021, more than 200 volunteers have graced us with their hard work and willing spirit in helping with weeding, planting, raking and engaging in the many, many tasks required to carry out One World Day. We’ve had fun with them, and thrived because of them.

Each of the Cultural Gardens is sponsored by a non-profit ethnic, nationality or cultural organization and each relies on volunteers for maintenance and landscaping. So too, does the Cultural Gardens Federation, which is responsible for taking care of the Centennial Peace Plaza.

It’s hard work, so whenever a business, school, or other group offers its services to beautify our family of gardens, we welcome them with open arms. One World Day also uses dozens of volunteers for transporting attendees throughout the park on golf carts, providing information, safeguarding parking lots, managing the beer garden, and a host of other duties.

This year, groups of volunteers have come from KeyBank, Holden Forests and Gardens, Overdrive Inc.,  Case Western Reserve University, Hawken School and the Cleveland Institute of Music. Many smaller school groups and individuals came as well.  To all of them, we thank you, thank you, thank you.

If you have an interest in gardening, community service or just want to know more, please visit our volunteer page.

Liszt Concert in the Hungarian Cultural Garden

Hungarian Garden Community leaders – Carolyn and Jim Balogh,
Marika and John Megyimori, Ernie Mihaly and Elizabeth Papp Taylor

Each year the Hungarian Cultural Garden puts on a free performance featuring the music of Franz Liszt for the community.  The June 23, 2019 performance featured world-class performances and perfect weather.

Hungarian Cultural Garden president Carolyn Balogh began the program with a welcome and introduced Andrea Meszaros who led the singing of the US national anthem and the Hungarian Himnusz.  

The Consul General of Hungary in Chicago, Mrs. Zita Bencsik also spoke. 

Vera Holczer-Waroquet, founder and director of the Aurora School of Music introduced the artists who performed on a grand piano in the Garden (and on violin and vocals)

See photos and videos of the entire Hungarian Garden event

Performers Francisco Fierro, Jose Ramon Garcia Perez,Carina Vincenti,
Raquel Roman Rodriguez, Vera Holczer and Brian Harper Jr.
 

This was another outstanding performance by Vera Holczer and the Aurora School of Music students and teachers. Congratulations to the Hungarian Cultural Garden for bringing this event to the community for free.

Cleveland Cultural Gardens Centennial Peace Plaza Groundbreaking Ceremony

The Cleveland Cultural Gardens Federation held a groundbreaking ceremony for a new Centennial Peace Plaza in the Cleveland Cultural Gardens on Tuesday June 11, 2019.  

CCGF President Dr. Wael Khoury told of the historic significance of the Gardens and the new Plaza. He recognized the Plaza committee, board members, delegates and donors.

Committee members Paul Burik, Berj Shakarian and Sheila Murphy Crawford spoke as did Lori Ashyk and supporters University Circle President Chris Ronayne, Councilman Kevin Conwell, Cleveland Foundation Program Director Nelson Beckford, NEORSD Specialist Crystal Davis and Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson.

They and others gathered for the ceremonial groundbreaking.

The band No Strangers Here provided entertainment and guests enjoyed a variety of ethnic foods.

See photos and videos of the Centennial Plaza Groundbreaking Ceremony

 

Groundbreaking of the Centennial Peace Plaza

Cleveland Cultural Garden Colombian Garden Project

The Ohio Colombian Foundation is a nonprofit organization founded in July 2018 for educational, charitable purposes and most importantly to keep present and alive the heritage of Colombian cultural values and traditions. They support and promote education, peace, culture and community development throughout the state of Ohio.

They have been working to create a Colombian Cultural Garden. It would be the first Hispanic heritage garden in the Cleveland Cultural Gardens chain.

Ivan Cerquera, Luz Elena Klopp and Maria Pujana made a presentation at the Cleveland Cultural Gardens Federation board meeting on January 9, 2019 describing their mission and plans.

Ivan Cerquera, Luz Elena Klopp amd Maria Pujana presenting

Ivan Cerquera, Luz Elena Klopp amd Maria Pujana presenting 

Among their points were:

  • 10.8% of Cleveland’s population is Hispanic. 3.5% in Ohio.
  • Currently there is no Colombian or Hispanic garden
  • Proposed location near Ethiopian Garden on MLK
  • 3000 square feet
  • Proposed Budget $500,000
  • Design Team – Cathy Soergel Marshall, Coordinator Associate Professor Kent State University
  • Will be a foundation for other Latin gardens and guide and support other communities to follow
  • Renderings and Architect Design planned by 8-1-19
  • Launch July 20, 2020

The Cleveland Cultural Gardens Federation board voted to approve the Ohio Colombian Foundation as community representative for the proposed Colombian Garden.


Maria Pujana, Dan Hanson, Luz Elena Klopp amd Ivan Cerquera


Maria Pujana, Dan Hanson, Luz Elena Klopp amd Ivan Cerquera


Congratulations on this important step!

December 2018: a time for celebration

Before we even reached mid-month, the Cleveland Cultural Garden Federation had great cause for celebration. On Dec. 3, the Cultural Gardens were honored by the 100 Club of the Western Reserve Historical Society at its annual gala. We were inducted into the club that honors institutions and businesses that have reached or passed their 100-year anniversaries. 

On Dec. 5, the Federation held its annual holiday party, which drew 140 attendees. Hosted by the Russian Cultural Garden, the event featured dancing by the Cleveland Ballet and the Paprika Girls and singing by the Cuyahoga Cossacks.  With a record turnout, the garden delegates and their guests enjoyed a great time and reflected on their considerable achievements in 2018.  Below, members of the Cleveland Ballet take a bow before appreciative party-goers.

Tulips in bloom in the Turkish Cultural Garden

Last fall, volunteers gathered to plant tulip bulbs in the Turkish Garden. Now their efforts have paid off.

Turkish Cultural Garden
Turkish Cultural Garden

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Though many think of the Dutch when they discuss tulips, tulips are actually native to Turkey. Tulips are the national flower of the Republic of Turkey with a history going back to its Ottoman roots. Many cultivated varieties of tulips were widely grown in Turkey long before they were brought to Holland from Turkey In the 16th Century.

Turkish Cultural Garden

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The time between 1718-1730 is called the “Tulip Era of Turkey”. It was under the reign of sultan Ahmed III and tulips became an important style of life within the arts, folklore and the daily life during this peaceful time.

The botanical name for tulips, Tulipa, is derived from the Turkish word “tulbend” or “turban”, which the flower resembles. It’s considered as the King of Bulbs.

See more of the tulips in the Turkish Cultural Garden

Cultural Gardens Past-President is Grand Marshall of St Patrick’s Day Parade

Sheila Murphy Crawford is the immediate past president of the Cleveland Cultural Gardens Federation and a delegate for the Irish Cultural Garden.

Sheila was honored to be selected as the Grand Marshall of the 2018 St Patrick’s Day Parade in Cleveland.

This video is the brief ceremony just before the Parade steps off with Sheila blowing the whistle to start the Parade.  Congratulations Sheila.

 

Sheila Murphy Crawford will also be inducted into the 2018 Class of the Cleveland International Hall of Fame on April 17, 2018.  More details on the Cleveland International Hall of Fame inductions.