A listing of a variety of free activities and resources for the Near West Side.
FREE OPENING WEEKEND PERFORMANCES (JANUARY 7 – 9): Cleveland Public Theatre is proud to offer free tickets to all opening weekend performances of Incendiaries, offered to the public as part of Cleveland Pubic Theatre’s “Road to Hope” celebration. Based on the race riots that tore through Cleveland’s east side Hough neighborhood in the late 1960s, Incendiaries delves into historical text, trial transcripts and citizen accounts to explore past conflicts between law enforcement and the communities they serve. Free tickets to opening weekend of Incendiaries (January 7—9) can be reserved by calling the CPT Box Office at 216.631.2727 x 501 or ordered online at www.cptonline.org using code “HOPE.” Tickets must be claimed by 7:15 p.m. on day of show.
THE ART HOUSE offers a FREE Family Open Studio on the Third Saturday of every month from 1-3 pm at 3119 Denison Avenue. Spend time with your family as you make individual pieces or family art works. The next workshop is January 16, when you can learn to sew a fun or scary creature with your kids. Children must be accompanied by an adult. RSVP by calling 216/398-8556 or emailing Meri at email@example.com. If you must cancel, let them know so they can make room for more artists! A suggested donation of $5.00 per group will be accepted on workshop days. For more information, visit www.arthouseinc.org or call 216/398-8556.
THE TRANSFORMER STATION’S upcoming photography exhibit “UNFIXED: The Fugitive Image” brings together objects and images that cause us to consider mortality and entropy, time and memory and the beauty of moments that can never last. “UNFIXED” will open on Friday, January 15th (and close on April 3).Transformer Station members are invited to preview the exhibition from 5 – 6 p.m. Artists Françoise and Daniel Cartier will deliver a free public lecture at 6:30 p.m on the 15th, followed by a reception. Additional Programs include Matthew Gamber Gallery Talk, Saturday, January 16th, 2 p.m.; Dr. Kate Albers Lecture, “The Ephemeral Photograph: From Salt Prints to Snapchat,” Saturday, March 12th, 2 p.m.; Tom Persinger Gallery Talk and Performance, Sunday, April 3rd, 3 p.m.
BIKE SAFETY TIPS for children include being sure they use helmets and backpacks or carriers for books and other loose items, wear light colored and close fitting clothes (to avoid being caught in moving parts), and display front and rear reflectors. For more tips, visit the National Crime Prevention Council website at www.ncpc.org
CRIME STOPPERS: To report information you know about a crime and remain anonymous please call CRIME STOPPERS at 216-252-7463. Visit the Crime Stoppers website at www.25CRIME.com to learn more about Crime Stoppers.
CUDELL IMPROVEMENT, INC. 41ST ANNUAL MEETING will be held on Saturday, January 16th at 1:30 PM. The meeting will feature a light buffet and is free of charge. Free parking at Brennan’s Banquet Center, 13000 Triskett Road. The invited keynote speaker is Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur. For more information, call 216/228-4383.
Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C®)’s COLLEGE CREDIT PLUS has been awarded a state grant to expand its reach by readying high school teachers to teach college-level courses. Tri-C will lead a consortium of community groups and Cuyahoga County school districts working on the project. College Credit Plus allows students in grades seven through twelve to simultaneously earn college and high school credits by taking college courses. Those classes can be taken on college campuses, online or at high schools. For more information, contact Tri-C Media Relations Manager John Horton at firstname.lastname@example.org or 216-987-4281.
INDIVIDUALS WHO THINK THEY HAVE BEEN A VICTIM OF HOUSING DISCRIMINATION because of their race, national origin, religion, sex, color, familial status, disability, military status, ancestry, or any other reason, can contact the Housing Research and Advocacy Center at 216/361-9240, the Ohio Civil Rights Commission at 888/278-7101 or online at www.crc.ohio.gov, or the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) at 800/669-9777 or online at www.hud.gov. For the hearing impaired, call 800/927-9275.
ATTEND FIESTA DE REYES, the Festival of the Kings, on Friday, January 8 from 6-9 pm at the Hispanic Youth Center at 3115 Scranton. Open to children 1-14 years of age. Sponsored by the City of Cleveland. Register by calling 216/664-6248.
HOLIDAY RECYCLING TIPS
- Bring broken, burned out holiday lights to the CUYAHOGA COUNTY SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT DISTRICT through January 15. The District will accept broken, burned out or tangled strings of holiday lights for recycling. Simply drop unwanted light strings, power cords and power strips in the marked box in the District’s office lobby at 4750 East 131 Street in Garfield Heights. Hours are Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. except Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. 2. BYOB (Bring Your Own Bag) During the nation’s busiest shopping season, bring your own shopping bags to reduce waste and free up your home recycling bin. Folded, reusable shopping bags also make great stocking stuffers and gift bags, too. 3. Recycle old cell phones and other electronics at retailer near you. If you are getting or gifting a new smartphone this year, drop off any old ones at any AT&T, Best Buy, Staples, Verizon or other retailer that offers in-store recycling services. 4. Recycle old holiday cards, or send them to St. Jude’s Ranch, a nonprofit home for youth that collects old holiday cards for reuse. Children at St. Jude’s earn money by creating new holiday cards from the old. Visit https://stjudesranch.org/about-us/recycled-card-program/. 5. Don’t pitch your Christmas tree – recycle it. Many cities in Cuyahoga County offer programs to turn your tree to mulch or wood chips. 6. For more information, visit http://www.cuyahogaswd.org/ or contact Cristie Snyder at (216) 443-3707 or email@example.com.
CityLIFT will provide 77 additional families with $15,000 each in down payment assistance to those who are qualified and purchasing homes in the City of Cleveland. In order to be eligible for Cleveland CityLIFT down payment assistance, the homebuyer’s household income cannot to exceed 120 percent of the area median income for Cleveland (example: family of 4 not to exceed $79,300), complete at least 8 hour homebuyer education courses, and obtain a first mortgage loan from a participating Cleveland CityLIFT lender. To check deadlines, confirm eligibility or register, interested homebuyers should call 216/458-4663 or visit www.nhscleveland.org
2016 Jones Home Model Block Program provides up to $8,000 in HOME REPAIR FUNDS to qualified homeowners for needed external repairs. Homeowners must: have proof of paid homeowners insurance policy, have at least one utility bill in homeowners name, be fully current on property taxes, have up to $4,000 of own money to include (depending on total amount of repair). Funds can be used for: a new roof, painting/siding, porch repair or rebuilding, new windows. Funds are limited. No income restrictions. Questions or want to learn more? Please Contact Kris Harsh at (216) 961-9073 x208.
YMUSIC provides a relaxed interactive learning environment for young adults and teens ages 13-21 who want to expand their musical education, explore different aspects of the music industry and network with likeminded musicians and peers. Artists are selected by a peer panel of musicians, music critics and other professionals. Selections will be based upon the materials submitted with the application, past performances, and a live call back. Application submission requirements include a 350 word essay on how music influences your life and how you may benefit from the YMusic Program. If you have no current materials posted, you may still be selected for a call back by submitting your essay and a sound clip sample. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.facebook.com/YMusicfund or http://youtu.be/tl8Jbbfm7tg. Habla espanol Arlene 216/941-9262. Due date February 5.
NEIGHBORHOOD QUALITY OF LIFE
NEIGHORHOOD CONNECTIONS offers small grants to groups of residents in Cleveland and East Cleveland to do projects that improve the quality of life in their communities. Grants range from $500 to $5,000. Grants are intended to spur small, grassroots community projects. Grants may be used for a wide variety of activities and projects, and groups are encouraged to think in new ways about what will work in their communities. The upcoming grant deadline is 5 pm on Friday, February 12, 2016. Additional funding available for arts and cultural projects thanks to the support of Cuyahoga Arts & Culture. To apply for funding logon to: http://www.neighborhoodgrants.org/category/ways-to-connect/how-to-apply/
POST SECONDARY EDUCATION
THE FREE APPLICATION FOR FEDERAL STUDENT AID (FAFSA) is used to determine the amount of money that a family is expected to contribute for post-secondary education. Federal and state grants, work study programs and loan amounts are calculated based on the Expected Family Contribution. Log onto www.fafsa.ed.gov for more information.
THE CLEVELAND TIMEBANK SKILLSHARES are designed as a way to share your knowledge, talents, skills, and expertise with the local community. Skillshares are workshops that are led by you and other people in the community about knowledge that different people want to share. Contact the Cleveland TimeBank Coordinators to start planning the place, date and other details of your skillshare. Email email@example.com or call 216/961-9073 Ext. 204.
THE OHIO EXPORT INTERNSHIP PROGRAM is looking for companies that are interested in exporting their goods or services into international markets. The Ohio Development Services Agency offers a unique opportunity to match businesses committed to exporting with college students. Highly-motivated students from 12 different Ohio universities have been selected to participate in this year’s program. The goal of the internship is to help Ohio companies focus on increasing their global exports and train students in international business. Companies are provided a 50 percent reimbursement to offset the costs of intern wages. The deadline for companies to apply is March 15. The 2016 internship program runs from May 16 through August 12. Ohio companies can apply at eip.development.ohio.gov. To learn more about the Ohio Export Internship Program, click the video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqMSCEtu3lw
- JOHN’S was one of the last stops on the Underground Railroad and has worked for social justice in the neighborhood since 1836. Today they are partnering with creative artists and neighborhood developers to become a community center for spirituality, creativity, and compassion. Tours are held the second Wednesday at 4 pm and by appointment. Second and fourth Sundays: Compline with food and fellowship begins at 5:00 p.m. at 2600 Church Avenue. Call The Rev. Dr. Patricia Hanen, Vicar of St John’s, at (216) 406-5819 or Mr. Timothy Holcomb, Development Assistant, at (216) 470-3677
STOCKYARD ANNUAL MEETING
STOCKYARD, CLARK FULTON, AND BROOKLYN CENTRE’s Annual Celebration will be held on January 28. Call 216/961-9073 for more information.
Cuyahoga County and the Cuyahoga Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Coalition are offering FREE TAX PREPARATION as part of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program. Sites include the County’s Westshore Neighborhood Family Service Center (NFSC) (9830 Lorain Ave.), at the Gordon Square Arcade (6516 Detroit Avenue) and at the Lin-Omni Center (3167 Fulton Rd.). To schedule an appointment go online to www.211oh.org or call 211/United Way. To qualify, tax-payers must have a 2015 earned income less than $53,505, and must be filing a simple return. Tax-payers should bring: Current photo I.D., Social Security cards for each adult and child on the return, W2 and 1099 income statements, child care expense statement and provider’s Tax I.D. Number, Form 1099-INT for any checking or savings accounts as well as bank account and routing numbers for direct deposit. If the taxpayer purchased health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, bring 1099 tax credit from health insurance company. Free training is available to become an IRS certified tax preparer. For more information, visit www.refundohio.org or contact Keely Andrews for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
YOUTH IN CRISIS
YOUTH AGES 17 AND UNDER who need temporary shelter or other crisis assistance can board any Greater Cleveland RTA bus or rapid train and tell the driver that he or she needs help. Drivers are trained to assist youth. Young people can also go into any Cleveland Public Library (CPL) branch and request help. The Safe Place program is a partnership among Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry and Bellefaire, as well as to RTA and CPL. If you or someone you know needs Safe Place, call the 24/7 hotline at 216/570-8010 or call LMM’s Next Step Youth Shelter at 216/941-0062.