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Murder in the Cultural Gardens - Whodunit Mystery set in the Cleveland Cultural Gardens by Dan Hanson




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Cleveland Woman Sara Lucy Bagby
The last person returned to slavery in the US

The Underground Railroad was a network of secret routes and safe houses established in the US during the early 1800s to help slaves escape into free states and Canada. It was run by abolitionists and others sympathetic to the cause of the escapees. Ohio had many stops on the Underground Railroad and since Canada was an ultimate destination, the short distance across Lake Erie from Cleveland to Canada made the city a popular destination. Cleveland was codenamed Hope on the Underground Railroad.

Restore Cleveland Hope operates the Underground Railroad Interpretive Center in the Cozad-Bates House, the only surviving pre-Civil War building in University Circle. They offer tours and events and it was here that we learned of the story of Sara Lucy Bagby.

Sara Lucy Bagby display at Cozad-Bates House

Sara Lucy Bagby display at Cozad-Bates House


Sara Lucy Bagby was born in the early 1840s in Virginia. On October 3, 1860 Bagby fled from slavery in Wheeling. She eventually escaped slavery via the Underground Railroad and made her way to Cleveland, Ohio.

Her arrest in Cleveland on January 19, 1861 became a test case of the Fugitive Slave Act.

Wheeling resident John Goshorn and his son showed proof of ownership, and the federal court ordered her return to Virginia. Sara Lucy Bagby was the last person in the United States forced to return to slavery in the South under the Fugitive Slave Act.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer and Democrat Party of the US were both pro-slavery so despite the state government's and citizens of Cleveland's attempts to intervene, Lucy was transported back to Goshorn's property in Wheeling, then still part of Virginia.

Cleveland Plain Dealer slavery sign


After the Emancipation Proclamation, Bagby eventually resettled in Cleveland, where she died in 1906 and was buried.

In this video, Kathryn Puckett, Restore Cleveland Hope Board Chair, tells the story of Sara Lucy Bagby.



See more from the Cozad-Bates House in Cleveland


Day of the Dead (Dia de Muertos) in Cleveland

The Day of the Dead (Dia de Muertos) celebration was put on by Dia de Muertos Ohio and Cleveland Public Theatre. The Day of the Dead (Día de Muertos or Día de los Muertos) is a holiday largely developed in Mexico, where it is mostly observed, but also in other places, especially by people of Mexican heritage elsewhere. It normally takes place on All Saints Day and All Souls Day (November 1 and 2).

Patty Esparza

Patty Esparza

See more from the Day of the Dead

The Day of the Dead is celebrated with a cemetery of ofrendas (altars) on the Cleveland Public Theatre grounds.

Cleveland Day of the Dead Ofrenda (Altar)

See pictures and videos of the ofrendas

A highlight of the Day of the Dead is the Skulls and Skeletons Parade down Detroit Ave.

Watch some video highlights of the Parade.



See more pictures and video from the Skulls and Skeletons Parade

The Parade makes a few stops to visit altars like the one at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church where a mariachi band performed and there was a colorful Mexican dance.

Day of the Dead mariachi band


Photos and videos of the Mariachi Band and Dance


November is Caregiver Awareness Month

Caregiver Month

Celebrated every November, National Family Caregivers Month (NFCM) is a time to recognize and honor family caregivers across the country. It offers an opportunity to raise awareness of caregiving issues, educate communities, and increase support for caregivers.

Families are the primary source of support for older adults and people with disabilities in the U.S. Many caregivers work and also provide care, experiencing conflicts between competing responsibilities. Research indicates caregiving also takes a significant emotional, physical, and financial toll. With nearly half of all caregivers over age 50, many are vulnerable to a decline in their own health. Studies show that coordinated support services can reduce caregiver depression, anxiety, and stress, and enable them to provide care longer, which avoids or delays the need for costly institutional care.

The Alzheimer's Association has resources to help.


St. Demetrious Greek Dance Troupe

The Cleveland Cultural Gardens Federation (CCGF) hosted a Gala event Friday October 28, 2022. Members of the St. Demetrious Dance Troupe performed.

St. Demetrious Dance Troupe

St. Demetrious Dance Troupe

The goal of the dance troupe is "to preserve the rich musical and dance heritage of all the regions of Greece and the Greek diaspora by teaching our dancers the pride of performing, while also acting as ambassadors to the Greater Cleveland community."

The troupe performed dances from the Naxos, Kalymnos, Icaria and Epiros and the popular and traditional Kalamatiano Greek dance was performed as a grand finale.

Photos and videos of the St. Demetrious Greek Dancers.


Stellar Acrobatic Dancers

The Cleveland Cultural Gardens Federation (CCGF) hosted a Gala event Friday October 28, 2022.

The Stellar Acrobatic Dance Academy performed. Stellar Acrobatic Dance Academy is a non profit organization located in Cleveland, Ohio with a mission to provide an excellent cultural dance education for children. In 2015 Stellar Acrobatic Dance Academy was founded by three internationally known Chinese acrobats. They have participated in many international shows around the world.

Stellar Acrobatic Dancers at the Cultural Gardens Gala

See photos and videos of Stellar Acrobatic Dancers at the CCGF Gala


Peruvian community and Racies Danzaz Del Peru

The Cleveland Cultural Gardens Federation (CCGF) hosted a Gala event Friday October 28, 2022.

Members of the new Peruvian Cultural Garden committee were in attendance.

Peruvian Cultural Garden committee

Peruvian Cultural Garden committee


In addition, dancers from Racies Danzaz Del Peru performed.

Racies Danzaz Del Peru dancer


See photos and videos of their dances


Impressionism to Modernism: The Keithley Collection
Cleveland Museum of Art

The latest exhibit at the Cleveland Museum of Art is called Impressionism to Modernism: The Keithley Collection.

Keithley Collection Banner


This new exhibition runs from September 11, 2022 to January 8, 2023. It celebrates the extraordinary gift and promised gift of art made by Clevelanders Joseph P. and Nancy F. Keithley to the Cleveland Museum of Art. In March 2020, the Keithleys gave more than 100 works of art to the museum-the most significant gift since the bequest of Leonard C. Hanna Jr. in 1958.

It's not just a huge collection - it's very diverse and covers a lot of styles. The Keithleys' collection focuses on Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, and modern European and American paintings.

Picasso from the Keithley Collection

Picasso from the Keithley Collection

You will see works by familiar names such as Picasso, Henri Matisse and Andrew Wyeth but if you are more of an amateur like me you will be exposed to some amazing works by new (to me) artists such as Maurice Denis, Georges Braque, Joan Mitchell and others. Plan on spending some time in each of the themed rooms.

Maurice Denis painting

Maurice Denis painting

Also included in the exhibition is a selection of European and American decorative arts. The Keithleys also collected Chinese and contemporary Japanese ceramics. In the exhibition, Asian ceramics are shown alongside Western paintings and drawings. That's how the Keithleys liked to display them.

Ancient Chinese Owl shaped jars

Ancient Chinese Owl shaped jars


It wasn't all haphazard. Throughout two decades of collecting, the Keithleys selected works of art to complement and enrich the CMA's collection. At times, the Keithleys built upon a strength in the museum's collection; on other occasions, they acquired a work of art that would bring something entirely new to the collection.

See photos and take a video tour of the Keithley Collection.


Dominique Moceanu - Grand Marshal of Parade of Flags at One World Day

August 28, 2022 is the 76th One World Day in the Cleveland Cultural Gardens. A highlight of One World Day is the Parade of Flags where hundreds of marchers from dozens of heritages will march down MLK Blvd. wearing the costumes of their heritage and carrying their flags. Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb, the Cleveland Police and Fire Chiefs will march and there will be a special tribute from the Ukrainian Garden.

The big news is that Olympic Gold Medalist Dominique Moceanu will be the Grand Marshal of the parade. At the young age of 13 she became the youngest US Senior National Champion in American gymnastics history. Then, of course, she was part of the Magnificent Seven that won the gold medal for the US for the first time in 1996. She was the youngest member of the gold-medal-winning 1996 Olympics team and, in fact, she was the last gymnast to compete legally in the Olympics at the age of 14.

She has also spoken out and even testified about the abuses in gymnastics. She runs the Dominique Moceanu Gymnastics Center and Carmen's Yoga Studio. Dominque is of Romanian and Greek/Macedonian heritage and is excited to be the Grand Marshal of the Parade of Flags at One World Day. She sees it as a kind of mini Olympics Opening Ceremony.

The Parade and all of One World Day are free and open to the public. Free parking too.

Watch the video interview with Dominique Moceanu below




Mexican Fashions

The Cleveland Cultural Gardens Federation World on Stage series presented a night of music and the Ballet Folklorico Mexicano, a highly acclaimed folk dance group. This included a fashion show of dresses from different regions of Mexico. It was presented in conjunction with the Mexican Cultural Garden.

Colorful Mexican traditional dress - Mexican fashion in Cleveland


See more of the Mexican costumes


4 Cleveland Women inducted into Cleveland International Hall of Fame

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


Now my husband thinks he's a chef

Banana Bread



10 Ways to Make the Most of Your Air Fryer

Sure, air fryers achieve a satisfyingly crisp finish with just a fraction of the fat, putting a healthier spin on fried foods. But there’s another reason to love your air fryer: the mind-blowing array of exciting new dishes you can add to your everyday repertory.

Air Fryer Tips


Mianbaoxia Shrimp Toasted Sandwich and Teriyaki Beef Jerky Recipes
For your Air Fryer

Try these 2 favorites in your air fryer.

Shrimp Toast

Mianbaoxia Shrimp Toasted Sandwich


Mianbaoxia Shrimp Toasted Sandwich and Teriyaki Beef Jerky Recipes


Mary Murray McCann Memorial tribute

John McCann told some stories about his beloved late mother Mary Murray McCann who came to America alone on a ship in 1952 from Ireland. John says his mother would often state she was "Irish by birth, American by choice and Catholic by grace". That is a good framework in which to remember her life.

Mary Murray McCann

Mary Murray McCann

Read about Mary McCann


Cleveland Women and the Underground Railroad

When we think about the Underground Railroad the first name that comes to most of us is Harriet Tubman. While Tubman was exceptionally heroic, many other women played keys rolls in the efforts to help freedom seekers reach safety. In NE Ohio we have learned the names of men who were property owners, businessmen, judges, lawyers and were activists in the abolitionist movement. Most of them had wives and daughters, sisters and mothers all of whom must have been involved in UGRR efforts.

In what is now University Circle and East Cleveland families named Cozad, Ford and McIlrath owned and farmed great swaths of land, operated a gristmill, owned a brickyard and ran a tavern. We know that many freedom seekers sought food and shelter in what was then rural sparsely populated farmland, as they headed to freedom across Lake Erie.

Cozad-Bates House


In the 19th century women could not own land or vote. They lived in the legal shadow of their husbands and their lives were played out in private. But the role women played in each household was essential not only for the survival of each family but also for the secret activities of the UGRR.

Restore Cleveland Hope’s historian and Board member, Wrean Fiebig, in her tireless research has recovered the names of the women in these families who most certainly played a vital role in the UGRR. Volunteers from Restore Cleveland Hope will guide you through time and answer your questions. It is open to the public every Saturday from Noon-4 PM. No Charge, No tickets. Just come and learn about this important time in Cleveland’s history. Come in through the back door and be sure to explore the historic markers in the newly landscaped grounds around the house. More information.


Jessica Davis - Cleveland Women Entrepreneur

Rebuilders Xchange (RBX) buys and sells construction material from ordinary to extraordinary. RBX is in the St. Clair-Superior neighborhood in an organized, 50,000 sq. ft. warehouse. It may not be the first business you think of for a woman entrepreneur but it was a dream of founder Jessica Davis and she made it happen.

In this video, Jessica tells the vision behind the project - reusing and repurposing construction materials, bringing wealth to the people of the neighborhood, keeping things out of the landfills and so on. She tells what it's like being a woman in a non-traditional industry. Ron tells of the jump from pipe fitter and welder to starting 16 IT and tech companies and now back to making custom pieces and design in the Fab Lab metal and wood shop in the Rebuilder's Xchange.



See more of Jessica and RBX's story


Trucking and Human Trafficking

Victims of human trafficking find themselves forced or coerced into engaging in specific types of labor or commercial sex acts without their consent. Often, human trafficking remains a hidden crime. Victims fear their abusers as well as law enforcement and suffer such significant trauma that they struggle to reach out for help.

Human trafficking impacts people across genders, races, and ages. Anyone can be a victim of human trafficking, and all too often, that victimization occurs in the shadows. Human trafficking traps an estimated 24.9 million people–64% are exploited for labor, while sexual exploitation accounts for an estimated 19% of human trafficking.

The Lanier Law Firm has prodcued an excellent resource to explain Human Trafficking and How to Report Human Trafficking if You Think You See It.

The ClevelandWomen.com Resource Page also has information about Domestic Violence, Rape and Sexual Assault and more.


Violence at Home Signal for Help

Isolation can increase the risk of violence at home. Use this discrete gesture during a video call to show you need help:

  1. Hold hand up with palm facing other person.
  2. Tuck thumb into palm.
  3. Fold fingers down over thumb.

Violence at Home signal for help


A missing teenage girl was rescued in the US after using a hand gesture that signals distress or domestic violence to capture the attention of a passing driver. The 16-year-old was spotted travelling inside a silver Toyota near London, Kentucky, about 150 miles south-east of Louisville, on November 4th. A driver called police after noticing "a female passenger in the vehicle making hand gestures that are known on the social media platform TikTok to represent violence at home - I need help - domestic violence," the Laurel County Sheriff's Office said in a statement on 6 November.


Good idea

Sign for women in bar



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.


The Truth can Hurt

Male mannequin


Modern Wedding

Facebook wedding



Wisdom of the Chalkboard

I am woman chalkboard

Chalkboard - be who you needed


Are you a Foodie?

If so, check out a preview of the new ClevelandCooks.com

ClevelandCooks is geared toward:
  • Chefs
  • Home cooks and wannabe chefs
  • Foodies
  • People who like to dine out and try new things
  • Food industry entrepreneurs
  • And more


Cooking shows as sports



ClevelandWomen.Com Book of the Week
The Girl on the Train



The #1 New York Times Bestseller, USA Today Book of the Year, now a major motion picture starring Emily Blunt. The debut psychological thriller that will forever change the way you look at other people's lives.

Intersecting, overlapping, not-quite-what-they-seem lives. Jealousies and betrayals and wounded hearts. A haunting unease that clutches and won’t let go. All this and more helps propel Paula Hawkins’s addictive debut into a new stratum of the psychological thriller genre. At times, I couldn’t help but think: Hitchcockian. From the opening line, the reader knows what they’re in for: “She’s buried beneath a silver birch tree, down towards the old train tracks…” But Hawkins teases out the mystery with a veteran’s finesse. The “girl on the train” is Rachel, who commutes into London and back each day, rolling past the backyard of a happy-looking couple she names Jess and Jason. Then one day Rachel sees “Jess” kissing another man. The day after that, Jess goes missing. The story is told from three character’s not-to-be-trusted perspectives: Rachel, who mourns the loss of her former life with the help of canned gin and tonics; Megan (aka Jess); and Anna, Rachel’s ex-husband’s wife, who happens to be Jess/Megan’s neighbor. Rachel’s voyeuristic yearning for the seemingly idyllic life of Jess and Jason lures her closer and closer to the investigation into Jess/Megan’s disappearance, and closer to a deeper understanding of who she really is. And who she isn’t. This is a book to be devoured. -Neal Thompson

The Girl on the Train: A Novel


Free weekly eNews

Every Tuesday evening we send an e-mail message to people who are interested in upcoming (the next week) events that have an ethnic or cultural connection. So it may be Opera in the Italian Garden or Puerto Rican Day Parade or Slovenian Kurentovanje or...

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You can also sign up to receive more specific free eNews for any groups or groups you may choose (Irish, German, Polish, Chinese, etc.)

It's easy and free and will let you know every week about fun and interesting events that are coming up in the next week.


Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is a pattern of repeated physical, sexual and emotional violence and behaviors that one person in a relationship uses to exercise power and control over the other. Cleveland and Northeast Ohio have many resources for victims of domestic violence.

Main Domestic Violence Page including:

  • What is domestic violence?
  • Why do partners abuse?
  • Are you in an abusive relationship?
  • Domestic Violence Emergency Help

Domestic Violence and Children

Domestic Violence and Immigrants

Housing Protections for Victims of Domestic Violence

Civil Protection Orders for Victims of Domestic Violence


  • Cleveland Cooks Volume 2



    How about something for the Cleveland foodie on your list?







    The Cleveland Cooks Cookbooks are packed with hundreds of the best recipes from Cleveland people. Volume 1 is sold out but there are special offers for Volume 2 and 3.

    Cleveland Cooks Cookbook offer.



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