Second Annual Cleveland One World Festival Gets Bigger and Better


  • Steve Wagner
Now in its second year, the Cleveland One World Festival returns with a more ambitious program. It will again be staged at the Cultural Gardens. But this year’s event, which takes place from 1 p.m. to dusk on Saturday and Sunday, will happen over two days instead of one. “We got some momentum from last year in terms of marketing and fundraising and reaching out to artists, and we have more stages and more food,” says Festival Director James Levin, who met with reporters on the site yesterday. “Having that first one under our belt has helped. Last year, we represented 20 to 25 cultural groups. This year, it’s up to 45 to 50.” One highlight will be Opus for 1,001 Drums, a drum performance led by percussionists Jamey Haddad and Marcus Santos. It’s a 45-minute composition about Cleveland’s natural history as well as its cultural history.

This year’s festival is a Zero Waste Event, and food vendors will use compostable dishes. “We’ve taken deliberate measures to be green,” Levin says. “We’re forcing the vendors to use biodegradable table wear. We’re asking people to bring in their own water bottles.” You can also check out the latest in green technology at the Festival’s Eco World Village.
 Other performers include the Cleveland Orchestra Children’s Chorus, Israeli beatmaker Rejoicer, sitar soloist Hasu Patel with dancer Krithika Rajkumar, local blues group Blues Cartel and a slew of other acts. Historically a separate event, Ken Kovach’s International Folk Festival will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. on Saturday on the Main Stage. You can also watch or compete in an array of international sports including Futsal (street soccer), which will be played on MLK Jr. Drive, which will be closed to traffic. There will also be basketball, badminton and table tennis. For more information, go to

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