Have you visited Cleveland's Cultural Gardens? It's a beautiful place to visit any day of the year, but Sunday, August 28th would be especially auspicious, during the 76th Annual One World Day, a celebration of the vast cultural heritage of Cleveland and the ethnicities represented by its citizens.
ABOUT ONE WORLD DAY
The Cleveland Cultural Gardens Foundation has scheduled a day of free events at the Cleveland Cultural Gardens on East Blvd. and Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive. Over 30 unique gardens range across the city’s 254-acre Rockefeller Park, representing the diverse ethnic backgrounds of Clevelanders. More than 80 statues and inscriptions throughout the gardens depict significant figures in the world’s cultural history, representing artists, writers, composers, philosophers, peacemakers, saints and scientists.
Events run from 11am-6pm, beginning with two annual traditions:
The rest of the day will be full of live music, dance, storytelling, acrobatics, and much more, at virtually every garden in the park. Here's a full description of the day's events
Everything is free: Free admission. Free entertainment. Free parking. Free shuttle buses from parking lot to the gardens. Free busses will circle the grounds and helpful volunteers in golf carts will be on the lookout for those needing assistance.
ABOUT THE GARDENS
The Cleveland Cultural Gardens are a major part of the city’s 254-acre Rockefeller Park, a tranquil green parkway spanning two miles between University Circle, Cleveland’s renowned arts and cultural center, and Lake Erie. The land was donated to the city by oil magnate and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller in 1896 as a part of the celebration of Cleveland’s first centennial. The park was designed by prominent landscape architect Ernest W. Bowditch.
The Cultural Gardens were born in 1916, when the Leo Weidenthal. Weidenthal, editor and publisher of the Jewish Independent, conceived the idea of a garden chain that would represent the many cultures of the world and stand as a symbol of peace. This idea led to the founding of the Cleveland Cultural Gardens Federation and to many more gardens representing the ethnic cultures of the city.
The gardens, then and now, are sponsored and developed by the individual ethnic communities after which they’re named. In the 1930s and 1940s, the federal Works Progress Administration – Franklin D. Roosevelt’s jobs and infrastructure program – helped the city build the bridges and stonework that to this day beautify Rockefeller Park. Many of the early gardens representing European immigrants were helped along by the WPA and were an early testament to a dedication to multiculturalism in Cleveland and the country.
In more recent decades the celebration of diversity has continued. Communities from countries in Asia, Africa and the Middle East have developed gardens. Over 30 cultural gems have been established, with many more in the planning stages.
With a motto of “peace through mutual understanding", it is the mission of the Cultural Gardens to embrace multicultural diversity and deepen awareness of the peoples of the world.
HOW TO FIND THE GARDENS
The Cultural Gardens are located within the City of Cleveland’s Rockefeller Park - just 3 1/2 miles east of Cleveland State. The oldest and largest Gardens are along East Blvd. from St. Clair Avenue on the north to Superior Avenue on the south. The later Gardens, and the newest, are along Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd and start just north of St. Clair and continue to Superior Avenue at the southern end. An exception is the Chinese Garden, also along MLK Jr. Blvd but located half way between Chester Avenue and East 105th, across from the Cleveland Museum of Art’s Wade Park Lagoon.
The Gardens extend roughly 1.5 mils on both MLK and East Blvds, so a complete walk around the Gardens would be 3 miles in length.
More about the event
More about the Cultural Gardens from Cleveland Memory
Historical Photos from Cleveland Memory