Chagrin Arts book club focuses on legacy of local author and racial divide: Valley Views

CHAGRIN FALLS, Ohio–Chagrin Arts is hosting a virtual book club meeting 7 pm Tuesday, April 5. Stephanie Jones will share her perspective of her father Judge Nathaniel R. Jones’s autobiography, “Answering the Call along with his impact on the family and community. In the book, Judge Nathaniel R. Jones talks about the modern struggle to end racial discrimination in America. The discussion will be led by Jenn Dye and include Kanisha Ervin, a Dinsmore and P&G fellow at the Ohio Innocence Project, Lindsay Ford Ellis, associate general counsel at OhioHealth, and Ashley Nkadi, a current law student at the University of Cincinnati College of Law .

Born in Youngstown, Jones made history as the first African-American US Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio. Appointed by President Jimmy Carter to the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, Jones decided cases from Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee. He served as counsel to the Kerner Commission, which concluded that America was moving toward two societies, one white and one Black that were separate and unequal. He retired from the judiciary in 2002 and worked in private practice in Cincinnati until his death at 93 years in 2020. The federal courthouse in Youngstown is named in his honor.

In addition to Chagrin Arts, the program is sponsored by the Jones Center for Race, Gender and Social Justice at the University of Cincinnati College of Law and the Ohio Innocence Project. To register contact chagrinarts.org,

The Charlottesville Trial: Park Synagogue is sponsoring a virtual program, “Taking Violent White Supremacy to Court” 7:30 pm April 7 via Zoom. The program features Amy Spitalnick, executive director of Integrity First for America, in conversation with Clevelander Steve Dettelbach, former US Attorney for the Ohio Northern District and IFA advisory council member. They will discuss the landmark case that took the organizers of the Charlottesville attack to court and won, which resulted in multi-million dollars in damages and holds the subjects accountable for the violence they orchestrated.

The program is co-sponsored by AJC-Cleveland, NAACP Cleveland Branch and the Urban League of Greater Cleveland. Register at parksynagogue.org to receive the Zoom link.

Love can be murder: Chagrin Valley Little Theater is back with a live production of the musical comedy, “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder,” 8 pm Fridays and Saturdays through April 9 and a matinee 2 pm Sunday, April 10 at 40 River St. in Chagrin Falls .

The murderously funny plot has the low-born Monty Navarro, played by Danny Simpson, learning he is eighth in line for a title in the lofty D’Ysquith family, played by Brian Diehl. Navarro plots his ghoulish path to become the ninth Earl of Highhurst after he figures his chances of outliving his predecessors are far-fetched. He also has his sights set on love and a lucky lady.

Tickets are $21. Seats are discounted to $17 for seniors, students and US military service members. All seats are by general admission. To order, contact cvlt.org or call 440-247-8955 from 10 am to 4 pm Tuesday through Friday.

Emerging artists exhibit: Valley Art Center shines a light on student work in an exhibit open to the public April 1 through May 11. An awards reception will be held on April 8. Three students from each participating school are showing three works of art. The schools include Chagrin Falls High School, Brush High School, Excel TECC at Orange High School, Shaker Heights High School and Lakeland Community College. Gallery hours are 10 am to 7 pm Monday through Thursday, 10 am to 4 pm Friday and 10 am to 2 pm Saturday. The art center is located at 155 Bell St. in Chagrin Falls. Contact valleyartcenter.org or 440-247-7507.

Autism fundraiser: Register your team or donate funds. Milestones Autism Resources is holding its annual “Strike It Big” bowling fundraiser 11 am to 3 pm Sunday, April 3 at Spins Bowl, 5619 Brecksville Rd. in Independence. The family friendly event includes face painting, balloon artists, a raffle and more. The nonprofit group located in Warrensville Heights provides support to families throughout the area. The fundraiser supports the free autism help desk service that allows families to contact professional staff for guidance, local resources and information. Contact vperry@milestones.org or call 216-464-7600, ext.113. The hotline can be reached at the same phone number.

Lunch and learn: Chagrin Valley Chamber of Commerce is hosting MB Wealth Management for a discussion on the top 5 mistakes small businessmen can make and how to avoid them. 11:30 am to 1 pm Tuesday, April 5 at Chagrin Falls Township Hall, 83 North Main St. in Chagrin Falls. The cost is $20 for members and $25 for prospective members. Lunch will be provided by Aladdin’s Eatery. Contact cvcc.org.

To post your news and events, contact Rusek at jcooperrusek@gmail.com.

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