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Cities with international flavor prosper and rock. You know that feeling, don’t you? Multilingual crowds, cool events, multicultural communities, buzz in the media, all which bring energy and drive and make people wish to come back again and again, and to bring new businesses, and to invest in Real Estate.
Is Cleveland so international? Is it international at all? There are controversial opinions. Some people say Cleveland is almost xenophobic, others praise its openness and multicultural character, rich history and globally recognized world class institutions like Cleveland Orchestra and Cleveland Clinic. Both are somehow right.
Does it matter for Real Estate professionals? Yes, it does if we need more international buyers on our market. We have well educated and multilingual membership in our MLS ready to better serve our multicultural clientele. And, we use our knowledge of foreign languages often; simply because we live in the city which is home to more than 117 ethnic groups speaking over 60 languages. We don’t have very many foreign tourists here in Greater Cleveland yet. But, our own immigrant and ethnic communities are well established and easily recognizable and recent immigrants make great Real Estate buyers, even in tough markets.
I want to tell you about one absolutely unique world class destination – The “Cleveland Cultural Gardens” in Rockefeller Park.There is no place in the world like The Cultural Gardens of Cleveland located in the Park named after John D. Rockefeller who donated the land to the City of Cleveland back in 1896. Unique is the history of the construction, development, regress and renaissance of the gardens. Also unique, is the natural and cultural landscape and the collaboration of different nationalities that made Cleveland their home in development and maintenance of their gardens so they can share it with the world.
Currently, it has 28 existing gardens dedicated to various cultures with a few more coming.
Strategically located along MLK and East Boulevards from I-90 almost to University Circle, they are one of the most beautiful parks in Greater Cleveland. Cultural Gardens have been recognized as one of the first peace gardens in the world. The theme of the Gardens is “Peace through Mutual Understanding” as stated by Clara Lederer in her book about the gardens; “Their Paths are Peace” published in 1954.
The first Shakespeare Garden was dedicated to be built in 1916. Ten years later the concept of building the chain of various cultural gardens was born and developed under the leadership of Leo Weidenthal, editor and publisher of the Jewish Independent. The Hebrew Garden became the first garden to be established as a cultural garden. Shakespeare garden eventually became the British Garden.
Nowadays, all the Gardens are being built re-constructed and maintained solely on their own community funds. The City of Cleveland, which owns the Park, has done great work over the past two decades by mowing grass, planting daffodils and installing lights and attractive signs highlighting the gardens but more needs to be done.
People of Cleveland and organizations from home countries of our immigrant communities donate their money, time, talent, enthusiasm, and efforts to let our wonderful Cultural Gardens exist, prosper and grow. Estimated over three million dollars of Cleveland national communities’ money have been raised and invested into the Gardens during last five years. Just imagine what is needed to raise these funds and to manage the projects. All this has been being done by volunteers.
Among new gardens there will be the Russian Cultural Garden, in which I am personally involved as a President of the non-profit organization The Russian Cultural Gardens. It was formed in 2011 to establish the first Russian Cultural Garden and to become a distinct center where all can take pride and respect their Russian heritage, culture and bring people closer together. Since our future garden has been approved by the Federation, we are actively participating in all the Gardens activities.
I am fortunate to meet and work with many extraordinary people from our communities and to become a part of this movement. Let me mention just few of them.
Joyce Mariani, The Italian Garden. Joyce started the Opera in the Garden concerts which gathersthousands of people every year who come to the Gardens to enjoy live Italian opera,Italian food and wine, and have great fun. If you did not have a chance to be there, please follow the news and don’t miss this July event!
Sheila Crawford, the Irish Garden, President of the Cleveland Cultural Gardens Federation. Renovation of the Irish Garden and development of the Federation are possible because of people like Sheila.
Many thanks go to Mary Hamlin (The British Garden), Paula Tilisky (Recording Secretary for the Cleveland Cultural Gardens Federation) and Bill Jones (The Vice President of the Federation) who form the core group of tour speakers. These tours are great ways to let the people in the area know about this unique park.
I encourage all of you to visit the Cultural Gardens of Cleveland and to support the Federation and other organizations which stand behind the scene and make the Gardens a prominent part of our history and a live cultural destination. The Federation provides tours to interested organizations and REALTORS® Associations may be one of them. Being a Real Estate broker who is actively involved in business with international investors and businessmen, I can testify how excited our global clients are when they see so many historical and cultural attractions in our city which directly refer to their home countries.
Russian Garden started a very successful fundraising using on-line platform GoFundMe.com. You may join the fine group of supporters and friends of the Russian Cultural Garden by clicking above and donating any amount which you feel comfortable. All your help is greatly appreciated!
Cleveland has everything needed to become the real International destination but it needs more exposure, better marketing and more aggressive promotion of its great international flavor.
Svetlana Stolyarova was born and raised in Russia and immigrated to the United States with her family in 1998. She has been practicing Real Estate since 1999 and started Local-n-Global Realty in 2007. Svetlana Stolyarova, Boris Vinogradsky, MD and Sergio Lebid, EVP, Co-Founder at NanoSpire, Inc. has taken the initiative of creating the Russian Cultural Gardens, a non-profit organization that will facilitate the project for the historical Russian Cultural Garden (RCG) located in the most beautiful part of the Rockefeller Park on the Mater Luther King Drive. Started Facebook group Cleveland is so International!
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Svetlana Stolyarova, Broker of Local-n-Global Realty is licensed to practice Real Estate in the state of Ohio.
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