Chagrin Arts Book Club Focuses on Local Author Legacy and the Racial Divide: Valley Views


CHAGRIN FALLS, Ohio — Chagrin Arts is hosting a virtual book club reunion at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 5. Stephanie Jones will share her perspective on her father, Judge Nathaniel R. Jones’ autobiography, “Answering the Call with its Impact on 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 will include Kanisha Ervin, Dinsmore and P&G fellow at the Ohio Innocence Project, Lindsay Ford Ellis, associate general counsel at OhioHealth, and Ashley Nkadi, law student at the University of Cincinnati College of Law.

Born in Youngstown, Jones made history as the first African-American United States Attorney in the Northern District of Ohio. Appointed by President Jimmy Carter to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, Jones has adjudicated cases from Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, and Tennessee. He served as counsel for the Kerner Commission, which concluded that America was heading towards two societies, one white and one black, separate and unequal. He retired from the bench in 2002 and worked in private practice in Cincinnati until his death at age 93 in 2020. The Youngstown Federal Courthouse 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 Law School and the Ohio Innocence Project. To register contact,

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

The program is co-sponsored by AJC-Cleveland, the NAACP Cleveland Branch and the Greater Cleveland Urban League. Sign up at to receive the Zoom link.

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

The deadly funny plot has low-born Monty Navarro, played by Danny Simpson, learning that he is eighth in line for a title in the noble D’Ysquith family, played by Brian Diehl. Navarro plots his macabre path to becoming the ninth Earl of Highhurst after he feels his chances of outliving his predecessors are overstated. He also aims for love and a lucky woman.

Tickets are $21. Seats are discounted to $17 for seniors, students, and U.S. military service members. All seats are general admission. To order, contact or call 440-247-8955 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.

Exhibition of emerging artists: Valley Art Center highlights 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 present three works of art. 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 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. The art center is located at 155 Bell Street in Chagrin Falls. Contact or 440-247-7507.

Fundraising for Autism: Register your team or donate funds. Milestones Autism Resources is hosting its annual “Strike It Big” fundraiser from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, April 3 at Spins Bowl, 5619 Brecksville Rd. at Independence. The family event includes face painting, balloon artists, a raffle and more. The non-profit group located in Warrensville Heights provides support to families throughout the area. The fundraiser supports the free Autism Helpline which connects families with professional staff for advice, local resources and information. Contact [email protected] or call 216-464-7600 ext. 113. The hotline can be reached at the same phone number.

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

To post your news and events, contact Rusek at [email protected]


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