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We read about the "MIX at CMA" in the February Bulletin that issued by the LGBT Center of Greater Cleveland. It is a monthly gathering that occurs from 5pm to 9pm on the first Friday of each month at the Cleveland Museum of Art but always with a different theme. Tonight the theme was "soul" with music from mostly the 60's and 70's provided by DJ Mazi Jahi. There were also arts and crafts tables for those who wanted to try their hand at creating "an iconic soul album cover using simple printmaking techniques." As we were driving up about 6:30pm, we were amazed at the numbers of cars that we saw and the number of people going into the museum. Later in the evening, we asked one of the people from the museum how many people were here at this event and we were told that 1,800 were anticipated but maybe 1,200 (still an outstanding number) actually showed up and that the parking lot was completely filled up.

We walked around and saw several people that we knew including Mr. Richard J. Konisiewicz, Director of Development and Community Outreach for Global Cleveland who was there with two of his friends, Peter and Tanya from Germany. We talked to a chartered financial analyst that we know from several chamber of commerce events who has several foreign born clients and might turn to Margaret W. Wong and Associates for help. Along these lines, we met a young man from Iran who had been working with our Mr. Brian Marek in order to obtain a green card; it looks like he will now get it in the month of March. Speaking of the office of Margaret W. Wong and Associates, we learned that Mr. Francis Fungsang and Ms. Marisela Marquez were also there and had a wonderful time.

Later we talked to a museum docent named Diane about the various themes for these first Friday gatherings. Diane said that a while ago they had "jazz" night but she really liked one that was put on fairly recently that blended a fashion show in with a surreal exhibit. We really want to attend the next one on March 6th because it will be a "Celtic" mix that will contain the art and the music of the Celtic nations.

We talked about the Cleveland renaissance with two other first-timers here tonight were a young woman named Cori who had just moved back to Cleveland after a seven year absence. She loved re-discovering Cleveland which she considers "a best kept secret" containing "lots of good energy." Another young man named Prince had lived in Cleveland his whole life and said that ever since Cleveland started rebuilding it has been an "adventure" with "something new happening every year."

As for the "MIX at CMA" series, it was best summed up by a woman named Sarah who had attended quite a few of them. She told us that she comes here often because she likes it that people of all ages come here for this including young professionals, college students, and people one sees on the street each day. Sarah was quite right when she said that "you won't find this eclectic of a group anywhere else in the city."

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