Matt Zone & Progressive Arts Alliance Team Up For An Inspiring Celebration

August 11th, Progressive Arts Alliance celebrates "Ten years of RHAPSODY" at House of Blues with a hip-hop turntable legend, break dance tribute and dance crew competition that's sure to inspire.

I went to PAA's Launch Party Happy Hour a few months ago for this event to support a friend and check out the newly reworked Reddstone. I didn't plan on leaving inspired about our youth and culture in such a way.

My husband & I both grew up in the suburbs and made the decision early on to move into the city and live a more urban lifestyle. In the late '90s we bought our house in Cleveland's Ohio City neighborhood. A few years later, Matt Zone was elected Councilman in our Ward. He is the man behind the neighborhood. Pushing us towards our future by reminding us to celebrate our past and most importantly, support our youth. Having grown up in the Detroit-Shoreway neighborhood (where coincidentally his father (and then mother) for years held the same City Council position) he intimately knows it's strengths and weaknesses. These are his streets. These are his people. Arts and culture, he believes, are the cornerstone to a thriving community. He is one of the many courageous people we can thank for the rehabilitation and success of the Capitol Theatre and Gordon Square Arts District.

Councilman Matt Zone (center) with members of Project 5
and singer Claudja Barry circa 1985.

 In the 1980's Zone pioneered the Cleveland break dancing group, "Project Five". Through the creative outlet of music and dance, members of this group learned lessons of leadership and diversity that would shape them as adults. Hearing him speak about his time with this group is pretty powerful. These were kids of different incomes, ethnicities and educational backgrounds coming together from both sides of the city to create, learn and have fun. This is the core of what Progressive Arts Alliance has been doing for the last ten years.

PAA is committed to empowering students to recognize and use their full potential through programs that link the arts to academics. Their RHAPSODY (Recognizing Hip-Hop As a Powerful Source Of Development for Youth) program "integrates hip-hop with building self esteem, teamwork and self-discipline while meeting basic curricular theories in music, art, poetry and dance." This year marks the tenth anniversary of the program and they are celebrating in a big way.

Join in the celebration!

August 11th, 2012 7:30PM

Grandmaster Flash
Dance party with Turntable Legend, Grandmaster Flash
Corporate Cleveland's Best Dance Crew Competition 
(where local companies will "battle" it out on stage)
Tribute to Project Five and performance by the original crew featuring Matt Zone
Performance by the PAA All-Stars 
Hands-on art experiences including record "scratching" stations
Silent Auctions and 50/50 Raffle

General admission - {$25} 
VIP Lounge Balcony Access - {$50} includes 2 drink tickets and exclusive VIP lounge access and opportunities.
All-Access Pass {$150} includes the above along with a "Behind the Scenes" dinner with PAA artists and complimentary valet parking. Doors open for All-Access at 5:30 w/ dinner served at 6.

Come on by, you'll find me dancing my heart out to Grandmaster Flash and if you haven't seen your local Councilman break dance before, let me tell you, it is not to be missed!

Head over to Clue into Cleveland to get a behind the scenes look at Corporate Cleveland's Best Dance Crew competition.
And please check out all the wonderful programs and opportunities available through PAA.

{all images via}
::Disclosure- I received a general admission ticket to this event c/o PAA. I stand behind their mission and offered to help in any way possible. My opinion is 100% my own::

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