“Power of Sport Summit” to celebrate the arts and diversity

CLEVELAND – Cleveland is just days away from being in the national spotlight for the 2022 NBA All-Star Game. Events are planned all weekend for the enjoyment of guests and visitors.

Performers are also gearing up for a big weekend.

On Friday, February 18, the “Cleveland Power of Sport Summit” begins at the Cleveland Metropolitan Conference Center inside One Cleveland Center.

The three-day event includes several exhibits, panels and workshops. It will celebrate diversity, equity and inclusion by demonstrating the power of sport as a catalyst for change.

“We try to use sports as an opportunity to talk about diversity, equity and inclusion in the community and in the country,” said Rachel Stentz-Baugher, vice president of administration and development for the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission. “We talk about racial equity, LGBTQ advocacy, mental health and sport for all in terms of sport, for people with disabilities. So we really cover the spectrum in terms of diversity, equity and inclusion through the sport.

The summit includes the Power of Sport Performing Arts competition. Its goal is to encourage artists to create an original poem or song that describes how the power of sport has affected them, their community or their worldview.

“We felt like the intersection between sports and the arts is very important,” Stentz-Baugher said.

Stentz-Baugher said that to help create guidelines and come up with a local judging panel in the arts community, she reached out to hip-hop artist Archie Green. Green is known for leading school programs, helping young black students improve their mental health through music.

“If I had the opportunity when I was young when I was in high school to play All-Star Weekend like that, that would be bragging rights. That’s bragging rights for your friends and your family,” Green said. “It’s an opportunity to give both young and more seasoned artists the opportunity to be on a bigger stage to present something new, something original. Which gives them not only the opportunity to be seen and heard, but the chance to meet other industry professionals who might give them the opportunity to publish their work or hear their songs on the radio. We really wanted to give the Cleveland’s art scene the opportunity to create something special tied to the power of sport.

The competition started on February 4, when contestants applied for the competition. The judges selected three finalists in each category (poetry and song) and one winner will be chosen per category, per age group.

“We had a bunch of great submissions, but the ones that were really related to the theme, and, you know, the ability to be on top to execute them were the main areas that helped us choose. [the finalists]“, Green said.

The finalists will give their finale and performance live at the summit on Saturday, February 19 at 4 p.m.

“In addition to seeing all these legends on the court and in sport, you’re going to see legends that already live here in art and music, in hospitality,” Green said.

All summit events are free, however, you can plan your visit in advance by clicking here.

RELATED: A Complete Guide to the 2022 NBA All-Star Weekend in Cleveland

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