Summerfest, Mokoomba make for busy Friday

Assorted ramblings from the world of entertainment:

• Friday was one of those days where I want to smack upside the head those who regularly whine, “There’s nothing to do around here.”

In the morning I had the challenging pleasure of judging an art exhibition in Courthouse Square in conjunction with Trumbull Art Gallery’s Summerfest. About a dozen local artists were invited to create “Seussicals,” artwork inspired by Theodore Geisel / Dr. Seuss, the same artist who inspired the creations of the young Summerfest participants who marched around Courthouse Square at lunch time.

The amount of time the artists clearly put into their projects and the level of execution was impressive. The top three finishers, in order, were Jesse Wilson, Gail Trunick and Linda Scharf.

I tried to evaluate the work on the skill displayed and how they reflected the theme without simply copying Geisel’s work (bonus points for incorporating the outdoor setting into the installation).

It wasn’t easy. If I did the judging a different day or even at a different time on the same day, the order might have been different. I have a new-found respect for those who have to judge hundreds of entries in the National Midyear Exhibition at the Butler Institute of American Art or the TAG Annual.

A good-sized crowd filled the square for the parade, the Chalk on the Walk event that followed and the Seussicals.

Later that evening, my younger daughter and I went to Warren G. Harding High School for a free performance by Mokoomba, a band from Zimbabwe presented by the Fine Arts Council of Trumbull County with support from Huntington Bank, the Martini Martin Arts Trust, the Warren Philharmonic Orchestra, Trumbull Metropolitan Housing Authority and Any Given Child.

Having attended my share of local arts events that drew a woefully small crowd, I’ll admit to being a little apprehensive about what the turnout would be for the concert. While it wasn’t at full capacity, several hundred people filled the cafetorium at the high school, and Mokoomba didn’t disappoint. Its music mixed African rhythms and other influences from reggae to rap to create a world music sound that had many in the crowd dancing at the front of the stage.

During the show, the band indicated it will return to the area next year. With the word of mouth that will be generated by those who saw the group the first time, I suspect every seat will be filled, regardless of where Mokoomba performs, if and when that return appearance happens.

We skipped out a little early from Mokoomba in hopes of checking out the first Howland Food Truck Friday event in Richard Orwig Park.

Unfortunately, I thought it ended at 9 p.m. It ended at 8 p.m, so the food trucks were closing up when we pulled into the lot at 8:30 p.m.

Oh, well. I’ll have another chance on July 20 — from 5 to 8 p.m. And having too many appealing events going on simultaneously in the area is a good problem to have.

• The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame wants your home movies, especially if they capture northeast Ohio music history.

A film and video preservation day is planned from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Rock Hall’s Library & Archives, 2809 Woodland Ave., Cleveland.

The hall is looking for self-recorded footage of northeast Ohio acts, national acts performing at local venues or other major historical music events for possible inclusion in the hall’s permanent collection.

Those who bring in their footage for consideration will receive a USB drive with a digital, preservation-quality file of their film or video.

Staff will be able to convert 8mm film, Super 8mm film, 16mm film, Super 16mm film, Betacam, Digital8, DV, DVCAM, DVCPRO, DVD, HDCAM, HDV, Hi8, MiniDV, U-matic and VHS into digital files.

To reduce wait times, those interested in participating are encouraged to call 216-515-1993 or send an email to in order to schedule an appointment.

Andy Gray is the entertainment writer for the Tribune Chronicle. Write to him at