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Building Unity

Building Unity

A community comes together at Shore Cultural Centre

One of Shore’s newest residents, AfricaHouse International offers many activities for children and youth. “The AfricaHouse organization was established to continue the legacy of Dr. Willie R. Mackey,” says Alsie Clay, executive director.

“He was an astrophysicist for NASA and since he passed away, we are trying to continue his work of teaching children math and science through gardening, art and other artistic and cultural activities.” AfricaHouse’s original operation is in the heart of downtown, but they have extended their creative programming to Shore. “We teach sewing to teach young girls about math and measurement and to help them form community among themselves,” says Clay. “We teach jewelry making to children and adults to foster a spirit of entrepreneurship, and we teach them how to market what they make."

Joanna Longo and Matthew Orgovan, owners of CreativExpressions76, are two of Shore’s newest tenants. The couple met doing a murder mystery benefit for a children’s theater company, and found they had a lot in common – both were interested in art. Longo’s son encouraged them to do what they loved, so the pair started creating together and appearing at craft shows. Longo is a soap and body product artist, creating handmade products. Orgovan is a painter, and produces items that include full-scale paintings to magnet paintings and keepsake boxes. The two were approached by the Euclid development director, and he suggested that they open up shop in the Shore Cultural Centre.

“Most of Euclid knows what’s been going on with Shore and heard the rumors that they wanted to tear it down, close it, convert it, who knew,” says Orgovan. “When we walked through, we were so impressed with the improvements that we moved in this March!” he says. “Now, Joanna’s 8 year old takes pottery classes, and we’ve met a lot of great people after. It’s starting to build into a wonderful arts and culture community, where we’re starting to meet and brainstorm ways where we can help each other with our various talents.” 

Jennifer Langsdale opened Awaken Yoga at the Shore Centre. “I chose the Cultural Centre because I was teaching at One Tree Yoga next door, and I really wanted my school to be in a place that was close to home and a place that was culturally diverse,” she says. “Shore had all of these, and a room that I really love to teach in.” Langsdale has new clients and many that have followed her throughout her career. “Everyone feels welcome and loves the new space,” she says. “The other tenants are great, I’m setting up a goddess health fair in the fall and working with others in the building,” she says.

Julie Cajigas also captured the vibrant Shore Cultural Centre in a series of photographs. View them here.

Learn more about Shore Cultural Centre here. On Fridays, through November 19 from 2-7 pm, Shore hosts a farmers market with fruit, vegetables, cheese, homemade products, including baked goods, jams and jellies, and much more.

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