Kumbaya, Please!

$5,000 to Go!

"In a Rich Man's World!"

I recall a conversation with my father when I was a young woman – a notion that my seven-year old grandson finds hard to believe.  “Grandma, you were a little girl?” 

We were driving along the I-90 Shoreway and as we were approaching the shell of a building at the 55th Street dock, I told my father of my vision for the space. “If I had the money, I would buy that building and convert it to restaurants and shops on the ground floor with a wrap-around deck overlooking the lake, and I’d put apartments on the upper floors.”  My father glanced over at the building just as we passed.  “Yep, that’s what I’d do if I had the money.”

Daddy shook his head and then said in his usual calm, “Mittie, you got big dreams.  You should have been born to a rich man.”  We both laughed.  I was always touting my big ideas with no dollars to back them up.

My dad was not a rich man.  He was a hard-working man who had carved out a humble but good life for his family.  Prior to the coal mines closing, he and my mother owned and operated a little general store in our West Virginia hollow before relocating to Cleveland.  It was his only option to the black-lung life of a miner – which was the plight of all the men of my maternal line. 

You can read the rest of my Father's Day reflection which channel's "Mamma Mia" on the Ladybug Lessons Litanies and Lyrics archive page at www.kumbayashore.com   In the mean time, I want to update you on the progress made from our funding campaign.

Update 10/01/2019

I am most thankful for the 62 "Friends of Kumbaya" who have contributed to our campaign through GoFundMe and directly to Kumbaya on the Shore by mail,   Thanks to their kind donations we are nearly half-way  to our three phase goal, and were able to have a "soft opening" of Kumbaya Café in August, offering  basic coffee shop service of hot and cold beverages, pastries and packaged goods while we continue to install the kitchen for full service.   Once the kitchen equipment is serviced and installed, we will offer a daily brunch as well.

With the cafe open, we have also started programming and are excited about upcoming events as we move into end of year fall and holiday season.  If you would like to receive copies of our Shorewaves newsletter, please email me at ladybug@kumbayshore.com 

I am also thankful for the many Friends who have volunteered their time, talent and labor in every
conceivable way.  They have painted murals, built fences, a stage and a wall, hung signs, moved furniture, cleaned, set-up and served guests during special events, and just hung out to help out wherever they could.

So, we are plugging along toward the vision outlined below,  "working while we wait," (see update link on that story below) just keeping it moving while waiting for Mamma Mia's "money, money, money, must be funny, in a rich man's world."

Thanks for visiting our GoFundMe page, and please pass this link on to your network of family, friends and associates who may consider supporting our Kumbaya Campaign.   

I look forward to seeing you on the shore!

~ Mittie Imani

Unless otherwise noted, all photographs in this post are by M. I. Jordan.

Kumbaya on The Shore
a place for peaceful pastime
38800452_155631069483115_r.jpeg"We may not have a place to hitch your horse yet, but we are a pedestrian, bike, car and bus friendly stop on the Lake Erie Circle Coastal Ohio Tour!"  M. I. Jordan.   Photo by Zachary R. Williams

Vision: To become the northwestern commercial anchor establishment of Cleveland’s Northshore Collinwood arts and beachfront community; to become a premier destination tourist stop on the
Lake Erie Circle Tour and Coastal Ohio Bikeway Trail; to provide employment opportunities for
neighboring residents; to provide “a place for peaceful pastime” for locals and tourists, alike, doing well while doing good “feeding the mind, body and soul.”

Kumbaya on the Shore, sits in between Cleveland’s trendy beach front residential community and historic Waterloo Arts District, one block northeast of the second smallest Great Lake, and on the popular Lake Erie Circle Tour and Coastal Ohio Bikeway Trail.

Kumbaya is a three-faceted enterprise with each supporting the other through overlapping patronage.  As well, its development and programming are a three-phase work in progress, already enjoying patronage and civic support from neighboring residents, businesses and the area’s community development corporation.

Phase I: Ladybug by the Beach, a 500 square-feet apparel, gift shop and gallery opened in
December 2017 as a seasonal boutique stocked with holiday gifts, children’s books, ladies clothing and home décor under the theme of Winter Wonderland.  
In the spring of 2018, the Winter Wonderland theme was followed by a Fun in the Sun beachy clothing and accessories theme, with gifts and home décor geared toward the summer wedding season.  38800452_1569880783553918_r.jpeg38800452_1556311933515172_r.jpeg38800452_1569880844249462_r.jpeg38800452_1569880886530547_r.jpeg38800452_1556312361301456_r.jpeg38800452_1556312424665447_r.jpeg38800452_155631244776877_r.jpeg
On August 28, 2018, Ladybug opened its first gallery exhibit, "The Dreamer's Dream" an historical retrospect composed of campaign paraphernalia, letters, publications, photographs and memorabilia from the M. I. Jordan collection, commemorating the tenth anniversary of the nomination, election and inauguration of Barack H. Obama as the 44th President of the United States of America.     
Ladybug by the Beach "by and by."  The ultimate plan for Ladybug by the Beach is to establish a souvenir and gift shop of lake / beach themed novelties, and to exhibit and sale artwork and handcrafted goods by local, national and international artists, primarily of the African diaspora. 
38800452_1556312829341899_r.jpegPhotos by Christine Jordan Morrow
38800452_1556313003387328_r.jpegWire Sculpture by Augie Nkele
38800452_1556312876535399_r.jpegPhoto by Corey Alston, Basket by Allen Green, West African market fan

Phase 2:  The heartbeat for Kumbaya on the Shore -  as it will drive the traffic for the entire venue and programming - Kumbaya Cafe opened in August 2019 in the tradition of neighborhood corner coffee shop serving pastries, snacks, sandwiches, salads, soups and soft beverages.   Once the kitchen is fully installed, Kumbaya Cafe will serve a daily brunch of healthy food choices.

Like its predecessor Deuteronomy 8:3 Café also programs movie nights and live performances of music and spoken word, special events, and quarterly book and film discussion series in partnership with the National Institute for Restorative Justice.

Additionally, Kumbaya Cafe will host  the “Rogers & Woolridge Saturday Auction, Sales and Salon,” a live, commissioned auction of select estate sales of household furnishings, goods and art; and a monthly Thursday night “Cultural Cuisine and Conversations” featuring guests with African, Asian and European diasporic heritages from around the globe. 

 While pursuing traditional funding options, $10,000 is immediately needed to complete work in the kitchen and food service area in order to open the Café. 

With approximately two thousand square feet, the Café is divided into three distinct areas with dinning / lounge seating for 50, or theater style seating for 100:

Northeast entry food service area with self-serve hot and cold beverages and pre-packed snacks; sales counter / staff serve area for kettle soups, fresh salads, sandwiches, pastries and juice bar.  Counter and table seating for ten.

Center lounge / stage area with seating for forty at center tables and side room chairs, a south wall stage and screen for live and visual performances.
And a Southwest kitchen area with adjacent storage area and staff bathroom.

Additional exterior front and side patio seating is available when weather permits from late spring to mid-fall. 

Funds needed for work to be done: Formerly housing a beauty supply store, as of September 2019, the center lounge area has been cleaned, stripped of wall to wall pegboard and lumber, decorated with theme painting, wall paper and artwork, the stage constructed, and seating arranged. 

In addition to basic cosmetics, and the servicing and installation of the restaurant equipment (which was stored for over a year while finding a new venue), the following work remains to be done in the kitchen and food service areas:

Electrical wiring /outlets:  Run wiring and install kitchen and food service, and stage area outlets.  Plumbing to hook up sink, dishwasher, stove / hood, fryers and grill.  With the exception of customer-view salad and pastry units, and additional small appliances for hot beverage self-service, all equipment is on hand. 

 Update the staff and guest bathrooms on the premises, one located at the rear of Ladybug by the Beach, the other, between the stage and kitchen areas of Kumbaya Café.  

The remainder of the funds raised will be used to secure start up salaries for the operation.  Once
the Café opens, the expectation of the business plan is to provide full-time opportunities for seven employees, and additional part-time opportunities for Thursday – Friday evening, and Saturday programming.

Phase 3: Kumbaya Artists-in-Residency
With public and parochial K-8 schools merely steps away, the ever increasingly popular Waterloo Arts District around the corner, and a proprietor academically and professionally rooted in arts educational program development and administration, Kumbaya is a natural venue for hosting professional artists-in-residence in partnership with the schools and arts organizations.

Complimenting Waterloo’s primarily Anglo-centric artists and venues, and St. Jerome School’s hosting of City Music’s classical concerts of European composers, Kumbaya will feature national and international visual, performing and cultural handcraft artists primarily of African and Native American descent.   Each residency will include an exhibit or performance by the artist, with hands-on activity classes for the students.
38800452_1556556234699950_r.jpegBasket Sewer Corey Alston at 2017 Hilton Head Gullah Festival      Photo M.I. Jordan

That’s the summary of the plan. 

Please take a moment to visit our website, consider a donation and sharing this fundraiser with family, friends and associates who may be inclined to do the same.

Finally, something about the name, Kumbaya:   Since the hippie generation adopted  the song in the 60’s, the word/term Kumbaya has gotten a bad rap as a naïve, utopic existence impossible to attain.  The great irony is that the meaning of Kumbaya is contrarily quite the opposite. 

Derived from the south sea-island Gullah people’s prayerful song of  “come by here, Lord”—translated in their dialect to “cum ba he’ah, lawd,” Kumbaya is a plea for help when in distress:  ‘someone’s crying, Lord, come by here, someone’s praying, Lord, come by here.’ 

Choosing not to continue business under the banner of Deuteronomy 8:3 which referenced God’s favor and commands for people wandering in the wilderness, one Sunday morning the song chose me when our retired elder Reverend Bob Tolbert paused in the middle of a prayer and called it out.  “Kumbaya, Lord.  Kumbaya.”  I knew that was it—the name for my new enterprise.   Kumbaya.

Where ever I am, and in all that I do, I want the Lord’s presence.  And for those who want to reminisce of a plea for a utopic, “place of peaceful pastime,” then let it be their Kumbaya.
Thank you for your support, and I look forward to seeing you on the shore.

~ Mittie Imani 


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Mittie Jordan 
Cleveland, OH
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