Posted January 17, 2022 in Press Releases


Prize money awarded in multiple categories during first-year competition; submissions to draw on power of sport theme

CLEVELAND Greater Cleveland Sports Commission’s Power of Sport Performing Arts Competition presented by Union Home Mortgage is accepting submissions for contestants to create an original poem or song that describes how the power of sport has affected them, their community or their outlook on the world.

“We are thrilled to add the Power of Sport Performing Arts Competition to our roster of community programs which supports our organization’s belief of using sports as a platform to inspire and advance important social issues in our community,” said Rachael Stentz-Baugher, Vice President of Administration & Development at Greater Cleveland Sports Commission. “This competition will create yet another opportunity to engage our local arts community to showcase the power of sport as a catalyst for change and create further meaningful conversation on issues surrounding diversity, equity and inclusion.”

Power of Sports Performing Arts Competition will feature two categories, poetry and music, and allows contestants the chance to perform live at the Cleveland Power of Sport Summit. This competition is free to enter for youth, ages 14-18, and adults, over age 19, who reside in the 9-county Greater Cleveland area. Prize money will be awarded to four winners, with one winner in each category and age group. Submissions will be judged by esteemed members of the Cleveland arts community.

Round one of the competition consists of a virtual submission due by Jan. 31 at 11:59 p.m. Submissions must draw on the theme of sport and include a visual recitation or performance by the contestant. A complete list of requirements for virtual submissions can be found here. Judges will select the top three finalists from each category and age group for the final competition, comprising of 12 finalists.

For the second and final round, finalists will be invited to perform live at the Cleveland Power of Sport Summit on Feb. 19 at 4 p.m. Performances will be streamed live and recorded.

Judging criteria will include relevance to the theme, musical or poetic flow and presentation, style and delivery and clarity of imagery and language. Judges in the poetry category include Ephriam Nehemiah, Amy Rosenbluth and Raja Freeman. Judges in the music category include Jul Big Green, Nwaka Onwusa and Donnie Lynee.

"I'm honored to partner with Greater Cleveland Sports Commission on the Power of Sport Performing Arts Competition, “said Archie Green, CEO of Peel Dem Layers Back, Creative Director of Culture Junkie Edutainment and event organizer for this year’s competition. “For generations, music and poetry have served as a vehicle for individuals and communities to express themselves, share their stories, and make a positive impact on the world. This competition not only reflects that impact, but also provides a physical and representational platform for us to showcase the rich and diverse talent found right here in Northeast Ohio."

Based on the final performances, judges will select the four winners. Prize money will be awarded in the amount of $750 for the two winners in the youth age group and $1,500 for the two winners in the adult age group. Specific submission and contestant eligibility can be found here.

Power of Sport Performing Arts Competition is a Greater Cleveland Sports Commission program under the umbrella of Velocity, a community-wide initiative of Greater Cleveland Sports Commission to support and maximize the community impact of hosting some of the most significant events in sports.

Cleveland was host of the 2019 MLB All-Star Week and 2021 NFL Draft and will host NBA All-Star 2022 and 2024 NCAA DI Women’s Final Four, all of which include community events to extend each event’s footprint in Northeast Ohio. These programs will highlight important social issues such as diversity and inclusion and provide opportunities to underserved populations. More information about Velocity can be found at

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About Greater Cleveland Sports Commission: Since 2000, Greater Cleveland Sports Commission (GCSC) is responsible for attracting over 200 sporting events which provide more than $780 million in economic activity to Northeast Ohio. GCSC serves to measurably improve the economy of Greater Cleveland and enrich the community by attracting, creating, managing and enhancing significant sporting and competitive events. For more information, visit

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