Columbus Datebook for August

Columbus Monthly Staff
For 2020, Pelotonia, the annual cycling fundraiser, is going virtual.

You may not be visiting the John Glenn Columbus International Airport as often as in summers past, but now you can visit its Facebook page Mondays and Wednesdays at 10 a.m. for summer-morning, coffeehouse-style concerts by local artists. This month, the series, a partnership with the Greater Columbus Arts Council, will feature Whitley Jean, Jesse Michael Barr, Tiffany Robertson, Jason Bennett and Kristin Gramza (above).

Cycling is one of the most popular fitness activities during the coronavirus pandemic because it’s fun, it’s outdoors, and it’s relatively safe from a contagion perspective. But 13,900 cyclists riding together? Not so much. So Pelotonia, the cancer-research fundraising juggernaut, is going virtual. Participation in the 2020 event, dubbed My Pelotonia, is less daunting than in the past—you can still commit to ride 25, 50 or 100 miles (or more), but you can also choose your own goal, like mastering a yoga pose, volunteering in the community or even shaving your head.

Ohio Prison Arts Connection’s project of connecting incarcerated people with the community outside prison walls through art has been made vastly more difficult by the Covid-19 outbreak, so OPAC has launched a weekly show on Facebook Live, featuring artists who have taught or facilitated art-making inside correctional facilities. DVDs of each episode are distributed to prisons. The series concludes Aug. 14 with Six Word Memoirs creator Larry Smith.

Scholar Deborah Lipstadt is best known for the libel lawsuit brought against her by author David Irving, who claimed she’d defamed him when she called him a Holocaust denier. A British judge agreed with Lipstadt, ruling that Irving had deliberately falsified history. Lipstadt’s book about the trial was the basis for the 2016 film “Denial.” The author’s planned appearance at Congregation Agudas Achim in Bexley to discuss her new book, “Antisemitism: Here and Now,” has been rescheduled as a Zoom webinar.

Each year, the Ohioana Library brings scores of authors from across the state to Columbus for a book lover’s extravaganza. This year’s gathering, like so many other events, will be digital-only. But it’s still an extravaganza, with 140 authors, including Marcus Jackson (above), Margaret Peterson Haddix, Bonnie Proudfoot and Bob Batchelor, participating in three days of talks, panels and readings. Kids’ events will include storytimes and drawing demonstrations.

Like what you’re reading? Subscribe to our weekly newsletters.


The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium postponed its annual fundraiser, originally scheduled for June, and will move ahead this month with an event that has been revamped to observe social distancing guidelines.

Adults with developmental disabilities living in the Hattie Larlham agency’s Columbus-area group homes are less able to get out into the community due to Covid-19. Send a monthly card to cheer someone up.

Volunteer agency Besa has developed a portfolio of opportunities and recommendations for those who want to act, learn or engage with others to fight racism and support an equitable society.

Java & Jam will feature a (virtual) performance from Kristin Gramza on Aug. 17.