Serendipity is striving to make the world a better place

Ray Lesser and Sue Wolpert inside Serendipity on Lee Road.

Serendipity Space, located at 2174 Lee Road in Cleveland Heights, just south of Cedar Road, is truly unique. It was designed as a place where people can build connections, relationships and community and, in the process, change the world. Sue Wolpert had the idea for Serendipity a little more than a year ago. “I wanted to develop a place where people could discover ideas and create positive change through their ideas,” she said, “a place that will help us all have the life we want to have.”

After coming up with the concept, Wolpert organized a couple of events at Negative Space Gallery, which is located at East 38th Street and Superior Avenue. Then, one of her friends, Joan Greenwood, wanted to do a program called LovingKindness Week. Because it was a weeklong event, Wolpert realized she would need her own space.

Wolpert and her husband, Ray Lesser, have owned Funny Times—a monthly paper that deals with humor, politics and other subjects—for about 30 years, and their offices are located at 2176 Lee Road. They have owned the building for 20 years, including the storefront downstairs. The downstairs space had previously been occupied by Mirage Studio and, after that, by Hessler on the Heights. When that store closed, Wolpert and Lesser decided to use the space for Serendipity.

Serendipity opened last May, and LovingKindness Week took place June 1–7, 2014. According to Greenwood, “LovingKindness Week creates the opportunity to express and experience a deeper tenderness with each other. It's a special time to break down the barriers that keep us separate, and to encourage us to stand up in love and unity.”

Since opening, Serendipity has presented dozens of different kinds of events. For example, twice a month, on Tuesday evenings, local musician Irwin Weinberger hosts Old Time Picking Sessions, where guitarists, fiddle players, mandolin players, banjo players and other musicians can get together and play a variety of old-time music.

Every Tuesday and Thursday morning at 8:30 a.m., Serendipity offers 30-minute meditation sessions, and every other Thursday evening, at 7 p.m., LovingKindness Circle takes place. At those sessions, participants learn how to make the world a more loving place and also make plans for the annual weeklong event in June.

Wolpert and Lesser organize some of the programs at Serendipity, while others are put together by other people in the community. “This space is a launching pad for people who want to start to move,” Lesser said. “Stop thinking about it and start doing it.”   

On March 7, Serendipity will host the Awakening the Dreamer symposium. It is being organized by the Pachamama Alliance, an international organization that wants to create a more-sustainable world. “They want to build an environmentally sustainable, socially just, spiritually fulfilling world,” Wolpert said.

And on March 21, Serendipity will hold an open-house event that will include various “helpful” conversations, discussion about non-violent communication, games and other programs.

For more details on Serendipity’s programs and schedule, check out its website at

James Henke

James Henke, a Cleveland Heights resident, was a writer and editor at Rolling Stone magazine for 15 years. He is also the author of several books, including biographies of Jim Morrison, John Lennon and Bob Marley.

Read More on Business
Volume 8, Issue 3, Posted 11:51 AM, 02.27.2015