A & E News

Heights Arts unveils season 12 of Close Encounters concert series

The Heights Arts Close Encounters chamber music series began in 2005 as an opportunity for members of the Cleveland Orchestra to perform music of their own choosing in the gracious "chambers" of Cleveland Heights residences. Now in its 12th year, the series has matured into a lively concert series which taps the creative talents of fine classical music artists from throughout Northeast Ohio. Under the artistic direction of Cleveland Orchestra violinist Isabel Trautwein, Close Encounters Season 12 presents four musician-designed programs presented in stately residences and unique venues throughout Cleveland. All concerts are at 3 p.m.

This season, concertgoers meet the hottest additions to the music scene: cellist and film producer Dane Johansen, violin-star Jessica Lee, and the Cavani Quartet's new violist, Eric Wong. They will be joining the Omni quartet, Oberlin College's newest bassoon faculty, Drew Pattison, and pianist/composer Teddy Niedermaier, among others. As a bonus, Cleveland Orchestra's English horn player Robert Walters has designed a program of music and original poetry to be performed at the Bop Stop in Hingetown.

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Volume 10, Issue 10, Posted 12:53 PM, 10.01.2017

Dorothy Silver takes on title role in Dobama production

Dobama Theatre continues its 58th season with the regional premiere of "Marjorie Prime" by Jordan Harrison. A finalist for the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, "Marjorie Prime" is an astute and provocative meditation on memory and family, set in the not-too-distant future.

In this future, it is possible to create artificially intelligent holograms of late family members. These so-called “primes” give people the opportunity to continue spending time with their lost loved ones, providing not only comfort, but also assisting with the fading memories of the elderly.

Dorothy Silver, one of Cleveland’s most reknowned actors, will portray the title character. Silver originally performed this role during the play’s staged reading at Cleveland Play House’s New Ground Festival in 2013, where Harrison received the Roe Green New Play Award. During that reading, Silver had the opportunity to meet and work directly with the playwright.

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Volume 10, Issue 10, Posted 4:40 PM, 10.01.2017

HYT celebrates home with 'Into the Woods'

Heights Youth Theatre’s (HYT) production of “Into the Woods” will open on Friday, Oct. 20, and run through Sunday, Oct. 29, at Heights Middle School in University Heights.

The show is directed by Kelly Monaghan, with music direction by Stacy Bolton, and features 80 young actors, in grades 1–12, from Cleveland Heights, University Heights, Shaker Heights, and surrounding communities.

“I am thrilled to be back at HYT’s original ‘home’ directing my all-time favorite musical,” exclaimed Monaghan. “Stephen Sondheim's score is breathtaking, the blending of the Brothers Grimm fairy tales is so poignant and quite clever. But what I am most excited about is the unbelievable talent in these young actors. It has truly blown me away. They are all so gifted in their own unique ways and I am honored to be leading them to help tell this beautiful story.”

Performances will be presented in the Heights Middle School auditorium, 2181 Miramar Blvd., on Friday, Oct. 20 and 27, 7 p.m.; Saturday, Oct. 21 and 28, 2 p.m.; and Sunday, Oct. 22 and 29, 2 p.m.

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Volume 10, Issue 10, Posted 4:08 PM, 10.01.2017

Cedar Lee Theatre presents Met Opera live on screen

The Met: Live in HD, the Metropolitan Opera’s award-winning series of high-definition live cinema simulcasts, will begin its 12th season on Oct.7, with a new production of Bellini’s Norma, directed by Sir David McVicar, conducted by Carlo Rizzi, and starring one of the world’s most acclaimed Normas, Sondra Radvanovsky.

Audiences now will be able to see these 10 live performances from the Met’s 2017-18 season at the Cedar Lee Theatre (2163 Lee Road, Cleveland Heights).

“It’s been a goal of Cleveland Cinemas to bring these incredible operas from the Met to the Cedar Lee Theatre for years,” said Jon Forman, president of Cleveland Cinemas.

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Volume 10, Issue 10, Posted 1:06 PM, 10.01.2017

Apolloís Fire announces its 2017Ė18 season

On the heels of its 25th-anniversary season, Cleveland Heights-based Apollo’s Fire announces its 2017–18 programs under artistic director Jeannette Sorrell. Apollo's Fire is dedicated to reviving the true spirit of baroque performances.

The season commences in October with Handel’s oratorio Israel in Egypt. Local performances are scheduled for Friday, Oct. 13, at the First Baptist Church in Shaker Heights, and Saturday, Oct. 14, at The Temple-Tifereth Israel in Beachwood. Both performances will begin at 8 p.m. and last approximately two hours, with a 15-minute intermission.

New this year, Apollo’s Fire will offer reduced-price and free tickets as part of its Community Access Initiative. This initiative includes free student rush tickets, free family concerts, and a limited number of $12 “presto seats,” which will become available three weeks before a show begins.

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Volume 10, Issue 10, Posted 4:21 PM, 10.01.2017

Octavofest programs return to the Heights

Octavofest: Celebrating the Book and Paper Arts is back this fall. Now in its ninth year, this annual festival, which grew out of programs organized at Heights Libraries by librarian and Heights resident Carole Wallencheck, continues to expand.

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Volume 10, Issue 10, Posted 1:39 PM, 09.29.2017

Fair trade teach-in and expo coming to JCU

Initiated in 2005, the Ohio Fair Trade Teach-In & Expo brings people of all ages together from across the state to learn about and become more involved in supporting fair trade—a model for socially and environmentally conscious consumerism.

This year’s teach-in and expo, hosted by the Ohio Fair Trade Network and John Carroll University (JCU), will take place on Saturday, Oct. 21, on the JCUl campus in University Heights.

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Volume 10, Issue 10, Posted 1:26 PM, 09.29.2017

Ensemble announces its 38th consecutive season

Ensemble Theatre announces its 38th consecutive season, the theme of which is “We the People.” The company will present five main stage productions of plays that focus on the power of the individuals within their communities. Celeste Cosentino, Ensemble’s artistic director, will direct the season opener, "Well," and Tony Kushner’s epic contemporary classics "Angels in America, Parts One and Two." 

"Well," written by Lisa Kron, explores a woman’s relationship with her invalid mother and her mother's extraordinary ability to heal a changing neighborhood, despite her inability to heal herself. One of the questions the play asks is whether we create our own illness. The answers are complicated, surprising, and sometimes funny.

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Volume 10, Issue 10, Posted 12:15 PM, 09.26.2017

Four artists featured at St. Paulís gallery

The Nicholson B. White Gallery at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 2747 Fairmount Blvd., announces its fall show, Lens, Needle, Brush, Flame. At the opening artists’ reception on Friday, Sept. 8, 5–7 p.m., the participating artists—Judy Rawson (photography), Sandy Shelenberger (textiles), Maureen Lanza (paintings), and Dwight Weatherhead (glass)—will greet guests and speak briefly about their creative process. The show runs through Nov. 26.

All four artists reside in Northeast Ohio. Judy Rawson has been a longtime resident of Shaker Heights. When she is behind her camera lens, Rawson gravitates to simple things, looking for beauty of pattern and line, moody lighting, and interesting or ironic juxtapositions. Her works here include urban architecture, historical sites, and a selection of stunning landscapes. Rawson turned to photography to help her see the world in fresh and distinctive ways. Featured here is a variety of her original images, some which have not been exhibited before.

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Volume 10, Issue 9, Posted 5:15 PM, 09.03.2017

Loft Gallery hosts Connections exhibition

Described as "an exhibition of work in at least four modes," Connections opened on Aug. 26 and will run through Sept. 23 at the Loft Gallery inside Eastwood Furniture, at the corner of South Taylor Road and Fairmount Boulevard in Cleveland Heights.

The show will present spindles, chains, word play and an occasional light chime, all by Jay Hoffman, who said of his work, "The term 'artist' doesn't fit me very well. I see myself more as an embodier, attempting to give physical form to ideas."

The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

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Volume 10, Issue 9, Posted 5:07 PM, 09.03.2017

Send-off concert for singer Caleb Wright planned for Sept. 8

On Friday, Sept. 8, local musical ensembles Elégie and The Wright Family Singers will join Chandra Turner and Jessica Yafanaro in a farewell concert for Caleb A. Wright, a well-known local singer who is moving to Los Angeles to further his career. The 7:30 p.m. concert at Mt. Zion Congregational Church (10723 Magnolia Blvd. in University Circle) will be accompanied by Cleveland musicians Anne Wilson, Cerena Mangum, Rodney Hubbard and Lacretia Bolden II.

Caleb Wright has been active in the musical community in Cleveland since 2007, beginning as a soloist at Forest Hill Presbyterian Church in Cleveland Heights. He attended Cleveland Heights High School, where he served as president of The Heights Singers and The A Cappella Choir under director Craig McGaughey. He was also a founding member of The Heights High Barbershoppers.


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Volume 10, Issue 9, Posted 9:20 PM, 08.28.2017

Sound and Vision sets tone for season of multidisciplinary shows

An exhibition of non-traditional musical instruments presents a new view at Heights Arts this fall. Sound and Vision, which opens with a public reception on Friday, Sept. 1, and will be on view through Sunday, Oct. 15, brings together a variety of instruments built or owned by local, regional, and national instrument builders and tinkerers.

Ranging from a custom-painted cello to hand-built modular synthesizers and unusual items, such as the Marxolin Aqua Lin, the instruments on display in Sound and Vision challenge the notion of what musical instruments are in the first place. Exhibition contributors include Brad Bolton, Anne Cole, Bbob Drake, Mike Hovancsek, Walt Mahovlich, David Russell Stempowski, and Karl Vorndran.

“For hundreds of years, musical instruments have been designed to please both the eye and the ear," noted composer and sound artist Christopher Auerbach-Brown, who curated the exhibition.

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Volume 10, Issue 9, Posted 1:07 PM, 08.28.2017

HYT's new season marks a journey home

Heights Youth Theatre’s (HYT) 2017–18 season will open in October with “Into the Woods,” an enchanting fairytale about wishes, family, and the impact of the choices we make. Kelly Monaghan directs the season-opening production, with music direction by Stacy Bolton.

Woven throughout the season’s productions is this year’s theme, The Journey Home. All of the plays HYT will present deal with excursions of self-discovery, where characters set out to find themselves, or lose themselves, sometimes within the same journey. Ultimately, they gain insights that are more fulfilling than the happiest fairy tale.

This season marks HYT’s return “home” to its stage at the Wiley middle school building, after two years away, and is a celebration of 60 years of creating quality live theater that entertains its audiences, and educates, encourages and inspires its young artists.

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Volume 10, Issue 9, Posted 5:20 PM, 09.03.2017

'brownsville song' opens Dobama's 2017-18 season

Dobama Theatre opens its 58th season with the Cleveland premiere of "brownsville song (b-side for tray)" by Kimber Lee. Written in poetic language, "brownsville song" is the story of Tray, a high school senior and amateur boxer. The play moves gracefully back and forth in time to reveal what happened before and after the tragic incident that changes Tray’s family forever.

The inspiration for the play came to Lee in 2012 when she read a news report about a young black man who was the victim of random gang violence in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, N.Y. The story, which contained very few details, lodged in the playwright’s head. 

“I kept thinking about this boy’s family and loved ones,” she said, “and about the tremendous loss of life in some of our communities, and how easy it is in this sound-byte world for these losses to disappear from our consciousness . . . if you look a certain way and live in a certain zip code, your life is worth less, you matter less, and this wall of silence descends around the loss.”

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Volume 10, Issue 9, Posted 5:18 PM, 09.03.2017

Burning River Baroque performs in Cleveland Heights Aug. 9 and 11

On Wednesday, Aug. 9, and Friday, Aug. 11, Burning River Baroque will present a new program in two Cleveland Heights venues, The Stone Oven and St. Alban Episcopal Church.

“At a Crossroad: Will You Live, Love, or Die?” features soprano and violinst Malina Rauschenfels and harpsichordist Paula Maust. The duo will present a program of French cantatas and harpsichord solo, with works by Élisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre, Julie Pinel, and Nicolas Racot de Grandval.

The Aug. 9 concert will take place at The Stone Oven, 2267 Lee Road, at 6:30 p.m. (donations are welcome).

St. Alban Episcopal Church, 2555 Euclid Heights Blvd., will be the venue for the Aug. 11 concert, which will begin at 7:30 p.m. (suggested donation is $10–15).

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Volume 10, Issue 9, Posted 6:48 PM, 08.07.2017

Heights Music Hop announces lineup and venues

The Heights Music Hop will return for its fifth-annual festival this September with a stellar lineup of artists and venues that will span three Cleveland Heights business districts.

This year’s many acts include: The Whiskey Hollow, By Light We Loom, oldboy, Wildlife Soundz, Maura Rogers & the Bellows, New Thousands, Charley Mosbrook, Teddy Boys, Classical Revolution Cleveland, DJ Knyce, Diana Chittester, City Limits, Holden Laurence, Jason Patrick Meyers, The Mason District, J. Leshelle, Blacklister, Smoke Screen, Revolution Brass Band, and The Rainbow Emergency. A full schedule and list of performers will be available on the Heights Music Hop website and its social media accounts.

The 2017 Hop will begin in Coventry Village on Thursday, Sept. 7. It then moves to Cedar Fairmount on Friday, Sept. 8, and culminates in Cedar Lee on Saturday, Sept. 9.

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Volume 10, Issue 8, Posted 12:15 PM, 07.31.2017

Heights residents to perform in Cain Park production

On Aug. 5 and 6, Cain Park’s Evans Amphitheater will be filled with the music of Meredith Willson’s "The Music Man," in a concert version of the musical featuring the Cleveland-based Contemporary Youth Orchestra (CYO). The production is directed by Joanna May Hunkins, with music direction by Jordan Cooper.

More than a dozen Cleveland Heights residents are set to showcase their talents on the Evans Amphitheater stage for "The Music Man in Concert," including leading female star Nicole Sumlin, who will portray Marian Paroo. The list of local preformers includes Sumlin siblings, August and Easton; Jeffrey Bendix and Joan Bendix; Maple Buescher; Courtney Foerg; Gabriel Mallamad;  Luca Mokotoff and Sienna Mokotoff; Julie Sabroff; Will Sanborn; Rosie Tilk; Cecilia Willets and Cordelia Willets; Grace Willmott; and Hannah Woodside.

Performances will take place at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 5, and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 6. Also on Aug. 6, Bill Rudman of The Musical Theater Project will provide a pre-show talk for ticket holders, at 1 p.m.

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Volume 10, Issue 8, Posted 11:42 AM, 07.31.2017

Heights Arts hosts Enticing benefit

On Saturday, July 15, Heights Arts welcomed more than 100 people to its first Enticing benefit.

Thanks to its many supporters, volunteers and attendees, the event was a smashing success, raising almost $20,000 in support of Heights Arts' mission to celebrate the region's literary, musical and visual artists, and share their work with the community.

Heights Arts held the event in a stunning penthouse and glass cube space, overlooking downtown Cleveland—a frequent venue for Heights Arts' always sold-out Close Encounters chamber music series.

Owned by Rick Maron and Judy Eigenfeld, the location was a fitting place in which to honor Steve Presser, founding Heights Arts board member and Big Fun owner, whose steady support of Heights Arts has helped the nonprofit grow. Heights Arts now produces more than 60 programs and events each year.

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Volume 10, Issue 8, Posted 12:51 PM, 08.01.2017

Heights Music Hop expands to Coventry

The fifth-annual Heights Music Hop will take place Sept. 7–9. The music festival is expanding this year, to take place over three days, at more than 30 venues in three Cleveland Heights neighborhoods.

When the festival first started in 2013, it was a one-day event that took place in the Cedar Lee Business District. Last year, it grew into a two-day event, with more than 70 performances at 27 venues in Cedar Lee and Cedar Fairmount, and drew more than 5,000 people to Cleveland Heights.

This year’s festival will kick off on Thursday, Sept. 7, in the Coventry Village Business District. On Friday, Sept. 8, the Hop will move to Cedar Fairmount, and then will wrap up on Saturday, Sept. 9, in Cedar Lee.

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Volume 10, Issue 7, Posted 12:29 PM, 06.29.2017

Sculptured paper shines light on traditional Korean dress

This summer, Heights Arts’ Spotlight Gallery presents Hanbok’s Gifts, an exhibition of sculptural paper works by Cleveland artist and papermaker Aimee Lee. In the exhibit, on view through Aug. 6, Lee pays homage to the ingenuity and care behind traditional Korean clothing (hanbok) by using another material from the same heritage, hanji, which requires much discovery and labor to produce.

"Aimee learned hanji—traditional Korean paper-making—from masters and built the first hanji studio in North America at the Morgan Conservatory in Cleveland," said exhibition curator Helen Liggett. "Hanji is remarkably strong and is used to make household items in traditional Korean culture. With Hanbok, she joins craft to the celebratory and autobiographic elements of her art, revealing its versatility and beauty in an entirely new form."

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Volume 10, Issue 7, Posted 5:02 PM, 06.30.2017

Heights Arts' first annual summer benefit aims to entice

Heights Arts has planned ENTICING, a music, food, pastry and "Big Fun" party to celebrate Heights Arts and its longstanding commitment to the artists and residents of the Heights community. ENTICING also will honor Steve Presser, legendary Heights booster and owner of Big Fun, Coventry’s iconic toy and memorabilia store.

ENTICING will take place on Saturday, July 15, in a unique private location—a penthouse and glass cube overlooking downtown Cleveland, with 360-degree views of the city’s skyline. Heights Arts benefit chair Melissa McClelland promises the event will be “too enticing to resist," noting that, "partygoers will enjoy signature dessert creations by Northeast Ohio’s best pastry chefs, bakers and chocolatiers, with sparkling wine from Gallucci’s and fabulous auction items to bid on, accompanied by music from Cleveland’s gypsy jazz group, Moustache Yourself. All this, while the city of Cleveland glows at partygoers' feet.”

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Volume 10, Issue 7, Posted 12:43 PM, 06.26.2017

Cedar Fairmount to host free family concert on June 22

Cedar Fairmount Special Improvement District, Nighttown Restaurant, and Jim Wadsworth Productions invite the community to a free family-friendly concert on Thursday, June 22, 7–9 p.m., at Nighttown's Stephen's Green (12383 Cedar Road).

Northeast Ohio duo Jen Maurer and Anthony Papaleo, performing old-school blues and roots music, will join American music traditionalists the Corn Potato Duo, Aaron Jonah Lewis and Lindsay McCaw, for a fun and rowdy night of music.

Both groups have toured throughout the world, from the U.K. to Colombia, performing American Roots music.

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Volume 10, Issue 7, Posted 11:25 AM, 06.13.2017

The Fairmount serves up art alongside cocktails

Along with its selection of craft and draft beers, extensive wine list, cocktails and small plates menu, The Fairmount Cocktail Bar also offers an alternate venue in which emerging and established local artists display their work. Every few months, The Fairmount presents new visual experiences that make use of its indoor and outdoor spaces. “It’s all about creative community building,” said co-owner Jake Orosz.

The current exhibit, the Factory Window series by Megan Frankenfield, runs through June 15, with an artist’s reception scheduled for Saturday June 3, 6–9 p.m. Frankenfield’s series is inspired by the beauty of the Rust Belt, as nature reclaims old factory buildings and bridges throughout the region. Photographic images in intensely saturated tones hover gracefully behind layered windows and rusty framework—remnants of once-thriving industry. Her work has been exhibited in local galleries including the Screw Factory, and in a corporate installation at the Cleveland Hilton Convention Center Hotel.

Mid-June through mid-September, Cleveland native and internationally sought-after photographer Steve Vaccariello returns to The Fairmount after a three-year absence.

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Volume 10, Issue 6, Posted 6:58 PM, 06.02.2017

New photo exhibit opens June 8 at Foothill Galleries

In Dad’s Chair, a new photography exhibit, will open on June 8 at Foothill Galleries. The photos, by Angelo Merendino, feature the photographer’s friends sitting in what was Merendino’s father’s favorite chair.

The public is invited to the opening reception on June 8, 6–9 p.m. The show will be on display through Aug. 13.

Merendino, 43, grew up in the North Hill section of Akron and now lives in Old Brooklyn. After his father died in May 2014, and his mother died in December of that same year, Merendino inherited the chair, which his parents had bought, along with a matching couch, in the 1950s.

"I always wondered what my dad was feeling when he sat in this chair," Merendino said. "But, in general, I think he was at peace when he was in the chair. Dad was certainly larger than life, with endless energy."

After his parents died, said Merendino, he started thinking about how they had touched other people's lives, and how those people stored memories of his parents in their minds. The chair became Merendino's way to remember as much as he could about his parents.

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Volume 10, Issue 6, Posted 6:47 PM, 06.02.2017

'Jewish Lady Gaga' returns to Cain Park on June 25

Lipa Schmeltzer returns to Cain Park for the second year on June 25. Last summer he wowed an Evans Amphitheater audience with his Yiddish vocals, backed by local instrumental musicians, and his dance moves. The show's sponsor, the Workmen’s Circle, liked the show so much, he’s back, which is a rarity: The Workmen’s Circle hasn’t had a repeat performer for back-to-back summers since the 1980s.

Schmeltzer, 40, was raised in an ultra-Orthodox Hasidic household in New York. He broke away from the sect a few years ago and became simply Orthodox. As a youth, he wasn’t encouraged to pursue secular learning (among many other things). Schmeltzer is now a student at Columbia University.

He is fluent in Yiddish, which is the first language of many Hasidim. He interjects pop music references into his Yiddish and English repertoire. The media—trying to get a grip on him—has called him the “Jewish Elvis” and the “Hasidic Lady Gaga.”

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Volume 10, Issue 6, Posted 7:00 PM, 06.02.2017

Dobama tackles opioid addiction in 'How to Be a Respectable Junkie'

Dobama Theatre is adding a summer production this year: the World Premiere of Greg Vovos’s "How to Be a Respectable Junkie." The play is based on the true story of a recovering heroin addict from Northeast Ohio.

The plot concerns Brian, an addict, who decides to end his life. Before doing so, however, he makes an Internet video for users everywhere, instructing them on how to be “respectable,” because even he has grown weary of their behavior. Despite the subject matter, "Junkie" is both humorous and hopeful, and puts a human face on the issue of opioid addiction.

Greg Vovos is a member of the Playwrights’ GYM, Dobama Theatre’s professional playwriting unit. His most satisfying work has addressed such issues as racism, teen pregnancy, drug and alcohol abuse, obesity and the challenges of transitioning back to society after incarceration. Vovos explained, “For me, writing this play was about theater doing its ultimate job: serving the community.”

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Volume 10, Issue 6, Posted 6:44 PM, 06.02.2017

New talent and encore appearances in Heights Arts exhibitions

Two exhibitions at Heights Arts this spring and summer express the vitality of the region as a training ground for visual artists, with one show (closing June 4) celebrating new talents and the other (opening June 9) bringing back artists who previously exhibited at Heights Arts.

Emergent 2017 features 12 artists recommended by their former art professors as representing some of the best among recent graduates. The year’s version (Heights Arts presented its first Emergent show in 2015 and plans to bring it back approximately every two years) includes works by Meghan Calvert (ceramics), Amber Ford (photography), Jessica Howard (prints, drawings, cut paper), Erin Jesson (sculptural wall pieces), Jacob Koestler (wall installation), Samantha Konet (drawings), Mike Lombardy (drawings/collage), Nathan Prebonick (painting), Rachel Shelton (prints), Maia Stern (glass), Grace Summanen (painting, drawing), and Nikki Woods (painting). The artists are graduates of the Cleveland Institute of Art, Kent State University, the University of Akron, and Baldwin-Wallace University. Emergent 2017 runs through Sunday, June 4.

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Volume 10, Issue 6, Posted 10:31 AM, 05.30.2017

UH celebrates 90 years of free concerts

This year, the city of University Heights will present its 90th annual free summer concert series. In preparation for this momentous year, UH city staff dug deep into the city’s archives to learn more about the creation of this popular, perennial University Heights event.

Prior to 1927, the Village of Idlewood, as University Heights was originally known, offered occasional free concerts in the old town hall, where local talent was paid $30. (The village name was changed to University Heights in 1925, when John Carroll University moved to its current location. In 1940, University Heights became a city.)

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Volume 10, Issue 5, Posted 11:19 AM, 05.02.2017

Tiny Movements/Big Ideas offers summer camps for kids

Tiny Movements/Big Ideas, a studio at Artful in the Coventry School building, is offering summer camps and classes in animation, digital photography, and other visual arts for young people. Classes and camps will begin in May and run through most of July.

Beginning in May, the studio will offer two one-day-a-week classes in stop-motion animation for students in grades 7–12. The classes will run for eight weeks and cost  $270 for Thursday sessions, 6–9 p.m., and $280 for Saturday sessions, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Beginning in June, the studio will also offer half-day summer camps for students, ages 10–14. Morning and afternoon sessions will run for two weeks in June, with another two sessions offered in July. Half-day camps are available in: stop-motion animation, June 5–16, 9 a.m. to noon; digital photography, June 5–16, 1–4 p.m.; 2D animation, July 10–21, 9 a.m. to noon; visual art projects for kids, July 10–21, 1–4 p.m.

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Volume 10, Issue 5, Posted 10:04 AM, 05.03.2017

May brings watery abstracts, musical impressionism to Heights Arts

From the changing hues of Lake Erie to the fluid grace of French classical music, two spring programs at Heights Arts celebrate the natural world through imagery and sound. 

On Friday, May 5, Christine Mauersberger: Aquascapes opens in the spotlight gallery with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. A native Clevelander and Heights Arts working-artist member, Christine Mauersberger uses a variety of media to create pieces that range from small and intimate to room-sized installations. She has been the recipient of numerous fellowships and grants, including the Ohio Arts Council Award of Individual Excellence, a Creative Workforce Fellowship, and a Windgate Craft Artist Fellowship from the Vermont Studio Center.

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Volume 10, Issue 5, Posted 5:52 PM, 05.01.2017

Dobama ends season with 'Hand to God'

When playwright Robert Askins was asked how he felt about having the most-produced play in U.S. regional theaters during 2016–17, he responded that he was “totally shocked [because] I think that the puppet play, especially the aggressive, religious, sexual puppet play, is just not a genre we have in the American theatre.”

Dobama Theatre will conclude its 57th Main Stage season with Askins’ popular Tony-nominated and Obie Award-winning “Hand to God,” a play about a Christian ministry in Cypress, Texas, where a possessed sock-puppet named Tyrone creates chaos. Opening on Friday, April 21, this thriller/hilarious puppet drama about the conflicting forces of repression and honesty will have audiences gasping in both shock and laughter.

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Volume 10, Issue 4, Posted 5:44 PM, 03.30.2017

Not-exactly-annual Haiku Death Match set for April 8

Poetry, theater, talent show and jousting match rolled into one: Heights Arts presents its fifth Haiku Death Match on Saturday, April 8, at 7 p.m., at Dobama Theatre. Eight of the region’s best and bravest writers of the ancient Japanese 17-syllable form will battle one another in a fierce competition for audience approval.

Competing in pairs, two poets will each read an original haiku aloud, and the audience will vote for the poem they like best. Low-scoring contestants will be eliminated, and the last poet standing will be declared Haiku Death Match Master.

“This is a contest where your vote really counts,” said Cleveland Heights Poet Laureate Christine Howey, who will be on hand, though not competing. “The audience decides who deserves to be the 2017 Haiku Death Match Master, and believe me, every syllable matters!”

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Volume 10, Issue 4, Posted 5:41 PM, 03.30.2017

Roxboro music students perform at Coventry library

The Coventry Village Library was the venue for a community concert on a sunny Sunday afternoon in early March. String, wind and brass students in Roxboro Middle School's Instrumental Music Department performed in small ensembles for their families and library patrons in the building’s large, ornate reading room.

Cellist Pamela Kelly, the parent of a Roxboro cellist, conceived and organized the concert to give students the opportunity to perform the music they would play at the Cleveland Solo and Ensemble Contest on March 11.

Roxboro’s orchestra conductor Nicole Clouser, band conductor Paul Hungerford, and string coach Stew Pharis were present to help run the concert and help the students polish their performances for the competition.

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Volume 10, Issue 4, Posted 6:09 PM, 03.30.2017

Burning River Baroque to perform at Stone Oven on March 23

Burning River Baroque, a nonprofit early-music group, will return to Cleveland Heights on Thursday, March 23, with “On the Brink of Insanity: Portrayals of Women as Mad, Crazy, and Unhinged.” The program will be performed at 6:30 p.m., at the Stone Oven, 2267 Lee Road; free-will donations will be gratefully accepted.

Dramatic musical works often contain scenes of overwhelming emotion in which male characters are portrayed as being consumed by power. When women are overcome with emotion, however, male composers often attribute madness or craziness to them.

In this program, Burning River Baroque will present a selection of works by George Frideric Handel, John Eccles, and Henry Purcell in which women’s passions and emotional expressions render them unhinged in the eyes of their creators. A set of Sephardic folk songs will depict ways in which female narrators describe various types of insanity.

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Volume 10, Issue 4, Posted 7:07 PM, 03.19.2017

The Salon artists comprise spring show at St. Paulís gallery

The Nicholson B. White Gallery at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 2747 Fairmount Blvd., announces its spring show, The Salon Shows at St. Paul’s. The exhibition opens with an artists’ reception on Friday, March 10, 5–7 p.m., where participating artists will greet guests and discuss their creative processes. The show runs through June 4.

Featured artists are Bonnie Dolin (oils and pastels), Jennifer Leach (woodcut prints), Leslye Discont Arian (mixed media and clay) and Tom Roese (acrylics and graphite).

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Volume 10, Issue 3, Posted 11:17 AM, 03.01.2017

Heights Arts goes 'Public' with March exhibition

Design and illustration continue to expand beyond their traditional roles in publishing and advertising. Influenced by graffiti and new technologies in animation and gaming, illustrators create stories about world issues, popular culture, even trends in daily life. Artists take issues out of context and reexamine them in previously unconsidered perpectives, challenging viewers to assess their own part in the whole. 

PUBLIC CONSCIENCE through graphics and illustration, which opens Friday, March 3, 6–9 p.m., in the Heights Arts main gallery, examines these trends among Northeast Ohio artists. Co-curated by artists Leslye Arian and Dave King, the group exhibition showcases the work of Laura and Gary Dumm, Derek Hess, Brian Jasinski, Nancy Schwartz Katz, Milan Kecman, Jake Kelly, George Kocar, Joe Lanzilotta, Angela Oster, Josh Usmani, Justin Michael Will, and Sean Higgins and Nicholas Rezabek of the Bubble Process.

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Volume 10, Issue 3, Posted 6:32 PM, 02.28.2017

WRC's 25th-anniversary season continues with March performances

Western Reserve Chorale (WRC) will present a double billing of Haydn’s Mass in Time of War (Missa in tempore belli) and Requiem for the Living by Daniel Forrest. Concerts will take place Sunday, March 12, at 4 p.m., at Mary Queen of Peace Church, at 4423 Pearl Road, in Cleveland; and Sunday, March 19, at 3:30 p.m., at Church of the Gesu, 2470 Miramar Blvd., in University Heights. WRC is a Cleveland Heights-based chorus of nearly 100 singers from across the region.

The two works, composed 218 years apart, provide a glimpse of the spectrum of compositional styles which have been used in liturgical choral/orchestral works.

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Volume 10, Issue 3, Posted 11:10 AM, 03.01.2017

Dobama presents Pulitzer Prize-winner 'The Flick'

Kernels of stale buttered popcorn, sticky soda spills, and the occasional sandwich wrapper keep three underpaid employees of a run-down movie theater busy in “The Flick” by Annie Baker. Its regional premiere runs March 3–26 at Dobama Theatre, and is directed by Nathan Motta, Dobama’s artistic director.

In awarding “The Flick” the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the Pulitzer committee cited it as “a thoughtful drama with well-crafted characters . . . rendering lives rarely seen on the stage.”

The play’s unconventional setting situates the audience where the screen would be in a movie theater, facing rows of seats and aisles with a projection booth above.

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Volume 10, Issue 3, Posted 5:03 PM, 02.20.2017

Apollo's Fire goes around the world and Bach again

Apollo's Fire will feature J.S. Bach's music in its 25th-anniversary season as an homage to this master of the Baroque style. This winter, Apollo's Fire performances will demonstrate the widespread reach of Bach’s music in two programs, "Virtuoso Bach" and "Sacred Bach."

From the sunny Orchestral Suite No. 1 to the darkly brooding Oboe Concerto in G minor, the principal musicians of Apollo’s Fire shine in "Virtuoso Bach: an Instrumental Extravaganza."

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Volume 10, Issue 2, Posted 12:48 PM, 01.31.2017

Music takes center stage at Heights Arts in February

As an antidote to the winter doldrums, Heights Arts has planned three free music performances during February in the nonprofit's gallery on Lee Road, plus the second concert of its popular Close Encounters series, which features members of The Cleveland Orchestra performing programs of their own design.

On Saturday, Feb. 11, at 8 p.m., the public is invited to join No Exit New Music Ensemble for an intimate evening of music that will spotlight three of the ensemble’s musicians: violinist Cara Tweed, percussionist Luke Rinderknecht, and pianist Nicholas Underhill. These virtuosi will be performing as a group and as soloists, bringing to Heights Arts the engaging performances that Clevelanders have come to expect from No Exit. Included on the program will be music from early-American avant-garde composer, pianist and inventor George Antheil, and the world premiere of a new work by Emily Koh.

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Volume 10, Issue 2, Posted 6:24 PM, 01.30.2017

Poets must apply by Feb. 10 to compete in Haiku Death Match

Heights Arts seeks contestants for its annual Haiku Death Match, the fun and irreverent event in which a Haiku Master is chosen by the audience. The event will take place this year on Saturday, April 8, at 7 p.m., at Dobama Theatre.

Poets who wish to compete and can firmly commit to the April 8 date must contact Heights Arts by Feb. 10 at heightswrites@heightsarts.org. Contestants will be accepted in order of application, and the eight chosen will later meet to review the rules and the structure of the event.

The number of competing poets is limited to eight this year, so that each may have more time to hurl syllable-sharp weapons, and so that the audience will have more performance evidence with which to measure the skill of each contestant.

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Volume 10, Issue 2, Posted 9:34 AM, 01.24.2017

The Night Alive opens at Dobama

Two shadowy figures enter a garbage-strewn apartment in Dublin, Ireland—a young woman covered in blood and the older man who has just rescued her from a beating by her boyfriend. 

These are the opening moments of "The Night Alive" by Conor McPherson, which is having its regional premiere at Dobama Theatre, Jan. 20 through Feb. 12.

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Volume 10, Issue 1, Posted 10:26 AM, 01.03.2017

HYT celebrates community with 'Godspell'

Come sing about love, enjoy all good gifts, and learn your lessons well with the Heights Youth Theatre’s (HYT) production of Stephen Schwartz’s classic “Godspell,” opening Friday, Jan. 20. The show is appropriate for all ages.

As told through a variety of games, storytelling techniques, music and dance, the parables of Jesus Christ come to life in this modern take on a timeless tale of loyalty, friendship and love.

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Volume 10, Issue 1, Posted 10:23 AM, 01.03.2017

Heights Arts kicks off 2017 with two exhibitions and some Zeitgeist

A portrait is commonly considered to be a painting, drawing, photograph, or engraving of a person, especially one depicting only the face or head and shoulders. Considering that the human face is one of the first things babies recognize, just weeks after being born, one might think that the artistic process of creating a portrait would be easy. Yet a truly engaging portrait conveys more than just a likeness, as viewers will see in the first Heights Arts exhibition of 2017.

“Likeness,” which opens Friday, Jan. 13, brings together six Northeast Ohio artists who approach the portrait from different perspectives.

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Volume 10, Issue 1, Posted 10:31 AM, 01.03.2017

CH artist Kuehnle's interactive work is focus of Akron exhibition

Jimmy Kuehnle’s work frequently comprises huge, three-dimensional sculptural pieces, depicting bicycles, clothing and other items. Some of his work is also performance art—pieces he can ride or otherwise interact with physically.

Kuehnle, 37, lives in Cleveland Heights and is an assistant professor in the foundation department at the Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA). He has won many awards for his work, which he has exhibited both nationally and internationally. Kuehnle’s work is currently on view at the Akron Museum of Art, in an exhibition titled “Jimmy Kuehnle: Wiggle, Giggle, Jiggle,” open through Feb. 19.

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Volume 10, Issue 1, Posted 10:17 AM, 01.03.2017

UH Symphonic Band performs at JCU Dec. 1

The University Heights Symphonic Band will kick off the holiday season and put everyone in a festive mood with a free concert. The program will take place Thursday, Dec. 1, at 7 p.m., in John Carroll University's Dolan Science Center Atrium.

The 45-member band, under the direction of Matthew Salvaggio, is now in its 47th year. The ensemble consists of outstanding local musicians, who present the best of concert band music. Its diverse membership includes professional musicians, engineers, homemakers, educators, medical specialists and others—even a rocket scientist. 

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Volume 9, Issue 12, Posted 12:03 PM, 11.29.2016

St. Paulís winter art show explores perception of place

The Nicholson B. White Gallery at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 2747 Fairmount Blvd., announces its winter show, Perception of Place: Pattern and Palette. The show opened with an artists’ reception on Friday, Dec. 2, with participating artists in attendance to greet guests and discuss their creative processes. The show runs through March 5.

Featured artists are Barbara Eisenberg (mixed media prints), Lari Jacobson (acrylic on canvas), Theresa Yondo (sculptural ceramics) and Gunter Schwegler (painting on silk).

Barbara Eisenberg creates abstract prints. Her art develops from an abiding interest in natural and imaginative forms, seeking simple bold shapes upon which to build. She places emphasis on spatial concepts and an intuitive response to these ideas. Her approach to each print includes incorporating as many technical and material variables as possible, without losing spontaneity or intensity.

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Volume 9, Issue 12, Posted 12:11 PM, 11.30.2016

Cruel Winter Festival showcases the best in local hip-hop

Greater Cleveland’s original live music scene has been on fire in recent years, exemplified by the growth and success of high-profile events such as Brite Winter Festival, Larchmere PorchFest, and the Heights Music Hop. While those three festivals have received plenty of attention, another festival with close ties to them has been flying low on the radar. Cruel Winter Festival, highlighting Cleveland’s burgeoning hip-hop scene, is poised to return for its third season.

This year’s Cruel Winter Festival is scheduled for Friday, Dec. 9, at the Grog Shop in Cleveland Heights. More than 15 musical acts will take the stage between 7 p.m. and 2 a.m.

Wallace Settles (aka Dirty Jones), is the founder of Cruel Winter Festival. A local music promoter, Settles has been involved with each of the three aforementioned festivals. He focused on adding hip-hop components to those events, increasing the diversity of genres and performers offered by each, to a very enthusiastic response.

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Volume 9, Issue 12, Posted 11:48 AM, 11.30.2016

Western Reserve Chorale performs free holiday concert Dec. 3

The Western Reserve Chorale (WRC) will present its traditional Holiday Concert on Sunday, Dec. 3, at 7 p.m., at Disciples Christian Church, 3663 Mayfield Road in Cleveland Heights. No tickets are necessary.

A reception will follow the concert in the church’s social hall.

WRC, celebrating its 25th year as a community chorus, will honor the late John Roberts, who passed away last spring at the concert. He was one the founders of the chorus and served as its conductor for 10 years.

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Volume 9, Issue 12, Posted 11:55 AM, 11.30.2016

Heights Music Shop hosts popular open-mic events

If you enjoy live music and are a fan of some of Cleveland’s music stars, you should check out the open-mic events at the Heights Music Shop at 2174 Lee Road in Cleveland Heights. These events are held on the first Sunday of every month, from 3 to 6 p.m.

While many open mics only allow acoustic music, the Music Shop's feature a wide variety of instruments, and, at last month's, the shop provided drums and keyboards, so many of the musicians were able to perform with a band setup.

Rick Szekelyi, the store's owner, said, “We love being part of the local music community, and the open mics are one way we can do that.” Prior to opening the store in November 2015, Szekelyi hosted open mics at Stone Oven, the Lee Road restaurant and bakery. He said he thinks one reason the Music Shop’s open mics are so great is because of the musicians who attend the events.

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Volume 9, Issue 12, Posted 11:52 AM, 11.30.2016

CH poet and resident uses grant to spread poetry

Catherine Wing has won many awards for her poetry over the years. The Cleveland Heights resident started writing when she was 8, and titled her first poem “J Is for Jello.” She wrote her first book, Bug Town, at the same age. It was a story about ants versus beetles, and how they wind up destroying each other.

“I wrote things all through childhood,” said Wing, now 44. “I wanted to be a ballet dancer more than a writer, but that became a non-option.”

Wing’s first book of poetry, Enter Invisible, was published in 2005, and was nominated for a Los Angeles Times book prize. Gin & Bleach, her second book of poetry, came out in 2012. One of her poems, “The Darker Sooner,” about autumn, was featured in Best American Poetry, 2010.

In 2016, the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture (CPAC) named Wing a Creative Workforce Fellow, awarding her a project-based grant.

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Volume 9, Issue 12, Posted 11:51 AM, 11.30.2016

Apolloís Fire performs 'Love in Venice'

Venice, where East meets West, was one of the world’s greatest artistic centers that fostered geniuses of Western art music, such as Monteverdi and Vivaldi. Simultaneously, the city was alive with the sounds of Sephardic romances, dances by Jewish composer Salamone Rossi, and Arab improvisations. Cleveland Heights-based Apollo’s Fire continues its 25th-anniversary season with an eclectic program that celebrates the sounds of the City of Water, Love in Venice.

Apollo’s Fire musicians Olivier Brault and Kathie Stewart lead the ensemble in Vivaldi’s Autumn violin concerto and LaNotte flute concerto. Sopranos Amanda Powell and Erica Schuller and tenor Owen McIntosh sing Monteverdi’s timeless love duets that remind us that love knows no ethnic boundaries.

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Volume 9, Issue 11, Posted 7:53 PM, 11.01.2016

CH's Ronna Kaplan impacts lives through music therapy

Music therapist Ronna Kaplan, who was born, and grew up, in Cleveland Heights, has a Heights teacher to thank for leading her to her profession.

“My senior year at Heights High,” recalled Kaplan, “we had a new band director named Robert Bergantino. When it was my turn to audition, he asked about my career aspirations. I said I wanted to go into a social service field and he said, ‘You should be a music therapist.’”

“Then, my mom told me that they had music therapy at The Music Settlement (TMS). She knew that because she’d been driving me to the Settlement for flute, theory and piano lessons since I was 10, and she often read the course catalog while she waited,” said Kaplan.

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Volume 9, Issue 11, Posted 10:04 AM, 11.01.2016

Peter and the Starcatcher returns to Dobama for the holidays

Peter and the Starcatcher, which won five Tony Awards, returns to Dobama Theatre for the 2016 holiday season. The Plain Dealer named last year’s Dobama production of Starcatcher one of the Top 10 Theater Productions of 2015, and it was an enormous hit with children of all ages.

Starcatcher, a prequel to James M. Barrie’s immortal Peter Pan, finds 13-year-old Molly Aster in the company of pirates, a giant crocodile, and some unusual singing mermaids. Adventures abound as Molly and three orphan boys (one of whom is the future Peter Pan) attempt to return a trunk of precious “starstuff” to her father as the pirate captain Black Stache and his sidekick, Smee, pursue them.

A dozen actors will portray more than 100 characters using talent, theatrical magic and the limitless possibilities of imagination. Among the returning cast members are audience favorites Christopher Bohan as Black Stache, Andrew Gorell as Smee, Luke Wehner as Peter and Molly Israel as Molly.  

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Volume 9, Issue 11, Posted 7:47 PM, 11.01.2016

Auerbach-Brown is a 2016 Creative Workforce Fellow

Music has been an important part of Christopher Auerbach-Brown’s life since he was in second grade. That was when he started taking guitar lessons from his father. Now, nearly 40 years later, Auerbach-Brown’s life focuses on music.

He is a sound artist and composer, and a member of Trepanning Trio, an acoustic instrumental group that has released three CDs, and the Quiet Trance Ensemble, a group that holds community improvisation evenings. He is also the conductor of the Amati Chamber Orchestra, a string ensemble at The Music Settlement, and he has taught music classes at various schools in the Cleveland area, including The Music Settlement, Lakeland Community College and the Cleveland Institute of Art.

Auerbach-Brown was named a Creative Workforce Fellow at the beginning of 2016 by the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture (CPAC).

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Volume 9, Issue 11, Posted 7:04 PM, 11.01.2016

Heights Arts Holiday Store celebrates 15 years of showcasing local artists

Part of Heights Arts's mission as a community nonprofit is to showcase and support our region's artists, whether they are visual, literary or musical. Northeast Ohio—and particularly Cleveland Heights—is a hotbed of creative talent.

This season, Heights Arts hosts its largest holiday store since it first opened its doors on Lee Road as a pop-up gallery in 2001. Beginning on Friday, Nov. 4, and running through Dec. 30, the store will be filled with a broad selection of giftable art—ceramics, glass, jewelry, painting, printmaking, photography, fiber works, artist tees, paper crafts and handmade holiday cards, as well as artisan items for the home and for the littlest ones in the family (not to mention poetry chapbooks and CDs from Cleveland musicians). That's one long list, but it is a reflection of the depth and variety of local talent as the Heights Arts Holiday Store fills the entire gallery space with works from more than 80 artists.

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Volume 9, Issue 11, Posted 10:11 AM, 11.01.2016

Nov. 5 author event will benefit women's education

The Cleveland Heights Chapter Q of P.E.O. International will host an intimate afternoon with author D.M. Pulley on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2 p.m., at Forest Hill Presbyterian Church, 3031 Monticello Blvd. in Cleveland Heights. Proceeds will benefit P.E.O. International Projects for Women’s Education.

The afternoon will include a book reading, Q-and-A session, and book signing by Pulley, the 2014 winner of Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel award for her debut novel, The Dead Key. Her latest novel, The Buried Book, was published in August. She lives in Greater Cleveland with her husband and two sons, and writes in the mystery/thriller genre. 

This is the fifth annual author event hosted by Chapter Q, a philanthropic educational organization. The event showcases popular Greater Cleveland authors, promotes literacy and raises money to educate women. Previous featured authors were James Renner, Thrity Umrigar, Mary Doria Russell and Sam Thomas.

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Volume 9, Issue 11, Posted 11:54 AM, 11.01.2016

Big Fun hosts book signing for Heights Hall-of-Famer Henkin

On Nov. 9, 7–8 p.m., local author Barry Henkin will sign copies of his 2014 autobiography, Why Am I So Special, at Big Fun, 1814 Coventry Road.

Henkin, who has faced developmental challenges since birth, wrote the book in the hopes of motivating others to live their lives to their fullest potential.

A 2013 inductee into the Heights High Hall of Fame, Henkin is also a two-time gold-medal-winning Special Olympian.

“Hosting this book signing is an honor,” said Steve Presser, owner of Big Fun and a longtime friend of Henkin.

Henkin is an advocate for, and inspiration to, individuals living with disabilities and challenges, and is a popular motivational speaker.

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Volume 9, Issue 11, Posted 11:42 AM, 11.01.2016

'Naked Trump' auction Oct. 26 to benefit Heights art funding

Gray’s Auctioneers has announced its Oct. 26 live and online auction featuring the naked Donald Trump sculpture, “The Emperor Has No Balls,” by artist Joshua “Ginger” Monroe.

The auction catalogue went live on Oct. 7, and the sculpture will be lot #1 in Gray’s Oct. 26 auction. The estimate is $10,000 to $20,000. A private preview for serious bidders began Oct. 19 and runs through Oct. 25. Gray’s Auctioneers will display a life-sized photograph of the sculpture in its showroom throughout the preview period. The bidding will start at 11 a.m. EST. To place a bid or follow the auction, visit https://auctions.graysauctioneers.com/lots/view/1-4YWU9.

Proceeds from the sale will benefit public art funding in the Coventry Village Special Improvement District (the neighborhood where the sculpture was placed by American activist collective INDECLINE), citywide public art projects to be developed by community arts nonprofit Heights Arts, and artist Monroe, who created the piece pro bono.

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Volume 9, Issue 11, Posted 11:58 AM, 10.25.2016

Apolloís Fire celebrates 25 years

Celebrating 25 years in Northeast Ohio, the Cleveland Heights-based Apollo’s Fire is set to begin its 2016–17 season under artistic director Jeannette Sorrell. Committed to performing Baroque music the way it was meant to be performed—alive and full of emotional impact—Apollo’s Fire brings world-class performances practically to your doorstep.

The season will begin in October with Resplendent Purcell, a large-scale program of choral works never before heard on period instruments in Northeast OhioHenry Purcell wrote his most majestic music for royal events at Westminster Abbey—from joyous birthday celebrations to the heartbreakingly beautiful lamentations at Queen Mary’s funeral. The program will bring together vocal soloists and the acclaimed Apollo’s Singers, with strings, lutes, recorders, trumpets, percussion and organ.

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Volume 9, Issue 10, Posted 2:57 PM, 09.30.2016