A & E News

St. Paul’s spring art show opens March 4

Shaping Color: Paper and Clay, the spring show at the Nicholson B. White Gallery at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 2747 Fairmount Blvd., opens with an artists’ reception on Friday, March 4, 5–7 p.m., where participating artists will describe their creative processes and meet with guests. The show runs through June 5.

Featured artists are Cathy Bryan (watercolor on paper), Hilton P. Murray (paper-on-paper construction), Christine Weigand (hand-cut paper) and Andrea LeBlond (ceramics).

Bryan directs the Creative Art Therapy program at Judson’s three retirement communities. She loves to show others how to experience joy in their own creative process. Bryan’s artwork reflects her love of nature and keen sense of color. Her favorite medium and ongoing challenge is watercolor. She has taken, as well as taught, community art classes for many years.

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Volume 9, Issue 3, Posted 11:03 AM, 03.01.2016

Lake Erie Ink hosts Bananagrams fundraiser and Kids' Comic Con

Lake Erie Ink: a writing space for youth (LEI) is holding two special events this month. The fourth annual Giant Bananagrams Tournament will take place on March 12, 2–4 p.m., at Cleveland Heights High School (Wiley campus). Then, on March 19, LEI will host its fourth annual Kids’ Comic Con, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., featuring workshops with professional writers and illustrators, including keynote speaker Marc Sumerak, an Eisner and Harvey Award-nominated comic book writer (for Franklin Richards: Son of a Genius).

LEI’s Giant Bananagrams Tournament is a fundraiser that celebrates words and teamwork. Teams of two to four players will compete against one another in front of an audience for prizes. Other entertainment includes a banana-inspired haiku contest, food, door prizes and a cakewalk. If you want to go bananas with words, visit www.lakeerieink.org for more information, and to register.

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Volume 9, Issue 3, Posted 11:05 AM, 03.01.2016

WJCU Radio offers wide-ranging and local programs

WJCU-FM, John Carroll University’s (JCU) radio station, is unlike just about any other radio station in northeast Ohio. The station plays a wide mix of music, ranging from classic rock from the 1950s and '60s to soul music, rhythm & blues, heavy metal, blues and alternative rock, as well as music from many foreign countries.

“We play all kinds of different stuff,” said Mark Krieger, the station’s general manager. Krieger, who’s 60 years old, has been at WJCU since August 2004. He began working in radio back in 1975 and has worked at numerous stations in the area. He was director of engineering at WGAR for 13 years.

In 2001, he decided to go back to school, and got his master’s degree in communication research from Cleveland State University (CSU). After receiving his degree, he started teaching at CSU. Then one day he got a call informing him that JCU was looking for a new general manager and asking if he would be interested. He decided to take the job. In addition to overseeing the radio station, he also teaches classes in electronic media, audio production and journalism.

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Volume 9, Issue 3, Posted 2:29 PM, 02.29.2016

'The Revisionist' opens at Dobama on March 4

Dobama Theatre presents the regional premiere of “The Revisionist,” a new play by actor, playwright, and The New Yorker humorist Jesse Eisenberg, which opens March 4.

The play tells the story of a young writer, David, who arrives in Poland with a crippling case of writer’s block and a desire to be left alone. His 75-year-old second cousin Maria (played by the renowned Dorothy Silver) welcomes him with a fervent need to connect with her distant American family. As their relationship develops, she reveals details about her postwar past that test their ideas of what it means to be a family.

“The Revisionist” is Dobama Theatre’s fifth mainstage production of its 2015–16 season. The play is directed by Leighann Delorenzo, an actor and director who most recently directed Dobama's production of “Slowgirl” last season. Delorenzo is the Upper School Theater Director at Laurel School in Shaker Heights.

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Volume 9, Issue 3, Posted 2:53 PM, 02.29.2016

Heights Arts celebrates food and art with At Table exhibition

At Table: Cleveland Culinaria, a collaborative exhibition combining elements of food and art, opens on March 4 at the Heights Arts gallery on Lee Road.

The exhibition features 27 visual artists, culinary experts, and local poets gathered into five teams, each working with a culinary theme. In addition to food, art installations feature tablescapes, custom furniture, ceramics, glass, metal, fiber, photography, drawings, paintings and prints.

“This exhibition speaks to the art of food and community through the materials we use to eat and drink,” explained Mary Ryan, marketing coordinator for Heights Arts. “What we use everyday can be thoughtfully designed. The food you eat is so influenced by the tools you use to eat.” 

During the exhibition's run, attendees can purchase tickets to any of five food and drink events in which they will partake of hearty small plates and craft cocktails designed by local chefs while listening to poetry by local poets in the intimate gallery setting.

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Volume 9, Issue 3, Posted 10:33 AM, 02.23.2016

A remembrance of longtime Heights resident Monique V. King

Monique V. King (née Wolf), a longtime Cleveland Heights resident, died Feb. 3 in Tucson, where she had been living for the past 25 years. She was 84.

The public is invited to attend a musical tribute to Dr. Monique V. King at 7 p.m., Tuesday, March 1 in the chapel of Fairmount Presbyterian Church, 27578 Fairmount Blvd., Cleveland Heights. A free reception will follow the performance.

Presented by Halida Dinova, features works will include pieces by Bach, Rameau, Beethoven and Chopin.

Born Paris, King survived the German Occupation during World War II and came to the United States in 1948 on an American Field Service scholarship.

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Volume 9, Issue 3, Posted 12:56 PM, 02.16.2016

Heights Arts puts spotlight on work by Valdivieso Troya

Heights Arts launches a new series of spotlight exhibitions on Jan. 29, with a show featuring works by Heights artist Rafael Valdivieso Troya.

Born in Ecuador and now a Cleveland Heights resident, Valdivieso Troya creates intricate compositions using pen and ink, wash, acrylic, and collage techniques. A single work might contain hundreds of figures or faces layered into imaginary spaces that evoke a sense of teeming wildness, and intertwine themes of human joy and struggle. Works in this exhibition range from smaller pen-and-ink drawings to a large muralistic painting.

Heights Arts invites the community to an opening reception with the artist on Friday, Jan. 29, 6–9 p.m.

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Volume 9, Issue 3, Posted 10:00 AM, 01.26.2016

DATE CORRECTION: Beaumont School to host speaker series for parents starting Feb. 3

Beaumont School will kick off its Saint Angela Merici Speaker Series for Girls and Families on Wednesday, Feb. 3. This two-part speaker series, which continues on April 19, will highlight two essential questions relevant to young women today, and offer expert responses to those questions from the keynote speakers. 

On Feb. 3, Katherine Jackson—a professor and psychotherapist who focuses on innate personality traits nurtured in early childhood and how they impact adulthood—will focus on the essential question “What is my life’s purpose?”

Jackson’s half-hour talk will begin at 7 p.m., followed by small group discussion 7:45–8:30 p.m., in which parents will share tools and wisdom, and build community. Young women in grades 9–12 will meet separately with the keynote speaker.

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Volume 9, Issue 2, Posted 2:07 PM, 01.31.2016

Heights High midwinter concert features soloist Emma Zordan

Emma Zordan, concertmaster of the Heights High Symphony, will perform Antonio Vivaldi's Violin Concerto in F minor, "L'Inverno" (Winter), on Friday, Feb. 5, at 7:30 p.m., in the auditorium of Cleveland Heights High School (on the Wiley campus at 2181 Miramar Blvd. in University Heights). Zordan is one of two senior soloists selected to perform this year as part of a 70-year tradition of musical excellence at the high school. 

Zordan began taking violin lessons at the Fairmount School of Music at age 6. She studied first with Hannah Frey, then with Emily Cornelius. In middle school, Zordan became a member of the Preparatory Youth Orchestra at the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM) and the concertmaster of the Youth String Camarata, and participated in CIM's Chamber program. She is a three-year member of the International Youth Symphony Orchestra of Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp. This summer will be her second year as its concertmaster.

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Volume 9, Issue 2, Posted 6:02 PM, 01.31.2016

Deadline approaches for Kids' Playwriting Festival at Dobama

The Marilyn Bianchi Kids’ Playwriting Festival, an annual event at Dobama Theatre, is entering its 38th year of producing plays written by young people. The festival is scheduled for June, and the deadline to submit plays is March 1.

Bianchi, an actress, teacher, director and co-founder of Dobama Theatre, died of cancer in 1977. The festival was created in her name to carry out her wish to help Cleveland-area children discover their own voices and creativity through theater.

The festival’s mission is to provide a platform for children to express their thoughts, hopes, dreams and creativity through the writing of original plays.

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Volume 9, Issue 2, Posted 6:37 PM, 01.31.2016

Heights Arts highlights February events

On Thursday, Feb. 11, at Heights Arts, regional artisans Doug Meyer of Rustbelt Rebirth; Kevin Busta; and David Meyers of Rustbelt Reclamation will share insights about the challenges and inspirations of working with salvaged and repurposed industrial and residential materials.

The three create custom furnishings and innovative household objects using such materials as shopping carts, windmills, factory machinery, and wood from razed houses, and their work is currently on view in Heights Arts’s Remade in Cleveland exhibition.

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Volume 9, Issue 2, Posted 6:07 PM, 01.31.2016

Heritage Chorale in concert at Church of the Saviour

Arts in the Cathedral announces that the Heritage Chorale will appear in concert on Sunday, Feb. 21, 3 p.m., at Church of the Saviour (2537 Lee Road in Cleveland Heights). This concert, part of the church’s celebration of Black History Month, is free and open to the public. A free-will offering will be accepted to benefit the Heritage Chorale.

The Heritage Chorale was founded by the late Sylvia L. Perry in 2002. Since then, the group has followed a mission of bringing sacred music, especially Negro Spiritual and Gospel music, to audiences locally and internationally. Besides performing throughout Ohio, the group has appeared in Vienna, Rome (including at St. Peter’s Basilica), and Florence, Venice and Varese, Italy.

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Volume 9, Issue 2, Posted 6:22 PM, 01.31.2016

Dan and Nancy Maier share deep love of music

Dan and Nancy Maier have both been playing piano since they were about eight years old. Now, more than five decades later, music still is the focus of their lives.

Dan, 62, is a member of several Cleveland-area bands, including the North Coast Jazz Collective and ProgNation, a relatively new progressive-rock group that covers songs by such bands as Yes, Genesis, and Emerson, Lake and Palmer. Nancy, 63, is the associate artistic director of the Musical Theater Project, an organization that presents classic American musicals in Greater Cleveland. She is also a part-time music director and vocal coach at Baldwin Wallace University’s Conservatory of Music.

The Maiers, who have lived on Meadowbrook Road in Cleveland Heights since 1992, are the parents of a daughter, Hannah, a 19-year-old freshman at Baldwin Wallace.

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Volume 9, Issue 2, Posted 6:51 PM, 01.31.2016

Classical Revolution Cleveland performs Jan. 21 at Heights Arts

Heights Arts is rolling out a robust series of free music programs in 2016, including a new series of master classes for young musicians and performances of classical music (both new and traditional) in the gallery. Hear the nonprofit art organization's first community concert of 2016 in the gallery on Thursday, Jan. 21, when Classical Revolution Cleveland performs American classics by George Gershwin, Aaron Copland and Philip Glass, plus excepts from the "American" quartet by Antonín Dvorák. 

Part of a growing international movement that is dedicated to bringing classical music to the people, Cleveland's own Classical Revolution project began in 2009. It is a loosely bound collective of classically trained, professional musicians, including violinists Ariel Clayton Karas and Lisa Kim, violist Julian Machala and cellist Andris Koh.

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Volume 9, Issue 2, Posted 11:16 AM, 01.19.2016

St. Alban Church presents Burning River Baroque concert on Jan. 23

Burning River Baroque will present Forces of Good and Evil: The Colorful Lives of Composers at St. Alban Episcopal Church (2555 Euclid Heights Blvd., Cleveland Heights) on Jan. 23, at 7:30 p.m. Admission is by freewill donation.

In a program that parallels the goodness found in music with the inevitable nefariousness that exists in the world, Burning River Baroque will explore music by composers whose lives were colored with drama and scandal, alongside of works by those who led more “honorable” lives. Regardless of whether their behavior is deemed questionable or virtuous today, the music of Purcell, Barrière, Merula, Forqueray and Stradella remains exquisite enough to stand the test of time.

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Volume 9, Issue 2, Posted 1:38 PM, 01.19.2016

Beaumont School students honored with Scholastic Art awards

Six Beaumont School students have garnered seven awards in the annual Cuyahoga County Scholastic Art Competition, which recognizes outstanding regional student artists in grades 7–12. Beaumont students won one gold key, two silver keys and four honorable mentions, with gold key artwork moving on to the national Scholastic Art and Writing Competition in New York City later this year.

Alexa Abounader ’16 won a gold key for her painting Blue Breeze, and also received an honorable mention for another painting. Rachel Bauman ’16 won a silver key for her painting Fat Food, as did Brooke DiPasquale '16 for her ceramic piece, Coil Pot. Claire Cary ’17, Elizabeth Poland ’16 and Annie Reagan ’16 earned honorable mentions for their work. Bauman is a resident of University Heights, and DiPasquale and Cary are residents of Cleveland Heights.

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Volume 9, Issue 2, Posted 2:08 PM, 01.19.2016

Heights Arts opens 2016 with new exhibit and master classes for young musicians

Just as our Rust Belt city is creating vibrant communities from traditional neighborhoods mixed with edgy independent businesses and updated urban design, the first Heights Arts exhibition of 2016, Remade in Cleveland, focuses on the repurposing of industrial and cast-off materials into imaginative yet functional household objects.

Opening Friday, Jan. 15, with a public reception from 6 to 9 p.m., Remade in Cleveland brings together the works of Douglas Meyer (Rustbelt Rebirth), Kevin Busta, and the firm Rustbelt Reclamation—all Northeast Ohio artisans who use locally sourced wood and metal to create custom tables, seating, lighting, mirrors, wall features, and tabletop objects such as clocks, serving boards, wine caddies and even "paper" planes.

Greg Donley—head of the gallery committee that organizes Heights Arts exhibitions—noted, "Resourcefulness and creativity are common threads binding these artists together: rather than starting from a blank slate, they seek out interesting materials that have already been used for some other purpose and are now ripe for a second life.

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Volume 9, Issue 1, Posted 4:35 PM, 12.30.2015

UUSC honors artist Lau with memorial gallery

The Unitarian Universalist Society of Cleveland (UUSC), 2728 Lancashire Road in Cleveland Heights, has honored a lifelong Cleveland Heights resident and longtime UUSC member by naming its lobby space the Betty Lau Gallery.

The initial exhibit featured Lau’s landscape watercolors, and the church is soliciting work from student artists and artists who are beginning their careers, to help them gain experience in setting up a show, promoting their work and building an exhibition resume.

Lau’s daughter, Barbara Lau, said, “Betty Lau was a tremendously creative person who found a lot of joy in making art in numerous mediums. As a girl she crafted pins, belts, and jewelry in silver and leather. After graduating from Cleveland Heights High School, she attended Oberlin College where she worked on theatrical sets and began drawing and painting.

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Volume 9, Issue 1, Posted 3:16 PM, 12.30.2015

Heights Youth Theatre celebrates diversity with 'HONK!' musical

If you’re looking for an entertaining way to get 2016 off to a good start, consider attending Heights Youth Theatre’s (HYT) production on “HONK!” in January.

“HONK!” is a musical adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s story “The Ugly Duckling.” The play will be performed at Monticello Middle School, 3665 Monticello Blvd. in Cleveland Heights, and runs from Friday, Jan. 15, through Sunday, Jan. 24.

Directed by Kelly Monaghan, with music direction by Stacy Bolton, “HONK!” is set in a suburban farmyard, and features Ugly, a baby swan whose unusual looks cause prejudice among his family and their neighbors.

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Volume 9, Issue 1, Posted 3:40 PM, 12.30.2015

Young Heights choristers sing in Apollo's Fire concerts

Apollo's Fire, Cleveland’s world-class baroque orchestra, will once again feature young singers in its popular concert series, Christmas Vespers, Music of Michael Praetorius, Dec. 17–20.

This concert series features Musettes, a group of talented young choristers who accompany the professional musicians and singers in this production, named a “Live Event Pick for Christmas in North America” by BBC Music Magazine.

Each of the young choristers must audition, and some have earned solo parts. Seven of this year’s choristers are Cleveland Heights residents:

  • Hannah Gilson, soloist (Cleveland Heights High School sophomore)
  • Sophie Gilson, soloist (Cleveland Heights High School sophomore)
  • Sam Mitchell (Ruffing Montessori School, seventh-grader)
  • Cecilia Payne (Cleveland Heights High School junior)
  • Emma Quill, soloist (Cleveland Heights High School freshman)
  • Rowan Trammell (The Lyceum, seventh-grader)
  • Anna Turner, soloist (Roxboro Middle School, seventh-grader)
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Volume 9, Issue 1, Posted 10:35 AM, 12.15.2015

CH teen's music is attracting national attention

Malcolm White is only 15 years old, but he is already attracting the attention of some major figures in the music world. White, who lives in Cleveland Heights, is a singer who uses the name Malcupnext. His first single, “This Feeling,” is available on iTunes and Spotify, and the video for the song, which was filmed at Heights High, has been aired on MTV.

White said he has been singing since he was a toddler. “I started singing in church,” he said. “Then I started joining the choirs in school. I always listened to a lot of music, and I was really into R&B and gospel. When I was 13, I started listening to more pop and hip-hop.” When he was five years old, White got involved with the Heights Youth Theatre. The first play he appeared in was "You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown," and when he was 11 years old, he starred in "The Wiz."

His music and videos are on his website, www.malcupnext.com, and on Instagram and Twitter.

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Volume 8, Issue 12, Posted 9:39 AM, 12.01.2015

Holiday store and stroll spotlight local artists

For 10 months out of the year, Heights Arts uses its Lee Road location to host art exhibitions, poetry readings, musical performances and gallery talks, and feature a limited selection of works by local artists in its gallery shop.

At the beginning of November, the gallery gets turned on its head and the entire 2,400-square-foot space fills with an expanded selection of new works—ceramics, glass, jewelry, prints, wearables, cards and holiday items. This expanded holiday store enables Heights Arts to feature new and local talent, which is curated by a gallery committee of artist-peers throughout the year.

This year, the Heights Arts Holiday Store welcomes 16 new artists: jewelry from Blooming Enamels, Emily R Studio, Abbey Blake and Zenia Lis; drawings and paintings by Linda Ayala, Kate Atherton, Leslye Arian and David King; ceramics by Lauren Herzak-Bauman; mixed-media work by Matthew Gallagher and Nancy Luken; hand-printed textiles from Giardino; scarves and tees by Pure & Sweet and GV Designs; hand-turned wood items by David Shafron; and bags from Cleveland Recycles.

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Volume 8, Issue 12, Posted 2:43 PM, 12.01.2015

Music is the focus of Kevin Richards' life

Kevin Richards has been a key figure in the Cleveland Heights music scene for the past few decades. Not only does he play in Heights-based bands, he also owns the Fairmount School of Music (FSM), and is the founder of the nonprofit organization Roots of American Music, headquartered in Cleveland Heights.

Richards, who is 60, was born in Euclid, but his family moved to Cleveland Heights when he was 4 years old. He attended school in Cleveland Heights, and graduated from Heights High in 1973. He attended Cuyahoga Community College for a year, studying architecture, then transferred to Cleveland State University (CSU), where he majored in music.

He got into music at a very early age. “As a youngster, my brother would play a lot of Beatles records, Jimi Hendrix records and Mamas and Papas records,” he said. “And my mother was into Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong and Frank Sinatra, so I became familiar with a style of music that other people of my age weren’t into.”

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Volume 8, Issue 12, Posted 2:52 PM, 12.01.2015

'Peter and the Starcatcher' debuts at Dobama Theatre

The five-time Tony Award-winning play “Peter and the Starcatcher,” makes its Cleveland debut at Dobama Theatre this month. “Starcatcher,” a prequel to Peter Pan, is based on the young adult series of novels by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson. It explores Peter’s origins while telling the story of Molly Aster and her attempts to return a special trunk of “starstuff” to her father.  

“Peter and the Starcatcher” is Dobama Theatre’s third mainstage production of its 2015-16 season, promising to continue a strong line-up. The play is directed by Nathan Motta, Dobama’s artistic director, and features music by Wayne Barker. Scenic design is by Aaron Benson, with lighting by Marcus Dana, sound by Richard Ingraham, costume design by Tesia Dugan Benson and music directed by Jordan Cooper.

Motta applauded Dobama’s creative team, saying, “Our incredible design team has been working for nearly eight months straight to bring this innovative story of magic stardust, mermaids, pirates and Peter Pan to life onstage through music and imagination. There will be surprises around every corner in what will be a truly memorable, intimate and unique experience of entertainment!”

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Volume 8, Issue 12, Posted 10:26 AM, 12.01.2015

St. Paul’s winter art show features adventurous artists and experimental media

The Nicholson B. White Gallery at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 2747 Fairmount Blvd., announces its winter show, Spaces/Places/Structures. The show opens with an artists’ reception on Friday, Dec. 4, 5–7 p.m., where participating artists will be in attendance to greet guests and discuss their creative processes. The show runs through Feb. 28.

Featured artists are Todd Leech and Stephanie Craig in collaboration (clay), Susan Griffith (photography), Rita Schuenemann (oil on canvas) and Dawn Tekler (encaustic wax).

Stephanie Craig and artist/husband Todd Leech maintain a ceramics studio, Hectic Studio, in Cleveland. In addition to pursuing their individual studio practices, they often work collaboratively on projects. Most recently, Craig and Leech completed collaborative sculptures for a two-person exhibition at Kent State University. Together, they seek to push the limits of ceramic materials to innovate, experiment and explore the possibilities of the medium.

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Volume 8, Issue 12, Posted 10:47 AM, 12.01.2015

Heights Arts annual holiday store opens Nov. 6

Heights Arts is again shining a spotlight on the many accomplished artists who call Northeast Ohio home with its 14th annual Holiday Store, opening Nov. 6 and running through Dec. 30. A curated show of works by more than 80 artists and artisans, the holiday store fills the entire Heights Arts gallery on Lee Road with fine art prints, paintings, and photographs plus functional art in ceramics, glass, wood and fiber, as well as jewelry, clothing, music, handmade artist cards, books and distinctive holiday items.

“The Holiday Store offers a wonderful opportunity to shop a wider selection than we usually feature, with works by new, upcoming artists as well as new creations from Cleveland’s favorite artisans,” noted gallery manager Courtney Young. “There’s always something special and unique coming in, and because the Holiday Store is open every day—not just one weekend—it’s easy and convenient for shoppers to find the perfect gift for everyone.”

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Volume 8, Issue 11, Posted 3:58 PM, 10.30.2015

Arts festival in memory of First Baptist pastor to premiere new play

The First Baptist Church of Greater Cleveland will hold an arts festival Nov. 13–22 in memory of Senior Pastor Martin Rolfs Massaglia, who died in February 2014. The festival will take place at the church, 3630 Fairmount Blvd., and celebrates Massaglia's lifelong devotion to the arts.

The event will feature the world premiere of “What Remains,” a new play by Max Bush, a freelance playwright and director whose plays are widely produced on professional, educational and amateur stages across the country. Bush and Massaglia were collaborating on the play at the time of Massaglia's death.

The play is about the unlikely relationship and ensuing discoveries between a talented young artist named Maggie, who is trying to plan her future after high school, and an elderly woman who hires Maggie to sort through the objects of the woman's life.

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Volume 8, Issue 11, Posted 3:56 PM, 10.30.2015

CH resident John Brogan publishes his first book

Cleveland Heights resident John Brogan is only 22 years old, but he recently published his first book. In Reflection of Nature, which came out in September, is the story of Brogan’s efforts to deal with his mother’s struggles with cancer and the death of his 14-year-old cousin, who was killed when he was hit by a car when Brogan was only 10 years old.

“The book is about the adventures I took to try and seek solace,” Brogan said. “It was a way to give myself confidence that I would be able to live my life after my mom died.” 

Brogan’s mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in the summer of 2013. Prior to that, she had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. In January 2015, Brogan began taking trips to various national parks and forests. “I would go when my mom was able to be by herself,” he said. “It was a way to test my ability to be physically and mentally secure. And it was also a way to test my willingness to survive and adapt.”

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Volume 8, Issue 11, Posted 3:50 PM, 10.30.2015

Heights Arts names new Haiku master

It's not every year that the Haiku Death Match rolls into town. Heights Arts's Oct. 10 competition at Dobama Theatre was a huge success, with 12 competitors from the far corners of Cleveland vying for the title of 2015 Haiku Master. Haiku topics included nature, politics, food, sex, drugs and rock & roll. Marc Zeale of Euclid captured the title from past master and NASA physicist Geoffrey A. Landis, winning the match with a haiku about the city of Cleveland. Proceeds from the event fund Heights Arts's upcoming literary events. To view a photo album of the event, visit www.facebook.com/heightarts.

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Volume 8, Issue 11, Posted 3:44 PM, 10.30.2015

Matt Harmon's life inspires second album

Longtime University Heights resident Matt Harmon is about to release his second album. Called Childhood Dreams, the album tells the story of a man who meets the woman who becomes his wife, and they have a child. The man starts resenting the fact that his life isn’t what he imagined it would be. He drinks too much and becomes mean. His wife eventually leaves her husband, taking the child with her. The final three songs on the album are in the voice of the child, who has grown up and has become a musician and songwriter.

The album’s story is based on Harmon’s actual life. Now 40 years old, he was born on a U.S. Air Force base in Utah, where his father was in the military service. The family then moved to England; when Harmon was three, his parents divorced, and he and his mother came back to her home in University Heights.

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Volume 8, Issue 11, Posted 3:40 PM, 10.30.2015

Columnist Regina Brett to speak on Dec. 1 in free event

Regina Brett, well-known inspirational columnist for the Plain Dealer and Cleveland Jewish News, and a New York Times bestselling author, will appear at Nighttown on Tuesday, Dec. 1, 6–8 p.m. The public is invited to this free evening, A Conversation with Regina Brett, sponsored by Appletree Books and Cedar Fairmount Special Improvement District.

Regina Brett is the author of God Never Blinks: 50 Lessons for Life’s Little Detours, which has been published in more than 24 languages. She also wrote, Be the Miracle: 50 Lessons for Making the Impossible Possible, and God is Always Hiring: 50 Lessons for Finding Fulfilling Work. All three books are collections of inspirational essays and stories from the lessons life taught her.

At the Dec. 1 event, the public will have an opportunity to hear Brett talk about her life. Her conversation will reflect the ups and downs, and twists and turns everyone faces.

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Volume 8, Issue 11, Posted 11:35 AM, 10.30.2015

HYT brings 'You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown' to life for local audiences

Heights Youth Theatre (HYT) presents “You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown” at Monticello Middle School in Cleveland Heights. The run of six shows begins on Friday, Oct. 16 and ends on Sunday, Oct. 25. 

Directed by Eugene Sumlin, with music direction by Stacy Bolton, “You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown” is derived from the 1967 musical comedy of the same name and is based on the characters created by cartoonist Charles M. Schulz in his comic strip Peanuts.  

In this production, the young actors dance, sing, and bring this classic American cartoon strip to life. The stage is designed like a big cartoon strip with fast action from scene to scene. The revival score features several familiar songs, such as "Happiness," “My Blanket and Me” and “The Baseball Game.” The musical also includes Snoopy’s famous “Suppertime” dream sequence, backed up by the show’s ensemble doubling as a gospel children’s choir.

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Volume 8, Issue 11, Posted 10:19 AM, 10.12.2015

CityMusic Cleveland opens new season with soloist Sayaka Shoji

CityMusic Cleveland’s Avner Dorman is excited to enter his third season as the chamber orchestra’s music director. “Our upcoming season spotlights an extraordinary cadre of guest artists and a wonderful lineup of works from throughout music history,” he said. “Each concert juxtaposes two or more pieces related by some historical or thematic idea.”

The season opens with Schumann’s Symphony No. 1 and a performance of Brahms's Violin Concerto in D Major, featuring internationally acclaimed violinist Sayaka Shoji, on Oct. 18, 5 p.m., at Church of Gesu in University Heights.

Rarely heard in the United States, Shoji will be making her Cleveland debut. Since taking First Prize at the 1999 Paganini Competition—the first Japanese and youngest artist ever to do so—Shoji has performed with the world’s leading conductors, including Vladimir Ashkenazy, Sir Colin Davis, Charles Dutoit, Mariss Jansons, Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta, Semyon Bychkov, Paavo Järvi and Antonio Pappano.

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Volume 8, Issue 11, Posted 10:22 AM, 10.12.2015

Photographs by CH's Daniel Levin tell story behind Violins of Hope

An exhibit of photographs by Cleveland Heights resident Daniel Levin documents an Israeli man’s lifelong mission to preserve violins played by Jewish musicians during the Holocaust.

The exhibition—Amnon’s Workshop—features 75 large-scale prints and is on display at the Jewish Federation of Cleveland, 25701 Science Park Drive, in Beachwood.

The photographs detail the work of master violinmaker Amnon Weinstein, the man behind the Violins of Hope project. Weinstein lovingly restores and gives new voice to stringed instruments that survived the horrors of the Holocaust, even when their owners perished.

Levin—an associate professor of photography at Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C)—traveled to Israel in early 2015 to capture intimate images of Weinstein and his work, which conveys a story of endurance and resilience through the power of music.

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Volume 8, Issue 11, Posted 6:38 PM, 10.05.2015

Heights High fall concert features high school and middle school students

The Cleveland Heights High School Instrumental Music Department will present its first concert of the school year on Friday, Nov. 20, at 7:30 p.m., in the auditorium of the Wiley Campus of Cleveland Heights High School, at 2181 Miramar Blvd. in University Heights. 

The performance features the Heights High Symphony, Concert Orchestra, and Heights High Symphonic Winds, as well as students in Roxboro and Monticello middle schools’ string departments. 

Before the concert, students in the high school’s chamber and ensemble program will perform from 6:30 to 7 p.m. After the concert, the Heights High Jazz Ensembles will perform, for a full evening of exciting music. 

Tickets, available the day of the show, are $3 for students and $5 for adults. Parking is available in the school parking lot as well as on the other side of Miramar Boulevard (accessible from the University Square shopping area).

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Volume 8, Issue 11, Posted 2:54 PM, 10.30.2015

Heights Arts unveils 10th season of chamber music concerts

Chamber music has been described as a conversation between friends, a view that Heights Arts has embraced in its Close Encounters music series since 2005. Each season, Heights Arts presents four chamber music concerts performed by members of the Cleveland Orchestra and other high-level classical musicians, in an assortment of intimate settings throughout the Cleveland area. This unique combination offers a thrilling opportunity to experience the music as it was meant to be heard—in an intimate space by a small audience.

This season, Close Encounters artistic director Isabel Trautwein, also a Cleveland Orchestra violinist, has engaged some of her colleagues and their peers to curate their own programs, ranging from classical baroque and passionate gypsy music to the world premiere of a sextet for English horn and strings by Cleveland Orchestra member Jeffery Rathbun.

"As artistic director, I feel very lucky that my many musician neighbors and colleagues continually inspire the growth of this series with creative ideas on programming,” Trautwein said, “and, also, that Heights Arts has even expanded upon the original ideas. Looking back upon these 10 years and over 40 wonderful concerts, I can say without hesitation that we have all chosen a great community to love and call home."

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Volume 8, Issue 10, Posted 8:44 AM, 10.01.2015

Heights Arts brings back poetic carnage with Oct. 10 Haiku Death Match

Past haiku masters, defending champions, and new contenders will be competing Saturday, Oct. 10, at Dobama Theatre, for glory, fame, and a not-so-cheesy trophy in Heights Arts' occasionally annual Haiku Death Match.

The Death Match is a live haiku poetry competition where audience votes determine the Haiku Master. Contenders, who come prepared with an arsenal of haiku poems, compete in pairs for a given number of rounds. Audience members judge the poems by raising color paddles to indicate their votes, while volunteer counters tally the votes. The emcee announces the score and keeps the crowds calm. The last poet standing is the 2015 Haiku Death Match Master.

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Volume 8, Issue 10, Posted 6:58 PM, 09.30.2015

Amanda Walsh returned to CH to perform and teach music

Amanda Walsh started playing piano when she was seven years old. Now, 32 years later, music has become the focus of her life. She still plays piano, as a solo artist and as a member of two bands, and she also plays violin. In addition, the Cleveland Heights resident teaches piano, both at her house and at Motter’s Music on Mayfield Road in Lyndhurst.

Walsh, whose maiden name was Amanda Giesey, grew up in Cleveland Heights. When she was six years old, she wanted to learn how to play violin, but her mother, who played piano, suggested that she learn piano first. She started taking lessons from Ruth Edwards, who was on the faculty of the Cleveland Institute of Music. When she was eight years old, she started to study violin.

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Volume 8, Issue 10, Posted 6:53 PM, 09.30.2015

Exhibition by CH photographer Daniel Levin opens at Jewish Federation of Cleveland

The Jewish Federation of Cleveland announces the opening of Amnon’s Workshop, a photographic documentary featuring the work of Daniel Levin, celebrated Cleveland photographer, Cuyahoga Community College associate professor, and Cleveland Heights resident. All are invited to meet the artist at a free open house on Sunday, Sept. 20, 1–4 p.m., in the Roe Green Gallery at the Jewish Federation of Cleveland’s Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Building, 25701 Science Park Drive in Beachwood. Gallery talks will be at 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.

The exhibit follows Levin’s travels to Israel, where he documented the work of master violin maker Amnon Weinstein. Amnon’s Workshop captures intimate images of the man behind “Violins of Hope” as he lovingly restores and gives new voice to stringed instruments that survived the horrors of the Holocaust, even when their owners perished.

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Volume 8, Issue 10, Posted 3:30 PM, 09.18.2015

Arthur Miller classic now onstage at Ensemble Theatre

Arthur Miller’s meditation on the American dream, “Death of A Salesman,” is now running on Ensemble Theatre's Main Stage. The play explores the life and times of the iconic Lohman family, their tragic losses and unending quest for the next sale. In celebration of Arthur Miller’s centenary, Ensemble Theatre presents this American classic, directed by Celeste Cosentino and featuring Greg White as Willy Lohman.

Ensemble opens this two-act drama on a set designed by Ron Newell. The play kicks off Ensemble's 2015–16 season, the theme of which is A Rebirth of Wonder. According to Cosentino, the theme was borrowed from Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s poem “I Am Waiting”:

I am waiting for my case to come up/and I am waiting/for a rebirth of wonder/and I am waiting for someone/to really discover America/and wail . . .

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Volume 8, Issue 10, Posted 6:55 PM, 09.14.2015

Haiku warrior-poets wanted for Haiku Death Match 2015

If you’ve written the right 17 syllables, glory, fame, and a not-so-cheesy trophy could be yours. Heights Arts is bringing back the Haiku Death Match, a live haiku poetry competition where audience votes determine the Haiku Master, on Oct. 10, 7 p.m., at Dobama Theatre. The registration deadline for competitors is Sept. 15.

Here’s how it works: Poets compete in pairs for a given number of rounds. The audience judges the poems by raising paddles. Volunteer counters count the votes. The emcee announces the score and keeps the crowds calm. The last poet standing is the 2015 Haiku Death Match Master.

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Volume 8, Issue 10, Posted 9:18 AM, 09.03.2015

Heights Music Hop brings live music to Lee Road

Lee Road will again be hopping with music on Saturday, Sept. 19, when the third annual Heights Music Hop takes place. Among the artists performing this year are such well-known Cleveland-area acts as the Admirables, Oldboy, the Megan Zurkey Band, Faith and Whiskey, Diana Chittester, Maura Rogers and Morgan Mecaskey.

“The Music Hop is a collaboration of local music and independent businesses creating a great night of entertainment on Lee Road,” said Kelley Robinson, the director of the Cedar Lee Special Improvement District (SID), which is a presenting sponsor of the Hop. “The event brings crowds of music fans to the district and an increase in customers to the merchants. It continues to be a unique opportunity to celebrate our community, while promoting Cleveland Heights to visitors.”

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 11:40 PM, 08.31.2015

Heights Arts reopens gallery with two new shows

After being closed most of the summer for renovations, Heights Arts marks its gallery reopening with a grand public reception on Friday, Sept. 4, 6–9 p.m. for two new exhibitions: Emergent 2015 and Spotlight: Brenda Fuchs.

The first installation of what will be an annual show, Emergent 2015, showcases the finest “local produce” of Northeast Ohio colleges and universities.

“The idea behind the exhibition is to feature artists who graduated from area art programs in recent years and are now producing significant work. In this way, Heights Arts seeks to shine a light on the considerable strengths of studio art programs in this area,” noted Greg Donley, Heights Arts board president and gallery committee chair.

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 2:23 PM, 08.31.2015

CH's John Troxell is thriving as a working artist

John Troxell has been “into art” since he was five years old. Now 55, Troxell, who lives on Euclid Heights Boulevard in Cleveland Heights, is a full-time artist whose work has been exhibited at galleries in Ohio and in several other states.

Troxell grew up on the East Side of Cleveland near Euclid Avenue and Green Road. His uncle was also “into art,” and his father “knew a lot about art.” When they left him in a babysitter’s care, his parents would leave him with a sketchpad and a pencil, and he would make drawings. He also liked to do finger paintings.

When he was in seventh grade, Troxell left Cleveland to attend a military school in Texas. After graduating from that school, he returned to Cleveland and attended Case Western Reserve University.

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 2:18 PM, 08.31.2015

Cleveland Heights home is the setting for intimate concerts

If you’re a fan of folk music or singer-songwriters, there is perhaps no better place to see a concert than Sue Hannibal’s Cleveland Heights home. Hannibal has been presenting concerts at her house on Ardleigh Drive for the past 10 years.

“A friend of mine knew about a folk musician who was looking for a place to play in Cleveland, and she knew my house was quite accessible,” Hannibal said. “She asked me if she could use my house for a concert, and that’s how it got started. I had never been to a house concert before, and it was a new concept to me.”

Hannibal now presents four to six concerts in her living room every year. The shows are intimate, with attendance limited to 30 people. Hannibal usually charges about $15 for admission, and all of the money goes to the musicians. The artists usually perform a 45-minute set, take a break and then play another 45-minute set.

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 2:13 PM, 08.31.2015

TMS offers back-to-school music lessons for all ages

Students are inundated with after-school activities. More than just a feel-good choice, music instruction offers students an alternative means of expression, is a positive factor in the cognitive, social and physical development of children and teens, and is a terrific stress-reliever for people of all ages.

Cleveland Heights resident Isaiah Paik, 15, started learning violin 11 years ago at The Music Settlement (TMS) as part of its Suzuki program. "I started playing violin when I was 4 years old. I didn’t know anything to expect, but it was a lot of fun," Paik said. "Now, I don’t really remember a time when I wasn’t playing violin. It’s been a big part of my life."

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 1:43 PM, 08.31.2015

Aug. 9 Cedar Fairmount festival features talk by Cleveland historian Alan Dutka

Alan Dutka, author of Misfortune on Cleveland's Millionaires’ Row, will give a free historical lecture on the stories of those who built Cleveland mansions. He will speak at 1 p.m. in the Alcazar Music Room during the Aug. 9 Cedar Fairmount Summer Festival.

Since retiring from a business career, native Clevelander Alan Dutka has published five books on Cleveland’s history: Misfortune on Cleveland’s Millionaires’ Row; AsiaTown Cleveland: From Tong Wars to Dim Sum; Cleveland Calamities: A History of Storm, Fire and Pestilence; East Fourth Street: The Rise, Decline, and Rebirth of an Urban Cleveland Street; and Cleveland’s Short Vincent: The Theatrical Grill and its Notorious Neighbors.

Misfortune on Cleveland's Millionaires’ Row describes the extreme wealth that was needed to purchase a mansion on Millionaires’ Row, but which provided no immunity from unsavory business dealings or shameful behavior. May Hanna gave the slip to her millionaire ex-husband’s hired Pinkerton detectives, to sneak out of the country.

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 8:55 AM, 08.05.2015

CH's Ewing at the helm as Cinematheque moves to new space

The Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque, which The New York Times called “one of the country’s best repertory movie theaters,” has moved to a new location. On July 30, the Cinemateque screened its final film, “The Last Picture Show,” at the Cleveland Institute of Art’s (CIA) Aitken Auditorium, its home since 1986. As of Aug. 1, the Cinematheque’s new home is CIA’s Peter B. Lewis Theater, at 11610 Euclid Ave. John Ewing, a Cleveland Heights resident, was one of the founders of the Cinematheque in 1984, and still serves as its director.

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Volume 8, Issue 8, Posted 4:15 PM, 07.31.2015

Heights Music Hop set for Sept. 19 on Lee Road

The third annual Heights Music Hop will take place on Saturday, Sept. 19, in Cleveland Heights’s Cedar Lee Business District. The event will feature numerous bands and musicians with a wide range of musical styles, performing in shops, restaurants and bars along Lee Road.

“It’s one of the best events in the Cleveland region,” said Shawn Paul Gustafson, owner of Shawn Paul Salon at 2265 Lee Road. “It brings a lot of people out and shows what the Cedar Lee area has to offer. It’s really amazing!”

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Volume 8, Issue 8, Posted 11:45 AM, 07.31.2015

Cedar Fairmount set for 14th annual festival

Plans are complete for the 14th annual Cedar Fairmount Summer Festival to be held on Sunday, Aug. 9, from noon to 5 p.m. The festival committee has added more entertainment and venues for this year’s event. The goal of the festival has always been to thank the community for its support of Cedar Fairmount businesses and to give residents an opportunity to enjoy the talents of local artists and musicians in a family-friendly environment. 

The popular arts and crafts sale will be located on Lennox and Surrey streets, and in the Zoss bakery parking lot. This year there will be paintings, photography, glass art, jewelry, basketry, bath and body potions, purses, handmade bags, fiber art and clothing, pet products, and much more.

The Eclectic Vision, Get Back Duo, Wright Reynolds Project and Blue Spruce Cats will be returning to entertain.

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Volume 8, Issue 8, Posted 10:57 AM, 07.31.2015

Heights ensemble Elégie to perform at Cain Park

The male vocal quartet Elégie, four young men who met while they were students in Heights High's Vocal Music Department, will open the show for Black Violin at Cain Park on Friday, Aug. 14, at 7 p.m.

Elégie members Caleb Wright, Brian Barron, Mist’a Craig and Michael Hives began singing together four years ago. Each is classically trained and performs in numerous ensembles and chorales, including the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus.

All four young men sing both tenor and alto, with Barron and Hives providing baritone and Craig and Wright slipping easily into soprano. Despite their young age, they display a surprising range of vocal talent, especially when Wright leaves the upper registers to provide deeper bass harmonies than expected for a singer his age.

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Volume 8, Issue 8, Posted 10:46 AM, 07.31.2015

New play transports kids to ancient Egypt for manners lesson

At Lee Road’s Kultivation Theater, ancient Egypt comes to life through magic, music and dance in a new play that encourages children and families to remember their manners. "Ma'at Is Missing: Deciphering Manners," written and directed by Kulture Kids' Robin Pease, invites audiences to journey with a bumbling archaeologist in search of Ma'at, an Egyptian symbol of civility, compassion and respect.

The play opens at Kultivation Theater, 2134 Lee Road in Cleveland Heights, on Aug. 21 at 7 p.m. Opening night audiences are invited to a family-friendly post-show reception in the lobby. Additional performances are Aug. 22, at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., and Aug. 23, at 3 p.m. Tickets are available at www.kulturekids.org and include a pre-show family arts workshop.

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Volume 8, Issue 8, Posted 10:40 AM, 07.31.2015

Public Art talk and bike tour planned for August

For a community of fewer than 50,000 people, Cleveland Heights is home to quite a few public art installations. The city refers to itself as "home to the arts," so it seems fitting that public artworks can be found in parks, on street corners, at schools and libraries, and elsewhere around town.

When Heights Bicycle Coalition (HBC) president and City Council Member Mary Dunbar contacted former Heights Arts executive director Peggy Spaeth about leading a bicycle tour of public art, she consented enthusiastically. Instead of talking and riding at the same time, however, Dunbar and Spaeth will present a two-part event—an illustrated public art talk at Heights Arts’s newly renovated gallery on Thursday, Aug. 20, at 7 p.m., and an accompanying bicycle tour on Saturday, Aug. 22, from 10 a.m. to noon.

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Volume 8, Issue 8, Posted 10:21 AM, 07.31.2015

Heights artist wins illustration award

Heights illustrator Jamey Christoph received an Award of Excellence from Communication Arts for his work on the children’s book Gordon Parks: How the Photographer Captured Black and White America. The publication’s 56th Illustration Annual features an illustration from the book, which depicts impoverished families living in the shadow of the U.S. Capitol. The international competition reviewed more than 4,300 applicants and awarded Christoph its top award for illustrations in published books.

Christoph, a resident of Cleveland Heights since 2002, currently resides in Grant Deming’s Forest Hill Neighborhood.

Information about his children’s books and illustrations are available at www.jameychristoph.com.

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Volume 8, Issue 8, Posted 11:28 AM, 07.21.2015

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Darryl "DMC" McDaniels to perform at the Grog Shop

Innovator, motivator, philanthropist, Darryl “DMC” McDaniels changed music and made history 25 years ago with his legendary band Run-DMC. 

Today, 30 million record sales later, and nine years after the untimely death of his band mate Jam Master Jay, DMC still continues to create, inspire and motivate.

He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009 and is co-author of the critically acclaimed autobiography King of Rock; Respect, Responsibility and My Life with Run-DMC (2001). In 2006, DMC released an award-winning solo album, “Checks, Thugs and Rock ‘n Roll.” His solo performances have graced stages around the world.

On Saturday, July 18, DMC will perform an intimate set at the Grog Shop, along with openers Doxxbaby, Ahptimus and Case Barge. Doors will open at 8 p.m., and the show will start at 9 p.m.

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Volume 8, Issue 8, Posted 10:15 AM, 07.06.2015

Heights artist hopes to open Artful new studios and gallery

If Shannon Morris gets her way, Cleveland Heights could become home to a new art gallery, studio and retail store. “The idea has always been in the back of my mind,” said Morris, who is 42 and lives on Kingston Road in Cleveland Heights. “The bottom line is that I want to provide affordable studio space on the East Side of Cleveland.”

According to a recent study, nearly 20 percent of all of the artists in Cuyahoga County live in Cleveland Heights. “I want to create a space where people feel comfortable, an environment where people can create and collaborate,” Morris said. To accomplish her goal, Morris has formed a new organization called Artful.

Morris grew up in Cleveland Heights. After graduating from high school, she moved to New York City, where she studied photography at New York University. After getting her degree in 1995, she remained in New York until 2002, when she returned to Cleveland Heights. She opened a shop on Lee Road called There’s No Such Thing as a Non-Artist.

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Volume 8, Issue 7, Posted 10:02 AM, 07.01.2015

Heights couple creates unique works of art

Two Cleveland Heights residents—Matthew Hollern and Pam Argentieri—are well-known around the world for the jewelry and other art they create using metals and other materials. Some of their work is in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C., and in the Vatican Archives in Italy.

Hollern and Argentieri have been making artwork together since they first met in 1990 at the Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA). Two years later, they got married, and have lived on Kingston Road in Cleveland Heights since 1992. In addition to creating works of art together, Hollern and Argentieri both do individual projects as well.

Hollern, 51, grew up in Madison, Wis. He got into art as a young child. “I remember doing art projects in the first and second grade,” he said. “I was really into carving and ceramics. Then, in high school, my homeroom was a jewelry classroom, and I really got into that.”

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Volume 8, Issue 7, Posted 9:56 AM, 07.01.2015

Celebrate National Day of Dance at Cain Park July 25

What better way to celebrate a birthday than with a party and dancing? That is just what DANCECleveland is doing when it celebrates its 60th Anniversary season, beginning with its co-presentation of New York City-based Parsons Dance at Cain Park’s Evans Amphitheater, on July 25 at 8 p.m.

DANCECleveland—started by visionary Heights-area women in 1956, and first known as Cleveland Modern Dance Association—is one of the oldest dance-only presenters in the United States. This year, the organization returns to Cain Park after a 10-year hiatus.

Named "one of the great movers of modern dance" by The New York Times, Parsons Dance seemed like the perfect company for the occasion—a favorite in Northeast Ohio, and known throughout the world since 1985 as a family-friendly, uplifting dance company.

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Volume 8, Issue 7, Posted 9:45 AM, 07.01.2015

Coventry Village to dedicate Pekar Park on July 25

The Coventry Outdoor Courtyard, at the northwest corner of Coventry Road and Euclid Heights Boulevard, was a treasured spot for Harvey Pekar—internationally known underground comic author, music critic and media personality—who often referenced the Coventry neighborhood in his work. Pekar, a longtime Cleveland Heights resident, died in 2010.

On Saturday, July 25, the courtyard will be renamed Pekar Park in a special public dedication event. The Coventry Village Special Improvement District, the City of Cleveland Heights, Jakprints and the Harvey Pekar Estate all collaborated to make this event possible.

A festival, from noon to 6 p.m. in Pekar Park, will celebrate Pekar's work, and that of other Greater Cleveland comic book writers and graphic novelists. The official dedication will take place at 12:30 p.m., followed by live jazz, 1–3 p.m., and storytelling, 6:30–8:30 p.m. The dedication will conclude with a free 9 p.m. showing of “American Splendor,” the 2003 film based on Pekar's life and work, in Coventry P.E.A.C.E. Park. [Note: In case of severe bad weather, the event will be held on Sunday, July 26.]

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Volume 8, Issue 7, Posted 10:37 AM, 06.23.2015

Renovations are underway at Heights Arts

Last year, Heights Arts was honored to receive a transformative donation from the Jean, Harry and Brenda Fuchs Family Foundation. It was the largest single gift in the nonprofit arts organization’s 15 year history, and was designated in part to provide ongoing improvements to its 2,400-square-foot exhibition/performance/retail space at 2175 Lee Road.

Heights Arts staff and board members worked with John Williams of Process Creative Studios to determine how the gallery could be re-configured to provide an enhanced space for multi-disciplinary programs, offer spotlight art exhibitions in addition to the six main exhibitions each year, and better display the works for sale by local artists and artisans in the retail shop. Construction began in mid-June and is expected to conclude in mid-August.

Planned renovations entail the relocation of walls to create a more-open, flexible area for community events and exhibitions; addition of carpet to improve acoustics for Heights Arts's expanding calendar of gallery concerts and classes; a centralized sales desk with better sightlines; and revitalized displays for showcasing the jewelry, ceramics, hand-blown glass, prints, photographs, stationery and homewares created by more than 70 local and regional artists.

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Volume 8, Issue 7, Posted 11:05 AM, 06.16.2015