A & E News

McFadden's one-woman show will benefit Ensemble

Molly McFadden will perform “Living on the Moon,” an original one-woman show, at a one-night benefit for Ensemble Theatre. The performance will take place Saturday, Oct. 27, 6 p.m., at Ensemble Theatre, 2843 Washington Blvd. A $20 donation is suggested; proceeds will help enable the theatre to continue to provide productions, classes and workshops.

In “Living on the Moon,” McFadden explores her own journey and her relationship with her mother, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. The show is a unique mixture of storytelling, original music, known standards and puppetry. It examines many facets of human life, helping the audience discover its rich complexities and its rituals and sorrows.

McFadden, a Heights resident for two years, participates in the Stagewrites group at Ensemble.

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Volume 11, Issue 10, Posted 12:16 PM, 10.01.2018

Dobama presents Midwest premiere of 'John'

Dobama Theatre continues its 2018–19 Mainstage Season with "John," an intimate and elusive ghost story, running Oct. 19 through Nov. 11.

Written by Annie Baker, the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright of "The Flick," the play centers on Elias and Jenny, a young couple struggling to stay together, who stop at a bed-and-breakfast in Gettysburg, Pa. During their visit they encounter a cheerful innkeeper, her blind friend, and an eerie world crammed with toys, figurines and one very odd American Girl doll. This mystic puzzle of a play is full of surprises, both human and supernatural.

Dobama’s production features legendary Cleveland actor Dorothy Silver, in her first collaboration with Dobama Artistic Director Nathan Motta in the director’s chair.

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Volume 11, Issue 10, Posted 12:14 PM, 10.01.2018

Octavofest 10 is coming to town

Octavofest, an annual celebration of book and paper arts, is 10 years old this month, and it's bigger and better than ever. This year’s theme is “Books and Paper in Global Context,” and will feature lectures, workshops, demonstrations, exhibitions, museum tours, and hands-on experiences. Many of these events will take place in or near the Heights. 

The festival’s keynote presenter is James Canary, conservator at Indiana University’s Lilly Library and an internationally respected specialist in Asian book forms. He has worked with the International Tibetan Archive Preservation Project in Lhasa, which provided equipment and training in document conservation for an archive containing around 3 million documents.

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Volume 11, Issue 10, Posted 12:22 PM, 09.27.2018

Backyard music gives boost to dog rescue group

On Sunday, Aug. 25, Cleveland Heights residents Jeeyoun and Youngjin Yoo hosted an outdoor concert at their Stillman Road home, to benefit SecondhandMutts.

The Tremont-based organization helps homeless dogs receive medical care and find new homes, treating and assisting more than 150 dogs each year through the efforts of volunteers.

About 65 people attended the concert, donating approximately $1,600.

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Volume 11, Issue 10, Posted 10:23 AM, 10.01.2018

Heights Arts announces season 13 of chamber music series

Heights Arts is proud to announce the 13th season of its Close Encounters chamber music concerts. These popular salon-style performances take place in private homes or unusual venues in or near Cleveland Heights. All musicians this season are members of the Cleveland Orchestra or on the faculty of Oberlin Conservatory of Music. This is chamber music as it is meant to be: up close and personal. A wine and pastry reception is provided to audience members and musicians during the intermission of each concert.

The season begins Nov. 11 at an art-filled carriage house in Herrick Mews, with the string ensemble We Too presenting a program of chamber music written by women between five and 1,000 years ago. The oldest work is from a vast collection of religious chants written by Hildegard von Bingen, a German nun born in 1098.

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Volume 11, Issue 10, Posted 12:11 PM, 10.01.2018

HYT alum directs season-opening 'Guys and Dolls'

Heights Youth Theatre’s (HYT) production of "Guys and Dolls" opens Oct. 19 at Heights Middle School in University Heights, and runs through Sunday, Oct. 28. 

The production features 65 actors in grades 1–12, from Cleveland Heights, University Heights, Shaker Heights, and surrounding communities.

Melissa Bertolone, an HYT alum, is the show’s choreographer, and Kelly Monaghan, another HYT alum, directs the production.

“I am so thrilled to be back directing one of the best classic musical theater shows in my all-time favorite theater,” said Monaghan.

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Volume 11, Issue 10, Posted 11:59 AM, 10.01.2018

Unique acts, free parking at Heights Music Hop

To welcome visitors to the 6th annual Heights Music Hop, Cleveland Heights is offering free parking, 3–10 p.m., in each business district on the day the event is held in it: Thursday, Sept. 13, in Coventry Village; Friday, Sept. 14, in Cedar-Fairmount; and Saturday, Sept. 15, in Cedar Lee.

Last year’s event attracted about 7,500 people and delivered economic impact estimated at $200,000, according to organizers. This year’s event features roughly 65 musical acts plus a few non-music entertainments, and organizers hope it will be bigger and better than ever before.

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Volume 11, Issue 9, Posted 1:56 PM, 09.03.2018

Art at St. Paul's contemplates light and color

September arrives and so does a new show at the Nicholson B. White Gallery, in St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. Four talented artists from Cleveland’s East Side—Marilyn Farinacci, Ben Hauser, Ruthe Stone and Catherine Davies Paetz—are featured in Contemplating Light and Color. The public is invited to attend the artists’ reception, which opens the show, on Friday, Sept. 7, 5–7 p.m.

Farinacci's vibrant paintings are stunning and complex. She creates visual concepts on canvas using layering, color and form in a unique way. Her contemporary paintings give the illusion of a three-dimensional space on a two-dimensional surface.

Hauser refers to himself a photographic artist.

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Volume 11, Issue 9, Posted 1:57 PM, 09.01.2018

'Alabama Story' opens Ensemble's new season

Cleveland Heights’ Ensemble Theatre is set to begin its 39th consecutive season, offering it’s signature mix of classic American plays and definitive contemporary works.

"This coming season's theme, ‘The Future is Bright,’ is filled with meaning," said Ensemble’s Executive Artistic Director Celeste Cosentino. "With the culmination of continuity of our space and location, to collaborating and creating a vision for the future of this corner, each one of our upcoming shows speaks to that sense of community and outlook to the days ahead."

The season opens with Kenneth Jones’ historical play “Alabama Story,” which will make its Ohio premiere on Ensemble’s Main Stage on Sept. 7.

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Volume 11, Issue 9, Posted 1:54 PM, 09.01.2018

Dobama presents Ohio premiere of 'Sunset Baby'

Dobama Theatre opens its 2018–19 Mainstage Season with the Ohio premiere of “Sunset Baby,” by Dominique Morisseau. The play, directed by Justin Emeka, will run Sept. 7–30.

In “Sunset Baby,” Morisseau, a writer on the Showtime series “Shameless,” calls into question the ways in which we love one another and what we choose to forgive.

Nina, a tough, independent woman, is visited by her estranged father, a former revolutionary in the Black Liberation movement, who seeks to mend their broken relationship. As father and daughter circle one another, deep-rooted wounds are discovered, generational differences are exposed, and burning truths are laid bare. The play is a smart, entertaining, and moving story about family, survival, and the nature of liberation.

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Volume 11, Issue 9, Posted 1:44 PM, 09.01.2018

'At Table' again brings art and food to Heights Arts

This September, 24 artists are partnering with some of Cleveland’s most creative culinary experts to transform the Heights Arts main gallery into four unique, themed installations that speak to the art of food and community through the materials we use to eat and drink. The exhibition, At Table: Cleveland Culinaria, opens on Aug. 31 and will run through Oct. 14.

In addition, on Sept. 14, 6–9 p.m., Heights Arts invites the community to the opening of a new exhibition in its Spotlight gallery, featuring the work of Cleveland Heights printmaker Paula Zinsmeister. 

At Table showcases the vision of chefs Douglas Katz of fire food & drink, Provenance, and the Katz Club Diner; Gerry Grim of Edwin’s Leadership & Restaurant Institute; Zeleke Belete of Zoma; and Karen Small of the Flying Fig. 

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Volume 11, Issue 9, Posted 10:38 AM, 08.28.2018

Join the Western Reserve Chorale in its 26th season

Western Reserve Chorale's (WRC) 26th season begins rehearsals on Sept. 4. It welcomes new members to join in a community of singers who enjoy the process of working together as an ensemble to create a musical experience for the Greater Cleveland area. The Chorale has a roster of nearly 100 members, so no singer needs to fear having to carry a part on his or her own.

At Table showcases the vision of chefs Douglas Katz of fire food & drink, Provenance, and the Katz Club Diner; Gerry Grim of Edwin’s Leadership & Restaurant Institute; Zeleke Belete of Zoma; and Karen Small of the Flying Fig. 

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Volume 11, Issue 9, Posted 10:50 AM, 08.28.2018

Mac’s Backs’ DeGaetano is 2018 Cleveland Arts Prize honoree

“Total shock” was the reaction of Mac’s Backs’ co-owner and manager Suzanne DeGaetano upon learning that she had been awarded a 2018 Cleveland Arts Prize. “I don’t deserve it,” was her next thought.

The Arts Prize trustees apparently disagreed, explaining in a statement their decision to award the 2018 Martha Joseph Prize to DeGaetano: “Within the Cleveland arts community, she has established herself as a patron saint among emerging and seasoned poets, writers and artists. She knows most by name. Her generosity and commitment to Northeast Ohio's literary community knows no bounds.”

“I think of the award as one that honors the local writers whose books we sell at Mac’s Backs,” said DeGaetano.

The Cleveland Arts Prize, established in 1960 by the Women’s City Club, is now the nation’s oldest municipal arts award. It recognizes local artists as well as those “community leaders who help regional arts flourish.”

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Volume 11, Issue 9, Posted 12:20 PM, 08.21.2018

Heights Music Hop kicks off Sept. 13

The sixth annual Heights Music Hop, a free live-music festival, kicks off on Thursday, Sept. 13. This three-day weekend of more than 60 musical performances takes place in more than 28 venues across three business districts in Cleveland Heights. Each night of the Hop takes place in a different neighborhood: in Coventry Village on Sept. 13, in Cedar Fairmount on Sept. 14, and in Cedar Lee on Sept. 15.

This annual event offers a variety of musical genres at each free concert, such as classical, rock, rap, country, reggae, bluegrass and American roots.

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Volume 11, Issue 8, Posted 1:56 PM, 07.31.2018

Funk A Deli to perform at JCU

Funk a Deli, formerly known as Yiddishe Cup, will perform at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 16, on the lawn in front of the Grasselli Library at John Carroll University in University Heights.

The band will play klezmer and soul music--sometimes in the same song. And there will be free ice cream.

The concert, part of the University Heights Summer Concert Series, is free. Bring a blanket or chair to sit on. In case of rain, the show will move inside to the O'Malley Center. For more information, contact University Heights City Hall at 216-932-7800, ext. 205.

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Volume 11, Issue 8, Posted 10:55 AM, 07.31.2018

'Emerging' actors bring 'Our Town' to Dobama

Dobama Theatre announces the ninth year of its Emerging Actors Program (DEAP), the summer intensive acting program for high school and college students, which culminates in the performance of a play. This year’s production is "Our Town" by Thornton Wilder, co-directed by Nathan Motta and Leighann Delorenzo.

"Our Town," a Pulitzer Prize-winning American classic, is a meta-theatrical take on an American small town. The setting for the play is the fictional town of Grover's Corners, between 1901 and 1913, and concerns the everyday lives of the town’s residents.

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Volume 11, Issue 8, Posted 10:52 AM, 07.31.2018

Heights Arts founder returns as exhibiting artist

On Friday, June 29, 6 to 9 p.m., Heights Arts will celebrate the opening of a new exhibition in its spotlight gallery of works by Heights Arts’ founding executive director, Peggy Spaeth.

In the work, a collection of paintings made between 1972 and 1986. Spaeth focuses on the principles of design, with particular attention to color and repetition. The paintings on display were made alongside another series of work, comprising hand-dyed and hand-sewn quilts. While making her quilts, Spaeth simultaneously experimented with pattern and color in painting form, creating combinations she was unable to achieve with cloth. Spaeth’s intense love of geometry and her ability to create illusion with color and pattern are evident in this selection of works, on view through Aug. 12.

Proceeds from the sale of her work benefit two programs near and dear to Spaeth: Heights Arts, and Sober Living Cleveland, which provides safe, affordable sober housing to those in recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs.

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Volume 11, Issue 7, Posted 12:45 PM, 06.19.2018

Dobama's summer season begins June 1

Kicking off the summer season at Dobama Theatre is the 40th anniversary of the Marilyn Bianchi Kids’ Playwriting Festival. Dedicated to the memory of Dobama co-founder Marilyn Bianchi, the festival was the first of its kind in the country, giving young playwrights in grades 1–12 the opportunity to express themselves by writing and submitting original work.

The festival culminates in three days of innovative storytelling and performances, June 1–3, at Dobama Theatre. This year, eight plays will be performed, selected from the more than 230 submitted. Ten additional plays were given Awards of Meritorious Distinction.

Eight local directors will direct the plays, which will feature actors ages 7 to 68.

Tickets are $25 for the Opening Night Benefit Performance on June 1 at 7:30 p.m. All other performances—June 2 at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and June 3 at 2:30 p.m.—are free and open to the public.

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Volume 11, Issue 6, Posted 12:20 PM, 05.29.2018

Eddy is 2018 Haiku Master

Heights Arts presented its 2018 Haiku Death Match on April 21 at Ensemble Theatre. The sold-out event featured local and regional poets who participated in a “battle to the death” of 17-syllable word play on assigned topics. The audience voted for the best poems in each paired contest.

Poets Christine Donofrio and Lorraine Cipriano came out swinging with cutting and thoughtful pieces on the themes of “personal relationships” and “politics.”

Azriel Johnson won points from the audience with witty poems on the “the daily grind.” Returning 2017 Haiku Master Raymond McNiece battled mightily against bluntly worded, sharply amusing poems delivered by Bill Schubert in a battle that ultimately went to the former champion. Meanwhile, Michael Ceraolo pushed his way to the top four with his thoughtful and jocular poems.

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Volume 11, Issue 6, Posted 2:22 PM, 05.29.2018

Heights Music Hop is Sept. 13-15

The sixth annual Heights Music Hop, a free music festival that attracted 7,500 people last year, has been scheduled for Sept. 13-15. This year’s festival takes place in three Cleveland Heights districts: Sept. 13 in Coventry Village, Sept. 14 in Cedar Fairmount, and Sept. 15 in Cedar Lee.

Heights Music Hop showcases live musical talent in local businesses to promote the Heights as home to the arts, while also helping to support the local economy and celebrate the community’s diversity, walkability and quality of life.

FutureHeights, a nonprofit community development corporation, presents the event to inspire community collaboration and promote a vibrant and sustainable future for the Heights. This year, FutureHeights is partnering with Heights Arts to administer the festival.

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Volume 11, Issue 6, Posted 10:14 AM, 06.04.2018

Heights Arts exhibition explores artists' relationships with nature

Sticks and Stones opens Friday, June 15, at Heights Arts and will be on view through Sunday, July 29. This summer exhibition showcases the relationship between artist and nature. Contributors include Andy Curlowe, Ryan Dewey, Jeanetta Ho, Kevin Kautenburger, Steven Mastroianni, Freeland Southard and Olga Ziemska.

Curator Bill Schubert described his thought process: “Humankind’s relationship with sticks and stones is fundamental. Sticks and stones were our first tools, our first weapons, and the materials we built our first dwellings of. The history of art also begins with sticks and stones. The first known drawings were drawn on the stone walls of the Lascaux caves (1700–1500 B.C.). What did these ancient ancestors use to mark these stone walls? Sticks?

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Volume 11, Issue 6, Posted 9:56 AM, 06.04.2018

Cedar Fairmount plans free concerts and festival

The Cedar Fairmount Special Improvement District (CFSID) is making summer plans.

On Thursday, June 21, it will host the first of two free family-friendly concerts, with Jen Maurer and Mo Mojo performing. The second concert, on Thursday, July 26, will feature the Moises Borges Trio. Each concert will start at 7 p.m., and be held on the Stephen’s Green patio at Nighttown.

Both Jen Maurer and Mo Mojo are know for their Zydeco music and blues and roots background. Expect rousing vocals, crazy and amazing fiddling, banjo plucking, guitar picking, and bass booming—and maybe some foot stomping and dancing in the aisles.

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Volume 11, Issue 6, Posted 10:02 AM, 06.04.2018

Funk a Deli mixes soul and klezmer at Cain Park

Funk a Deli, formerly known as Yiddishe Cup, will mix soul music with klezmer at the 40th annual Workmen’s Circle Concert in the Park on Sunday, June 24, 7 p.m., at Cain Park’s Evans Amphitheater. Admission is free. Tickets are not necessary.

The show will be hosted by Michael Wex, the author of Born to Kvetch and a popular guest on Terry Gross' PBS radio show "Fresh Air."

Guests performers will include klezmer violinist Steven Greenman, Cantor Kathryn Wolfe Sebo, vocalist Shawn Fink, and marimba player Greg Selker, the founder of the Kleveland Klezmorim, which disbanded in 1990. Selker hasn't played publicly this century.

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Volume 11, Issue 6, Posted 9:59 AM, 06.04.2018

Friends of Cain Park raffle offers free season tickets

What’s better than going to a show at the Evans Ampitheatre at Cain Park? Going to every show—for free.

Friends of Cain Park is raffling two free season tickets in a fundraiser for its activities to support Cain Park. Each raffle ticket costs $50, and sales are limited to just 100 tickets.

Tickets are available through May 31 at www.cainpark.eventbrite.com. Tickets will also be available on Saturday, June 2, at Residents Day at Cain Park, when the ticket booth opens for sales to Cleveland Heights residents only.

Friends of Cain Park is a non-profit founded in 1995 to support artist prizes for the July Arts Festival, music and dance performances, actor stipends and college scholarships for Cleveland Heights High School.

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Volume 11, Issue 5, Posted 3:30 PM, 04.30.2018

Dobama’s “Appropriate” runs through May 20

From the writer of Dobama Theatre’s 2016 hit, “An Octoroon,” comes a play that asks a question for which there is no easy answer: how does the past affect what we think and who we become?

“Appropriate,” winner of the 2014 Obie Award for Best New American Play, is running now through May 20 at Dobama Theatre. Written by 2016 MacArthur Genius Grant recipient Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, and directed by Dobama Artistic Director Nathan Motta, this play appropriates the white family drama to make whiteness racially visible at all times.

In “Appropriate,” the patriarch of the Lafayette clan has just passed away and the family is forced to descend upon its crumbling Arkansas homestead to settle accounts.

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Volume 11, Issue 5, Posted 9:11 AM, 05.01.2018

Homeschool art show to benefit ARTFUL youth programs

On Wednesday, May 23, six homeschool artists will showcase their masterpieces at The Mary Proctor Project art show, hosted by ARTFUL Cleveland in its studios on the Coventry P.E.A.C.E. Campus, 2843 Washington Blvd. in Cleveland Heights. The event takes place from 1 to 7 p.m., and light refreshments will be provided.

The artists are Kaitlynn Bamler, Elise Bolton, Lennice Bolton, Chiara Koonce, Mary Proctor and Juliana Walther.

Proctor, a 12-year-old homeschooled Cleveland Heights artist, founded The Mary Proctor Project in 2014 to showcase young artists and their work within the Cleveland community, and to raise awareness and funds to directly benefit local nonprofits.

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Volume 11, Issue 5, Posted 9:09 AM, 05.01.2018

Heights Arts presents first-ever members' show

This spring Heights Arts, the nonprofit community arts organization located at 2175 Lee Road, will present its first artist members’ show. The exhibition opens Friday, April 27, with a community reception 6–9 p.m., and runs through June 10.

The Members’ Show is an outgrowth of Heights Arts' mission to support the community by providing opportunities for artists and art audiences to discover one another. As a multi-disciplinary arts organization, Heights Arts taps into the potential of the region’s creative residents to enrich community life. The non-juried exhibition comprises works by current Heights Arts working artist members.

“One of the missions of Heights Arts from the beginning has been to encourage Heights residents to become involved in the arts, not only as audiences but as active participants,” said Greg Donley, chair of the Heights Arts Exhibition Committee

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Volume 11, Issue 4, Posted 11:20 AM, 03.31.2018

Ensemble Theatre continues 'Angels in America' production

Ensemble Theatre continues its production of both parts of Tony Kushner’s masterpiece, “Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes,” with “Part Two: Perestroika” opening April 27 at the Cleveland Heights theater.

“Part One: Millennium Approaches” had its Ensemble run in January, beginning the story of a group of characters living and surviving during the rise of the AIDS epidemic in 1980s New York City. “Part Two” picks up right where “Millennium Approaches” left off—with the character of Prior (Scott Esposito) being visited by the Angel (Inés Joris).

It’s a once-in-a-generation opportunity for fans of theater to be able to see a full production of “Perestroika,” especially in conjunction with “Millennium Approaches.”

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Volume 11, Issue 4, Posted 11:08 AM, 03.31.2018

Mac's Backs hosts April 7 type-in

Typewriters. Maybe you have one you never use. Would you like to fix it up? Maybe you have one you use all the time. Would you like to meet other typewriter enthusiasts? If so, join them at Mac’s Backs-Books on Coventry on April 7, 3–6 p.m., for a type-in.

A type-in is a celebration of these wonderful machines, where aficionados can connect to others who are interested in typewriters without the aid of social media or algorithms.

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Volume 11, Issue 4, Posted 10:32 AM, 03.27.2018

Haiku Death Match returns April 21

On Saturday, April 21, at 7 p.m., eight haiku poets will meet on the Ensemble Theatre stage to battle for audience approval and the 2018 Haiku Death Match Master title. This year marks Heights Arts’ sixth Haiku Death Match, held in April to celebrate National Poetry Month, which raises funds for Heights Arts’ literary activities.

“The fame of the Death Match is spreading,” said Rachel Bernstein, executive director of Heights Arts. “Last year, the event sold out, and this year, we have new contestants from all over Northeast Ohio—some from as far away as Toledo! We’re thrilled this event is getting so popular because everybody has a good time, and it helps fund Heights Arts’ literary programs, like Ekphrastacy and the Cleveland Heights poet laureate.”

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Volume 11, Issue 4, Posted 10:25 AM, 03.27.2018

Concert honors retiring choral master Martin Kessler

Cleveland Heights-based Choral Arts Society of Cleveland continues its 43rd season with an examination of classical expressions of folk art. In a performance that director Martin Kessler calls “one chorus, two pianos, three percussion, and four hands," Choral Arts will treat its audience to a performance that is rollicking, sassy, heartwarming, upbeat and moving, all in one entertainment package.

The concert, on Sunday, March 11, 7:30 p.m., at Disciples Christian Church in Cleveland Heights, will have added significance as Choral Arts singers honor Kessler before he retires from full-time, active directing at the end of this performance season. 

Kessler, a lifelong Cleveland Heights resident, has spent the past 50 years as an educator and musician, honing and channeling the artistic abilities of students, instrumentalists and singers.

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Volume 11, Issue 3, Posted 1:00 PM, 03.02.2018

Spring show opens at St. Paul's.

With spring around the corner, it is time for a new show at the Nicholson B. White Gallery at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. Visit the gallery between March 9 and early June to see Mindful, Colorful, Artful. This show pulls together the works of four talented local artists: a photographer, an oil painter, a printmaker and a glass bead maker. Meet the artists at a free public opening on Friday, March 9, 5 to 7 p.m. 

Bill Berris carefully selected an eclectic set of photographic works that are crisp and vivid with color, with subjects ranging from people to wildlife to landscapes. Each image has a story behind it: a moment in time or a human emotion. Berris resides in Solon, where he runs a photography service company with his wife. 

Working with oil paints on canvas is Debbie Vail, who paints primarily portraits.

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Volume 11, Issue 3, Posted 1:05 PM, 03.02.2018

Drawn Together explores Buddhist concepts

Opening March 9 in the Heights Arts main gallery, Drawn Together: Emotional Intelligence and the Vernacular of the Heart explores the Buddhist concept of the brahma-viharas, also known as the four divine emotions, through drawings by Northeast Ohio artists John Carlson, Suzanne Head, Tony Ingrisano and Dana Oldfather. The community is invited to the opening reception on Friday, March 9, 6 to 9 p.m.

Drawn Together looks at the emotions of loving-kindness (metta), compassion (karuna), vicarious or sympathetic joy (mudita), and equanimity (upekkha), through the expression of visual line and imagery in a wide range of materials, including paint, charcoal, and glass.

“Drawing is so effective and efficient in its ability to convey emotion that it seemed a most appropriate medium for this subject,” said Josh Werling, exhibition curator.

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Volume 11, Issue 3, Posted 1:18 PM, 03.02.2018

LEI brings together kids and professionals at Kids' Comic Con

Lake Erie Ink (LEI) will host its sixth annual Kids' Comic Con on Saturday, March 17, 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. At this all-day event, youths of all ages will have the chance to attend workshops with well-known comic creators.

Last year, this one-of-a-kind comic convention for young writers and artists drew nearly 150 kids and teens from across Northeast Ohio.

Workshops will cover the two aspects of comic creation—drawing and writing—and include the ever-popular activity “create your own comic character in clay.”  

Doors open at 9:30 a.m., and workshops begin at 10 a.m. Admission is $10 at the door, and scholarships are available.

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Volume 11, Issue 3, Posted 12:58 PM, 03.02.2018

HYT partners with Cain Park to offer musical theater summer camp

Heights Youth Theatre (HYT) is thrilled to make a summer return to the place of its origin, Cain Park. In a new collaboration, HYT will partner with Cain Park to offer a summer camp for teens who are passionate about musical theater.

The camp, open to those in grades 6–12, will take place June 11–29 at Cain Park (14591 Superior Road). No audition is necessary.

From audition techniques, scene work, character development, choreography and music intensives to interaction with professional actors, directors, tech people and stage managers, HYT campers will build a musical review in the professional setting of Cain Park, culminating with a performance on the Alma stage on June 30.

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Volume 11, Issue 3, Posted 1:14 PM, 03.02.2018

Western Reserve Chorale presents 'Mass = WRC2'

This concert title pun is based on Albert Einstein’s statement, “I get most joy out of music.” The Western Reserve Chorale [WRC] plans to bring joy in music to the Heights with a March 18 concert of two masses: Schubert’s Mass in G and John Rutter’s Mass of the Children.

The approximately 100-member WRC will be joined by soprano Marian Vogel, tenor JR Fralick, baritone Matthew Brennan, and the ladies of Voices of Harmony from Beaumont School, and accompanied by an orchestra.

The concert will take place on Sunday, March 18, 3:30 p.m., at Church of the Gesu in University Heights. WRC, in its 26th year, is grateful to have been so welcomed into its new home at Gesu. 

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Volume 11, Issue 3, Posted 1:06 PM, 03.02.2018

Ensemble prepares for 2018 Colombi New Plays Festival

Ensemble Theatre will host its seventh annual Colombi New Plays Festival this month, showcasing new works by local playwrights. Among this year’s festival highlights is "Mama/Moon," a new work by Cleveland Heights playwright Tom Frattare.

“Mama” and “Moon” in the title refer to Mama Cass Elliot of The Mamas & The Papas, an immensely popular folk rock group of the late 1960s, and Keith Moon, the innovative and wildly eccentric and erratic drummer of the Who. Both died at age 32.

Frattare said the impetus for his play was the rash of talented artists dying at a young age—Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, and others. “It's a play about sex, drugs and rock and roll,” Frattare said. “But it’s also about the whirlwind of celebrity, and the all-too-often side effects of loneliness and addiction on the road to redemption.”

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Volume 11, Issue 3, Posted 1:02 PM, 03.02.2018

Burning River Baroque to perform at three CH venues

Early-music ensemble Burning River Baroque will return to Cleveland Heights with three performances of Suppressed Voices: Music of the Banished. The ensemble will perform on Wednesday, March 21, 7:30 p.m., at The Wine Spot (2271 Lee Road), and Saturday, March 24, 2 p.m., at St. Alban's Episcopal Church (2555 Euclid Heights Blvd.). Both of these concerts are free; free-will donations will be accepted.

An additional performance will be offered on Saturday, April 24, at 7 p.m., at a private residence in Cleveland Heights. A fundraiser for the ensemble, tickets will be $50. For reservations, e-mail rsvp@burning-river-baroque.org (address of the venue will be provided upon receipt of RSVP).

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Volume 11, Issue 3, Posted 1:20 PM, 03.02.2018

HYT celebrates home with 'The Wizard of Oz'

Follow the yellow brick road and join Heights Youth Theatre (HYT) for a performance of “The Wizard of Oz” at Heights Middle School (Wiley campus). The show opens on Friday, March 9 and runs through Sunday, March 18.

Treva Offutt directs the show, Stacy Bolton serves as music director, and Jack Ina is stage manager. One hundred Greater Cleveland students, in grades 1 through 12, comprise the cast. The lead cast members are Spencer Skok (Wizard), Victoria Skok (Dorothy), Brian Tuohey (Scarecrow), Keegan Polatz (Tinman), James Berner (Lion), Trinity Offutt Decker (Glinda), Grace Wilkinson (Witch), Grace Hoy (Miss Gulch), Margaretta Milgram (Auntie Em), and Joshua Mink (Uncle Henry).

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Volume 11, Issue 3, Posted 1:13 PM, 03.02.2018

Apollo's Fire presents free family concert on March 3

Cleveland Heights-based Apollo’s Fire Baroque Orchestra will present a free family concert at Heights High on Saturday, March 3, at 2 p.m. The performance is part of a family concert series titled Wing It, featuring local songstress Amanda Powell with Apollo's Fire instrumentalists.

This interactive and lighthearted performance, which is open to the public, will explore the connection and similarities between jazz and Baroque music. Audience members will have an opportunity to try out the instruments, including the hammered dulcimer, percussion and guitar, during the post-concert “Instrument Petting Zoo.” The family concerts are part of the group’s new Community Access Initiative, which seeks to bring world-class music to diverse audiences throughout Northeast Ohio.

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Volume 11, Issue 3, Posted 10:27 AM, 02.27.2018

'The Effect' explores love and chemistry at Dobama

If love is a drug, can a drug make you fall in love? Lucy Prebble’s provocative new play, “The Effect,” directed by Laley Lippard and opening at Dobama Theatre on March 2, wowed U.K. critics and award panels with its fascinating questions about the mysteries of the mind and the true nature of love.

“The Effect” tells the story of Connie and Tristan, volunteers in a clinical drug trial, who begin a sudden and illicit romance. However, they must ask themselves: is theirs a palpable chemistry, or merely a side effect of the new antidepressant being tested? As their relationship forces the supervising doctors to face off over the ethical consequences of their work, the story begins to unwind in a script that plays like a thriller.

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Volume 11, Issue 3, Posted 10:30 AM, 02.27.2018

New ceramics by Sharon Grossman in the spotlight at Heights Arts

Opening Friday, Feb. 2, in the Heights Arts Spotlight gallery is a selection of new works by ceramist and founding member Sharon Grossman. While she is best known for her vessels, Grossman has created for this installation a suite of pieces that are all meant to be wall-hung.

Many of the works employ a technique known as pique assiette, that uses broken shards of dinnerware the create mosaic designs.

Previously in her creative life, Grossman was a woodworker and furniture maker, and that background informs her approach to ceramics.

“I have always loved carving,” Grossman said, ”and a lot of my work includes carved or inlaid elements. To me, this body of work really combines those interests that led me first to make furniture and then to take up ceramics."

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Volume 11, Issue 3, Posted 6:25 PM, 02.01.2018

'Jelly Belly' makes regional premier at Ensemble Theatre

One of the earliest plays by renowned playwright Charles Smith will get its regional premier at Ensemble Theatre this month, when “Jelly Belly” opens on Feb. 9.

In the play, Cleveland actor Lashawn Little plays Mike, who finds himself at a crossroads in his life after being passed over for a promotion at his construction job. Frequent Ensemble collaborator Greg White (“Thurgood,” “Death of a Salesman”) plays Jelly Belly, just released from prison and looking to get the gang back together.

Originally produced by Chicago’s Victory Gardens in 1990, the play comes from a real-life meeting Smith had with a Chicago gangster named Jelly Belly.

“What shocked me was not that Jelly Belly had very calmly and openly admitted to murdering several people on several occasions, many of whom had been his friends,” wrote Smith in the opening to his play. “What shocked me was the fact that each time he had been convicted of murder, he had spent no more than six months in jail.”

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Volume 11, Issue 2, Posted 10:54 AM, 02.01.2018

Swim Cadets demonstrate their 'Girl Power'

The Cleveland Heights High School Swim Cadets, a 16-member synchronized swimming team, have announced that their 2018 annual show is scheduled for Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 22, 23 and 24. The school’s oldest extracurricular club has chosen the theme “Swim Cadets Present: Girl Power,” and songs that highlight female empowerment. Clare Peppler, the club’s vice president, noted, “I’ve been surrounded by an amazing group of girls who motivate and influence me to be the best version of myself every day. This year we chose the theme ‘Girl Power’ to show how even in a society that isn’t always fair to women, we can persevere together.” 

Since 1939, the Swim Cadets have been a part of Heights High’s rich history, putting on an extensive show choreographed to music and lights, complete with costume changes. There are traditions that have carried on over the decades, and it is not uncommon for the girls to be second- or even third-generation Swim Cadets. Current club members include daughters and nieces of former club members.

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Volume 11, Issue 2, Posted 10:22 AM, 02.01.2018

Still Point gallery relocates to Cedar Fairmount

After opening Still Point in Little Italy’s Old Schoolhouse nine years ago, Kate and Geoff Baker have now relocated their gallery to Cedar Fairmount.

Over its first nine years, the gallery continually outgrew its space, and three times moved to larger suites in the schoolhouse. The owners attribute their decision to move Still Point to Cedar Fairmount as one that addressed more than just the physical requirements of their expanding business.

“The Cedar Fairmount Business District has been on our radar for several years," said Kate, “and provides not only more gallery area and parking, but also gives us proximity to our existing customers and a larger market. We see it as a vibrant area that’s being invigorated with upscale shops, restaurants and arts venues.” 

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Volume 11, Issue 2, Posted 10:25 AM, 01.30.2018

Senior soloist to perform Mozart flute concerto in CHHS concert

The Heights High Symphony, under the direction of Daniel Heim, will feature senior soloist Corinne Nicol as part of the the Instrumental Music Department’s (IMD) Midwinter Concert Festival II on Friday, Feb. 16, at 7:30 p.m., in the Heights High Auditorium. Nicol and the Symphony will perform Mozart's Flute Concerto No. 2 in D Major.

Nicol knew she wanted to make music from the age of 6. She begged her parents to let her learn a variety of instruments, including the violin, harp, guitar and accordion. Wisely declining all of her requests, her parents instead decided to start her on the piano, with lessons from her mother. She continued on piano until she was 9, when she switched to flute. At age 10 she began taking private flute lessons with Linda Miller.

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Volume 11, Issue 2, Posted 11:02 AM, 01.31.2018

CH poet laureate applications are due Dec. 31

Heights Arts, in collaboration with the city of Cleveland Heights, is accepting applications from creative writers for the office of Cleveland Heights Poet Laureate.

The city’s ninth poet laureate will serve a 24-month period, beginning April 2018, and concluding at the end of March 2020.

The city and Heights Arts selected the city’s first poet laureate in 2005, making Cleveland Heights the first city in Ohio to appoint anyone to the position. The intention was to create programs to infuse poetry into community life.

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Volume 11, Issue 1, Posted 10:49 AM, 12.12.2017

Mitchell’s Fine Chocolates showcases "sweet" art show

For the next three months, sweets of a different variety will be on view inside Mitchell’s Fine Chocolates in Cleveland Heights, at 2285 Lee Road.

Beginning Dec. 8, the long hallway leading from the back parking lot will showcase an array of quilts, embroidery and mixed media fiber art—all part of This Sweet Life—an invitational fiber art exhibit.

The show, which runs until March 1, will kick off with an opening reception on Dec. 8, 6–7:30 p.m. The community is invited to meet the artists and view their work. Many of the art pieces are for sale, in time for the holidays.

The participating Northeast Ohio artists have interpreted the theme of "this sweet life" in diverse ways. The artists include Diane Bird, Victoria Bocchicchio, Natalie Isvarin-Love, Roz Kvet, Katharine O’Connell, Margaret O’Reilly, Amy Reed, Melissa Richmond, Rima Tessman, Eugenia Vainberg, Nelly Vileikis, Violet Watterson and Marty Young.

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Volume 11, Issue 1, Posted 12:10 PM, 12.05.2017

Heights Arts presents a month of music and metal

There’s no reason to stay home and hibernate in January—Heights Arts offers a number of community-friendly events to kick off 2018.

On Saturday, Jan. 13, at 8 p.m., visiting Minnesota quartet Zeitgeist joins Cleveland’s No Exit ensemble for an evening of music from the unique repertoire of each group, as well as collective performances of new music. The free community concert promises a diverse assortment of avant-garde sounds, including music that explores the possibilities of the electro-acoustic medium.

Opening Friday, Jan. 19, from 6 to 9 p.m., is Materialized: Seven Artists Working in Metal, curated by Heights Arts exhibition committee member Pamela Argentieri. “Northeast Ohio has a long tradition of sculptors, blacksmiths, silversmiths and designers working in metal,” said Argentieri. "This community and its institutions continue to support the careers and education of its artists."

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Volume 11, Issue 1, Posted 9:54 AM, 01.03.2018

Drum majors reflect on marching band's fall season

Alex Gillooly and Glennis Covault are the drum majors for the Heights High Marching Band, under the direction of Brett Baker of the Instrumental Music Department (IMD). This past fall, the marching band performed pre-game and half-time shows during four scheduled home football games. As junior drum major, Covault worked closely with the more experienced Gillooly, who serves as senior drum major.

The central role of the drum majors is to coordinate and implement Baker's vision, which means being ready for anything. As Covault put it, “Mr. Baker once said that our job as drum majors is to make him `useless.' We act as the eyes, ears and hands of Mr. Baker at every level. This has inspired me to constantly be thinking ahead.”

Both Gillooly and Covault agree that their most important responsibility is the steady conducting of the music. “Out in the field," Gillooly said, "the main concern is to make sure that we direct with a very consistent tempo, maintaining eye contact with the percussion and with each other to keep the band together.”

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Volume 11, Issue 1, Posted 9:43 AM, 01.03.2018

'Angels in America' spreads its wings at Ensemble Theatre

Both parts of Tony Kushner’s masterpiece "Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes" will be staged at Ensemble Theatre this year, with "Part One: Millennium Approaches" opening Jan. 5.

Ensemble's Executive Artistic Director Celeste Cosentino is directing both parts of "Angels in America," with the follow-up, "Part Two: Perestroika," opening April 27 with the same cast of Cleveland actors. Both shows will run four weekends.

“I think it makes sense to produce both parts,” Cosentino said of the undertaking. “It’s really one big story, and I’m excited for the opportunity to provide audiences with the chance to watch the characters’ entire journey.”

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Volume 11, Issue 1, Posted 9:59 AM, 01.03.2018

HYT continues season with 'Once Upon a Mattress'

Heights Youth Theatre (HYT), now in it's 64th year, starts 2018 off with an entertaining and meaningful musical, "Once Upon a Mattress." The production, which will be performed at Heights Middle School in University Heights, opens on Friday, Jan. 19, and closes on Sunday, Jan. 28.

The show is directed by Eugene Sumlin, music-directed by Stacy Bolton and stage-managed by Jack Ina. Included in the cast are 50 actors in grades 1-12. The lead cast includes Cleveland Heights residents Spencer Skok as Prince Dauntless, Charlie Proctor as the Minstrel, Julien Benchek as the Wizard, and Victoria Skok as Lady Larken. They are joined by Grace Wilkinson as Winifred, Keegan Polatz as Henry, Olivia Rood as Queen Aggravain, Brian Tuohey as King Sextimus the Silent, and Grace Hoy as the Jester.

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Volume 11, Issue 1, Posted 10:04 AM, 01.03.2018

Cuyahoga Arts & Culture awards grants to Heights organizations

On Nov. 13, Cuyahoga Arts & Culture (CAC) announced that it will invest over 12 million dollars in grants to a record-number 258 nonprofit organizations in Cuyahoga County through its 2018 grant programs. The grant awards include $376,459 to 20 Heights-based organizations, which may not be surprising given that the city of Cleveland Heights bills itself as “home to the arts.” 

Four of the 20 Heights organizations are based at Coventry P.E.A.C.E. Campus: Lake Erie Ink, Ensemble Theatre, FutureHeights and Reaching Heights.

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Volume 11, Issue 1, Posted 11:52 AM, 11.21.2017

Artful welcomes Studio Cat

Artful is excited to announce that its newest tenant, Studio Cat, has moved into Studio 4.

Studio Cat offers a wide range of classes for children and adults. Among the January classes are Winter Break Workshops for kids, including book making, printing and open studio; Mommy and Me Art Time, in which mothers get to work on an art project while their preschoolers are guided through a play-based art class; and a Vision Board Workshop for adults, to clarify their goals for 2018. 

Recent New York City-transplant Jacqui Brown founded the new studio, which she named Studio Cat in a “funny play on words for Studio 4 in French.”

Brown is excited by the energy and vitality of the local art scene here. Asked about her goals for the studio, Brown spoke of using art to build analytical thinking skills and helping adults and children de-stress. “Creativity is a tool for problem-solving while the process of creating is very relaxing,” Brown said. “Everything is changing with technology and global issues. The biggest advantage we can give our children, and ourselves, for the future is the ability to think and problem solve. The arts exercise and develop those tools.”


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Volume 11, Issue 1, Posted 11:59 AM, 12.18.2017

Apollo's Fire presents 'Christmas on Sugarloaf Mountain'

To ring in the holiday season, Apollo’s Fire presents the world premiere Christmas rendition of its popular countryside program. Christmas on Sugarloaf Mountain celebrates the Celtic roots of an Appalachian Christmas, with shape note hymns, folk carols, Gregorian chant of old Scotland, and lively dance tunes. It expands upon the original concept, with a larger cast of characters, additional instruments and a chorus and children’s voices.

Artistic Director Jeannette Sorrell will lead a familiar cast, including Amanda Powell and Ross Hauck, as they evoke the journey of the Irish and Scottish immigrants who built new lives in the Appalachian hills.

The concert will be performed locally on Dec. 8 at the Cleveland Museum of Art and Dec. 9 at the First Baptist Church in Shaker Heights. The Shaker Heights performance will be followed by a free Afterglow reception with the artists. Additional performances include Dec. 2 in Akron, Dec. 3 in Willoughby Hills, and Dec. 10 in Bay Village.

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Volume 10, Issue 12, Posted 11:38 AM, 12.01.2017

Ensemble brings 'The Little Prince' to its stage

Any parent with Netflix can probably attest to the positive effect the film version of The Little Prince has on children. Engaging storytelling, beautiful animation, and the powerful message mesmerizes kids without the use of superheroes or extravagant special effects.

Ensemble Theatre, continuing its 38th season, is bringing the staged version of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s seminal 1943 novella to Cleveland Heights when “The Little Prince” opens in its Playground Theatre on Dec. 1.

Following the success of last year’s “The Phantom Toll Booth,” Ensemble has brought back director Brittni Shambaugh Addison for its production of “The Little Prince.”

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Volume 10, Issue 12, Posted 12:18 PM, 11.27.2017

Rajiv Joseph play receives Ohio premiere at Karamu

Karamu House has joined forces with Cleveland Heights' Ensemble Theatre to present the Ohio premiere of “The Lake Effect, a socially relevant comedy written by Rajiv Joseph, a 2010 Pulitzer Prize-finalist and Cleveland Heights native.

Performances run through Nov. 26 at Karamu’s newly refurbished concert hall, located at 2355 East 89th Street, Cleveland.


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Volume 10, Issue 12, Posted 10:01 AM, 11.21.2017

Next Manly Monday shopping night is Dec. 11 at Heights Arts

Ever wish you could create a list of special things made by local artists so that people would know what to give you for the holidays? Heights Arts has it figured out—with personal gift wish lists and some special shopping nights planned for its 16th-annual holiday store.

On Manly Mondays, idea-challenged shoppers (of all ages and genders) are invited to join Heights Arts to sip some local artisan brew and shop from their friends’ wish lists, or go beyond the lists and make their own creative shopping choices

The first Manly Monday was held in November, with an encore night planned for Monday, Dec. 11, from 6 to 9 p.m.

Complimentary gift wrapping is available to complete each package, so you may never again need to tape over a box from Amazon.

Shoppers should be sure to visit Heights Arts to fill out or update holiday store wish lists in advance of Manly Monday,so the lists are on file for your gift-giving friends and relatives.

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Volume 10, Issue 12, Posted 11:21 AM, 12.04.2017

Forest Hill Presbyterian presents Christmas opera

The classic Christmas opera Amahl and the Night Visitors will be performed at Forest Hill Presbyterian Church on Saturday, Dec. 9, at 7 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 10, at 4 p.m. Admission is free.

Gian-Carlo Menotti's Christmas opera tells the story of Amahl, a disabled boy with a habit of telling imaginative tales. When Amahl and his impoverished mother are visited by three kings, faith and forgiveness lead to an emotional miracle.

In keeping with Menotti’s request that Amahl always be played by a boy, not a young adult, 10-year-old Henry Dyck again will sing the role of Amahl, alongside his own mother, soprano Lara Troyer, as Amahl’s mother.

Troyer, a former associate artist with Cleveland Opera, is on the voice faculty at Kent State University, and her recent roles include solos with the Akron Symphony.

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Volume 10, Issue 12, Posted 11:10 AM, 12.04.2017

Creatures and Clay opens at St. Paul's gallery

On Friday, Dec. 1, St. Paul's Episcopal Church hosts an opening reception for a new show by four Cleveland artists, on view through Feb. 25 in the church’s Nicholson B. White Gallery. Creatures and Clay features the work of Maggie Denk-Leigh, Sarah Johnston Knoblauch, Julie Friedman and Greg Aliberti. The artists will be on hand at the opening, 5–7 p.m.

Maggie Denk-Leigh is an associate professor at the Cleveland Institute of Art. She works in the printmaking department there, and with the Morgan Conservatory. The processes she uses currently are lithography and screen-printing. In this show, Denk-Leigh presents new works on paper depicting animals inhabiting simple backgrounds, or in artistic décor around us. Some of her unique pieces draw from details within the space at St. Paul’s.


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Volume 10, Issue 12, Posted 12:22 PM, 11.27.2017