Help birds save the Earth in theatrical family workshops

Robin VanLear and Santanu Mallik try on "This Art is for the Birds" mask prototypes.

In April, Artful Cleveland and Art Acts studio will undertake the work of creating a play—"This Art is for the Birds"—a comical plea to save the earth, filled with hidden hopes and lessons. It will be the first original, outdoor theater production at Coventry PEACE Park.

According to the play's outline, the canary in the coal mine is dead. With so many amphibians on the brink of extinction, it is up to Birds to save the day. The Birds badly want to help, but the flocks can't seem to agree on anything. The King and Queen of the Birds have a plan: a competition, in which each flock or collection of raptors will get to demonstrate their fail-proof plan. And . . . may the Earth win!

Beginning April 15, community members can join a series of family workshops and be part of the creative team that, through sharing words, movement, and visual art talent, will decide how the Birds save the planet.

Artists, including Eric Coble, Raja Freeman, Marlon Hatcher, Story Rhinehart and Diana Sette, will take turns leading the various workshop sessions at Coventry PEACE Campus, 2843 Washington Blvd.

The workshops are open to families, and individuals age 15 and older, and will take place on Saturdays, 3–5 p.m., April 15, 22 and 29; and May 6, 13 and 20. The cost of a workshop pass for all six sessions is $75 for a family or a friend group, and $40 for an individual. The drop-in price is $20 per family; $10 per person.

In addition, on Saturday, April 22, noon to 2 p.m., Art Acts will host a free workshop to make kinetic birds, in celebration of Earth Day.

Visit, or for additional information on the workshops, and for information on a series of one-week summer camps and one-day workshops that will begin in June.

"This Art is for the Birds" is funded in part by a special project grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.

Robin VanLear

Robin VanLear is the founder of Art Acts studio and a member of Artful Cleveland. She will be leading some of the workshops mentioned in the article.

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Volume 16, Issue 4, Posted 10:57 AM, 04.02.2023