A & E News

Senior soloist Muller to perform April 26

This April, Cleveland Heights High School will present the Instrumental Music Department’s (IMD) finale concerts. On April 25, Concert Band, Symphonic Band, Concert Orchestra, and Philharmonic Strings will perform. April 26’s concert will feature Symphonic Winds, Heights High Symphony, and senior soloist Sophia Muller. Both concerts will take place at 7 p.m. in the school’s auditorium.

Muller formally began studying violin when she was 4, but has always been surrounded by music. Laura Shuster, her mother, and a Heights alumna, is a professional violist and was her first teacher. Muller recalled telling her mom, when asked to choose an instrument, “I want to play the violin,” adding, “I'm sure I thought that a violin was a viola, but I had a limited vocabulary, so she got me started on the violin.”

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Volume 17, Issue 4, Posted 11:24 AM, 03.28.2024

Mark National Poetry Month with Ekphrastacy

As National Poetry Month unfolds, Heights Arts will present the latest event in its Ekphrastacy series—a fusion of visual art and poetic expression.

At the heart of Heights Arts’ April 18 event is the dynamic interplay between artists and poets, epitomizing the nonprofit’s commitment to fostering cultural vibrancy. Spearheading this artistic endeavor is Siaara Freeman, Heights poet laureate, who began her two-year term in April 2023.

She is a teaching artist for Center for Arts-Inspired Learning and a celebrated poet and performer. Freeman's collection of poetry, Urbanshee, released in August 2022, has garnered widespread acclaim, showcasing her ability to delve into the intricacies of urban life with grace and insight.

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Volume 17, Issue 4, Posted 10:24 AM, 03.28.2024

UH Symphonic Band salutes spring April 7

University Heights Symphonic Band (UHSB) will return to John Carroll University’s (JCU) Dolan Science Center Atrium on Sunday, April 7, 3:30 p.m., for a free concert—a salute to spring and to the next day's solar eclipse. 

Now in its 54th season, and under the direction of Devlin Pope, UHSB will play concert band music from Samuel Barber, Aaron Copland, John Philip Sousa, Frank Ticheli and more at JCU.

Parking and admission are free, and the facility is ADA accessible.

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Volume 17, Issue 4, Posted 10:06 AM, 03.28.2024

Chamber Collective premieres 'Oath Breaker'

The newly reinvented Cleveland Chamber Collective takes the stage at Disciples Christian Church in Cleveland Heights for its inaugural concert on April 20, at 7:30 p.m.

The new lineup features some faces familiar to the Cleveland chamber music scene, including violinist Emily Cornelius, flutist Linda White, and pianist Eric Charnofsky. Also joining the band are up-and-coming performers, including violist Brian Slawta and cellist Trevor Kazarian, with returning percussionist Dylan Moffitt

The collective will premiere Oath Breaker, a piece that takes the audience on a 60-minute journey of anger, grief, and hope, “striving to come to grips with the events of Jan. 6 and the subsequent fallout.”

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Volume 17, Issue 4, Posted 10:21 AM, 03.28.2024

In 'Significant Other,' stereotypical sidekick is the protagonist

Dobama Theatre will present the regional premiere of “Significant Other” by Joshua Harmon, directed by Colin Anderson, April 26 through May 19.

Described by The New York Times (NYT) as “a tenderly unromantic romantic comedy, as richly funny as it is ultimately heart-stirring,” the play follows Jordan Berman and his trio of close girlfriends as they navigate companionship, loneliness, and love.

Berman would love to be in love, but that’s easier said than done. So, until he meets Mr. Right, he wards off lonely nights with three best friends. But as singles’ nights turn into bachelorette parties, the protagonist discovers that the only thing harder than finding love is supporting those around him when they do.

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Volume 17, Issue 4, Posted 10:17 AM, 03.28.2024

N. B. White Gallery opens Spring Show

The Nicholson B. White Gallery invites the community to the opening of its Spring Show on Friday, April 5, 5–7 p.m., where attendees will have the opportunity to meet the artists: Jeff Suntala, Boni Suzanne Gelfand, Meryl Engler, and Gene Epstein. The show will be on view until Sunday, June 9, at the gallery, located at St. Paul's Episcopal Church.

Jeff Suntala is known around town for his urban plein air watercolors, featuring both familiar and obscure sites around Cleveland and its outskirts. A member of the Ohio Watercolor Society, Suntala has garnered acclaim for his Cleveland Plein Air Watercolor calendar.

Boni Suzanne Gelfand is a Cleveland artist whose work reflects her experience in interior design and the travel industry.

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Volume 17, Issue 4, Posted 10:11 AM, 03.28.2024

Register now for free spring-break arts classes

During this year’s school spring break, on Tuesday, March 26, and Thursday, March 28, the Cultural Arts Center at Disciples Christian Church (DCC) will offer free art classes for kids in grades one through four and grades five through eight.

The classes—in which everyone who registers will take part—will comprise circus arts, taught by WIZBANG Circus School; dance, from Blakk Jakk Dance Collective; and art activities from the Center for Arts Inspired Learning.

The classes will be held 1–4 p.m., on Tuesday, March 26, and Thursday, March 28, and will take place at DCC’s Cultural Arts Center, 3663 Mayfield Road, Cleveland Heights. 

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Volume 17, Issue 3, Posted 2:57 PM, 02.28.2024

'Something Clean' gets regional premiere at Dobama

March 8–30, Dobama Theatre will present the regional premiere of "Something Clean" by Selina Fillinger, directed by Shannon Sindelar. 

Described by The New York Times as “a beautifully observed, richly compassionate new drama,” the play is both suspenseful and stirring. It follows Charlotte, a devoted mother, wife, and respectable member of the community, who struggles to make sense of her own grief, love and culpability when an act of violence is committed by a family member.

The inspiration for "Something Clean" was an article about Brock Turner, the Stanford University swimmer from Ohio who sexually assaulted a woman behind a dumpster. Fillinger, the playwright, said, “I was following that story, and I saw a photo of him walking to court holding his mother’s hand. It was an incredibly domestic and maternal image.

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Volume 17, Issue 3, Posted 3:03 PM, 02.28.2024

Orchestra performs French favorites

The Cleveland Repertory Orchestra will present a concert featuring music by favorite French composers. The performance will be held on Saturday, March 9, 7 p.m., at Disciples Christian Church in Cleveland Heights.

The concert will feature pianist Corey Knick, performing Francis Poulenc's Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, Maurice Ravel's Pavane for a Dead Princess, and Camille Saint-Saëns's First Symphony.

Cleveland Repertory Orchestra performances are free and open to the public, but tickets should be requested online, in advance.

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Volume 17, Issue 3, Posted 3:09 PM, 02.28.2024

Collaboration is the theme at Heights Arts

When Heights Arts was founded in 2000, the new organization’s name included the word “Collaborative.” Despite later shortening that to “Heights Arts,” the nonprofit has continued to value collaboration as an ongoing inspiration—as evidenced by partnerships with No Exit New Music Ensemble and The Music Settlement that, in March, will bring several unique experiences to the community.

First up is the exhibition Irrational Objects: Looking Back into the Future, opening Friday, March 15, at 5 p.m., and running through May 12.

Heights Arts and No Exit have collaborated for more than a decade, with Heights Arts hosting several of the ensemble’s concerts each year. Last year’s Collaborage exhibition at Heights Arts was the kickoff event to No Exit’s 2024 celebration of surrealism, and now No Exit’s foray into the visual arts expands to fill the entire Heights Arts exhibition space, which will be transformed into a surrealist environment with Irrational Objects.

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Volume 17, Issue 3, Posted 2:47 PM, 02.28.2024

WRC presents a 'human requiem' by Brahms

Western Reserve Chorale's (WRC) performance of Brahms’s Ein deutches Requiem (A German Requiem) this month represents the return of the ensemble's mission to offer music to various audiences, and presents—perhaps for the first time—the “chamber version” of this masterpiece, created in 2010 by German flutist Joachim Linckelmann.

WRC will perform the Requiem on Friday, March 8, 7:30 p.m., at Lakewood United Methodist Church, and Sunday, March 10, 3:30 p.m., at Church of the Saviour in Cleveland Heights. Both concerts are free and open to the public; donations are encouraged and will support WRC's ability to present quality choral music to the community.

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Volume 17, Issue 3, Posted 2:49 PM, 02.28.2024

PEACE Pops kicked off quarterly series with January event

Coventry PEACE kicked off its 2024 PEACE Pops series on Friday, Jan. 26, with its annual Art of Community event. The event drew well over 400 attendees who were able to view the Art of Community exhibit, participate in hands-on art making, enjoy the sounds of live music, dance with a giant puppet, and visit working artists in their studios. 

A quarterly experience of art and community, PEACE Pops is a free, family-friendly event held on the last Friday of January, April, July and October. The 2024 PEACE Pops series will continue on April 26, July 26, and Oct. 25.

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Volume 17, Issue 3, Posted 3:01 PM, 02.28.2024

Dobama launches Full Circle program

“At the Wake of a Dead Drag Queen” opened at Dobama Theatre on Jan. 26, but there is more happening at the theater than a show.

With the production, Dobama launched its Full Circle program—a new initiative to connect members of those communities represented in the scripts Dobama produces to artists during the rehearsal process, and to patrons through audience-engagement offerings during the run of the show.

For “Drag Queen,” Dobama collaborated with local drag performer Onya Nurve who served as a consultant on the show, helping to ensure the production is created with cultural competency. She was present in rehearsals and assisted on choreography, makeup, costume, and dramaturgy.

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Volume 17, Issue 2, Posted 5:01 PM, 01.30.2024

Senior soloist Payton performs Vivaldi Feb. 9

On Feb. 8 and Feb. 9, Cleveland Heights High School (CHHS) will present two Instrumental Music Department (IMD) concerts. Both will begin at 7 p.m. and take place in the school’s auditorium.

The performance on Thursday, Feb. 8, will feature Concert Band, Symphonic Band, Jazz Ensemble and Symphonic Winds.

The concert on Friday, Feb. 9, will feature Monticello and Roxboro Middle School Eighth Grade Orchestra students alongside the Concert Orchestra, Philharmonic Strings, Heights High Symphony, and senior soloist Marquis Payton performing Vivaldi’s G Major Concerto for Violin and Orchestra.

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Volume 17, Issue 2, Posted 1:16 PM, 01.30.2024

Heights Arts presents spectrum of art and performance

Though winter can be dreary, Heights Arts’ first exhibitions of the year aim to warm up visitors through light, color, and abstraction. The Cleveland Heights-based, multi-disciplinary arts organization debuted two new shows on Jan. 12: Prismatic and Spotlight: Amelia C. Joynes.

Prismatic features five artists, working in varying disciplines and mediums. Hope Hickman primarily works in the realm of sculpture, Marianne Hite creates fused-glass hangings, Sue Kirchner works in encaustic wax, and Cherie Lesnick and Patricia Zinsmeister Parker utilize paint and mixed media for their pieces.

“When light is emitted or reflected through glass, it lends a certain quality to the piece that nothing else can duplicate,” said Hite, who employs enameling, sandblasting, and laminating in creating her glasswork. “Moreover, the effects of heat, timing, and gravity ensure each piece its own identity. I find experimenting with such a distinct and elusive medium invigorating.”

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Volume 17, Issue 2, Posted 12:25 PM, 01.30.2024

Artful presents third annual Art for the Masses

On Feb. 24, ARTFUL invites the community to its to the third annual ART for the Masses at the Coventry PEACE Campus, 2843 Washington Blvd.

The event, which runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., will offer art for sale at prices not to exceed $250.

It’s designed to connect local fine artists with community members and potential buyers, and offers attendees an opportunity to meet the artists in an informal atmosphere, where they can start or grown their art collections.

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Volume 17, Issue 2, Posted 12:27 PM, 01.30.2024

Jan. 26 PEACE Pops event spotlights art and community

On Friday, Jan. 26, 6–9 p.m., the first PEACE Pops event of 2024 will focus on “Art of Community.” Held at the Coventry PEACE Campus, 2843 Washington Blvd., the evening’s activities will include an art exhibit featuring works by Greater Cleveland artists.

There will also be a hands-on art-making workshop with ARTFUL artist Amy Neuman, as well as a workshop with Lake Erie Ink. Free snacks and refreshments will be provided.

Live music will be presented by Etiquette, and enhanced by dancers—including a giant dancing puppet by Robin VanLear and Art Acts, Ltd. ARTFUL members will hold open studios, and there will be a photo booth, as well as featured vendors.

PEACE Pops is a celebration of art and community which takes place on the last Fridays of January, April, July, and October.

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Volume 17, Issue 2, Posted 4:09 PM, 01.19.2024

FutureHeights invites Heights businesses to set the Music Hop stage

Anticipation is already building for the upcoming 2024 Heights Music Hop, and FutureHeights invites Heights business owners to actively participate.

This year’s hop is planned for Saturday, Sept. 28, and planning is underway for an unforgettable evening of music, artistry, and community spirit. Starting this year, the Heights Music Hop will be an event that takes place on the last Saturday of September, on a recurring basis.

Heights businesses participate in the Heights Music Hop by transforming their establishments into venues for hosting live bands, and their participation is pivotal. FutureHeights invites all Heights businesses and business districts to be part of this annual event, and thanks those who have participated.

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Volume 17, Issue 1, Posted 11:11 AM, 12.28.2023

Heights Arts’ ARTbar season heats up

The first 2024 concert in Heights Arts’ ARTbar series—events that mix specialized cocktails, music, and poetry—will kick off on Thursday, Jan. 18, at 7 p.m., with a group sure to bring the heat.

Surrounded by the Prismatic exhibition, guests will sip drinks while experiencing a performance by William Reed Simon’s Hot Club of Cleveland—an acoustic jazz ensemble that harkens back to the historically famous Hot Club of France, a group formed in the 1930s to champion the genre. Simon describes the group’s sound as “jazz, swing with mid-century European influences as well as bebop and blues.”

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Volume 17, Issue 1, Posted 11:17 AM, 12.28.2023

Register early for Cain Park 2024 resident discounts

Before one season at Cain Park ends, the roster of concerts and events for the following year is already being planned.

While performing rights have been granted for 2024 musical theater productions and contracts signed for nationally touring artists, the summer lineup can’t be announced until later, due to contractual agreements.

However, Cleveland Heights residents don’t have to wait to register for ticket discounts and other benefits for Cain Park’s upcoming 86th season. And becoming a Cain Park-registered resident is easier than ever before: Presenting a current Ohio driver’s license or Ohio state I.D. with a Cleveland Heights address at the Cain Park offices at Cleveland Heights City Hall is all that is required.

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Volume 17, Issue 1, Posted 11:19 AM, 12.28.2023

Dobama invites audiences to a 'Wake'

Dobama Theatre will present the Ohio premiere of “At the Wake of a Dead Drag Queen,” Jan. 26 through Feb. 18.

Drag star Courtney Berringers welcomes you to her wake in this two-person tour de force, by playwright Terry Guest, that Sarasota Magazine said is “bound to hit your heart.”

Courtney has recently died—but make no mistake: this isn’t your grandma’s funeral. There will be no black frocks, no perfumed flowers, and definitely no crying. This is a celebration. “At the Wake of A Dead Drag Queen” is a play about the fine art of drag—from African gods and goddesses to Trina and Whitney Houston. This irreverent, funny, and moving play thoughtfully uses storytelling, drama, and drag to celebrate Blackness and southern queerness, while exploring identity, illness, and the narratives we construct for ourselves.

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Volume 17, Issue 1, Posted 11:14 AM, 12.28.2023

Heights Arts announces 2024 music season

Heights Arts has announced its 2023–24 music season. A blend of three unique series—Close Encounters chamber music, Gallery Concerts, and ARTbar events—the season reflects the uniquely creative community Heights Arts calls home.

With the help of its Music Community Team, Heights Arts has selected a talented lineup of musicians for both its Gallery Concert and ARTbar series.

For Close Encounters, artistic director Dane Johansen has gathered talent from the globally recognized Cleveland Orchestra and other acclaimed artists in the community.

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Volume 16, Issue 12, Posted 4:22 PM, 11.29.2023

Winter Show on view at St. Paul's gallery

The Winter Show at the Nicholson B. White Gallery of St. Paul’s Church will be on view until early March.

The exhibition features copper enameled jewelry, woodcut prints, wildlife photography, and oil and acrylic paintings by four artists from—or with ties to—Cleveland.

Each artists exhibits mastery and control in their chosen medium. 

Robin McIntosh paints with careful attention to detail in her landscapes and animal portraits. Her work is inspired by time spent in Ohio and Canada. 

Michaelle Marschall strives to imagine and create atmospheric, underwater views in her unique wood-block prints. In creating her abstract impressions, Marschall draws on her experiences in a form of scuba diving. 

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Volume 16, Issue 12, Posted 4:20 PM, 11.29.2023

Dobama presents new take on 'Little Women'

Dobama Theatre will produce a new adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s timeless novel Little Women this holiday season. Performances begin Dec. 1 and will run through a New Year’s Eve matinee.

In this fresh approach to the story, four actors in an attic retell Alcott's classic, creating scenes of love and loss amidst the ever-glowing warmth of the March family hearth. Jo goes on a journey of artistic self-discovery and coming-of-age as she struggles to become the writer she longs to be. Amid triumphs and troubles, it is through a sense of play that Jo and her sisters find themselves—making up fairy stories with witches and heroes, or spending an evening reciting the articles written for their beloved imaginary newspaper. However, it is through tragedy that Jo finally finds her voice as an artist and moves into adulthood with the knowledge that, while families change and grow, the ones we love are always close at heart.

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Volume 16, Issue 12, Posted 4:25 PM, 11.29.2023

Colopy is new Roots of American Music director

Roots of American Music (ROAM), the Cleveland Heights-based nonprofit organization that uses traditional American music as a tool for education, social change, and community building, welcomes Michele Colopy as its new executive director.

Colopy brings 27 years of nonprofit leadership experience, and a master’s degree in arts administration from the University of Akron, to her new role.

“I am honored to join ROAM and continue the legacy of its founder, Kevin Richards,” said Colopy. “I look forward to working with the staff and teaching artists to provide music education and creative opportunities for the community in Northeast Ohio.”

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Volume 16, Issue 12, Posted 4:29 PM, 11.29.2023

Have a 'Classy, Brassy Christmas' with WRC

The Western Reserve Chorale (WRC), a community choir of 90 voices from across Northeast Ohio, invites you to enjoy "A Classy, Brassy Christmas" on Dec. 3, at 3:30 p.m., when the ensemble offers its 32nd-annual holiday concert. It will be held at the WRC’s new home, Church of the Saviour, on Lee Road in Cleveland Heights. The concert is free and open to the public, with donations encouraged.

"A Classy, Brassy Christmas" will feature two longer works for chorus and brass with local, professional instrumentalists. The first, Christmas Cantata, will honor the 100th anniversary of composer Daniel Pinkham’s birth. This piece, subtitled “Sinfonia Sacra,” is a 20th-century homage to the Baroque, recalling the brilliance of the Venetian school of chorus-and-brass music, particularly as embodied in the works of Giovanni Gabrieli.

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Volume 16, Issue 12, Posted 2:10 PM, 11.17.2023

At 100, architect Madison looks back

Chapter Q of P.E.O. International will present “An afternoon with Robert Madison and Leon Bibb” on Saturday, Nov. 11 (Veterans Day), 2 p.m., at Forest Hill Presbyterian Church. The program is free.

Madison and Bibb, who are veterans, authors and friends, will discuss Designing Victory, A Memoir, written by Madison, a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, with Carlo Wolff.

The memoir captures a century of Madison’s personal stories, revealing American culture and his struggles to overcome racism while developing iconic structures in Cleveland and around the world. Madison recently celebrated his 100th birthday.

Born in Cleveland in 1923, Madison studied architecture at Howard University before serving in World War II.

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Volume 16, Issue 11, Posted 11:34 AM, 10.30.2023

Heights Arts’ Holiday Store opens Nov. 3

From Nov. 3 to Dec. 30, the entire Heights Arts space at 2175 Lee Road will be transformed into a festive gift shop featuring the work of more than 120 artists, creators, musicians, and authors. The Heights Arts Holiday Store showcases the unique talents present in the Northeast Ohio region.

A nonprofit organization that has supported thousands of artists, musicians, and poets since 2000, Heights Arts is known for providing one of the most extensive collections of artist-made art and craft in the region. Many shoppers look forward to shopping this “big-box” alternative, where one can find one-of-a-kind items that make thoughtful gifts.

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Volume 16, Issue 11, Posted 9:38 AM, 10.29.2023

UH Symphonic Band wraps up year with free concerts

The University Heights Symphonic Band (UHSB) announces three free concerts for the remainder of 2023, including its annual free Fall Formal Concert at JCU's Dolan Science Center Atrium, on Sunday, Nov. 5, at 3:30.

UHSB, with Devlin Pope as music director, will perform the Nov. 5 concert as a salute to college Greek musical organizations, which provide high-quality music to the public and college communities. The program will include Michael W. Smith's concert band piece "To the Summit (Strive for the Highest)"; and Hue's flute concerto Fantaisie, for solo flute and winds, performed by the band's own Julianna Sabo. The band will also play music composed by Stamp, Sousa, Whitacre, Williams, and Chance.

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Volume 16, Issue 11, Posted 9:59 AM, 10.29.2023

Dobama presents Halloween Fest

Witches! Warlocks! Wizards! Lend us your ears—

On Saturday, Oct. 21, 4–7 p.m., Dobama Theatre will present its third annual Heights Halloween Festival, in conjunction with the city of Cleveland Heights and the Cedar Lee Special Improvement District.

The free, family-friendly event will extend along the  Cedar Lee Business District, and will include the traditional Candy Crawl, where participating businesses will hand out candy to trick-or-treaters.

The festival's center of events will be located in Lot #18the small parking lot just across Meadowbrook Boulevard from Callaloo Cafe.

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Volume 16, Issue 10, Posted 10:37 AM, 09.29.2023

A triumph of harmony: 10th annual Heights Music Hop

The 10th annual Heights Music Hop proved an unequivocal success, uniting music lovers of all ages for a night of exceptional performances.

With the streets alive with melodies and a diverse crowd in attendance, the event showcased the unifying power of music in a vibrant community.

FutureHeights extends its deepest gratitude to the city of Cleveland Heights and to all of the Music Hop sponsors for their invaluable contributions, acknowledging that the event's resounding success would have been impossible without the wholehearted participation of cherished local businesses.

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Volume 16, Issue 10, Posted 10:34 AM, 09.29.2023

Jaycox pens his story of hope; donates proceeds

Cleveland Heights resident Kemp Jaycox has published his memoir, A Race Against Time: A Memoir about MS, Love, Loss and Life Lessons. Sales of the book will benefit the Forest Hill Presbyterian Church Environmental Sustainability Fund, and the Accelerated Cure Project for MS.

Jaycox, age 50, was busy leading an active life of sports, travel, volunteering and working in his environmental/sustainability career. Then, a bout with a stomach virus caused his immune system to overreact, resulting in a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis at the age of 30. Now, 20 years later, in a race against time as his body shuts down and makes the simplest task impossible, he is intent on telling his life story to offer hope to others.

“Everyone has different challenges in their lives,” said Jaycox. “The most important message I hope to convey to readers is to persevere despite your challenges and circumstances.”

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Volume 16, Issue 10, Posted 10:26 AM, 09.29.2023

Surrealist small talk: the art of collaboration

Through Oct. 15, visitors to Heights Arts have the opportunity to view a collaborative artistic effort, CollaborageInspired by surrealism, Collaborage was produced through the collaboration of four groups of multidisciplinary artists.

A brief conversation with two of the artists, Alison Miltner Rich and Meryl Engler, who worked on separate teams—and with poet Vince Robinson, who participated in a September poetry event inspired by the exhibition—provides a look at the collaborative process behind the work, in the artists’ own words:

“[My team] worked in mixed media,” said Miltner Rich, “so we all could collaborate in a way we felt comfortable.”

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Volume 16, Issue 10, Posted 10:05 AM, 09.29.2023

Heights Music Hop celebrates 10 years

On Sept. 23, the 2023 Heights Music Hop will celebrate its 10th year. Sponsored by the nonprofit FutureHeights, a community development corporation for Cleveland Heights and University Heights, this community event supports local artists and businesses while promoting the Heights to Greater Cleveland.

The Hop, scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 23, will be held at the Noble Gardener’s Market in the morning and in the Cedar Lee District Saturday that night. The event is free.

Kasia Bufford, manager of the Heights Music Hop, expressed excitement about the upcoming event, noting, “The Music Hop committee has created an event that will be diverse with lots of ways for people to participate.”

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Volume 16, Issue 9, Posted 12:22 PM, 09.02.2023

Church welcomes all to diverse arts community

The congregation of Disciples Christian Church (located at the corner of Mayfield and Yellowstone roads) is joyfully partnering with the arts community to share its 30,000-square-foot building.

The church's Cultural Arts Center (CAC) welcomes local artists of all genres, and seeks to collaborate with community partners to create a safe, accessible place where young people can engage in artistic expression that reflects the community's diversity.

Over the last three years, congregation and community volunteers have transformed the entire building into flexible space to accommodate a diverse array of art experiences.

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Volume 16, Issue 9, Posted 12:19 PM, 09.02.2023

New theater company stages 'Jesus Christ Superstar' in CH

Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s "Jesus Christ Superstar," which debuted in the 1970s, portrays the final days of Jesus of Nazareth as told through the eyes of Judas Iscariot, one of the 12 apostles. Judas worries that Jesus’ followers are heading in the wrong direction, Jesus and his movement will be destroyed by the Romans, and his message will be forgotten. The work was known for its contemporary attitude, use of contemporary slang in its lyrics, and ironic allusions to modern life.

A new production of this long-running rock opera will debut in Cleveland Heights this fall.

In a production by Willow's Edge Creations, a new Cleveland-based theater company started by longtime friends and creative partners Mary Miller and Denise Astorino, the show speaks to our current age.

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Volume 16, Issue 9, Posted 2:18 PM, 09.01.2023

Dobama announces new season of plays

Dobama, Cleveland Heights' own off-Broadway theater, kicks off its 64th season this fall.

Between October and May, Dobama Theatre will produce five plays by American playwrights in its Lee Road venue.

The new season begins on Oct. 6, with Dobama's production of "Make Believe," written by Bess Wohl, and directed by Nathan Motta, Dobama's artistic director. "Make Believe" tells the story of siblings who use a popular childhood pastime, a game of make-believe, to recreate and reveal their family’s everyday lives, and the dark secrets that lie beneath the surface, as they grow up together. 

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Volume 16, Issue 9, Posted 2:11 PM, 09.01.2023

Fall Show opens at St. Paul's gallery

The Fall Show at The Nicholson B. White Gallery at St. Paul's Episcopal Church will open on Sept. 8, featuring the diverse work of three Cleveland Heights artists—Helen Murrell, Brian Sarama, and Martha Shiverick.

The community is invited to the opening reception on Friday, Sept. 8, 5–7 p.m., featuring live music by Forest City String Band.

The show, on view until Sunday, Nov. 26, will feature handmade quilts, oil and acrylic paintings, and sculptural ceramics. The artists' themes include neighborhood and family, nature and the environment, and food and consumption. 

St. Paul's Church, at 2747 Fairmount Blvd. in Cleveland Heights, welcomes the community to its events and services throughout the year.

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Volume 16, Issue 9, Posted 2:22 PM, 09.01.2023

Heights Arts steps into the surreal

As a nonprofit arts organization, Heights Arts has long helped facilitate programming across disciplines, from music to writing to visual arts. Now, visitors to the Heights Arts gallery can experience an exhibition that entwines the three into one, with Collaborage.

Open through Oct. 15, the show celebrates surrealism at its purest; it's a celebration of expression.

“It's a great time to explore surrealism,” said participating artist Lacy Talley. “Surrealism sought to overthrow the oppressive rules of modern society by demolishing its backbone of rational thought. I believe the art scene in Cleveland and across the world is in a renaissance. Living artists are receiving more appreciation for their works, and the avenues to explore artistry are endless, especially with the evolution of technology.”

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Volume 16, Issue 9, Posted 2:13 PM, 09.01.2023

Make a date for free performances at Cain Park

Free concerts and performances are dotted throughout the month of August at Cain Park. Mark your calendars and schedule a sitter (or bring the kids; many of the events are family friendly).

With 250 seats in the intimate Alma Theater, 2,532 split evenly between the Evans Amphitheater's pavilion and lawn, an art gallery, and a summer program schedule that features free and paid live performances through September, Cain Park provides ample opportunity to enjoy local and national talent—in some cases with no admission fee.

August’s schedule starts with a performance from Cleveland Public Theatre’s Student Theatre Enrichment Program (STEP), a rigorous arts-based program that provides hands-on job training, and engages young people in a powerful learning experience that develops job skills, academic achievement, and interpersonal skills.

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Volume 16, Issue 8, Posted 10:03 AM, 07.24.2023

Yiddishe Cup dedicates Aug. 17 concert to Walter Stinson

Yiddishe Cup will play its final outdoor concert of the season on Thursday, Aug. 17, 7 p.m., at Walter Stinson Community Park, 2301 Fenwick Road, in University Heights. The band plays klezmer and Motown. The concert is free.

"To some," noted Bert Stratton, leader of Yiddishe Cup, "Walter Stinson is a park, aka 'The Walt.' To some, Walter Stinson is a person. He died in October. He worked for the city of University Heights for decades. He first hired Yiddishe Cup in 1994 for a University Heights concert.

"On Aug. 14, 2003, the entire East and Midwest had a power blackout on a brutally hot and humid night. I thought Walter was joking when he said the show must go on. I said to him, 'McDonald’s is closed, there are no street lights, and the radio says stay home.' 

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Volume 16, Issue 8, Posted 3:30 PM, 07.31.2023

Heights Music Hop returns in September

The Heights Music Hop will return this September for what is technically its 10th anniversary.

The Hop, founded in 2012, took a hiatus in 2020. FutureHeights, the community-development corporation serving the residents of Cleveland Heights and University Heights, launched this community-building event to generate support for the Heights' many local businesses while showcasing the talents of local musicians.  

Plans for this year's Hop are well underway, but there's still time to sign-on to sponsor the event.

Supporting the Hop has many promotional perks for donors, and guarantees that funds are funneled back to the local economy. Sponsorship-level details can be found at www.futureheights.org/2023-heights-music-hop-sponsorship-levels/.

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Volume 16, Issue 7, Posted 5:15 PM, 06.29.2023

Twins inspire two books by Heights author Ewing

Cleveland Heights resident Kathy Ewing has just published A Grandmother’s ABC Book—a veritable treasure for her twin grandchildren and for anyone who is, aspires to be, or knows a grandparent.

In 2020, Ewing learned that her daughter, Margaret, and son-in-law, Tim, were expecting twins. These would be Ewing’s first grandchildren, and she was more than ready. But the world had just been locked down due to the COVID pandemic, and the expectant family was hundreds of miles away in Brooklyn, N.Y.

With time on her hands, and nowhere to go, Ewing decided to sew a cloth alphabet book for the babies-to-be.

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Volume 16, Issue 7, Posted 4:05 PM, 06.29.2023

Heights Arts presents poets and artists in conversation

On Thursday, July 20, Heights Arts presents another entry in its engaging ekphrastic writing series, EKPHRASTACY: Artists Talk and Poets Respond, bringing together visual artists and poets for a night of collaboration and creative reflection.

This time, the subjects are the concurrent exhibitions Group Show and Paula Damm, on view at the Heights Arts Gallery on Lee Road.

The event will highlight poetry written in response to the work of Spotlight artist Paula Damm and the creatives featured in Group Show, a special exhibition presenting the work of artists Charlotte A. Lees, Yiyun Chen, Bruno Casiano, Sawsan Alhaddad, and Donald Penn. The exhibition’s goal is to present a selection of exceptional artists in the form of a group of solo displays.

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Volume 16, Issue 7, Posted 3:52 PM, 06.29.2023

'This Art is for the Birds' wants you

On July 22 and 23, Artful Cleveland will showcase its first original outdoor community theater presentation, "This Art is for the Birds," in Coventry PEACE Park. The interactive, outdoor theater piece is being created in the tradition of Greek comedies, complete with its own chorus, and backed up by the reggae band No Bad Days.

Showtimes are Saturday, July 22, at 7 p.m., and Sunday, July 23, at 4 p.m. 

In the lead up to the performances, there are opportunities for community members to participate in the making of the show. All are designed to enable participants to create their own bird masks and costumes, and join one of the bird flocks putting their bird brains to work trying to save Mother Earth from destruction.

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Volume 16, Issue 7, Posted 3:45 PM, 06.29.2023

Cain Park Arts Fest is free July 7–9

For 45 years, Cain Park has hosted hundreds of artists and thousands of visitors for what is likely the city’s largest annual event: the Cain Park Arts Festival. Year 46’s event will be held July 7–9.

Cain Park is one of the reasons Cleveland Heights calls itself "home to the arts." It’s the oldest municipally owned outdoor performance venue in the country, with music, dance, theater, and comedy performances every summer.

It was designed from the beginning as a place where community and the arts came together.

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Volume 16, Issue 7, Posted 9:40 AM, 06.27.2023

From start to finish, teens write and publish anthology

Last fall, a young group of dedicated writers, the Lake Erie Ink Teen Editorial Board, opened their computers to begin creating Lake Erie Ink’s annual Teen Anthology, a project in which all creative and editing decisions are made by teen writers and editors.

The board is preparing to publish its seventh annual anthology, Keys & Locks. It invites the community to celebrate its release at Lake Erie Ink on June 7, 5:30–7:30 p.m., where the teen writers and poets will share their work.

What happened between last fall and now to turn the haphazard ideas of Northeast Ohio teens into a polished anthology, overflowing with commanding metaphors, distinguished rhymes, and dutiful punctuation?

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Volume 16, Issue 6, Posted 11:46 AM, 06.01.2023

WRC prepares for British Invasion of choral music

"One if by Land, Two if by Sea"—the British are coming!

The final concert in Western Reserve Chorale’s (WRC) 31st season will welcome a British invasion of choral music, featuring compositions and lyrics derived from the expansive history of the choral traditions from the British Isles.

Featuring music by Ralph Vaughan Williams, John Rutter, Thomas Morley, Edward Elgar and others, in their interpretations of texts written by Shakespeare, Robert Louis Stevenson, Edward Lear, and even Lennon & McCartney, the concert will take place at Church of the Gesu in University Heights on Sunday, June 4, at 3:30 p.m.

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Volume 16, Issue 6, Posted 11:49 AM, 06.01.2023

Heights Arts mounts two new summer shows

Heights Arts is greeting summer with two new gallery shows, opening Friday, June 16.

Group Show, the annual artist showcase drawn from entries made through the Heights Arts website, presents new work from five featured creators.

Spotlight: Paula Damm highlights the work of Ohio-born fiber artist Damm.

Featured in Group Show are a diversity of artistic disciplines, including abstract paintings with cold wax by Sawsan Alhaddad, colorful layered monoprints by Bruno Casiano, photographs of Lake Erie by Yiyun Chen, composite photos by Donald Penn, and bentwood-based sculpture by Charlotte A. Lees.

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Volume 16, Issue 6, Posted 11:47 AM, 06.01.2023

'This Art is for the Birds' invites community to collaborate on theater event

On July 22 and 23, Artful Cleveland will showcase its first original outdoor community theater presentation, "This Art is for the Birds," in Coventry PEACE Park. The outdoor theater piece is being created in the tradition of Greek comedies, complete with its own chorus, and backed up by the reggae band No Bad Days.

To make this happen, Artful needs the help of the community.

Beginning June 3 and continuing through July 14, Artful will host a four-week series of seven half-day summer camps for 10- to 16-year-olds.

For families with children 6 and older, Artful offers a series of five family workshops.

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Volume 16, Issue 6, Posted 9:24 AM, 05.30.2023

Address signs endure as pieces of Heights school history

Forty years ago, the sounds of ball-peen hammers striking wrought iron on the horn of an anvil, and power tools shaping a piece of poplar, echoed through the basement of Roxboro Junior High School. This was the din of students in a mandatory shop class crafting projects that remain fixtures throughout Cleveland Heights.

In the early 1980s, (the era when I was in junior high—now called middle school) seventh-graders had one class period divided over the year into three courses: Home Economics, Art, and Industrial Arts, or “shop,” as it was called.

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Volume 16, Issue 5, Posted 1:57 PM, 05.01.2023

CH poet's new book coming in May

Cleveland Heights resident Tom Raithel's new book of poetry, This Easy Falling, will be published at the end of May.

The collection comprises poems Raithel wrote between 2015 and 2022, before an accident paralyzed him. In July 2022, Raithel slipped in a hotel shower and broke his neck. The accident left him a quadriplegic.

The power of words continues to strengthen Raithel as he recovers and rebuilds his life.

“The accident made me more appreciative for the power of poetry of others,” Raithel said. “I’m grateful to still be able to release this book, which means so much to me.”

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Volume 16, Issue 5, Posted 1:23 PM, 05.01.2023

Freeman is first poet laureate for all the Heights

Heights Arts is proud to announce the appointment of Siaara Freeman as the eleventh poet laureate of Cleveland Heights—and now, also, University Heights.

The new laureate’s two-year term and official duties will begin in April—National Poetry Month. 

Freeman joins a long line of past Cleveland Heights poets laureate, the most recent of whom was 2022 Academy of American Poets Fellow Ray McNiece.

“I am incredibly honored to be chosen to continue in a legacy carved by such brilliant and generous poets,” said Freeman. “It is a privilege to sit amongst personal heroes and close friends who embraced the opportunity to serve the community.”

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Volume 16, Issue 4, Posted 10:21 AM, 04.02.2023

Help birds save the Earth in theatrical family workshops

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.

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

Baldwin Wallace showcase returns to Beaumont May 5

Right now, Baldwin Wallace University's music theater seniors are preparing a showcase for agents, bookers and promoters in New York City.

By the time they perform in Manhattan in mid-April, they will have spent six months creating and rehearsing an original, exciting, tightly choreographed, non-stop theatrical production. It's designed to showcase each student, in front of the casting directors who have the power to put them on stage in regional touring productions, on cruise ships, in TV shows and movies, and on the Broadway stage. 

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Volume 16, Issue 4, Posted 10:53 AM, 04.02.2023

'Burn it Down' celebrates and benefits women

On Friday, April 7, the B Side Lounge will bring together 30 female artists—presenting visual, sound, and performance art—for the opening night of Burn It Down.

The exhibition explores and celebrates the resiliency of women, and will benefit Laura's Home Women's Crisis Center, an organization dedicated to empowering women and children dealing with trauma from domestic abuse, housing insecurity, and more.

Burn it Down is the brainchild of artist and curator Staci McNasty, who said the idea came from “watching the world, and some of my girls go through the ringer at the hands of beaters, gaslighters, and master manipulators."

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Volume 16, Issue 4, Posted 10:51 AM, 04.02.2023

Spring Break Arts Camp begins March 27

Artful Cleveland, in the Coventry PEACE Campus, will offer a Spring Break Arts Camp, March 27–31, for students in grades 8 through 12.

The camp, held in the Art Acts studio on the ground floor of Artful, will focus on a variety of arts, from visual arts and movement to playwriting and poetry.

Among the artists/mentors who will lead the camp activities are Eric Coble, playwright; Raja Freeman, poet; Diana Sette, interdisciplinary artist; and Story Rhinehart Cadiz, mixed-media artist, choreogapher and poet.

The camp still has room for additional students. The cost is $225 for the week; financial aid is available, and a "Pay What You Can" plan is in place.

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Volume 16, Issue 4, Posted 10:09 AM, 03.17.2023

Two choruses join voices in free March 12 concert

Western Reserve Chorale and Choral Arts Cleveland will perform together in a concert at Maltz Performing Arts Center at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) on Sunday, March 12.

The two choruses will join professional orchestral musicians and soloists Amanda Powell, Joanne Uniatowski, Brian Skoog and Brian Keith Johnson to present Remembrance and Hope, a concert featuring two very different approaches to the Requiem mass.

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Volume 16, Issue 3, Posted 10:16 AM, 02.28.2023

LEI to host fundraising tournament

If you love word games, you will love this news: After a four-year hiatus, Lake Erie Ink (LEI) is inviting you to hone your wordplay skills and join the 11th Annual Giant Bananagrams tournament, at Cleveland Heights High School, on Saturday, March 18, 1–4 p.m. 

Bananagrams is a game that encourages creative thinking, collaboration, and teamwork. For the LEI tournament, the stakes are amplified with a 30-foot x 30-foot board and a live emcee. Teams of five will compete. To register and participate, each team must raise $500.

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Volume 16, Issue 3, Posted 10:08 AM, 02.28.2023

Heights Arts presents 2023 Close Encounters series

Heights Arts announces the return of its Close Encounters chamber music series with five concerts: the first is Feb. 26, the subsequent concerts will take place on March 26, April 30, May 21, and June 25. Each of the Sunday afternoon concerts begin at 3 p.m.

This popular series is known for its world-class performances, featuring Cleveland Orchestra musicians and locally acclaimed ensembles performing in unique settings that create intimacy between the audience and musicians. 

Heights Arts Executive Director Rachel Bernstein commented, “After a hiatus due to the pandemic, I am excited to present our 16th Close Encounters season featuring four performances with outstanding musicians from the Cleveland Orchestra, and an additional performance by the critically acclaimed Alla Boara ensemble.

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Volume 16, Issue 3, Posted 2:37 PM, 02.23.2023