A & E News

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

Heights IMD and alumni celebrate 100 years

On Saturday, Feb. 25, the Cleveland Heights High School Instrumental Music Department (IMD) will celebrate a century of instrumental music at the school.

The evening concert will feature performances by current student ensembles and, on several pieces, alumni will be invited to dust off their instruments and play along. Former band and orchestra directors will also be invited to conduct. The concert will be held in the Heights High auditorium. Community members are encouraged to join the celebration as well.

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Volume 16, Issue 2, Posted 10:52 AM, 01.31.2023

CH artist unspools time and motion

In announcing a new exhibition of work by artist Greg Donley, Foothill Galleries owner Michael Weil wrote, "We get the sense [Greg] often is looking down and up and side to side, smiling, looking closely, historically, conscientiously, joyfully, photographically. That is the genesis of his 'still films,' as he calls them."

Still Moving, G.M. Donley's third exhibition at Foothill Galleries, will run through the month of February, and into at least mid-March. (A closing date has not been set.) Foothill Galleries is located at 2450 Fairmount Blvd., Suite M291.

The show will open on Thursday, Jan. 26, with an morning preview, 8–10 a.m., and an evening reception, 5–7:30 p.m.

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Volume 16, Issue 2, Posted 11:24 AM, 01.23.2023

PEACE Campus to host Art of Community Jan. 26–29

Coventry PEACE Campus's Art of Community weekend will return Thursday, Jan. 26, through Sunday, Jan. 29. It celebrates the creative and diverse community that has supported the campus's arts and nonprofit organizations.

Events will include workshops, a community art show, quarterly PEACE Pops! with ARTFUL Open Studios, an inaugural PEACE Awards night, and an indoor chalk festival.

The weekend’s activities feature both free and paid events, open to all ages.

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Volume 16, Issue 1, Posted 9:31 AM, 01.24.2023

Record Revolution, rock haven, has closed

“You get to pick the music [to play in the store]. You don’t get a lunch break,” said 49-year-old Rob Love, reflecting on his 35 years at Record Revolution, at 1832 Coventry Road. The 55-year-old rock-and-roll institution is closing on Dec. 31. 

Founded by Peter Schliewin, the store blossomed in 1967 along with the new hippie shops in a neighborhood with a new name, “Coventry Village.”

Coventry had been a rundown, half-century-old neighborhood whose immigrant population was leaving many storefronts empty; they were dying, or moving further east into the suburbs. Coventry Village became the Cleveland area’s first old neighborhood to undergo almost full youthful revitalization brought on by the baby boomer generation. 

John Gorman, WMMS radio executive in the 1970s and ‘80s, wrote on his Web page, Buzzard Book, that if Schliewin was “really hot” about a new record release, “he’d drive down to the station and drop it off.”

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Volume 16, Issue 1, Posted 10:55 AM, 01.02.2023

Heights Arts doubles down on new exhibitions

The first Heights Arts exhibitions of 2023 feature a group show by dual-disciplined artists, and a powerful solo exhibition by Nick Lee.

Dual Duel features visual artists who are also musicians (musicians who are also visual artists), and explores how these dual modes can cause both tension and inspiration. The participating artists are Dave Cintron, Hadley Conner, Jill Eisert, Gene Epstein, John Howitt, Kasumi, Scott Pickering, Priscilla Roggenkamp, Sam Silverman, William Reed Simon, Doug Unger, and John Williams. 

In the Spotlight gallery, Lee's new work, celebrating local, queer artists of color, will be on view. The figurative oil paintings explore those who have been overlooked and underrepresented in the history of portraiture. Said Lee, “It is crucial that we honor these people of color through portraits because their images are often overshadowed in our media by their white counterparts, even in the queer community. When we have accurate reflections of who we are as people, then we see each other as the real human beings that we are.” 

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Volume 16, Issue 1, Posted 10:25 AM, 12.29.2022

Lantern Festival will light up the night on Dec. 10

For some, the cloak of darkness on winter nights offers the perfect opportunity to paint the world with light, inspiring the annual Coventry PEACE Campus Lantern Festival and Procession. 

This year's festival is planned for Saturday, Dec. 10, at the Coventry PEACE Campus, 2843 Washington Blvd., as part of Coventry Village's Holiday Festival.

At the PEACE Campus, lantern festival activities begin at 3:30 p.m., with free lantern-making workshops. Lake Erie Ink will offer haiku lanterns, and ARTFUL artists Adam Brumma and Jacqui Brown will be making origami and paper and twig lanterns.

Lantern workshop participants and community members who have lanterns of their own are invited to join the procession, which will start at 5 p.m., at the PEACE Campus flagpole.

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Volume 15, Issue 12, Posted 8:51 AM, 11.29.2022

Heights Arts seeks next CH poet laureate

Heights Arts initiated the Cleveland Heights poet laureate program more than 20 years ago. It is now seeking the city's 11th poet laureate, to serve a  two-year term, April 2023 through March 2025—Heights Arts’ 25th anniversary. The Cleveland Heights poet laureate receives a yearly stipend, participates in civic and community events, and manages Heights Arts’ popular Ekphrastacy—Artists Talk and Poets Respond series.

Heights Arts is accepting applications for the position through Dec. 31. Anyone applying for the laureateship must commit to serve the full 24-month term of service if selected, and be either a resident of Cleveland Heights or have a significant relationship to the Cleveland Heights community. 

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Volume 15, Issue 12, Posted 1:38 PM, 11.15.2022

Heights Arts Holiday Store opens Nov. 4

This year's Heights Arts Holiday Store will be open Nov. 4 through Dec. 30.

“The Heights Arts annual Holiday Store offers a unique shopping experience for people seeking special gifts made by local artists," said store manager Heather Patterson. "We strive to display carefully curated works, and enjoy helping you find the perfect personalized gift.”

The holiday store has celebrated local artists for more than 20 years, and has expanded during that time.

The 2022 shop features approximately 120 artist contributors—chances are, some of your neighbors might be among them.

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Volume 15, Issue 11, Posted 2:37 PM, 10.31.2022

UH band performs free concert Nov. 6

The University Heights Symphonic Band (UHSB) will perform its annual fall concert on Sunday, Nov. 6, 3:30 p.m., at John Carroll University's Dolan Science Atrium.

As always, admission to the concert, and parking, will be free.

UHSB will perform concert-band classics from Holst, Reed and Sousa, as well as new music from Reineke and Mackey.

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Volume 15, Issue 11, Posted 2:30 PM, 10.31.2022

Apollo’s Fire announces its 2022–23 season

Cleveland Heights-based baroque orchestra Apollo’s Fire is gearing up for its 31st season under founding Artistic Director Jeannette Sorrell. The season comprises 26 subscription concerts, including seven in Cleveland Heights, and additional performances across Northeast Ohio. Apollo’s Fire is also planning robust education and outreach performances in the Heights. 

Highlights of the 2022–23 season include the return of Sorrell’s acclaimed version of Handel’s "Messiah"; a new program, “Exile,” focused on the music of displaced cultures; and a return of Monteverdi’s sumptuous "Vespers of 1610".

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Volume 15, Issue 10, Posted 10:12 AM, 10.01.2022

Outdoor learning at Gearity

Heights High teacher Steve Warner has an enduring passion to get students learning, working, and playing outdoors. Warner has guided students through many outdoor projects, including building pollinator gardens. One of the highlights of this past summer occurred when he and students made s’mores in the cob oven at Gearity elementary school in University Heights.

“Cob” is a building technique that uses a mixture of mud and straw to make a weather- and fire-resistant structure. In 2015, Warner was part of the team that expanded Gearity’s outdoor learning spaces to include the cob pizza oven, a large high-tunnel greenhouse, and several outdoor classrooms.

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Volume 15, Issue 10, Posted 10:02 AM, 10.01.2022

Academy of American Poets awards fellowship to McNiece

Cleveland Heights Poet Laureate Raymond McNiece has been awarded a fellowship from the Academy of American Poets. McNiece is among 22 poets nationwide who will receive $50,000 each in recognition of their achievements, and who will complete proposed projects.  

Cleveland Heights holds the distinction of supporting the oldest poet laureateship in Ohio, through a partnership between Heights Arts and the city of Cleveland Heights. Every two years, Heights Arts’ volunteer community team, Heights Writes, reviews submissions and chooses a new poet laureate for a two-year position.

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Volume 15, Issue 9, Posted 3:38 PM, 09.01.2022

Coventry PEACE Chalk Festival is Aug. 20

On Saturday, Aug. 20, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., ARTFUL will host the first Coventry PEACE Chalk Festival. (It's taking place the same day as the Harvey Pekar festival on Coventry.)

The community is invited to participate and celebrate the four-centuries-old Italian tradition of street painting, in which artists of all backgrounds and styles work side by side for a set amount of time to showcase their workmanship.

Unless artists opt to dampen their surface with mists of water, street painting involves no liquid. Instead, artists use paint in its solid form—soft pastels.

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Volume 15, Issue 9, Posted 10:54 AM, 08.16.2022

FutureHeights presents 2022 Heights Music Hop Sept. 9 and 10

Music fans will want to mark their calendars for the 2022 Heights Music Hop, Sept. 9 and 10, showcasing musical talent from around the region.

The free music festival, now in its ninth year, will feature performances in three Cleveland Heights neighborhoods.

Shows are planned for Friday evening, Sept. 9, in the Cedar Fairmount Business District, and Saturday evening, Sept. 10, in the Cedar Lee Business District. This year, performances will also take place in the Noble neighborhood, at the Noble Gardeners' Market at the mini-park at Noble and Roanoke roads, on Saturday morning, 10 a.m. to noon.

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Volume 15, Issue 8, Posted 10:57 AM, 07.29.2022

Books are art in upcoming group show

Visual artists have long been fascinated by books, often because books provide a way to distribute reproductions of original works.

Impagination, a group exhibition at Heights Arts that will open Friday, Aug. 19, and run through Sunday, Oct. 16, is not about reproductions; in this show, books themselves are one-of-a-kind works of art, designed to be held in the hands and leafed through in a narrative sequence.

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Volume 15, Issue 8, Posted 9:30 PM, 07.27.2022

Noble Cigar Box Guitar Project returns with free workshop Aug. 8–11

The Noble Cigar Box Guitar Project is back this summer, offering a free cigar box guitar workshop for middle schoolers.

The workshop consists of four sessions, Aug. 8–11, 1:30–3 p.m., at Disciples Church, 3663 Mayfield Road, in Cleveland Heights.

Workshop participants will build their own three-string box guitars from a kit that the organizers provide. They will also learn how a guitar makes music, the basics of playing the guitar, and where cigar box guitars originated. At the end of the workshop, participants will take home the guitars they each built.

In the hands of creative people, cigar box guitars demonstrate how commonplace, throwaway objects can be re-purposed into impressive musical instruments.

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Volume 15, Issue 8, Posted 5:41 PM, 07.11.2022

Height Arts brings the music

Heights Arts is emerging from two years of disrupted music programming with a new mix of offerings at community sites and in its gallery at 2175 Lee Road. Heights Arts musical events transform front yards into concert venues, and blend music with poetry in the new offering, ARTbar. 

When the pandemic made live music unavailable, listening trends changed. Before the pandemic, the classical genre wasn’t among the most popular music played by young people. But during the isolation of COVID-19, playlists for working, studying and relaxing that included classical music spiked more than any other genre, including among young audiences.

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Volume 15, Issue 7, Posted 10:40 AM, 07.01.2022

Heights graduate Antoine Dunn hits the big time

Antoine Dunn is a star. His singles and albums have charted high on Billboard. His songs, including “Can’t Forget” and “Miss My Love,” can be heard on SiriusXM, BET and MTV. The singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and record-label owner also happens to have grown up here. He went all through the CH-UH school system—Gearity, Wiley and Heights High—graduating in 2006.

Dunn, who now lives in Los Angeles, has toured nationally with other top R&B artists. He’ll be performing in Cleveland, at the House of Blues, on Sunday, Sept. 4, 7 p.m.

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Volume 15, Issue 7, Posted 10:36 AM, 07.01.2022

UH Symphonic Band announces June and July concerts

University Heights Symphonic Band (UHSB), a 50-piece concert band based in University Heights, announces the following line up of free summer concerts:

June 23 -  The Grove, Mayfield Village, 7 p.m.
June 30 -  John Carroll University, in front of the Dolan Center, 7 p.m.
July 2 -  Longwood Manor, Macedonia, 7:30 p.m.
July 28 -  John Carroll University, in front of the Dolan Center, 7 p.m.

Sponsored by the city of University Heights, UHSB started in the summer of 1970, under founder and first onductor Harvey Sisler. The band's repertoire of concert band music includes marches, show tunes, light classics, and contemporary selections. UHSB's current conductor is Devlin J. Pope.

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Volume 15, Issue 7, Posted 12:53 PM, 06.23.2022

The house that sings on Guilford Road

At a home on Guilford Road in Cleveland Heights, a unique type of spring cleaning is taking place. The piano is being tuned, music stands are being dusted off and repaired, and the screened-in porch is being converted to a musicians' "green room."

The home's owners, Franklin Cohen, principal clarinet emeritus of The Cleveland Orchestra, and his wife, Marcia Kodish Cohen, are readying for the annual arrival of the 30-plus musicians who fly in from all parts of the globe and comprise the world-class roster of performers at ChamberFest Cleveland.

This annual festival of chamber music was co-founded by Franklin and his daughter, Diana, who grew up in the Heights and is today the concertmaster of the Calgary Philharmonic.

The Cohen family includes Diana's brother Alex, principal percussionist in Calgary; and Diana's husband, the noted pianist and visual artist Roman Rabinovich, who, alongside his wife and father-in-law, is an artistic director of ChamberFest.

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Volume 15, Issue 6, Posted 3:09 PM, 05.27.2022

Michael Weber kicks off UH's summer concerts on June 16

The word is out about the University Heights Summer Concert Series—it’s been getting bigger and better over the last few years. Larger crowds have piqued the interest of popular bands, and those bands have thus drawn even more fans from University Heights and surrounding areas.

“University Heights has a nice vibe,” said Michael Weber, lead singer and guitar player of The Michael Weber Show. “The way University Heights supports the arts made me want to be a part of this.”

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Volume 15, Issue 6, Posted 10:15 AM, 05.26.2022

Klezmer supergroup takes the stage at Cain Park

Yiddishe Pirat (“Jewish Pirate” in Yiddish) is an all-star klezmer band, featuring Jack Stratton (of Vulfpeck) on drums; Josh “Socalled” Dolgin on piano, accordion and vocals; and Michael Winograd on clarinet. Yiddishe Pirat will perform on Sunday, June 26, 7 p.m., at the 42nd annual free Yiddish Concert at Cain Park.

The concert is not a Vulfpeck show. (Vulfpeck is a funk-pop band that sold out Madison Square Garden in 2019.) Yiddishe Pirat is a straight-ahead klezmer band. Stratton, its bandleader, said, “Our show at Cain Park will be a klezmer-revival revival, meaning we will mostly play golden moldies from the 1990s klezmer revival.”

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Volume 15, Issue 6, Posted 10:22 AM, 05.26.2022

Heights Arts presents a Member Show to remember

Heights Arts takes pride in the arts programs it offers, and in the exceptional community of volunteers, staff, board members, patrons and members—all of whom help keep the organization vital. Heights Arts presents a Members Show roughly every other year, to provide a showcase for the talents of its members. The 2022 Members Show opens Friday, June 17, 6–9 p.m., and runs through Sunday, Aug 14.

This year's show features art by all of the 38 Heights Arts members who submitted work, offering a diverse exhibition that embodies a rich and persevering collective identity.

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Volume 15, Issue 6, Posted 10:20 AM, 05.26.2022

Cain Park announces summer lineup, and free arts festival admission

This summer, Cleveland Heights' Cain Park Arts Festival celebrates 45 years. Admission will be free on all three days of the juried event, July 8, 9 and 10. In addition to the art exhibits, the festival will feature live entertainment, and food concessions will be available.

Cain Park's summer performance season will kick off on June 9, with "School of Rock the Musical," and will close on Aug. 21, with a free concert in Cain Park's Sunday Concert Series.

Residents Day, when the Cain Park Ticket Office opens for Cleveland Heights residents only, is Saturday, May 28, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (To purchase tickets, residents must have photo ID and show proof of residency. For information, visit www.cainpark.com/316/Residents-Day.)

The full summer lineup of musicals, dance, and concerts is below. For additional information, and tickets, visit www.cainpark.com.

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Volume 15, Issue 6, Posted 12:10 PM, 05.23.2022

Cleveland Repertory Orchestra presents first concert May 15

The Cleveland Repertory Orchestra (CRO) will present its first-ever concert on Sunday, May 15, at 3 p.m., at First Baptist Church of Greater Cleveland, 3630 Fairmount Blvd. The performance will be free and open to the public.

The concert will feature a new work by African American composer Kevin Day, the Flute Concerto by Christopher Rouse (featuring flutist Ian Wenz), and Antonín Dvorák’s Symphony No. 7.

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Volume 15, Issue 5, Posted 6:05 PM, 05.01.2022

CH's Apollo’s Fire celebrates 30 years

Cleveland Heights’ resident international baroque orchestra, Apollo’s Fire, celebrates 30 years of music this spring. From its first performance, on June 11, 1992, the ensemble enjoyed immediate success, with sell-out concerts across the nation, international tours, and 29 acclaimed albums, one of which won a Grammy in 2019.

“We’re proud to make Cleveland Heights our home base,” said founder and Artistic Director Jeannette Sorrell. “The community has always been incredibly supportive of classical music.”

The orchestra will celebrate this landmark anniversary with local concerts and events. The first, on April 30, will be a free family concert at the Lee Road Library, at 3 p.m. “Violinist & Swordsman: The Amazing Black Composer, Joseph Bologne,” will tell the story of an 18th-century French musician who, despite being born into slavery, became a knight, a fencing champion, and a great violinist.

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Volume 15, Issue 5, Posted 6:06 PM, 05.01.2022

Coventry PEACE plans benefit for Ukraine

On Sunday, May 15, 2 to 5 p.m., Coventry PEACE Campus (CPC) will host an afternoon of art, music and food, all to benefit the artists of Ukraine.

The concept for the benefit grew from the 30-plus-year friendship between Susie Porter, of Euclid, and Serhiy Savchenko, a well-known Ukrainian artist in Lviv, Ukraine.

As the war ramped up, Serhiy's daughter, Ulianka, also an artist, began making digital artwork depicting the various aspects of the war, rendering the unbelievable events in her vibrant, and politically pointed, poster art.

After a conversation between Porter, Lynn Ischay, a former Plain Dealer photographer; and [the writer of this article], it was agreed that Ulianka would send copies of her poster art to be sold here, to raise money for victims of the war in Ukraine.

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Volume 15, Issue 5, Posted 11:44 AM, 04.29.2022

Registration is open for LEI's creative expression summer camps

Creature Creations, a Lake Erie Ink (LEI) Creative Expression summer day camp for youth throughout Northeast Ohio, begins as it always has—coming together under the big white tent set up right outside the Coventry PEACE campus building. The sun shines down as birds welcome the arrival of the campers right in the heart of the Cleveland Heights Coventry neighborhood. There is a notable rush of activity under the tent as first- and second-graders scramble to prepare their displays.

It is a big day for the kids. All week, they have been perfecting and fleshing out the lives of the creatures they have created. They’ve built environments where their creatures might live, and invented backstories to explain their personalities.

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Volume 15, Issue 5, Posted 6:02 PM, 05.01.2022

Heights Arts interns curate student show

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Kailash Satyarthi once said, "The power of youth is the common wealth of the entire world. . . . No segment in society can match the power, idealism, enthusiasm and courage of young people."

As current events stream digitally throughout the consciousness of our youth, Heights Arts offers an open platform for Cleveland Heights High School students to amplify their voices through art in its annual student show. This year's exhibition, What a Time to Be Alive, is accompanied by a spotlight exhibition featuring works by senior intern Eryn Lawson and by junior intern Josie Naypaur, organizers of the larger student exhibition.

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Volume 15, Issue 5, Posted 5:58 PM, 05.01.2022

Choral Arts premieres American Mass

Just who is George Bristow? Choral Arts Cleveland, with director Brian Bailey, invites you to find out as it brings to life the Mass in C by 19th-century American composer George Bristow, in a world premiere of the composition. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m., on Wednesday, June 8, with a talk on Bristow and American classical music, followed by the choral performance. The venue is Fairmount Presbyterian Church, 2757 Fairmount Blvd. in Cleveland Heights.

The Mass in C (1884–1885) is filled with lush, romantic phrasings that segue into joyously spirited, energetic and robust movements. Its expressive text setting infuses movements, such as the Kyrie, with an evocative imploring quality, and the Credo, with moods of triumph. Other artistic assets of the Mass include its varied use of vocal solos, alternated with long choral sections and short instrumental interludes, and the use of bold homophonic styles.

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Volume 15, Issue 5, Posted 5:51 PM, 05.01.2022

Poems and photos come together at Nature Center

Well into her 80s, and showing no signs of slowing down any time soon, Cleveland Heights resident Nina Freedlander Gibans has published her fourth book of poems—In the Garden of Old Age. The poems, and accompanying photographs by Abby Star, will be on exhibit at the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes from an opening reception on Wednesday, May 25, through Aug. 15.

Gibans describes In the Garden of Old Age as a collection of poems about memories, “colliding daily in these summary years that pile up and tumble to the pages like leaves in fall.” The poems are richly illustrated—bright flowers giving way to autumn leaves.

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Volume 15, Issue 5, Posted 5:41 PM, 05.01.2022

Dobama wraps up season with award-winning comedy

Dobama Theatre will end its 2021–22 season with the award-winning comedy "Life Sucks," by Aaron Posner. This contemporary reworking of Chekhov’s classic "Uncle Vanya" won the Off-Broadway Alliance’s Best New Play of 2020. Dobama audiences may remember Posner’s adaptation of Chekhov’s "The Seagull"—"Stupid F*cking Bird"—which came to roost at Dobama in 2019. 

Chekhov’s themes of love, longing, and ennui are at the heart of this story, but Posner also highlights the humor and wit of his characters. In the play, Sonia and her Uncle Vanya are visited by her estranged father and his third wife, Ella. Their large house is also home to Babs and Pickles, and frequented by Vanya’s longtime friend, Dr. Aster. Rivalries and love triangles simmer among these passionate people, and tensions brew as personalities clash.

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Volume 15, Issue 4, Posted 11:59 AM, 04.02.2022

Heights Arts celebrates National Poetry Month

Heights Arts has decided to extend the two-year term of current Cleveland Heights Poet Laureate Ray McNiece for an additional year.

Rachel Bernstein, Heights Arts executive director, said, “Ray’s original appointment unfortunately corresponded directly with the onset of the pandemic. He, and therefore the community members, were deprived of his being able to fully participate in the position. We are very pleased that he has accepted our offer to serve for an additional year, and very much look forward to his contributions in the coming year."

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Volume 15, Issue 4, Posted 11:55 AM, 04.02.2022

LEI's Bananagrams fundraiser returns April 29 and 30

In 2013, a group gathered at the home of Cynthia Larsen, co-director of Lake Erie Ink (LEI), to test a new game: Giant Bananagrams. It’s a game of nerves, wit and teamwork that appeals to word lovers everywhere. Later that year, the game made its debut as a fundraiser for LEI—a massive competitive tournament for both adults and youths, played on a 30-by-30-foot board. Since then, the Giant Bananagrams fundraiser has become an enduring tradition for LEI, drawing teams of word-game enthusiasts.

The fundraising tournament returns April 29 and 30, to spread the joy of wordplay and support writing programs for young people in our community.

The fundraising tournament returns April 29 and 30, to spread the joy of wordplay and support writing programs for young people in our community.

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Volume 15, Issue 4, Posted 11:34 AM, 04.02.2022

Registration is open for 10th LEI Kids' Comic Con

In 2013, shortly after Lake Erie Ink (LEI) opened its doors, co-founders Cynthia Larsen and Amy Rosenbluth set out to build a new creative expression community for youth. They knew Cleveland’s young people loved the rich comic culture in Northeast Ohio, and enjoyed creating their own comics. 

What if the robust comic talent in Cleveland could work directly with the next generation of comic creators? Several phone calls later, the LEI Kids’ Comic Con was scheduled, featuring workshops by Marc Sumerak, Derf Backderf, Martinez E-B, Karen Sandstrom, and more.

This year, as the Kids’ Comic Con celebrates its 10th birthday, Larsen reflects on its growth: “When we started, we had like 40 kids . . . not as many workshops, not as many artists. We pretty quickly doubled the number of kids participating in Comic Con.” 

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Volume 15, Issue 3, Posted 11:00 AM, 03.01.2022

Dobama presents 'Kill Move Paradise'

Dobama Theatre’s 2021–22 season continues with "Kill Move Paradise," winner of the 2018 Kesselring Prize, March 4 through March 27. 

The play, by acclaimed playwright, actor, and director James Ijames, is a biting, funny, and hopeful requiem for Black lives that takes place in a waiting room to the afterlife. In this space, four Black men—Isa, Grif, Daz, and Tiny—search for peace and hope in the lives they leave behind.

Ijames likens it to the Bardo, a Tibetan Buddhist concept of the void between death and rebirth through which everyone must pass.

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Volume 15, Issue 3, Posted 10:58 AM, 03.01.2022

Liza Grossman goes Kaboom (collectively)

When Liza Grossman directed the Contemporary Youth Orchestra (CYO), she showed her young musicians many other ways in which they could use their talents in the musical world, beyond playing in orchestras and pit bands, and teaching. Those included playing for recording sessions; playing in studio orchestras for movie, TV, cartoon and game soundtracks; and playing behind rock (and other) musicians in concerts.

Grossman, who has lived in Cleveland Heights since 1992, stepped down as head of CYO in 2020 and, soon after, launched Kaboom Collective. Kaboom maintains a studio orchestra of about 40 members—the size of a standard Hollywood recording orchestra—which meets in person. And, small groups of students from all over the world, aged 15 to 25, can participate in online classes in a wide variety of music-related subjects, taught by industry experts.

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Volume 15, Issue 3, Posted 10:52 AM, 03.01.2022

DCC hosts open house for new arts center

Disciples Christian Church (DCC) invites the community to tour its newly renovated facility on Feb. 12, between noon and 4 p.m. Guided tours will be offered every half hour, starting at noon. 

The building and sanctuary have been remodeled to include a 500-seat performance space with great acoustics, flexible dance studio space, classrooms, teaching studios, and more. It is now home to a cultural arts center for young people and families. Visitors are invited to explore the space, and the many program offerings.

DCC is offering program space, free of charge, to artists and art organizations that make the arts accessible to youth in the community. In addition, part of DCCs mission is to provide reasonably priced rehearsal and performance spaces to Cleveland-area art organizations.

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Volume 15, Issue 2, Posted 10:39 AM, 02.01.2022

Registration opens for Reaching Heights music camp

After a two-year, COVID-caused hiatus, Reaching Heights Summer Music Camp will return to Cleveland Heights High School, June 13–18. It is open to 85 young musicians, ages 10–15, who live in the CH-UH City School District, and who have at least two years of experience playing an instrument.

This one-week camp brings together local musicians and music educators to create a music-immersion experience. The camp fee is $200, with scholarship support available.

Each camp day runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Campers participate in two orchestra rehearsals, a master class and sectional rehearsal, and a chamber group rehearsal. They develop their understanding of music theory in small groups, and explore a new musical interest, such as jazz, percussion ensemble, ukulele or choir. Somehow, there is also time in each day for lunch, outdoor play time, and arts and crafts.

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Volume 15, Issue 2, Posted 8:16 AM, 02.01.2022

Poetry and art draw emotion from corrosion

Beauty expresses itself in many ways, both at surface level and beneath. At Heights Arts this February, poets and artists will convene to respond to two current exhibitions: RUST, and Jesse Rhinehart's Spotlight show.

The event—Ekphrastacy: Artists Talk and Poets Respond—is one of Heights Arts' most popular recurring programs.

This month, on Feb. 17, at 7 p.m., four poets will respond to the shows on view with performances that combine sight, sound and the soul. Cleveland Heights Poet Laureate Ray McNiece will be the emcee.

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Volume 15, Issue 2, Posted 8:19 AM, 02.01.2022

ARTFUL hosts Feb. 26 'Art for the Masses' sale

ARTFUL is planning its first “Art for the Masses” event for Saturday, Feb. 26, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., at Coventry PEACE Campus.

Artists who create one-of-a-kind work, who are interested in clearing out older work, or offering less expensive versions of their art—such as prints and sketches—are invited to participate.

The event is intended to enable artists to connect with an audience that may not be experienced in art buying, or might think it cannot afford to collect art. Nothing will be priced over $200. 

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Volume 15, Issue 2, Posted 8:17 AM, 02.01.2022

Visit PEACE Campus Jan. 28 for roller skating, tours and a community conversation

Coventry PEACE Campus (CPC) will host its next PEACE Pops event on Friday, Jan. 28. The evening will feature open studios at ARTFUL, Lunar New Year Dragon Dance performances, a pop-up roller-skating rink, building tours, and a community conversation and question-and-answer session for those interested in learning more about what is happening at the campus.

PEACE Pops at CPC is a quarterly experience of art and community, held in partnership with Coventry Village Final Fridays. Visit www.coventryvillage.org to learn more.

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Volume 15, Issue 2, Posted 7:44 AM, 01.25.2022

Lake Erie Ink offers playwriting workshops

In partnership with Dobama Theatre, Lake Erie Ink (LEI) will kick off the New Year with Playwriting, a workshop for writers at all levels, in grades two through 12. Participants will have the opportunity to work on their storytelling skills with support from local professionals. 

Julie Fisher, local playwright, director, and actor, will lead the workshops and help participants write their own original plays.

“This experience allows kids' imaginations to come to life,” Charisse Bailey, curriculum director at Lake Erie Ink, said of the workshops. “It’s a way for children from different backgrounds and different experiences to come together and share those experiences.”

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Volume 15, Issue 1, Posted 11:39 AM, 01.03.2022

Dobama continues its season with 'Hurricane Diane'

Dobama Theatre’s 2021–22 Mainstage season continues with the Cleveland premiere of the 2019 Obie Award-winner "Hurricane Diane." The play, by Pulitzer finalist Madeleine George, will run from Jan. 21 through Feb. 13.

The Diane of the title is a permaculture gardener with supernatural abilities. Owing to her true identity—the Greek god Dionysus—she has returned to the modern world to gather mortal followers to restore the earth to its natural state. Where better to begin than by seducing four housewives in a suburban New Jersey cul-de-sac?

In this award-winning comedy with a twist, George pens a hilarious evisceration of the “blind eye” we all turn to climate change, and the impending storm of catharsis that awaits us all, even in our own backyards.

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Volume 15, Issue 1, Posted 11:37 AM, 01.03.2022

Heights Arts gets the 'Rust' out to start 2022

Heights Arts starts off 2022 a little bit rusty . . . 

Many current residents never saw the city of steel and industry that once drew people from all over the world to live and work in Greater Cleveland. Many of those facilities were already crumbling decades ago. The industrial era is unfamiliar to many, generations later. Instead, abandoned warehouses seem only lost ruins, housing mysterious corroded parts that may as well be artifacts from crashed UFOs. There’s a fascination with urban decay that lives in people from the industrial Midwest. It’s commonly characterized by an affinity for coarse textures and tarnished hues that hold decades of depth.

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Volume 15, Issue 1, Posted 11:34 AM, 01.03.2022

10th annual author event features Janice Mitchell

Author Janice Mitchell will be the guest at the P.E.O. International Cleveland Heights Chapter Q 10th Annual Author Event. The free, virtual event will take place on Saturday, Jan. 29, 1–2 p.m. 

Mitchell‘s memoir, My Ticket to Ride: How I Ran Away to England to Meet the Beatles and Got Rock and Roll Banned in Cleveland (A True Story From 1964), relates her adventures as a 16-year-old who, with a friend, ran away from Cleveland Heights and traveled to England at the beginning of Beatlemania.

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Volume 15, Issue 1, Posted 11:29 AM, 01.03.2022

Coventry PEACE Lantern Festival

Coventry PEACE Campus hosted a community celebration of light during the darkness of winter on Dec. 11. Earlier that day, Artful artists Jacqui Brown (Studio Cat) and Adam Brumma (Living Art), along with Art Acts artist Tanya Gonzalez, held a free lantern-making workshop for community members. Lake Erie Ink staff helped them write solstice-themed stories and winter-themed haiku. Then, at 5 p.m., participants joined in a lantern procession through Coventry PEACE Park and the Coventry Village Business District, led by illuminated musicians and dancers, and orchestrated by Robin Van Lear. Participants then headed back to Coventry PEACE Campus for cocoa and cookies, courtesy of FutureHeights and Reaching Heights, and caroling with the Singers Club of Cleveland. Learn more about Coventry PEACE Campus at www.coventrypeacecampus.org.

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Volume 15, Issue 1, Posted 11:18 AM, 01.03.2022