Heights Libraries’ spring series embraces the arts
This spring, Heights Libraries invites people of all ages to engage with the arts through its new program series, "Create and Connect: Heights Has HeART." Inspired by art and artists in the Cleveland Heights-University Heights community, the library will host a wide range of programs where participants can come together to experience visual art, drama, film, literature, music and dance.
“Our community is very arts-oriented. We have our own art galleries, arts organizations and theater companies, and we're located close to some of the greatest cultural institutions in the country, like Cain Park, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Cleveland Institute of Music, the Cleveland Institute of Art and MOCA,” said Maggie Kinney, special projects manager.
“On top of that," she continued, "many of our residents work for these organizations, so we have artists and creative people all around us, including our own staff. It just seemed to me it was about time to pull all of these things together and give them the spotlight they deserve.”
Several programs have been curated specifically for those interested in creating art themselves. On Tuesday, March 24, at 2 p.m., at the University Heights branch, children ages 8 and older can learn to make their own movies using the magic of stop-motion animation. Teens will be invited to draw models and compete in fun mini challenges in Teen Figure Drawing, on Tuesday, March 31, at 6 p.m., at the Lee Road branch. On Sunday, May 17, adults can create one-of-a-kind art pieces from exotic plant prints in DIY Botanical Print, at 3 p.m., at the Noble Neighborhood branch.
Other programs will feature artistic takes on the library’s typical offerings, such as a jazz-themed storytime for children, on Wednesday, April 29, at 11 a.m., at the Lee Road branch; a Power of the Arts-inspired trivia night on Tuesday, March 10, at 7 p.m., at Christopher’s Pub; and a special Create and Connect edition of the Art Study Group, to be held Wednesday, April 22, at 7 p.m., at the Cleveland Museum of Art.
“While this series will encourage people at any level to create art, we acknowledge that the hands-on experience isn’t for everyone,” Kinney said. “That’s why we made sure to offer plenty of opportunities for people to enjoy the arts from a safe, yet enjoyable, distance.”
The series will culminate in a performance of “Caliban Ascendant,” a ballet interpretation of Shakespeare’s “The Tempest,” performed by the Cleveland Chamber Collective and Inlet Dance at Ensemble Theatre in June.
“Art and creativity are crucial parts of the human experience,” Kinney noted. “They help us understand one another in a very basic, profound way that creates empathy through the direct experience of emotion and beauty. And the library can offer that experience to anyone who walks through our doors.”
Isabelle Rew is the community engagement associate for the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library System.