A & E News

Lake Erie Ink hosts Sept. 25 comics fest, and weekly workshop

Is there an educational value to comic books? Lake Erie Ink thinks so. The Cleveland Heights-based writing space for youth has been working with aspiring comic book writers and illustrators for more than 10 years. This fall, Lake Erie Ink is running a Mini-Comics Fest on Sept. 25, as well as a weekly series of comic design workshops. 

While typically focused on other forms of writing, Lake Erie Ink has found that comic design is an educational, as well as popular, method of supporting creative expression and inspiring new narrative forms among youth.

When Lake Erie Ink started running its yearly spring Kids Comic Con (a convention focused on comic books and related forms of pop culture), the event’s overwhelming success led to an increased demand for comic-related programs.

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Volume 14, Issue 10, Posted 10:11 AM, 09.21.2021

Artist installs new mural at Coventry PEACE

Artist WRDSMTH has installed a mural on the Coventry PEACE Campus building, near the Lake Erie Ink entrance, as part of the “How Do I Love Thee" tour, hosted and produced by Graffiti HeArt. The tour is a series of 17 murals gifted by the artist to various spaces, walls and organizations installed throughout Cleveland, Lakewood and Cleveland Heights in August. All of the murals are in WRDSMTH’s signature style of typewriters with inspirational quotes. Learn more about the tour at www.graffitiheart.org.

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Volume 14, Issue 9, Posted 8:37 AM, 09.06.2021

Musicologie adds early childhood classes

Musicologie, a community music school owned and operated by Pat and Kevin Richards, will bring Musicologie Junior to their Cleveland Heights school this September.

This new, early-childhood music class for kids and their caregivers develops young minds through music using a research-based proprietary curriculum.

“Each class,” said Pat Richards, “is an action-packed musical journey that instills passion and excitement for music.” The program incorporates singing, melody, rhythm and movement to engage children and reinforce their natural musical instincts.

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Volume 14, Issue 9, Posted 8:24 AM, 09.03.2021

Heights Music Hop is Sept. 18

The eighth annual Heights Music Hop, a celebration of a diverse community through music, returns on Saturday, Sept. 18, from 5 to 11 p.m. This free music festival features a stellar lineup of artists on three outdoor community stages in the Cedar Lee Business District of Cleveland Heights.

The University Heights Symphonic Band, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary, will open the festival at 5 p.m. on the Flaherty & Collins ~ City Architecture Mainstage @ Lee & Meadowbrook. The evening continues with music from acapella group Elegie (R&B, Soul, and Gospel), Ms. Reec Pearl and the Groovemasters (Jazz, Blues, and R&B), Top Hat Black (Blues and Rock), and Dan Bruce’s Beta Collective (Jazz). Apostle Jones (high-energy Rock and Soul) will cap off the evening.

The North Stage @ the Cedar Lee Mini-Park will feature performances by Jesse Jukebox (fun music for kids and adults), Kiss Me Deadly (Rock, Punk, and R&B), and OPUS 216 (classical).

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Volume 14, Issue 9, Posted 10:26 AM, 09.02.2021

Two Heights Arts shows explore print's range

When we think of art, we might think of a painting that hangs protected in a museum, or sculptures, ever-present in parks. But art comes in many forms, changing with the times. In a time like no other, to close out 2021, Heights Arts presents the Printers Select exhibition, running through Oct. 17. 

Curated by artist Liz Maugans, the show features work by six artists new to Heights Arts. They were each tasked with bringing in a second artist for the exhibition—someone who made a significant impact on their lives and studies.

The participating six artists and their six partners are Hannah Manocchio and Sampson the Artist, J. Leigh Garcia and Nina Battaglia, Orlando Caraballo and Ed Lugo, Anna Tararova and Amirah Cunningham, Shadi Ayoub and Bob Kelemen, and Omid Shekari and Kristina Paabus.

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Volume 14, Issue 9, Posted 9:56 AM, 08.31.2021

Heights Music Hop announces 2021 lineup

The eighth annual Heights Music Hop, a celebration of a diverse community through music, returns in 2021, from 5 to 11 p.m., on Saturday, Sept. 18. This free music festival features a stellar lineup of artists on three outdoor community stages in the Cedar Lee Business District of Cleveland Heights.

The University Heights Symphonic Band, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary, will open the festival at 5 p.m. on the Flaherty & Collins ~ City Architecture Mainstage @ Lee & Meadowbrook. The evening continues with music from acapella group Elegie (R&B, Soul, and Gospel); Ms. Reec Pearl and the Groovemasters (Jazz, Blues, and R&B), Top Hat Black (Blues and Rock), and Dan Bruce’s Beta Collective (Jazz). Apostle Jones (high-energy Rock and Soul) will cap off the evening.

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Volume 14, Issue 9, Posted 5:14 PM, 08.06.2021

Dobama announces reopening and expansion

Dobama Theatre will reopen on Oct. 29 with a four-show season and a new look, including an expanded staff, a relaunched board of directors, and renovated seating to allow for the best possible audience experience. Part of the reopening campaign includes a full rebranding from Agnes Studio, the theatre’s graphic design partner, coming later this year.

The theatre’s 2021–22 season opens with"Airness" by Chelsea Marcantel, a high-energy comedy about a group of competitive air guitarists who discover that they are one another’s chosen family.

Next is "Hurricane Diane" by Madeleine George, in which the Greek god Dionysus comes to Monmouth County, N.J., as a lesbian landscaper who seduces the housewives into creating more climate-friendly lawns.

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Volume 14, Issue 8, Posted 8:54 AM, 07.30.2021

Lake Erie Ink recognizes summer staff

Lake Erie Ink (LEI) is honored to have had the help of three creative individuals this summer. They are Melanie Moore, an AmeriCorps volunteer with the Greater Cleveland Neighborhood Centers Association; Sofia Ayres-Aronson, an intern for the Summer in the City program coordinated through John Carrol University’s Center for Service and Social Action; and Elana Pitts, a summer intern from Hiram Collage.

Asked why she chose to work with LEI, Ayres-Aronson cited the community, and “the atmosphere of optimism and collaboration."

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Volume 14, Issue 8, Posted 8:59 AM, 07.30.2021

Heights Arts celebrates community and reimagination

Heights Arts has been working to connect its community with the many literary, visual, craft and musical artists who make Northeast Ohio rich with creative energy. Now, as it begins its 21st year, the organization is looking ahead to future decades. Over the last year, as Heights Arts and the rest of the world waited for a return to “normal,” its board of trustees assembled a group of stakeholders, comprising board members and respected community members, to create a Reimagination Task Force.

The task force engaged a consultant to assist with the process of reaching out to supporters and community members, to help determine the direction of future programming.

With its roots in public art, Heights Arts’ first project, the Coventry PEACE Arch, still stands today in Coventry PEACE park.

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Volume 14, Issue 8, Posted 8:57 AM, 07.30.2021

Friends of Cain Park celebrates 30 years

Since 1991, Friends of Cain Park (FCP) has donated nearly $200,000 in support of artists, actors, musicians and programming at Cain Park.

This year brings a shorter season and limited seating to Cain Park’s 2021 programming. FCP members will receive early access, special seating, and reduced ticket prices to performances at the Evans Ampitheater (with some restrictions for Tri-C Jazz Fest and Multi-Music Fest). Memberships can be purchased on Cain Park’s Residents Day, June 26th: at FCP’s booth at the Cain Park Arts Festival, July 9–11, or online at www.friendsofcainpark.com.    

 “The vision of our founder, Chessie Bleick, was to raise funds and awareness of Cain Park so that everyone could enjoy our local gem,” said Molly McGuigan, president of the board of directors of FCP. “We are in full swing this year, with a new website and added membership benefits.” 

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Volume 14, Issue 7, Posted 12:13 PM, 06.21.2021

Western Reserve Chorale presents online concert June 46

Since last September, the Western Reserve Chorale’s (WRC) artistic director, and pianist Sara Smith, have been meeting in a large space at Church of the Saviour every Tuesday night. They are the only two in the room while all other WRC members tune in for rehearsal via Zoom.

While many music ensembles put their seasons on hiatus this past year, WRC found a way to continue to connect with one another and create music together. This effort is culminating in a virtual concert, available on YouTube June 4–6. Links for the concert can be found on the ensemble’s website, www.westernreservechorale.org.

WRC invites the community to listen to and watch its upcoming concert. “In Her Voice” celebrates the contributions of female poets, including Emily Bronte, Maya Angelou, Elizabeth Barret Browning, Sara Teasdale, and Ysaye Barnwell.

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Volume 14, Issue 7, Posted 11:45 AM, 06.02.2021

Heights Arts presents 'Random Acts of Art'

Heights Arts is proud to announce the return of its Random Acts of Art LIVE! music program for this summer and fall. The concert series was born during the pandemic, when local musicians found that their usually steady summer work was no longer available due to the shutdown of many, if not all, performance opportunities. Concerts went virtual, and artists were inspired to write and create new music addressing current issues and challenges. The Random Acts of Art LIVE! series allowed for continued live performances, bringing friends and neighbors together, while remaining socially distanced.

"There is something magical about hyper-local pop-up events like this, especially after some of the isolation we felt in the last year,” said Arleigh Savage, music coordinator at Heights Arts. “I always witness spontaneous conversation and excitement shared with listeners at these concerts, with everyone walking away feeling energized with the connection the event fosters."

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Volume 14, Issue 6, Posted 12:02 PM, 05.27.2021

Dobama releases anti-racism policy in new document

In 2019, Dobama Theatre was recognized for its efforts toward equity, diversity, and inclusion with the Kathryn V. Lamkey Award. On March 8, Dobama’s Board of Directors renewed the theater’s commitment [to those principles] when it unanimously adopted its Love and Respect document. In a statement, the Dobama Theatre team noted it was “continuing to learn about each other's life experiences, engaging with and supporting colleagues, and challenging injustice when we encounter it will help us create the community we seek."

The living document is a plan for anti-racist action, and building a culture of authentic inclusivity at Dobama Theatre, focusing on the intersections of race with sexuality, gender, disability, religion, and other oppressed identities.

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Volume 14, Issue 6, Posted 11:59 AM, 05.27.2021

LEI offers in-person and virtual camps

As Lake Erie Ink (LEI) prepares for the start of in-person creative expression camps this summer, one cannot help but reflect back to last summer, when the idea of meeting in a physical space seemed impossible.

The story of LEI this past year is one of difficulty, as the entire organization scrambled to find ways to adapt.

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Volume 14, Issue 6, Posted 11:56 AM, 05.27.2021

Student interns curate 'Innate Environments'

Heights Arts is known for celebrating art in many forms at its longstanding Cleveland Heights gallery. That especially includes up-and-coming artists. This spring, Heights Arts presents Innate Environments, and a Spotlight showcase, both celebrating new talent. The concurrent exhibitions run Friday, May 21, through Sunday, June 13, at Heights Arts gallery, 2175 Lee Road.

Heights Arts interns Zelda Thayer-Hansen and Eryn Lawsonn curated Innate Environments. They created a show that acknowledges nature in its unsightly truths and inherent beauty, all while evaluating humanity’s existence within the natural world, through photography, graphic design, and mixed media. The two interns share the Spotlight showcase adjacent to the exhibition.

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Volume 14, Issue 5, Posted 11:06 AM, 04.30.2021

CH sculpture garden reopens for annual tour

For 12 years, Cleveland Heights artist Fred Gearhart has opened his studio and sculpture garden to visitors. Cancelled last year due to the coronavirus shutdown, the annual event returns on Saturday, May 29, and Sunday, May 30, 1–7 p.m. This show attracts many Heights residents, as well as visitors from throughout the region, and is intended to provide enjoyment and respite on the Memorial Day weekend.

Gearhart has been a productive sculptor, working for 36 years in his home studio at 1609 Rydalmount Road. Because he works mostly in stone, the studio area is outdoors. Many finished pieces are on display on the property, ranging from fist-sized to 10 feet tall.

Subject matter includes figures and faces, abstract art, and functional work, such as fountains, birdbaths and bud vases. Some pieces are memory pieces about his life.

“Many people enjoy the humorous stone faces,” said Gearhart. “Browsers are welcome. I want my friends and neighbors to enjoy seeing what I make.”

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Volume 14, Issue 5, Posted 11:04 AM, 04.30.2021

Novel celebrates LGBTQ+ life and Coventry's unique culture

Award-winning author Doug Henderson has had a long-term love affair with Coventry Road. It’s the setting of his forthcoming novel, The Cleveland Heights LGBTQ Sci-Fi and Fantasy Role Playing Club, which focuses on a group of, in his words, “D-list gays,” who haven’t been well represented in modern fiction. These are characters who, Henderson notes, deserve acknowledgement, recognition and inclusion in the larger sphere of LGBTQ+ life and culture.

Why Coventry? Why Cleveland Heights?

Henderson recalls the first time he visited Coventry in its 1990s heyday, and the “vibe” about the neighborhood, which “bubbled up” as he explored its bustling shops and services. “I knew I would write about it someday,” he said. “The novel is a love letter to Cleveland. Every time we visited family, I would return to Coventry to refresh my memory, see the changes, see what stayed the same.”

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Volume 14, Issue 4, Posted 9:55 AM, 03.31.2021

CAEP offers guide to nearby arts programs

Those seeking art experiences nearby need look no further than Cleveland Arts Education Consortium’s (CAEC) Ready To Go Arts Programs booklets. Two distinct volumes are regularly reviewed and updated twice a year. January 2021 editions—one for online programs, the other in-person—are available to download from CAEC at https://class.csuohio.edu/caec/caec.

All kinds of activities and resources, for all ages, are offered by Heights-based consortium members, which include Ensemble Theatre, Heights Arts, Reaching Heights, and Sing and Swing Cleveland.

Those curious about music can look for Apollo’s Fire Baroque Orchestra’s Virtual Music School; City Music Cleveland Chamber Orchestra’s puppetry and live music in Daniel and the Snakeman; or Roots of American Music’s People on the Move program, which reflects on the ways that people of different races, backgrounds and cultures came to the United States and settled throughout the country.

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Volume 14, Issue 4, Posted 10:21 AM, 03.31.2021

Heights Arts celebrates Poetry Month

Poetry has a way of elevating the meaning of simple words and phrases, while simultaneously allowing readers to create their own interpretations of the art form. The nation’s first-ever youth poet laureate, Amanda Gorman, and her speech at the inauguration of President Joe Biden, reminded the nation of the power words. April is National Poetry Month, and Heights Arts will present its popular Ekphrastacy: Artists Talk and Poets Respond event in conjunction with its current group and Spotlight exhibitions.

During this program, artists talk about their inspirations and processes for the work on display, and poets respond to the work in poetry they have written, inspired by those works of art. The series title comes from the Greek word “ekphrasis,” meaning the description of a work of art produced as a vivid, dramatic, verbal description of a visual work of art, either real or imagined.

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Volume 14, Issue 4, Posted 10:20 AM, 03.31.2021

Heights Arts presents in-gallery and online programs

March at Heights Arts brings the last weeks of Posing the Question, closing March 14and the opening of its 2021 Group Show, a celebration of local artists.

Group Show opens Friday, March 19, with a public reception 5–8 p.m. RSVP for the opening by making an appointment at www.heightsarts.org. The exhibition runs through May 16.

In Group Show, five artists present work in painting, sculpture and mixed media.

Julie Friedman’s paintings take visual cues from nostalgic media images. Paula Izydorek offers abstract compositions in acrylic on birch panels. Mark Keffer’s paintings address themes of uncertainty, with forms reminiscent of circuitry. Alessandro Ravagnan presents sculptural membranes on mylar. And Dante Rodriguez creates human-animal hybrid figures in his Migrantes pieces.

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Volume 14, Issue 3, Posted 4:13 PM, 02.25.2021

Artist helps to organize annual Kids' Comic Con

Od Perry-Richardson wears many hats at Lake Erie Ink (LEI), a writing space for youth based in Cleveland Heights. The Cleveland-based artist started as an intern and worked his way up to help organize LEI’s ninth annual Kids’ Comic Con.

Perry-Richardson was an art student at the Cleveland Institute of Art when he first heard of LEI during an internship fair. LEI's booth was one of the last he visited.

“Od approached the table, and he was very excited about the idea of working with young people,” said Jill Levin, LEI's program director. “He wanted to give back.”

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Volume 14, Issue 3, Posted 4:10 PM, 02.25.2021

LEI builds community in time of isolation

In late March 2020, Lake Erie Ink (LEI) was presented with a problem: After almost a decade of providing creative expression opportunities across Greater Cleveland, a global pandemic disrupted in-person programs.

In response, LEI facilitated a new program series—Creative Community Challenges—to address the increased need for community-building and creative expression during a time of social isolation. LEI called for and gathered submissions from throughout the community, and published them in bound anthologies. To further the program's reach, LEI also worked with the Coventry Village Special Improvement District to organize a pop-up public art display, in an empty storefront window, of the writing and visual art submitted as part of the project.

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Volume 14, Issue 2, Posted 12:14 PM, 01.29.2021

Jan. 21 lecture to examine history of mass deportation

On Jan. 21, via Zoom, Claudio Saunt will give a lecture on “Indian Removal and Mass Deportation in the Modern Era.” Saunt will explore the history of Indian removal in the context of other mass deportations in the 19th and 20thcenturies.

He’ll look specifically at the U.S.-sponsored expulsion of the Indian population in the 1830s, known as the “Trail of Tears,” in which some 46,000 members of multiple Indian nations were forcibly moved from their ancestral homelands and driven westward.

This removal of entire populations created something of a model for future actions by colonial empires around the world, including the infamous deportations of World War II. Notoriously, during the Nazi conquest of Eastern Europe, Hitler equated “indigenous inhabitants,” with “Indians,” and declared, “the Volga must be our Mississippi.”

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Volume 14, Issue 2, Posted 1:33 PM, 01.14.2021

'Posing the Question' at Heights Arts

The topics of racial equality and a fight for justice dominated headlines in 2020. The issues have forced many to decide where they stand--whether they choose to stand in unity, agree to disagree, or just disagree. In the latest Heights Arts exhibition, Posing the Question, artists tackle these topics and our nation's response to them.

Featured artists are Kenneth Bernstein, Matthew Deibel, Mona Gazala, Kenn Hetzel, Scott Kraynak, Liz Maugans, and Omid Tavakoli, with an accompanying spotlight show by Helen Liggett. Their work features photography and paintings that reflect systematic racism, and manipulated photos taken during social justice protests in 2020.

Maugans’ paintings recall a time of self-reflection in 2020, when she enrolled in a social-justice class and started daily morning runs to meditate on what the classes taught her.

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Volume 14, Issue 1, Posted 10:23 AM, 12.29.2020

UH showcases 14 Heights artists

Heights Arts, the multi-disciplinary community arts organization based in Cleveland Heights, is partnering with University Hospitals (UH) to showcase Heights-area visual artists as part of its 20th-anniversary celebration of connecting the arts with community.

The exhibition, which runs through mid-February, is not the first collaboration between Heights Arts and Thomas Huck, director of the UH Fine Art program. Heights Arts frequently collaborates with organizations and community members with expertise in and passion for the arts; Huck curated the All Ohio Ceramic Invitational at Heights Arts in September 2013, which featured the work of more than 20 artists.

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Volume 13, Issue 12, Posted 11:38 AM, 12.02.2020

Celebration of Light: a P.E.A.C.E. Campus project

Coventry P.E.A.C.E. Campus (CPC) will bring the community together around the themes of light and hope during the dark days of December. Celebration of Light: a PEACE Campus Project is a collaborative effort to engage the community in art and writing projects to commemorate the end of one year and the beginning of a new one.

Starting in early December, CPC will offer several free or donation-suggested workshops throughout the month via Zoom and videos posted to its website,                                      www.coventrypeacecampus.org/celebrationoflight, and social media pages. Scheduled workshops include writing with Lake Erie Ink and art projects with Studio Cat, Living Art Origami and Art Acts Studio. A culminating event will take place on New Year’s Eve. 

 

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Volume 13, Issue 12, Posted 11:20 AM, 12.02.2020

LEI invites young writers to explore what's 'On the Other Side'

What's on the other side? Lake Erie Ink (LEI) is posing this question to student writers throughout Northeastern Ohio—asking them to cross over and find out. 

On the Other Side is a collection of work from students in grades 6–12. It is the fifth anthology of teen writing published by LEI, a Cleveland Heights based-creative writing nonprofit for youth. LEI will use this anthology to amplify youth voices through poetry, short stories, personal stories, and art.

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Volume 13, Issue 12, Posted 12:13 PM, 11.24.2020

Heights Arts Holiday Store opens Nov. 1

Heights Arts' 19th annual Holiday Store will open to the public on Sunday, Nov. 1. Since 2001, the store has delighted shoppers by offering truly unique gift options. This year, the Holiday Store offer more than 80 talented Northeast Ohio artists the opportunity to display and sell their work.

Heights Arts urges the community to make supporting local artists a priority this holiday season, by shopping at local arts organizations and galleries.

“This will be a critical year, not only for artists, but for Heights Arts as well," said Rachel Bernstein, Heights Arts' executive director. "The annual Holiday Store accounts for a significant portion of revenue for us. Like many arts organizations, we have suffered significant loss of visitors, contributions and revenue due to the pandemic.” 

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Volume 13, Issue 11, Posted 6:51 PM, 10.29.2020

Annual author event will be free and online

The Cleveland Heights Chapter Q of P.E.O. International hosted its first annual “Afternoon with an Author” fundraiser nine years ago. Traditionally, the event has been held at a lovely venue in the community, such as Notre Dame College or Forest Hill Presbyterian Church, but, due to COVID-19 restrictions, Chapter Q found it necessary to shift to a virtual setting. On Saturday, Nov. 14, at 1 p.m., it will present a free, virtual event with local author Eliese Colette Goldbach.

Goldbach’s book, Rust: A Memoir of Steel and Grit, was published in March 2020 and has received notable reviews. In it, she recounts her tenure as a steelworker at ArcelorMittal Cleveland, and shares her personal coming-of-age journey.

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Volume 13, Issue 11, Posted 6:46 PM, 10.29.2020

Heights High junior is newest Heights Arts intern

Each year, Heights Arts selects one Cleveland Heights High School junior intern, to join a returning senior intern, to work with its volunteer Exhibition Community Team (ECT). The team comprises community members with expertise in the visual arts. They are charged with reviewing artist submissions, connecting Heights Arts with new artists, providing assistance to hang shows, and setting up the annual Heights Arts Holiday Store in November and December.

Heights High art teachers are instrumental in identifying internship candidates. After she applied and interviewed with ECT members, Eryn Lawson was chosen from several candidates to be the 2020–22 intern.

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Volume 13, Issue 10, Posted 10:46 AM, 09.29.2020

Fields and Juaire: Independent Together

Single isn’t always better—or is it? Viewers can make that decision when they view Heights Arts’ newest exhibition, Independent Together: 30 Years of Collaboration, featuring Ray Juaire, senior exhibitions manager at the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland, and his longtime collaborator Patti Fields, head of visual art at the Ratner Montessori School. Fields and Juaire began their personal and professional relationship 30 years ago, while students at the Cleveland Institute of Art.

Fields is known primarily for her jewelry designs, and she brings a jeweler’s detail-oriented aesthetic to her larger pieces in Independent Together. Juaire brings his expertise in sculpting and painting.

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Volume 13, Issue 9, Posted 8:14 AM, 09.01.2020

Dobama offers alternatives to live theater

Dobama Theatre’s 2020–21 season will take a different shape due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While Dobama will not be able to welcome patrons into its physical space anytime soon, the theater is planning alternative programming to stay engaged with the community. Most or all of Dobama’s artistic programming this year will be available online.

Like theaters across the globe, Dobama has faced pandemic-related challenges, leading to suspended and canceled performances, as well as cuts to staff and salaries. Thanks to the generosity of Dobama’s members and donors, the theater is hopeful for another live season, to be programmed after an effective treatment or vaccine emerges.

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Volume 13, Issue 9, Posted 8:13 AM, 09.01.2020

Heights Arts showcases images of activism

Heights-area artists can always be relied upon to respond to current events, and the recent activism around Black Lives Matter and related social-justice issues has energized a number of artists to begin creating new work. Some of the most immediate responses have come in the form of digital photography shared by way of social media. 

Heights Arts staff were immediately struck by images that not only told powerful stories, but also could stand alone as visual art. Images have the power to pose questions and eloquently express things that can be hard to express in few words.

This idea has been explored previously at Heights Arts through two past exhibitions of photojournalism, where photographs that had initially been used editorially to support journalistic articles were gathered, framed, and presented at Heights Arts’ gallery. Heights Arts exhibition planners referred to these images as "stealth art"—works of art that sneak into one's consciousness under camouflage.

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Volume 13, Issue 8, Posted 10:00 AM, 07.31.2020

Heights artist explores order/disorder

In a Spotlight exhibition on view through Aug. 23, Heights Arts features the artwork of Heights native son Stephen Calhoun, a photographer, designer, painter and musician.

Calhoun describes his approach to making visual art as a "musical process." His work employs found objects, algorithms and fractals to create images that have both organic and mathematical qualities. Every form of creativity [has] something to do with the vibrations of materials,” he said. Calhoun’s creative process seeks out elements that vibrate both dissonantly and harmonically, from which he conducts and improvises the generation of his own creative image. “These steps are found in different configurations in every art form,” said Calhoun.

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Volume 13, Issue 8, Posted 10:39 AM, 07.30.2020

Ewing describes an exemplary life in new book

How does one approach a book about a Catholic priest when one is neither Catholic nor particularly spiritual? For the many people struggling with the extraordinary times in which we are living—racism, protests, unemployment, a global pandemic and the restrictions that it imposes on our daily lives—there is a book that speaks to humans of all persuasions: Lead Me, Guide Me The Life and Example of Father Dan Begin by Kathy Ewing.

Father Dan Begin was Kathy Ewing's priest and friend. Ewing was Father Dan's congregant and friend. They met when Ewing joined St. Cecilia Catholic Church in Cleveland's Mt. Pleasant neighborhood. There, Ewing found a spiritual home that was unique in many ways, not the least of which was the racial integration she found, as well as a priest who exemplified the very best that can be found in religion.

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Volume 13, Issue 8, Posted 10:37 AM, 07.30.2020

Neighborhood association to host Cain Park chalk art festival July 18

When the city of Cleveland Heights canceled the 2020 in-person Cain Park Arts Festival, the Cain Park Neighborhood Association (CPNA) saw an opening. With the goal of recreating some of the artistry and energy the festival provides each summer, the group decided to host a chalk arts festival at the park. 

The festival will take place on Saturday, July 18, starting at 10 a.m. 

CPNA will provide chalk, or participants can bring their own. Each participant will be allocated a six-foot space to decorate.

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Volume 13, Issue 8, Posted 2:20 PM, 07.14.2020

Heights Arts hosts virtual opening and by-appointment gallery visits

To celebrate its 20th anniversary, Heights Arts came up with an evolutionary idea: artists who had previously been included in Heights Arts exhibitions would show one work from the period during which they first exhibited, and one from the present, thus showing how their work has evolved over time. The resulting exhibition, Evolution, runs July 10 through Aug. 23 at its 2175 Lee Road gallery.

A “virtualopening” reception using Zoom is scheduled for Friday, July 10, at 7 p.m., featuring exhibition images and artist comments. Sign up to get the link for the opening by e-mailing exhibitions@heightarts.org. In-person exhibition visits will be by appointment only, beginning July 11, with a limited number of visitors per time slot.

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Volume 13, Issue 7, Posted 10:37 AM, 07.03.2020

CH resident pens book on fatherhood

Fatherhood in 60 Minutes or Less: 101 Humorous Observations, Rules of Thumb and Untold Truths for Fathers by any Definition, is the latest work by Cleveland Heights resident Mark Welfley, associate professor of practice at the University of Akron.

It’s a collection of humorous observations, rules of thumb and untold truths—each in a sentence or two. It weighs in on triggers that change child behavior, rules of thumb for dessert portions, what to add to any meal to make it more palatable to a child, what to include in a take-along survival kit for a child, and more.

“My young children have taught me much about myself, just as I have learned much about them, especially during this time of quarantine,” said Welfley. “The book will make you think, laugh, question and reminisce about fatherhood.”

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Volume 13, Issue 6, Posted 9:53 AM, 06.15.2020

New wildlife spotted in Cleveland Heights

If you were in the vicinity of North Park Boulevard in Cleveland Heights on April 3, you may have noticed some unusual wildlife had emerged due to the COVID-19 virus. Artist Robin VanLear, who is well-known for her large-scale puppets that feature prominently in the annual Parade the Circle event, got together with her daughter, Story Rhinehart Cadiz, who had created coyote costumes for a previous event, to bring some cheer to the community. The two hammed it for the neighborhood, bringing smiles to many who were out jogging, walking or driving.

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Volume 13, Issue 5, Posted 9:27 AM, 04.13.2020

Heights Arts reimagines daily activity

As with every other area business and organization, Heights Arts has had to change plans. 

“We had our opening for the Members Show on March 6,” said Heights Arts Executive Director Rachel Bernstein. “That was just as we were learning about the pandemic, and recommendations were changing daily. We were already planning to cut our hours back the following week, which we did. By the following Monday the governor was ordering the general shutdown, and we closed to the public until it is safe to reopen. We’re evaluating programming possibilities, but in light of the situation, it’s a question of our small staff capacity and available resources. Of course, this is true for all arts organizations and most small businesses—we are all in this together.”

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Volume 13, Issue 5, Posted 10:19 AM, 04.07.2020

Cedar Lee district welcomes CIFF East

The 44th Cleveland International Film Festival (CIFF) will return to its Heights roots in April 2020.

With generous support from PNC Bank, CIFF East will take place at the Cedar Lee Theatre the second weekend of the festival, starting on the evening of Friday, April 3, followed by two full days of programming on Saturday, April 4, and Sunday, April 5. There will be 18 screenings at the Cedar Lee throughout the weekend, comprising features, documentaries, shorts and family films.

Cedar Lee Theatre owner Jonathan Forman founded CIFF, the annual festival of films from around the world, in 1977. That year, the festival screened eight films over eight weeks at the Cedar Lee Theatre.

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Volume 13, Issue 3, Posted 9:28 AM, 02.28.2020

WRC sings Mozart's 'Great' Mass

The Western Reserve Chorale (WRC), a chorus of more than 100 voices from across Northeast Ohio, will share the incomparable mastery of Mozart in concert on March 22. 

It is a vexing truth that Mozart’s two towering choral works were both left unfinished. While the Requiem was not completed due to the composer’s untimely death, less is known as to why the Mass in C minor was not completed.

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Volume 13, Issue 3, Posted 10:37 AM, 03.02.2020

Choral Arts presents world premiere Mass

So, just who is George Bristow? Choral Arts Cleveland and its director, Brian Bailey, invite 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. Supported in part by the citizens of Cuyahoga County through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture, the evening begins at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, March 13, 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.

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Volume 13, Issue 3, Posted 10:49 AM, 03.02.2020

Pulitzer finalist gets Cleveland premiere at Dobama

Dobama Theatre will present the Cleveland premiere of the Pulitzer Prize-finalist “Dance Nation,” March 6–29.

In the play by Clare Barron, an army of preteen competitive dancers from Liverpool, Ohio, are plotting to take over the world. If their new routine is good enough, they’ll claw their way to the top at the Boogie Down Grand Prix in Tampa Bay.

Partly inspired by the reality-TV show “Dance Moms,” the play is about ambition, growing up, and how to be oneself in the heat of it all. It explores the exhilaration and terror of being a kid through the story of a group of 13-year-old dance troupe members, as portrayed by adult actors.

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Volume 13, Issue 3, Posted 10:38 AM, 03.02.2020

Burning River Baroque series debuts at Blank Canvas CLE

Burning River Baroque continues its eighth season with a series of thought-provoking performances, beginning Wednesday, March 18.

Witches: Revered & Reviled has been crafted to connect baroque music to present day issues of othering, bullying and stigmatization.

According to the musical program's description, the wish for an ordered society “frequently led to the persecution of individuals who were accused of straying outside the established conventional boundaries of ‘acceptable’ behavior.” The program focuses particularly on the criminalization of women who were labeled as not fitting into social norms.

Ironically, while women “ascribed with supernatural abilities” were severely outcasted and punished, they also were viewed as a resource to help those who suffered from mental and spiritual maladies. Thus, the program looks closely at reverence, as well as repulsion, through the stories of Circe, the Witch of Endor, and the Furies in a broad range of national styles and traditions of the 17th century. 

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Volume 13, Issue 3, Posted 10:29 AM, 03.02.2020

Heights Arts announces March exhibitions and concert

Heights Arts, the multi-disciplinary arts organization in Cleveland Heights, will celebrate the creativity of its musical and visual artist members throughout the month of March.

On Friday, March 6, Heights Arts will host the opening of its second Members Show, in which about 40 Heights Arts artist members will exhibit their work.

Most Heights Arts exhibitions are curated by guest curators or its Exhibition Community Team, which comprises community volunteers with connections and expertise in the visual arts community. This team has been responsible for 20 years of the highest quality exhibitions featuring the region’s emerging and well-established artists.

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Volume 13, Issue 3, Posted 10:32 AM, 03.02.2020

Soprano Angela Zawada in recital at First Baptist

Angela Zawada, the Chancel Choir soprano soloist of the First Baptist Church of Greater Cleveland, will present a recital of classical works at 1 p.m. on Sunday, March 8, in the Gothic sanctuary of the church at 3630 Fairmount Blvd. 

The program will feature works by Handel, Mozart, Schumann, Fauré and Samuel Barber, spanning several musical periods and languages. Visions of night and dreams trace a path through the program from “O Sleep” from Handel’s oratorio Semele, to Fauré's "Apres un rêve" ("After A Dream") to Barber's “Sure on this Shining Night.” The program also features fiery pieces, such as Fauré's “Fleur jetee," with its virtuosic piano score, performed by Adam Whiting, a Cleveland School of the Arts faculty member.

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Volume 13, Issue 3, Posted 10:44 AM, 03.02.2020

Spring show opens at St. Paul's White Gallery

The White Gallery in St. Paul’s Church will open its Spring Show with an artists’ reception on Friday, Feb. 28, 5–7 p.m. The show runs through May 31, and features the work of five Cleveland-area artists. 

In her photographs, Andrea Dawson focuses on subjects from nature, and imbues her images with a sense of serenity.

Two painters, while both utilizing brushes and paints, will display very different types of finished work in the exhibition. Sam Roth will show his soft, abstract, acrylic paintings on canvas, while Emmalyn Tringali, employing oil on canvas, will bring to St. Paul’s her new series of vivid landscapes. 

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Volume 13, Issue 3, Posted 10:36 AM, 02.25.2020

Heights High's BOPO parents to host musical fundraiser

The parent organization for the Cleveland Heights High School Band & Orchestra (BOPO) will host a fundraiser, A Musical Feast, at Nighttown Restaurant (12383 Cedar Road) on March 1, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

The event will include a scrumptious brunch and an auction. It will feature live music performed by Heights High musicians alongside Cleveland Orchestra members Kathy Collins (violin), Beth Woodside (violin), and Richard Waugh (viola), and other professional musicians. There will be a special performance of the Mozart piano/wind quintet, played by Cleveland Orchestra musicians who are also Heights residents: Frank Rosenwein (principal oboe), Afendi Yusef (principal clarinet), Gareth Thomas (bassoon), Richard King (French horn), and Carolyn Gadiel Warner  (piano).

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Volume 13, Issue 2, Posted 4:57 PM, 01.31.2020

Celebrate Heights Arts' 20th and Beethoven's 250th

Heights Arts continues its yearlong 20th-anniversary celebration with a month of events showcasing the wonderful talent of local artists, musicians and poets. The ambitious schedule features concerts, poetry readings and visual art exhibitions.

On Feb. 13 at 7 p.m., Heights Arts and Cleveland Heights Poet Laureate Damien McClendon collaborate to present Ekphrastacy: Artists Speak + Poets Respond, an event for art enthusiasts and poetry lovers alike. Artists from the current Point-Line-Pattern-Plane exhibition will speak about the inspiration and process behind the creation of their work. Poets Damien McClendon, Ray McNiece, John Burroughs and Carson Evans will join the artists to recite original poems inspired by pieces in the show. Cleveland is home to a bustling community of authors and poets who garner regional and national recognition, and Heights Arts Ekphrastacy series provides a unique opportunity for these talented writers to express their work.

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Volume 13, Issue 2, Posted 4:54 PM, 01.31.2020

Jazz and poetry return to First Baptist

Jazz and poetry have a lot in common. Both art forms can be free-flowing, innovative and challenging to understand, and both are created from imaginative, spontaneous psyches. 

In response to many requests from last year's appreciative audience, the Music and Fine Arts ministry of the First Baptist Church of Greater Cleveland is bringing back its Jazz & Poetry Night on Friday, Feb. 21, at 7:30 p.m. 

The evening will start with a Jazz Prelude by the Demetrius Steinmetz Jazz Ensemble, featuring Steinmetz on bass, Brian Kozak on guitar, and Eileen Burns on vocals. Steinmetz spent four years as Artist-in-Residence at the Cleveland School of the Arts and has been an instructor for the instrumental music after-school program for the 21st Century Community Learning Center. He has taught saxophone and bass at The Fine Arts Association in Willoughby and Beck Center for the Arts in Lakewood. He has performed professionally in Greater Cleveland and has been recorded on Cadence Records. 

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Volume 13, Issue 2, Posted 4:50 PM, 01.31.2020

Forest Hill Church presents annual Black History Month concert

Ascension: An Evening of African-American Music is the seventh-annual Black History Month celebration at Forest Hill Presbyterian Church. The event will take place on Feb. 23.

The event has transformed into an exciting and soul-stirring celebration that many in Cleveland Heights and its surrounding communities look forward to each year. This year’s concert will be led by musical director Caleb A. Wright, who has been a member of Forest Hill Church for more than 10 years.

Wright is a member of Cleveland Heights’ own Wright Family Singers, a family gospel group that has performed for more than 40 years. Wright has spearheaded this annual event since 2013.

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Volume 13, Issue 2, Posted 4:47 PM, 01.31.2020

'Skeleton Crew' in Cleveland premiere at Dobama

Dobama Theatre will present the Cleveland premiere of the Obie Award-winning “Skeleton Crew,” Jan. 24 through Feb. 16. Part of Dominique Morisseau’s three-play cycle, “The Detroit Project,” Dobama’s production will be directed by Nina Domingue.

The play, which The New York Times called “a deeply moral and deeply American play . . . squarely in the tradition of Arthur Miller," is set in a struggling Detroit automotive plant during the peak of the 2008 recession. A few remaining workers are trying to figure out how to move forward if the plant goes under. Shanita has to decide how she'll support herself and her unborn child, Faye has to find a place to live, and Dez has to figure out how to make his ambitious dreams a reality. Power dynamics shift as their manager, Reggie, is torn between doing right by his work family and by his own. (The struggle is familiar to Clevelanders, with recent plant closures like that at Lordstown General Motors directly impacting the community.)

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Volume 13, Issue 1, Posted 11:07 AM, 01.03.2020

Heights Arts turns 20 in 2020

In 2000, local residents who were committed to the arts and their community combined those passions and founded Heights Arts, with a mission to inspire all ages to engage in the arts, tap into the potential of local artists, and make a positive impact on overall community life.

Thanks to the support of an ever-growing community, 20 years later, Heights Arts continues to uphold the same mission and values, in service to local musicians, poets and visual artists.

Heights Arts turns 20 in 2020. To kick off a yearlong celebration, the first exhibition of the new year, Point-Line-Pattern-Plane, opens Friday, Jan. 17, with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. Curated by fiber artist and Kent State University textile arts professor Janice Lessman-Moss, winner of a 2019 Cleveland Arts Prize, this exhibition highlights a wide range of expression and innovation achieved by regional artists using the distinctive materiality and processes associated with the medium of fiber.

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Volume 13, Issue 1, Posted 11:05 AM, 01.03.2020

Ensemble kicks off 2020 with 'Intimate Apparel'

Cleveland Heights’ Ensemble Theatre begins 2020 with a continuation of its 40th anniversary season, themed ”Making HER Story"—a season dedicated to female playwrights, female directors and female lead roles.

In its first production of the new year, Ensemble will present Lynn Nottage's "Intimate Apparel,” beginning Jan. 24. 

Nottage’s play is set in New York circa 1905—a time and place where rigid social divides exist along the lines of race, religion and class. At the same time, a burgeoning population of immigrants from abroad, and people from across the U.S., have moved to the city to seek their fortunes, bringing diversity, excitement and change. In the play, Esther Mills, a skilled African-American seamstress, navigates this changing, dangerous world with her needle and thread.

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Volume 13, Issue 1, Posted 11:03 AM, 01.03.2020

Heights Youth Theatre presents winter musical

For more than six decades, Heights Youth Theatre (HYT) has offered young people the opportunity to grow socially and emotionally while gaining theatrical skills. Producing three to four complete musicals each year, HYT is currently rehearsing its next production.

Almost ready for opening night, "Once on This Island" is the story of Ti Moune, a fearless peasant girl in search of her place in the world, and ready to risk everything for love. Guided by the mighty island gods Love, Death, Water, and Earth, Ti Moune embarks on a remarkable journey to reunite with the man who has captured her heart. The play opens Friday, Jan 17 at Monticello Middle School.

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Volume 13, Issue 1, Posted 11:01 AM, 01.03.2020

Shadow puppets and music create mystical setting for Dobama play

Dobama Theatre’s 60th anniversary Mainstage Season continues with “The Old Man and the Old Moon,” opening Dec. 6.

“The Old Man and the Old Moon,” written by PigPen Theatre Co. and directed by Melissa T. Crum and Nathan Motta, is a mystical epic—an odyssey of music and theater magic in which actors playing instruments create live sound effects on stage, and interact with elaborate shadow puppets.

In the play, the old man has the important job of filling the moon with liquid light each night. When his wife is drawn away by a mysterious melody, he abandons his duties and crosses the seas in search of his lost love. Along the way, he contends with apocalyptic storms, civil wars, monsters of the deep, irritable ghosts, and the fiercest obstacle of all: change.

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Volume 12, Issue 12, Posted 11:19 AM, 12.03.2019

Heights Arts invites community involvement

It’s been almost 20 years since Heights Arts began shining a light on greater Cleveland’s local artists, musicians and poets.

Its most visible program, the Heights Arts Holiday Store, is currently in full swing at 2175 Lee Road. More than 100 artists are participating to ensure that visitors can purchase one of thousands of unique and beautiful gifts created by artists who live and work in the region, while contributing to the creative economy at the same time.

While the holiday and year-round store is highly visible and has become a favorite destination, residents and visitors may not be aware of many other opportunities Heights Arts has for residents to become engaged, whether they dabble or work professionally in the arts.

Currently, the organization is accepting submissions for its popular Members Show in March. With just a $10 entry fee, all are welcome to submit a work of art for this show, which celebrates the Heights’ creative community. The work is not curated, and all submissions are accepted until the show is complete, so participants are encouraged to submit early.

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Volume 12, Issue 12, Posted 12:06 PM, 12.03.2019

'The Power of Ten' fills White Gallery

The Power of Ten opens Dec. 1 at the White Gallery at St. Paul’s Church, with an artists’ reception planned for Dec. 6.

The exhibition features the work of 10 talented Northeast Ohio fiber artists—Deb Berkebile, Joann Giordano, Ann Kmieck, Barb Lind, Ruta Marino, Amy Reed, Sandy Shelenberger, Mary Ann Tipple, Kathleen Vanmeter, and Martha Young.

“We call ourselves ‘The Tens’ because there are 10 of us . . . who have been meeting once a month for years,” explained Young. “Through those years we have supported and guided each other through the joys and sorrows of our lives.”

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Volume 12, Issue 12, Posted 10:04 AM, 11.26.2019

Church presents 'Requiem' for victims of mass shootings

The Fairmount Choir of Fairmount Presbyterian Church in Cleveland Heights will present the Ohio premiere of the short work Requiem by Joshua Clausen on Nov. 17 at 10 a.m. The work was written to honor the victims of American mass shootings and their families and friends. The piece was inspired by the work of Sophie Cho, a journalist who took data about mass shootings and turned it into sound form to illustrate gun violence in America. What resulted was a recorded data sonification (series of piano notes) where each piano note represents the day of an American mass shooting, from January 2013 to November 2017. The louder the note, the more people were killed on that particular day.

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Volume 12, Issue 11, Posted 2:32 PM, 11.01.2019