Free Summer Arts Events in Public Square Bring New, Creative Programming to Downtown Cleveland

CLEVELAND (June 2, 2017) – This summer, Cuyahoga County residents and visitors to Public Square in downtown Cleveland will be able to enjoy a variety of free arts and culture programming thanks to Arts & Culture in the Square, a program to bring additional programming to downtown Cleveland’s outdoor Public Square. Cuyahoga Arts & Culture (CAC) will support nine new projects in Public Square with funding from National Endowment for the Arts and Group Plan Commission, and in partnership with LAND studio.  

Arts & Culture in the Square will take place from June to August 2017, and all programs and events will be free and open to the public. Selected projects and events include:

Cleveland Opera Theater
Cleveland Opera Theater will present “Opera for All,” a free summer opera concert and tailgate experience on Friday, August 25 from 6 to 8 p.m. Attendees are invited to pack a picnic or purchase one on-site and enjoy the sounds of "opera's greatest hits."

Daniel Gray-Kontar
Daniel Gray-Kontar and Twelve Literary and Performative Arts Incubator will present “Poetry for the People,” three mock poetry slams on Thursday, June 22 from 12 to 2 p.m., Friday, July 14 from 12 to 2 p.m., and Friday, August 18 from 7 to 9 p.m. Student poets present at the July 14 event will be traveling to San Francisco, California the following week to represent Cleveland in the Brave New Poets Slam competition. Adult poets present at the August 18 event will be attending the National Poetry Slam competition in Denver, Colorado on August 4.

Julia De Burgos Cultural Arts Center
Julia De Burgos will present “Fiesta Latina in the Square!” on Saturday, July 15 from 1 to 8 p.m. This lively and colorful one-day event will feature the art, creativity and culture of Latino countries. The festival will feature the Doors to My Barrio art exhibit, a project where local visual artists used recycled and reclaimed doors as their canvas. Discover Latino bands, DJ’s and folkloric dance groups, plus salsa lessons and kid-friendly crafts.  

Karamu House
Karamu House will present “An Evening of Jazz and Blues” on Sunday, August 6 from 5 to 8 p.m., featuring four talented vocal musicians, and accompanied by a youth ensemble and live band. The audience will enjoy this multi-generational medley of forthright, good-humored and fun classic blues and jazz hits, celebrating the role of jazz and blues in Cleveland’s history. The show combines rich, vocal performances with playful stage antics.

Lake Erie Ink
Lake Erie Link will present “Story Building in the Square” on Friday, June 30 from 6 to 8 p.m., Saturday, July 8 from 3 to 5 p.m., Saturday, July 29 from 3 to 5 p.m., and Saturday, August 12 from 3 to 5 p.m. Attendees will engage in the act of “building” stories using giant word blocks. The large word blocks will inspire or inform a creative response that will build the story. The stories will then be written on chalkboards, allowing people passing through the Square to join them.  

Literary Cleveland
Literary Cleveland will present “Crossing Borders: Immigrant Narratives” on Tuesday, June 20 from 7 to 8 p.m., Wednesday, July 12 from 12 to 1 p.m., and Thursday, July 27 from 7 to 8 p.m. Experience a staged reading of the emotional journeys of crossing borders—both literally and metaphorically—and what it means to be an immigrant and an American. Director Marc Moritz has assembled a cast of actors to perform the stories, which are sure to be provocative, moving, heart-wrenching and funny.  

Pandora Robertson
Based on the 1966 Hough uprising, six days of Cleveland history are brought to life by seven actors in a compressed time and space – which happens to be a table and three chairs. “Incendiaries in the Square” will take place on Saturday, July 22 at 2:30 p.m. A post-show discussion will be followed by an outdoor theater workshop where participants are introduced to theater creation techniques and have the opportunity to write their own responses to the historic record of the 1966 Uprising.

Roots of American Music
Roots of American Music will present “Rust Belt Roots,” a series of music performances featuring gospel, blues, jazz and early rock including Eric Seddon Quartet on Friday, July 21 from 6 to 8 p.m., Zydeco Kings on Friday, July 28 from 6 to 8 p.m., and Evelyn Wright Quartet on Friday, August 4 from 6 to 8 p.m. Paired with “Hopportunity Fridays” craft beer nights, the events will celebrate our region’s Americana sound and help attendees to unwind, relax and bring on the weekend.

For more information on these projects as well as other events scheduled in Public Square, please contact us at info@clevelandpublicsquare.com or contact CEO Sanaa Julien at 216-533-9247 or sanaajulien@clevelandpublicsquare.com. To discover thousands of arts and cultural events across Cleveland and Cuyahoga County, visit ClevelandArtsEvents.com.  For additional information about Arts & Culture in the Square, visit cacgrants.org/square or call 216-515-8303. 

Cleveland’s Public Square is a city of Cleveland park located in the heart of downtown Cleveland. Public Square is managed by The Group Plan Commission, a non-profit organization that is leading the effort to revitalize Public Square along with other signature public spaces in downtown Cleveland. The reimagined Public Square is part of The Group Plan's mission to better connect Public Square, the Malls, and the lakefront. To learn more, visit clevelandpublicsquare.com.

Cuyahoga Arts & Culture (CAC) is one of the largest public funders for arts and culture in the nation, helping hundreds of organizations in Cuyahoga County connect millions of people to cultural experiences each year. Since 2007, CAC has invested $158 million in more than 300 organizations both large and small, making our community a more vibrant place to live, work and play. For more information, visit cacgrants.org.

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List of Events by Date:  June - August, 2017

June
Tuesday, June 20, 7-8 p.m. – Literary Cleveland (Crossing Borders: Immigrant Natives)
Thursday, June 22, 12-2 p.m. – Daniel Gray-Kontar (Poetry for the People)
Friday, June 30, 6-8 p.m. – Lake Erie Ink (Story Building in the Square)


July
Saturday, July 8, 3-5 p.m. – Lake Erie Ink (Story Building in the Square)
Wednesday, July 12, 12-1 p.m. – Literary Cleveland (Crossing Borders: Immigrant Natives)
Friday, July 14, 12-2 p.m. – Daniel Gray-Kontar (Poetry for the People)
Saturday, July 15, 1-8 p.m. – Julia de Burgos Cultural Arts Center (Fiesta Latina in the Square!)
Friday, July 21, 6-8 p.m. – Roots of American Music (Eric Seddon Quartet)
Saturday, July 22, 2:30 p.m. – Pandora Robertson (Incendiaries in the Square)
Thursday, July 27, 7-8 p.m. – Literary Cleveland (Crossing Borders: Immigrant Natives)
Friday, July 28, 6-8 p.m. – Roots of American Music (Zydeco Kings)
Saturday, July 29, 3-5 p.m. – Lake Erie Ink (Story Building in the Square)


August
Friday, August 4, 6-8 p.m. – Roots of American Music (Evelyn Wright Quartet)
Sunday, August 6, 5-8 p.m. – Karamu House (An Evening of Jazz and Blues)
Saturday, August 12, 3-5 p.m. – Lake Erie Ink (Story Building in the Square)
Sunday, August 13, 1 p.m. – Rust Belt Roots Family Activities: Instrument Building (Roots of American Music) 
Sunday, August 13, 2:30 p.m. – Rust Belt Roots Family Activities: Guitar and Ukulele workshop for beginners (Roots of American Music) 
Tuesday, August 15, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. – Down the Road String Band (Roots of American Music)
Sunday, August 20, 1 p.m. – Rust Belt Roots Family Activities: Instrument Building (Roots of American Music) 
Sunday, August 20, 2:30 p.m. – Rust Belt Roots Family Activities: Guitar and Ukulele workshop for beginners (Roots of American Music) 
Tuesday, August 22, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. – SpYder Stompers (Roots of American Music)
Friday, August 25, 6-8 p.m. – Cleveland Opera (Opera for All)
Saturday, August 26, 1 p.m. – Rust Belt Roots Family Activities: Instrument Building (Roots of American Music) 

Saturday, August 26, 1-3 p.m. - Story Building in the Square (Lake Erie Ink)
Saturday, August 26, 2:30 p.m. – Rust Belt Roots Family Activities: Guitar and Ukulele workshop for beginners (Roots of American Music)
Saturday, August 26, 7-9 p.m. – Daniel Gray-Kontar (Poetry for the People)

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