Cuyahoga County Residents Make 2010 "Star-Spangled Spectacular" Shine - Cuyahoga Arts & Culture Makes Voters’ Intentions a Reality at Public Square Concert

Below the glowing fireworks, amidst the swell of brass and strings, thousands of people will turn out to celebrate this year’s Star-Spangled Spectacular concert on Cleveland’s Public Square on July 1. What many of the spectators may not realize is that they are largely responsible for making this event possible, by the commitment they made in 2006 to supporting the arts in Cuyahoga County, through the approval of a 10-year tax on cigarettes to fund arts programming.

In fewer than four years, Cuyahoga Arts & Culture (CAC), the administrative arm for this funding, has collected more than $66 million and distributed more than $48 million in grants, making it one of the top five sources of local public support for the arts in the entire U.S.

"I can't think of a better way to celebrate Independence Day than with a free concert by our own Cleveland Orchestra, right in the heart of historic downtown Cleveland.” said CAC Executive Director Karen Gahl-Mills. “And while the Star-Spangled Spectacular will be an amazing show, it represents only a small fraction of the important programs funded through CAC on behalf of all residents of the County. It’s important that everyone understands this is their concert and they made it possible.”

All of the performers at the Star-Spangled Spectacular are recipients of CAC funding. In addition to the Orchestra, the evening will include a pre-concert festival to showcase music and dance by four local youth arts organizations. Beginning at 5:00 p.m., a series of half-hour performances will shine the spotlight on the talents of young entertainers from Jazz @ The Music Settlement – The Dameron Institute Ensemble; the Contemporary Youth Orchestra Quartet; the Heights Youth Theatre; and the Progressive Arts Alliance All-Stars.

“Everyone knows about our major grantees like the Orchestra, the theatres, and the museums, but we wanted to feature some of our less visible, but equally valuable grantees,” said CAC board president Steven A. Minter. “It was challenging to select just four youth programs from among the dozens we fund, but the groups that will perform at the Star-Spangled Spectacular provide an excellent example of the invaluable training and enrichment that help our region’s youth to become successful adults.”

Cuyahoga Arts & Culture has provided grants to more than 140 organizations since 2007. For more information about an organization or program in your city or neighborhood, or to learn more about how the residents of Cuyahoga County are helping ensure a vibrant present and future for the arts and culture in this region, visit

News Release- Star-Spangled Spectacular (PDF)